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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking of getting one of the new crop of Win. 1886 Extra Light guns to carry around as a short range big bore. Kind of a Marlin Guide Gun replacement gun. I don't like the Guide Gun as well as I thought I would. Does everyone feel the 1886 can do all the Guide Gun can? How about action strength? Anyone have one?
 

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It's as strong as anything and beautifully built.  

The usual "can't mount a scope" Winchester issue, but that shouldn't be a problem for you.  Good peeps are available.  

Moruko makes a nice rifle.  I can't get past the Made in Japan" thing, myself.  I tried.  (It's like Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns: entertaining, but something isn't quite right.)

It's twice the price of the Marlins, so it should be better...
 

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Cubman,

Whats wrong with the guide gun other than it's heavy, the forend is too wide and those awful ports?

Dr. Henry Stebbins wrote a book back in the '60's in which he spoke very highly of the original 1886's chambered in 50-100-450.
The '86's have a smooth action like a M-92, but the reciver is a bit long, and the new ones have a tang safety.
 

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Last year, I purchased one of the Winchester Model 1886 Extra-Lights.  My 15-year old son and I have done a good bit of shooting with it, and we like it very much.  The workmanship is quite good.  It balances well, and our particular rifle was very accurate right out of the box.  The action is admirably smooth and only improves with use.  I have not yet carried it in a saddle scabbard on one of our horses, but it would seem ideal for that purpose.  It is more compact and lighter than the Browning reproduction of the 1886 carbine, though that was also a fine, well-made firearm also.

   The design of the 1886, with the double locking lugs, gives it a great deal of strength.  Couple that with the modern steels in the new reproductions, and I believe that you have one of the strongest of the available .45-70 repeaters.  I do not, however, try to load up any of my .45-70's to give Hotchkiss 1.65 mountains guns a run for their money!  The .45-70 does not pushing to the absolute maximum to be an extremely effective cartridge.  Within those limitations, I highly recommend the Miroku-made 1886 XL as a handsome piece that handles really well.  I do not grudge the dollars I gave for mine, and, as always, some negotiating can help with the price.  Good luck!
 

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Her I go, again. As y'all know I am a bon-ee-fyed Winchester nut. I don't think you could ever go wrong with a new '86 EL. I've had mine for a coupla yrs and love it. It was and is a fine accurate little gun, right out the box. I added a Williams receiver sight and ain't looked back. It's gonna take a while to really slick up the action like the earlier 1886s. I'm dealin' OK with the tang safety, but, if they ever go with a crossbolt on the '86 models I'm done with 'em. The 50 EXP models are absolute topnotch in the power category. Try a 50-110 with 68 grs 3031 and a 325 gr bullet. WHOA!! I'm seriously thinkin' about goin that way with an '86 real soon. The original 50 cal Winchesters have gone to the ionosphere in price, lately. Hence are too valuable to thrash in the gamefields.Years ago I had one in full magazine, round nickle steel barrel, lightweight. Afer all the HV ammo ran out I traded it for a 45-70 SRC. Though it was a good move at the time; I sure regret it now. Grab that EL, you will not regret it. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was looking at the Extra Light again today...had em bring the scale out. The "extra Light" weighed in at 8 1/4 lbs!!!! Whats up with that? Is that about what yours weigh?  Also - has anyone tried the new .45 425g BTB bullet to see if it will cycle in the '86 action? What about powders for reloading? I thought I would start with R-7, I will be loading for both a .444 and .45-70 in Win. and Marlin rifles. Thanks.
 

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Cub,

(Incidently, my brother flies PA12's)

I bought a '86 EL last year and have done some modifications to it it fit me.  It is a neat rifle; slick as it can be, and getting smoother with use.  I did not like the rebounding hammer, largely because it would not reliably fire CCI 200 primers, so I removed the "rebound" and it works fine.

The stock was too short for me, so I added a 1/2" recoil pad without removing any wood.  (The gunsmith heated the pad in boiling water and bent it to form to the shape of the stock.)

