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Winchester 1890 with 18" barrel?
February 14, 2016
5:47 pm
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tstroble
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Hi guys/gals. I have what I believe is a model 1890 pump rifle chambered in .22 short. From my online research it seems to be the 2nd generation(?) based on the serial number 271419 and I think manufactured in 1906. The thing I’m having difficulty finding info about is the fact that it has an 18″ barrel instead of the standard 24″. I have spent a few hours and just can’t seem to find anything about it. I’m not an expert but the barrel doesn’t appear to have been cut. Front sight is dove-tailed and looks original.

My Dad got this rifle about 40 years ago from a woman he did some work for. Unfortunately it was rather rusty and I remember and I think he had it re-blued. The stock also had a bad crack and is loose (still is). Forearm also has a couple long cracks and is missing one screw.

I know she isn’t a cream puff and probably doesn’t have much collector value because of condition but can anyone tell me if these were ever manufactured with an 18″ shorter barrel? 

Thanks in advance for any info and taking the time to help!

PS- unfortunately it does not look like it is going to let me post pictures even when using an outside source.

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February 15, 2016
4:21 pm
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tstroble,

 

In addition to what Bert Hartman added above, I have found a little more in Schwing that may be helpful re your gun at pages 236-7 and in Appendix A, Chart 90-8B at page 313.

At Chart 90-8B, captioned “Model 1890 2nd Model Blued Receiver Special Order Barrel Lengths” (covering  serial numbers 112,000 thru 322,250), Schwing’s chart shows that 2 guns were made with 18 inch barrels, 19 with 20 inch barrels, 21 with 21 inch barrels, 3 with 22 inch barrels and 5 with 26 inch barrels.

At pp. 236-7, Schwing provides further detail re these guns. As for the two guns in serial range 112,000-322,250 made with 18 inch barrels he says: “The two 18-inch barrel guns were the same length as the magazine tube, and one of these had the rear sight moved 3 1/4 inches from the breech”. Perhaps this will be of further assistance, but Bert’s suggestion to contact Cody should provide you with a definitive answer as to whether your gun left the factory with an 18 inch barrel.

I can’t figure out how to post photos on this site either and wish I could. I’d really like to see your photos of your 1890 with an 18 inch barrel and if you can’t get your photos posted so everyone can see what may be a very rare 1890, I’d appreciate your emailing them to me at richardschreiber@cox.net. Should anyone else want to see the photos I would be glad to send them copies if they send me their email address.

rick schreiber

February 15, 2016
5:58 am
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Per Table 90-8 in Ned Schwing’s superb reference book, there were a small number of Model 1890 rifles made with non-standard barrel lengths as follows;

16″ – 3 made

18″ – 3 made

19″ – 2 made

20″ – 25 made

21″ – 22 made

22″ – 5 made

26″ – 10 made

29″ – 47 made

My recommendation is that you contact the Cody Firearms Museum records office and order a factory letter.  If your rifle left the factory with an 18″ barrel, it will be listed on the letter.

Bert

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February 15, 2016
4:33 am
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To follow up on my earlier reply re your 1890 with an 18 inch barrel that has yet to post because I failed to log in as member and then mistyped my name as rick schreibef rather than rick schreiber:    A more careful look at Schwing at page 238 reflects that special barrel lengths on 1890s were apparently a special option from the factory.

rick schreiber

February 15, 2016
4:12 am
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Rick Schreibef
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My quick and by no means comprehensive or careful review of Schwing’s fine book on 1890s did not find any reference to 1890 barrel lengths other than 24 3/8 inches on First Models and 24 inches thereafter on Second and Third models.

However, back in 2001, Rock Island Auction Company sold a number of 1890s from the Kidd brothers’ collection, many of which are pictured in Schwing’s book. One of them, lot 2190, s/n 55703, has a 22 inch barrel and is described as a very rare exhibition Winchester Model 1890 boy’s rifle made for the 1898 New York Exhibition. This gun had a factory letter confirming its 22 inch barrel. The RIAC description reads in pertinent part: “The features that mark this as a boy’s rifle are the stock and barrel, both of which are mentioned in the…[factory]…letter. The actual pull is 12 inches shorter than standard. This is the only 22 inch barreled second model casehardened Model 1890 built. The stock has a one inch shorter length of pull.”

Given the Winchester “factory letter” stating that this gun had a 22 inch barrel, it appears that at least one 1890 came from the factory with a barrel significantly and intentionally shorter than the 24 inch barrel that was standard on 2nd and 3rd Model 1890s. You may want to check as to how the measurement of your gun’s stock compares with the standard 1890 measurements.

It may also be of interest to you that lot 21 sold for nearly $29,000 in 2001. Aside from having a factory letter verifying its 22 inch barrel, it was also in what RIAC described as “near excellent” condition with brilliant case colors on the receiver and  it was from the well known Kidd brothers’ collection.

Hopefully, BERT HARTMAN, or someone else with extensive knowledge and expertise on the model 1890 sees your post and will provide you and the rest of us with the benefit of their knowledge on the issue of whether Winchester made an 1890 with an 18 inch barrel and, if so, your 18 inch barrel appears to be factory original. Also perhaps someone will just read Schwing’s book more carefully than i and find an answer to your question in the book.

Good luck.

Rick Schreiber

June 16, 2020
11:47 pm
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Matt Barnett
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I just found this older thread but hoping to pull some similar knowledge. I have an 1890 18 inch Barrel with matching serial numbers in the 595 range.  Back site has been moved to 3 1/4 inch as discussed on the older, rarer series 2 factory 18 inch guns. 

