I am the 4th generation of Richards to own this Winchester Model 1886 .38-56 WCF. Ibelieve my Great Grandfather bought this rifle new in 1897. The serial # 1126xx indicates that it was manufactured in August of 1897. Through thick and thin, good times and bad my family haas held on to this one piece of family history. There are no war stories, although there may have been some. The stock has character marks that indicate this was a working firearm not a closet queen.
I know how you feel Diamondback. I have a Winchester 1892 44-40 with 24" octagon barrel that was bought new in 1895 by my great, great, grandfather. He carried it horseback for a couple of decades till about 1915 in the Del Rio TX area where he was a rancher. Rough times back then along the border and it was common for rustlers to raid over from Mexico. Family stories say the Winchester was used a few times to fight off the bad guys. It is still in very good and shootable condition and I have shot it some, just to see how it handled. It is the only old family thing we have, and it will be passed on. Be sure and write up all you know about yours and your ancesters and pass that document on with the rifle so your descendants will know the history of it and not have to rely on word of mouth. I don't have a picture of mine on this computer or I would post it.
I loved the way that gun handled so much that I just recently bought a Rossi 92 clone as a shooter. My Rossi 92 is in 45 colt and also has a 24" barrel, but is half octagon-half round. After the action job I did on it, it runs slicker than snot. Rossi did a good job in copying the old guns but they need an action job to run like an old Winchester..
Very nice Diamondback! My Dad recently passed on a 1886 in 45-90 which has been with the family since 1887. This one has been molested, but, it's the family history that counts. It doesn't have the original finish anymore and wasn't in working order when I got it. It is working now and I've put a couple boxes of VERY EXPENSIVE ammo through it. Enjoy it and pass it along!
Very cool. I inherited (as oldest son) an 1884 Springfield trapdoor. Complete w/cleaning jags in buttstock, cleaning rod, in firing condition. I am the 5th generation of my family to own it. Or was. Since God only gave me daughters who had no interest in it, I gave it to my brother who has 3 sons. To keep it in the family name tree.