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Winchester Model 56/57 Research Survey
July 28, 2018
1:17 am
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Tom Griswold said
I bought a Model 57 some years back from Antique and Modern Firearms in Lexington. Kentucky.  She is #6243 and is 22 LR.  I haven't pulled the barrel.  I shoot her several times a week from my deck, usually with CCI CB Longs which run fine through the magazine as long as I don't get too enthusiastic.  She has the original magazine which I keep loaded with CCI 22 SGB cartridges, just in case something that bleeds needs to be shot.  I have an original 22 short magazine for her and two of the W marked magazines for the CB Longs.  She sports a folding leaf and the original Lyman receiver sight with the removable disc, which I seldom use.  The front sight is an unmarked tunnel with a square top blade.  

Her condition is collectible but just a bit tatty,  as is her original Nobukl sling.

Her bore looks darn near new, at least it will when I run a patch through it.  Embarassed

She is by far my favorite 22 rifle.  Smile

Let me know if pix would help.

God bless all y'all!

Tom  

 

Tom,

Thanks for your information, I did not have yours on the list.  No need to pull it out of the stock, there is a 99% probability it is marked "26" on the underside of the barrel.

They are great shooters, glad you are exercising yours regularly.

Best Regards,

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

September 2, 2018
9:24 am
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hello, from France 

i give you pix en info of my Winchester 57 .22lr imported in UK and after in France.

 

n° 29301 Years under  barrel 32 . look used but mechanic still  working good

 

i added a Schmidt-Rubin k31 strap

 

link to 16 high quality photos

 

https://goopics.net/a/OLBIePwD

 

I hope this will help you in your collect Wink


September 2, 2018
11:42 pm
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CJS57 said
 Model 57 Target serial number 16046 with original blue. Unmarked filler block in the rear barrel dovetail, looks original to the gun with no marks or missed hits from installation. Lyman rear sight has Lyman only, no model number. The front sight is an early 17A Marked Lyman Reg US Pat., it is the 3/4" shorter variation with nice original luster blue. Some very light hammer marks near the right side dovetail make me question the originality of it, plus the gun is too early for it anyway? Quite nice and high condition gun.  

Thanks for participating in the survey!

I already had your info inputted so you must have given it to me previously.

Best Regards,

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

October 1, 2018
11:43 pm
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Jim Watson
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Friend Dave showed me Grandpa's Gun at lunch today.

It is a Model 56, .22 Short, Stainless Steel.

Plain blade front, folding open, Lyman peep sights.

Barrel band with Patent, magazine with .22 Short Patent follower, Nobuckl sling.

SN 23517

He was not willing to pull the stock to look for a barrel date.  The rifle is maybe 85% with some darkening of the bolt handle and a little finish wear at the muzzle.

He said he missed a groundhog with it this past weekend.  Blames it on hitting a garden fence wire.

I found this thread on my phone.  Dave was astounded to learn that Grandpa's Gun is an uncommon variant of a low production model. 

October 2, 2018
12:18 am
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Jim,

The Stainless Steel barrel makes it a really rare rifle!

Thanks for participating in the research survey.

Bert

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October 8, 2018
12:22 pm
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Jim Watson said
Friend Dave showed me Grandpa's Gun at lunch today.

It is a Model 56, .22 Short, Stainless Steel.

Plain blade front, folding open, Lyman peep sights.

Barrel band with Patent, magazine with .22 Short Patent follower, Nobuckl sling.

SN 23517

He was not willing to pull the stock to look for a barrel date.  The rifle is maybe 85% with some darkening of the bolt handle and a little finish wear at the muzzle.

He said he missed a groundhog with it this past weekend.  Blames it on hitting a garden fence wire.

I found this thread on my phone.  Dave was astounded to learn that Grandpa's Gun is an uncommon variant of a low production model.   

Hi Jim,

Sorry for the delay in responding, I have been off the grid for awhile.

Your friend Dave's rifle is an extremely rare variant and falls into a block of rifles assembled in 1931 with stainless steel barrels.  Since the Model 56 had already been discontinued by that time it is likely it was assembled as a parts cleanup run to use up the remaining stainless steel barrels in inventory which did not sell as well as Winchester had hoped.  It is very likely that the barrel date on your friend's rifle is "31".  If he ever does take it down for cleaning the barrel date is located in front of the receiver on the underside of the barrel.

We would LOVE to see lots of pictures of his rifle since there are so few of them.  You or he can email them to me at Abendshien@aol.com if you cannot post them here.

Thanks again for participating in the survey, his information is VERY helpful in understanding the production evolution of the Model 56/57.

Best Regards,

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

October 23, 2018
2:39 pm
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twenty tooz
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Just bought #21615 model 57. 22 Long R., Magazine follower is 22 LONG R, all original sights (not an expert), NOBUCKL sling attached. 85-90%

October 23, 2018
4:05 pm
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twenty tooz said
Just bought #21615 model 57. 22 Long R., Magazine follower is 22 LONG R, all original sights (not an expert), NOBUCKL sling attached. 85-90%  

Thanks for posting the information.  Can you verify the barrel date ?  I suspect that it will be "30".

