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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland

Given the recent post on the new Winchester 1886 extra light and interest it caused i would like to know you your veiws on the Malin .45-70 cowboy when compared to the Win 86 EL ?

You see i have been looking at the marlin Cowboy which i can get over here, i liked the straight grip and long barrel. As for the Winchester 1886 EL i didnt even know of it until seeing the recent post.

How would you guys rate these two guns RE- value,quality,shootabilty, and use as a hunting rifle ?

I would also be interested in how much they cost you guys ? For over here the RRP. of the Marlin Cowboy is £675 !

Regards Englander
 

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Your's is the classic Marlin vs. Winchester debate with an oriental twist.

The "Winchester" in question is a "pre-64" type that USRAC can't/won't build in the States. Browning (owner of USRAC) has been building them in Japan (Miroku), and now they're relabelled "Winchester".  

They are finely built: excellent materials, tightly made, 19th century John Moses Browning design complexity and real beauties.  They all probably shoot as well as anything.  You can't mount a scope too well, but that shouldn't be an issue.  These are "limited editions," only a few thousand built each year.

The Marlin is standard production, so at roughly half-2/3 the price, this isn't quite a fair comparison.  The Marlins are well made and consistently accurate. Strength is probably at par with both.  The wood and finish are "standard grade" and a step below the Miroku.  The action is simpler and can be cleaned from the breech occasionally with removal of the lever hinge pin.  Aesthetically, the modern Marlin loses the contest  The open receiver doesn't look as good as the covered 1886 (or it's antecedent, the Marlin 1893).  See: http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displayitem.cfm?ItemNum=2544990 for a nice Marlin 1893 example.

Functionally, they're a draw.  My guess is that you would be very happy with either.  Both are excellent.

If you want to roughly compare prices here, try www.gunfinder.net or www.gunsamerica.com.

Regards,

Charlie
 

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In my experience firearms tend to stick around longer then wives. From that experience I've learned to put more consideration and care into the selection of rifles and pistols, since the ladies are just passing through.
When making a choice in either case I look for the functionality first, then the aesthetics. If the two firearms/women both function as they should why should I choose the less attractive one?
Jim
 

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I believe the 1886 to be the stronger action of the two, so if heavy handloads are considered I'd opt for it. Accuracy should be closely comparable. If cost is factored in, the Marlin is an awfully good buy. Personally I would be inclined to save my money for the Brownchester if I had another rifle with which to hunt until it was acquired.

Have you also seen the limited run of 1886 Takedowns sold by Davidson's?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I must admit the Winchester 1886 EL does look "awful preedy" wether i could get one in Britain is another matter, past experience with Browning/winchester UK. has shown them to be less than helpful, in fact i even wondered if they wanted to sell any guns!

I ended up with a Miroku M-bolt in .308 and love -it.

Can any one tell me when these "New" 1886 EL started getting made ? And why they are not on the Winchester web-site ? And who is actually selling them ? Which company ? Miroku has nothing on its web site either ?


Regards Englander
 

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Englander: The 86's are being sold by USRAC (Winchester) . They are a limited production item and I don't believe they are currently being produced thus not being catalogued. I understand there are still a few left in stock at the company warehouse(s) and/or at some dealers. As for a choice between the Marlin and Winchester, well, we tend to be either Winchester (real) men or Marlin (wannabe's) users. Just stirring the pot a bit, boys, They are both strong actions and this 1886 is much stronger than the original rifles due to improved metallurgy. As to which is the strongest I'm undecided and probably am not the guy to test either to the limit. I find the recoil from top end loads to be the limiting factor in my testing. cheerio.
 

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Although my personal preferences tend to lean toward Winchester, (notice I said WINCHESTER) I have to say that the Marlin is quite nice and a great value.  My father has one that he uses for the longer range stages in Cowboy Action shooting and he is very pleased with the rifle's ability to "ring the plate" at any range that is practical for the caliber.  He specifically said that the rifle seems to like lead better than jacketed.

The only other thing I would say is that when it comes to expense, why lay out the extra money for a special run, limited edition rifle that will perform no better than the standard production, less expensive alternative.  The "prettier" gun will get just as scratched up as the standard production arm.  Mother nature has a way of leaving her mark on all hunting arms.

-Dutch
 

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Oh, My. We are having a fun time now. I just went through this very decision process a few months ago.
If function is the only concern then the Marlin is the only way to go. Both guns will make big holes in anything it's pointed at and a Marlin won't make you sick to your stomach when it gets scratched the first time. These guns work well and are no doubt a better "value" than the Winchesters.
I looked a long time til I decided WHY I wanted the gun. I have many other utility guns and really fell for the appearance and feel of the 1886 and decided that it was the one I must have, regardless of price. From that point I rationalized that if I were to spend that kind of cash I may as well make it an heirloom and opted for the high grade.
I will be taking this 1886 to Africa and if it gets scratched up I can accept it as character marks because I will likely only get to do this once. I don't think I could say the same thing for an elk hunt since I do that every year and have better guns for the open country here in SE Idaho.
My advise: Decide why you want it then only get what you really want. My choice would be the wrong choice for someone needing a utility gun.
 

