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"A"s that are not "A"s
May 29, 2013
2:32 pm
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Looking over my gun list last night and found that I had a few with "A" suffixes in the serial number, but they are not true "A"s? M62 # 93239A is not marked M62-A and was made in 1939. M63 # 94082A, not marked M63-A, made in 1950, and M74 # 155184A, not marked M74-A, made in 1947. Like the M69’s and M69-A’s and M72’s and M72-A’s that are marked, are these other rifles considered "A"s? DUH !!! Big Larry

May 29, 2013
7:31 pm
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"A"s that are not "A"s

I tried telling my dad that one while he looked at my high school report card!!!

Michael

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May 30, 2013
6:15 am
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The A suffix behind the serial number has a completely different meaning than the A suffix behind the Model number.

May 30, 2013
8:02 am
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CJS57 said
The A suffix behind the serial number has a completely different meaning than the A suffix behind the Model number.

I do not agree with that statement.

First, the "A" suffix on the end of the serial number does not have a "specific" meaning, nor does the "A" suffix on the end of the Model designation. In fact, and in both instances, the "A" indicates that some type of a design (mechanical) change was made to the original design, and that the assembly process and/or the parts needed to assemble the firearm were changed accordingly.

The first Winchester Model to use a letter designation was the Model 1873, which initially did not have a letter suffix, then the "A" was added, and eventually a "B" was used. The Model 1885 added an "A" on the end of the lower tang (to denote a coil spring action versus a flat-spring action). The Model 1893 used both an "A" and a "B" (above the serial number), and the Model 1897 used a "C", "D", and finally an "E". The Model 1890 added an "A" below the serial number, and the Model 1906 added a "B" below the serial number (to denote what parts were to be used to assemble them), and the list goes on. In the later production years, Winchester sometimes (but not always) changed the Model designation (e.g. the 62/62A, 67/67A, 69/69A, etc.), and again, the "A" was used to identify a design/production change to the model in question.

Bert

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May 30, 2013
8:28 am
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Thanks guys. Big Larry

May 30, 2013
10:48 am
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There are also many parts and production changes on various models that did not have any change as far as a serial no. or model no.

May 30, 2013
2:53 pm
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Bert, I wonder if you would publish that very full explanation on the Winchester rimfire Forum: http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504156

There was a discussion on the meaning of an "A" stamped on a Model 63 receiver and I feel your explanation would throw more light in the correct direction

May 30, 2013
2:56 pm
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Ray said
Bert, I wonder if you would publish that very full explanation on the Winchester rimfire Forum: http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=504156

There was a discussion on the meaning of an "A" stamped on a Model 63 receiver and I feel your explanation would throw more light in the correct direction

Ray,

You have my permission to post a link to this topic string on the Rimfire Central forum.

Bert

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May 30, 2013
6:32 pm
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Bert, Sorry but the A in a 62A and the A in serial number 80,000A do not have the same meaning.
Also, "Specific" is a term you introduced, not me, I didn’t say that. I was saying, and still am saying the those 2 uses of the letter "A" do not mean the same thing as Winchester used them. They have a different meaning in each instance.

May 31, 2013
4:35 pm
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CJS57 said
Bert, Sorry but the A in a 62A and the A in serial number 80,000A do not have the same meaning.
Also, "Specific" is a term you introduced, not me, I didn’t say that. I was saying, and still am saying the those 2 uses of the letter "A" do not mean the same thing as Winchester used them. They have a different meaning in each instance.

Again, I disagree with you.

They do indeed have the same meaning… and that was very simply that a design/production change was made by Winchester to the Model 62. and they denoted that change by first adding an "A" on the end of the serial number found on the receiver. Then, an additional change was made at a later time, and Winchester changed the Model designation to "62A". In both cases, the use of the "A" indicated that a design or production change had occurred. It is irrelevant what the physical change was that took place, as the "A" was simply used to indicate that a change was effected.

In regards to your other comment, you are correct, it was I that introduced the term "specific", and I did not in anyway ever say that you did. I simply put the word "specific" in quotations to emphasize it.

Bert

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June 1, 2013
11:13 am
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Bert H.
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Posted – 03/16/2008 : 11:31:19 AM
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Yes, I do, and the collector you refer to has his facts wrong (which makes him suspect in my mind).

First, the serial number on your Model 62 tells me that it was manufactured in August of 1936.

OK, the "A" after serial number on the receiver tells us that your rifle has the improved bolt locking system.

The original Model 62 was identical to the original Model 1890 and 1906. The breech bolt had three pins, which allowed the slide handle to be moved approximately 1/4 inch to the rear before the bolt began to open. On May 12, 1935, Winchester improved the locking system such that the bolt opened with the initial movement of the slide handle. Also, the breech bolt now had just one pin versus three (the pins or pin are viewed from the top and are mounted vertically). The serial number range for the rifles with the style "A" breech bolt and improved locking system is 24,000 – 98,000.

