There isn't anything so much fun as spending an afternoon chasing a beer can around the field with a .22 rifle.  Well, that may not be exactly true, but it is at the top of the list.  It has been said that a billion .22 long rifle shells are fired in the U.S. every year, and I believe it.

picture of Model 61 rifle

The Model 61 was a pump action .22 with a tubular magazine under a 24 inch barrel.  Manufactured from 1932 to 1963 with over 340,000 guns made, this particular example was built in 1945, and it shoots like the day it came out of the factory.  Earlier Winchester pump guns had external hammers, but the Model 61's streamlined shape was due to it's internal hammer.

picture of rifle's receiver

The Model 61 is a takedown design, the big captive screw at the rear of the receiver holds the stock and trigger/hammer group to the receiver.  Pulling the bolt up and out the back completes field stripping.  This gun will shoot any .22 except the magnum, of course, as it didn't exist when this rifle was designed. One quick look at and it is easy to see these Winchesters hold their value.

picture of takedown rifle

picture of bolt and trigger group

picture of rifle barrel 


Winchester Model 61 disassembly

Restoration of a Model 61

Found this British Pathe period film on how to shoot an Enfield rifle, military style.  Also has some previews of the (then) new FN service rifle, and some experiments on the .280 bullpup.  Nato squashed the .280, and Britain might have been better off to just adopt the M-16, given the last Enfield's complexity and performance.

The FN was a great rifle, but suffered the same problems as the U.S. M-14, lousy full-auto controllability with a full power service round.  It was also pretty hard on the brass, banging in the neck on extraction where it hit the rifle on the way out.  Not that the military cared much about old brass.

From Peter H's channel