View Full Version : A question re the Winchester 1885

December 21, 2010, 10:24 PM
I want a single shot rifle. I was looking at the Browning but they don't really offer what I'm looking for.

Then I read that Winchester and Browning are now owned by the same company, are both made in Japan, and are essentially the same rifle.

But Winchester used to be owned by the United States Repeating Arms Corporation, right? And back then, they weren't such a great rifle.

How can I determine a Winchester 1885 is the same as the Browning 1885?

December 21, 2010, 10:56 PM
Browning's an FN Herstal subsidiary.

Ideal Tool
December 21, 2010, 11:59 PM
Hello, teumessian fox. Do you mind telling what you are looking for in a single-shot, that the Browning & Winchester do not have?

December 22, 2010, 01:15 AM
tool, if the Winchester 1885 is the same rifle as the Browning (in terms of quality, craftsmanship, etc), then it has models that fit the bill.

I just want to make sure it's every bit as good. Are there years that were inferior?

Ideal Tool
December 22, 2010, 01:45 AM
Hello, teumessian fox, I admit I don't know much about the Browning or Win. 85', I do know quite a few stocks have been broken by having screwdriver slip when trying to remove through-bolt..it seems stock walls are very thin. & also have heard take down is not something you would want to attempt very often..These comments were from ASSRA (American Single Shot Rifle Asso.) members who used them & tried to clean after black-powder use. If I were in the market for a modern 85', I would take a look at Ballard Arms..there parts will interchange with the originals..will make you just about anything Winchester would when these were in production.

December 22, 2010, 02:14 AM
The Winchester 1885, the Browning 1885, and the new Browning 78 all share the same action. These are a modern rendition of the original Winchester 1885 High Wall action, the most prized and most accurate single-shot rifle from the 19th and 20th Centuries. They are a great rifle and well worth the money.
quite a few stocks have been broken by having screwdriver slip when trying to remove through-bolt
This is no different than many shotguns made over the last 100+ years; if the tip of the screwdriver is carelessly put between the bolt and the stock and forced, it will break out the side of the stock. The quick and easy fix for this issue is to replace the stock draw-bolt with a socket-head or Torx screw. FWIW, the original 1885s had a stock bolt through the tang, similar to the 1894 rifles.
have heard take down is not something you would want to attempt very often
Taking down a High Wall is simple and easy. Remove one screw, and the entire bolt and lever assembly will come out as a single assembly. Reassembly is quick and easy as well, the way John Browning designed it.
I would take a look at Ballard Arms..there parts will interchange with the originals
Ballard Arms 1885 rifles are very nice rifles, but at nearly 3X the cost of a Winchester or Browning. They are indeed reproductions of the originals. They also sell reproductions of the 1875 Ballard single-shot rifles. If that is too much for your budget, Chiappa makes a fine 1885 reproduction (sold by Cimarron Arms and Taylor's Fine Guns) for about the same price as a Browning/Winchester.

December 22, 2010, 09:43 AM
I purchased one of those BPCR Winchester M1885’s with the Badger barrel.

I have not attempted to remove the breech block and get into the mechanism. I don’t know how it is different from an original M1885 or why they made it different.

I would like to know what the differences are, but at the time of purchase that is not the most important consideration. Regardless, the thing functions fine.

It has a good trigger pull, the breech block is tightly fitted but smooth in operation, ejection is easy. I suspect it is not more energetic because of the number of people shooting this thing prone with sticks. I altered a Ruger #1 so the cases flew out of the chamber, which means I will get one in the eye if I am not paying attention. The wood is outstanding, the wood to metal fit is outstanding, and the color case hardening colors are just eyepopping.





December 22, 2010, 11:58 AM
Slamfire, what does "BPCR" mean? I saw a guy advertise a Browning as a BPCR, then he had to correct himself.

December 22, 2010, 01:00 PM
black powder cartridge rifle

There are games they shoot, too.

"This fast-growing BPCR shooting sport consists of shooting at steel silhouette chickens at 200 meters, pigs at 300 meters, turkeys at 385 meters and rams ...
www.cwis.net/~plewis/ - Cached - Similar"

Ideal Tool
December 22, 2010, 11:56 PM
Hello, Scorch. You are absolutly right about the simplicity of John M. Brownings take-down, In just about everything he designed, it worked & was rugged & simple. Somewhere along the line when the new breed of engineers at Browning or Winchester re-designed this fine action, they forgot all about the simple part. Check out the Single-Shot Exchange, or the ASSRA & ask why there is now a special tool put on the market for taking this now very complicated action apart. The way I undrstand it, these rifles are assembled using split pins, this makes for fast assembly-line production, but a nightmare to work on.

December 23, 2010, 12:45 AM
Thanks, Ideal Tool. I don't get to work on many new 1885s, but I work on quite a few vintage High Walls. I knew they had re-engineered the trigger, but was not aware that they have re-engineered the lever/bolt.