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Winchester Model 56/57 Research Survey
December 29, 2016
6:34 pm
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JWA said

 

Hi Don,

I already have your very rare Model 56 in the survey since you provided me the information on Rimfire Central 5 or 6 years ago. 

For those that are unfamiliar with the Model 56, the .22 short chambering in the Model 56 is the least common configuration and, in addition to that, Bellevance's rifle is a late production with an original Winchester stainless steel barrel. 

The 56/57 survey currently has about 1.5% of the total production of the 56/57 logged and out of all those rifles only TWO are Model 56's in .22 short with stainless barrels. 

Thanks for posting the photos, they are a real treat!

Best Regards,  

Hello Jeff, 

I think Bellevance's statement about his father getting his model 56 in the year of 1930 is very critical to your survey.  What year do you think it was manufactured?   Do you also have the barrel date of this model 56 stainless steel barrel and, if so, would you share it with us?

Happy New Year to you my friend!

James

December 30, 2016
1:33 pm
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jwm94 said 

Hello Jeff, 

I think Bellevance's statement about his father getting his model 56 in the year of 1930 is very critical to your survey.  What year do you think it was manufactured?   Do you also have the barrel date of this model 56 stainless steel barrel and, if so, would you share it with us?

Happy New Year to you my friend!

James  

Hi James,

I do not have Don's barrel date.  I requested awhile back that he make a note of it the next time he removed the action from the stock but he has not done that yet.  The blued barrel dates for the receivers before and after his serial number are all consistently 1928 but I suspect the stainless barrels were made in much smaller batches and may not be chronologically consistent with the blued barrel dates.  If I was guessing I would say his barrel date is probably 1929.  For the date of manufacture of his rifle I would give it an educated guess of 1929.  That guess is based on the survey pattern which shows the 56 was manufactured/assembled in groups or batches right up to his serial number but after that there are only a very few Model 56's assembled and they are not in a group.  The survey data supports the Winchester PCA (Product Change Announcement) which indicates the Model 56 was discontinued in 1929.  I believe Don's was one of the last regular production 56's assembled and probably made it onto the store shelf in late 1929 or early 1930.  Again, these are just guesses based on the data patterns in the survey.

The stainless steel barrels were offered as an option on the Model 52 from about 1926 through 1930ish.  I am away from my notes and don't know offhand when they were specifically offered as an option for the Model 56/57 but the earliest stainless steel barrel date currently in the survey is 1927 and the latest stainless barrel date is 1930.

Hope that helps.

Best Regards,

 

.

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December 30, 2016
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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.  

Thank you Sir!

I have added your info to the survey.  It sounds like you have a very nice example.  If/when you ever remove the barreled action from the stock I would love to know the 2 digit date stamped on the underside of the barrel in front of the receiver.

Again, thanks for supporting the survey.

Best Regards,

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December 30, 2016
1:47 pm
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I also will report Model 57 serial 3558 .22 short only, but the chamber is reamed to .22 LR and the letters LR stamped after word Short on the barrel. It is original blue with sharkfin front and Lyman folding middle sights. Rear is the correct receiver sight. The rear sling swivel is 1 1/4" rather that 1 1/8" is the only other thing I see questionable. But it looks the same as my other gun, just the loop is a tad larger. Also the bolt front half is blued, my later gun is all in the white on the front half. Both bolts are original and matching numbers.

December 30, 2016
4:58 pm
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JWA said

jwm94 said 

Hello Jeff, 

I think Bellevance's statement about his father getting his model 56 in the year of 1930 is very critical to your survey.  What year do you think it was manufactured?   Do you also have the barrel date of this model 56 stainless steel barrel and, if so, would you share it with us?

Happy New Year to you my friend!

James  

Hi James,

I do not have Don's barrel date.  I requested awhile back that he make a note of it the next time he removed the action from the stock but he has not done that yet.  The blued barrel dates for the receivers before and after his serial number are all consistently 1928 but I suspect the stainless barrels were made in much smaller batches and may not be chronologically consistent with the blued barrel dates.  If I was guessing I would say his barrel date is probably 1929.  For the date of manufacture of his rifle I would give it an educated guess of 1929.  That guess is based on the survey pattern which shows the 56 was manufactured/assembled in groups or batches right up to his serial number but after that there are only a very few Model 56's assembled and they are not in a group.  The survey data supports the Winchester PCA (Product Change Announcement) which indicates the Model 56 was discontinued in 1929.  I believe Don's was one of the last regular production 56's assembled and probably made it onto the store shelf in late 1929 or early 1930.  Again, these are just guesses based on the data patterns in the survey.

