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Model 43 date of manufacture
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August 15, 2018 - 6:44 pm
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I acquired a model 43 serial number 19257A. I know they were made from 1949 to 1957. Anyone have an idea when in that range it was made? Thanks.

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August 15, 2018 - 7:49 pm
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Jim,

The Model 43 was only in production from May 1948 through December 1953.  Winchester continued to catalog them through 1957 to sell remaining stock on hand.  Serial number 19257A was manufactured in February 1950.  If you read the article that I wrote (in the Spring 2016 Collector magazine), it explains the Model 43 production history in better detail.  Based on my research survey, the odds are very high that your rifle is chambered for the 218 Bee cartridge… is it?  Is it a standard or a Special rifle?

Bert

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August 15, 2018 - 7:52 pm
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Thanks Bert. It is a 218 Bee and a standard rifle. It has 2 magazines. It came off of a lady’s fathers boat.

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August 15, 2018 - 8:05 pm
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Jim,

I am in hunt for correct ,218 magazine.  If your’s are correct would you be interested in selling one?   There is a post in the forum by Bert with pictures of correct Model 43 .218 magazine for reference.

Thanks for considering.

Mac

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August 16, 2018 - 6:11 pm
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Mac, I plan to keep them together with the rifle at the moment. There are several on ebay at the moment though.

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August 16, 2018 - 7:13 pm
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Jim,

Thanks for responding to my question (I had to at least ask).  I’m off to eBay for my daily check.

Mac

P.S.  If you ever change your mind…

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January 15, 2019 - 11:52 pm
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I would be interested in reading this article where can I find it, I have a model 43 .22 hornet with a high serial number I am also searching for a clip

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January 16, 2019 - 7:04 am
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boyce454 said
I would be interested in reading this article where can I find it, I have a model 43 .22 hornet with a high serial number I am also searching for a clip  

My article discussing the Model 43 is available for viewing here on the WACA website for anyone who is a WACA member in good standing.  I can tell you when your Model 43 was manufactured if you provide the serial number.  Magazines can routinely be found on eBay, or at most large gun shows.

Bert

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Drew
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June 8, 2020 - 6:22 am
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I have just recently acquired a model 43 in 22 hornet….with a serial number 15525 am I able to get a manufacture date and possibly a review on quality and aquracy….i have not yet had the chance to shoot it and would love to know what I can expect 

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Drew said
I have just recently acquired a model 43 in 22 hornet….with a serial number 15525 am I able to get a manufacture date and possibly a review on quality and aquracy….i have not yet had the chance to shoot it and would love to know what I can expect   

Your Model 43 rifle was manufactured in November of 1949.  It predates the timer period in which Winchester factory drilled & tapped them for scope mounts.  Of slight concern on the earlier production rifles likes yours, is the head space.  The receiver and bolt were improved beginning in January 1950 to strengthen the action to help prevent head space issues.  As long as you stick with factory loaded ammo, it should not be an issue unless it already has developed excessive head space problems.

In general, the Model 43 is capable of very fine accuracy with the 22 Hornet cartridge, but they can be picky about the specific ammo to shoot in them for best accuracy.  My Model 43 22 Hornet loves the Remington 45-gr HP factory load the best, and shoots 1/2-inch groups @100 yards with it.  If I switch to Winchester 45-gr SP ammo, my group immediately opens to nearly 2-inches @100 yards.  My recommendation is to by a box on all the factory varieties you can find, and spend a day at the range shooting them to see which one your rifle likes the best.

Can you tell me if your rifle is a Standard, or a Special?  Has it been drilled & tapped (aftermarket) for a scope?

Bert

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June 9, 2020 - 10:24 am
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I’m going to assume standard as its not checkered…..it has been drilled and tapped it came with bases when I bought it 

I plan to do some shooting today…all I can find is 35 grain ammo I am in British Columbia Canada and the town I live in is very limited to what I can get….im not exactly sure what headspace issues are….i myself don’t reload so it will.be factory ammo that I will shoot….how do i know if i have headspace issues and if i do have them how is it corrected 

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June 9, 2020 - 12:28 pm
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Also when I did a search on it….i found something about a slanted bolt handle….something about later models started coming with predrilled and tapped and a slanted bolt….slant of the bolt was towards the back off the rifle…

Could this mean anything different….replaced an original bolt….maybe a warranty replacement later run maybe a last batch kinda thing with the upgrades that came out in 1950 

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June 9, 2020 - 1:59 pm
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Drew said
I’m going to assume standard as its not checkered…..it has been drilled and tapped it came with bases when I bought it 

I plan to do some shooting today…all I can find is 35 grain ammo I am in British Columbia Canada and the town I live in is very limited to what I can get….im not exactly sure what headspace issues are….i myself don’t reload so it will.be factory ammo that I will shoot….how do i know if i have headspace issues and if i do have them how is it corrected   

Drew,

If it has a smooth uncheckered stock, it is a “Standard” rifle.

