Likely one of a kind, Browning prototype bottom feed musket. Similar in design to the Model 1895.
Winchester's partnership with John Browning began in 1883 and lasted 16 years. Browning's legacy at Winchester is marked by the company's most notable late 19th century firearms such as the Model 1885 single shot rifle, Model 1887 lever action shotgun, Model 1897 slide action shotgun and lever action Models 1886, 1892, 1894 and 1895.
Speaking to Browning's success, firearms historian and author R.L. Wilson stated, "No other gun inventor or designer can rival John Browning's string of achievements. He owned 128 gun patents covering eighty different firearms; he sold approximately forty gun designs to Winchester."
Of course, not every Browning patent Winchester purchased made it to the factory production line. The trail leading to even the most successful designs is often steeped in documented and undocumented trials and errors.
This action has a fixed magazine and stripper slots in the top. The thick, high breechblock is striker feed. The lever contains the trigger assembly. The receiver has a bolt with double extractors and a follower. There is no safety. When the action is opened, the breechblock rises and slides backwards. When closing the action, the breechblock rises and slides forwards, locking into place via a spring loaded detent. Part of the lever supports the back of the breechblock. The breechblock has a cocking indicator. The action is similar to that found in Browning's patent 619132, which was applied for on February 21, 1898 and issued on February 7, 1899. Browning had several lever action rifle patents purchased by Winchester with many of the patents not being used in production firearms. There are two barrel bands with the front band having a bayonet lug like a Krag rifle.