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Lever gun masterpiece

This is a discussion on Lever gun masterpiece within the Gun Pictures forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Actually, we stopped at our local outdoor store, yesterday, to buy some ski wax, but the minute I walked in the door my lever gun ...


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Old 01-28-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Lever gun masterpiece

Actually, we stopped at our local outdoor store, yesterday, to buy some ski wax, but the minute I walked in the door my lever gun radar went berserk. Sure enough, when the guys behind the counter saw me, they wasted no time in calling me over. (They know me all too well.)

The next thing I knew I had one of the finest lever guns I've ever beheld in my hands, not just in terms of looks, but also just that certain something that screams at you to put the gun to your shoulder and shoot in a way that only a lever gun can. So, without further adieu, here it is, a never fired Browning 1886 in 45-70.



This is no dainty carbine. It features a 26" octagonal barrel and the beefy 1886 action that is more than a match for hot 45-70 loads. I'm guessing gun weight to be at least 9 pounds, but the balance is so perfect that when you shoulder it, the barrel acts like it's glued to the target. The balance point is just forward of the action, shown where the gun is resting on the bag in the pic. Makes for a very easy to hold gun when shooting from a standing position or when carrying.



For those of you who are familiar with the Winchester 1892 action, the 1886 is the big brother of the 1892, both designed by John Browning. Like the shorter 92, the 1886 uses two massive lugs that lock into the receiver walls. How strong is this action? It's actually a stronger action than the Marlin 1895 that Marlin uses for its 45-70 and 444 Marlin. Strong enough, in its day, to handle the 50-110 Express buffalo cartridge and strong enough to later become the Model 71 in 348 Winchester. Bottom line is that this gun can handle ANY commercially available 45-70 load and is strong enough to handle reloads that would be downright painful to shoot.




This particular model of the 1886 Winchester is actually a very rare and much sought after gun. It was made for only one year, in 1986, by Browning, to commemorate the anniversary of the original 1886 and its designer, John Browning. Most folks who got one of these had to pre-order one. Very few actually made it to the dealer showrooms.

This a Miroku made gun, of course, but what sets it apart from the current Winchester labeled Miroku 1886 is the lack of a tang safety and rebounding hammer.



The fact that the Browning labeled version is truer to the original design and the fact that the Browning version is much harder to find, has escalated the price though the roof on the Browning version. Checking posts from 2007, folks were saying that $1200 was a good price on the Browning. Current prices are running $1800 plus on one in our condition.

Ours is unfired. Did not come with the box, but it did come from a local collector who put it on consignment. After some haggling, we walked out the door with this gun for an even $1000. Now, I know that is one heck of a lot of money for most folks and it is for us, too. Indeed, I really thought Bill would flat out refuse to go for it, but once in his hands, the gun worked its magic on him, too.

Did I mention that this may be the most beautiful lever gun I've owned, maybe even seen? As good as the usual Miroku made gun is, the story is that Miroku went all out for this 1886 commemorative. Let's take a closer look.

Forearm, both sides equally as good.



Buttstock, straight grained, as a big bore shooter should be, but still lovely.



Note the beautifully fitted steel crescent buttplate.



Another quality touch, here. Most lever guns use a barrel band or a simple bolt to hold the magazine tune in place. Not this gun. Not how the band is actually dovetailed into the barrel.



As for shooting this gun, I will be using the very traditional buckhorn and bead. There is no drilling and tapping on this gun to accommodate a peep sight or a scope. I'm okay with that. Given the very long sight radius, I can draw a very fine bead on the target and, besides, the buckhorn and bead combo is not the hopeless sight that so many people think it to be. I've learned that much from shooting them on my traditional BP guns.



Finally, here's a couple of videos from our good pal, hicock45, shooting his Browning 1886. Both are a good visual, especially Chapter Two, on what a 45-70 can do.

