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Australian Model 53 identification
October 13, 2019
11:24 am
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David Parker
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Gday,

I have a a gorgeous little rifle with model 53 stamped on the barrel in .25-20. I picked it up cheap online in Queensland and have plenty of fun with it since, it’s remarkably accurate for its age and light and easy to shoot and has accounted for a good many roo’s and feral pigs.

my question is based around its history as it is definitely not a standard model 53, it had a rifle style butt and ladder sight for starters, and a serial number that is in the model 92 range... 965XXX, as a model 92 I understand it would be dated to 1926.

is this just a ‘Bitzer’, a rifle built from parts? Or is there a possibility it is something a little more special. Either way Im happy, this little honey is a joy to shoot, but hopefully there is someone out there who can shed some light on its origins.

thanks,

Dave

October 13, 2019
4:38 pm
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Hello Dave,

Please provide the complete serial number.  Based on the partial number you mention, your Winchester is a Model 53, and it was manufactured early in the year 1928.  Beginning in late 1927 (October), Winchester merged the Model 53 serialization sequence in with the Model 92 sequence.  Only the first 10,874 Model 53 rifles were serialized in their own unique range.  When the merged serial numbering began, the serial numbers were in the 962000 range.

Can you provide pictures of your rifle?

Bert

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October 14, 2019
9:30 pm
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eastbank
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my Winchester 53 solid frame 44-40 # 975899 is in good condition with a ex bore. gararge sale buy.

October 15, 2019
9:45 am
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Thank you Bert,

serial number is 9653592,

I have had some trouble posting so have become a member. 
I remember reading something somewhere about the serial numbers merging with model 92’s but wasn’t sure.

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/7pw8pnl6ldw0hwk/AACd_ok9EXxSTRiDh-BimbtKa

that link should be to some photos, if there is a better way of posting please let me know,

thank you very much,

David

October 15, 2019
11:44 am
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david.r.s.parker@bigpond.com said

serial number is 9653592,

David  

The serial number should only be 6-digits long versus 7-digits... which numeral does not belong?

Bert

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October 15, 2019
12:41 pm
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Sorry Bert,

the 2 is surplus, it should read 965359, I’m away from the rifle at the moment and only have a blurry picture of the serial number to go from.  Are the pictures available?

cheers

Dave

October 15, 2019
8:15 pm
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About like yours perhaps eastbank except earlier 'artifacts' including four digit SN. Pix of mine particularly featuring such early apparent differences. One notable, my early barrel w/nickel steel nomenclature. Perhaps later editions proof steel? Beyond pix of entire rifle, that of: rear sight, front sight likely typical, butt plate. Possible contrast, mine also with upper tang markings.
All here for whatever elucidation... 🙂 🙂 🙂

Congrats David, in finding an apparent quite nice Mod 53!
Best!R66-20-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-2U-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-5-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-9U-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-10U-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-12U-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-14-1.jpgImage EnlargerR66-17U-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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October 15, 2019
11:08 pm
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Kingston, WA
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david.r.s.parker@bigpond.com said
Sorry Bert,

the 2 is surplus, it should read 965359, I’m away from the rifle at the moment and only have a blurry picture of the serial number to go from.  Are the pictures available?

cheers

Dave  

Dave,

 

Thanks for the update, and Yes, I was able to access your pictures.  If you can do so, please take the rifle outdoors and reshoot new pictures in natural light.  Please include close-up pictures showing the juncture of the butt stock to the receiver frame and the upper and lower tangs.

Bert

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October 15, 2019
11:15 pm
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iskra said
About like yours perhaps eastbank except earlier 'artifacts' including four digit SN. Pix of mine particularly featuring such early apparent differences. One notable, my early barrel w/nickel steel nomenclature. Perhaps later editions proof steel? Beyond pix of entire rifle, that of: rear sight, front sight likely typical, butt plate. Possible contrast, mine also with upper tang markings.
All here for whatever elucidation...

Congrats David, in finding an apparent quite nice Mod 53!
Best!R66-12U-1.jpgImage Enlarger  

The Model 53 barrels were Nickel Steel with the exception of the small number that were equipped with a Stainless Steel barrel.  Proof Steel barrel were used on the Model 65, which replaced the Model 53.

Bert

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October 16, 2019
3:24 am
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Hi David

I'm interested in your 25 20's usefulness against feral pigs. I have a Model 53 in 32 20 and an aspiration to use it hunting, with pigs the main target available.

