Shooters Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A dealer friend of mine took in a Winchester 1886 in 45-70. He asked if I wanted to shoot it and see what I thought. The rifle is 1892 vintage and nice looking patina with no rust and lightly refinished wood with no cracks and tight fit. Attractive rifle. The bore is marginal with visible rifling. The only ammo I had was Remington 300gr hp factory loads. After some sighters I got a 6 shot group that was 2 1/8" center to center at 50 yards. This is with buckhorn sights. Is this what one would expect or would a 405gr cast or jacket bullet do better? I have experience loading for the 45-70 in modern rifles but wondering what to expect with poor rifling. The shooting was from a makeshift standing rest.
Also there are fine lines running the length of the receiver that the seller refered to as "forging marks". Is this common on the early ones?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Yes, forging lines are commonly seen on various early Winchester lever guns.

I suspect part of your group size can be attributed to the rather coarse sights. 2 1/2" ain't bad considering sights and rather makeshift rest.

If your bore is tired, I suspect it will not shoot cast bullets as well. I have many 86's and find this to be the case. Jacketed bullets tend to grip the shallow rifling better than cast. That being said, use jacketed bullets sparingly as the can accelerate wear in the old barrel steel. When reloading, use low pressure loads and that gun will last several more lifetimes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
3855 thanks for the response. I do think that the buckhorn sights are hard for me to get a consistent sight picture. This is really an attractive rifle and the dealer has it on Gunbroker for now. If it doesn't sell I might be able to make a fair deal with him. I showed him the target and he was happy with it.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top