January 03, 2011
The Model 1892 is perhaps the most popular lever gun among cowboy action shooters, and one new-for-2007 version is the Model 1892 Take Down Rifle from Charles Daly.
The Model 1892 is one of the most popular lever guns among cowboy action shooters, and new for 2007 Charles Daly is offering a takedown version chambered in .45 Colt. Shooting Times obtained one of the first production models to roll off the line, and as you will soon see it is a fine-shooting little gun.
To enlarge this photo of the Charles Daly Model 1892 Take Down Rifle Lever-Action Rifle, please click HERE
Before we get to the new Charles Daly Model 1892, though, let's take a quick look at the original Model 1892.
The Original Model 1892
Oddly, the classic Model 1892 Winchester, which happens to be the lever gun most often depicted in TV and movie westerns, was introduced too late to actually be used to tame the Wild West. It was released in 1892, and the U.S. government had pronounced that the "frontier" was officially closed by 1890, so the Model 1892 was technically too late to be used on the frontier. However, the model did see considerable use "out West" for gathering food and bringing outlaws to justice.
Charles Daly's new Model 1892 Take Down Rifle utilizes a crescent-shaped, steel buttplate like the original Model 1892.
The Winchester Model 1892 was designed by John M. Browning, and it was a strong, lightweight, and extremely smooth-operating lever action. Like all previous lever actions bearing the Winchester name, the Model 1892 loaded its cartridges through a port on the receiv-er's right side; they were then housed in a tubular magazine under the barrel.
Charles Daly Model 1892 Take Down Rifle Lever-Action Rifle
|Model 1892 Take Down Rifle
|Halfcock notch on hammer
|Open rear; post front
|Two-piece American walnut
|5 rounds (magazine limitation rod can be removed)
|Oil finished wood; color-case-hardened receiver, lever, buttplate, and foreend cap; blue barrel and magazine tube
The Winchester Model 1892 was basically a scaled-down Winchester Model 1886, which was also designed by Browning. Like that of the larger Model 1886, the Model 1892's breechblock was secured by two locking bolts that were raised into battery when the lever was closed. It was a much stronger breeching system than anything previously used by Winchester.
The Model 1886 was chambered for full-size rifle cartridges, such as the .45-70, .45-90, and .50-110. The Model 1873 Winchester was chambered for the "pistol-size" cartridges, such as .44-40, .38-40, and .32-20. While the Model 1873 lever action was extremely successful, it was a bit on the heavy side for those pistol-size cartridges, so Winchester took the opportunity to combine Browning's new pistol-cartridge-firing Model 1892 design with more modern steels and produced a stronger but lighter rifle that could utilize the then-new smokeless powders.
The Winchester Model 1892 was considered so much stronger than the Model 1873 that during most of the 20th century reloading manuals often listed special high-pressure loads to be used only in Model 1892s.
Original Winchester Model 1892s were offered in carbine, rifle, short rifle, and musket variations. At its introduction a standard Winchester Model 1892 rifle had a 24-inch round barrel. An extra-cost option was a full- or half-octagon barrel. (Interestingly, octagon barrels were more popular even though they were more expensive.) The standard stock design for Model 1892 rifles was a straight grip with a crescent-shaped, steel buttplate. Pistol-grip buttstocks and shotgun-style buttplates were custom-order options as were barrel lengths as short as 14 inches and as long as 30 inches.
Full-length magazine tubes were standard, but half- and two-thirds-length magazine tubes could be ordered. Very early Model 1892s had color-casehardened receivers, but soon after its introduction that finish became a special-order option. Other custom-order options included set triggers; extra short, extra long, or extra heavy barrels; and fancy woods.
The new Model 1892 Take Down Rifle's rear sight is dovetailed into the barrel and is adjustable for elevation.
The Model 1892 was one of the lightest centerfire rifles ever introduced. Full-length rifle versions weighed a mere 6 1/2 pounds, and carbines weighed just 5 3/4 pounds. Standard sights were a blade front and buckhorn rear that was adjustable for elevation by means of a notched slider. Both front and rear sights were dovetailed into the barrel.
When it was first introduced, the Model 1892 was chambered in .44-40, .38-40, and .32-20. The .25-20 was added in about 1895, and late in its production run, some rare Model 1892s were chambered in .218 Bee.
In 1899 comparable versions of the Model 1873 and Model 1892 were priced the same--$18 for a standard rifle with a round barrel and $19.50 for a rifle with an octagon barrel. (Model 1892 carbines were priced at $17.50 at that time.) Winchester discontinued production of the Model 1892 in 1941 as the company geared up for World War II. Just over one million Model 1892s were made in all styles, calibers, and configurations.