What sort of loads/ projectiles are you using? At what ranges or environments has it been effective?

October 16, 2019
8:09 pm
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What a great thread! If anyone else has a Model 53 that they have not gotten into the Model 53 survey, please either forward that info to Bert, or to me at WinchesterModel53@gmail.com

Regarding the 25-20 and the 32-20 against feral pigs, I'd be very interested in that as well. I must confess to having some doubts about such a small cartridge, especially the 25-20, for pigs. I have a Model 53 in 32 WCF (32-20) and have used it for quite a few problems, especially Racoons and Woodchucks. On Woodchucks, I find the 32-20 at standard velocities to be more effective than the 25-20. The 32-20 almost always drops them on the spot, but I've often had Woodchucks make it into their hole before they expire when using a 25-20. As a result, I use only the 32-20 now with excellent results, but I still have doubts about using it for pigs. If I had to, I would load the standard 115 grain bullet with a medium speed powder and put it out the barrel at the original H.V. velocity, which was closer to 1,600 fps. 

I don't use those old HV ballistics, for three reasons. First, I like a near-subsonic (below 1,200 fps) muzzle velocity to be a bit more discreet and, second, the H.V. loads can really reduce brass life and, third, the 1,200 fps 115 grain bullets almost always drops Racoons and Woodchucks, and skunks on the spot. Pigs, however, are probably a different category.

October 16, 2019
10:29 pm
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Unless you are shooting said pig in the eye or in the ear hole......i can't see pig going down with a 25-20.......but i could be wrong.........Confused

October 16, 2019
10:51 pm
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Kirk Durston said
What a great thread! If anyone else has a Model 53 that they have not gotten into the Model 53 survey, please either forward that info to Bert, or to me at WinchesterModel53@gmail.com

Regarding the 25-20 and the 32-20 against feral pigs, I'd be very interested in that as well. I must confess to having some doubts about such a small cartridge, especially the 25-20, for pigs. I have a Model 53 in 32 WCF (32-20) and have used it for quite a few problems, especially Racoons and Woodchucks. On Woodchucks, I find the 32-20 at standard velocities to be more effective than the 25-20. The 32-20 almost always drops them on the spot, but I've often had Woodchucks make it into their hole before they expire when using a 25-20. As a result, I use only the 32-20 now with excellent results, but I still have doubts about using it for pigs. If I had to, I would load the standard 115 grain bullet with a medium speed powder and put it out the barrel at the original H.V. velocity, which was closer to 1,600 fps. 

I don't use those old HV ballistics, for three reasons. First, I like a near-subsonic (below 1,200 fps) muzzle velocity to be a bit more discreet and, second, the H.V. loads can really reduce brass life and, third, the 1,200 fps 115 grain bullets almost always drops Racoons and Woodchucks, and skunks on the spot. Pigs, however, are probably a different category.  

Kirk,

If you want an anchor them where hit load for your 25-20, try these bullets with a stout load of lil gun powder. (great velocity with low pressure)

https://www.precisionreloading.com/cart.php#!l=HN&i=2510   It's far from subsonic but it's a proven killer on those mid size varmints.Wink

Erin

October 16, 2019
10:58 pm
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Manuel said
Unless you are shooting said pig in the eye or in the ear hole......i can't see pig going down with a 25-20.......but i could be wrong.........Confused  

Don't forget, the 25-20 held title for the world record Buck for close to 80 years...…… Granted, shot placement is key.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jordan_Buck

October 17, 2019
1:18 am
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Thanks for all your comments and interest guys,

 

first for Bert,

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s8kxv706xabhmql/AAA4sOlE7xj34Ubwx7kgOoPua?dl=0

I hope that light is good enough, it’s overcast and raining here today,  it is certainly better light than the shed and I must say I am very embarrassed about the condition of my rifle, it was and is still a bit dirty and looks terribly unloved.

