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My stepfather, and my first gun (Winchester M190)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MedWheeler, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Though neither of my mother's first two husbands had been kept around long enough to have much of an impact on my life, her third lasted the longest. They began seeing each other probably when I was around thirteen years old, and finally married when I was seventeen. Frank had two rifles kept stashed away, and my mom, very gun-shy, made sure we never saw them.

    I was eighteen early in 1985, and was making every effort to land a career in law enforcement (in fact, I'd already signed up for the US Army, but was disqualified when I reported to MEPS on my active-duty date because of the discovery of inner ear damage from an injury sustained in a criminal attack earlier.)

    Frank decided to sell the rifles due to non-use, and convinced my mother to let me buy one of them, a Winchester Model 190 in .22LR. The other was only known as "a .30-30", and I never knew what make it was, having never clapped eyes on it. She agreed, provided he go with me to teach me to shoot it, which he did. Back then, we just drove out of town, found a safe backstop, and shot away.

    Once I had the gun, he taught me about safe handling, safe storage, and cleaning, even asking to "inspect" it once in a while. This was the first firearm I had ever handled, and I kept it with pride.

    Frank died in 1986 and, shortly after the funeral, his son, whom I had never met, came around and asked about the gun. Perhaps it had been one he had been taught with, too. I let him take the Winchester with him, and my mother had no qualms by then with me replacing it with another rifle, which I did (Ruger 10/22, which I still own.)

    I don't think I ever saw another Model 190 after that in the flesh. Until yesterday. The LGS I frequent had one when I stopped in. In fact, they actually had two of them. I was already attracted to a pistol I found in there, and decided to leave with the lower-priced of the two Winchesters along with it. There is some bluing loss about the barrel, but not severe, and the rest of the gun looks firm and tight. Now, the gun sits on my kitchen table, ready to be cleaned and "inspected" much like that first one was so many years ago..

    Incidentally, next week (the 22nd) will mark the 33rd anniversary of his death, at only 58 years old.
     
  2. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Should be a good day when you send that first round down the tube. I’m glad you had someone that introduced you to firearms. He wasn’t around long. But long enough to have a positive impact on someone’s life. And it’s lasted 33 years and will for many more to come. That is really all we can hope for while we’re here.
     
    MedWheeler and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Glad you found a piece that evokes good memories! I find that these are the guns that stick around (or come back around) the most.:)

    The Winchester 190 had a reputation for jamming, espescially when dirty, but who cares as long as it brings a smile to your face!

    My Dad taught me on a Charter Arms AR7 and I dont miss it, but it sure did teach me how to clear jams.......
    My girls are getting plenty of practice in that department too with their Marlins and Mossbergs, lol. As I get older, though, I am getting tired of it and find myself gravitating to more reliable bolt action and single shot .22s.

    Funny how Dad skipped over the semiautos too in those days, almost like he knew something.:D
     
  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    NIGHTLORD40K writes:

    Yeah, I've read that now. Mine never did but, like I said, I kept it clean. I'm also reading that a common cause is a barrel lock-nut that can shoot loose. Saw a good YT video on fixing it, too.
     
  5. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    I'm not familiar with the 190's and they don't seem very common around here. Although a guy I once knew had one for his primary squirrel and plinking rifle. Never heard of any jamming or other problems with it. Seemed like a nice little piece and he was one of those folks who took very good care of his guns so perhaps they just need to be kept clean for best results.
     
  6. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    Nice memory of him you have there. I never forget when I shot my father’s old police Glock 17 in 40 S&W for the first time.
     
  7. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Even though it was rightfully yours, you gave it to his boy. Speaks volumes on your character.
     
    Dunross, drobs, MedWheeler and 2 others like this.
  8. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    My aunt gave 190’s to all of her nephews when I was in junior high. We had problems with jamming in all of them.
     
  9. Thomas Mayberry

    Thomas Mayberry Member

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    I've owned two 190's. Never had a problem with them and they were sufficiently accurate for squirrel hunting.

    It was good of you to turn the rifle over to the son. It may be a significant connection to his father.
     
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