Anybody with knowledge, wisdom, and/or experience with a Winchester 1887 shotgun?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by hodge, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    As the title states. My dad just passed to me some guns, and one of them is a Winchester 1887 lever action 12 gauge. I just got it today, and only have been able (time) to do some cursory internet searching. It is in great shape.
    So, if you are in the know, impart some wisdom to me. History, value (I'll never sell it- which is why he gave it to me, instead of my brother...), can modern loads be run through it, etc. Photos to come later.
     
  2. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    I know zip about the gun (except that I'd read that there was one), waiting breathlessly for pics.
     

  3. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    [​IMG]

    From what I'm reading, these were made from 1887-1901.
     
  4. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    Nice looking! That's about all I know about the gun tbough
     
  5. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Ah, thanks for the pic - need more though. I'm thinking that it's way more gun-handsome than the pump actions that probably hurt its popularity.
     
  6. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    The Winchester Model 1887 is a lever-action shotgun originally designed by famed American gun designer John Browning and produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company during the late 19th and early 20th centuries....( 1887–1901 )...at which time it was replaced by the Model 1901. The Model 1887 was the first truly successful repeating shotgun.

    Designer John Browning suggested that a pump-action would be much more appropriate for a repeating shotgun, but Winchester management's position was that, at the time, the company was known as a "lever-action firearm company", and felt that their new shotgun must also be a lever-action for reasons of brand recognition.

    Browning responded by designing a breech-loading, rolling block lever-action. To Winchester's credit, however, they later introduced a Browning designed pump-action shotgun known as the Model 1893 (an early production version of the model 1897), after the introduction of smokeless powder.

    Although a technically sound gun design, the market for lever-action shotguns waned considerably ( as John Browning had predicted ) after the introduction of the Winchester 1897 and other contemporary pump-action shotguns. Model 1887 production totaled 64,855 units between 1887 and 1901.

    The Model 1887 was later replaced with the Model 1901...which was produced between 1901 and 1920...in 10 gauge ONLY. A 12-gauge chambering was not offered, as Winchester did not want the Model 1901 to compete with their successful 12-gauge Model 1897 pump-action shotgun.

    ( I would have a gunsmith check your gun before putting any current production 12 gauge ammo through it...)
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  7. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    As for using modern ammo, check the chamber I believe you will find the old 2 1/2 inch chamber.;)
     
  8. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Aha. Well if so, the new 'shortie' shells ought to work. I'm guessing they aren't hot. Are there components around for home loading the 2½" shells?
     
  9. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    I will do a lot more research and investigating before I will fire it. The action works fine. I figure that I could 1) use some of those low recoil, reduced power loads, or 2) have a friend reload some 2 1/2 with black powder (after determining if its safe to shoot, and what is safe to shoot in it).
    I will get some more detailed photos and post them, later today.

    I also got a clean Winchester 94 in 30.30 (in the background of the photo), a Remington 1100, and a Browning 20 gauge, Belgium-made.
     
  10. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Jeez, your dad laid some good stuff on you.
     
  11. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

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    That Belgium 20 gauge should be sweet, had a 16 gauge once I wish I still had.;)
     
  12. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    He did, and it means an awful lot to me. Guns are a love that we share, and he'd rather see me enjoy them, and keep them, while he's still around. He's got a lot more, too. I know that he's going to give some to my brother, but only the stuff that he doesn't care if it gets sold.
     
  13. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    Check and see if you have a Damascus barrel and take it to a local gunsmith. Many of those old shotguns had Damascus barrels and although pretty to look at, they can be dangerous. If it is not safe to shoot even with light loads, it still makes a heck of a good wallhanger especially with the provenance that goes with it. A keeper for sure.

    Tommy
     
  14. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    Any way to tell, myself, if it has a Damascus barrel?
     
  15. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Hodge,
    Does it say anywhere " Damascus Steel Barrel "?

    Even if it don't, chances are , that it is , being that old.

    Id be very cautious about shooting any smokeless powder shells.

    May want to have a gunsmith take a good look at it before shooting.


    my $.02.

    Jim
     
  16. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    Oh, I have no intention of shooting it until I have a good smith look it over, and I find out more- even then, if it is good to go, I still may not shoot it. I will decide when the time comes. I joined the Winchester Owners forum, and they have a subsection dedicated to the 1887- I hope to learn more there. They do have a video made by the owner of Midway USA, and he shoots his. I may privately message him at some point, and see what I can learn. During that video, he shows (briefly) the difference between a Damascus and a regular barrel- mine doesn't look like the Damascus, but I'm not stopping there in finding out more.

    [​IMG]

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  17. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    That thing sure is beautiful.

    You got a real special shotgun there.

    Id have to shoot it , at least once...:rolleyes::D




    Jim
     
  18. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    I won't if it's dangerous or harmful to the gun, but I do want to shoot it. I don't have a problem putting it on the wall to look at, but it means a lot more to know that it functions.
     
  19. hodge

    hodge New Member

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    Made a little progress- it was built in 1888.