Winchester 22LR model 61 octagonal barrel


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granny geek
January 19, 2008, 05:01 PM
Trying to find the manufacture year for a Winchester 22LR model 61 with an octagonal barrel,
SN 73xxx. One website said 1947; another said Winchester stopped manufacturing the octagon barrel before the war (WWII). Does anyone know which one is right?:confused:

Would also like to know if it's collectible and whether there's a problem if I have it reblued or renovated.. We have used it occasionally for target practice over the last 40 years.

As you can tell, I don't know much when it comes to guns and really appreciate a website like THR with its forums.

Thanks for your help.

gg

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eliphalet
January 19, 2008, 05:56 PM
This will give you a manufacture date

http://armscollectors.com/sn/windates.htm

rcmodel
January 19, 2008, 06:01 PM
73xxx would be 1946.

As for dating an octagon barrel Model 61, it is hard to say for certain.
Back in those days, Winchester would build you just about anything you wanted if the price was right.

That is also just after they resumed production after WWII in 1945, and they might have used whatever barrels they had on hand before they got the factory back up and running on civilian model .22 barrels again.

At any rate, do not re-blue it, or refinish the stock.
If it is a real octagon barrel Model 61, it is worth about twice as much as a round barrel model in the same condition.
As long as you don't dink with the remaining original finish.

All the information as to dates of manufacturing & assembly is probably stamped on the bottom of the barrel, under the forearm & magazine tube.
But I wouldn't recommend digging into a Model 61 that far to look at it!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

davera
January 19, 2008, 07:17 PM
My source(s) also says 1946 and that the octagon barrel was still in the catalog as of 1946 and it was only for LR.

I've also heard that restoring a vintage rifle as a work of art isn't always that bad. Personally, I just clean them up real well and let them look their age. They still shoot fine.

Now if you were planning a careful professional job done as if a work of art ... maybe ... it's your rifle otherwise just clean it up and shoot it often.

rangerruck
January 19, 2008, 11:52 PM
if you want to keep it's value, do not restore. model 61 should have some value to it...

theNoid
January 20, 2008, 12:44 PM
Myself, never have been a collector for value, of anything, if it were mine, I would have it reblued and polished and the stock refinished by professionals. If the gun is never to be sold, or put on the wall as a collectors piece, then by all means, I say do to it what you will. If it's a shooter, and that's not going to change, and you like the looks of a finely finished rifle better, then by all means...go for it. One of these days, I will have amassed a nice collection of firearms. They will all be shooters, and will all be either in excellent condition, or they will be brought to that by a pro. Do I realize this will bring the monetary value down...of course I do. DO I realize this will bring my personal satisfaction value up...of course I do. I collect things because I love them, love their looks, love to use them. When I was building show and drag cars, and bikes, I never built or bought, or messed around with trailer queens...just not my game. Sure I lost thousands upon thousands with a few cars, such as my mint '66 GTO, but oh well, I got that much enjoyment out of drivin' her.

On the other hand, as has already been mentioned by others, if you have any thoughts whatsoever of it being a collectors piece and monetary value is of concern, then leave it be.

Noidster

dcon
January 20, 2008, 12:51 PM
One sold earlier this month on gunbroker for $1800, same year as yours and the wood had been refinished. A nice restoration job isn't always a bad thing.

rcmodel
January 20, 2008, 06:07 PM
But it might have brought $2,400 if the stock hadn't been sanded & varnished!

Anyway, "Restored" by Doug Turnbull is one thing.

But "Restored" with Sandpaper, Deft Wood Finish & a Buffing Wheel Reblue is quite another!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

Baba Louie
January 20, 2008, 08:32 PM
Anyway, "Restored" by Doug Turnbull is one thing.

But "Restored" with Sandpaper, Deft Wood Finish & a Buffing Wheel Reblue is quite another!Whaddya think? About $3000 from Turnbull and a couple hundred bucks by hand?

Me? I'd knock any rust off with 0000 and oil, lightly clean the wood, shoot it. Smile.
But you can do whatcha wanna granny geek. If it's going to stay in the family for the next 40-50 years+, who cares? We'll all be dead and gone.

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