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Model 68's for Grandsons

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I am going to visit my grandchildren in August, and will be presenting each of my 2 grandsons (11 & 13) with a Winchester Model 68, single shot, .22 S/L/LR rifle. Their "firsts". I have had one of them for some time ... and the second just came today. (Love my C&R). Felt both should receive the same models to keep things "even". (And, there is probably a "Pink, Cricket" in my grand daughter's near future.)

I know there are no serial numbers for 68's ... but the new one looks like it was exported to England. It has 2 British proof marks ... crown over V ... and crown over ?
Also marked 22 (space) .62, and in a rectangular box, NOT ENGLISH MADE. And, it is serial numbered ... 1099.

I'm going to give the boys the little background on the rifles ... when made, how many, etc. And would love to include info on the British "cousin". I'd certainly appreciate any information from the historians here.

hfd
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HFD
I know how much you thrill over giving that next generation some of our shooting heritage. I gave a single shot pull-to-cock rifle to a neighbor's son last week for the same reason, but nothing as steeped in history as those 68's.
The 68 was conceived as a target version of the 67 open iron sights single shot. Introduced in 1934 at a retail cost of $6.35 (the 67 sold for $5.50), the chief difference between the two models was the addition on the 68 of the model 96A rear peep sight and model 97A front sight and hood. In 1943, Winchester decided to make an option of the same target sights for the 67, thereby obsoleting the purpose for a separate model with them. The 68 was thus discontinued a little later, in 1944. By the time the last one rolled out, 98,496 Model 68's were sold. This is from the Single Shot book by Herbert Houze.
The first version had the finger groove stock in the forend, and a bolt retaining spring. '34-35
The second version in '35 discontinued the finger grooves.
From 1938 to 1944 Winchester added the 22 WRF caliber to the 68.
The last retail price for the gun in 1946 (new old stock still in inventory) was $12.85.
Though an "economy" class rifle, the barrel and quality were top drawer all the way. Your grandkids will find these guns to be very accurate and a pleasure to shoot. And with care can be given to their grandkids.
Sorry I can't tell you about the English connection.
 

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hdf
It is quite common for rifles out here (New Zealand) to have British proof markings
Any rifle going through the UK had to be reproofed and marked Not English Made, the length of the chamber and pressure were also marked
Judging by the mark on yours it was viewed in London

Quite a few rifles (even .22s) were sent by their owner to help the Brits during the early stages of WW11, yours may have been one of these or it may just have been through the UK and re exported to the US
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
22AGS & RayfromNZ ... thanks for getting back. And you have answered another question I have had ... my "first" back in 1944 was what I believe was a Win 67 (yes, I am "that old"). I bought a virtually new 67 last year, but it didn't feel quite right in my memory bank (fading a little). The difference, I remembered, was that mine had a peep sight ... and my current model is open sighted. I really like this forum.

Both my (their) 68's are finger groove stocks, so your info also tightens the birth dates. The English version differs in that the front sight hood is a little over an
1/8th of an inch shorter, same post setup ... and the rear aperture is a slightly smaller diameter, and with a minimally smaller aperture. Wood is walnut for both, with quality of the "American" slightly better.

And since my growing years were WWII ... I will hope that the one pass on has such a history as mentioned.

Thanks greatly. You have broadened my "knowledge" (not surprising) and I can now pass that on.

The Cricket will not have history ... but she really loves pink!

Thanks again ... hfd
 

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May of 1934 was the actual date of availability for the first model 68's. The Houze book alludes to it being late in '35 when the finger grooves were eliminated (speaking about the 67)--probably the actual date cannot be determined as Winchester's practice was to always use up the remaining inventory, and in this case there was probably a transition period in which both finger-grooved and non f-g'ed stocks were both used, though this is not stated. So you're looking at a year and a couple of months of production of the finger groove stock--not a long time! A sales table in the Houze book shows that a total of 18,864 were sold in '34, and 19,460 in '35.
September 30, 1944 was the announcement date of discontinuance of the model, for a ten year run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
22AGS ... thanks for the addition. And, markpix, pics did not come up on the trackback, but sure sounds similar. Mine was not quite so "economical" either. But it cleaned up well and easily and no d&t's. Want to take both to the range soon (raining today) for a "see if it works" session, and hopefully a little dial in so the boys aren't disappointed with their first shots.

hfd
 

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That is an interesting rifle markpixs
I did not mention this above as I am not 100% sure of the truth of the matter
But some of these .22s were set up to be used as silent killers if the UK was over run by Germany
They had silencers and telescopics sights and the units that were to use them were set up with various places to hide out

On the other hand they most were probably just used to train an army/airforce short on firearms
My dad certainly has memories of using smoothbore winchester pumps on miniture clay targets to keep his eye in as an airgunner at the time

The samething happened here in New Zealand when the Japs were set to overrun us, a lot of rifles were called up and marked HG, SP and serialed

I might add both the local rifles and those in the UK were returned to the original owners (well mostly) after the war
Plenty of history in these things
 
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