Bert

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October 23, 2018
4:10 pm
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Hi Twenty Tooz,

Thanks for contributing to the survey.  I posted this response to you on the Rimfire Central website earlier.

"Based on your serial number your Model 57 was made circa 1930/1931 and probably has a "30" barrel date stamped on the underside of the barrel in front of the receiver.

As the others have mentioned, the Model 57 was offered in two chamberings, .22 Long Rifle and .22 Short with the .22 Short chambering being the less common.

The standard sights on the Model 57 were the 93B front sight in conjunction with the Lyman 42W receiver sight and the folding Lyman #6 barrel mounted sight.

The Model 56 and 57 used the same serial number range so while Model 57's can be found with serial numbers as high as 29,000+ those numbers also include the Model 56. There were approximately 8,900 Model 56's produced and 20,600 Model 57's produced. I am still working on nailing down the exact production figures (the Madis published numbers are slightly low).

I hope that information helps."

Best Regards,

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

October 23, 2018
11:09 pm
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Extremely interesting survey that I have followed very closely since I have a model 57 that is period scoped.  

Jeff:

What is the highest serialized number(s) that have a:

28 barrel date?  

29 barrel date?

30 barrel date?

What prompts me to ask, in part, has to do with evidence in the thread that barrels dated 1926, 1927, and 1928 encompass about 20,000 rifles, whereas, beginning with serial number 22645, has your estimate that the barrel date would be late 1930, or early 1931 - or about 2600 rifles produced during the years of 1929, 1930, and possibly part of 1931.  

Thanks,

James

October 24, 2018
12:45 am
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jwm94 said
Extremely interesting survey that I have followed very closely since I have a model 57 that is period scoped.  

Jeff:

What is the highest serialized number(s) that have a:

28 barrel date?  

29 barrel date?

30 barrel date?

What prompts me to ask, in part, has to do with evidence in the thread that barrels dated 1926, 1927, and 1928 encompass about 20,000 rifles, whereas, beginning with serial number 22645, has your estimate that the barrel date would be late 1930, or early 1931 - or about 2600 rifles produced during the years of 1929, 1930, and possibly part of 1931.  

Thanks,

James  

 

Hi James,

I have been waiting to post an update when we hit 2% of the total production and the survey is almost there.

I currently have 581 Model 56/57s logged but only have the barrel date information for 83 of those since it is somewhat difficult to remove the action from the stock on a Model 57 due to the barrel band and cross-pin.  Some people are reluctant to mess with their rifles to get that info which I completely understand.

The highest serial number with a 1928 barrel is 19889

The highest serial number with a 1930 barrel is 22459 and the LOWEST is 20685

The highest serial number with a 1931 barrel is 25923

The LOWEST serial number with a 1932 barrel is 26988

The highest serial number currently recorded is 29854 (a Model 57)

I have not found ANY 1929 dated barrels yet and suspect there may not have been any 56/57 barrels produced in 1929.

Of course there are serial numbers between those high and low numbers but we do not have barrel date information for the "in-between" serial numbers.

Again, you cannot read too much into the current barrel date information due to the small sampling of data but the field is narrowing with each additional entry.

Hope that helps.

Best Regards,

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

October 24, 2018
7:35 pm
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Hi Jeff!

Thank you for such great detailed information and the many years of dedicated work to bring this to us as it unfolds

I, too, can understand why folks are reluctant to provide the necessary work in order to find out the barrel date info for your survey.

While your are correct that one should not read too much into the current barrel date information of your survey, some things simply jump-out to anyone who might have a keen interest in this survey project...such as you, me, or anyone else as to why no one who has responded to the survey with a 1929 barrel date - which is a strong indicator that production ceased for the year 1929. Enter Madis' records.

Correct me if I am wrong. Most of the production-numbers that Madis dealt with were based on actual sales type records, instead of the more precise polishing room records brought forth to some extent by Schwing, and by Bert to a much greater extent at a later date.

Enter my Model 57 with serial number near 19300, which has a barrel production date of 1928 (should memory serve me correctly), when actual sales for that particular year ended with serial number 13739, while your survey indicates that barrel production in 1928 ceased shortly after serial number 19889, but before 1930 and serial number 20685 - (and a possible sales date of mid-1930 for my 57 based on Madis sales numbers for 1930, 17066 and 21469.)  Indicating that Winchester had a surplus of roughly 6500 Model 56/57 in stock at the end of 1928, which is right at one half of the sales for the first two years, which should meet the demand that these models would generate for the year 1929. Hence the suspicion that production for these models was shut down during the year of 1929.

Enter pdog's post, Madis sales records, and your survey info, all bearing on the year of 1931 as follows:

pdog's post: "Jeff, I have a M57 with s/n 23850. It was bought new in 1931 as I happen to have a letter from the original owner telling the history of this little rifle. The barrel date is 31 and its a 22LR. It has the NobuckL sling with it that looks like it may be original to the rifle. Its a great little 22 with the original target peep sight on it."