I installed a Lyman receiver sight, because it begged me to do so and it shoot better.  I also remove the barrel rear sight.

I have developed a couple of loads that kill elk.  A 405 gr. Remington or a 400 gr. Speer with 48 gr. 3031 for soft load and 53 gr. 3031 for an elk load. 53 grs give 1815 fps 15 ft from muzzle.  Shoots 1 1/2" groups for 3 shots at 100 yds.  The light load is a plinker load, but will kill coyotes.  I managed to shoot through a young bull last fall with the 52 gr load at 60 yds.  No real test, but he eats well.

If you like good levers, you will enjoy the '86EL.  Good rifle!

dclark
 

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DClark, How the heck do you remove the rebound? My rifle does fire CCI 200s reliably, 'cause that's about all I use. My EL weighs 7lbs9oz. I wonder if you can fit a hammer from an original '86 or 71 to the Mirokus? Hmm. I like 54.5/4198/350 RNSP. Them piggies just can't stand up to it. No elk in these parts,though. Too bad. Mike
 

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I bought an 86 EL last spring. It's just the funnest rifle I've owned in a long time. Shoots very well indeed with jacketed and cast although the trigger pull needs a bit of slicking up. Put a Williams peep sight on it and just finished checkering butt and foreend. If you read Brian pearces article which referred to an oil finish you can scrub that thought. Don't know if he had a factory prototype or can't tell the difference. The finish is some kind of urethane or synthetic. It has the annoying habit of showing scratches as white marks. Recoil with max loads is a handful and tends to rattle your brain a bit but my wife says she can't tell the difference in me.
Found the foreend hard to hang onto in recoil thus the checkering. Haven't decided yet if I'm going to epoxy the tang safety in the off position or not. I kind of like it when unloading but prefer to just thumb the hammer back and shoot -if I've remembered  to slide the safety off !! It's a bit of overkill. They could have done a classier job of enscribing the model # on the tang and there is enough writing on the barrel to be annoying. These things are nit-picky though as it is a good solid rifle.
You won't shoot one long before seeking out some reduced/traditional loads for practice at the range if you want to use it a lot. Save the heavy loads for when they are needed. Mine weighs 7 lbs 6.5 ounces. Not a featherweight but it's well balanced , relatively short and comes up quick. besto
 

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Using a Williams Foolproof. It's not ideal as adjustments require loosening screws before dialing adjustments but it is clean, light and ideal for hunting. Don't like the idea of a tang sight considering recoil but would like to have more flexible elevation adjustments. Wish there was a peep available with a short flip up slide similar to the military Enfield peep sight. If you could adjust quickly for zeros out to 250-300 yds it would be adequate for my purposes. Weight variations are probably the result of different wood densities. The butt on mine has been hollowed out at the factory but don't know if they all were. besto.
 

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Greetings;

My '86 EL weighs 7lbs 4oz according to my RCBS trigger pull scale.  That includes the 1/2" recoil pad and Lyman receiver sight model 66 WB.

The rebound feature is created by having a divided rod that operates the hammer with the main spring.  If you remove the stock (2 screws and pull), you will see the operation of the hammer.  The hammer is built with a solid extension down from the rotation shaft (hammer screw).  One portion of the rod operates above the rotation point moving the hammer forward.  Once the hammer reaches the neutral, the lower portion of the rod engages the lower extension of the hammer and pushes it backwards to the rebound position.  It operates as a cushion for the hammer when it strikes the primer.  Mine was so much of a cushion that CCI primers were not reliable.

The way you remove it is to remove the lower extesion of the operating rod.  Cock the hammer and insert a pin in the hole in the operating rod behind the up-right guide.  It will hold the rod and spring in place.  Use a hacksaw to remove the lower portion of the rod.  WARNING!  Once that rebound feature is removed, you do NOT have a captured half-cock as in the old '86s.  It is a shelf and if you pull the trigger while the hammer sits on half cock, the hammer will go forward with some force.  I doubt it would fire a primer, but it COULD!
In order to eliminate that possibility, you SHOULD cut a notch in the half-cock shelf to create a capture for the sear.

