Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Winchester Model 1890 Sliding Action Repeater

Winchester Model 1890 Slide-Action Rifle

I've enjoyed taking the time to dig into the history behind this rifle and look forward to doing the same with other older models that I've encountered over time.  In the works as of this post is my 1932 Remington Model 11 Sportsman in 16 gauge, I've got plenty of information already on it but I just need to find it and put it all together.  There are many sites that were useful in my research, and I've listed one of my favorites below.  Without further ado, let's roll...

Visible hammer
Calibers:  22 short, long, 22 Winchester Rimfire (WRF)  
Tubular magazine hold 15 short, 12 long, 11 LR; 12 WRF
24 inch octagon bbl. 
Weight: 5.75 lbs. 
Sights:  open rear; bead front. 
Plain straight-grip stock, grooved slide handle 
Originally solid frame; after No. 15,499, all rifles of this model were takedown-type.  Fancy checkered pistol-grip stock
Nickel-steel bbl.  supplied at extra cost, which can also increase the value by 100% or more. 
750,000 produced from 1890-1932.

Source:  25th edition Gun Trader’s Guide, Stoeger Publishing Company.  Accokek, Maryland (2003)

The 1890 model has the honor of being the first slide action rifle produced by Winchester and was designed as the Winchester 1890 pump action rife by John Moses and Matthew Browning (US. Patent 385,238). 

The 1890 was chambered for .22 short, long, and rimfire (WRF), but these rounds are not interchangeable thus limiting the ability to mix ammunition.   Translation, you shoot what the rifle says it can, no exceptions.

The .22 Winchester Rimfire cartridge (WRF) was introduced in 1890 loaded with a 45 grain bullet with a full diameter heel, rather than the tapered heel bullet of the .22 Long Rifle.  Just like our modern centerfire and magnum rounds, the .22 WRF fires a .224" diameter bullet.

The Model 1890 was produced from 1890 to 1932 and sold as a fine, affordable firearm that provided hours of enjoyment in the field or at many shooting galleries.  After checking the serial number on our 1890, I found the number above 830,000.  This then then to further investigation and apparently serial numbers were picked inconsistently with entire groups skipped.  The total production of the 1890 from 1890 to 1941 is 764,215 but the highest serial number to date is 849,110.  With some further digging, I found that the 1890 was sold as inventory clean up from 1932 to 1941.  Therefore, it would be fair to suggest that there is some discrepancy about the actual number of 1890 rifles produced. 

The 1890 was offered in several models as time progressed.  The very first models (1890-1893) were produced in a solid frame until number 15,500 brought about a take down version as the second model.  The receivers of these two models were case hardened until 1901 when with the third model, all receivers after were blued.

To access an excellent site with the ins and outs of the Winchester Model 1890 I'd certainly recommend:  Two Ponies


  1. The receiver’s action, bolt, ejector, all remind me of a lever action, but the forearm reminds me of a riot or trench gun.

    Is the ammo common today?

    I don’t have any 22’s, but I am planning to purchase 2 pink ones in 7 years.

  2. Nice write up! I enjoy a good history lesson about fine firearms. By the way, that nice little Model 11 that you've got.....also a Browning design. John M Browning sold the gun to the Remington Company after Winchester turned it down. It was later produced by Browning and is now known around the world as the A-5!

  3. Reverend- You can buy all of the ammo today, mine for instance is the .22 long just like my other .22 rifles (10/22 for example).

    Trey- You are correct my friend. A+ from the history teacher.

  4. Looks like a gun right out of a John Wayne movie. Cool piece.

  5. The one I own is in the 39000 range and is marked 22 long. having a hard time finding ammo as 22 long rifle ammo jams. Any Idea where to purchase 22 long ammo?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...