What were you doing when you were 23 years old? John Browning, that industrious bugger, was designing a falling-block action for single-shot rifles. The year was 1878, and Browning and his brother were making these rifles by hand at their shop in Ogden, Utah.
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A few years later, an executive from Winchester visited Browning to purchase the design. A deal was struck, and in 1885 the first firearms of the Browning-Winchester collaboration started rolling off the production line in New Haven, Conn., marking the launch of the most formidable partnership in firearms history.
The Model 1885 single-shots came in two flavors: the High Wall, which contained additional steel in the receiver for more powerful cartridges, and the Low Wall, which had less steel and an exposed hammer.
These rifles were produced in about every caliber imaginable. And because of the gun’s reputation for durability and strength, the M1885 was a go-to action when Winchester would test new cartridge designs.
Production stopped in 1920, but because shooters are such a nostalgic lot, Browning reintroduced the M1885 in 2005. It has been produced in limited quantities by Browning’s partner in Japan, Miroku, since then.