Original U.S. Winchester Model 1887 12 Gauge Shotgun made in 1895 - Possible Pennsylvania Railroad Gun

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great example of a Winchester model 1887 12 Gauge shotgun, the first lever-action repeating shotgun model made by the Legendary Winchester Repeating Arms Company. It was made in 1895 and is therefore considered an ANTIQUE. It has a tubular magazine under the barrel and is fully marked with Patent dates and manufacturer details under the lever on the bottom stock tang:

PAT. FEB. 16 & JULY 20. 1886.

Serial number 58214 is marked on the bottom front of the receiver, indicating original manufacture in 1895. The left side of the receiver is marked with the intertwined WRA CO. monogram for Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

The 30" barrel still bears traces of the inscription to the top, and a faint 12 can be seen on the chamber end, indicating the gauge. Overall the weapons shows a gray blued finish which has no doubt been refreshed over the years. The stocks are in great shape, with a lovely color and patina, though they also have definitely been refurbished at least once.

The story we received with the shotgun was that it was owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and intended for use by their Enforcement squads. These were responsible for kicking off Hobos and Free Loaders who "RODE THE RAILS" for free. The underside of the butt is faintly stamped P.R.R. and the weapon bears the numeral stamp of 47 in at least three locations which may be a rack number.

Appears in full working order, ready to display.

History of the Winchester Model 1887 Shotgun

The Model 1887 was one of the first successful repeating shotguns. Its lever-action design was chosen at the behest of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, best known at the time as manufacturers of lever-action rifles such as the Winchester Model 1873. Designer John Browning suggested that a pump-action would be much more appropriate for a repeating shotgun, but Winchester management's position was that, at the time, the company was known as a "lever-action firearm company", and felt that their new shotgun must also be a lever-action for reasons of brand recognition. Browning responded by designing a breech-loading, rolling block lever-action. To Winchester's credit, however, they later introduced a Browning designed pump-action shotgun known as the Model 1893 (an early production version of the model 1897), after the introduction of smokeless powder.

Shotgun shells at the time used black powder as a propellant, and so the Model 1887 shotgun was designed and chambered for less powerful black powder shotshells. Both 10 and 12-gauge models were offered in the Model 1887; 12-gauge variants used a 2 5/8" shell, 10-gauge variants fired a 2 7/8" shell.

The standard barrel length was 30" with 32" available as a special order. In 1888 a 20" barrelled version could be ordered and Winchester offered the shotguns with Damascus barrels.

The model 1887 was later redesigned in 1901 to be able to use the now popular smokeless powder that was available.


Year of Manufacture: 1895
Caliber: 12 Gauge
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Shogtun Cartridge
Barrel Length: 30 Inches
Overall Length: 48 Inches

Action type: Lever Action Repeater
Feed System: 5+1 round tube magazine

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

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