01 Feb Winchester Model 69-A “Target”
Just an old .22 Winchester…
This old .22 Winchester Model 69-A my father got when he was about 6 from my grandfather. My father grew up in a very paternal era, being raised by one of America’s Greatest Generation. My grandfather did not go to war because he broke both his legs while drag racing. He was, however, able to shoot with a proficiency that made him useful as a rifle instructor. You can imagine my father at age 6 being trained by a WWII rifle instructor on this little Winchester. The checkering was done by my grandfather (he checkered everything) and the wear on the barrel came from my father toting it everywhere I imagine. This particular model has a small 5 round magazine that ejects from the bottom, a Winchester #80a peep making it a “Target” Model, and a compass in the stock so you have no excuse finding your way home before dinner. Other options came on the same frame including a Lyman peep sight on the Match model and a 10 round magazine. There is no serial number; Winchester did not put them on .22’s in the late 40’s – early 50’s because back then this was essentially a toy for young boys.
When I was a boy I also learned to shoot with this rifle on farms and at ranges around Nashville. I still remember his instruction… “get where you think you are lined up with the target how you want it, then squeeeeeze the trigger. Slowly apply pressure and hold the target where you like it. Take a breathe – breathe out, then squeeeeze the trigger”. This small caliber rifle may be the most valuable of my entire collection while also holding the title of the least expensive.