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Thumb Trigger
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Posts: 2282
March 21, 2022 - 3:13 pm

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Anyone see the Thumb Trigger on Guns Intl.? Only $4,000, but 98% and the nicest one I have ever seen. I would think maybe a restoration, but hard to tell.

These little rifles have quite a following, but as everyone knows, they are usually beaters with zero condition and still very expensive. Mine is not so Steller, 2-Thumb-Trigger.jpgImage Enlargerbut just finding one of these is a chore.   Big Larry

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NY
Posts: 6104
March 21, 2022 - 3:54 pm

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Larry, that gun has your name written all over it!  Maybe the price is a mite steep, but you could move along some of those 52s you’re hoarding.

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Posts: 2282
March 21, 2022 - 7:02 pm

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clarence said
Larry, that gun has your name written all over it!  Maybe the price is a mite steep, but you could move along some of those 52s you’re hoarding.  

Clarence, I am totally afraid of redo’s on these rifles. I think it has been purchased. Not hoarding 52’s, just have a small accumulation of different types. I quit buying them sometime ago. Moved along to S&W’s.  Big Larry

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Posts: 803
March 21, 2022 - 7:03 pm

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 In the past I had one of these rifles.Very different to look at on the gun rack and to shoot.:)

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Posts: 15
February 27, 2023 - 2:23 pm

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I have a old Winchester thumb trigger that unfortunately my uncle cut the barrell down and carried it for trapping when he was a boy! I also have a Winchester 02-A that has a thumb trigger and was told when I bought it that it was special ordered back in the day! I have never seen another since! You guys know alot more than me, what do you think??

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NY
Posts: 6104
February 27, 2023 - 2:53 pm

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 I also have a Winchester 02-A that has a thumb trigger and was told when I bought it that it was special ordered back in the day!Jay Wilson said

  

The Thumb Trigger was derived from the 1902, so if this gun is marked “1902” but lacks a trigger & TG, I would guess the factory used a brl previously intended for that model; but it’s not a “special order.”

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Posts: 15
February 27, 2023 - 3:01 pm

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clarence said

 I also have a Winchester 02-A that has a thumb trigger and was told when I bought it that it was special ordered back in the day!Jay Wilson said

  

The Thumb Trigger was derived from the 1902, so if this gun is marked “1902” but lacks a trigger & TG, I would guess the factory used a brl previously intended for that model; but it’s not a “special order.”

  

The barrell is marked model 02-A and I don’t know how that differs from model 1902 version??

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NY
Posts: 6104
February 27, 2023 - 4:33 pm

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Jay Wilson said

The barrell is marked model 02-A and I don’t know how that differs from model 1902 version??

  

Neither do I, Jay, but some later modification of the 1902, I would assume.  Doesn’t explain how it came to be used on a T.T. model, however.  In March of 1919, some meddling genius (probably) in the ad dept. decided the full model number was making Winchester guns look too “old fashioned” for the 20th C., so the first two digits of the original model numbers was thereafter omitted.

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Posts: 15
February 27, 2023 - 4:38 pm

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clarence said

Jay Wilson said

The barrell is marked model 02-A and I don’t know how that differs from model 1902 version??

  

Neither do I, Jay, but some later modification of the 1902, I would assume.  Doesn’t explain how it came to be used on a T.T. model, however.  In March of 1919, some meddling genius (probably) in the ad dept. decided the full model number was making Winchester guns look too “old fashioned” for the 20th C., so the first two digits of the original model numbers was thereafter omitted.

  

Thanks Clarence for your info! JJay

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NY
Posts: 6104
February 27, 2023 - 8:27 pm

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Jay,  Here’s what the “A” meant: chambered for .22LR.  Original 1902 was marked Short & Long only.  (Actually, LR will chamber in any Long chamber I’ve ever tried it in.)  Also some change to sear.

Out of production by 1931.  But not listed in 1929 cat.

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Posts: 2282
February 27, 2023 - 8:35 pm

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And, may I add, one of the hardest of all my 22’s to find. I got mine on an auction site that had listed it on Guns Intl. Outside of a scrape on the end of the bbl. it is near mint, and they are never found in that condition. It was the last of my Winchester 22 collection I needed to complete it. Big Larry

 

M02-A-right-side.jpgImage Enlarger

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Posts: 6104
February 27, 2023 - 9:35 pm

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Big Larry said
And, may I add, one of the hardest of all my 22’s to find. I got mine on an auction site that had listed it on Guns Intl. Outside of a scrape on the end of the bbl. it is near mint, and they are never found in that condition. It was the last of my Winchester 22 collection I needed to complete it. Big Larry

Actually produced in sizable numbers, but Boy’s Rifles have a low survival rate.  Many, also, were exported.

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NY
Posts: 6104
February 27, 2023 - 9:52 pm

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  Original 1902 was marked Short & Long only. clarence said

  

Checking a 1925 cat, I see that’s not right–it was Short, Long, & Extra Long.  That meant not only would LR chamber, but twist was (I assume) correct for 40 g bullet.  Had thought changing twist might have been reason for “A” designation. 

