Winchester Single-Shot Rifle
The Winchester lever-action single-shot rifle was manufactured from 1885 until 1920, and at one time or another during this period was available in 3 sizes of frame and in 6 barrel weights. It was chambered for a great many rimmed cartridges, ranging in caliber from the .22 short rimfire through and including the .50 Eley center-fire. There was limited production in rimless calibers, including 7 mm. Mauser, 7.65 mm. Mauser, and .30-'06. This drop-ping-block action was also used for a 20-ga. shotgun first made in 1914 and the shotgun was offered in both solid-frame and take-down styles.
The actions of Winchester single-shot rifles were casehardened in colors until August 1901, but those manufactured in following years were heat-treated and given a blued finish. Color case-hardening was obtainable on special order following institution of the improved heat-treatment method. The Winchester firm would at one time re-heat-treat the older casehardened actions, but this service is no longer offered by that company.
Plain triggers were standard on most versions of this rifle, but set triggers could be furnished on special order.
The single-shot rifle in takedown version was first offered in 1910. The development of this system necessitated a change in the design of the mainspring. The flat mainspring of the solid-frame rifle was attached to a base on the barrel, but in the takedown type the mainspring of music wire was fitted around the hammer assembly. This latter action is commonly called the coiled-spring type, and it eventually became
1. Front sight
3. Rear sight
4. Mainspring base
6. Mainspring screw
7. Forearm screw
9. Sear spring screw
10. Sear spring
12. Sear pin
13. Lower tang screw
14. Side tang screws (2)
16. Knock-off spring screw
17. Knock-off spring
19. Knock-off pin
21. Trigger pin
22. Upper tang scrcw
24. Firing pin
26. Firing pin stop pin
28. Hammer pin
30. Link pin, long
31. Link pin, short
32. Finger lever
33. Finger lever pin
34. Finger lever pin stop screw
36. Buttplate screws (2) Note—Buttstock and forearm not shown.
IThe cutaway section of the rifle shows all parts assembled properly.
2 To reassemble breechblock (23). hammer (27), and finger lever (32) in receiver, place them assembled in the position shown and push them partly into position from underside of receiver. Replace extractor (25) in receiver and push breechblock, hammer, and finger lever up into position, aligning front hole of finger lever with its corresponding hole in receiver. Replace finger lever pin (33) and tighten finger lever pin stop screw (34).
standard for both takedown and solid-frame rifles.
The final version of the Winchester single-shot rifle was the Model 87 musket introduced in 1918 in cal. .22 rim-fire. Large numbers of this model were purchased by the U. S. government for troop training purposes during World War I and were later issued to shooting clubs through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. This rifle was the first of the series to be given a model number. Until that time this basic rifle was merely listed as the Winchester Single Shot, without the customary model number applied to other Winchester rifles and shotguns.
The design of the Winchester single-shot rifle was based upon a patent granted to John M. Browning in 1879. The Browning firm produced nearly 600 of these rifles in their Ogden, Utah, shop, but sold the manufacturing and sales rights to the Winchester firm in 1883. Winchester engineers made only minor design changes in tooling up for its manufacture.
Drop finger lever (32) and check action to be sure rifle is not loaded. Unscrew forearm screw (7) and remove wood forearm to expose mainspring (5). Unscrew mainspring screw (6) and remove mainspring. Loosen finger lever pin stop screw (34) and drift out finger lever pin (33) with a suitable punch. Pull breechblock (23) with firing pin (24) and hammer (27) attached out bottom of receiver by finger lever (32). Extractor (25) will drop out bottom of receiver after removing breechblock. Above parts may all be separated by drifting out their respective pins.
To disassemble trigger mechanism, unscrew upper and lower tang screws (22 & 13) and remove buttstock to rear. Unscrew side tang screws (14) from left and right sides of receiver and remove tang (15). Remove knock-off spring screw (16) from underside of tang and remove knock-olf spring (17). Trigger (20) and knock-off (18) can be removed by drifting out their respective retaining pins (21 & 19). Unscrew sear spring screw (9) from top of receiver tang and drop out sear spring (10). Drift out sear pin (12) and remove sear (11) from receiver. Reassemble in reverse (see Fig. 2). ■
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