Browning 1886
Browning 1886 Chapter Two
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:58 AM   #2
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Thanks for the report and detailed pictures. I'm listening to the video in the background.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:00 AM   #3
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That is, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful rifles I have ever seen!

What a great find NCG, I can't wait to hear how it shoots.

Have I mentioned lately that I vicariously live through your range reports. This one will be a real doozy!
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:06 AM   #4
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Congratulations NCG! That is a beauty. I like how positive that bolt locks up.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
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All u need now is a big shaggy!
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:56 AM   #6
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Beautiful gun. I think if I had your collection I'd bury mine in the backyard.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Great fine .......The 92 , 94 uses the same type lockup of the 86 which is strong . I would love to have 86 in the a 348 Winc and never found one to buy in near new shape for a shooter . Miroku made some of the world best shotguns , I would guess the steel is 10X better then the original 86 .

Last edited by tx gun runner; 01-28-2015 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:34 AM   #8
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Can you shoot 300 Strong through it?
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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I have the feeling that beauty was just biding it's time waiting for you.
It sure is pretty and is now in good hands to fulfill the life it was meant for.
Glad you are a shooter and not a safe queen collector.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys. Definitely one of those right time, right place things.

Given that my post was getting too long, I didn't say much about the 45-70 and I should have. As cartridges go, the 45-70 has an almost cult following. I knew very well that going with a 45-70 is kind of a slippery slope. It tends to lure one into other 45-70s and pull one away for loading any other cartridge, given it's enormous range of loads. As a cartridge, it's the stuff of legends.

While we were at the store, one of the clerks told us that this last deer season, his son shot a deer at 100 yards with his Marlin 45-70 using 405 grain factory loads. When they went to retrieve the deer, they found that the bullet had actually gone all the way through a small tree his son hadn't seen in the scope and then continued on to drop the deer in its tracks. Good grief.

The 45-70 is a popular round up here (one of the reasons we grabbed the 1886 while we could). That big 45-70 bullet tends to punch though a deer, rather than explode, leaving a nice blood trail. Even so, it actually destroys less meat than the high velocity modern magnums. Very old school, but very effective,
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:41 PM   #11
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I bet you say that about all your men ............. er I mean guns.

It's really a keeper. Thanks for the pics.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north country gal View Post
Thanks, guys. Definitely one of those right time, right place things.

Given that my post was getting too long, I didn't say much about the 45-70 and I should have. As cartridges go, the 45-70 has an almost cult following. I knew very well that going with a 45-70 is kind of a slippery slope. It tends to lure one into other 45-70s and pull one away for loading any other cartridge, given it's enormous range of loads. As a cartridge, it's the stuff of legends.

While we were at the store, one of the clerks told us that this last deer season, his son shot a deer at 100 yards with his Marlin 45-70 using 405 grain factory loads. When they went to retrieve the deer, they found that the bullet had actually gone all the way through a small tree his son hadn't seen in the scope and then continued on to drop the deer in its tracks. Good grief.

The 45-70 is a popular round up here (one of the reasons we grabbed the 1886 while we could). That big 45-70 bullet tends to punch though a deer, rather than explode, leaving a nice blood trail. Even so, it actually destroys less meat than the high velocity modern magnums. Very old school, but very effective,
I often find 45-70 brass at the range. Usually just three or four at a time and not 200 like with .223 brass. Same with 300WinMag.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:33 PM   #13
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The 45-70 is a great round! I had some buffalo bore 405 grain ammo that had tree fellin power, but u feel it on the back end!
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Last edited by Dennis H; 01-28-2015 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis H View Post
The 45-70 is a great round! I had some buffalo bore 405 grain ammo that had tree feelin power, but u feel it on the back end!
Nice rifle rack!
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:13 AM   #15
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That's a real treasure, Ma'am.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:51 AM   #16
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That's a real treasure, Ma'am.
+1 Congratulationd!!
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:21 PM   #17
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That is the gem of lever guns, dang nice !
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