My sidekick in the 1950's
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Little Rock, AR
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Gun Cabinet
Gun Name My sidekick in the 1950's
Year 1954
Make Winchester
Model 62a
Color blued steel and oil finished walnut
1954 Winchester 62a
History For my 13th birthday in 1958, I was given a new Winchester model 62a pump .22. It was my "go to" gun for plinking and small game.

Unfortunately, my old man sold my pet .22 without my permission while I was in Vietnam in 1969.

However, this past April, I went to the big Wannenmacher show in Tulsa and found this replacement. It's in 90% or better condition and when the dealer told me it was made in 1958, I knew it was the one. When I got home and checked the serial number, it turned out that it was made in 1954, but that didn't dampen the thrill of getting my old childhood sidekick back.


The model 62a was the last iteration of the model 1890 as designed for Winchester by John M. Browning. The 1890 was updated to the model 1906 from a octagonal barrel to round among other features. At some point after 1906, Winchester stopped using the year as a model number, so the model 1906 was updated to become the model 62 in 1932. Post WW II, the model was upgraded again with a larger pump grip and coil springs to become the 62a, which was finally discontinued in 1959. Being made with a forged and machined steel receiver made it too expensive to keep producing. Besides semi-autos were becoming more popular. Rossi reproduced the model 62 for a few years and they can be still found in new condition in the $300 range--give or take.

The 1890's through the 62a's became known as gallery guns since they were favored in the shooting galleries that sprang up around the start of the 20th century in amusement parks and carnival midways at county or state fairs. The gallery models only shot 22 shorts
and used a special gallery round of pressed lead granules, which would turn to lead dust when they hit a hard target or back drop. Nobody worried about breathing lead dust back then.

Other than modern electronic versions, the old live ammo shooting galleries finally fell victim to safety and liability concerns by the end of the 1960's

For the photo, I displayed it with some period items including original catalogs, an advert of the well known "red haired Winchester kid" cut from a 1960 issue of Field & Stream, a model 62 manual, and some of the junk a kid in the 1950's would have had in his pockets--including period pocket change, a compass, strike anywhere pocket matches, an official Lone Ranger Barlow knife, deputy badge and silver bullet---plus plenty of ammo.
Action
pump action for .22 s,l,l.r.

Finish
blued steel and oil finished walnut
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