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Winchester Model 63 questions
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Fellas:
I've settled on the 63 as a .22 I would like to pruchase and shoot. Looking at Guns International and other sites I am a bit confused as to originality. I've seen:

barrels of 20 and 23 inches
butt plates that are plain, others are checkered
receiver tops are grooved and others not
receivers drilled for peep sights, others not
some tangs are drilled for sights, others not
prices from $500 to $5000
etc.

I want an original 63. Originality is more important than condition. I'm not a collector, just want it to plink and maybe a grouse or two. That said, I don't want a junker.
Enlighten me, gentlemen.
Cal


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Cal Pappas, Willow, Alaska
www.CalPappas.com
www.CalPappas.blogspot.com
1994 Zimbabwe
1997 Zimbabwe
1998 Zimbabwe
1999 Zimbabwe
1999 Namibia, Botswana, Zambia--vacation
2000 Australia
2002 South Africa
2003 South Africa
2003 Zimbabwe
2005 South Africa
2005 Zimbabwe
2006 Tanzania
2006 Zimbabwe--vacation
2007 Zimbabwe--vacation
2008 Zimbabwe
2012 Australia
2013 South Africa
2013 Zimbabwe
2013 Australia
2016 Zimbabwe
2017 Zimbabwe
2018 South Africa
2018 Zimbabwe--vacation
2019 South Africa
2019 Botswana
2019 Zimbabwe vacation
2021 South Africa
2021 South Africa (2nd hunt a month later)
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Posts: 7281 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With Quote
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I don't pretend to be an expert but I do have a couple of 63's. The original carbines are very scarce and were only made for a brief time. The standard rifle has the 23" bbl. The very last ones made had the grooved receivers. Browning brought them back for a while (in the 80's?) and new ones can still be found. I personally think they are the slickest of the .22 autos ever made. They were designed for high speed ammo and can get cranky if fed standard velocity stuff. Of late I have been using mine for rf steel challenge matches and having a lot of fun with it. If you want the real nittygritty info go over to Rimfirecentral. There are some serious collectors over there that are very helpfull.
C.G.B.
 
Posts: 1031 | Registered: 25 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Early 63's up to around 103,000 used a smooth steel butt plate like the earlier Model 03 auto loader.
Betw 103,000 and 117,000 the checkered steel plate came into use,,and BOTH styles were used on the rifles in this range.
After 117,000, the checkered steel was used and the smooth steel dropped.
** all ser# ranges are approx and the one of's will appear sometimes as parts were never thrown away. Butt plates are not #'d to the rifle. **

Pre-war butt stocks have a sharper comb and overall thinner 'feel' to them. The post war stock is just slightly thicker in the comb towards the nose.

Smooth faced trigger up to the 117,000 ser# range,,then the grooved trigger became standard,

Orig bbl length was 20". After approx 15,000, the 23" length was added. After approx 52,000, the 20" was dropped.

Upper tang was orig D&T'd for a tang sight.
I don't have the ser# range when that was dropped but generally I take it to be a pre-WW2 feature.

Very early rifles had a small locking tab to depress to unlock the TD screw like on the Mod 03.
Dropped by the time the first 5000 rifles were made.

I don't think any production rifles were made with the sides of the rec'vr D&T's for a rec'vr sight/
You could special order a couple of different rec'vr sights be fitted and the factory would do that for you. But not a normal assembly line run.

Smooth 'Round top' rec'vr up to around 156,000. After that it's hit and miss wether the rifles would be factory grooved for the tip-off mounts till around 163.000. At that point it's generally taken as all were factory grooved for the tip-off mt.

The open rear sight was always the stamped sheet steel plain sight w/ elevator (32B ??)

Ser# will be on the bottom with a matching number , one over the other, on the recv'r and the trigger guard.
Some will have an 'A' stamped as an extra letter to the ser# on the recv'r only.
That indicates some minor engineering change(s) done inside.
The practice was kind of hit and miss and gone by around 170,000 or there abouts.

I've been told all 63's were pistol grip,,but have read that some early rifles were straight grip.
I don't know!
A Model 03 straight grip stock will fit and a 63 pistol grip stock can be altered.


There are no factory records on these so you are on your own if you get into a 'special order' 'rare' or 'deluxe' rifles.
Lots of fakes around in that arena,, even complete with box, paper work, custom shop letter, ect.