Does anyone have any info on how many factory 18 inch 1890s were made in the later series? According to the range info this is a 1917 model and it’s a 22 Long.  Factory proof marks seem to confirm this came out of the factory as an 18 inch. 

Any leads would be appreciated. Cody does not do warehouse letters for this serial range, so struck out there.  

March 25, 2021
9:58 pm
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Dale
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I inherited a Winchester Model 1890 which has stamped on the underside of the 18″ barrel, “I of 20”.  Serial number 179530 built in 1903.

March 25, 2021
10:43 pm
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Dale,

The Cody Firearms Museum (CFM) records office can authenticate Model 1890 S/N 179530 for you with a factory letter.

Bert

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March 25, 2021
11:39 pm
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if it is truly a 1 of 20 it would really benefit you to get a letter on it.

March 28, 2021
12:40 pm
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Dale
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I’ve been doing a lot of research on this inherited gun and I’m thinking it is trash.  The 18″ barrel has a cirle “P” stamped on the top.  From what I have read, this is a replacement barrel. The front sight is somewhat mangled.  The pump forearm is cracked in half.  When they replaced the barrel, they didn’t treat the magazine hangers correctly and they are now “peened” to the magazine outer case, which is split partway down.  There is a slight bend in the magazine so the pump action is hard.  Without the magazine, it pumps with ease.  The magazine is not attached securely to the barrel because of the abuse.

The wood stock has been carved with hunting images.  The rifling has lost most of its features.

I’ve thought about ordering a new forearm, magazine outer and hangers for a cost of about $200, but I’m not sure the gun is worth anything after I get done. 

Should I just trash this gun?

(I would post pictures, but I cannot see how to do that.

March 28, 2021
4:48 pm
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Dave,

As I mentioned on the GVB forum, the cost to repair this rifle correctly is going to be a lot higher than $200, and require more parts than you are thinking about ordering. It makes no economic or practical sense to replace just some of the broken/damaged parts. This is an “all or nothing” project, and based on how much the “all” option is, I would leave this rifle as is and make it a “wall hanger”.

Bert

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March 28, 2021
6:19 pm
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Dave,

I agree with Bert about your gun. The biggest problem with it is the barrel. Buying a mag tube, hanger and forearm may make those pieces look better but the mag tube hanger will not attach to the barrel because the dovetail is all messed up on the barrel. I would use it as a wall hanger and display the right side to hide that duck or chicken carved on the left side. You could use some JB weld and glue the mag tube hanger to the barrel. I pulled the pictures off of GVB so the members here could get a look at it and they might other ideas.

Bob

P.S now that I rotated the images the thing on the left side looks like a rabbit.

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March 28, 2021
7:03 pm
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Do as Bob and Bert said.  I think the short barrel looks cool.

March 28, 2021
8:55 pm
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Dale
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Gentlemen,

Thanks for all of your comments and opinions.  I do not intend on keeping this gun as I just inherited it.  If I were to sell it as a wall hanger, should I sell it just as it is and maybe bond the hangers to the barrel.  If so, what would be a wall hanger value?

 

(Bert, I did not realize that you were answering both this forum and the GVB, sorry)

March 28, 2021
9:16 pm
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Dale said
Gentlemen,

Thanks for all of your comments and opinions.  I do not intend on keeping this gun as I just inherited it.  If I were to sell it as a wall hanger, should I sell it just as it is and maybe bond the hangers to the barrel.  If so, what would be a wall hanger value?

(Bert, I did not realize that you were answering both this forum and the GVB, sorry)  

Dale,

No problem… I get around to several Winchester related forums, but this is my primary location.

In regards to the value, if sold, it is unlikely that the buyer will want it as a “wall hanger”.  It will be of more interest to the people who strip down old Winchesters and sell the usable parts (like the website you mentioned on the GVB forum).  I have no idea how much it is worth to a parts dealer.  You might try contacting Homestead and asking them if they are interested in it.

Bert

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March 29, 2021
7:15 pm
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Dale
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Bert,

Another quick question.  Since all of these Winchester Model 1890 rifles use ammo that is no longer made, are they not all “wall-hangers”?

March 29, 2021
7:21 pm
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Dale said
Bert,

Another quick question.  Since all of these Winchester Model 1890 rifles use ammo that is no longer made, are they not all “wall-hangers”?  

Dale,

Ammo is most certainly still available for the Model 1890 rifles.  The largest number of them were made for the 22 Short cartridge, followed by the 22 WRF, and then the 22 Long.  Last time I checked, factory ammo for all three cartridges was still being manufactured.  If you are lucky and own one of the Model 90 rifles in 22 Long Rifle, ammo is extremely easy to find.

Bert

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March 29, 2021
8:19 pm
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If you have a 22 long rifle and look for ammo today you may have problems or have to pay a premium.

Bob

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March 31, 2021
1:13 am
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Dale
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I have looked and no one has it in stock.  I found a company named CCI makes it but there is currently none available.  I have seen the Remington autoloading online for $160 for 50 rounds.  Like I’m going to buy old ammo and try it.

March 31, 2021
3:02 am
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Dale said
I have looked and no one has it in stock.  I found a company named CCI makes it but there is currently none available.  I have seen the Remington autoloading online for $160 for 50 rounds.  Like I’m going to buy old ammo and try it.  

Dale,

Currently, All ammo is difficult to find and expensive to purchase.  The recent change in the political control of the Senate and the Executive office is one reason, and the Covid Pandemic is the other… whether you want 22 Long Riffle, or 30-30 ammo, or almost anything else, it is all sold within minutes of it being put on store shelves.

Not sure why you mentioned the Remington autoloading ammo… you can’t shoot it in any variation of the Model 1890.

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