Some rifles are just too darn nifty to ever really go away.
The Winchester 1885 Low Wall would seem to be one of these—this little gem just keeps popping back up. Over the decades it returns again and again in varmint calibers, deer calibers and even pistol calibers from time to time.
Its latest incarnation is courtesy of the company that gave the rifle its start way back in the Wild West and, to make it even more special, the 1885 is back as a crazy-fast rimfire. What a wonderful world we live in.
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Winchester’s latest 1885 has all the features that made the rifle famous and popular with varmint hunters for over a century. The rifle’s exposed hammer allows for a very light and crisp trigger pull, a definite plus for gophers.
Accuracy is enhanced further by the rifle’s 24-inch octagonal barrel that is very rigid and more than heavy enough for a rimfire. The barrel’s added bulk and surface area assures the shooter that it can put many, many rounds downrange before overheating becomes a problem.
While the rifle keeps all of its original selling points, Winchester has also seen fit to update a few things for the modern shooter. The curved and extremely slippery metal butt pad is gone and has been replaced with a squishy rubber number that will make prone shooting a lot easier.
This new model is also drilled and tapped for a scope mount to make use of today’s higher velocity offerings.
Naturally, a cool gun needs a cool cartridge, which is why the 1885 can be had in the new 17 Winchester Super Magnum.
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This little round with a big name is the largest rimfire produced in modern times, and sets an all-time rimfire velocity record, spitting out 20gr bullets at a little over 3000 fps. With a velocity that allows for a real world 300 yard zero, the 17 WSM is really an upgrade over its rimfire predecessors.
This year at the SHOT Show I was lucky enough to try out the 17WSM and the 1885 on a coyote silhouette set out at the 100 yard mark. The rifle is nearly recoilless and incredibly accurate.
The little 20gr bullets flying out of it couldn’t quite knock the metal coyote over, but they did make it wobble quite a bit—something I wouldn’t have expected from a rimfire.
If your old rimfire options are getting a little boring and you need something to change the way you think of rimfire guns, the 1885 in 17WSM will get the job done.
Featured image via Winchesterguns.com