Guns, Firearms, Projectile Weapon Sports/1886 Winchester


QUESTION: Hi, I was wondering what my 1886 Winchester 38-56 was worth. The S/N is 15768 and it is in very good condition.

ANSWER: I can not give you a dollar figure without the case of an 1886 Winchester, a LOT of pictures and description of bore condition, etc...They were made at a time when winchester was offering a LOT of custom order features, and some of them are really works of art, IMO. I just googled the 1886 Winchester in 38-56 caliber and found quite a few of them for sale on various gun forums online. Top price I found for a very high end custom rifle in beautiful condition for over $26,000, and a plain factory issue type with age appropriate wear for about $1500, with MANY others in between.

The 1886 was made in many versions, many grades of finish and decoration. I really can not begin to give you any value on that rifle with just the information you gave me, BUT I suggest you look on various online gun sale sites and find a rifle that is similar to yours and the price will at least be in the ball park. Note that prices also vary greatly by region as well, but at least the online prices will at least give you a guideline...

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but there is just such a wide spread of prices/values, given the variables there is no way I can give you any worthwhile numbers.

From the SN, your rifle was made in the early 1920's.


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1886 Winchester
1886 Winchester  
1886 Winchester
1886 Winchester  
QUESTION: Thank you for your help. I attached some pictures to maybe narrow it down a little. The barrel length is 26 inches. I hope that helps.

ANSWER: OK..First, I got a better source and the SN indicates manufacture in 1920. they were made till 1935, so it is a fairly late one...Here is some basic information on these rifles...

The pics are a good start, but again, there were so many variations f these popular rifles, it is VERY difficult to give you even a price range. Here is a current auction site selling Winchester Model 1886 rifles...

note that there are 3 pages of these rifles... They were made for nearly 50 years, in many calibers, variations and with a great number of custom ordered rifles. I really can not tell you what your rifle would sell for. I recommend you do research on it online for a few days and get some idea of that going rates for a rifle similar to yours.

A few things...If you plan on selling it, I would recommend selling through a reputable national firearms auction..several listed online. You will pay the auction house a percentage, but you will generally do better than selling to a gun shop who will give you maybe 50-60% of the retail price for it...maybe not that, depending on the type of shop it is. If it is a family gun, of course, I would keep it.

Again, I really can not be of more is a great and collectable piece with a LOT of variables...


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QUESTION: Thank you for the additional information. One last thing, If the S# is 15768 and there were 160k of these rifles made, wouldn't that put mine at an earlier date. To me it makes no sense for a low serial number to be made in the 1920s. Correct me if I may be mistaken please.

Thank you

Here is the source I used to find the date of your rifle based on the SN....

 Scroll down to find the Model 1886 and then to the year 1920...FWIW, there was no consistent production - the numbers made per year varied wildly.


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Mark Schmidt


General questions relating to various handguns - shooting, recommendations and general information on older/antique Smith & Wesson, Colt and other US made and European made pistols and revolvers. I am NOT an expert collector, but I have had several hundred handguns over the last 45 years+. I have repaired and refurbished several and shot hundreds of various handguns, and I am pretty knowledgeable on them.


Started shooting in Cub Scouts at age 10. US Army veteran in the late 1960's. Owned several hundred handguns including revolvers and autoloading pistols made by Colt, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Merwin Hulbert, H&R, Iver Johnson, Hopkins and Allen, Charter Arms and European pistols made by Mauser, Beretta, Star, Llama, Tanfoglio Guseppe, Dreyse 1907 and FN. I am mostly interested in and experienced with late 19th and all 20th century pistols, not current guns using plastic.

Have a degree in Social Work, with minors in Sociology and Fine Art (Painting)

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