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Is the Winchester 88 Underrated or Overrated?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bushmaster1313, Dec 5, 2012.


Is the Winchester 88 Underrated or Overrated?

Poll closed Jan 4, 2013.
  1. Underrated

    33 vote(s)
  2. Overrated

    21 vote(s)
  3. What is a Winchester 88?

    9 vote(s)
  1. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

  2. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Well-Known Member

    Had one in .308 forty years ago. Gifted it to an
    inlaw and it's still going deer hunting every year.
  3. conhntr

    conhntr Well-Known Member

  4. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

    never shot one, but knew someone with a 88 in 308, he loved it.
    I have a Savage model 99 in 300 Savage, so I never wanted one.
    Just a lever of a different variety. It's a Winchester, I expect it's good !!
  5. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    A bit bulky for a .243 and the .308 beat me silly before I traded it.
    But the .243 is very accurate.
    Fit, finish, wood and checkering of the late 1950's 88's are all superb.
  6. VA27

    VA27 Well-Known Member

    Excellent gun! I still kick myself for letting mine go.
  7. Muskyman

    Muskyman Well-Known Member

    I have a first year .308 and I love it. It's my go to deer gun. My only complaint is the trigger, but I'm used to it so it's not an issue for me.
  8. Savage99

    Savage99 Well-Known Member

    I bought a 88 in .308 a few years ago to see what the rifle is like and work the lever!

    I have used a Savage 99 as my woods rifle since 1966 and I got the 88 just for the fun of it.

    I like the rifle. Mine shoots well.


    VAPOPO Well-Known Member

    A 88 in .308 was my grandfathers go to deer hunting rifle for more years than I have been on the planet. I'm still jealous that my step brother ended up with the rifle .:(
  10. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    I like them, my brother recently snagged a sweet one in .308 for $600. Bought and sold a few when we had the gun shop but never kept one. I almost bought one last night I saw on Armslist, the rifle was posted for $450 OBO. The guy emailed me some pictures in addition to the listing. This is the listing but he told ne there were a few places with pitting. The pictures showed the pitting and one spot on the barrel was pretty rough. Real nice straight up guy and I let it go. If I see a good one in the $600 to $700 range I would likely jump on it. Anyway, I liked the ones that passed through my hands, well built rugged rifle and they were accurate.

  11. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

  12. mach1.3

    mach1.3 Well-Known Member

    I have posted previously that my son-in-law has an M88 and an M100. The M88 is pre-64 with nice wood and checkering probably 90% blueing intact and only a few small scratches in the stock. The action seems to be reasonably smooth for a gun not used in many years. The bore is nice and bright---I don't think it was ever shot that much. It does not have the front sight hood. It is chambered in .284Win which is the rarest but the ammo is very hard to find. The trigger, I've read is a drawback but I haven't found it to be overly difficult or gritty. The M100 won't fire and I think the firing pin is broken.

    Anyway, the M88 is a beautiful rifle and I have always liked the looks of a nice levergun. I have not shot the M88 yet---must search on-line for some ammo.
  13. elkdomBC

    elkdomBC Well-Known Member

    used a Mod 88- in .308Win for many years, killed many elk,moose and deer and several bear with it, recently had it re-barreled and chambered to .338 Federal, shoots very well and looking forward to using it next moose season, :)
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    They're good guns, but not great guns. I'd rather have a Browning BLR, personally.

    ADKWOODSMAN Well-Known Member

    A buddy of mine has a 88 in every caliber they were made in. His three brothers and his son all have 88's in .308. They have been good to them.
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    I've always liked them. Mushy trigger that can't be fixed and the stock at the magazine area is thin and prone to breakage if treated harshly but I love the relatively short lever throw; the one-piece stock; the removeable magazine and especially the looks and finish. Too pricey for me now but I'd sure like to have one chambered in .358 Winchester (it would be an appropriate counterpart to my Savage Model 99, chambered in .358).
  17. Offfhand

    Offfhand Well-Known Member

    Buy all you can find as investment, noone makes rifles like this anymore.
  18. wyohome

    wyohome Well-Known Member

    I have a first year one in .308. I keep it because it was my father's rifle. It shoot ok, does not fit me well and I am just not a lever gun guy.
  19. d2wing

    d2wing Well-Known Member

    I hunted deer with a buddy that has one in .284. He killed a running deer at 400 yards in one shot. He is an amazing shot but the rifle is the real deal.
    His was amazing. Faster and as accurate as a good bolt action. Never had a problem with it.
  20. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    As much as I like the looks and handling of the M88, I voted "over rated". It's numerous good points just can't overcome that awful trigger and unlike most rifles, there really isn't anything that can done about it.
    It's not a lawyer issue, Winchester designers wanted the trigger to swing with the lever (like the later BLR) and that's not a good idea if you want a light, consistent and safe trigger pull.

    While Savage 99s don't always have great triggers, a good 'smith that knows the rifle can usually get them down to a reasonably crisp, repeatable four pounds or better with complete safety, unlike the '88 or BLR (at least in my very limited experience).

    My apologies for the following, I promise I'm not trying to derail the thread.

    mach1.3 - I'm fairly certain that there's still a recall in effect for the M100 firing pin. As of 7 or 8 years ago when I had mine done, the recall number was 1-800-852-5734. IIRC they just shipped me the parts along with a voucher to pay for the installation.
    If this information is outdated, I'm sure a web search will get you current info.

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