Winchester/Taurus model 63


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Stebalo
August 18, 2004, 07:19 PM
Ever since I read Unintended Consequences, I've wanted to shoot/obtain an Winchester Model 63 semi-auto .22LR rifle. I owned and been a big fan of the ruger 10/22 for about a dozen years but would love to see what John Browning did for a .22 semi-auto.

The Winchesters are out of production and I have seen them here and there but usually rather old and used. It was just pointed out to me yesterday that Taurus (http://www.taurususa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?series=SA3) is now manufacturing these rifles.

Anyone have any experience with both? How does the fit and finish of the Taurus compare to the original Winchesters?

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Jim Watson
August 18, 2004, 07:35 PM
The Winchester 63 is not a Browning design. The 1903, 1905, 1907, 1910, and Model 63 autos were developed at Winchester by T.C. Johnson after Mr Browing broke off relations with Winchester over the Auto 5 deal.

Mr Browning's .22 auto was first made by Remington as the Model 24, improved to Model 241, and then made as a Browning brand rifle first by FN and now Miroku. It is the slender little bottom ejecting gun.

I have only seen the Taurus in stores over the last few weeks. They look ok, the funky thick trigger is gone and the key lock is not obtrusive. Price is now down around $250. They were originally announced at over $400 which would get you a serviceable Winchester. But I do NOT know anybody shooting one.

Stebalo
August 18, 2004, 08:28 PM
Well, I don't know for a fact that the model 63 is a John Browning design but I was led to believe so by the Taurus website (http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=M63R&category=Rifle).
Tauru's Model 63 Semi-Automatic rifle in .22 LR. This faithful reproduction of the John Browning design offers all of the features that made the Model 63 a favorite at fairgrounds and shooting matches for generations.

I don't recall John Ross saying the 63 was a Browning design but he was very big on anything designed by Browning in the book so I guess I have assumed that it was.

[edit]
This could just be marketing by Taurus. Maybe Browning had something to do with the 63 at some point but it the end, it wasn't really his design. Out of curiousity, I'm going to double check UC to see what Ross said about it.

Jim Watson
August 18, 2004, 09:26 PM
Hmm.

All I have to go on right now is 'The Winchester Book' by George Madis, likely the leading authority on Winchester firearms.

He says:
"Thomas Crossley Johnson was the designer of the Model 1903 Auto .22 rifle."

You may ask, what has a Model 1903 to do with a Model 63? Madis takes care of that, like so:

"Using the same basic mechanism as the model 1903 rifle it replaced, the model 63 is easily mistaken for the 1903. When introduced in 1933, Winchester assured the public that here was the trusty 1903 model with a great improvement - it would fire the .22 Long rifle High-velocity cartridge."

(The 1903 was in its own caliber, .22 Winchester Automatic, so they could be sure you would be shooting smokeless ammo in it, while black powder .22 long rifle was still common.)

He copies a 1903 letter from Winchester headquarters to "All missionaries and salesmen."
"Where it becomes worth while to talk about inventions, you can say as to the automatic that it is the invention of Thomas C. Johnson, who is one of our employees."

The Taurus site is either wrong or lying. It might be an honest mistake, I never heard of John Browning visiting Brazil. And he was long gone from any dealings with Winchester in 1903 and dead by 1933.
I don't know about John Ross.

Never the which, TC did a good job, the 63 is a fine rifle and a good shooter. I prefer it to the Browning/Remington/Browning pattern. And a friend of mine hunts with an '07 which is as close to the same design as Johnson could make a centerfire.

Matt Sutton
August 19, 2004, 09:15 PM
I picked up a Taurus 63 in stainless about two weeks ago. It looks far better than I expected. It was $250 out the door, and Taurus is currently offering a free tang sight with any new 63 purchase. I haven't had a chance to fire it yet, so I can't say anything about reliability or accuracy. I'll be happy to post the results of my first range session in this thread.

