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I just traded my beloved Marlin Guide Gun 45-70 for a new Winchester 1886 45-70. It was a really hard decision, as I had come to appeciate the accuracy and features of my GG.

I am interested in anyone's experience with a modern 1886. I have always wanted one of them, and this deal was too good to pass up. (I hope!) Am I correct in believing that I can use load data from the Marlin? The 1886 is very strong, isn't it?

I just had received my Beartooth 405 grain bullets after several months of anticipation. They were worth the wait. I had them sized .460" I think they should work fine in the 1886.

All posts appreciated!:)
 

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1886

Longhunter, Congrats to your trade. I got my Brownchester 1886 carbine about a year ago and like it more every time I shoot it. Its action strentgh is at least as strong as Marlin's. Several more knowledgable than I say it is stronger by design. I got bullets from Beartooth sized at .460 and they shoot well in my rifle, about 1 to 1.5 inches at 50 yards. Some bullets that will feed in your Marlin will not feed in the 1886, such as Cast Performances 440 gr. WFN but there are plenty of bullets out there that will. Beartooth's 425 gr. will and it is also very accurate in my rifle. You can mount aperture sights on 1886 but it will require drilling nand tapping. I put A.0. ghost sight on mine right behind the recoil lugs on top of my receiver. It works well and looks good on my 1886. Recoil pads are alittle more difficult to mount with the cresant butt plate/butt stock but you can order a replacement butt stock with your chose of recoil pads and lentgh of pull from Great American Gunstock Co.(www.gunstocks.com). They do good work. My 1886 is my favorite rifle. Good luck!
 

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Longhunter you are going to love he 86,it is the best lever gun made barring its twin the 71 Winchester, It is stronger than the Marlin,and capeable of handleing the heavy hitters, i.e. 45-110/ 50-110 450 Alskan and the 50 Alaskan,and a couple of others I can't think of right now.
Buy your self one of the Marbles tang peep sights and shoot it you will be surprised at the accuracy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Guys,

Thanks for the replys, I really appreciate the information. My 1886 is the Extra Light version with a straight grip butt stock. I have a variety of ammo, both factory and hand loads. I am going to the range today to fire the first shots through it.

Of course, I had to give some "boot" along with my Marlin, but still got a great deal. It is like going from a Chevy to a Buick, or mabye even a Cadillac.......if it shoots as good as it looks.

Since it is tapped for a receiver sight, I am considering trying one of them. The tang peep sounds interesting also. For today, the buckhorn will have to do.:)
 

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:) Longhunter, you are gon'na love your '86. I have never owned a Marlin, so can't offer a comparison. I do own several Winchester 1886s, though. I don't believe that a finer levergun has ever been made.With it's enormous strength an buttery smooth action the 1886 is the the epitomy of traditional lever action rifles. If you are recoil sensitive, stick with off the shelf loads. If not, the sky is the limit with the Miroku EL. You have chosen well.
 

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I missed a chance at a Browning 1886 SRC a couple of years ago and STILL kick myself, so when CDNN advertised the Winchester Lightweight 1886s for $599, I knew I HAD to have one.

I have a Marlin GG and LOVE it...but my '86 has WAAAAAY more 'class'. Even with the STEEL buttplate, my '86 is a pleasure to shoot. So far, factory loads are all I've shot(405 SPs and 300 JHPs), but it is DEAD ON @100 yards with the Winchester 300 JHPs....
 

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Miroku 1886 EL

I've had my USRAC/Winchester/Miroku 1886 EL for about a month. At first I did not care for it due to the very heavy trigger (8.2 lbs.) and hard-to-cycle action. After several hundred well oiled cycles and 40 rounds at the range it smoothed out but needs more. I fired 20 rounds of factory Remington 405 gr FNSP and 20 rounds of Winchester Supreme 300 gr. Partition Gold.

I mounted a Lyman 66WB receiver sight and a Williams Fire Sight 290W front sight. This is a quick combination for the '86. Marbles makes a tang sight for the new '86 with the tang safety. I bought the 66WB and the 290W from Brownells www.brownells.com While you are at it get the Pachmayr slip-on recoil pad (medium). You will need it if you do much bench shooting.

