The Winchester / Browning Model 1885 Low Wall Rifles
By Chuck Hawks
Winchester's elegant Low Wall is a lightened version of the contemporary Winchester High Wall. The modern Model 1885 Low Wall came along in 1995, introduced as a Browning model. It was discontinued by Browning in 2001, but resurfaced in the Winchester line in 2003 in rimfire calibers .22 and .17. This was after Browning and U.S. Repeating Arms (Winchester) were acquired by Belgian interests.
The Low Wall is an underlever operated falling block action with an exposed rebounding hammer. The hammer is automatically cocked when the lever is operated.
The Low Wall features a 24 inch, free floating octagon barrel suspended from a beefy forearm hanger mounted directly to the receiver that does not allow the forearm touch the barrel. The original Browning version of the rifle had an extractor only, no ejector, unlike the later Winchester Low Wall which is supplied with an ejector. The trigger assembly on both versions is user adjustable.
The Browning Low Wall came with a high gloss finish on the checkered, select checkered walnut stock. The barreled action was meticulously polished, drilled and tapped for scope mounts, and deep luster blued. Detachable sling swivel studs were included. Overall length of the Browning Low wall was 39 1/2 inches and it weighed approximately 6 1/4 pounds.
The later Winchester version comes with a color case hardened receiver, lever, and curved "rifle" buttplate, with a blued barrel that features traditional open iron sights. Sling swivel studs are not included. The current Winchester Low Wall weighs 8 pounds and has an overall length of 41".
The Browning Low Wall was a centerfire rifle available calibers included .22 Hornet, .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, and .260 Remington. A Browning Low Wall was reviewed for the Product Review Page.
The Winchester Low Wall is a rimfire rifle chambered for various .22 and .17 caliber rimfire cartridges--the specific chamberings seem to vary from year to year. A Winchester Low Wall was reviewed for the Rimfire Page.
Like any quality falling block rifle, the Low Wall action has a tight, precise feel quite unlike repeaters. Everything moves like a well oiled machine, and the sensation is more like operating a top quality double shotgun than a typical bolt action hunting rifle.
The Low Wall is not everyman's rifle. It is for the connesuer of fine rifles and the shooter/hunter who prefers a fine single shot rifle. 2006 MSRP for the Winchester Low Wall is $1014.
Note: A complete review of the Winchester / Browning Low Wall rifles can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2003, 2006 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.