Actually, the one-millionth Model 1892 came off the production line in 1931. For comparison, the one-millionth Winchester Model 1894, which was the company's most successful lever-action model and which was chambered for full-length rifle cartridges such as the .30-30 and .32 Special, was produced in 1927. Interestingly, that would indicate that while it was being produced concurrently with the Model 1894, the pistol-cartridge Model 1892 was just about as popular as the rifle-cartridge Model 1894. Undoubtedly, the Model 1892's success was due in part to its size. It was a trim, little gun, even in full rifle configuration.
|SHOOTING THE DALY .45 COLT MODEL 1892
|VELOCITY VARIATION (fps)
|25-YARD ACCURACY (inches)
|HORNADY 255-gr. RN/FP
|REMINGTON 225-gr. SWC
|BLACK HILLS 250-gr. RN/FP
|WINCHESTER 250-gr. RN/FP
|HORNADY 255-gr. FP
|NOTES: Accuracy is the average of two 10-shot groups fired from a sandbag benchrest at 25 yards. Velocity is the average of 10 rounds measured 10 feet from the gun's muzzle. The handload used Starline brass and Winchester Large Pistol primers.
The Charles Daly Model 1892
The Model 1892 series offered by Charles Daly comes in four versions: the Take Down Rifle, the Standard Rifle, the Large Loop Rifle, and the Standard Lever Carbine. The Large Loop Rifle and the Standard Lever Carbine have 20-inch barrels, are chambered for .45 Colt, and come with a saddle ring on the left side of the receivers. As its name implies, the Large Loop Rifle has an oversized lever loop whereas the Standard Lever Carbine has a standard lever.
The Take Down Rifle and the Standard Rifle have 24 1/4-inch barrels and are chambered for .45 Colt. All Daly Model 1892s have American walnut stocks. The Take Down Rifle that we received for review has the crescent-shaped, steel buttplate; straight-grip buttstock; and steel forend cap like the original Winchester standard Model 1892. And it comes with a full-octagon barrel and full-length magazine tube. The barrel and magazine tube are blued finish, and the receiver, lever, forend cap, and buttplate are color-casehardened. The front sight is a post type, and the rear sight is a flat-topped open style that is adjustable for elevation. Both sights are dovetailed into the barrel.
The Daly Model 1892 Take Down Rifle is made in Italy by Armi Sport and imported by K.B.I. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but unlike other imported Model 1892s the Daly gun has no "modern" safeties. It does have the halfcock safety notch on the hammer just like the original Winchester Model 1892.
To take down the new Model 1892, first the magazine tube must be removed. Toggle down the magazine tube lever at the muzzle end and then unscrew the magazine tube counter-clockwise.
The distinguishing feature of the new Daly Model 1892 is its ability to be disassembled for easy maintenance and transport. The entire procedure takes only minutes.
First, be certain the gun is not loaded. Toggle the magazine tube lever down and turn the tube counter-clockwise until the tube is unscrewed from the receiver. Draw the magazine tube out of its ferrules and set it aside. Then open the lever fully. With the lever fully open, twist the barrel and forend assembly 90 degrees so that the top of the barrel is adjacent to the right side of the receiver. Then separate the barrel/forend from the receiver. That's all there is to it; the rifle reassembles in reverse order just as quickly
To load the Charles Daly Model 1892 make sure the hammer is fully down and the lever is completely closed. Then press the spring cover of the loading gate inward with the tip of a cartridge until the round has entered the loading gate. Then insert the next cartridge in the same manner, pushing the preceding cartridge into the magazine. The magazine tube has a magazine limitation rod that limits capacity to five rounds; however, according to the instruction manual, the limitation rod can be removed. This procedure doubles the magazine capacity.
Just like the original Model 1892, the new Charles Daly Model 1892's safety is the halfcock notch on the hammer.
The Daly Model 1892 At The Range
For test-firing the new Model 1892 Take Down Rifle, we assembled an assortment of .45 Colt factory loads and a favorite handload. Full details are listed in the accompanying shooting results chart. The test-firing was performed by shooting 10-round groups at the relatively short distance of 25 yards; this gun will undoubtedly be used in cowboy action events, and those matches keep the distances short but the round counts high.
The gun was capable of putting 10 shots into 2.00 inches or less with all the loads fired, and that is fine accuracy, especially since the first five rounds of several groups went into clusters that didn't measure much more than an inch.
Fit and finish of the sample Model 1892 Take Down Rifle were excellent, operation was 100-percent reliable, and accuracy was very good.
Reliability of the Daly Model 1892 Take Down Rifle was excellent. It digested each round without a single hitch; its action was smooth; it was easy to load; and its sights, while somewhat rudimentary, were sufficient to produce fine accuracy at the test distance. All in all, the Daly Model 1892 Take Down Rifle is a nice-looking, good-handling, and fine-shooting lever gun.
One firearms authority has written that the Model 1892 in all its original and reproduction versions is the single most used lever gun model in the sport of cowboy action. Charles Daly has added another variation that remains true to the original concept of a lightweight, well-balanced, quick-handling, fast-shooting, reliable-feeding, strong, and trim lever gun with the added bonus of being a takedown model. Looks like the Model 1892's popularity will keep on growing.