Gunblast.com posted a review of a blue 63 some time ago. They never give negative reviews, but they have some nice pictures.

bubbaturbo
August 19, 2004, 11:57 PM
I bought a stainless 63 a few weeks ago and nobody said anything about a free tang sight and I can't find it on the website. What's the scoop on that? They just start that recently?

Matt Sutton
August 20, 2004, 12:54 AM
bubbaturbo,
No one told me about the offer either. I just happened across it while searching out info on the 63.
I downloaded the PDF form from this address last week, but one of their image hosting servers is apparently down at the moment.

http://www.taurususa.com/summerdeals/

This link is working.

http://www.gandermountain.com/images/rebates/taurus_63tangoffer.pdf

You also get a free 1-year membership with the NRA with any Taurus purchase.

Stebalo
August 20, 2004, 02:38 PM
I reviewed the chapter of UC where Henry Bowman and father purchase the model 63. No mention is made of Browning. I know this is not at all decisive but as I recall, every other instance where a Browning designed weapon is introduced into the story, great fanfare was made about that fact. I fired a letter off to John Ross. I'll report back if I hear back.

Stebalo
August 20, 2004, 04:38 PM
Here is the response from John Ross:


From John Ross <jrinvest@earthlink.net>
Sent Friday, August 20, 2004 2:02 pm
Subject Re: model 63
The 63 is a Browning design. I have seen the Taurus but have not examined it closely. My sense is that it is not quite as finely finished as a mint Winchester but it is a well made gun of good materials and fairly priced.

JR

Jim Watson
August 20, 2004, 06:19 PM
I'll go with George Madis, established researcher in Winchester firearms, also Schwing & Houze (Standard Catalog) over a novelist.
John Ross is wrong.
Taurus' ad writer is wrong.
T.C. Johnson designed the Model 1903 which was the basis for the 63.
I am not set up for a patent search to prove it.

I'm done.

Onmilo
August 20, 2004, 09:15 PM
John Browning had parted ways with Winchester by the time the 1903 .22 automatic appeared in 1904.
This was due to Winchesters refusal to pay royalties on the Model 1899 self loading shotgun that Browning offered to them.
The gun went on to become the FN Auto Five and later the Reminton Model 11.
Browning also perfected the Remington Model 24 .22 semi automatic but he never again worked directly with Winchester though Winchester did use and incorporated Browning designs into future production.
The Model 1903/Model 63 was not one of the projects.
Thomas Crossley Johnson was the lead designer on the project to introduce semi automatic function weapons bearing the Winchester name.
He met the goal although the weapons he designed and perfected never achieved the popularity of any Browning design.
Enough history,,,,
The Taurus is a non-exact but reasonable copy of the original Winchester model 63.
It is heavier, cruder, not quite as accurate as a really good Winchester 63 but one cannot argue the price and the guns appear to be reliable.

Redhat
August 20, 2004, 11:27 PM
Onmilo,

Just curious...How do you know the Taurus isn't as accurate as the Winchester?

Onmilo
August 21, 2004, 10:16 AM
I own a Japanese Winchester 63 and a real Winchester model 63 and my buddy owns a Taurus Model 63 and we shoot them regularly.
I use my Japanese 63 and he uses his Taurus for squirrel hunting too.
I don't shoot my original Model 63 as much anymore because the Japanese version is more accurate but I don't want to sell it either.
I will probably end up giving my original model 63 to my daughter when she gets big enough to handle it.

PAshooter
August 21, 2004, 12:09 PM
Picked up one of the Taurus 63s a few months back but haven't made it to the range with her yet (too many other toys in the queue ahead of her). But I can comment on the fit and finish which is quite nice. Wood is pretty and well fitted, and the blue is deep and lusterous. Looks to be very well made. Can't wait to take her out for a spin.