Madis sales records for the year 1931: Serial number for beginning of the year, 21469, and Ending serial number for the year, 24299.

Your survey info: "The highest serial number with a 1931 barrel is 25923."

Given the above mentioned information, it appears to me that by 1931, lag time between actual production dates and sales was greatly reduced.

Your thoughts, please.

James

October 24, 2018
9:40 pm
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Hi James,

I am not quite ready to present a summary of the information just yet for several reasons.  First, I have recently sourced some additional production information which is not at Cody but have not had a free moment to look at it, hopefully it will clear up the production timeline nicely.  Second, I do not know the source Madis used for the 56/57.  His numbers do not match the sales or production numbers found at Cody no matter what skewed math I use to try to make them work.  I don't know if he estimated production for some years or used another source but I have not found it yet and his numbers definitely differ from the rifles and barrel dates we have seen and his serial numbers and production totals do not match up either.  And, lastly, the barrel dates are simply the year the barrel was made and do not necessarily correspond with the date of manufacture in many cases.  I should also mention that I have not found a barrel dated after 1932 either although rifles were assembled and sold up through 1938.

I am hoping to get some fresh new information by next month and will be able to give you a much more insightful response then.

Thanks for your questions to keep the topic fresh and for your patience while I do some more digging.

Best Regards,

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

October 25, 2018
3:22 pm
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JWA said
Hi James,

I am not quite ready to present a summary of the information just yet for several reasons.  First, I have recently sourced some additional production information which is not at Cody but have not had a free moment to look at it, hopefully it will clear up the production timeline nicely.  Second, I do not know the source Madis used for the 56/57.  His numbers do not match the sales or production numbers found at Cody no matter what skewed math I use to try to make them work.  I don't know if he estimated production for some years or used another source but I have not found it yet and his numbers definitely differ from the rifles and barrel dates we have seen and his serial numbers and production totals do not match up either.  And, lastly, the barrel dates are simply the year the barrel was made and do not necessarily correspond with the date of manufacture in many cases.  I should also mention that I have not found a barrel dated after 1932 either although rifles were assembled and sold up through 1938.

I am hoping to get some fresh new information by next month and will be able to give you a much more insightful response then.

Thanks for your questions to keep the topic fresh and for your patience while I do some more digging.

Best Regards,  

Thanks for the quick response, friend!  

I understand your concerns about time regarding any summary information.  

The news about the additional source regarding the production is exciting.  Thanks for the tidbits, as I'm certain a lot of folks are looking forward to hearing any news from you that they can.

Regarding Madis sources.  However he gained his information on each of the Winchester models he wrote about, it was done when such research was in its Neanderthal stage when compared with the more streamlined methods available for use today.  Again, in my last response to you I was caught up with the lack of barrels dated in 1929, and the fact that the serial number of my rifle, 19292, according to your numbers would make it a late 1928 barrel date with a likely mid-1930 estimated sale date...hence a potential lag time during this period that I inferred to.  The fact that Madis' notes the last rifle produced/sold? for 1929 was in the 17000 range is surprisingly supportive of your numbers as well, regardless of any Madis discrepancies.   You, of course, are correct in that barrel dates do not necessarily correspond with the DOM.  Who knows, Madis might have extrapolated his production figures for these models from 1926-1938?

Thank you for all of the information and insight you have provided all interested parties with concerning these great old rifles!

Take care,

James

November 26, 2018
10:21 pm
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Tom Griswold
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Just happened to see an extremely high condition 56 Serial Number 510 on Gunbroker Item #792421642.

Seller includes a letter from Madis.

Thought you would like to know.

Tom

November 26, 2018
11:02 pm
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Tom Griswold said
Just happened to see an extremely high condition 56 Serial Number 510 on Gunbroker Item #792421642.

Seller includes a letter from Madis.

Thought you would like to know.

Tom  

Thanks!  That one was formerly owned by a WACA member but I appreciate the extra photos on Gunbroker.

Best Regards,

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

November 27, 2018
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Just curious. Is there a specific reason why 56/57 models aren't available in the serial number lookup here on WACA?

 

Steve

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November 27, 2018
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supergimp said
Just curious. Is there a specific reason why 56/57 models aren't available in the serial number lookup here on WACA?

 

Steve  

Hi Steve,

Yes, the polishing room records are not available at Cody and the Madis information is skewed for some of the years.  In my opinion it is better to not post any information rather than providing potentially incorrect information and perpetuate the already polluted data on the internet.  We are trying to be as accurate as possible. 

I believe Pauline Muerrle has some of the PR records for the 56/57 but I have not had a free moment to contact her.  I am hoping to have a little free time in the next few weeks to pursue that info.

Best Regards,

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

November 27, 2018
1:44 am
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Thanks. I figured it was due to lack of information over simple omission. I’ve learned not much gets omitted on WACA. 

 

Steve

WACA Member. CFM Member. NRA Lifer.

December 27, 2018
4:39 pm
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Daniel Bird
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Hello,

I purchased the Model 56 serial number 510, what would like to know about it? 

Daniel

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