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Winchester Model 1885

Single-Shot Rifle

Infantry / Small Arms

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The Winchester Model 1885 rifle featured a falling-block action developed by none other than John M. Browning himself.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/24/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The famous Winchester Repeating Arms Company produced a bevy of notable rifle designs during the latter half of the 1800s with one entry becoming the Model 1885. The Model 1885 was designed and hand-made by gunsmith John M. Browning himself as a single-shot rifle using the patented falling-block action. Production of the series proved considerable for some 200,000 units were made from the period spanning 1885 to 1920. The rifle is particularly notable as being chambered for more calibers than any other Winchester rifle.

The Model 1885's design was purchased from Browning by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company through the determination of its general manager, Thomas G. Bennet. Bennet secure rights to the single-shot firearm in 1883 which marked the beginning of a long-running relationship between the company and the famous American gunsmith. After a period of minor modifications to the base idea, the Model 1885 was born and produced in two major marks, the "Low Wall" and the "High Wall", both intended for the commercial sport shooting market which was beginning its reign of popularity (this resulted in the rifle being chambered for so many cartridge types).

The Low Wall was identified by its exposed hammer at the rear of the receiver and was designed for lower-charge cartridges. Conversely, the High Wall had a largely covered hammer and was designed for higher charge cartridge firing. In either case, the design was regarded as having one of the most resilient actions for a rifle ever. Its excellence was not lost on the United States Army which took the rifle on in number in its .22 chambering for marksmanship training.

With its 28" barrel assembly, the Model 1885's accuracy was rated out to 50 meters (55 yards). Its external design was conventional, with wooden stock and forend and inlaid receiver with barrel. Sights were fitted over the receiver and at the muzzle end of the barrel. The trigger sat within its lever-loop under the grip handle and the hammer was exposed from the rear of the gun.

The Model 1885 was resurrected for modern audiences in 2005 by Winchester, the company hoping to capitalized on the rifle's excellent history, and chambered for a variety of modern cartridges. Modern forms can also be equipped with telescopic scopes for accurized ranged fire.


Winchester Repeating Arms Company - USA
National flag of United States United States
Barrel Length:
660 mm (25.98 in)
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics (modern).
Falling-Block; Single-Shot, Lever-Action
6 rounds-per-minute
Model 1885 - Base Series Designation.

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