Redhat
August 21, 2004, 12:48 PM
Onmilo,

What type sights are on the originals? I bought the first Taurus 63 that I saw around my parts... Mostly because I liked the looks of it and the balance is perfect for a little rifle with such a long barrel. I also wanted one I could shoot without worrying about collector value, and the price was right.

I've only been ablt to shoot standing at 25 yds, but when I fired leaning over the firing point bench with my elbows rested (sorta prone supported / standing) I fired 10 shots into about the size of a quarter or .50 cent piece. I'm totally satisfied with the little gun.

For $230 I didn't expect it to be very fancy but so far I've been pleasantly surprised!

Gr84x4danes
August 18, 2008, 10:50 PM
hi, I have a hybred of the 1903 - 63 . It has been in are family since my mom was a child. It is what I was taught to shoot with. It is neither a 1903 or 63 but something inbetween. Looks like a 1903 but it is a 63 as far as ammo . It is nickle plated. As far as shooting . It is a smooth action and easy to bring in on target. It is a very nice rifle. I havent shot the remake of it but i do know they are not the same action. The remake has a fake breakdown bolt on back of gun where the winchester (early modles) had a true one bolt breakdown. Also talking with my gunsmith, ( I am having my winchester restored) He said the look alike isnt close to the original. Dif firing mech. Dont know if it helped you!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 18, 2008, 11:13 PM
Had a Taurus 63, and sold it quickly - didn't like:

1. The tang sight was a cheesy plastic construction
2. The tang sight interfered with your shooting hand's "thumb wraparound", for lack of a better phrase - this was true with the tang sight up or down, but particularly down (when using the "other" standard buckhorn rear sight)
3. There is no dovetail to put a scope on it.
4. The bbl was long, and I like short barrels on .22s

Otherwise the fit and finish were nice, and it functioned fine. The bluing was very deep and nice.

Complaints # 1 and #2 are both related to the tang sight, so just don't get one with the tang (or take it off), and you're fine.
Complaint #3 is a non-issue if you like irons and don't want to scope it.
Complaint #4 is a personal preference.

I got it knowing that it didn't allow for scope mounting, but wanted to rely on the tang sight. Thus when I found out the drawbacks of the tang sight - #1 and #2 - I was unimpressed and sold it at a loss.

Onmilo
August 19, 2008, 10:10 AM
In the four years that have passed since this thread originated, my buddy has long ago sold his Taurus M63 and bought an original Winchester Model 63.
I guess that is enough said.

Txhillbilly
August 19, 2008, 04:02 PM
I really like my Taurus 63 and can't argue with the price either $169 NIB plus shipping,what a deal and it shoots just as accurate as I need it too.

ClayinAR
August 19, 2008, 04:59 PM
I almost bought one some years ago, called Taurus, no one seemed to know much. I asked about mounting a scope. Lady gave me some explanation of how they did it by attaching it on the back sight? She didn't know what she was talking about and I sure didn't.
Guy overheard me at a gunshow, told me not to buy one, he said a pos. Others told me the same. At the time I had 5 real 63's, down to 2 now.

351 WINCHESTER
August 19, 2008, 11:00 PM
The winchester 63 is one of the best .22's ever made. They are more relaible than any .22 semi auto I can think of. Same goes for the 05, 07 and model 10. About the only thing that breaks is the wood and a lot of that is from the age of the wood.

ClayinAR
August 20, 2008, 09:10 AM
I see your "351 Winchester" name. You got some of these? My DAD had one that I loved. Also had a 63; I got both when he died. My brother got a 25-20 saddle gun pump. Never seen another like it.
DAD had cut off the 351 for his short arms. I traded for one that some one had been drilled and tapped; not too good a shape except for the wood. Swapped stocks, now have a very good 351. Later model I believe. It has the curled action rod end?
I have 8 boxes of factory ammo, (various mfg.) I cant bring myself to shoot any of them; they are worth too much.
You shoot your? Where do you get brass? Dies? Bullets?
CC
BTW, I wear a belt AND suspenders!

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