Got a Lyman 3-die set, Lee factory crimp die, brass and an assortment of cast and jacketed bullets from www.natchezss.com and www.grafs.com

I have Beartooth bullets on order but meanwhile I will be shooting Cast Performance cast, Sierra FP and Hornady RN.
 

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Longhunter, I picked up a used but like new Brownchester 1886 in 45-70 a few years back and never regreted it. Mine is the saddle ring carbine with a 20 inch bbl. It was made about 1992. It compliments my Ruger No. 1 45-70 very nicely. The browning 86 seems to do a little better with cast bullets than the Ruger No. 1. I think the Browning has deeper cut rifleing. The finnish is so nice I have not had the nerve to drill and tap it for a reciever sight. Also these rifles tend to go up in value. I think I will stick with the iron sights for now as I can shoot OK with them. The action is very smooth even though I know this rifle was not shot much by the previous owner. The modern 1886s are strong guns and should be able to handle the loads you used in your Marlin. For myself I tend to load the 45-70 a little lighter than most folks on this forum. I'm sure you will enjoy your new rifle.
 

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As a college graduation present to myself, I bought one of the new USRAC 1886s. This was 1998, the first year they were reintroduced with the Winchester label. I absolutely love this rifle.

However, after carrying it up and down the mountains for two black bear seasons I decided the 9.5+ lbs. was a little too much, so I switched back to my 94 Trapper .44 mag. Then a couple months ago I was at a local shop that I rarely go to, and spotted an '86 EL. I made the "mistake" of asking to handle it, and instantly fell in love. I went back two days later and bought it.

When I bought it, I mentioned to the salesman that it was going to be my new bear gun and he seemed surprised that I would actually take it hunting. He said they sold several to people that were going to just put them in their cabinets or safes without even shooting them. I know these are limited production rifles, and collectors items, but it's still a real shame to not use a gun as it was intended.
 

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I believe you'll really enjoy the ELR. I have 4 1886/71's and have sworn off buying more. Maybe.

My ELR was too short in the stock for me, so I had a 'smith install a 1/2" recoil pad for some extra length. He "boiled" in pad in water to soften it and shape it to the contour of the butt, and it looks and works great.

I installed a Williams rear FP (fool proof) sight (peep). It has a couple of sizes of holes available, so the smaller can be used for target work and remove it for hunting. (They now refer to them as "ghost" rings.)

I am shooting 400/405 jacketed bullets and 405 and 440 cast bullets. The Remington 405's from Cabela's are cheaper than many of the cast, so I shoot lots of those. My two loads are 48 grs 3031 and 53 gr. 3031 with CCI 200 primers. I killed a young bull elk with the heavier load and shot through him.

The other thing I did was to polish the sear and remove the "rebounding" feature on the hammer. It cushioned the hammer fall so much it was not reliable with CCI primers, but would fire Federals.

I think you can make that rifle into anything you want with the proper loads; and there are a LOT out there that will work. Good luck, and enjoy a fine rifle.

dclark
 

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:) dclark1, I've had my EL for a couple of years, now. Mostly I use 300 and 350 grain bullets, with 4895,3031 and 4198 powders. I also use CCI 200s, and have not had any problems with the rebounding hammer, which I dislike. Also mine is COL sensitive. It will not feed rounds longer than 2.545". My original '86 Winchesters will cycle all cartridges, regardless of the caliber. Don't get me wrong, though, it is a heck of a gun and wouldn't it for the world. I am in the process of buying a couple more of them with cartridge conversions in mind.
 

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I was in the same place a couple of years ago. I purchased the two 71's; one in .348 and the other in .450 Alaskan. They are the "cat's meow" for elk hunting. They weigh right at 8 lbs, so are heavier to carry, but have very manageable recoil with the steel butt plates.

The 86 original is a .33 Win that has been cobbled up, but does shoot. It is a deer rifle by comparison, and a pleasure to shoot.

