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Winchester Model 1885

Single-Shot Rifle

United States | 1885

"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: 01/24/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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The physical qualities of the Winchester Model 1885. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
660 mm
25.98 in
Barrel Length
Falling-Block; Single-Shot, Lever-Action
.17 Remington; .22; .243 Winchester; .30-06 Springfield; .38-55; .405
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics (modern).
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Winchester Model 1885. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
Notable series variants as part of the Winchester Model 1885 Single-Shot Rifle family line.
Model 1885 - Base Series Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Winchester Model 1885. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Winchester Repeating Arms Company - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
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Image of the Winchester Model 1885
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Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Winchester Model 1885 Single-Shot Rifle appears in the following collections:
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