The stainless steel barrels were offered as an option on the Model 52 from about 1926 through 1930ish.  I am away from my notes and don't know offhand when they were specifically offered as an option for the Model 56/57 but the earliest stainless steel barrel date currently in the survey is 1927 and the latest stainless barrel date is 1930.

Hope that helps.

Best Regards,

 

.  

Hi Bud!

Maybe Don will have a change of heart and take the few minutes necessary to get this information for you...in order to help further your very important survey research! 

The 1929 or 1930 date would certainly support the "slow-sales" that not only accompanied the stainless steel barrels, but the models 56 and 57 in general.  And based on our latest conversation, two years would seem to be a perfect fit...at least at this point in time.  Then, too, Jeff, with the stainless steel barrels suffering such a huge unpopularity, the barrel date on Don's 56 might actually have a 1927/28 date.

As for stainless steel barrels in general, your notes will probably be similar to that of Schwing, who states that for the 1890 and 1906 that these barrels were available in 1927 as an extra cost option, but due to their unpopularity were forced to offer them as a no cost option, and that they were dropped from Winchester catalogs in 1934. 

I have a nice 1890 with a stainless steel barrel that has a receiver PR record date of 1933.  I need to check the barrel date on it once again, since I did not record it the first time, but I'd not doubt that the barrel might well have been made back in the late 20s or earlier 30s.  I'll get this info to you on the forum here when I do, in hopes that it might be useful to you and your 56/57 research efforts, to include, other interested parties.

James

December 31, 2016
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jwm94 said 

Hi Bud!

Maybe Don will have a change of heart and take the few minutes necessary to get this information for you...in order to help further your very important survey research! 

The 1929 or 1930 date would certainly support the "slow-sales" that not only accompanied the stainless steel barrels, but the models 56 and 57 in general.  And based on our latest conversation, two years would seem to be a perfect fit...at least at this point in time.  Then, too, Jeff, with the stainless steel barrels suffering such a huge unpopularity, the barrel date on Don's 56 might actually have a 1927/28 date.

As for stainless steel barrels in general, your notes will probably be similar to that of Schwing, who states that for the 1890 and 1906 that these barrels were available in 1927 as an extra cost option, but due to their unpopularity were forced to offer them as a no cost option, and that they were dropped from Winchester catalogs in 1934. 

I have a nice 1890 with a stainless steel barrel that has a receiver PR record date of 1933.  I need to check the barrel date on it once again, since I did not record it the first time, but I'd not doubt that the barrel might well have been made back in the late 20s or earlier 30s.  I'll get this info to you on the forum here when I do, in hopes that it might be useful to you and your 56/57 research efforts, to include, other interested parties.

James  

Hi James,

I don't think it has anything to do with Don changing his heart, he probably just hasn't got around to it yet.  I don't think he shoots it or thinks about it much and until we all discussed it on Rimfire Central  5-6 years ago he didn't really consider it a collectable, just a beloved heirloom that sat by the door.  I will shoot him an email as a reminder.

I agree, the barrel date could very well be 1927/28, in fact I hope it is because it would be more in line with the blued barrel production and receiver DoM.   However it could also be later than that as well.  There are at least one or two noted in the survey that were sent back to Winchester to be re-barreled with a stainless barrel.  Those rifles have a stainless barrel date that is several years after the DoM of the receiver.  Hopefully one of these days Don may get the opportunity to loosen the take-down screw on his Model 56 and give it a peek.

I think the stainless barrels on the 56/57 were not prevalent at all, maybe even less so than the 1890.  The survey currently records only a very few stainless barrels which, when extrapolated to the total production, indicates only about 500 were produced in the 56/57 combined.  The extrapolated number of 500 is just based on the survey results so far and is subject to change but statistically it has been holding reasonably steady for awhile now.

I would like to know the barrel date on your stainless 1890 but do not make a special effort just for me, thanks!