Thus far I have successfully overcome the urge to buy one of each caliber in the originals, as I am a hunter and would use them. It is appealing, however, to envision a .50 Alaskan, although I have no idea what I would hunt with it. Well, now; maybe Wyoming Grizzlies, if they de-list them. Have to give that some more thought! .50 Alaskan! Has a nice ring to it, and I happen to have a box of loaded rounds for it. And you can buy the brass from Starline. Hmmm!

dclark
 

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:D I am weaker than you, dclark1, 'cause 1886s are too hard to resist. Hunting with them has forced me to change methods,too. Although there are no elk in the immediate neighborhood, there are plenty of hogs and respectable deer. If I'm using a 38-56 or 40-65 all shots are taken at no more than 150 yds. The 40-82, 45-70 and 45-90 are better "long range" cartridges, especially when loaded to their potential. My 38-56 and 40-65 guns are pre 1890 vintage, and are only loaded with reasonable smokeless loads and lead bullets. The original 45-70 and 45-90s are post 1915 extra lt wts with nickle steel bbls, and can be "souped up" a bit. My 45-70 has handled some of Garrett's loads without a hitch. Now that Starline is offering excellent 45-90 brass, I have renewed interest in that cartridge. The reason for purchasing the Miruku was to give the old guns a break, so to speak. Now, I'm gonna have one opened up to 45-90 and maybe one converted to 50-110. I looked at a nice 40-70 the other day, too. Hmmm, with a daughter just entering college, I'd better rethink my priorities. Best regards to y'all.
 

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As far as I am concerned there is nothing quite like a 1895 Marlin lever gun, The winchester action don't cut it for me, just my thoughts, I have owned a few winchester levers in my time, I will always be a Marlin lever man;) different stokes for different folks, enjoy your new rifle. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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Gee! if you had used a 86 you wouldn't have had to have that big pistol to finish the job:D

Nice bear though
 

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I also switched from Winchester to Marlin. If I were a strict traditionalist, I would have stayed with the 1886, but I'm not. I like having more sight options the older I get. I now have a #1 and an 1895GS, love both, especially love the action on the Marlin, real slick and smooth, and handles stout loads with ease. I do not have anything against Winchester, they are the Caddy of Lever Actions, my Marlin is the pickup, and I am a Pickup man, better known as the Cowboy Caddy.
 

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:D Honestly, this old soul has never even tried a '95 Marlin. Been shootin' Winchesters for so many years that such a change is not realistic. Heard many good things 'bout Marlinguns, though. At about half the cost of an '86, them guns can be mighty appealin'. It's hard to imagine a levergun that's slicker than an 1886 Winchester. 'Sides being smooth, th '86 is the strongest "traditional" lever action rifle made. With the advent of nickle steel at the beginning of the past century the Browning design was able to handle cartridges of 40,000 psi.Can even modern Marlins handle this pressure? I've seen this issue argued so many times that it's been rendered moot. The proud devotees of both makers stand for their brand. I'm just a Winchester guy, that's all. All levers are made to be hunted, shot as often as possible, and enjoyed for what they are. Real guns, that's what.
With kindest regards, Mike
 

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I had my gunsmith add a 1" Pach. Deccelerator. I like that very much. I also went with the Williams peep site since the gun was already drilled for it. I love the thing and can't wait for a chance to down some game with it!
 

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:) I too, have a Williams FP on my Miroku. I DO need the decelerator. I haven't wanted to cut the stock, but, what the heck. With stout handloads the gun is no fun to shoot from the bench. It's time to lose the steel butt plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Update:

I have shot my '86 on the range, and am very pleased so far. I decided to go with a receiver sight (Lyman) and feel it is a much better sight for me than the buckhorn rear that came on the gun.

I began with some PMC 405 grain cowboy stuff, and accuracy was good. I then switched to handloads consisting of Beartooth's 405 grain GC, 56 grains of H335, Winchester LRP, and new Winchester cases. (i'm getting some Starline cases) Wow! what a difference! This load shoots great. The recoil is fairly heavy from the bench. I actually like the steel butt plate and at this point, don't want to add a rubber one. I have decided to add sling mounting hardware as I am going to hunt with this rifle, and feel that any hunting rifle should be equiped with a sling.
 
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