 

in my defence she was carted about in the front of the work Ute for a year on and off. And that leads me to the nature of my hunting and to answer your questions about the pigs. I was so incredibly lucky to be working on a large outback station where I could carry my firearms with me on a daily basis, and as such the nature of my shooting varied greatly, my workhorse was a  weatherby vanguard .223 rem with 60 gr nosler  varmints for light skinned game and 60 gr nosler  partitions for the feral pigs, I was super lucky that point of impact was so close to being the same for these two rounds. I loaded them with 26.5 grains of AR 2208 for around 3100fps, a hot load and right at maximum but worked beautiful for me. 
pig shooting would generally consist of me running into a mob of pigs, often with 20 or so mid sized pigs, plenty of little ones and a few decent boars lurking nearby. The .223 would take care of the biggest ones and then invariably it would be a wild ride chasing the remainder of the mob down, ringing them into a circle and the .25-20 could pick of a few of the smaller pigs. I have only used the factory Winchester rounds so far in this rifle I have plans to reload for it but have had some trouble sourcing brass, I have probably put 300-400 rounds through it but only have a fraction of that brass to show for it as the ejector is fantastically strong.

 

i would occasionally come across a larger pig and usually would aim for the butt of the ear, with both the .25-20 and the .223 I have found that to be most effective. But I’m not sure I can really recommend the .25-20 for a 100% humane solution 100% of the time.  But as has been said shot placement is key, I have seen a dirty great big sow dropped with a .22 magnum, I have also seen a buck kangaroo take a jaw shot from a .300 Wby and keep going. So nothing is guaranteed, but I do understand we have a responsibility to ‘use enough gun’.

thanks to everyone for their contributions

cheers

Dave

October 17, 2019
2:22 am
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I like the way you hunt pigs, Dave! I’ve had some exciting pig hunts but I’m pretty sure yours would top them all. Personally I like to knock them down so hard the ground hurts. 😉 I love putting a smack down on a big bruiser boar and nothing does that better than a 45-70 or maybe a 45 Colt. Big boars are often loners but I’ve been thinking about bringing a subsonic rifle along for the groups of smaller pigs. I don’t have a 25-20 but I do have a 32WCF that will put a 115gr bullet into a young sow’s ear at any reasonable distance. May even be able to get off a second shot before the sounder alerts. 

 

Mike

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October 17, 2019
2:41 am
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Thanks Mike,

I sure was lucky in those years. Our pigs are effectively wild domestic pigs, so they are a bit softer than some others around the world. We plant forage oats as a winter feed and one year in a paddock next to some overgrown brigalow regrowth I saw between 80 and 120 pigs streaming off the paddock, they were like black lines running down the shallow gullies into the timber. I had the .25-20 with me that day and she accounted nicely for a few of the tail Enders, but if I’m honest I was to shocked and awed to make much of the opportunity, I didn’t know wether to go for rifle or camera and it took a moment to pick my jaw up off the ground. 

I also have that .300Wby, that certainly stopped everything, I’m lucky with that rifle too, it’s more accurate than I am that’s for sure, I fired it off a lead sled once and it made a cloverleaf hole at 100 yards.

 

i have always dreamed of a .38-55, and when I get a bit more settled down I want to look into casting my own bullets as well, and if I could find a western action shooting club nearby I’d be all over it like a fat kid on cupcakes.

thanks,

Dave

October 17, 2019
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Erin Grivicich said

Don't forget, the 25-20 held title for the world record Buck for close to 80 years...…… Granted, shot placement is key.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jordan_Buck  

Oh without doubt. Shot placement is key.

 Out here in CA some of the nasty Russians boars get to 300+ lbs.....I'd rather be 200 yards with my 30-06 then say my model 65 or 92 carbine.  

But for the babies....yes I can see the 25-20 doing the trick!

October 17, 2019
4:22 am
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Much better pictures!

My take is that the butt stock was high-graded off of a Model 1892 Sporting Rifle, and it has been sanded and refinished. The rear barrel sight was originally on a Saddle Ring Carbine (most likely a Model 1892). In the spirit of this month, you have a "Frankenchester".

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October 17, 2019
4:46 am
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Thanks Bert!

that makes sense and is what I suspected, and if it’s not original then I feel that it is worth getting tidied up, I had always intended to do that, but knowing now that it has been a bit fiddled with I won’t hold back.

are those common modifications? Personally I quite like the stock and I guess the ladder sight is a good reminder of the trajectory of its round.

its easy to see the value in an original specimen when you realise just how much time has to pass without an accident or a modification by an owner, nearly a hundred years without incident, it makes sense that plenty of modified examples are out there and I’m glad mine is at least tasteful.

 

what sort of value would it have on the US market in its current condition do you think? And what would it be if the blueing was redone and the timber was cleaned up and revarnished? 
 Yes d probably use that as a guide to work out wether I’d get a professional to do it or have a go myself.

cheers

Dave

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