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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An elderly friend and fellow Winchester enthusiast has been bugging me to find him a Model 88 in .243. He even sent me a Christmas card with that request!

It took longer than it should have, but I found him this one, and at a good price, too. Great condition overall. Nicest wood I've ever seen on an 88. Strong, matching, color shifting fiddleback on all sides. It would be so easy and tempting to keep it and sell my Finnwolf and just keep the extra money.

I'll tug back on it a little when I hand it over to him.
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Very nice example! (y)
 

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That is one of the nicest early 88's I've seen. I've never owned one that early in such newish condition either. Tuff to source a .243 in any lineage. You've done right by old Ed in any case. Many wouldn't have and I for one honor the gesture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! Oh, me and Ed have done some trading over the years. He's even been a bit of a guide to me. One of his quotes: "As long as there's Colts and Winchesters there will always be collectors."
 

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That's a handsome rifle there! Congrats to whomever and commending the good taste & helpfulness of the temporary 'trustee'! :)
The Win 88 seems a largely underappreciated rifle and increasingly moved to an 'also ran' in Winchester history. Not based on quality or inherent 'worth', but overshadowed by the weight of Winchester genre & lore as in "traditional". Not fitting the mold! The first year or so after '55 intro, there were some growing pains with small mods resulting. Don't know what.
I have two, both in .308 Win. Rifle from '57 and a Carbine from '68 cusp of introduction. One of the relative few such without regulatory serial prefix. '68 was an important year for the Model 88; something of that model's "pre" genre transformation just as '64 was for the Model 70. Visibly the stock was considerably cheapened. The subtle handsome rifle shown above, moving to an "impressed basket weave checkering substitute pattern. (Yuck! ). Fortunately, the Carbine kept it simple w/o checkering & avoiding that situation!

The Model 70 'post era' sea-changes, never did occur as the 88 was already designed for such production simplifications. So the '68 change was almost exclusively aesthetic. they were all good rifles! Finally ending in '73 as I recall, for low sales volume.
My Carbine, below. I particularly like the steel barrel band even though on a slight bevertail forearm, just a bit 'different'! :) Don't know how many Carbines, but lower production.
Momentary aside Mr. I, weren't you into the Sako Finnwolf Lever guns too?
Wood Trigger Gun accessory Composite material Metal
Wood Shotgun Trigger Composite material Gun accessory

Best & Stay Safe
John
 

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Lovely find, good to have a friend like that to find it for. Love him while you can - I have lost several of that sort and it hurt, but good to have the memories.

I can understand a man not liking scopes on lever guns, but a modern gun like the 88 in a chambering like .243 really begs for a good scope to get the best from the cartridge - but that is me at age 77. not that I could get out to get the use the .243 is intended for (super for our little East Texas whitetails, eh?). Example of the "modern" lever gun with a scope is my Savage 99 in .250 - it is wearing a Pecar 2x7 I originally got for my 700 Remington in .308, gotten during an Army tour in Germany in the 1960s.

I could have gotten an 88 quite reasonably from one of the R&G Clubs while i was in Germany in the mid-60s, but I didn't. Well, so it goes, we only have so much money and interest, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have scopes on my lever guns. But, I do agree with Ed. Of course a .243 will reach out much further than I could make use of with express sights. Lever guns do look better and handle much better without the scopes IMHO.

A young soldier in the 1960's couldn't have had all that much money to spend, right?
 

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The 243s I’ve shot were definitely more mild than 308 (which I agree isn’t bad.) But, the Winchester 88 in .308 does have a reputation for kicking, which does make me scratch my head a bit, but nevertheless it’s a pretty common complaint. I can only surmise that the stock geometry must have something to do with it? With a scope they’re not exactly light either.
 

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Those of us who own and use a Winchester Model 88 in .308Win know that the reports of the recoil being an issue over and above is nonsense and is just another of those myths that just seem to keep being parroted by the folks who don't have one. And that is most everyone. But to each their own I guess. So if someone has one of those brutal monsters lurking in their safe and it's scarring the bejesus out of them, just send it to me and I'll tame it and make it behave. Good grief anyway!
 
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