A nice legit M63 is not hard to find though.

Hope this helps.
 
Posts: 501 | Registered: 08 June 2008Reply With Quote
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Thanks for writing so much, 2152hq. I appreciate the extensive education on the 63. And, cgbach, I will look to rimfire central soon.
Again, my thanks, gentlemen.
Cal


_______________________________

Cal Pappas, Willow, Alaska
www.CalPappas.com
www.CalPappas.blogspot.com
1994 Zimbabwe
1997 Zimbabwe
1998 Zimbabwe
1999 Zimbabwe
1999 Namibia, Botswana, Zambia--vacation
2000 Australia
2002 South Africa
2003 South Africa
2003 Zimbabwe
2005 South Africa
2005 Zimbabwe
2006 Tanzania
2006 Zimbabwe--vacation
2007 Zimbabwe--vacation
2008 Zimbabwe
2012 Australia
2013 South Africa
2013 Zimbabwe
2013 Australia
2016 Zimbabwe
2017 Zimbabwe
2018 South Africa
2018 Zimbabwe--vacation
2019 South Africa
2019 Botswana
2019 Zimbabwe vacation
2021 South Africa
2021 South Africa (2nd hunt a month later)
______________________________
 
Posts: 7281 | Location: Willow, Alaska | Registered: 29 June 2009Reply With Quote
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One must be more diligent than normal about keeping the innards of a 63 clean. If one becomes very dirty, they can go full auto.
 
Posts: 111 | Location: Humboldt County, California | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With Quote
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Ive never seen one go full auto and I been shooting them for over 70 years, carried the one I now have several hundred miles in a saddle scabbard on a leased old Mexico ranch my dad made a deal to fence one summer..Today it wears a 4X Leupold Compact in an old Redfield base with Buehler rings.

My job bacl themn at about 13 or 14 years old was to keep the 20 to 30 man fencing crew in deer meat, and that required I keep the local Forrestales in meat also, plus a sack of sugar from time to time. I also traded deer for quail at the local town of Boquillas, a number of miles down the road..My 22 did the job and it got plenty dirty and crudded up but never failed to shoot and never went full auto, sounds like the poster had a sear engagement problem, however low velocity loads will cause that problem in some 63s.

Ive owned a dozen or so of them, they are IMO the finest 22 ever built, all milled part and no tin., as well as the most accurate out of the box 22 Ive ever shot.

I built myself a full blown custom with the help of Dennis Olson, quarter rib, barrel band swivel and front sight. rear talley QD peep and a Leupold 2.5X Alaskan in Talley rings that connected to the quarter rib..It fed thru the butt without the side entry loading gate..the magazine was extended to lengthen the stock, and a dark, almost black beautiful piece of exhibition Russian Circassian walnut with fine checkering and rust blue that topped it off. It was my dream rifle and like most dream rifle I sold it for more money than I could even consider turning down.. I have another 63 in my position that I intend to customize if I ever get around to it.

I guess Im saying they are just wonderful rifles in every respect..they don't make them like that anymore.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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The first three items are fairly common and ogiginal, plus some had two holes in the tang for the old redfield peeps that are clean and look great on them, if they are grooved for scope, they are a later gun and will not have the two tang 6/48 screws the others are not.Recevers were not d&t. only the tangs. barrels were 20 inches and I think you could order them at 21, 22 and 24? mine are 20 or 21 depending on where you measure them but the factory allowed for the length of the loaded 22 ammo to be subtracted from the action a 20 will be 21..Most butt plates as far as I know were smooth steel only, maybe the last ones were something other than steel...but buy and older gun without grooves etc..A good original 63 should run form $900 to $1200. A $1200 would be hang tag almost.. A hangtag and box might be any price.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I recently sold my 1941 model w/tang sight for $1250.00 + yes the rumor was that you could "beat" the sear + go full auto;I never tried it.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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My Model 63. Winchester high grade reproduction made for Winchester/Browning by Miroku in 1997. The other side of the receiver has two squirrels in gold inlay. Love it!
 
Posts: 17562 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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I have an old 63, probably 1950. Some genius decided to shorten the stock. Someone tried to make the rifle functional again by cutting shims from the side of an old washing machine. Used wood screws to hold the shims in place. We call it "the Maytag Special". Confused

Are there replacement stocks?
 
