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Old 07-05-2011, 06:17 PM
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Default Advance look at an article on the Winchester 9422...

I'm putting the finishing touches on an article on the Winchester Model 9422 rifle. I thought I'd post an advance copy here for review, particularly by the Winchester fans out there. Any comments/corrections/errors of fact would be appreciated. Thanks!

John



The year was 1972. Winchester Repeating Arms Company had just invested a large amount of money in computer-controlled manufacturing equipment that would help to update their sadly antiquated plant in New Haven, Connecticut. Embarrassed that economy moves had cheapened many of their firearms and tarnished Winchester’s reputation for quality, the management sought to make a new flagship .22 rifle that would erase that image and reflect quality in every respect. The result was the Model 9422, and it did indeed revitalize Winchester’s reputation. Although now no longer made, this lever action look-alike to the time-honored Model 94 .30-30 has become a sought-after modern classic.

In designing the action for the new rifle, the engineers turned for inspiration to a reliable and honored Winchester of the past, the Model 61 pump-action .22. Although that rifle was abandoned in 1964 as too expensive to manufacture by the old methods, Winchester’s new CNC equipment could make a similar action economically feasible. The Model 61 cartridge feed mechanism was distinguished by the fact that the cartridges were under total control from the instant they departed the under-barrel tube magazine. They were held by their rims throughout the feeding process, helping to provide excellent reliability. That action was modified so that it was actuated not by pump rails, but by a traditional under-lever. The rear of the bolt was cammed up solidly into the locking recess in the frame, and there was a concealed polymer buffer above the breech to give the action a very solid feel. The two-piece firing pin could function only when the action was completely closed and locked. From the start, the action was designed to work with the .22 Winchester Magnum rimfire cartridge, and it was easy to scale it down slightly to work with the .22 long rifle round as well. It was the only lever-action .22 available that could accommodate the magnum round. The .22 LR versions could handle .22 LR, .22 Long and .22 Short cartridges interchangeably. The Model 9422 used only a traditional half-cock safety, making it appeal all the more to traditionalists.

Winchester spared no expense in making the rifle as perfect as possible. The best materials were used; a milled forged steel frame and internal parts and a walnut stock were standard. The rifle was attractive, reliable, and accurate. Careful bluing and fitting were employed. Although traditional open sights were utilized, the receiver was grooved for scope mounting if desired. Following the Model 61 precedent, the rifle could be taken down into two major assemblies plus the bolt, allowing cleaning from the breech to protect the muzzle from damage. All in all, the new gun could easily be termed a masterpiece.

From the very start, Winchester found the demand for the new rifles exceeded their capacity to produce them. One of their early ads proclaimed: “We completely underestimated the demand…Read why they’re worth waiting for.” A later ad said: “With most rimfire rifles selling for less money why are shooters standing in line to buy the Winchester 9422?” And then the ad answered its own question by touting “Forged steel. Solid walnut. Classic styling. Modern design.” The 9422 was definitely a premium rifle, and customers were willing to pay the extra bucks. Winchester quality was back with this rifle, and in a big way.

In 1978, the 9422 was upgraded with an optional “XTR” model, which featured high-gloss bluing and a more highly polished stock and fore end. Machine-cut checkering was made standard on this model shortly thereafter. The XTR series ended about 1989, although stock checkering continued. The rifle illustrated here is one of the .22 LR XTRs, made in 1980. Slightly different internals accommodated the .22 LR and .22 magnum cartridges, but in the course of manufacture this was changed. Later guns used the same length of stroke in the bolt and the lever for both rounds, and the larger magnum loading and ejection ports were used for either version. With this change, the .22 LR version would no longer effectively handle .22 Shorts, and the markings on the barrel reflected that the design was now only for .22 LR and .22 Long. Another production change was the substitution of a brass feed tube instead of the original steel type. This was an effort to reduce any problems that might be caused by rust in this critical component.

