The Springfield Model 1886 was among the last of the infamous "Trapdoor" Springfield rifles. Although the Model 1886 was almost identical to the Model 1884 there were a couple of differences between the two.
The Model 1886 was almost completely identical to the Model 1884, although the most notable change between the two was the significantly shorter 24in barrel of the Model 1886. This meant that the Model 1886 could be considered the carbine version of the Model 1884 (as the Model 1886 previously had been considered to be used by Artillery and Cavalry units). The barrel was also rifled with a 1:20in rifling twist, the optimum twist rate for the .45-70-405 cartridge.
Other changes to the Model 1886 were to the barrel bands, with the upper barrel band modified to include a curved sling swivel to allow the user to better mount the Model 1886 on their shoulder. This modification also allowed the Model 1886 to be held closer to the saddle when placed in a saddle boot. The Bennington rear sight (that had been introduced with the Model 1884) had been perfected by the time the Model 1886 was put up for trial, and the bayonet/ramrod combination, that had been intended to rejuvenate the use of bayonets by combining the ramrod with the bayonet, was dropped in favour of a three piece ramrod held in a compartment in the stock.
The Model 1886 was chambered to accept the .45-70 Government cartridge. Specifically the Model 1886, in military use, was issued with the .45-70-405 Government which had a 405gr, .45in calibre bullet lauched via the blackpowder cartridge and was capable of achieving muzzle velocities of around 1,350ft/s (410m/s).
Only 1,000 Model 1886s were produced, with the US Government and the Springfield Armory themselves recognising that the Model 1886 was not an improvment over its former models, such as the Model 1884. Most of the 1,000 were destined for trials across the US where it performed adequately but not enough to persuade further production.
In terms of distribution, the Model 1886's only known use was with the Home Guard and (later) Cincinnati Work House both from Cincinnati, Ohio. Around 100 Model 1886s were used by the two organisations. In modern times the Model 1886 has been known to achieve sales values in excess of $2,500.