View Full Version : 1887 10 Ga Lever Gun question

February 26, 2008, 04:58 PM

I could not find any definitive info using the search function. I picked up a rough but not ugly 1887 Winchester 10G made prior to 1898, (it was sold to me as an antique). I was debating leaving it alone or having it restored.

If I want to try shooting it what type of 10G ammo. Is it black powder only? Will modern 10G ammo damage the gun? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

February 26, 2008, 05:40 PM
I would most assuredly say that modern 3.5" 10 ga ammo would damage it. Whether the gun was proofed for cordite or smokeless can be determined by a knowledgeable gunsmith. In any case I would get it to a gunsmith to be inspected. If not a reloaded some companies are starting to offer shotgun loadings in the older black powder level shot shells.

February 26, 2008, 05:59 PM
Some of those were damascus. some weren't. Have it checked out and if it's in good shape it should be safe to shoot with light loads. I've got a 12 gauge 87 made in 1889 I grew up hunting with and I shot everything through it including hi brass buckshot(didn't know any better way back then) and it's still in good shape. I do not advise shooting anything more than light loads and check the chamber length.

February 26, 2008, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the imput. I don't think it is a damascus barrel. Does anyone know a source for 10G. ammo loaded to lower pressure levels?

February 27, 2008, 05:29 AM
Midway USA has a 2.5" load in black powder. If I can remember where I 've seen others I'll post.

February 27, 2008, 11:23 AM
I looked into these a couple of years back since I seem to have a soft spot for the 10gauge. If memory serves at the time most of the ones I saw had a shorter chamber length than 3.5in, I want to say that they were actually either 2 5/8 or 2 7/8 (I'm sure someone here can clarify). I actually have a couple of the boxes of the non 3.5in shells at home that I picked up on an auction some time ago. I was going to check last night after work and post but unfortunately I forgot. I will do so tonight if I remember.

As far as I know no one is making the shorter length standard 10ga shells at the moment. Like the above poster however I did see some in black powder loads at a local sporting/hunting store (non chain) a couple of months back.


February 27, 2008, 07:05 PM
the length of the old 10gauge shells I have are 2 7/8.


May 5, 2008, 02:16 PM
Try these folks:

They are the only folks I know of offering 10 ga. black powder loads

May 5, 2008, 03:26 PM
Check in with the Cowboy Action people. Those guns are used in events and they have loads that work plus a good list of gunsmiths that work on that platform. Check in the Sass web page on there forums, it may help.

May 7, 2008, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the updates. I bookmarked both web sites. I am debateing leaving the gun alone or having it refurbished.

B. Lahey
May 7, 2008, 10:35 PM
I am debateing leaving the gun alone or having it refurbished.

Personally, I wouldn't mess with it, but if you do, get somebody really good to do the work.

Do you have a photo you could post? I bet there is somebody around here that could tell you your options.

May 8, 2008, 10:58 AM
Don't have any photos. My photography skills leave a lot to be desired. If I have it worked on I will have it done right. I am considering having Doug Turnbull taking a look at it.