Posts: 111 | Location: Humboldt County, California | Registered: 03 December 2008Reply With Quote
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I agree the M63 is the best semi-auto 22 hands down. I picked up three at a Rock Island auction about 10 years ago. Two of the 3 were in as new condition. You might check their upcoming auctions to see what they may have.
 
Posts: 202 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 April 2016Reply With Quote
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scroll down the page to find some stocks

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.htm...el+63+stock&_sacat=0


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Posts: 4416 | Location: Eltham , New Zealand | Registered: 13 May 2002Reply With Quote
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My father collected all those early winchester 22's/ 61 pump,61 magnum pump,62A pump,63 semi auto. The are all neat as well as the Remington 121 pump,Remington 241 (Same as the age old browning with a longer barrel). He also had a "premier" pump which I am not real familiar with and an old Savage pump he carried on a tractor with him as a kid growing up on a working farm in the Panhandle of Texas.
I love those old guns. I will pass them on to my son as well.
Rossi made replicas of the 63 and the 62 and I acquired a 63 replica. It is no where near the quality of the original Winchester.
I really like the old pump 62's with an exposed hammer and the entire top section of the receiver/bolt elevates and comes back to cock the hammer.
Creative engineering there...

Bunch of 63's on guns international for around $1K. Peanuts relative to your doubles!

EZ
 
Posts: 3051 | Location: Texas | Registered: 06 January 2009Reply With Quote
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My dad had a ranch leased in Mexico at one time and his payment was to fence the entire 50,000 acres. I was across from the Big Bend..My job was to keep the fencing crew fed with the abundance of deer on the place. I did that with a iron sighted Win. mod 63..during a couple of summers..Also kept the local law dogs and Forrestals feed and traded deer for quail in the nearest town of Boquillas..Best of 22s along with my Brno mod. 1..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Just bought a like new in the box Miroku Winchester 63 Reproduction for $650. Seemed like a fair price. I fell in love with the gun the minute I shouldered it. FYI There was a recall on the Reproduction 63's involving the firing pin. If you see a set screw in the bolt face it has been repaired. Bought a clip fed Winchester 77 at the same time. Both will compliment my 61 22 mag, my Custom 1906, and my good old 69A.
 
Posts: 279 | Registered: 07 July 2009Reply With Quote
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M63 but it's got a side mount.

 
Posts: 5830 | Location: NY, NY | Registered: 28 November 2005Reply With Quote
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If you will be shooting it primarily with irons, take a look at the original Lyman No. 45 sight purpose-designed for the '03 and 63. It is very slim and flat, with no adjustment knobs. The elevation uses a rack and pinion gear with a locking lever, and has a re-settable scale to record your basic zero. Windage is adjusted with a small screwdriver. It doesn't stick out from the right side at all, and barely does from the left.

It keeps the trim, sleek lines of the 63 **much** better than the typical receiver sight,
while adding lots of precision and sight radius. They have a flip-down insert in the peep which has a smaller aperture, so with just a flick of the fingernail, you can choose between larger and smaller peep sights, without having to remember spare apertures or worrying about losing them.

They require drilling 3 small holes in the side of the rifle, but they are definitely a "period" appropriate modification. I like them MUCH better than the fold-down tang peep sights, which get in the way of your thumb and don't offer as much precision adjustment.

I use a fine bead front which doesn't cover up much of even small field targets (squirrel head, small rock for plinking, etc.) and the little rifle is LETHAL.

Mine is from the early-mid-50's and while marked "For Super Speed and Super-X" (I think they all were), it shoots standard velocity ammo just fine. Doesn't break the sound barrier and keeps the noise down nicely, plus better accuracy when using good match ammo.

Be CERTAIN to check the bore carefully. Many people think you never have to clean a .22, which results in pitting and worn rifling. Also, I have seen some that had bulged barrels, including minty specimens. The bulge can be mild enough that you don't notice it immediately, so look carefully. I'd clean the bore with a Bore Snake/solvent if possible before buying, and shine a light into the breech and look for rings in the bore.

Another quick and easy check is, with a clean bore, to shine a flashlight at about a 45 degree angle into the muzzle from the side, and rotate it slowly, carefully examining the rifling land ends and grooves for any damage, wear, rolled ends on the lands, pits, etc. If you do see something minor, like a slightly rolled land edge or 2 in an otherwise excellent bore, that's an easy fix, even for the do-it-yourselver, but you might mention it to the seller as a bargaining point.

