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#6833092 - 07/24/17 08:31 PM Winchester Model 90
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
My boss kept telling me about a couple of guns that he had inherited. He's not a gun guy, and didn't have a clue of what to do with them. I told him to have them taken down and cleaned properly so that he could put them away until he wanted to do something with them. Anyway....long story short, one of them is a Winchester Model 90 .22 L Rifle pump. I have an older standard catalog of firearms. There is no "Model 90" in the book. It lists an 1890, with an octagon barrel, this one is round. It also lists a 1906, which has a description that matches this gun better. A quick google search states that an Model1890 with this serial number was manufactured in 1914, serial #497XXX.

I guess I'm just confused as to which model this is. The condition is not great, it appears smto be functional, but I doubt he will ever shoot it. Any additional info/history would be appreciated. Thanks!!


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#6833298 - 07/25/17 12:52 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
kmon1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 21731
Loc: Texas
If what I remember reading is correct the 90 is the same as an 1890 just made after a certain date, not wure what that date is. Much like they did later on in manufacturing the 1894 became the 94 at some point.
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#6833379 - 07/25/17 07:10 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
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Registered: 11/22/10
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It the Model 1890 - the first slide action .22 manufactured by Winchester (many others followed). That one is a later model because the .22 LR version didn't come along until 1919. (At least that's what research says so the 1914 date is a head scratcher - maybe my research is wrong IDK.)

It's a collectible little rifle, but its condition is not particularly good. You can check Gunbroker competed auctions for what they go for. My guess for one in that condition is $400-600. I'm not an expert.
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#6833417 - 07/25/17 07:54 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
That's kind of what I was thinking on the Model, but the barrel was throwing me off. I felt like it should have been an octagon barrel to be an 1890. NP, I trust your research better than mine. And no, the condition is not good, but I don't think he cares about the value. He just likes having them.
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#6833439 - 07/25/17 08:13 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 22190
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: jrfan
That's kind of what I was thinking on the Model, but the barrel was throwing me off. I felt like it should have been an octagon barrel to be an 1890. NP, I trust your research better than mine. And no, the condition is not good, but I don't think he cares about the value. He just likes having them.


That's good. Like I said, I am not an expert. A little more looking reveals there may be a distinction between a "90" and an "1890". Also reveals the .22 LR is a rare caliber so is worth more. A real expert will weigh in soon I'm sure.

Update: more looking reveals that they are the same rifle. Winchester simply shortened the stamp on the barrel from "Model 1890" to "Model 90" later in the rifle's production run so as to not make it sound so dated/old.


Edited by Nogalus Prairie (07/25/17 08:30 AM)
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
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#6833674 - 07/25/17 11:10 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: Nogalus Prairie]
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: jrfan
That's kind of what I was thinking on the Model, but the barrel was throwing me off. I felt like it should have been an octagon barrel to be an 1890. NP, I trust your research better than mine. And no, the condition is not good, but I don't think he cares about the value. He just likes having them.


That's good. Like I said, I am not an expert. A little more looking reveals there may be a distinction between a "90" and an "1890". Also reveals the .22 LR is a rare caliber so is worth more. A real expert will weigh in soon I'm sure.

Update: more looking reveals that they are the same rifle. Winchester simply shortened the stamp on the barrel from "Model 1890" to "Model 90" later in the rifle's production run so as to not make it sound so dated/old.


So when do you date it? I came up with 1914, but apparently that caliber wasn't until later models.
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#6833695 - 07/25/17 11:30 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 22190
Loc: Corsicana
Originally Posted By: jrfan
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
Originally Posted By: jrfan
That's kind of what I was thinking on the Model, but the barrel was throwing me off. I felt like it should have been an octagon barrel to be an 1890. NP, I trust your research better than mine. And no, the condition is not good, but I don't think he cares about the value. He just likes having them.


That's good. Like I said, I am not an expert. A little more looking reveals there may be a distinction between a "90" and an "1890". Also reveals the .22 LR is a rare caliber so is worth more. A real expert will weigh in soon I'm sure.