No, you cannot substitute an old '86 hammer for the new one, because the new one operates with a coil spring (like the Model 71), while the old '86 operates with a flat spring and fly.  IF you could find a 71 hammer, MAYBE it would fit.  It would, of course, eliminate the shelf for the thumb safety, however.  I have just left mine alone.

Hope this helps without TOO much confusion.

dclark
 

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I just couldn't be left out on this one. I've had my 1886 EL for about 3 months and I still feel like a kid on Christmas morning every time I pick it up. I could have bought a couple of Marlins for what I paid but I have no regrets. Being new to the 45-70, recoil was a worry til I actually shot it. I have loaded 300gr cast very stoutly and it's really no big deal. 405gr cast get my attention with moderate loads.
This gun is smooth, beautiful, and plenty accurate. My only difficulty is in loading the Speer 400 since the bullet hits the lands fairly hard and I can't get a collet for my RCBS case trimmer to accept the case to cut it back. So, I have a full box of big bullets I can't use. Any suggestions?
 

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Bigal: Haven't tried the Speer but I know some fellows do by seating them deeper and crimping over the curve of the nose. I expect pressures jump a bit if you don't reduce the load to compensate. A compressed load would be essential to prevent bullets pounding back in the cases. An option is to have the rifle throated to accept the Speers but it doesn't appeal to me. I've been told the Speer bullet is not very strongly constructed but can't confirm or deny that. I've been using Rem. 405's for jacketed and they work just fine. Am probably shooting 20 or 30 cast for every jacketed though. Using the RCBS 405FNGC (which casts at 415 from my alloy) and the RCBS 300 FNGC which drops at 325. Have some 350 Horn RNSP's loaded up to test although I made a bit of a jig and filed them off flat. Not too comfortable with bullet to primer contact given the amount of recoil energy. Both cast bullets driven at 1450-1500 are  accurate, commonly getting 10 shots in 1 1/4 at 50 yards. Accuracy declines at higher speeds so plan to cast the next batch harder to boost the load a bit. POI varys quite a bit between weights. besto.
 

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Bigal,
The 86 winchester action is long enough to accomodate a COAL of about 2.88 to 2.9 inches.  That is the OAL of the 45/90 and 50/110 both cartridges that were originally chambered in the 86.  The problem is that the new production rifles are set up to chamber SAMMI spec 45/70 cartridges with a COAL of 2.55 inches.  In order to get the Rifle to chamber longer cartridges some work must be done to the throat, feed gate and maybe to the cartridge carrier.  Cartridges of about 2.7 to 2.75 inches will feed through the gate.  Cartridges of about 2.8 inches will Cycle from through the action from the tube magazine into the chamber.  But the throat is short and will only chamber cartridges of about 2.55 inches or so.  I am not sure exactly where the crimp groove is located on the Speer bullet but I suspect that you can get it to work with a throat job which should allow you to use bullets about 2.7 to 2.75 inches.  If you want to get more out of your 86 opening up the feed gate will get you to 2.8 inches and some mods to the carrier will get you to 2.88 inches.
 

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Bigal,

I have not shot any Speer in my 86, but I throated my No. 1 to accept a longer seating.

I am surprised that RCBS does not have a collet for your case trimmer to fit a .45-70.  You might give them a call or an e-mail and make an inquiry.  They are really good people there.

dclark
 

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I've had an RCBS case trimmer on order for a couple weeks because my Forster collet won't accept the 45-70. I assumed, wrongly it seems, that RCBS would have addressed this problem. Was also unsuccesful in obtaining a trim die so I could file them back. May have to cobble something up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wife is going to be mad...I just purchased an 1886EL with serial #1887. I thought that wa sinteresting number! I could have 962. Should I go with the 1887 or the lower 962 serial #s? I pick it up tomorrow.
 
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