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New to me Winder Musket
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July 13, 2022 - 4:51 am
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I purchased this 1885 22 LR Winder Musket just recently. I have not shot it yet but hope to do that very soon.

I am posting some pictures as well as a few details with hopes I can learn a little more about this rifle.

SN is 121283 I am guessing it was made about 1922?. The stock is a straight grip 13 3/4” to the end of what is an aftermarket buttplate. I was told that it was re-barreled in 1942. Barrel and receiver marked with proof marks, the barrel is marked 42. More is very nice. There is no rear sight just a tang sight. Barrel is 28”.0A6AAB0A-607E-4650-9708-58B209C6B104.jpegImage Enlarger0C6EAC47-8BCE-4F9D-8042-3A2D39F199B1.jpegImage Enlarger0FFDF6A6-6929-45CF-9129-7F4510ED7A3E.jpegImage EnlargerF694668B-96F7-472F-A33A-45D4190464F4.jpegImage Enlarger83B0BD5D-D0BA-45A7-921A-67854C90CAD6.jpegImage Enlarger

Please see pictures and provide feedback on my rifle.

Thanks Phil

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July 13, 2022 - 5:59 am
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Hello Phil,

Your Winder Musket is a late production 2nd variation, manufactured very late in the year 1917.  Production of the Single Shot (Model 1885) ended in June 1920.

The butt stock is a non-original replacement, and as you mentioned, it has a replacement barrel on it.  The picture I have include below shows the contour of an original butt stock.

AKP646-R-F1-L.jpgImage EnlargerAKP646-R-F2-L.jpgImage Enlarger

Bert

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July 13, 2022 - 12:40 pm
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Don’t see the advantage in replacing buttstock (though it looks like a factory job), but it’s a better rifle for having had the original rear sight replaced with the tang sight. 

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July 13, 2022 - 10:28 pm
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Here are some additional pictures of the barrel. Does it appears that possibly a factory barrel was customized for this installation? The feedback from members of this forum is greatly appreciated. 
The roll stamp on the left side of the barrel is right side up. You can see a dovetail cut on the bottom side of the barrel that I assume was cut originally for a rear sight mount? Was the barrel thread so it would be 180 degrees from normal? Thus having a clean barrel on top without a filler? Front sight appears to be brazed on and is a Lyman sight.
The Bottom of barrel marked is marked 22 LR 42. Would the proof marks on top of the barrel be correct?

I did take the rifle out with me this morning while doing some training of my English Pointers. I only fired off hand  for function not really accuracy. Functioned perfect and felt accurate for off handing a 9 lb. rifle. Looking forward to shooting it with some target target ammo from the bench.D48449C6-0385-4625-A503-9BCD938D2CB2.jpegImage Enlarger2BA7CE7D-60B6-4DED-A76A-8CF58E581E56.jpegImage Enlarger150E460D-6BC2-42EA-A3D4-580F4A7A4914.jpegImage Enlarger5192E7DF-0B21-416F-9E2A-598DB762EC9A.jpegImage Enlarger

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July 14, 2022 - 1:04 am
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Phil Carr said\

The roll stamp on the left side of the barrel is right side up. You can see a dovetail cut on the bottom side of the barrel that I assume was cut originally for a rear sight mount? Was the barrel thread so it would be 180 degrees from normal? Thus having a clean barrel on top without a filler? Front sight appears to be brazed on and is a Lyman sight.

The Bottom of barrel marked is marked 22 LR 42. Would the proof marks on top of the barrel be correct?

  

Phil,  The “42” I take to be the date of the brl., & the “P” in a circle indicates a “mail-order” brl., in other words one installed outside the factory; what’s odd is that this mark is usually applied to the underside of the brl, not the top.

Don’t know what to make of the dovetail on the underside, but sure it wasn’t for a rear sight.  It’s close to the location for the old style flat mainspring, but that was discontinued long before this brl. was made, assuming ’42 to be the date.  Musket rear sights were attached with 2 screws, not a dovetail.