Special Cheyenne and Cherokee commemoratives were produced in 1977 and 1978, respectively. These came from the Canadian Olin/Winchester plant in Cobourg, Ontario. Matched sets of one thousand deluxe engraved Model 94 and Model 9422 rifles were offered in 1979. The 9422s were all in magnum chambering, and the 94s had 24-inch barrels in caliber .30-30. All had satin gold finishes and matching serial numbers, prefixed by “MC” for the centerfires, and “MR” for the rimfires. They were packed in fitted wooden cases. In 1983, a deluxe engraved version commemorating famed exhibition shooter Annie Oakley was introduced. In that same year, the Eagle Scout Limited Edition came out. This had an engraved pewter-finish frame and a medallion set in the stock. A less elaborate Boy Scouts of America commemorative was also marketed. The following year “The Lady” version was made. “Win Cam” and “Win Tuff” laminated stocks were offered in 1987 and 1989, respectively. 1990 saw the introduction of “Exclusive Magnum” models with some embellishment and in 1995 the lavishly engraved “High Grade” became available at much higher cost. A “Trapper” model with a 16 ¼” barrel was created for those who wanted a shorter, handier version. A 25-year Anniversary Edition in two grades was offered in 1997. In 1998, the “Legacy” model was made. This had a 22 ½ inch barrel rather than the standard 20 ½”, a semi-pistol grip, and a curved buttplate. In effect, it mimicked the handsome old Model 64, which was a variation of the Model 94. At the same time, a large lever loop model was reminiscent of John Wayne with his large-loop Model 1892. In 2003, the “Yellow Boy” with a brass-plated frame and barrel band was offered for a short while. Also in 2003, “9417” rifles chambered for the .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) were introduced in both Traditional and Legacy styles. These were discontinued in 2004.

Following a disastrous labor strike, the Winchester plant in New Haven was sold to a group of former Winchester employees in 1981 and was reorganized as U.S. Repeating Arms Company. It was then licensed by Olin Corporation, the parent company for Winchester, to manufacture Winchester products. The effect on the production of the 9422 was nil, but it should be noted that post-1981 rifles were made by USRAC rather than directly by Winchester.

Although the 9422 was well made of traditional materials with modern machinery, it was still expensive to produce. In 2005, USRAC decided to cease 9422 manufacture. A series of rifles called the “Tribute” editions were produced as the final hurrah. Exactly 9,422 were made in both Traditional and Legacy models, with engraving ranging from very elaborate and expensive to quite reasonable. Both .22 LR and .22 magnum chamberings were employed. The last time the 9422 was listed was in the 2006 Winchester catalog. It ended up as probably the best-made Winchester rifle since 1964 when unfortunate cost-cutting measures were implemented.

In 2006, falling on economic hard times, USRAC called it quits and closed the doors of the old Winchester New Haven plant forever. It’s unknown if the 9422 will be resurrected in some form in the future. If it is, it will probably be made in Japan as are current Model 94s. The Model 9422 was well received, popular, and deserved its reputation as a truly premium .22 lever action rifle. Although exact production figures are unavailable, I personally estimate that about 850,000 were manufactured during its 33-year run. Today, Model 9422s in all their variations are hot items, and selling prices on the used gun market continue to escalate. The shorter Trapper models seem to be the most in demand, and the magnum chamberings also typically merit a premium. Some of the engraved and commemorative versions have sold for very impressive figures at auction. Hail and farewell, Model 9422, one of the best .22s ever made.


(C) 2011 JLM
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:30 PM
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Thanks John for posting the article. I get an occasipnal copy of Dillons when I am in Mesa but never here in MN.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:32 PM
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Lookin' good so far.
Are you considering mentioning it's sibling of only brief lifetime, the 9417, in this article? Other than the barrel chambering, of course, the same rifle as the 9422 Magnum.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAdoublegunner View Post
Lookin' good so far.
Are you considering mentioning it's sibling of only brief lifetime, the 9417, in this article? Other than the barrel chambering, of course, the same rifle as the 9422 Magnum.
Good point! I just included a reference to these guns in the original post. The 9417 rifles were offered only in 2003 and 2004, in both Traditional and Legacy versions. These were never very popular, but they are collector items now, for sure.