Update: more looking reveals that they are the same rifle. Winchester simply shortened the stamp on the barrel from "Model 1890" to "Model 90" later in the rifle's production run so as to not make it sound so dated/old.


So when do you date it? I came up with 1914, but apparently that caliber wasn't until later models.


Plugging in a 497xxx number shows 1913 manufacture date. Wiki says .22 LR production did not begin until 1919. Another site says .22 LR production did not begin until 1917. Yet another says not until the "late-19-teens". So I am thoroughly confused. smile

All agree the .22 LR is rare (less than 10% of all rifles produced).
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#6833844 - 07/25/17 01:36 PM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
NP, did you happen to see this page... http://homesteadfirearms.com/appraisals/1890

By following that, I come up with a Model 1890 Takedown, second version in fair-good condition. Do you see anything different??
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#6833959 - 07/25/17 03:00 PM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Nogalus Prairie Offline
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 22190
Loc: Corsicana
Well, I am more confused now, as that site says round barrels are not 1890s unless special ordered or replacements. But your barrel appears to be correctly marked. Looks like you may have a rare version.

That aside, according to that site you have a Third Model standard version.
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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#6834665 - 07/26/17 09:41 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Hunt Dog Offline
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Registered: 11/25/13
Posts: 904
I have a Model 1890 gallery gun, shoots shorts only. It has the octagon barrel and I traced my ser # 285xxx to sometime in 1907, per a Winchester collector web site.
The 1890 went through some name and style iterations and what you have is one of those. They went to round barrels to lower the weight; my 1890 .22 short weighs more than my late '70s Model 94 .30-30.
Give it a good cleaning and it should be good to go. GO get some shells and teach your Boss how to shoot it, he just may find he likes it. My 110 year old 1890 still shoots like a dream. I have taught more kids to shoot with it than I can recall.

I've told this story around here before but here it goes again... I had to drive my Mom to an estate sale in the Park Cities around '83 or '84. She was looking at china and stuff. I wondered outside on the back porch and was glancing through the 'junk' priced stuff when I saw the muzzle end of the octagon barrel and my brain went 'take a look at that'. I knew what is was because a friend of mine had an A grade 1890 and I knew what his was worth. The price tag on the one I was holding was $30.00. I knew even if it didn't work the parts would be worth at least three or four times the price.
Bought it and took it over to my buddy's house and gave it a good cleaning (30-40 years of sitting in a closet with no case is a good argument for muzzle up or down storage). Spent the next afternoon driving and calling around looking for .22 shorts, at the time they were hard to find. Finally found some and we went to the range where it performed flawlessly.
In the time I have had it, thousands and thousands of rounds have gone through it and it still dead balls on accurate {My Cousin Vinny reference}.

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#6836735 - 07/28/17 10:48 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
Cool story, thanks for sharing. Whish I could come across deals like that!

So, given what you stated about this rifle, would you still date it around 1913-14? Is the L Rifle date of 1919 accurate?
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#6837128 - 07/28/17 05:02 PM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
Hunt Dog Offline
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Registered: 11/25/13
Posts: 904
According to 'Winchester: An American Legend' by R.L. Wilson... pgs 144-147; The 1890 was originally chambered for .22 short and .22 Long. The Model 1906 was brought out as a lighter, more affordable version with a 20 inch round barrel.
In 1908 they altered the 1908 to accept .22, .22 Long and .22 Long Rifle.

So it is possible that Winchester modified some versions the 1890 for the Long Rifle around that time but I don't know.
It should fire Long Rifle with no problems. You may need to do some more detailed research to get closer to an exact date. You could try sending a letter, and pictures to the Winchester museum and see what they can tell you.
Anyway, your boss has a cool old gun, that should still work.

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#6851492 - 08/10/17 07:15 AM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
jrfan Offline
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 900
Loc: Denton, Texas
The expert has spoken....Its a "takedown" model, circa 1925.
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#6882910 - 09/09/17 07:18 PM Re: Winchester Model 90 [Re: jrfan]
blackcoal Offline
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Registered: 01/19/12
Posts: 8817
Loc: 60 Mi North of DFW
Interesting old shooter.
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