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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I am sure I have stated in the past, I have a very large collection of 22 caliber firearms. I thought that I was done buying firearms for 2019. About a week ago I'd learned of a gun that I had to have. It is a very rare, unique, and valuable 22 caliber rifle.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s a certain type of 22 rifle became very popular. These rifles were called boy's rifle and they were meant for youngsters to use in hunting rabbits, squirrels and anything else they could bring home to add to the cook pot. Boys rifles were shorter than a standard rifle, bolt action, and single shot 22 caliber rifles. Just about any company that made 22 caliber rifles offered a boy's model or two and competition between these companies was high.

Winchester manufactured a model 1902 boys rifle. In 1903 in an attempt to cut manufacturing cost of the rifle and increase sales they redesigned the Model 1902. They removed the trigger and the trigger guard so the stock was smooth underneath and they placed a thumb trigger at the rear of the bolt on the top of the grip. While the cost of the rifle was substantially lowered by doing this Winchester advertised the gun as having greater accuracy, especially for new shooters, because there was no pressure from the trigger finger pulling the trigger left or right. The shooter simply pushed down with his thumb to fire the rifle. This new design was simply called the Winchester thumb trigger rifle. These rifles were advertised to shoot 22 short, long, and extra long cartridges. The extra long cartridge was longer than a 22 long rifle and was a black powder load. It became obsolete in the middle 1920s. About 1907 Winchester changed the name to the model 99. Roughly 75000 of these rifles were produced.

As luck would have it the rifles were never popular in the United States. However, they became very popular in Australia and the vast percentage of the guns produced were exported to that country. Between the fact that the guns went to Australia and in modern times Australia confiscated most of the fire arms in that country and destroyed them one can get an understanding of why this little rifle is so rare and collectible.

As usual, depending on condition, it is not out of the ordinary to see these little rifles bring upwards of $2000 at auction. I believe that in time the guns will continue to appreciate. I negotiated with the seller of my new rifle until finally we came to a price that we could both live with. Mine is considered to be in good shape especially for a rifle that is 120 years old!

This little rifle makes 23 firearms for me this year. Unless I come across something completely unexpected in the next 2 week then I believe I am done for 2019.

Don
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Excellent history lesson and an amazing rifle. I agree with the collector value assumption on such a limited production, oft beat to death or turned in antique. Are you planning on shooting it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
SS I'll tell you, the way the trigger linkage is built, If I shot it and it broke I don't know where I would find a replacement linkage. I'm tempted to shoot it using shorts but I haven't made up my mind yet. I will probably not risk it and simply enjoy having it.

Don
 

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First thought was congrats on a cool little rifle and piece of history. Second thought was, like SS, are you gonna shoot it!
 

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That is not unlike most of our rubber band guns.

Dang, Don, how old are ya? I'm on the outlook for the actual sling and rock used by David to slay Goliath; wonder how many models of the sling are still on the market? And the rock - talk about terminal ballistics!! We sit about debating on the merits of various firearms and ammo and shot location . . . .did David ever have doubts about the lethality of his weapon system . ....

End sarcasm. Very nice historical rifle and congrats on the find.
 

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Two thumbs up! ;D
 
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That is not unlike most of our rubber band guns.

Dang, Don, how old are ya? I'm on the outlook for the actual sling and rock used by David to slay Goliath; wonder how many models of the sling are still on the market? And the rock - talk about terminal ballistics!! We sit about debating on the merits of various firearms and ammo and shot location . . . .did David ever have doubts about the lethality of his weapon system . ....

End sarcasm. Very nice historical rifle and congrats on the find.
I was riveted, interests heightened, curious, and ready to start an Internet search...then I read "End sarcasm". Dang, I wanted one of them David's Slingshots!


OP, thanks for that history lesson and great find!
 

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Nice score!
I don't know much about that model but Winchester made them to last.
I would shoot it to verify Its in working order. Then its how bad i need to verify Its cool its mine factor. I have a Winchester model 62A made in 1927. My grandfather got it new. He gave it to my dad when he got in his teens and i got it in my teens in the 70's. i don't shoot it much today but when it do i don't miss what i'm shooting at.
 

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Congratulation on finding and buying your long sought after prize!
 
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Very Cool!
So simple it's elegant!
If I see one of these guns at a gun show or whatever, I will definitely make an offer.
What's the going rate on these?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I gave $600 for mine and that is a very good price. I could get double or more than that for it on one of the specialty gun auction sites if I was patient and marketed it toward collectors.

Don
 

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Awesome,congrats.:cool:
 
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