Any firearms I have for sale, usually Browning or Winchester 1885 High
Wall BPCRs with Badger barrels, are typically listed on GunBroker or
GunsAmerica under the "handle" of Itchingtodeal. Due to the infrequent
listings it may appear that I have stopped buying and selling BPCRs, which is
not the case, but rifles in good condition are becoming very hard to find at a
price that allows for a reasonable resale profit margin. Although Browning
had BPCRs in inventory until 2001 the rifles were last manufactured by
Miroku in 1998, and the Winchester branded versions were only produced by
Miroku in limited quantities from 2005 through 2010.
If you are a serious buyer I suggest you 1st read the following short article in
the Articles section of this website titled Purchasing a Used Browning or
Winchester 1885 High Wall BPCR. You should also consider purchasing my
418 page book on the rifles. Although it does not discuss the many “owner
created” problems noted in the article above, it provides a complete history of
the Browning BPCR including design and manufacturing issues. A large
section of the book not only covers the step-by-step internal operation of the
action, the complete disassembly and reassembly process is detailed. In
addition, there are large sections on repairs, improvements, shooting &
cleaning, and reloading. More book details and ordering information are
available on this site at Browning BPCR Book and Book Ordering Information.
Some background on the Miroku/Winchester/Davidson's BPCRs:
In 2004/2005 Winchester and Davidson’s (well-known wholesale firearms
distributor located in Prescott, Arizona) worked out a deal whereby three
versions of the Model 1885 rifles were to be manufactured by Miroku and
exclusively distributed by Davidson’s as Winchester Limited Series BPC
Rifles. The plan was to manufacture 126 rifles the 1st year and 125 rifles in
subsequent years if the rifles sold well.
In 2005 Miroku manufactured 126 Limited Series Creedmoor BPC rifles
in caliber .45-90 with 34” Badger barrels and AMT sights for Davidson’s.
With two minor exceptions, they are an exact copy of the original Browning
Creedmoor BPC rifles with 34” heavy ½ octagon ½ round Badger barrels.
The two exceptions are Winchester’s name on the barrel and no name is roll
stamped into the top of the rear sight base. The original Browning BPCRs
had “BROWNING” roll stamped into the base. The front sight on these rifles
is adjustable for windage, as it is on the original Browning Creedmoor rifles.
In 2006 a 2nd batch of 125 identical Limited Series Creedmoor BPC rifles in
caliber .45-90 with 34” Badger barrels and AMT sights were made for
In 2007 126 Limited Series BPC rifles in caliber .45-90 with 30” barrels and
126 Limited Series BPC rifles in caliber .50-90 Sharps with 30” barrels were
manufactured by Miroku and distributed by Davidson’s. None of the 2007
rifles came with sights. Winchester has no plans at this time to manufacture
additional Limited Series BPC rifles in .45-90 or .50-90.
At the annual 2009 Shot Show, orders were accepted for 125 .45-70 BPC
rifles, which are almost identical to the original Browning .45-70 BPCRs with
30” ½ octagon ½ round heavy Badger barrels. The only differences are the
rifles came with a gloss blued barrel and no sights whereas the original
Browning rifles had a matte blued barrel and were equipped with sights. The
rifles were shipped to several distributors for sale to dealers.
At the 2010 Shot Show, Winchester announced plans and accepted orders for
125 .45-70 BPC rifles featuring matte blued barrels and the same AMT sights
supplied with the Winchester Creedmoor rifles. Due to some delays in
importing the rifles from Miroku, they were not available to USA distributors
and dealers until mid 2011. If it’s not clear by now, I should note that all the
rifles discussed above were manufactured by Miroku and featured Badger
It's rare these days to come across an unfired Browning BPCR since the
factory sold all the remaining inventory in early 2001, so most of the
Browning's I have for sale will be clearly described as used and completely
checked out. With that said, the vast majority of the Browning's I receive are
in like new condition. But if there is any question as to the condition of the
rifle it is completely disassembled and cleaned and any worn or broken parts
are replaced. There may be some minor cosmetic blemishes, which will be
noted in the listing, but you can be assured that a Browning BPCR purchased
from me will be in the condition stated.
Shooting smokeless ammo in your Browning or Winchester BPCR:
A question I’m asked a lot is, “Can I shoot smokeless ammunition in the
Browning or Winchester BPCRs”? I addressed this issue in more detail in
my book but thought I’d also provide a response here to “head off”
additional questions. Due to liability concerns, I’m not going to make a
recommendation on using smokeless in your BPCR, but I will provide some
details to help you make an educated decision.
All the Browning and Winchester BPCRs with Badger barrels are identical
concerning the source and the material used. All the barrels are made from
high quality SAE 4150 chromemoly steel. The Browning .45-70 rifle barrels
are marked RECOMMENDED FOR BLACK POWDER. The .40-65, .45-90
and .50-90 rifle barrels are marked …BLACK POWDER ONLY.
Browning’s Owner’s Manual clearly states that the .45-70 can also accept
the pressures of commercially loaded smokeless ammunition with jacketed
bullets. Therefore it’s clearly OK to shoot smokeless ammo in the .45-70
BPCR. Of course the ammunition must meet SAAMI specifications. But
the same factory recommendation does not apply to the Browning .40-65,
Browning or Winchester .45-90 or Winchester .50-90 rifles.
Browning proof-tested the Badger barrels prior to selecting the final barrel
supplier. During the test, pressures were increase to a level sufficient to
liquefy the brass and drive it into the extractor slot. The brass was cleaned
out and the testing continued without barrel failure. Based on the test results,
“calculated” failure pressures were well above any range expected to be
reached with commercial smokeless ammo.
So why can’t smokeless ammo be used in the .40-65, .45-90 or .50-90 rifles?
The barrels are quite thick and heavy, with lots of high quality steel
surrounding the chamber and bore. With the exception of freebore and a
slightly longer chamber, the .45-90 bore is identical to the .45-70. The
chamber and bore dimensions of the .40-65 are smaller than the .45-70,
resulting in additional barrel material surrounding the chamber and bore.
The answer is because Browning and Winchester are SAAMI members, and
SAAMI does not specify chamber dimensions and ammunition standards for
the .40-65, .45-90 or .50-90 cartridges. Consequently, due to liability
concerns, Browning and Winchester made it clear the .40-65, .45-90 and .50-
90 rifles were designed for BLACK POWDER ONLY by clearly stamping
the barrels accordingly. It’s certainly your call, but personally I would have
no concerns about shooting commercially loaded smokeless ammo in one of
my Browning or Winchester Badger barreled BPCRs.
Wishing you great shooting,
TexasMac's Web Site
"There's good shooting and there's
great shooting. Good shooting is
pulling the trigger and feeling the recoil
of a good rifle against your shoulder.
Great shooting is actually hitting what
you aimed at."