Thanks for pointing out the error of omission!

John
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:16 PM
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Good read. But my 9422 does jam if I crank the lever too slow. The round goes below the lift cam. Take apart is the only fix.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:34 PM
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Good read. But my 9422 does jam if I crank the lever too slow. The round goes below the lift cam. Take apart is the only fix.
Interesting. I've never had a jam with mine, but I do operate the lever briskly.

John
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:31 PM
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What did the sell for when made and what are their values now?

Ball park value is fine.

Always enjoy your articles and outstanding photography.!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:37 PM
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Very well done and informative article.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Makes me want to go get the Legacy model out and pop a squirrel or a can or somethin'.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:50 PM
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good article about a good rifle, i have never owned one, but have shot a few, however it never felt as good to me as the marlin 39a,
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:57 PM
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The six 9422M's that I mentioned in an earlier thread were purchased for $125 each out the door in December,1972 dollars. Mine and at least one other of that group would be priceless. Firstly, because they have almost no bluing left from being carried either horseback or in a truck rack daily and secondly because both owers will not part with them in this lifetime.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
What did the sell for when made and what are their values now?

Ball park value is fine.

Always enjoy your articles and outstanding photography.!
The last year the standard 9422s were in the catalog was 2004. At that time the Traditional (carbine-style 20.5" barrel) sold for a MSRP of $479 in .22 LR. The .22 WMR had a MSRP of $501.00.

The Legacy model (22.5" barrel, semi-pistol grip) had a MSRP of $512.00 in .22 LR, and the .22 WMR listed for $537.00.

Values today depend on the model, condition, and whether or not an original box, papers and accessories are included. Here in the Phoenix area, I've seen standard Traditionals in good shape go for around $600. The Legacies, XTRs and engraved/special models can go for upwards of $1,000, again depending on condition and packaging.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:21 PM
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Thanks John for posting the article. I get an occasipnal copy of Dillons when I am in Mesa but never here in MN.
Subscriptions to Dillon's Blue Press magazine/catalog are free anywhere in the U.S and can be ordered by calling 1-800-223-4570. Foreign subscriptions run about $12 per year.

John
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
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Subscriptions to Dillon's Blue Press magazine/catalog are free anywhere in the U.S and can be ordered by calling 1-800-223-4570. Foreign subscriptions run about $12 per year.

John
Plus you get the cover page of the Models!

Thanks for the prices John, you have so many nice guns!
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:34 PM
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After a number of revisions and inclusions, the article is nearly complete, and updated in the original post. Again, thanks for the inputs!

John
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:57 PM
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In 1973 or so, I bought a new 9422 .22 LR for $96.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:59 AM
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I bought a somewhat used and abused 94/22MXTR a few years ago for $165.

A superb shooter..I rigged it up with a scope and found it to be a real tack-driver. My only regrets being that it's not a .22 long rifle version.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:04 PM
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Great reading with tons of information and history.

Thanks
Mule
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:30 PM
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Seems like I have a couple /three of those around here:



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Old 09-11-2012, 06:54 PM
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I am a big Winchester fan, but never owned one of the 9422's. Nice, well written, and interesting article!
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:51 PM
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Years ago my brother and I bought our dad one of the BSA models from J&G. He was the Scout Master of Troop 95 and his rifle had serial number 96. It is a beautiful rifle and now lives in my safe. Still unfired after 25 years or so.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:58 PM
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In my eyes the most attractive version of the 9422 was the 9422 Classic. I bought this one new in 1986. I sure wish I had it's twin in .22 WMR caliber. That's just glare on the bottom of the receiver.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:21 PM
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Great read. Thanks for Sharing.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:12 AM
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Are you sure that the M-94 is beng made in Japan? I hoped that it might be from the FN plant in the Carolinas where they make the present M-70.

That was the only questionable thing I saw in the story, and you may well be right about it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:29 AM
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This was a great and very informative read. Good work.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:16 AM
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Thank you for posting all the great information on this rifle. I have a 9422 in .22 magnum, and have always enjoyed the great handling qualities, and accuracy of this little carbine, but I have never known all this background information. When I take it out I have always appreciated the obvious quality of the rifle. Now I will appreciate it even more.
Thankyou.

