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The era of flaking
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February 3, 2023 - 3:11 pm
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Recently someone posted a Winchester they had owned for a few decades that had not flaked at all at the time of purchase but had since flaked—and just due to normal storage conditions.

Now, memories are not infallible.  Is it possible that the individual was forgetting the original condition of their rifle?

However, in this case, what they say seems true.

And so what causes this flaking just being stored?  I’m well aware that different metallurgy is the root cause of it all.

And to prevent this from occurring to others, what date range based on specific models should be avoided.  For example, I’m not aware of this occurring at all in the Model 1886 and, according to Madis, this model was manufactured until 1932.  (Bert might have more up to date information as to the date of last manufacture or shipment of the Model 1886).

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February 3, 2023 - 6:22 pm
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Regarding my previous post about the flaking on my Model 65.  You are probably correct in the assumption that the flaking had started long before the guns were purchased.  The flaking may not have been so prevalent as to have caused any concern when the the gun was purchased.  In all truthfulness, it is strongly possible that I didn’t pay much attention to the discoloration at the time of purchase.  Time has passed and now the discoloration has spread and become ‘flaking’.  My memory doesn’t always recall minor flaws that may have been overlooked or ignored when I was ‘In Heat’ for a Winchester.  As I showed with the pictures, the 1938 vintage 218 BEE, shows no signs of flaking and it has for years been next to the 25-20.  Thank you for your input.  RDB

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February 3, 2023 - 6:40 pm
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I believe the 94’s flaking started around 1918-1919 after WWI and continued until the early 1940’s when the W stamp came into play. Bert will certainly know and be able to confirm the dates.

 Rick C 

   

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February 3, 2023 - 7:36 pm
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The “flaking” issue is found on some Winchesters’ as early as 1917 and it was prevalent through the early 1930s. Winchester began changing the forged steel alloy from the older “high strength steel” (sometimes referred to as “ordnanca” steel) to the new CMS (Chrome-Moly Steel) around mid-year 1934. At the same time, the bluing formula was changed to the Du-Light solution (tank) bluing. The Winchester Models that exhibited the worst bluing loss were the Models 53 and 55 (manufactured from 1924 – 1932), but it did affect many other models in production at that same time.

In regards to the Model 1886, it is important to keep in mind that a relatively small number of them were actually manufactured in the years 1918 through 1935 (estimated to be less than 5,000 rifles), and that many of them in that time frame were assembled from older parts still on-hand that pre-dated the bluing issue. To give an example, Model 1886 S/N 154178 was received in the warehouse on August 7th, 1917.

Bert

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February 3, 2023 - 9:06 pm
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Bert H. said
The “flaking” issue is found on some Winchesters’ as early as 1917 and it was prevalent through the early 1930s. Winchester began changing the forged steel alloy from the older “high strength steel” (sometimes referred to as “ordnanca” steel) to the new CMS (Chrome-Moly Steel) around mid-year 1934. At the same time, the bluing formula was changed to the Du-Light solution (tank) bluing. The Winchester Models that exhibited the worst bluing loss were the Models 53 and 55 (manufactured from 1924 – 1932), but it did affect many other models in production at that same time.

In regards to the Model 1886, it is important to keep in mind that a relatively small number of them were actually manufactured in the years 1918 through 1935 (estimated to be less than 5,000 rifles), and that many of them in that time frame were assembled from older parts still on-hand that pre-dated the bluing issue. To give an example, Model 1886 S/N 154178 was received in the warehouse on August 7th, 1917.

Bert  

Thank you, Bert!  As always, you come through with the correct answer!

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