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Thread: Browning 1885

  1. #1
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    Browning 1885

    I just made a deal to buy a Browning 1885 in 45-70. I’ve had two Sharps 45-70s, at different times. Had to sell both when money was tight. I’ve been looking for another one and ran across this gorgeous Browning for far less than any Sharps I’ve found, much less a Shiloh.

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    I’ve shot a Browning single shot years ago, I think it was a B-78, but I’m not sure. Anyone have any experience with these?

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    texasmac is a member. Just search his name for lots of info on the Browning 1885's

    http://www.texas-mac.com/Articles.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    texasmac is a member. Just search his name for lots of info on the Browning 1885's

    http://www.texas-mac.com/Articles.html
    Thanks, you must have been reading my mind. Although this gun isn’t the BPCR version, I’m hopeful I can get it to shoot well with the 45-70 bullets I have in a black powder equivalent load. I may mount a scope on it to work up a load, then I plan to add a vernier sight and see how well these old eyes can see.

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    Does your Browning 1885 have a metal tang? I’ve only seen metal tangs on Browning BPCR’s. Winchester’s have the metal tang but I’m not sure Browning’s do. Oddly, they’re made by the same company, Miroku. They are very well made guns. The reason I mention the tang is that for a vernier sight you’ll need to to mount the sight...unless you drill into the wood.

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    I drilled the wood and put an insert in. I was doing bpcs shooting to 500 with it.

    Good stuff!

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    I don’t have the Browning yet. I just made the deal to buy it today.

    The range at my club goes to 400 yards, and I doubt I’ll ever shoot it any farther. But you never know, I may get a chance to go back to Raton one day.
    Last edited by Warhawk; 10-26-2020 at 12:19 AM.

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    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    I have a 1885 Browning that is same as in the picture - no metal tang. I have a buddy that has the "Traditional" model (BPCR version) with the metal tang and curved metal butt plate. Both are in 45/70, and I've shot both. His is a beautiful rifle with gorgeous wood, but mine is far more comfortable to shoot. The 1885 is a very strong action that will take Ruger No. 1 "Modern Rifle" loads! It has a 28" BBL that can ring out extra velocity, like your "Sharps", without having to up the charge (and recoil) of the Ruger. Mine weighs 8.3 pounds without a scope, which it is already drilled and tapped. I have a 4X Leupold mounted by a two piece Redfield made steel mount and rings.

    I had a Williams aperture sight initially mounted, but wanted to see how accurate it could be - it improved dramatically. Although weighing (now) about a pound more with the scope, it is even more pleasant to shoot and the bug size holes made on paper are easy to see. While you can run velocity way beyond "antique" and "replicate" arms levels, it's the most fun at the entry level. It's like almost having a .458 Magnum without the "belt" (pun intended); don't need all that power, but it is nice to have in reserve if ever needed. BTW, the action, unlike your former Sharps, cocks the hammer when you lower the lever! There is a device that looks like a large screw that can be turned with a screw driver to trap the cartridge from being ejected, or deflect it left or right. I'm betting you will enjoy your Browning, of which I totally agree - Miroku makes some very fine products, whether rifle or shotgun. Congratulations!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warhawk View Post
    Thanks, you must have been reading my mind. Although this gun isn’t the BPCR version, I’m hopeful I can get it to shoot well with the 45-70 bullets I have in a black powder equivalent load. I may mount a scope on it to work up a load, then I plan to add a vernier sight and see how well these old eyes can see.
    Exactly what is a blackpowder equivalent load? Can't beat the "Holy Black" in the 45/70!

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    Warhawk, I think you will love it. I shoot that caliber in my Marlin XLR and the 1885. Sweet handling the Browning is. Sweet shooting too. Mine just loves everything in lead I feed it from 400 to 500 grain. Congrats. Here's my two babies.




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    300s are very comfortable to use as well, l don't recall the load but it might be unique

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    Yes Martin, unique in the 45/70 is a fun load.

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    Thanks, I've been a 45-70 shooter for at least 30 years. One of the rifles I've owned the longest is a 1975 Vintage Marlin 1895. It's VERY accurate with my handloads, but I haven't found the secret of getting this one to shoot cast bullets well. I've had two Sharps and a Browning 1886 in 45-70, all of those shot cast bullets well. Oh, I had a Ruger #1 Sporter too, briefly. Something about the #1 made it have brutal recoil. Loads that were comfortable in the Marlin would beat you black and blue in the Ruger. I didn't keep it.

  13. #13
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    I have owned several of them. I bought the first one about 1987.
    I also own 2 of the 1885 BPCRs.
    I put a William Fool proof on the first one with a Lyman 17 series front site. The Williams site mounts on the top of the receiver using the rear scope mounting holes.
    The action is very strong and I use SR4759 with all bullet weights with a powder charge that duplicates black powder velocities. The standard 1885 is too light for top smokeless loads. The recoil is excessive if you use a slow burning powder with a heavy bullet at 1800 fps or more.
    These rifles all have the short lead (short angle from the case mouth to the rifling) of the standard SAAMI chamber. Accuracy is very good but I always used bullets that are sized to .459 or they are shot as cast up to .462.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warhawk View Post
    I just made a deal to buy a Browning 1885 in 45-70. Iíve had two Sharps 45-70s, at different times. Had to sell both when money was tight. Iíve been looking for another one and ran across this gorgeous Browning for far less than any Sharps Iíve found, much less a Shiloh.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Iíve shot a Browning single shot years ago, I think it was a B-78, but Iím not sure. Anyone have any experience with these?
    EDG

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    Exactly what is a blackpowder equivalent load? Can't beat the "Holy Black" in the 45/70!
    Pretty obvious what it is. It's a load of smokeless powder that equals BP velocities, and pressure, but without BP being used. And yes people do shoot smokeless in these guns too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warhawk View Post
    Thanks, I've been a 45-70 shooter for at least 30 years. One of the rifles I've owned the longest is a 1975 Vintage Marlin 1895. It's VERY accurate with my handloads, but I haven't found the secret of getting this one to shoot cast bullets well. I've had two Sharps and a Browning 1886 in 45-70, all of those shot cast bullets well. Oh, I had a Ruger #1 Sporter too, briefly. Something about the #1 made it have brutal recoil. Loads that were comfortable in the Marlin would beat you black and blue in the Ruger. I didn't keep it.
    Yes, I will concur that Ruger could have done a better job on their stock design to reduce the brutality of the large bore heavy hitters. I've a 9.3x74 and a 450/400 that I'm going to see about a mercury recoil tamer in the butt stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    Pretty obvious what it is. It's a load of smokeless powder that equals BP velocities, and pressure, but without BP being used. And yes people do shoot smokeless in these guns too.
    Nothing is more accurate in the 45/70 than properly assembled blackpowder round.......PERIOD!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by marlinman93 View Post
    Pretty obvious what it is. It's a load of smokeless powder that equals BP velocities, and pressure, but without BP being used. And yes people do shoot smokeless in these guns too.
    The people who are afraid of blackpowder.

  18. #18
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    How many smokeless loads have you ever tried?

    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    Nothing is more accurate in the 45/70 than properly assembled blackpowder round.......PERIOD!
    EDG

  19. #19
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    MOA ... what scope mounts are you running on your 1885?

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    Pretty sure there Browning.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check