The Winchester / Browning Model 1885 High Wall Rifle

By Chuck Hawks

Winchester 1885 High Wall Hunter
Illustration courtesy of U.S. Repeating Arms Co.

The Browning Model 1885 High Wall, produced from 1985-2001, was succeeded in 2005 by a new version marketed as the Winchester 1885 High Wall Hunter. This is basically the same rifle with a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad and satin stock finish. The metal finish is polished and blued, including the trigger. Bases for detachable sling swivel studs are provided, but iron sights are not. For 2005, the new Winchester 1885 High Wall is chambered exclusively for the WSM series of cartridges.

Catalog specifications of the new Winchester High Wall include a 28" barrel, an overall length of 44", and a nominal weight (bare) of 8.5 pounds. The length of pull of the straight hand stock is 13.5", drop at comb is 5/8", drop at heel is 1 1/8".

Among the features of the Winchester High Wall Hunter are a medium-heavy contour 28 inch free floating octagon barrel, self-cocking rebounding hammer, user adjustable trigger (from approximately 3.5-5.0 lbs.), ejector (which can be set to eject to the right, to the left, or to retain the case for easy hand removal), polished and blued barreled action, and select walnut, straight grip stock and Schnabel forearm graced by cut checkering. The forearm of High Wall rifles is attached directly to the receiver on a husky hanger that prevents wood to barrel contact.

I have had a reasonable amount of personal experience with Winchester/Browning High Wall and Low Wall rifles and I can attest to their excellent quality, accuracy, reliability and performance. My 1885 High Wall in .45-70, for instance, is the most accurate big bore rifle I have ever fired. You can read shooting reviews of some of these rifles elsewhere on Guns and Shooting Online.

The Winchester High Wall is a big but graceful rifle. Its hammer is automatically cocked when the under lever is operated to lower the breechblock for loading. The precisely machined action is strong and a joy to operate, without the slop that plagues repeating actions when they are opened. It is a rifle one can be proud to own, and proud to pass on to the next generation of shooters.

Note: A full review of the Winchester / Browning 1885 High Wall rifle can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2005, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.