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Wyoming - Gods Country
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January 18, 2022 - 12:55 am
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A few questions on barrel dates –

What is the time frame in which barrel dates have been observed? I’ve seen them around 1930 but wondered how much earlier they are found. On the same subject, how late are they found? Seems I’ve looked at some rifles out in the late 50’s that don’t have them (M61). 

Are they found on all models for the same date range? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them on lever guns, but honestly don’t collect much past 1920 in those guns. I’ve mainly looked at barrel dates on 22’s (bolts and slides) as I do collect some of those in the 20’s to 50’s period.

From a M57

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From a M43

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January 18, 2022 - 2:07 am
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Pdog, the earliest I have seen a barrels dated is “20” which was on very early model 52’s. Winchester quit stamping them in 1956, and that is the latest date I have seen stamped as well. You will see “56” stamps on 52’s and 70’s in the correct s/n range.

Steve

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January 18, 2022 - 3:20 am
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Thanks Steve. Thats earlier than I expected. I wonder if all the models follow suit. Will wait for others to chime in. 

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January 18, 2022 - 4:30 am
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Gary,

For the Model 94, the earliest date I have observed is “20”, and the latest is “55”.  Date stamping the barrels was very sporadic until 1924 when it became very common.  Thus far, I have not (yet) found a Model 94 with a “21”, “22”, or “23” marked barrel.

Bert

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January 18, 2022 - 4:45 am
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Good information Bert. When you say the practice become common in 1924, do you believe that was for all models? For me, I’m mostly looking at slide action 22’s and the occasional bolt action out past 1920.

I probably have a dozen examples out in that range but don’t really care to take them apart just searching for dates. I may do it on some with lower condition rifles out of curiosity. The bolt actions are easy, but the pumps introduce a bit more risk in taking the mag tubes out for a clear view. That said, if it’s not too grungy between the barrel and tube, I can see the barrel date with a good flashlight and magnifying glass without disassembly. 

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January 18, 2022 - 6:10 am
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Gary,

I do not know for sure, but I suspect that Winchester did make it a common practice for all models in 1924. I have examined a fair number of early Model 53 and Model 55 rifles with “24” date stamped barrels. I have also observed a few Model 97 shotguns with a “24” marked barrel.

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January 18, 2022 - 5:15 pm
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Hi Pdog72,

I don’t know about the center-fire rifles but for the lowly .22 rimfire bolt action repeating rifles such as the 52/56/57/69/69A/72/72A and 75 the dates were stamped from inception and continued on the models until 1956 like Steve mentioned.  On the lower-priced models they were not always stamped (less than 50% for the Model 69 and 72) but the higher-cost models were stamped more frequently.  1956 is the last date I have observed on any of the .22 models and I “think” I may have the Change of Manufacturing notice which discontinued the marking but will have to dig for it.

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January 19, 2022 - 5:07 am
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Thanks Jeff. I have a smoothbore 61 from 1956 with no barrel date. Sounds like that’s a pretty definitive end to all barrel dates, which is good to know. Now I need to find some guns from the 20’s era in my safe to tear apart and look for dates. 

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