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NA.202.394 - Beaded hat. Seth's favorite!
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Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection
The Model 1886 lever action repeating rifle was developed to handle powerful center fire cartridges. Based on a Browning patent (U.S. 306,577), with improvements by Winchester master designer William Mason, the Model 1886 incorporated strong vertical bolt locks and a very smooth action. Magazine capacity varied depending on magazine length and cartridge caliber (cartridges ranged from .33 W.C.F. to .50/110 Express). Receivers were casehardened until 1901, when blued finish became standard.
This experimental Mark C, designed by William Mason, is a prototype of the Model 1886 with several unusual features. The loading gate cover is cammed, and moves up and forward to insert shells. In an attempt to reduce the length of the receiver, the typical locking mechanisms and solid rear moving bolt have been replaced by a series of complicated internal mechanisms. As the lever is moved down, a Peabody type block is dropped to eject the spent shell and cock the exposed hammer. When the lever is brought up, the block closes and guides a live round underneath it and into the chamber. The "exposed hammer" is more accurately a hammer lever since the face striking the firing pin is all contained in the receiver. Although this mechanism reduces the length of the receiver, it would be difficult to clear a malfunction or empty the magazine, since each round has to be loaded into the chamber before it can be removed.
Cataloged by BCD 4/91.
As of 06-14-2017 this object is on display in the Cody Firearms Museum. If you are making a special trip, please double-check before visiting.