One feature many don't know about is that the bolt can easily be locked to the rear. Just push the operating handle forward of the forend and rotate the finger-piece, and it will lock back. Then rotate again to let it go.

The rifles take apart very easily into halves using the takedown screw at the top/rear of the receiver, and it is very easy to clean inside. I have not found them to require much in the way of cleaning for reliability.

To preserve your .22 barrels, just wipe out the bore after shooting with a good bore snake and solvent. This will prevent the powder/primer fouling from hardening, which wears at the bore when bullets are fired over it at a later date. If you didn't wipe it out after shooting, I'd recommend a quick scrub before shooting for the same reason. Bore snakes are not a substitute for a GOOD, 1-piece STRAIGHT rod and bronze brush with solvent, but will do a lot to keep the worst fouling out of your barrel.

From my examinations of Anschutz, etc. using a bore scope and different cleaning methods/intervals, I'd say that anything more than about 2-3 strokes with a Bore Snake is wasted time on a rimfire. Anything left after about 2 strokes will likely take a couple/few strokes with a rod and wetted brush, plus patches to clean out.

Of interest, a friend bought a mint 63 with a period scope on it, and only a couple of weeks later realized the barrel was bulged several inches back from the muzzle. We tested it carefully with several different types of ammo, both high velocity, standard velocity, Eley match, etc. As I recall, an average of six 5-shot groups at 50 yards was usually about 1.3". How it would have shot without the bulge, I can't say. That's the only one I've ever gotten to shoot with a scope.

Winchester cut-rifled their barrels until about 1954, and even on their less-expensive .22's, these barrels can give outstanding accuracy. If using a scope without drilling/tapping is important, look for a grooved model (which can bring a premium), but be aware you will likely NOT get a cut-rifled barrel, as best I recall.

An example of the accuracy from one cut-rifled Win. .22 barrel: My Dad bought a Win. 74 .22 auto rifle (simple, workmanlike piece, not expensive -- I think he paid $16 for it?) in 1940. It has a 1939 barrel date (2-digit number on the underside of the barrel.) It has always been a very accurate rifle, but one day I decided to see just how good it was.

A 100-yard indoor range had opened in town which was destined to starve to death because the clientele to support such a facility just wasn't there. However, I took the opportunity to test a few rimfires at 100 in nice, calm conditions. Using a 24X Leupold specially mounted to the 74 for the occasion, I tested it at 100 with my best lot of (then $1.85/box) Eley Standard, their lowest grade of standard-velocity ammo. By selecting lots carefully, you could get ammo that shot nearly as well as Tenex at 100 yards, and it was a mainstay for me in Silhouette for years.

This ammo shot six, 5-shot groups at 100 into 1.24" at 100 from the little 74. My Kimber of Oregon Super America shot it into 1.20" under the same conditions. A buddy who worked at a local gun store but who had no clue about rimfire accuracy had what he considered to be a real high-end squirrel-smacker -- a Ruger 10/22 Deluxe with a nice, checkered walnut stock, factory barrel (this was before the aftermarket barrels came out), and a Burris 3-9 AO rimfire scope on it.

It shot PATTERNS of about open cylinder at 50 yards. We tried the Eley in it, and it didn't improve things much -- it had the typical Ruger garbage contract barrel of the era on it. He was sick... especially when he saw what the ugly duckling Win 74 would do at twice that far.

Enough rambling for today... I hope this helps!
All the best,
John
 
Posts: 126 | Location: Right here, for now! | Registered: 03 November 2015Reply With Quote
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John,
Williams makes a receiver sight as I recall can be mounted on a drilled and tapped 63, or it may have been converted??

I had one that I converted one to fit on a later 63 that was dovetailed. I converted the sight. it fit the dovetail with a screw to hold it, but the screw only served to tighten the fit and did not require a threaded hole in the dovetail, it was a tension screw.. It was slick and no protrusions.

