View Full Version : Winchester 02-22 Nickel Rifle

July 5, 2009, 05:20 PM
So I recently "re-acquired" a Winchester 02-22 that I had when I was a kid. I've done a little research, but did not find anything about a nickel plated rifle such as mine. Here's what I found that applies;

The rifle has four parts: barrel, bolt, stock (with trigger and a scrolled trigger guard), and a part (unknown noun) that interfaces between trigger and bolt. The sights are hard set - dovetailed in.

LOA 33-3/4"

Barrel - mine is nickel (plated) steel?? - 18" to breech, (21-1/4" w/bolt)

Stock - 21-1/2", wood, one piece w/forearm, Winchester logo butt plate)


1. On barrel, left side - "Manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven Conn. USA Patented August 29, 1899"

2. Also: MOD 02-22 SHORT - LONG OR EXTRA LONG - Trademark Reg. U.S. Pat Off, & Fgn"

3. On the barrel, behind the back open sight, is an oval containing a centered letter "W", with vertical line through it, forming what appears to be a very long letter "P".

4. On bolt, left side - same as above.

The Model 1902 was a modification (just slight improvements made by T.G. Bennett) of the Model 1900, which was based on a patent purchased from Browning. They were made from 1903 until 1914 and over 355,200 and were sold for $5.00.

From The Standard Catalog of Firearms –

• ... this model was of the same general design as the Model 1900 with several improvements; a special shaped metal trigger guard was added, a shorter trigger pull, a steel butt plate (not mine), a rear peep sight (not mine), and the barrel was made heavier at the muzzle?.

• The rifle was chambered for the .22 Short and Long cartridges until 1914 when the .22 Extra Long was added. In 1927 the .22 Extra Long was dropped in favor of the more popular .22 Long Rifle. All of these cartridges are interchangeable.

• The stock was a one-piece plain gumwood with straight grip (the metal trigger guard added a pistol grip feel) and steel butt plate, which was changed to composition in 1907. This model was not serial numbered.

• About 640,000 Model 1902s were sold between 1902 and 1931 when it was discontinued.

So mine is likely 1914 - 1927 (.22 Extra Long). (edited)

Anyone have additional information?

Bore is excellent, nickel is probably 75-85%, no rust anywhere. It does have a crack in the stock, which I plan on repairing.

Bill DeShivs
July 5, 2009, 07:46 PM
According to the information you posted, your gun is pre-1931-as it is marked for .22 Extra Long.
If you can post pictures, perhaps we can tell you more. I don't know if the gun was offered nickel plated, but with good pictures an aftermarket plating job might be discernable.

July 5, 2009, 09:00 PM
Okay, here's a few pics;

Bill DeShivs
July 5, 2009, 09:11 PM
Again-not knowing if a plated finish was offered on these, I will say that it is not an obvious refinish.

July 5, 2009, 09:14 PM
It does not look like a re-finish job, but I'm not an expert in the field. It does look original to me. I know it's been like this for over 50 years....

July 5, 2009, 09:17 PM
Correction, mine is likely 1914 to 1927 likely (Extra Long).

James K
July 5, 2009, 09:57 PM
I know, "never say never", and I am always willing to learn, but I have never seen or heard of any of those little guns that were nickel plated and that gun does not look like it is. It looks more like plain bare steel where the blue finish was removed. A touch of cold blue will tell the story as nickel will not darken.


Bill DeShivs
July 5, 2009, 10:37 PM
Jim is correct about the cold blue. If it darkens the metal, it is probably bare steel. Actually, the gun appears to me to be silver plated or nickel. Notice that the white finish is everywhere? It is possible that the gun was stripped of bluing a long time ago, but the rust pattern visible is not consistent with the bluing being stripped. If it is bare metal the gun was chemically stripped of bluing after complete disassembly.

July 6, 2009, 08:34 AM
Since the 1902 model was an economy model 22, it most likely would not have had the option of a nickel finish. IMO this would have been reserved for the higher end Winchester 22s of the period (if at all) such as the 1906 or the 1903 autoloader. But like Jim said, I too never heard of or saw (even in a picture) one of these that was an original nickel. If its nickel plated, someone just did it to protect the metal and/or to make it more attractive. If its bare metal, then I guess you could restore it but it would be better off left alone. If its bare indeed then at least you have a decent stock (most are badly damaged from use and abuse) with fairly clean metal. Enjoy it. I passed up a gun similiar to this at an auction, a Winchester model 36 9mm rimfire shotgun and boy do I regret that. (In case you don't know it was a short barrelled single shot pest gun which they only made less than 30k of in the late 20s to early 30s - rare)When I looked at it, I decided because the finish was gone, and the stock had a crack with a damaged butt plate, that $150 ish was too high but I found out afterward that just because its not in perfect shape, its still rare and collectible. With each mistake you hope to learn something, and I sure did with that misnomer.

July 6, 2009, 09:15 AM
This looks to me like a worn (formerly) blued finish.

July 6, 2009, 05:51 PM
If you guys are thinking it is bare metal (steel), I can assure you, it is not. The pictures may be deceiving your eyes. This gun has been like this for at least 50 years, that my eyes know of. It would have rusted/pitted some by now, especially if you saw how it was stored.

If you are thinking it may be something other, let me know. Maybe I should contact Winchester?

The trigger guard is aluminum or some type of plated "soft" base metal.

I'm not a metallurgist, but a degreed Mechanicl Engineer. I hope I'm not missing something.