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    HomeMilitaryA Nostalgic Salute to the Winchester Model 250: Memories of a Classic

    A Nostalgic Salute to the Winchester Model 250: Memories of a Classic

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    The Winchester Model 250 lever-action rifle, though outshone by its contemporaries, still conjures warm nostalgia for many firearms enthusiasts. Produced between 1963 and 1974, the Model 250 harked back to an era where the lever-action design was a symbol of the frontier and hunting tradition.

    Despite the advent of the semi-automatic Ruger 10/22 just a year later, which revolutionized the rimfire market, the Winchester 250 retained a devoted following thanks to its reliability, ease of use, and the emotional connections formed by its owners.

    The Winchester Model 250 rifles were equipped with classic walnut stocks, aluminum alloy receivers, and 20.5-inch barrels with a 1:16-inch right-hand twist, which was quite standard for the era.

    However, the introduction of the 10/22 Carbine with its 18.5-inch barrel length by Ruger could be argued to have shifted this standard. Despite the seemingly modest 2-inch difference in barrel length, the 22LR caliber could still benefit from the extended barrel for increased velocity.

    Featuring adjustable windage and elevation sights, the Model 250 also boasted a straightforward trigger with a break at approximately 4 pounds. Like many lever action rifles, it could handle various standard .22 caliber rimfire ammunitions such as 22 Long Rifle, 22 Shorts, and 22 Longs.

    In online forums, owners often discuss utilizing this rifle with 22 Colibri ammo or 22 rat shot, praising its effectiveness as a tool for home pest control.

    In the realm of gun history, the Model 250 marked a significant milestone for Winchester’s series of 22LR rifles. It represented a substantial departure in both materials and manufacturing methods aimed at reducing firearm costs while still offering customers functional yet more budget-friendly options.

    This shift is apparent in the adoption of aluminum alloy receivers instead of traditional steel ones, along with the replacement of the customary cut checkering on the stock with impressed checkering. Despite these alterations in manufacturing and materials, numerous well-preserved examples of this rifle endure today, with many enthusiasts actively trading them on auction platforms such as GunBroker.com.

    Minor discrepancies distinguish the various Model 250 rifles, with some featuring “Deluxe” variations. Among these, one of the most notable distinctions lies in the two different styles of lever loops.

    One design boasts a more rounded shape, while the other presents a sleeker teardrop design, which enhances the aesthetic appeal of the Model 250 and distinguishes it from other rimfire lever action rifles.

    Despite enjoying a considerable fanbase, the rifle is not immune to criticism. Many users frequently report issues related to inconsistent feeding and early wear, particularly with the magazine tube plunger, which has a tendency to wear out and become lodged inside the tube.

    This has raised concerns among some users about the rifle’s safety, as rounds could potentially feed into the lifter if the rifle is tilted at a certain angle. Moreover, if the magazine plunger becomes stuck inside the tube, it could mislead inexperienced or distracted shooters into believing the rifle is empty when it still contains ammunition.

    However, there are others who hold a completely different view of these rifles, considering them to be among the most reliable plinkers in their collection. They praise the rifles for their minimal maintenance requirements and flawless feeding with standard round lead nose ammunition.

    Supposedly, modern plated ammunition performs even better in these older rifles, with the 22 Magnum variant (Model 255) receiving even higher praise across the board. Considering that the Model 250 was introduced just before the 10/22, it’s conceivable that many young boys had their first shooting experiences with this rifle. Depending on when and how one encountered the Model 250, opinions about it may have varied widely.

    This period marked a transitional phase for Winchester, and given that the Model 250 was designed to offer a more cost-effective option compared to previous rimfire lever actions, it’s not unreasonable to speculate that there may have been some quality control issues contributing to the mixed, albeit generally positive, memories associated with the firearm.

    Relevant articles:
    The Rimfire Report: The Fondly Remembered Winchester 250 Lever Action, The Firearm Blog
    Winchester 250 lever .22, rimfirecentral.com
    Winchester CollectorWinchester Collector, Winchester Arms Collectors Association
    .22 Memory Lane, RifleShooter

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