My favorite was the Lyman tang that was made for 63 early on..it fitted behind the action,secured to the grip, no protrusion either side..Hard to find but they are out there..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I bought one myself a few years ago from a guy in Dallas. The tang sight cost me around $200.00.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by eezridr:
My father collected all those early winchester 22's/ 61 pump,61 magnum pump,62A pump,63 semi auto. The are all neat as well as the Remington 121 pump,Remington 241 (Same as the age old browning with a longer barrel). He also had a "premier" pump which I am not real familiar with and an old Savage pump he carried on a tractor with him as a kid growing up on a working farm in the Panhandle of Texas.
I love those old guns. I will pass them on to my son as well.
Rossi made replicas of the 63 and the 62 and I acquired a 63 replica. It is no where near the quality of the original Winchester.
I really like the old pump 62's with an exposed hammer and the entire top section of the receiver/bolt elevates and comes back to cock the hammer.
Creative engineering there...

Bunch of 63's on guns international for around $1K. Peanuts relative to your doubles!

EZ

I have an original 63, two Miroku 63's, and a Rossi 63. If you are just going to knock around with your plinker there is nothing wrong with the Rossi. They function just fine. They just are not finished any where near as nicely as the originals or the Miroku, and the wood is "butt ugly". In front of the T.V. at home I "fondle' the original or a Miroku. When I go outside I take the Rossi.
 
Posts: 230 | Location: florida | Registered: 20 April 2012Reply With Quote
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Ive oned several Rem mod 61s in 22 magnum, loved them and they are the ultimate turkey rifle, and work on culling does up close...but I sold them all as the got higher than a cats back..Wish to hell Id kept at least one of them..They all shot little bitty groups out to 100 yards, and every one I know of shot well..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I bought 2 of the Taurus 63s a few years ago for my daughters-in-law. They worked just fine + was nowhere near the price of an original Winchester. I love the one I bought from you, Ray. If I ever decide (unlikely) to sell it, you will get 1st right of refusal.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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WEll its 2021 and no offer to buy it back my friend, but Im faithfully still hanging in there!! tu2


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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You stay hanging in there Ray; we would miss you.


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Use Enough Gun:
My Model 63. Winchester high grade reproduction made for Winchester/Browning by Miroku in 1997. The other side of the receiver has two squirrels in gold inlay. Love it!

Brother, do I envy you. That's gorgeous and I had rocks in my head for not buying one when they were still around. You can't even find them up for resale these daays~!
 
Posts: 230 | Location: florida | Registered: 20 April 2012Reply With Quote
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tu2
 
Posts: 17562 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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Beautiful piece!


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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That Model 63 Winchester high grade reproduction made for Winchester by Browning by Miroku uses an engraving pattern that is a close copy of the Winchester #8 factory pattern. That was available on the early .22's and other Win firearms & was often used on the 1890 22 pump Deluxe. There are a couple M1903 Deluxe semiautos factory engraved with that pattern.

Lots of upgrades as well. Some done just as that. Others sold off as originals as there are no records on the .22's generally.
 
Posts: 501 | Registered: 08 June 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Use Enough Gun:
My Model 63. Winchester high grade reproduction made for Winchester/Browning by Miroku in 1997. The other side of the receiver has two squirrels in gold inlay. Love it!

THAT is one gorgeous rifle from the profile, to the furniture, to the engraving. I love the 63 even in the plain vanilla version~!
 
Posts: 230 | Location: florida | Registered: 20 April 2012Reply With Quote
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tu2 Yes it is and thanks for the compliment. tu2
 
Posts: 17562 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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I put together a great modification to scope a dovetailed later 63..I used a weaver 7/8s rear to lock up on the dovetail, and a stith tube for the 7/8s Leupold 2.5X Alaskan or you could use the Lyman Alaskan as well..both fit the rear sight dovetail, Looks great on a 63 and might work on some other models and you don't have to risk ruining the collector value of the 63...but old stith mounts and Leupold Alaskans ain't cheap!! Another option is a d & T for a old REDFIELD with rings (or buehler ) Looks great and you have the option of several scopes, less expensive and does not hurt the value for whatever reason...

Id like a Win. lever or pump in 22 WMR, scoped or not..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 39841 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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You're right, those Alaskans were great scopes. I had one on my 1903 M/S that I had to sell in the divorce several years ago. What a loss. (The rifle + scope I mean; not the ex-wife.) Wink


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 17357 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I have two 63s. One with tang sight and another not d&t for it but not grooved. I have a new in box aperture sight for the 63 but I can’t drill an original gun. I’d like to sell the sight and apply that toward a grooved receiver 63.


Quick, Cheap, or Good: Pick Two
 
Posts: 1942 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 18 February 2007Reply With Quote
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