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Winchester 1887 Lever-Action 12 gauge Shotgun

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by FAL, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. FAL

    FAL Salem Active Member

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    I'm considering buying a 2 3/4" original Winchester 1887 Lever-Action 12 gauge Shotgun. I would like to be able to use it. However, I wonder about the safety of doing so.

    How strong and how well manufactured were they? Should I be concerned about failure due to strength or other metalurgical considerations?

    Thanks
     
  2. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    Are you sure it the real deal and not a reproduction
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    As we talked in Chat they are a Black Powder firearm. Not suited to modern smokless powder loads.
     
  4. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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  5. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    soe of the old shotguns..ie the 1901 lever action..had odd length chambers.be sure what it is before shooting it,if u decide to.
     
  6. madmax

    madmax woodburn Active Member

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    Have you read the reviews on them? I wanted one till I did.
     
  7. BillyDa59

    BillyDa59 King County, WA Member

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    Norinco currently makes a 12 Gauge replica of the Winchester Model 1887 I'm pretty sure. I think they can be had for around $450, although I haven't seen one in a long time.
     
  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Old blackpowder guns should never be fired with modern loads
     
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Funny how some guns come up all over the place,all at once.
    Just saw one of these at the gun show.Never noticed them before.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    You can reload the hulls with blackpowder,no?
     
  11. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    That's a bit broad of a generality. Probably a good idea with shotguns, but there are thousands of rifles and pisols such as 45-70 and 45 Long Colt made in the blackpowder era still being shot safely with smokeless.

    Shotguns with cast steel or damascus barrels are an issue, but as others have said, load with blackpowder. The chamber length consideration is important. If too long a shell is inserted, the opening crimp fold fits up into the barrel instead of the chamber. This causes a major restriction and likely blowup, regardless of powder. If your chambers are short, you can buy full length brass from Midway. Without any crimp, if they fit-they work.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    IF the gun is checked out by a competent smith and if you use the right charges. It's not worth it to me since Norinco makes a modern repro
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Modern steels and smokeless loads are a far cry from what was available back then. Better safe than sorry
     
  14. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I can't believe I am saying that Blitzkrieg is exactly right on this issue.

    The 1887 Winchester Lever action shotgun was designed for Blackpowder. And must have been ONLY suited to blackpowder since in 1901 when Smokeless Shotgun shells started being more available they redesigned the Lever action shotgun to handle the new Smokless loads and renamed it the Model 1901.

    The reproductions are made from very different alloys and may even have minor design improvements to to strenghten them for the modern shells the makers know they will be fed.

    But even back in the day Winchester knew the 1887 was not up to smokless ammo and the higher pressures it created so they changed the firearm to not risk accidents.