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The rifle operates flawlessly and has a 29” barrel with a good bore and I am told is very accurate. It was previously held on a firearms certificate but I am selling this as a collectible rifle and it has been removed from the previous owner’s certificate and reclassified as an antique.
The rifle is stamped with the patent date of October 7th 1879 on the bottom tang, and with the two-line Winchester Repeating Arms address on the top flat of the barrel. The extractor is extant and there are no major flaws or blemishes.
In 1883, Thomas G. Bennett, Vice-President and General Manager of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, travelled to Ogden and negotiated the purchase of the single-shot design, as well as the prototype of what would become the Model 1886 lever-action – the beginning of the fruitful 20-year Winchester–Browning collaboration. Winchester's engineers made some improvements to Browning's design, including angling the block at six degrees to create a positive breech seal, and released the rifle as the Model 1885. Two popular models were made, the so-called Low Wall which showed an exposed hammer, firing less powerful cartridges, and the so-called High Wall for stronger cartridges whose steel frame covered most of the firing hammer when viewed from the side; but both were officially marketed by Winchester as the Single Shot Rifle.
It was produced principally to satisfy the demands of the growing sport of long-range "Match Shooting", which opened at Creedmoor, New York, on June 21, 1872. Target/Match shooting was extremely popular in the US from about 1871 until about 1917, enjoying a status similar to golf today.
From John Campbell’s excellent book on the history and analysis of Winchester single shot rifles it is clear that this was a popular variation.
Winchester High-Walls were always in demand for a variety of uses including hunting and target shooting and can be found in a variety of barrel lengths and calibres. This is a decent example of a very popular rifle.
An excellent manufacturer and an investment quality iconic firearm requiring no license to own. An international antique and there aren’t going to be any more!