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#575128 07/07/20 07:22 PM
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I've seen and owned a bunch of high walls in 30 US, but never heard of an original rifle with anything but a 30" # 3 barrel which makes for a ponderous load in the woods. At the same time Winchester made 1895's with short and long barrels that were slender enough to carry. My question is why didn't they offer a high wall that was handy to carry afield? I've never seen this issue in print, and don't expect some definitive answer but would like to hear some speculation. Keith, you don't need to intrude with your usual stupidity.


Bill Ferguson
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Bill - that's interesting about your experience with High Walls in .30 US. The .30 US was fairly low production in the High Wall. About 1000 made if I recall. High Walls strongly tended to have long barrels, as you have observed. If a buyer had wanted one with a shorter barrel, Winchester would have surely made them one. I've seen plenty of Winchester lever rifles of that era that were ordered with short barrels. I know they made a very small number of Low Walls with carbine length barrels (e.g. 15 or 20 inch) but as I think about it, I have almost never seen a High Wall ordered with a short barrel. I agree with you, I would not be choosing a High Wall to carry in the woods either. I suppose the woods hunter wanted a repeater anyway so the High Wall was already in disfavor? Interesting question.

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Probably because they wanted to satisfy the demands of the long range/match Creedmore target shooters of the day. I think they intended them to be target rifles from the get go, not hunting rifles.

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There were and are many highwalls in many calibers that are light and "handy" with shorter and longer barrels as well, but 1885 actions are very short compared to a 1895, for example. So a 28" or longer will still be quite "handy", esp. relative to the same length on a 93 or 73 or whatever.

I use a 30" .38-72 highwall quite a lot in Wyoming for several species of game


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Craigster, You could be correct, but I've never seen one of these rifles with original factory target sights. They seem predominately to have been made with open hunting sights. And, come to think of it almost all the smokeless cartridge high walls had #3 barrels: the 30-30s, 32 Specials, 405s, even the few 218 Bees and 219 Zippers. I did see a 22 Hornet that had been re-barreled at the factory with a #2 barrel.

Last edited by rocky mtn bill; 07/08/20 06:21 PM.

Bill Ferguson
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Here are some lists of the different calibers and barrel weights for 1885s from Campbell's book.






Last edited by BrentD; 07/08/20 07:00 PM.

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So, you’re starting to see the possibilities of the short barreled AR? A common configuration might have just came down to what sold well at the time, and the special order option was seemingly easily available? It’s a curiosity that you didn’t run into some tang sight hunting rifles.

What makes the thirty inch barrel so difficult? Even if a bit lighter could be easier to lug around, being limited to a single shot would have the implication of a more deliberate shot. The weight and longer sight plane would have helped with field accuracy, even today? While you can do as you please, maybe don’t take a hack saw and file to a decent condition original?

By the way, how thick could the woods be where you hunt? Take a few steps and a several hundred yard lane opens up?

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More than a few of those in .30 US were made with specific match rules in mind. They may have come with open sights, but some were d&t for the Krag sight and had (at extra cost, of course, a front sight similar to our military rifles. W. Milton Farrow owned one about 1908 and competed in long range matches. Walter Hudson may well have had a similar rifle.

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Craig, My 30" 3# rifle in 30 US weighs 10 lbs, and it's very muzzle heavy. One in 25-35 would weigh around eleven. For a pip squeak cartridge, that's a lot of hardware. Waterman, you may well be right about match rules. Is there any record of how well they fared? All the ones I've shot are very accurate.


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Talk about barrel heavy, my .22LR has a 30" #3 barrel. It's all barrel. Seems to carry well, though heavy.





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