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Kingston, WA
Posts: 10550
February 28, 2023 - 12:28 am

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The “A” designation was added when the 22 Extra Long chambering was replaced by the 22 Long Rifle, and it occurred in November of 1927 (if my memory hasn’t failed me). Original 1902 rifles were chambered for 22 Short & Long only. The 22 Extra Long was added before the change from “1902” to “02”. The exact same changes were made to the Model 1904, and I assume to the Thumb Trigger model.

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

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Posts: 2282
February 28, 2023 - 2:08 am

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My Thumb Trigger is marked for 3 calibers. I am not sure, but I doubt any were made in Long Rifle. JWA would know for sure. Big Larry

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NY
Posts: 6104
February 28, 2023 - 2:28 am

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Bert H. said
The “A” designation was added when the 22 Extra Long chambering was replaced by the 22 Long Rifle, and it occurred in November of 1927 (if my memory hasn’t failed me). Original 1902 rifles were chambered for 22 Short & Long only. The 22 Extra Long was added before the change from “1902” to “02”. The exact same changes were made to the Model 1904, and I assume to the Thumb Trigger model.

  

Doesn’t look like the “A” variants were produced for more than 4 yrs., if that.  Should have been obvious that Extra Long was becoming obsolescent, so hard to understand why LR wouldn’t have been the preferred chambering over EL.  If you read accounts of the boyhoods of gunwriters like Ned Roberts, Allyn Tedmon, & Jack O’Connor, or other boys growing up in rural areas before WW II, over & over they will tell you that the few cents price difference between Shorts & LRs, or LRs & ELs, made a BIG difference to them.

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Posts: 15
March 3, 2023 - 3:42 am

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clarence said

Bert H. said

The “A” designation was added when the 22 Extra Long chambering was replaced by the 22 Long Rifle, and it occurred in November of 1927 (if my memory hasn’t failed me). Original 1902 rifles were chambered for 22 Short & Long only. The 22 Extra Long was added before the change from “1902” to “02”. The exact same changes were made to the Model 1904, and I assume to the Thumb Trigger model.

  

Doesn’t look like the “A” variants were produced for more than 4 yrs., if that.  Should have been obvious that Extra Long was becoming obsolescent, so hard to understand why LR wouldn’t have been the preferred chambering over EL.  If you read accounts of the boyhoods of gunwriters like Ned Roberts, Allyn Tedmon, & Jack O’Connor, or other boys growing up in rural areas before WW II, over & over they will tell you that the few cents price difference between Shorts & LRs, or LRs & ELs, made a BIG difference to them.

  

The price difference back then was a big consideration! I remember back in the 50’s a box of 22 shorts were a quarter and I had an old great aunt and uncle who were very poor! I was a young hunter with a single shot 22 and I would go hunting and bring game to this old couple who lived on it and their garden. If I brought them 4 rabbits my aunt would get a box of 22 shorts down off a cabinet and give me 4 shells, if only 2 rabbits I got 2 shells! LOL she must have thought I was a hell of a shot!

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Posts: 2282
March 3, 2023 - 4:49 pm

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My FIL tells of time when he was a boy in the Western Slopes of Colorado. A single shot 22 rifle, and trips to the store for a round or two of 22’s. He used that 22 to kill deer. Like the Snipers,” One shot, one kill”. He was very good at it.

He wound up being a sheepherder, and carried a very heavy M1886 in 40-65.  Big Larry

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Posts: 4068
March 5, 2023 - 3:30 pm

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Reading between the lines, some of the members here are not exactly young Laugh

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Location: 32000' +
Posts: 2084
March 5, 2023 - 11:49 pm

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Bert H. said
The “A” designation was added when the 22 Extra Long chambering was replaced by the 22 Long Rifle, and it occurred in November of 1927 (if my memory hasn’t failed me). Original 1902 rifles were chambered for 22 Short & Long only. The 22 Extra Long was added before the change from “1902” to “02”. The exact same changes were made to the Model 1904, and I assume to the Thumb Trigger model.  

Your memory is correct if you are quoting Houze in his Winchester .22 Single Shot Rifle book. 

I have not done any in-depth research on the 1902 (yet) but in all other cases for Winchester .22’s the “A” designation after the model number meant a component part(s) was modified/improved and it was no longer 100% compatible with the previous parts.  I STRONGLY suspect that the late 1926 changes to the 1902/1904 firing pin and the addition of the half-cock notch and sear modification are what actually promulgated the “02-A” designation since they were significant changes, both to parts and function.  Houze tended to use the Change of Manufacturing notice dates as the point in time when a change occurred but in reality, those changes sometimes did not occur for several years (and sometimes never) until existing stock of the previous (and potentially incompatible) components were exhausted.   There is no other case where Winchester added the “A” designation for simply a caliber change.

Again, that is just my hunch but easy enough to research since if Houze is correct there should be a year’s worth of 02’s made between September 1926 – November 1927 all with the half-cock updated firing pins and sears.  I have only seen the half-cock update on the 02-A to date but again, I have not seriously researched them.

Best Regards,

WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire

http://rimfirepublications.com/  

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