Question on Operation of Winchester 1885 Low Wall

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by Mainspring, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Mainspring

    Mainspring Member

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    Just restored a Winchester 1885 .22 cal Short Low Wall for a friend. Could hardly believe how much bluing was still left on this piece after I carefully removed the rust. My question is, after reassembling the rifle I operated the action and noticed the hammer went the first position (safety). Before I disassembled the piece I kind of thought when working the action the hammer went to the second (ready to fire) position. For safety sake the way it operates now makes more sense. Can someone please inform me when you operate the action should the hammer go to the first (safety) or second (ready to fire) position. Thanks for any comments.
  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    It depends on how the rifle was originally built.
    Open the action, and look in the bottom; at the curve of the hammer, there is a slot in the middle, for a hammer fly.
    Some muskets (Cal .22 short, your offering) had a fly that let the hammer down to 'half cock', on closing; most, the hammer remained fully cocked.
    This feature could be ordered in any Winchester Single Shot, but, seldom was.
    I totally agree that the 'safety notch fly' was how it should have been, but, Olin Winchester did not share the view; most close at full cock.
    Hope this helps...
  3. Mainspring

    Mainspring Member

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    Thanks stash247 you're absolutely right, the hammer has a safety notch fly in the middle of it. When I dissembled the piece it was frozen into the hammer. It now works freely. Could it be that is why it now catches half way instead of full cock? Looks like the sear catches it. This piece was not shown on the schematic I downloaded.
  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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  5. Mainspring

    Mainspring Member

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    stash247. Thanks for that info and the interesting story about the Schuetzen Rifle, #3. I finished the rifle and it’s back in the owner's hands. I remember when I had the rifle apart it had a coil mainspring , no set trigger and the lower tang was removable. Interesting to note as you stated how that lower tang with the SN would fit both high and low walls. Makes you wonder how many original ones are out there and how you would know if they had all original parts. I should have taken notice to other parts of the rifle that had numbers stamped on them. Do you know if they should match any of the tang SN? I would guess not back then. That's what I always liked about the German Luger when I collected them. 90% of the parts had numbers down to the firing pin that match the last 3 numbers of the SN. There was also a number “1” stamped on the bottom of the octogan barrel of the Low Wall that was visible at the end for the forearm. I also found an interesting slide button at the end of the lower receiver that I originally thought was a takedown button to remove the forearm. It slid back towards the receiver but not far enough to clear the forearm. Since a screw held the forearm in place I couldn’t understand what it’s purpose was.
  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Mainspring, the High Wall lower tang will NOT fit a Low Wall rifle or carbine; it is larger! It WILL fit all three variations of the .22LR Musket, because they are in dimension, High Walls, with the sides and the Breechblock modified as a Low Wall, for loading ease.
    To differentiate between the two, measure the barrel shank diameter; the High wall is .935" OD, the low wall, .825" OD. All the Muskets measure .935"!

    The number '1' that you spoke of is the barrel weight, and 1 was standard for Low Walls, though I have seen 2-3-4 on the little frame, by customer's special order.
    The little button you found interests me greatly! A Takedown system only appeared on these rifles after, IIRC, about S/N 2,02x.xxx, when they began to be built as coil spring actions. Did this rifle have a plate, about .400" thick, forward of the recever, and shaped to match???
    If so, you had a takedown Low Wall, and your friend has a really interesting piece; The Takedown repeaters, like the '94, use a similar system, locked from rotating by the Magazine tube, which has a lever to release it, and allow it to be drawn forward, to then allow the barrel, with the action open, to be unscrewed 90*, then withdrawn. The Single Shot used a slide catch, sprung from behind, for the same purpose, as it has no magazine tube.
    Maybe you had a Frankengun, without the plate, a fixed barrel model, built on a takedown frame, but that lacks any logic, as the takedown is worth twice what the solid frame rifle would bring!
    I'm interested, others as well, I'm sure, so tell us!
    All the best, Terry
  7. Mainspring

    Mainspring Member

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    Terry, Thanks for putting me straight concerning the tang on the High Wall vs. the Low Wall. For as old as I am I still got a lot to learn. That’s why I like this forum. Concerning the button, yes it did have a plate ,about .400 thick, forward of the receiver, and shaped to match. The plate had a dove tail like shape, next to the receiver, on both sides so that it would fit or lock firm against the receiver. This plate also had a round pin about .250 in the center of it that looked like it went through the plate and attached to the receiver. Almost made it look like the plate would rotate except it couldn’t because of the barrel going through the plate and receiver. AND, there was another smaller pin in the upper left or right corner of the plate that looked like it was attached to the receiver. SO, there was no way it could rotate without removing the small pin and barrel. And the small pin was only visible on plate side and flush with the plate. SO, no way to punch out the pin. It confused the heck out of me as how to separate the plate, receiver and barrel so I thought I best let it alone. All the schematics I have seen searching through the internet did not show a plate. It was the only piece on the rifle I did not take apart. By the way, the button did not push in and out, it slid back and forth. When I removed the button, it looked like it served absolutely no purpose. It was slotted into the bottom of the plate and had two small round shallow holes underneath it. There was a hole in the plate underneath the button with a small round head pin with a spring. This allowed the button to slide back and forth at two positions. It did not look like it had anything to do with separating the plate from the receiver. Ken
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