Rifles photo

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Every now and then, Niles Wheeler at Safari Outfitters in Salt Point, NY, unearths some astounding old gun or other, either rare, or in a state of miraculous preservation, or just totally cool. This Model 86 falls into the last category. The 86 was made from 1886 to 1935 and chambered in a variety of black-powder cartridges from .33 WCF to .50-100-450 (.45/70 was the most popular). In that era, from what I gather, Winchester customized guns on a more or less routine basis–stock dimensions, barrel configurations, case hardening or bluing, and on. There were eight versions of the 86, from lightweight to musket, and the most desirable of them, the Deluxe Rifle, is worth close to $40,000 in excellent condition.

This clip, in which I extol the grandeur of a pretty well used 1886, was shot this spring, but didn’t make the cut for the TV show. So here it is for your edification.