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Discussion Starter #1
If Winchester could be persuaded to bring back the model 88 lever action, what feature(s) would you like to see? What caliber(s)? Rifle or carbine style?

I would like to see a pre-64 style 88 rifle in .358 Win., (scarce as hen's teeth today)

Now I know this ain't happening...Winchester dropped the 88 when production costs soared for this rifle, due to its labor intensive construction... but it's nice to dream!
 

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My father gave me a pre-'64 (made in '62) model 88 in 308 Win. It's my best "all round" deer rifle, got two with it so far! I would love to see this rifle produced again. I'd like both rifles and carbines in 243 Win., 308 Win. and 358 Win.! I also know its never going to happen! :(

I think I'm going to get a laminated stock for mine. I'm also going to put a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40mm scope on it!
 

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My Model 88 is a post-64 in 308 Winchester. I really like this rifle! I had wanted one for many years and one day I walked into my favorite gun shop and there was an 88 a guy had just traded in. Sometimes a man gets lucky.

More to the point, I'd love a new one in 358 or 284 Winchester. The 308 I have has found a home, though! 8)
 

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loaded4bear said:
Now I know this ain't happening...Winchester dropped the 88 when production costs soared for this rifle, due to its labor intensive construction... but it's nice to dream!
I would have to disagree. The real reason it was dropped was it did not sell well, and for the same reason you won't ever see it again. Hardly anyone wants a levergun for anything but brush hunting. For longer range rounds like the .243 and .308, they buy bolt actions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ramrod,

I respectfully counter-disagree (???) with your conclusion as to why the model 88 was retired by Winchester. Both the 88 & the Savage model 99 were excellent rifle designs that became victims of economics. Due to the complex manufacturing process of each design, that included a great deal of hand-fitting as opposed to automated mass production, these rifles became cost prohibitive to make in the eyes of the corporate bean-counters.

To refute your conclusion that everyone buying a rifle in a "long range" caliber is automatically drawn to the bolt action, you have to look no further than the Browning BLR (almost all of its factory chamberings are considered "long range" bolt gun cartridges), or the Remington 7600 pump rifle (that isn't even offered in a "brush-buster" caliber according to the Remington catalog). I'm not trashing bolt guns, but other actions offer much more utility than you're giving them credit for (especially when paired up with a flat shooting cartridge that is not traditionally associated with that action type).
 

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The accuracy and repeatability of modern machine tools would limit/eliminate the hand work neede to make many of the older guns work. Parts could be repeatably made to the closer tolerances.
But most product made today is designed for manufacturability. My guess is the rifles mentioned in this post would take more parts, more machine time and more assembly time than a bolt gun. A manufacturer would have to ask more money for a gun that cost more to make. And with a limited market with most advertising/marketing effort going in to bolt guns a hign end lever gun would be hard to justify to corporate America. Making replicas of reviered old models may be a market niche for a custom maker, but the cost for that would limit those who could afford them.
 

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I have one that I re-barreled from a .243 to a 7mm-08. (23" Douglas blackened stainless with no sights) The only thing I would wish for is a better trigger. Otherwise, I love mine and have learned to compensate for the trigger.
 

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With the modern CNC machines, I think it is entirely possible for Winchester to make a limited run of the mdl 88 or mdl 100. Haven't they sold all of the re-make 1886's and 1895's in fairly short order? The 88 can't be that much harder to make than a mdl 86. I'd love to have one in 358 Win.
 

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CowboyEngr said:
With the modern CNC machines, I think it is entirely possible for Winchester to make a limited run of the mdl 88 or mdl 100. Haven't they sold all of the re-make 1886's and 1895's in fairly short order? The 88 can't be that much harder to make than a mdl 86. I'd love to have one in 358 Win.
Both of these guns were prone to problems and a lot of gunsmiths either hate to try to work on them or will not work on them. When they work they are nice guns. I would not mind a 88 but would not pay for them what folks are asking for them just because of the Winchester name. Not knowing that if they break it could be a problem getting it fixed. As far as the triggers go your stuck with what they are nothing can be done with them due to the design. Jim
 

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Myself, I would like to see the .280 back, with the 22'' barrel..one can only wish :roll:
 

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I have a 1968 model 88 in .243 that I inherited from my grandfather 15 years ago when he passed away. I love that gun and will never get rid of it. My grandfather shot more deer and coyotes with that rifle than most could ever imagine. I myself have shot over twenty deer and antelope combined. I used it for years with the old 4x Bushnell but I replaced that five or six years ago with a 6.5-20 X 50 Simmons. I managed to break the stock in half and it splintered terribly so now I am trying to find a new one. Have you ever seen a 30 year old man cry in the woods? I have shot several deer at or over 300 yards with the Winchester 100gr factory loads. My brother in law loaded me some 80 grain Speers that I shot a 3 round group at 100 yards that you could cover with a dime and a half. I will never question the accuracy of these rifles. This one has always been a tack driver for me and my grandfather. I would like to see them strengthen the sides by the magazine to eliminate this prone to cracking weak spot.
 

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The accuracy and convenience of my pre-64 model 88 (in .308) is great, but the trigger pull is somewhat creepy. I have learned to accommodate that.
 

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"would have to disagree. The real reason it was dropped was it did not sell well, and for the same reason you won't ever see it again. Hardly anyone wants a levergun for anything but brush hunting. For longer range rounds like the .243 and .308, they buy bolt actions."
[/color]

Ramrod...if this is true then why is Browning doing so well with the BLR and Lightning 81?[/color] :roll:
 

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if this is true then why is Browning doing so well with the BLR and Lightning 81?
How well are they doing? It may be that the are nearly alone in this niche, and are able to stay in that market because of lack of competition. Another brand entering and splitting the market may make it unprofitable for either maker. I don't know this, just a guess.

I am sure that the markrting folk at the major firearms manufacturers are professional, and will go after any segment where they can project a profit. The must not see one with a remake of the 88.
 

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They sell all the Model 81s they manufacture. I have been waiting for a .358 for 8 months.
Look at Marlin......they are selling the levers very well....but stick to the "brush buster" calibers.

I think that there is a definite market for a accurate Model 88 style lever action that comes in mild recoil, flat shooting calibers like the .243, 7mm-08 and .260.

I know I'd have one in a heartbeat :grin:
 

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You might want to contact Winchester and ask how many you would have to buy to get them to make that model again. You could finance the rebirth, market the guns you would have the corner of the market on, and test your theory. If the price is rignt then put me on the list for a 7MM-08!

I don't know if the market is there or not. I Bet Winchester's research says it isn't or the guns would be available now. The major gun makers are not dumb, and would be in the marketplace if there was a reason to believe they would sell. They are in business to make a buck, not to disappoint potential customers.
 
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