If the brl isn’t a factory installation, my thought that the buttstock might be factory goes out the door.  But the fit of the wood to the rcvr. & tangs is so good that it’s hard to believe it’s not original.  I wonder if the original stock was shortened in order to mount the BP it has now?  If you can get a length of pull measurement with the factory BP & compare that with yours, it should reveal if the original stock was shortened.

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July 14, 2022 - 3:37 am
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Thank you for sharing. I sure do not know a lot about Winchester markings and history. Thanks for clarification on the P marking. I wonder if Winchester had any 1885 22 barrels left in 1942. Didn’t Winchester use a lot of the barrels for the model 52’s?

Anyway there is lots for me to learn.

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July 14, 2022 - 4:26 am
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The mail order (P) marking was always marked on the top of the barrel so that it was visible.  The empty dovetail on the bottom of the barrel is for a flat-spring tenon.  Winchester could not predict which type of action a mail order barrel would be used on, so they milled the dovetail so that it could be used in either type of action.  Accordingly, the barrel is properly oriented on your Winder Musket.

As for the butt stock, I do not believe that it has been shortened.  Too much length would have been lost on an original removing the curved end of the stock, and inletted area for the upper tang on an original musket butt plate.

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July 14, 2022 - 4:42 am
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Phil Carr said I wonder if Winchester had any 1885 22 barrels left in 1942. Didn’t Winchester use a lot of the barrels for the model 52’s?
 

  

Very possibly, but the date marking was applied when the brl. was finished & placed into inventory.  Thus it’s common to find “older” brls. installed on “newer” rcvrs., such as the ’36 brl on my ’39 M. 70.

According to House’s 52 book, the first brls installed on 52s were indeed “left over” SS brls, perhaps only rifled, not threaded, or otherwise fitted for installation.

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July 14, 2022 - 5:08 am
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Bert H. said
As for the butt stock, I do not believe that it has been shortened.  Too much length would have been lost on an original removing the curved end of the stock, and inletted area for the upper tang on an original musket butt plate.

Bert

  

That makes sense to me.  But how otherwise to explain the perfection of the wood to metal fit?  Yes, the best custom stockers could equal factory work, but this does not look like the kind of gun that would have been worth enough to send to G&H, Hoffman, or any of that class of custom gunsmiths.

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July 14, 2022 - 10:04 am
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Thank you guys for sharing your thoughts on this rifle and barrel. This clears up many of the questions I have. A bit of a mystery to me is why would Winchester in 1942 manufacture a barrel for an obsolete rifle during a time when I thought most effects were going towards the war efforts This may be a wrong assumption on my part. If indeed the 42 indicates the year of manufacture then they must have depleted all of the barrels manufactured for inventory in the 1920’s and had to make this one for the customer? Concerning the stock, did Winchester offer as an option a shotgun style butt for the 1885 rifles?

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July 14, 2022 - 12:11 pm
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Phil Carr said If indeed the 42 indicates the year of manufacture then they must have depleted all of the barrels manufactured for inventory in the 1920’s and had to make this one for the customer? Concerning the stock, did Winchester offer as an option a shotgun style butt for the 1885 rifles?
  

Could only have happened in the first month or two of ’42, before the factory reconfigured itself for all-out war production.  But did you notice the question about a Model 62A also made in ’42?

It wouldn’t be correct to say a shotgun BP was “offered” for muskets, but almost any special feature a customer was willing to pay for could be ordered, esp. by a Winchester dealer or someone else with “connections.”  Also possible buttstock now on this gun was switched over from another SS, but if so, the color match between it & forestock is exceptional.  Could you provide a clear shot of BP?  Is it smooth or checkered?

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July 14, 2022 - 4:20 pm
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The butt plate appears to be a some what of a customer made plate. Definitely not anything Winchester. 
I did read about the 62A now you pointed this out.

Thanks again Phil

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