1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

K31 or Winchester 88?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by ercnjasmine, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. ercnjasmine

    ercnjasmine Active Member

    Christmas time is coming and I have a K31 or a Winchester 88 (.308) that the wife has given the go ahead on.

    Same price for both +/- $50.00.
    -numbers matching
    -refinished walnut
    -1 mag

    Winchester 88
    -comes with fixed redfield (4x, i think)
    -1 mag
    -stock could use strip down and refinish, blueing is still beautiful

    Which would you take and why?
  2. wyohome

    wyohome Well-Known Member

    I already have a first year 88
  3. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Well-Known Member

    My vote goes the Winchester 88, mainly becuase I'm a sucker for lever guns. The .308 chambering is also a plus as ammo is available pretty much anywhere.
  4. Dentite

    Dentite Well-Known Member

    Two quite different rifles. Similar power round but two very different ways to send rounds downrange.

    Hard to say which you should buy...it depends on what the intended uses are and what other rifles you have.

    If you are a milsurp collector and don't have a K31 I would recommend it. Although if you are a real purist collector you might want to hold out for one with a non-refinished stock.

    If you like classic hunting rifles/lever action then the 88 would be the choice.

    If you are going to own them both eventually, go for the better deal or better condition.
  5. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    K31. IME, they are robust, accurate, and fast to fire and reload. And accurate, plus accurate. Subjectively, I find them gorgeous. And accurate.

    German soldiers passing through Switzerland (a neutral nation, of course) noticed the drilling of the Swiss militia, exhibiting fine, disciplined soldiers with remarkably accurate fire. Seeing this, the German CO asked of the Swiss militia commander, "If Germany was to occupy this land, invade, what would your country do? We outnumber you 2 to 1!"

    The Swiss militiaman thinks about it for a moment.

    "We shoot twice, then go home."
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  6. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag Well-Known Member

    I'd go what you want to use it for.

    Range rifle: Go Swiss

    Hunting rifle: 88

    (You can get some good hunting ammo for the 7.5x55 over here in Europe but am not sure on US supplies).

    Whatever you choose, enjoy your shooting.


  7. d2wing

    d2wing Well-Known Member

    Winchester 88. I've seen one shot kills on running deer at 400 yards with one. For the same money no question. Get the Winney. The k31 is a fine rifle but I can't think of a reason it would have the value of the 88.
  8. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member

    Winchester 88 for sure. Finding ammo for the K31 will be an never-ending pain unless you're a reloader I guess and it's kind of hard to reload when you're out and about a might run out. With a .308 you can buy ammo at a Walmart if need be.

    Plus the Winchester 88 is a fantastic gun and your friends and acquaintances will forever envy you. Serious "wanna see a really cool gun I've got?" material there. Get a K31 later. There are going to many more of those extant and they'll always be moving around. 88's were never as numerous and they're going to be keepers.
  9. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    I have both. I say get the K31 now. Winchester 88 values aren't going to change. They are a classic, but they're not in the same league as pre 1900 lever guns. Demand and supply are both stagnant on the 88. K31s will go up in price.

    That being said,

    K31 is a $250 to $300 gun (for now). If you can get a Winchester 88 in nice shape for $350, jump on it. You're either overpaying for a K31, or have found a very good deal on an 88. If it's an earlier 88, even more so.
  10. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    what year is the 88? pre 64 is a no brainer. Dont alter the 88 if you buy it.
  11. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    Unless you're a reloader I'd go with the win 88 by all means. Have you priced good ammo (7.5 swiss) lately?
  12. EmbarkChief

    EmbarkChief Well-Known Member

    I'd get the K31 now and the 88 later. K31's will most likely only go up in price. The ammo isn't too bad, right around $0.40 per round for match grade surplus and readily avialable.
  13. gpurp

    gpurp Well-Known Member

    I just got my first K31 a few weeks back. Next will be the dies and powder. Will reload for it right along with my K98. If you're into milsurp rifles and reloading then go K31.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I do like the K31, but if you can get a Win 88 for the same price (I'm assuming under $350) go for it! Those are arguably the best leverguns ever made.
  15. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Yup. No more than quality range/hunting ammo for many popular calibers. My LGS, at a mere 3miles away, carries several flavors now.
  16. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    I've never fired a K-31 with a bad trigger.
    I've never fired an M88 with a trigger better than "barely acceptable". Most are well south of that.
    I know the M88 is supposed to be a closer range "woods rifle" with the capability of reaching out a bit further when needed. Unfortunately, quick, accurate offhand shooting demands a good crisp trigger even MORE than long range deliberate fire, when there's usually a rest of some kind and often, a little more time to concentrate on your shot.
    When Winchester decided that the trigger had to swing with the lever, they made a crisp, repeatable trigger pull impossible and doomed the M88 to mediocrity.
    Even a very good Gunsmith can't really cure the poor trigger pull on an M88.
    It's really a shame, because otherwise, the M88 would be one of the front runners for the title of "worlds best hunting levergun."

    I love K31s and currently own three.

    I traded off my only M88 decades ago.

    There's just a TINY possibility that I might be biased...
  17. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    ...couldn't tell. Rightly so, however.
  18. ercnjasmine

    ercnjasmine Active Member

    thanks for the inputs everyone
  19. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Well-Known Member

    I'd get the Model 88. I agree, it comes with a mediocre trigger pull that can't be improved on much, but the Model 88 is a fast-handling, accurate and good-looking lever-action that would make an ideal deer rifle, especially with the 4x Redfield scope that comes with it.

Share This Page