The Model 62A (which will be marked on the barrel) was born on September 8th, 1938. The serial number range is 98,000 to the end of production. The change from the 62 to the 62A is very easy to identify. The 62 used a flat hammer mainspring, whereas the 62A used a coiled hammer spring. The lower tang on the Model 62 has four screw holes in it (two entering from the external side, and two from the interior side, with three of them located behind the serial number, and one in front of the serial number). The 62A lower tang has just one screw hole in it (entering from the interior side of the tang) located very near the bitter end of the tang behind the serial number.

June 1, 2013
12:32 pm
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Good discussion. Everyone makes excellent points. We wind up arguing about different aspects of this or that rifle while ignoring the fact that a diary(ies) of receiver dates is in place of actual factory production records. Date of Manufacture is for the receiver only and not an assembly date, a completed date, or sold date.
Way too much emphasis on the letter "A" IMHO. I’d lean toward Schwing’s extensive research and data first; especially on two points:

1. "It cannot be emphasized enough that the fundamental difference between a Model 62 and a Model 62A lies in the receiver and guard assembly, regardless of the barrel marking or size of the slide handle. The changeover from the flat mainspring to the coiled hammer spring is what defines a Model 62A." (p.146, illustration and caption; p.148, last paragraph.)

Also read the entire paragraph below the caption on p. 146. It sheds light on the transition period and the fact that both the 62 and 62A overlapped. Note the sentences: "While the "Change of Manufacturing Order" from the Model 62 to Model 62A originated in September 1938, Winchester was slow to implement those changes." "The Model 62A began to predominate around serial number 120,000."

This is approximation and not hard fast dates/changes. Parts got mixed on a particular rifle obviously and you wound up with a number of "parts cleanup" rifles. Remember, he also states that receivers often stayed in the parts bins for 2-3 years so it is possible to see a 1936 receiver on a considerably later assembled rifle…

2. "When Winchester made the change from the three-pin to the one-pin locking system, Model 62 receivers were stamped with the letter "A" behind the serial number on the receiver. Do not confuse this "A" designation with the subsequent modification named the Model 62A." (p.141., 143.)

Also, Bert H. is correct in that the "A" designates a Winchester "change" whether following the Serial Number or the Model number.

Pauline’s statement is also key: "There are also many parts and production changes on various models that did not have any change as far as a serial no. or model no."
It might help to remember: She was there!!!

What you find are parts cleanup rifles that don’t fit in a nice, neat chronological package. One has a "A" here and another has it somewhere else and they don’t always match up in terms of assembly or sold dates.

When you come across a mint or near mint FACTORY ORIGINAL specimen that doesn’t fit an expectation you have to look at a factory with individuals hand building rifles from parts bins and not always finding the individual part that fits in that nice, neat chronological package.

Given the above, I am always very reluctant to call B.S. or "not correct" on any rifle when from every indication it is mint or near mint, factory original in every respect with no indication of SUBSEQUENT parts swapping, etc., etc.. The parts cleanup or transition years always present the toughest examples.

I think it helps to keep an open mind and not be "too sure" of your voiced opinion. So, by all means call me wrong or naive but remember:

It’s just my humble two-cents…

June 1, 2013
12:43 pm
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Excellent summary! You just said what more collectors should realize.

June 1, 2013
3:12 pm
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Excellent summary, indeed. Especially where coming across a specimen that is in excellent shape that might have a feature or two that is not standard. Finding such a piece makes collecting worthwhile, provided you can make a case that is equal to or better than simply saying it won’t letter, or Winchester never did this or that, unless, of course, one can provide the evidence to back up such broad and simple statements, and provide such references without having to be asked to name them. With this in mind, some collectors or dealers will make a very costly mistake at times, usually without the help of pros like Bert, Pauline, and others whom they might depend on from time to time to help out. However, if one does their homework they usually make out very well on most of their purchases. However, it is a buyer beware business, but what is life without risk?

James

June 1, 2013
5:27 pm
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ohlode wrote:

Parts got mixed on a particular rifle obviously and you wound up with a number of "parts cleanup" rifles. Remember, he also states that receivers often stayed in the parts bins for 2-3 years so it is possible to see a 1936 receiver on a considerably later assembled rifle…

and also:

What you find are parts cleanup rifles that don’t fit in a nice, neat chronological package.

This is absolutely the same sort of occurrence that I have found in my surveys of the Model 1892 rifles. There are MANY repetitive instances of rifles with "out of sequence" components that are also quite obviously 100% original. I just got done looking at a pair of 1892 rifles at Leroy Merz’s that had very early barrel address stamps on late production rifles but were undoubtedly original guns.

Michael

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