What happened when one of America’s greatest gun designers teamed up with one of the country’s most historic manufacturers? The answer is simple — legends were born.
It’s hard to deny the late 19th Century partnership between John M. Browning and Winchester Repeating Arms was a golden age. The designer’s genius and the company’s manufacturing prowess delivered what are still considered some of the world’s most desirable firearms. And even the designs themselves have withstood the test of time with contemporary gun makers still dipping Browning’s well.
Case in point, Turnbull Manufacturing.
The New York-based custom gun maker has produced some striking specimens from the Browning-Winchester partnership over the years. But recently, the company’s master craftsmen might have outdone themselves.
Turnbull is releasing a set of four rifles based off the Winchester Model 1886 this year. And while each comes with a hefty price tag ($9,450 to $12,975), it doesn’t take much investigation to see why they demand such a premium. These rifles are truly functional works of art.
“These guns represent what happens when our engravers and designers are allowed to operate as artists on a steel canvas,” said Doug Turnbull, CEO of Turnbull Manufacturing. “Just like other artists, we will be hard pressed to let these leave, but proud to put them in the hands of their new owners. It is our hope that these become the guns that are passed down through generations in families.”
All four of the rifles — Turnbull #6, #9, #10 and Engaved 1886 —feature American black walnut stocks, 26-inch full octagon barrels and shotgun butt pads. And they each feature unique scroll patterns and game scenes from the Winchester Highly Finished Arms Catalog.
The #6 (.45-70 Govt.) has a standing buck on the left and bull moose on the right. The #9 (.45-70 Govt.) features a standing buck on the right and a running buck on the left. The #10 (.475 Turnbull) has a single scene on its left, a centerpiece of a bull elk bugling. And the Engraved 1886 (.475 Turnbull) features ornate scrollwork over the majority of the receiver. The company gives the option of charcoal blue or Turnbull’s signature case color as a finish to the receiver.
There is also a bit of a difference in stocks between the rifles. The #6 and #9 both have straight stock, while the #10 and Engraved 1886 each have pistol grips.
Certainly, there are only a select few who will take a crack at these Turnbull 1886 rifles. But from all appearances, whoever ends up with them will have some truly heirloom-quality firearms.