SHOT Show: The Winchester 1895 125th Anniversary Model

Browning 1895

Sam Hoober for TTAG

Earlier this year, Winchester Repeating Arms announced the return of the Winchester 1895 to production, and I made a bee-line to their SHOT Show booth to get a look. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring the standard 1895 and I had to settle for handling and checking out their 125th Anniversary model, a SHOT Show special edition.

Granted, it’s gorgeous, so I can’t complain too badly about not seeing the standard production model. The standard edition is blued, with a walnut stock, as lever guns are intended to be made.

Not every gun has to be black plastic, you know.

For those who don’t know, the Winchester 1895 was something of an oddball in their lever-action catalog, as it was invented so that modern smokeless powder cartridges with spitzer bullets could be used without issue.

Instead of a tubular magazine, it employs an internal box magazine that holds – depending on the caliber – up to five rounds. It was designed, as the best guns usually were, by John Moses Browning and was a popular model in its initial long production run, which lasted until 1940.

Winchester periodically reissued it, which is what they’re doing now.

The current model features a rebounding hammer, which bounces to half-cock after striking the firing pin, preventing the hammer from hitting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. A tang safety is also added, and the lever loop is hinged for faster cycling.

The current models are only offered with sporter model fore ends, so anyone wanting the full-length furniture will be out of luck. The sights for both models are a flip-up semi-buckhorn rear sight with a gold bead front sight post.

The stocks are straight grip for both models. The 125th Anniversary model features gorgeous walnut in either Grade V or Grade VI, depending on what wood is on hand when the one you see or buy is built. The standard model makes do with Grade I wood.

The 125th Anniversary model has a nickel finished receiver, with beautiful floral engraving, and a blued barrel.

Credit: Sam Hoober/The Truth About Guns

Calibers available are .30-40 Krag (in case you want to charge up San Juan Hill…and who doesn’t?) .405 Winchester (in case you need a big medicine gun for lions, and who doesn’t) and of course, God’s Own Rifle Cartridge, .30-06, which the model I handled was chambered for.

While the 1895 is a top-ejecting receiver, it’s drilled and tapped for a scope.

The 1895 in many respects makes an excellent hunting gun for medium ranges…but I don’t know that you’d want to take this thing anniversary model out in the field. I know I wouldn’t. This is a wall gun…it’s just too beautiful to get dirty.

I love the 1895. It’s a beautiful rifle, and certainly an example of John Browning’s genius. However, the $2499 price tag is a steep price of entry. Then again, this isn’t really a gun for the typical shooter wanting to pew-pew in volume at short range. It’s a throwback to when there was a lot more craft in gunmaking than mere production.

Like I said, not every gun has to be tacticool. We love the ones that are, but there’s still room for the ones that aren’t.

 

comments

  1. avatar California Richard says:

    Yay!…. now I can play Sam Elliot’s character in the Rough Riders TBS miniseries.

    *edit* …. never mind…. I just saw how much this thing costs. So much for killing Spaniards and Germans on Kettle Hill.

    1. avatar Ogre says:

      If you wait awhile, you’ll probably see the 1895 lever rifle reproduced by the Italians using their fine craftsmanship. They’ve reproduced just about every major post-1865 American cartridge gun (except for the Merwin & Hulbert revolver, dammit!), so why not this one? The price would probably be under $2K, too.

    2. avatar Madcapp says:

      Where’s the shotgun? The model 1897. Where’s the g/d shotgun? And make it in the superpower…the right way too, not the cheap way filled with shortcuts.

    3. avatar Dave G. says:

      According to the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider dramatization I saw on TV a while back, the Spaniards and Germans were armed with Mausers, and some of the American officers were downright envious.

  2. avatar Jim from LI says:

    Probably made by Miroku. I don’t buy guns made in countries that don’t believe in gun rights. It’s easier for a citizen of that bastion of liberty, Russia to own this gun than anyone in our democratic ally Japan.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      this is conflicting to me as well, especially when the imported artisan grade is so much nicer than the homebrew.
      of course that really only applies to models that are produced in both places. my 94wrangler is not as slick as the later nippon model.

