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Thread: Winchester 1903...

  1. #1
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    Winchester 1903...

    I've got two of these old guns, both in good shape, but both have been "restored" -- improved, reblued, etc. So their value as collectibles is much less than if they had been left stock but worn.

    My question -- can they be converted to .22 LR by installing a 1963 barrel. (I remember, I think, reading that at one time, but can't find the original source.)

    I'd sacrifice one of them to THAT conversion, if there was any chance that it would work. I'd love to be able to shoot one of these old guns, again -- and I haven't seen Winchester rimfire Auto ammo for the gun for a number of years (except at collector prices.)

  2. #2
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    Walt,

    WRF ammo is NOT that hard to find.

    It is made in regular batches now and used as a "sub-load" for the WMR ammo, since it's case is the same size, except for length, as the WMR load.

    Not as cheap as .22 lr rimfire ammo, but what is?

    Buckshot

  3. #3
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    If you've found some, recently, let me know where. Are we talking about the same ammo? (Winchester .22 Auto Rimfire isn't the same as the stuff made by Remington.) http://www.ammo-one.com/22WIN-AUTO.html

    I've regularly searched on the Web, talked to vendors at gun shows, etc., and have found ONLY collectible ammo at a collectible price.

    AMMO-ONE is vendor who offers some of the Old Western Scrounger ammo for 50 cents a round -- and I've not found ANYWHERE else that sells it. (One of the gun auction site is offering 3 boxes for $185.)

    Autorim seems to be in very short supply. One ammo maker, before the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, ran some quantities every 4-5 years, but they've not done it in some time.

  4. #4
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    Walt,

    I found easily the following .22 WRF ammo sources:

    http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/brows...&WTz_stype=GNU

    Looks like you are looking for .22 Winchester Automatic ammo while I was talking about Winchester .22 Winchester Rimfire ammo (WRF) and they don't interchange. The .22 WRF started in the M1890 Winchester rifles and IS currently made and used as a download of the .22 Win Mag.


    The Old Western Scrounger seems to be back in business closely associated with the remainders of Gibbs Rifles and Navy Arms. See their new site at:
    http://ows-ammo.com/store/

    Note: This has NOTHING AT ALL to do with the auto-rim cartridge, which is a .45 ACP round with a thick rim that permits it to be used and headspace properly in the US M 1917 revolvers WITHOUT THE HALF MOON CLIPS!

    Buckshot

  5. #5
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    Well, thanks for trying.

    I found the link to the ows-ammo.com site, and they don't have it either.

    I still haven't gotten a definitive answer to the conversion question, but some .22 LR loads are very similar in power to the original .22 Winchester Rimfire load, so that the gun MIGHT function properly. I'll keep looking.

    (I have a Taurus version of the Winchester 1963 which is basically the same gun changed to .22 lr, so I guess I'll just keep shooting that... It's a nice little gun, and I picked it up ANIB from Gun Broker some time back.)

  6. #6
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    When the Winchester 1903 was introduced, all the .22 Long Rifle ammo on the market was either black powder or a "less smoke" mix of black powder and smokeless and most of it was highly corrosive.

    To make their 1903 .22 auto successful, they came up with a propriety cartridge that was only loaded with smokeless powder.

    The .22 Win Auto is basicly a "short" version of the .22 WRF:
    Code:
    specs               .22 Win Auto     .22 Long Rifle   .22 Win Rimfire WRF
                        1903             1887             1890 
    Bullet diameter     .222 in          .222 in          .226 in
    Neck diameter       .250 in          .226 in          .244 in
    Base diameter       .250 in          .226 in          .246 in
    Rim diameter        .310 in          .278 in          .300 in 
    Case length         .665 in          .613 in          .965 in
    Overall length      .915 in         1.000 in         1.180 in
    Bullet Weight:      45 gr            40 gr            45 gr
    Muzzle velocity:    1055 fps         1080 fps (std)   1450 fps
    .22 LR fired in a .22 Win Auto would swell as badly as .22 LR fired in a .22 WRF or .22 WMR Winchester Magnum rimfire. It was been done, but no one reccommends doing it.

    ADDED: Aguila started making small runs of 5mm Remingtom Magunum rimfire when it appeared there was enough demand to make it worthwhile. Since at least a few makers are tooled up to make .22 WRF, how big a challenge would it be to make a few production runs of .22 Win Auto?
    Cogito me cogitare; ergo, cogito me esse.

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