A Brief History of Winchester Rifles and the Model 64
Winchester Rifles and Shotguns was established by Oliver F. Winchester on February 20, 1866. The first model produced under his name was the Model 1866 lever-action rifle .44 caliber rimfire. There had been earlier rifles using lever action including the Rocket Ball and Volition Repeater in 1848, Jennings Rifle (patent 1851), Smith and Wesson pistol, and Volcanic Repeating Arms (New Haven Arms Company and Henry Rifles). When the design was improved by B. Henry Tyler (shop foreman at the New Haven Arms Company), the .44 caliber metallic rimfire cartridge became powerful enough to compete with the single shot rifles of the day. Winchester Repeating Arms Company established itself as one of the world's leading firearms manufacturers of the world, and the subsequent rifles produced by Winchester are highly prized today by collectors.
About Model 64 Winchester Rifles - In 1933, Winchester introduced the Model 64 lever-action rifle as an evolved version of the 53 and 55 Winchester rifles. The Model 64 was available in .30 WCF (30-30), .32 WS, .25-35, and .219 Zipper (1938-1941) calibers. This rifle could be ordered with a round 24 or 20 inch barrel, the wood walnut, plain or checkered, with a pistol-grip stock and shotgun buttplate. The frame and barrel were blued and had a solid feature with a forged front sight.
The Model 64 was manufactured through 1957 with approximately 67,000 guns produced during the 24-year production period. The Model 64 was reintroduced again briefly from 1972-1973, and all rifles were 30-30 caliber with a 5-shot 2/3 magazine tube, 24" barrel, open sight and plain pistol-grip walnut stock. This self-appraisal focuses on the earlier version pre-64 rifles, but does provide values and production dates for the post-1964 production rifles.
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