Browning 1886 .45/70
I had wanted a Winchester Model 1886 in .45/70 for years and years, but originals are priced just too dad-burned high. I scored a lucky break when I was offered my other Winchester '86 in .40/65, but it only fanned my lust and desire for one in .45/70.
While I continue to search for a historic original, I pretty much decided I needed a current production piece to haul through the woods and blast stuff with.
I looked at the current production Winchesters, and just couldn't bring myself to pay a large sum of money for a repro with a &^#)@ tang safety. They got me with that on my take-down Model 95, and I have hated that safety every time I see it. I wasn't going to do that again.
Couple that decision with the fact that I had heard the Browning 1886's were truer to the original design than the Winchesters in several other areas and the die was cast. I would get a Browning.
To the uninitiated, this may seem a bit of heresy in a Winchester collection, however, truth be told, the current Browning Co. has every bit as much claim to the name as the current Winchester Co. Perhaps even more.
The rifle was designed by none other than John Moses Browning (hallowed be his name), and, while marketed under the Winchester name, Winchester the company has changed hands so many times, and gone through so many changes, and succumbed to so many lawyer mandated changes that the Browning rifle is the closest thing a purest can come to these days.
I'm no purist, but when I saw this carbine for sale on an internet auction site, I knew I had to have it.
It hardly matters, as both the Browning Winchesters and the Winchester Winchesters are currently made in the same Japanese factory by the Miroku Firearms Mfg. Company, and have been for many years. Again, some purists scoff, but time has shown these Japanese rifles to be of uncompromising quality, and until American labor can make a comparable quality firearm at a comparable price, I'm buying my Winchesters from the people who brought us the Nambu Type 99 LMG, A6M2 Zero, Yamaha YZ465, Honda Accord, and Godzilla.
Not to mention all that yummy teriyaki!
I had been doing research on the Browning '86's and had decided I wanted the Saddle Ring Carbine version versus the full length rifles. I had bid on a couple, and had a running back and forth with a fellow who had a nice one for sale on one of the firearms discussion boards.
I had him talked down to under a grand when I saw this one.
I'm a sucker for color case hardened finishes. This one had reportedly had the stock and receiver re-finished by Turnbull Restorations. Combine that with the relative low reserve the auction was at, and I took the bait. A week later it was mine!
I'm still keeping an eye peeled for a nice original 1886, but unless I stumble upon the sort of deal I got with my .40/65 I'm probably going to have to be happy with this one for some time.
No problem, as this one is a beauty.
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