Best Wishes,
Tom
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
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Are you sure that the M-94 is beng made in Japan? I hoped that it might be from the FN plant in the Carolinas where they make the present M-70.

That was the only questionable thing I saw in the story, and you may well be right about it.
Yup. Japan.

John
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:20 PM
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John, I believe you've written the definitive article on the subject. Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:12 PM
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Back around 1980 or so I picked up a used, but like new 9422XTR at a gun show. Its one of the early XTRs without the checkering on the stock. My hands were sweating as I paid out the outrageous sum of $160 for it. No idea what its worth today, but it ain't for sale anyway.
Great article and a great rifle.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:42 PM
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In a fit of stupid I sold an identicle looking pair of plain stocked, straight grip Winchesters '94's, one in 30-30 and one in .22LR.
I had, had them and used them for years and years but was just not that attached to them anymore so I got an offer and I sold them.
Now I have a pair of '92's, one in 45 Colt and one in .38/.357 Magnum and they do just fine.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:20 PM
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Well done.
I'd suggest some correction about "USRAC" closing the doors in 2006.

By 2006 USRAC was no longer a company, it was only the plant in New Haven, the manufacturing operation.

USRAC had been bought by a French concern years earlier, and when the plant closed in New Haven FN in Belgium owned both Browning and USRAC.

FN used Browning to market USRAC products & to operate the joint repair service for Browning and "Winchester". Browning also handled imports.

Now, Browning has the license from Olin Corp (the owner of the Winchester brand) to import Winchester-branded guns from whatever foreign source on behalf of FN, and to market & repair them. FN indirectly possesses the licensing to manufacture Winchester-marked guns here & abroad.

When the New Haven plant closed in 2006, it wasn't USRAC that made the decision, it was FN, the parent company.

Also, are you sure about CNC equipment in 1972?
Denis
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:34 PM
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Great article and topic.

Take a look at the second sentence; "Embarrassed that economy moves had cheapened many of their firearms and tarnished Winchester’s reputation for quality, . . . "

Should 'economy' be 'economic' or am I just reading it wrong?
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:10 PM
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I bought 2 9417's one classic one legacy shot the classic for a few years,killed coyotes,squirrels and few other varmints.Legacy is put away for a future grandson. Not big fan of .17HMR rather have a .22 mag.Sold the classic for $850.00 a few years ago.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faulkner View Post
Great article and topic.

Take a look at the second sentence; "Embarrassed that economy moves had cheapened many of their firearms and tarnished Winchester’s reputation for quality, . . . "

Should 'economy' be 'economic' or am I just reading it wrong?
Good point, but I personally believe either word would be correct; I think the point would be made either way.

Thanks -

John
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpris View Post
Well done.
I'd suggest some correction about "USRAC" closing the doors in 2006.

By 2006 USRAC was no longer a company, it was only the plant in New Haven, the manufacturing operation.

USRAC had been bought by a French concern years earlier, and when the plant closed in New Haven FN in Belgium owned both Browning and USRAC.

FN used Browning to market USRAC products & to operate the joint repair service for Browning and "Winchester". Browning also handled imports.

Now, Browning has the license from Olin Corp (the owner of the Winchester brand) to import Winchester-branded guns from whatever foreign source on behalf of FN, and to market & repair them. FN indirectly possesses the licensing to manufacture Winchester-marked guns here & abroad.

When the New Haven plant closed in 2006, it wasn't USRAC that made the decision, it was FN, the parent company.

Also, are you sure about CNC equipment in 1972?
Denis
Punch card machine tools had been around since the 1950's. True CNC machince tools came out in the late 1960's. So buying CNC equipment in 1972 would be very possible.

Guy22
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:11 PM
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Thank you for your great, informative article.

Am a big fan of the 9422s. Currently have got a circa 1973 magnum and a 1981 XTR S, L, LR:




Last edited by JeffNW; 10-14-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:04 PM
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Thumbs up I'm a little late...