Happy New Year and Best Regards,

Jeff

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December 31, 2016
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CJS57 said
I also will report Model 57 serial 3558 .22 short only, but the chamber is reamed to .22 LR and the letters LR stamped after word Short on the barrel. It is original blue with sharkfin front and Lyman folding middle sights. Rear is the correct receiver sight. The rear sling swivel is 1 1/4" rather that 1 1/8" is the only other thing I see questionable. But it looks the same as my other gun, just the loop is a tad larger. Also the bolt front half is blued, my later gun is all in the white on the front half. Both bolts are original and matching numbers.  

Thanks!  I did not have that one in the survey either, another great addition!

I have noticed that some of the early bolts were blued, unfortunately that is not one of the tracking points in the survey although it probably should be as I do not know when the change was made from blued bolt bodies to in the white.

Again, thanks for participating in the survey and have a Happy New Year!

Best Regards,

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January 7, 2017
9:55 pm
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A model 57 I saw at a local gun show:

sn 26199

22 LR

lyman peep sight, and flip up rear sight.

Al

January 8, 2017
2:28 am
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tionesta1 said
A model 57 I saw at a local gun show:

sn 26199

22 LR

lyman peep sight, and flip up rear sight.

Al  

Thank you Sir!

I saw that one at the Pittsburgh, PA gun show last year.  Is that where you saw it?

Best Regards,

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January 8, 2017
6:53 am
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Hi - just found this looking for owner's or technician/shop manual for the Model 57 - any ideas where to get one?

Pretty sure you idon'thave this one

SN 21201

Haven't taken apart to find barrel number

Has the sling loops and I have the hooked tang (and possibly other hardware)for the sling it always had that I recall - leather finally rotted about 15 years ago. 

has folding blade rear site & folding front tang - either straight or hooded post (see pics)

I believe purchased new in 1930 or 31 by my grandfather (mom's dad) who died in the early 70's when I was a young teenager. I got it a few years later in college (coyote hunting from snowshoes in Flagstaff plus lots of plinking) - along with his Savage model 99 (1927ish) Savage .300 that he won in a $1 raffle. 

I'll update with the barrel date when I get it.

Love this gun - well used by the family. I need a new 10 and mag as the spring is weak (and crimping loose so it doesn't fee the 10th round but works perfect otherwise

Folder of Pics:

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0i5nhQSTmsfJc

Bob Evans

January 8, 2017
12:11 pm
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Bob Evans said
Hi - just found this looking for owner's or technician/shop manual for the Model 57 - any ideas where to get one?

Pretty sure you idon'thave this one

SN 21201

Haven't taken apart to find barrel number

Has the sling loops and I have the hooked tang (and possibly other hardware)for the sling it always had that I recall - leather finally rotted about 15 years ago. 

has folding blade rear site & folding front tang - either straight or hooded post (see pics)

I believe purchased new in 1930 or 31 by my grandfather (mom's dad) who died in the early 70's when I was a young teenager. I got it a few years later in college (coyote hunting from snowshoes in Flagstaff plus lots of plinking) - along with his Savage model 99 (1927ish) Savage .300 that he won in a $1 raffle. 

I'll update with the barrel date when I get it.

Love this gun - well used by the family. I need a new 10 and mag as the spring is weak (and crimping loose so it doesn't fee the 10th round but works perfect otherwise

Folder of Pics:

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0i5nhQSTmsfJc

Bob Evans  

 

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the great pictures of your rifle!  You are correct, I did not have that one listed in the survey and appreciate your participation.

Your rifle probably has a 1930 barrel date as that is what is on the rifles immediately prior to and after your serial number but it would be good to confirm yours eventually.

Brownells sells a very nice replacement 5 shot magazine (made by Wisner's) which is similar to what would have come standard on your Grandfather's Model 57.  They are $16-$17 and work perfectly in the Model 57 - http://www.brownells.com/magazines/rifle-magazines/magazines/winchester-52-69-75-5rd-22lr-magazine-prod7944.aspx 

Promag makes a replacement 10 round magazine but they are not the best quality and have feeding issues so I personally avoid them.

The original Winchester 10rd magazines can be found on eBay but they have been steadily going up in price and are hovering around $100 depending upon condition.

It may be possible to repair your 10rd magazine, if you post some pictures of it I can probably determine if it is repairable.

Regarding the technical manual for the Model 57, I don't believe one exists for that model.  It shares some components with the early Model 69 such as the bolt, trigger assembly, receiver, etc. but there is not a manual for the early 69 either, only the 69A which is different.  However, I can walk you through the disassembly/field stripping process as it is fairly straightforward if that is all you need.

