During the Winchester Model 9422’s 33-year production run—from 1972 through 2005—the well-built and extremely accurate .22 rimfire lever-action embodied our ongoing admiration for the American West and filled the need for an economical look-alike of its big-bore Model 94 counterpart. It’s unsurprising then that the 9422 became one of the most popular rifles in Winchester’s lineup.
Serial number 1 of Winchester’s 9422 was given to long-time Winchester employee Bill Kelley upon his retirement in 1972, and by 1991 more than 600,000 guns had been produced. The rifle sported a forged receiver and straight-grip walnut stock, a 20½-inch barrel, a semi-buckhorn rear sight and a bead-and-post front sight, and it weighed 6 pounds—a half-pound lighter than the Model 94. Of course, mechanically it was an entirely different gun and featured a tubular magazine that could hold 15 rounds of .22 Long Rifle, 17 rounds of .22 Long or 21 rounds of .22 Short. There was also a 9422M version that held 11 rounds of .22 WMR. A later variation, the Model 9217, was chambered for the .17 HMR.
Its features included a solid-top receiver grooved for scope mounts, angled ejection (even before the Model 94 had it), a hammer with a detachable thumb extension for use with an attached scope, and a much-favored half-cock instead of the 94’s rebounding hammer. In addition, the 9422 had a take-down feature—loosening a screw on the left side of the receiver enabled the rifle to be separated into two parts. Checkering was added in 1980, and an XTR version with high-polish bluing and checkered fancy walnut stocks was produced from 1978 until 1989.
In 1981, Olin licensed the Winchester name and manufacturing to U.S. Repeating Arms Co., which subsequently produced a number of commemoratives, plus large-loop and pistol-grip variations. In 1987, a .22 WMR WinCam version was offered with synthetic stocks, and in 1996 a 16½-inch-barreled Trapper was introduced.
In 100-percent, new-in-box condition, non-commemorative guns typically fetch around $750. This 90-percent 9422M XTR has some issues, most noticeably with some unsightly rust on the tang and the mottled bluing on the Weaver Marksman 4X scope. As such, in its otherwise NRA Very Good Condition, it would probably fetch around $400 to $450—still not bad for a high-grade .22 that retailed for $190.95 back in 1979.
Gun: Winchester 9422M XTR
Caliber: .22 WMR
Serial No.: F416XXX
Condition: NRA Very Good (Modern Firearms Standard), with some detraction for rust
Value: $400 to $450