      1. avatar Jim from LI says:

        I’m not convinced that Miroku is all that much better than domestic product. I was watching a YT video of the Winroku 1873 and was unimpressed with the fit and finish. The “color case hardening” finish was peeling off in spots, like a decal that wasn’t applied correctly. It was inferior to any Henry I’ve ever seen.

    2. avatar JP Ruiz says:

      Ironically, Russia is moving more towards a system of Government that is structured as a Parliamentary Republic Headed by a Constitutional Monarchy, given the more recent news I’ve been seeing and hearing regarding their current political activities.

      Who knows? Russia within 10 years could be much more democratic than that of the EU.
      Also, Russia is considering losening up their firearm laws even more so, and their ban on ‘Lethal Handguns’ could be getting lifted entirely, and licenses to obtain rifled-bore semi-autos are apparently already in the works of being drastically losened up as we speak.

      1. avatar Draco says:

        If you think Russia is heading towards anything like more democracy you really have not been paying attention.

  3. avatar jim mckinney says:

    What’s the MSRP on the Standard Grade, Please ???

  4. avatar Hugh Glass says:

    Lol, very condescending review. I love my plastics and semi-autos and ARs and AKs and nines, they’re fun, but would take a Winchester (or Henry or Marlin) lever gun over a “wraithworks” (hilarious) any day, and frequently do. This isn’t a disposable firearm, will anyone still care about a “wraithworks” in 100 years?

  5. avatar anaxis says:

    These things are BBQ rifles for guys who already have an original (that went up San Juan Hill, of course).

  6. avatar lefty says:

    Bring back the Savage 99F with a tang safety,rotary magazine,shotgun butt,fully adjustable rear sight in matte/dull stainless steel and laminated stock in 35Whelen or 9.3×62.
    To hell with Japanese/Chinese/Turkish products…and get Deutschland to lose the Hitlerian gun laws.

  7. avatar M1Lou says:

    Does it have a charger loading guide? I wish more modern guns had this feature when they don’t have a removable box magazine. Just like all of these “scout” rifles with the scope forward of the action. They lack a charger loading guide meaning you are loading single rounds by hand or have to use a box magazine. I’m sure this is a minority opinion though.

    1. avatar Jim from LI says:

      The only 1895 that had guides for stripper clips was the model made under contract to Russia during WWI. So as a reproduction of the rifle used in America, they would seem out of place.

  8. avatar Retro says:

    Why won’t Savage (or the Italians) bring out a Model 99, which is a better lever action for spitzer bullets? I know a ton of people who would buy one over this repo.

  9. avatar Mark N. says:

    I hate the rebounding (safety) hammer. It makes the trigger pull on my 1892 Miroku absolutely horrible, and adds a bunch of weight to the lever action because you have to fight the extra heavy hammer spring to cock it.

  10. avatar MMurcek says:

    Glad I own one.

  11. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    It’s a cool gun, very cool price. Too rich for my blood. A lever gun is on my list for one day, just gotta find the right one. Probably be in a caliber that’s revolver based though.

  12. avatar Whine E Reader says:

    Make a Repop of the musket version in 7.62x54R and I’m in.

  13. avatar Rick says:

    I was 73 years old on 1/25. Fairly new to gun collecting. Should I buy a Henry, Marlin, or Winchester lever action. Also, what is a spitzer bullet? Lastly GO TRUMP in November. I hope he kicks their @#$&+?!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost shot a “spook” last week trying to break into my truck. I aimed for the ground right at his left foot. I didn’t know they could run that fast. I still have the “du rag” (sic) he lost. I put the rag in a plastic bag to keep the cooties & lice from escaping. By the way, CZ 83 IS AN EXCELLENT pistol.

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