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Winchester model 58
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January 23, 2021 - 8:05 pm
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I’m always surprised when I find a model of Winchester I didn’t know existed. A older gentleman (Older than me and I’m old) brought me several guns to look at. One was a really nice model 58. I didn’t think much of it from a value point because it’s similar to several of the boys rifles from the turn of the century. A little checking and I was floored at what some has sold for. Does anyone know how many were made (and why the high values)? I know they were only made for a few years during the depression. It’s a very cute little gun. Thanks for any info.

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January 23, 2021 - 8:18 pm
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Jim Rogers said
I’m always surprised when I find a model of Winchester I didn’t know existed. A older gentleman (Older than me and I’m old) brought me several guns to look at. One was a really nice model 58. I didn’t think much of it from a value point because it’s similar to several of the boys rifles from the turn of the century. A little checking and I was floored at what some has sold for. Does anyone know how many were made (and why the high values)? I know they were only made for a few years during the depression. It’s a very cute little gun. Thanks for any info.  

About 38,992, according to Watrous, from ’28 to ’31.  To me, that seems not a small number, though the survival rate for cheap guns is always low–they were almost in the “disposable” category.

Over 75,000 of the Thumb-Trigger models were made, which should make it relatively common, except for the fact that it was cheaper, & thus even more “disposable” than the 58.

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January 23, 2021 - 11:19 pm
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Clarence is right, those cheap guns just did not get the care and respect as a more expensive rifle but also keep in mind a lot of them were used hard during the depression to keep meat on the table.

Clarence also mentioned the Watrous book which is an excellent resource if you just want a quick overview of the variety of models produced.  You never know when an even more obscure .22 rifle will cross your path, like the subsequent Model 59 .22.

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March 1, 2021 - 5:59 pm
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I have an old Model 58 (with the curly trigger guard).  It was my grandfather’s.  It is is extremely poor condition.  The extractor hasn’t worked since at least 1957.  The stock it taped to the barrel (presumably the screw is stripped).  The stock is in extremely poor condition.  I have thought about doing a restoration on it, but haven’t decided yet.

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March 1, 2021 - 6:03 pm
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Jeff in Calgary said
I have an old Model 58 (with the curly trigger guard).  It was my grandfather’s.  It is is extremely poor condition.  The extractor hasn’t worked since at least 1957.  The stock it taped to the barrel (presumably the screw is stripped).  The stock is in extremely poor condition.  I have thought about doing a restoration on it, but haven’t decided yet.  

You are not going to hurt its value any, so have at it.

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March 1, 2021 - 9:47 pm
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I have what you might call, a nice one. It has a minty bore and I think when it gets a little warmer here, I will take it to the range. Not expecting any spectacular groups, but one never knows. I have a cheepo M60 that groups very well at 50 yards. Big Larry

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March 1, 2021 - 10:33 pm
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I’m still looking for one that isn’t all beat to crap.

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March 2, 2021 - 5:06 pm
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cranky2 said
I’m still looking for one that isn’t all beat to crap.  

Very hard to find nice examples, and when you do, prepare to dig deep in your pockets.  I bought my 85%er from a Cabelas online for $715. That was with 6% tax and shipping. 85% is great condition for one of these Boys rifles. Sorry, no pics at this time. My buddy is thinking on building a light box for taking pics. Good luck.  Big LarrySmileSmileSmile

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March 9, 2021 - 5:02 pm
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I just had a friend hand this model 58 to me asking to fix the cracks in the stock. I’m completely new to gun repair/restoration and really don’t want to mess this up. I’m curious just based off the picture what else I could/should do, or SHOULDN’T do! 

 

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March 9, 2021 - 6:06 pm
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Based on its current condition, there is almost nothing you can do to it (other than throwing it in the wood stove) that is going to further degrade it.  Winchester used cheap Gumwood for the stocks on most of the single shot .22 caliber rifles.  It is very soft, and easily damaged by typical use.  My only recommendation is to remove as little of the wood as possible, and try steaming out as many of the dents and bruises as possible.

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March 9, 2021 - 6:16 pm
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Bert H. said
Based on its current condition, there is almost nothing you can do to it (other than throwing it in the wood stove) that is going to further degrade it.  Winchester used cheap Gumwood for the stocks on most of the single shot .22 caliber rifles.  It is very soft, and easily damaged by typical use.  My only recommendation is to remove as little of the wood as possible, and try steaming out as many of the dents and bruises as possible.

Bert  

What about to the barrel itself? 

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March 9, 2021 - 6:23 pm
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Avoid using anything overly abrasive, or using a buffing wheel to clean-up the barrel. While it might take extra time & effort, I would use Kroil and 0000 steel wool to clean of the exterior of the barrel. The goal is to minimize the damage to the factory markings on the barrel. If the bore looks like the exterior, the only option is to install a liner in it.

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March 9, 2021 - 6:36 pm
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Bert H. said
Avoid using anything overly abrasive, or using a buffing wheel to clean-up the barrel. While it might take extra time & effort, I would use Kroil and 0000 steel wool to clean of the exterior of the barrel. The goal is to minimize the damage to the factory markings on the barrel. If the bore looks like the exterior, the only option is to install a liner in it.  

Thank you. Because I would have been so tempted to try to buff it! I can see the factory markings and was definitely concerned about doing anything that would remove those. The bore actually looks pretty good as best as I can tell. 

In terms of the wood stock, once I deal with these cracks, is boiled linseed oil a bad idea on the exterior? Or what other things would be best to put on it as last step?

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March 9, 2021 - 8:37 pm
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Boiled linseed oil with some stain in it should work just fine.

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March 9, 2021 - 10:24 pm
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After cleaning and removing rust with Kroil , you can easily refinish by rust bluing . Its not hard and not expensive to do. I would stain the  stock then use tung oil .

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