I know you originally posted almost 2 years ago and I'm just now reading this but I really appreciate the article. My Dad bought me a 9422 when I was in high school. The serial number is under 3100 and it still looks like brand new today (probably because it hasn't been fired since about 1975). From something else I read, mine was probably made in the first month of production. Probably worth more than the hundred bucks or so my Dad paid for it but I'm sure I'll be handing it down in my will rather than sell it...
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:27 PM
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Thank you for your great, informative article.

Am a big fan of the 9422s. Currently have got a circa 1973 magnum and a 1981 XTR S, L, LR:

Just gave my magnum's stock a good waxing(and a few kisses)then wrapped it up in its oily T-shirt.
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:34 PM
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The 9422s were indeed quality arms. I just took one of mine apart for cleaning a few days ago, and with the bolt out of the upper receiver, I inadvertently bumped the receiver against my desk. It rang like a tuning fork! No cheap aluminum or other pot metal here. You could hang that stripped receiver upside down and tap it with a plastic hammer - great dinner bell!

John
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:32 AM
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Nice article and lots usful information. I have a 1975 9422 and a 1993 9422M WinTuff. Great guns, fun to shoot and their value can only go one way!
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:04 AM
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I have an older one with the plain straight grip stock and marked
Winchester on the barrel rather than USRAC. I bought it at an estate
auction about ten years ago. Reading about the attention given to
quality and the expected role of the 9422 in restoring respect of the
Winchester name makes me appreciate my rifle all the more.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
I have an older one with the plain straight grip stock and marked
Winchester on the barrel rather than USRAC. I bought it at an estate
auction about ten years ago. Reading about the attention given to
quality and the expected role of the 9422 in restoring respect of the
Winchester name makes me appreciate my rifle all the more.
All rifles made by USRAC will bear the Winchester logo, as they were made under license by Winchester. The new stuff being made in Japan also bears the Winchester name, albeit with stampings indicating that they were made in Japan, required by import regulations. Several listings of the 9422 serial numbers by date of manufacture exist on the internet, or you can call Winchester. The phone number for Winchester is 800-333-3288 or 801-876-2711. You will need your model and serial number for them to look up your date of manufacture.

John
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:23 PM
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I really liked the article. Maybe you could consider one on the Browning BL22, which I think is a better .22 lever gun in many ways than the 9422.
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Old 06-29-2013, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ky wonder View Post
good article about a good rifle, i have never owned one, but have shot a few, however it never felt as good to me as the marlin 39a,
I always thought the Marlin 39 was the best lever .22 made.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:31 AM
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bump for a lounge question.
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph7 View Post
I always thought the Marlin 39 was the best lever .22 made.
I always thought the vintage Marlin 39A was the "best .22 lever gun" too, but I've now grown to think that the Winchester 9422 is right up there with the vintage 39A. While the Marlin is a full sized "mans gun", the fit, finish and materials of the 9422 are the top of the line! The accuracy of the Winchester is as good and probably better than the 39A, but at the least - certainly no slouch! Over-all the 9422's (especially the XTR models) are impeccable and just a beautiful, buttery smooth, accurate and very high quality gun.

If you are trying to decide between the Marlin39A and the Winchester 9422, my advise would be : GET BOTH!
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
I always thought the vintage Marlin 39A was the "best .22 lever gun" too, but I've now grown to think that the Winchester 9422 is right up there with the vintage 39A.
I passed on a few 9422s over the years - but finally got a Marlin Golden 39A. I DID at one time own a Browning BL22 but later traded it - it too was a very nice gun - for being made by the J. A . Pan Co.!
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:01 PM
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I used to buy shotguns and rifles and reloading supplies from a gun dealer in Springdale Ar named Jack and Francis Bryd and I was down there onced and he was explaining how the 9422 was going to bring Winchester back to the top and I had never seen one but I got one about 1973 and he was right on the money about it. It was about 1972 when he was telling the customer. They are both gone now but they were old school dealers. Jeff
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