Thanks again for responding to the survey and hope this information helps.

Best Regards,

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January 8, 2017
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JWA said

Thank you Sir!

I saw that one at the Pittsburgh, PA gun show last year.  Is that where you saw it?

Best Regards,  

Washington County PA gun show yesterday. Very close to Pittsburgh

January 9, 2017
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tionesta1 said

Washington County PA gun show yesterday. Very close to Pittsburgh  

Sounds like it is still in circulation close to it's home Laugh

Again, thanks for the info, I always appreciate the help!

Best Regards,

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January 9, 2017
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JTW,

thanks for the info. I think all I need to do on the magazine is open it up, and re-tension the spring if that is possible. However, I think a couple of the top crimps are worn & not holding tight and this is causing the last round get a little crooked and not be aligned to chamber. I'll work on some pictures at some point

 

mainly what I was hoping to find was a schematic or exploded drawing - just so I have a roadmap for where everything fits ( that's how I learned to work on my Remington 1187 - from the diagram)

 

BE

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Bob Evans said
JTW,

thanks for the info. I think all I need to do on the magazine is open it up, and re-tension the spring if that is possible. However, I think a couple of the top crimps are worn & not holding tight and this is causing the last round get a little crooked and not be aligned to chamber. I'll work on some pictures at some point

 

mainly what I was hoping to find was a schematic or exploded drawing - just so I have a roadmap for where everything fits ( that's how I learned to work on my Remington 1187 - from the diagram)

 

BE  

Hi Bob,

To open up the magazine, the floor plate slides off (in one direction).  It is held in place by a small dimple which is visible in the bottom of the plate.  Once the floor plate is slid off you can remove the spring and follower for cleaning and repair.  Make sure the follower is inserted in the correct direction as it has one long and one short tail.  If it is backwards it will cause feeding problems.

I think I have a NRA diagram somewhere that shows the early 69 as an exploded diagram which is nearly identical to the 57 from a mechanical standpoint.  I will look for it when I get home next weekend.  Other than that I don't believe there exists an exploded diagram for the 56 or 57.

Hope that helps.

Best Regards,

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January 10, 2017
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JWA, that M57 I wrote you about, # 10,213 was received this AM from the seller, and is a total P.O.S. Reblued with all sharp edges rounded off and proof marks gone. We are sending it back.   Big Larry

January 11, 2017
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Thanks for the serial number, I already had that one in the survey from Gunbroker last year.  The previous photos from Gunbroker depicted it was missing the rear folding sight and exhibited evidence of being re-blued.

Sorry you had to go through the process of returning it.

Best Regards,

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January 30, 2017
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JWA

Another model 57 for your survey

serial#: 19058 

Barrel date: 28  The barrel is also marked on the bottom B in a circle followed by 217 which I assume is some type of steel lot number

Front sight: Lyman ivory bead #3?, marked LYMAN first line, REG. U.S. PATENT OFC. second line

Barrel sight: single folding leaf, Lyman 6w?, no visible markings

receiver sight: Lyman 42w, marked LYMAN below the lever

barrel band: marked PAT. with the date below it on the left side of band

The rifle is in about 95-96% condition with original finish 

Regards, Tom

January 30, 2017
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tom in michigan said
JWA

Another model 57 for your survey

serial#: 19058 

Barrel date: 28  The barrel is also marked on the bottom B in a circle followed by 217 which I assume is some type of steel lot number

Front sight: Lyman ivory bead #3?, marked LYMAN first line, REG. U.S. PATENT OFC. second line

Barrel sight: single folding leaf, Lyman 6w?, no visible markings

receiver sight: Lyman 42w, marked LYMAN below the lever

barrel band: marked PAT. with the date below it on the left side of band

The rifle is in about 95-96% condition with original finish 

Regards, Tom  

 

Tom,

Thanks for the information!  I did not have that one in the survey.  It sounds like a very nice specimen.

The "217" stamped under the barrel refers to the bore diameter of .217"

Best Regards,

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January 31, 2017
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When I saw it on Gunbroker I thought it had been refinished because the photos were not the greatest.

It was located about a half hour north of me so I made arrangements to see it in person I'm glad I did.

If I hadn't been able to take a look at it I would have never bid on it. I forgot to mention the bolt is bare metal finish and numbered to the rifle.

Regards, Tom

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