Winchester

Model 52D.

This is the intermediate competition version of the venerable Model 52. Single shot, no magazine, medium weight 28" barrel. The 52 also can be had with a bull barrel for increased accuracy, but this one is plenty accurate. It's also just plain handsome. This particular rifle has always been a civilian 52D, it's not a CMP resell. Consequently, it's in mint condition.

Sights are Redfield Olympic, which are good but not outstanding. No adjustable aperture on the rear sight, but that hasn't been a major problem.

The wild looking butt plate is actually quite comfortable. It takes the weight of the rifle off of your shooting hand, by levering under your arm. It's made by Al Freeland .

The 52D approaches the Walther KK in accuracy, without the Walther's ponderous weight. At around 9 pounds, it's quite comfortable for carrying in the woods, and can be fired standing without much discomfort. I traded for this rifle in February, 2001, and it is rapidly becoming my favorite weekend plinker. It just feels right.

And here it is with a 2" 15x Unertl scope. That didn't last long. While it certainly shot well with this terrific scope on it, the 52D's relative light weight begs for iron sights and freestyle shooting. The Unertl went onto my Anschutz, where the extra weight didn't make that much difference.

Model 9422M "Yellow Boy"

The classic Winchester lever gun, in .22 WMR.

This is one terrific rifle. So it cost me an arm and a leg, it's as solid, and as well built as you will ever see a rimfire lever gun. No rattles, no rough edges, wood perfectly blended to metal, and machined steel instead of cast, painted alloy and plastic. In 22WMR, this rifle carries a bit of punch and extra range to it as well, and fires with a nice, healthy sounding crack. Effective to 100 yards, and perhaps a bit further. Just a great shooting cowboy gun.

Winchester brought out the 9422 back in 1974, and discontinued it in 2005. Reasons for the shutdown of production have been many, the most logical sounding was that the tooling to make the 9422 was wearing out, and would cost more to rebuild than any potential profit that could be expected.

The fact that Wal-Mart sells the Henry lever action for about half of what a regular 9422 was going for also contributed to its demise. While the Henry can't hold a candle to the Winchester for quality of construction, it is cheaper. That's what the public seems to be demanding these days. Farewell, 9422. You were a product of better times.

Story behind the Yellow Boy version is that it was brought out in answer to the highly successful Henry Golden Boy, which was itself a copy of the original brass receiver Winchester Yellow Boy. The receiver is plated, not solid brass, like the Henry. Unlike the Henry, the Yellow Boy has a machined steel receiver under the plating, whereas the Henry is cast alloy.

Model 1903.

Here is an early classic, Winchester's first automatic smallbore rifle. Unfortunately, this one fires a now obsolete cartridge, the .22 Auto. The Hansen Cartridge company put the 22 Auto into production for a brief run, but prices are stiff - $90 a brick when you can find it.

Blueing is just about 100%, so it has probably been reblued recently. Serial number dates this rifle to around 1905.

That's a Lyman peep sight on the back. Quite effective. Normally, one looks across the open sights and focuses on the target, with the front sight in focus and the back sight a blur. Flip the peep sight up, and the back sight also comes into focus.

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