The Winchester Model 1887 was a lever action shotgun that was produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms company from the years of 1887 until 1920. The lever action design was chosen due to the fact that Winchester was well known for producing lever action weapons, and it was selected for ‘brand recognition’. The 1887 was designed by John Browning, who suggested that a pump action would be a better design. However, the Winchester company chose to use the lever action design. However, they did introduce Browning’s idea as the M1893, which was an early version of the Model 1897 Trench Gun.
At the time, shotgun shells used black powered as propellant. The 1887 was designed for 12 gauge black powder shells, though a 10 gauge version was produced soon afterwards. When the smokeless powder shells became more common, it became clear that the lever for the 1887 was not strong enough to handle them. Winchester produced a 10 gauge called the Model 1901 to get around this. No 12 gauge version was offered due to the fact that Winchester did not want their own weapon to compete with their 12 gauge Model 1897. Although the design for the 1887 was technologically fine, demand for lever action shotguns waned after the introduction of the M1897, and other pump action weapons. Between 1887 and 1901, around 65,000 1887 shotguns were produced. From 1901 until 1920, approximately 80,000 1887 shotguns were produced.
Several companies over time have tried to produce replicas of the Winchester Model 1887 that could chamber the modern smokeless shells. This was mainly because of the cowboy shooting discipline, though they had little commercial success. However, three recent companies have successfully produced replica models. These companies are:
ADI Limited, an Australian weapon company.
Norinco, a Chinese weapon company.
Armi Chiappa, a small Italian company that has made reproductions since 2008.
The Winchester Model 1887 has become reasonably well known in common culture, due to use in popular films. The 1887 has become probably the most recognizable lever action shotgun in the world. Most notably, the 1887 is used during The Terminator 2, where Arnold Schwarzenegger fires one single handedly. This moment in cinema is well known, and although the shotgun used was modified to have less power, Schwarzenegger said that performing the stunt still caused him severe pain.
In common culture, the Winchester 1887 is modified generally. Part of the stock is sawn-off, to make it more easy to work the weapon's lever.
Appearance in games
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The Model 1887, as it was called, appeared in 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. It appears as a lever action shotgun, and is easily found during the missions in Brazil during the campaign. It is also well known online, due to the ability to ‘Akimbo’ the Model 1887s. This means you can dual wield these lever action shotguns, and they are well known for having been ‘overpowered’ in the past. Many players complained about the Akimbo Model 1887 due to the huge range it had. The Model 1887 could cause damage, or occasionally kill other players across the maps in the game. No other shotgun could do this, and it provoked a huge community outcry. The Akimbo Winchesters were ‘nerfed’, and their range has been dropped considerably. The Model 1887 is unlocked at Rank 67 in online Multiplayer, and the statistics can be seen on Den Kirson's Xanga page.