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Bigal: Exactly right. Use it and enjoy it , just be sure that whatever you buy you don't spend the next 25 years wishing you'd got the other. My preference for the 86 has more to do with the balance and style of the rifle and a long history of using Winchesters than any more practical viewpoint. In 50+ years of hunting/shooting I've yet to own (or shoot for that matter) any Marlin . Maybe I've missed something but I've sure enjoyed my Winchesters. besto.
 

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I disagree.  If you're buying history, buy a real Winchester.  Ubertis, Rossis and Mirokus are facsimiles of Winchesters and the market reflects this status.  There are plenty of originals out there if you want to buy an authentic Winchester.

Whiskey made in Japan may be fine, but it won't be Oban.  

Arigatou
 

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charlie z : I'd agree with you if I could find one in excellent condition at a price I can afford. If I ever do I will buy one. In the meantime I wanted it to use and to create it's own history in my little bean brain. My son did find a reconditioned 45-90. We think it may be a parts gun but it was very well done and the gunsmith doing it had the integrity to mark it unobtrusively but in a manner that warns any would -be purchaser that it may not be entirely original.  His is a good shooter too and the bore is absolutely mint. It also has the same twist as my 45-70 rather than the slower twist commonly found in the /90's. Caliber is factory marked as a 45-90 though so it may have visited the factory at some point in it's life for a new nickel steel barrel. The rifle appears to have had (at one time) a side mount scope on it . Perhaps it was a 33 originally. The gunsmith very nicely filled the holes and installed a Lyman long side peep, reblued the whole thing and refinished deluxe wood.  I think he recognized that it had already been altered to the point that there was no reason not to do the rework. There were never many 86's in this part of Canada. The few that came in during the late 1800's were mostly carried by prospectors on their way to the claims in various parts of interior B.C probably coming from the US. Real settlement of this area followed that and model 95's were much more common. At least that's my best guess on their overall scarcity here. More have been brought in by collectors than ever previously existed here. best regards.
 

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As the owner of several "real" Winchesters, I had to go for the Miroku as soon as they came out a coupla' yrs ago. I can't load the older ones to the same potential as the new EL. It is a beautifully made gun, very accurate,too. Shoot, it already has some character marks from riding around in the jeep. The finish tends to get white marks when dinged, though. One of these days I'll probably replace the wood, anyhow. The original 1886s have absolutely the smoothest actions of any levergun. Even with cartridges that are 3'' long  they are very fast repeaters. The bad part is that they are too danged heavy to hump around the bush all day. The old extra lights with 22' pencil bbl. and half mag. are super sweet. Just try to find one with a nickle steel barrel in any caliber other than .33WCF or 45-70. You will have to PAY in a big way. At around 800 bucks, the '86EL is a heck of a deal. Cheers all, mike
 

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BC, I'd love to be in position to send something like that to Doug Turnbull.

see:  http://www.gunshop.com/dougt6.htm
 

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CharlieZ. Oh yes. There is a site that regularly has rifles for sale that Turnbull has reconditioned. They look better than new. His color caseing is spectacular. The smith that did my son's had the lever re -cased. It's similar to factory colors butnot quite as deep. But it's a fine piece to carry as a hunter. He paid about the same for his as I did for the the repro (1200.00 Can). I didn't go to that gun show up north or we'd have been fighting over it. (Not really). best regards
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well many good points put for and against, buying the Marlin Cowboy or the Winchester 1886 EL.

Price is certinally a consideration, well for my anyhow. Value yes ! Must have -yep !
I know that  one only to well, i drive a 2 1/4 L petrol SWB Land Rover- sucks fuel like you would'nt believe ! And thats not funny at our British fuel prices, but i always wanted one, and i love driving it, even looking at it !

Got an E-mail today from Browning UK, yes they have some in the factory in Belgium, won't tell me number or price, will have too talk to my local dealer to find out more, i will let you know how much they are asking over hear.

Once i get a price in Stirling for the Winchester 1886 EL i can compare, if its silly than i may opt for the Marlin ? Will have to wait and see, thanks guys for yuor veiws on the subject.

Regards Englander.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello me again-

Well here are the cost options- In the U.K

Marlin Cowboy .45-70    $932


Winchester 1886 EL .45-70   $1079


Winchester 1886 EL "fancy" .45-70   $1244

I must admit for the difference the Winchester would seem the better buy, the "fancy" Winchester is out of the question, i'd cry the first time i scratched it !

Now its the tiny matter of convincing the wife,  i need another rifle ! Now thats the hard bit.  Investment ? No i dont think she would buy that one ? Any suggestions ?

Regards Englander
 
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