Headspace issues will typically be manifested by deformed empty cases, or a protruding or deformed primer.  If your rifle has headspace issues, it may not be something that can be readily corrected.

It appears that your local gun shop is carrying Hornady ammo.

Bert (just to the south of you in western Washington)

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June 9, 2020 - 2:08 pm
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Drew said
Also when I did a search on it….i found something about a slanted bolt handle….something about later models started coming with predrilled and tapped and a slanted bolt….slant of the bolt was towards the back off the rifle…

Could this mean anything different….replaced an original bolt….maybe a warranty replacement later run maybe a last batch kinda thing with the upgrades that came out in 1950   

The early production Model 43 rifles were made with a straight (90-degree) bolt handle.  Shortly after production began, Winchester changed the bolt design to a “swept” (bent) bolt handle, but it had nothing to do with the receiver being pre-drilled & tapped for mounting a scope.  That is an urban myth that has been spread around for several decades (people use it to try explaining why a rifle that has been D&T after the fact).  The swept bolts begin to appear at serial number 1100, and fully replace the straight bolt before serial number 8800.  The pre-drilled & tapped receivers did not occur until October 1950, in the 31780 serial number range.

I have attached pictures of the two bolt types.  Your rifle should have a swept bolt.

Bert

Straight-Bolt-1.jpgImage EnlargerBent-bolt-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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June 9, 2020 - 7:21 pm
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I’m intrigued by this thread.  I have a model 43 in 22 Hornet which has been drilled and tapped for scope mounts. I bought it for a few hundred bucks assuming it had been modified and therefore no collector value.  I like the caliber and its pretty little shooter.

But the serial number is 6155A. According to this thread, it could have come from the factory with scope mounting capability. 

 

I’ll look more closely and take some photos next time I’m home. 

Nevada Paul

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June 9, 2020 - 8:03 pm
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Nevada Paul said
I’m intrigued by this thread.  I have a model 43 in 22 Hornet which has been drilled and tapped for scope mounts. I bought it for a few hundred bucks assuming it had been modified and therefore no collector value.  I like the caliber and its pretty little shooter.

But the serial number is 6155A. According to this thread, it could have come from the factory with scope mounting capability. 

 

I’ll look more closely and take some photos next time I’m home.   

Paul,

I will assume that you missed a digit in the serial number… with the correct number, I can pin down the month & year it was manufactured.  Assuming that it is in the 61,000 serial range, it was a late production rifle, and Yes, it was factory drilled & tapped for mounting a scope.

It is really easy to identify a factory drilled & tapped Model 43 from one that was not.  Simply look at the front face of the rear receiver frame ring. On the pre-October 1950 production receivers, you will see that it has a 45-degree beveled face.  On the October 1950 and later receivers, the front face has a 90-degree corner.  This transition took place almost exactly half way through the Model 43 production.  I have attached pictures showing the different contour of the two.

Early production (not factory drilled & tapped)

Non-Factory-DT-19235A.jpgImage EnlargerNon-Factory-DT.jpgImage Enlarger

Late production (factory drilled & tapped)

Factory-DT.jpgImage Enlarger

Bert

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June 10, 2020 - 1:53 am
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Yes, Bert. My typo. In my spreadsheet, the SN for the 43 is 61555A.  I’m traveling and a long way from home. When I return, I’ll double check the bevel on the receiver ring and the shape of the bolt. Hopefully, everything else about it is unscathed. I may have a gem and not known it all this time.

It’s a great shooter in any case. I made a truck varmint gun out of it, thinking it had no value. Hope I haven’t beat it up!

P

Nevada Paul

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June 10, 2020 - 2:49 am
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Paul,

I can already tell you that it will have a swept (bent) bolt, and no bevel on the receiver frame ring. It was manufactured in September 1953.

Bert

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June 10, 2020 - 5:08 am
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In your pictures of the two bolts….mine is the bottom one you have attached

Yes my local store has 2 or 3 brands….i have sighted rifle in today….mind you not 100 percent fine tuned….i was in the middle of a bear hunt haha…but with scope mounted and Hornady 35g vmax and American eagle 35g I was getting touching groups of 3 at 50 yards….i did a bore sight and first group of 3 just bore sighted the group was less than half inch at 25 yards…dialed it in a bit…and managed clover leafs at 50 yards with both brands of ammo….i was in a rush to get moving ? 

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June 10, 2020 - 5:27 am
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I just inspected my empty cases…..the brass all look fine…but on a unfired round the primer feels kinda sunk into the brass…on the fired ones some…not all the primers feel slightly….and i mean slightly outta the primer pocket….

 

Is this a bad thing? Seems to shoot strait out to 50 yards….if it is a headspace issue how does one correct it….if its even possable

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