Although you may run across an infrequent listing from me on GunBroker
or GunsAmerica, as of April 2013 I am no longer buying and reselling
Browning or Winchester BPCRs on a routine basis. Locating, buying,
repairing, taking good quality photos, working up the listing text, listing,
answering many inquiries from “tire kickers” and serious buyers, closing
orders, shipping firearms and maintaining the necessary BATF records
requires a lot of time. I’ve decided to spend more time reloading,
shooting and competing in local and regional matches.
If you are seriously considering a Browning or Winchester BPCR I
suggest you do the following:
• Run frequent searches for “BPCR” or “1885” on the following firearm
sites: GunBroker, GunsAmerica, GunAuction and Guns International.
GunBroker is the most popular and has the majority of listings.
• The rifles can also be found on Arizona Sharpshooters and
Wyoming Armory sites, and the discussion forum sales sections on:
BPCR.net, ASSRA, and SASS Wire forum.
• A couple of magazines that list BPCR’s are The Black Powder
Cartridge News and The Single Shot Exchange.
I also suggest you 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 book on the rifles.
Although it does not discuss the many “owner created” problems noted
above, it provides a complete history of the Browning BPCR and covers
in detail the functioning of the action, including design and manufacturing
issues. A large section of the book also discusses the complete
disassembly and reassembly of the action. More book details and
ordering information are available on this site at Browning BPCR Book
and Book Ordering Information.
Some background on the recent Winchester BPCRs:
In 2004/2005 Winchester and Davidson’s, a 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
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 Davidson’s.
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
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 barrels.
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 in your Browning or Winchester BPCR:
A question I’m asked a lot is, “Can I shoot smokeless 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 .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."