Winchester 1887


April 19, 2011, 05:52 PM
I got an old Winchester 1887 10 gauge standing next to me. Made in 1892. Bought it at an auction. This is the first 1887 I have ever had in my hands. Now, Iv made some shells for it. 86 grs of Wano F, and same volume shot. Light load.....

However, before I try them I would like to know how the action works. Not how it recycles, I can see that. But how the action locks up. At first sight I thought it locked at the rear, but that can not be it. To me it looks like this action is....not to trust. So I made a test. Locked the action and ran a rod throug the bore and slammed it against the bolt. The action opened up. In my opinion that should not happen. Is it anybody in here that can explain to me how this action locks up the pressure? I dont want the pressure to go the wrong way.

Could it be that it actually locks up with a transfer link to the front? A rather solid piece of metal at the bottom front looks like a locking device to me. Like I said, Im totaly green in the lever action shotgun department.

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April 19, 2011, 07:36 PM
There are locking surfaces that can become peened and which will allow the breech bolt to open when fired if they're too worn.

One more thing...according to Madis and other reference sources, original 12ga '87s weren't chambered for 2&3/4" shells. Off the top of my head, 2&5/8" is the length that comes to mind. I knew one lady in particular that shot one in cowboy shoots in California back in the late '80s that was using standard WW trap loads and an unaltered chamber without any noticable troubles (yet), but:
I was the owner of an original for a very short period of time that had a whittled-down hunk of wood in the magazine for a plug, making it legal for waterfowl hunting. As I understand it, the law restricting capacity for that use didn't come about until well after smokeless ruled the marketplace. I'm guessing that someone fed this poor old gun a diet of high brass duck and goose loads right up until the locking surfaces were peened and the angles messed up to where it opened on firing, which is what it did repeatedly when I test fired it with proper-length BP loads. Back to the seller it went, ASAP.

Here's the 1887's schematic to see what the locking surfaces look like:

April 20, 2011, 07:46 AM
Thank you very much. Ill strip it and see if any parts are damaged too. When testfiring I think I will tie it down to a chair or something.... I hope it can be used. It would be so much fun to use this when the hunting season starts. A few of my buddies has spend a pile of money on Krieghoff drillings and stuff. Not my cup of tea. So it would be a blast to show up with an old timer shooting just as good.....

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