Q: I inherited a pump-action rifle I believe to be a Winchester Model 1890. Stamped on the gun is “22 SHORT” and the serial number is 208XXX. I am interested to know a little more about what I’ve got. Is it possible to find out when the rifle was actually made?
A: Your gun is a Winchester Model 1890 .22 rimfire pump-action rifle. This was an extremely popular little gun, and some 849,000 were manufactured between 1890 and 1932. However, they were sold by Winchester until 1941—that’s when the existing supply of parts dried up.
The first 1890s utilized a solid frame, but after about serial number 15,500 Winchester changed to a takedown barrel/receiver combination. Chamberings were .22 Short, .22 Long, .22 Long Rifle and .22 WRF. They were not interchangeable. The serial number of your rifle indicates it was made in 1904.
—Garry James, Contributing Editor