I have just got an 1890 WRF in very well used condition at an online estate auction for $310. I think it was made in 1915 or 1916. The S/N is 574XXX. It has light rust all over. The pictures from the auction made it look very orange with rust but when I picked it up it looked good for its age and being put up for a good number of years. The stock has a slight tacky feel to it and probably needs cleaning and re-oiling. I need to find some WRF ammo and try it out after a bore cleaning. Any advice from those of you in the know how to take care of this Winchester to keep or increase it’s value.
April 15, 2005
Hello and welcome to the WACA forum.
The partial serial number you gave us indicates that your Model 1890 was manufactured in August of 1915. Speaking of partial serial numbers, we discourage that practice, as it serves no useful purpose.
Take the stocks off of the rifle and clean them with furniture cleaning oil.
While the stocks are still off of the rifle, coat all of the rusty surfaces with Kroil, let it sit for at least 12-hours, then using a pure copper wool pad (wetted with Kroil), gently scrub all of the rust and crud off of the steel. Frequently wipe down the surfaces with a clean cloth. When you have it completely clean, lightly oil it, and then re-install the cleaned stocks.
Both Winchester and CCI make 22 WRF ammo, and many of the larger retail stores carry it.
WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
Sorry for not posting the full serial number, it is 574384 "A". It looks to be in sound condition so when I can get some 22WRF ammo I’ll see how she shoots. 22WRF is hard to get right now because 22WMR folks have been buying it up too. Thank you Bert for the advice, I plan to clean her up and use it as a nice soon to be antique small game rifle. I got this 1890 because my Dad had I think it was a Model 90 with round barrel. That was the rifle I learned to shoot on.
Here are a few pictures. The one picture that looks really rusty is from the online auction and the rest are from after I took the tape that was wrapped around the stock tang area. I guess for better grip?? All I have done so far is wipe it down with some CLP and function check it.
March 20, 2009
I think the "rustyhands" explanations may not be correct. If you will notice, the wood on the wrist of the stock is definitely lighter color and the same ‘pattern’ of discoloration in the bluing exists on the lower tang also. I would propose that the wrist of the stock was wrapped with some sort of tape which held something that covered the wood but did not cover the upper and lower tangs. The darker or preserved bluing on the tangs is where the tape covered and protected the bluing. The "rusty area" in between just matches the condition of the metal on the balance of the gun.
Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation
April 23, 2012