Based on a John Browning patent, the Model 1886 was one of the strongest lever actions ever used in a Winchester rifle, with this outstanding example chambered in highly desirable 45-70 caliber and in scarce special order lightweight takedown rifle configuration. As Winchester expert and author George Madis noted, "While [Model 1886 lightweight 45-70 rifles] were offered over a period of years, comparatively few were produced and it is a scarce gun" ("The Winchester Book," page 249). This example was manufactured in 11931 and has the fast taper, 22 inch barrel with a beaded blade front sight and the sporting elevation adjustable rear sight. The barrel has late pattern Winchester style markings with the two-line address/patent dates on the left side of the barrel over the forend cap with "MADE IN U.S.A." just in front of the rear sight followed by the two-line nickel-steel marking and "45-70" at the breech. The top of the barrel and receiver are both stamped with the "WP" Winchester proof mark inside an oval. The upper tang has the late pattern, three-line model/trademark information, and the lower tang has the serial number. The takedown lever has the 1893 patent date. It has the early style Winchester blue finish on all the metal parts with a high gloss varnish on the buttstock and forend. The shotgun style stock is fitted with a black plastic impress checkered buttplate with the Winchester logo in the middle.
Excellent with 97% plus of the original blue finish overall with the slightest edge wear and a small vise imprint on the left side of the takedown collar. The wood is also excellent with a small chip at the stock toe, limited minor handling marks, four small pin holes from a removed overall lay on the right side of the stock, and nearly all original factory varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. An exceptional, scarce Winchester Model 1886 Lightweight Takedown .45-70 Rifle that will be a welcomed addition to any lever action or sporting collection.
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