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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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