Winchester Model 61

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I. History of the Model 61 | II. Determine Type Model | III. Factory Variations | IV. Condition of Gun | 61 Models (Outline) | Gun Parts Diagram | Timeline of Winchester Gun Production |Home

Which Model of 61 Rifle do you have?

Step 1: Determine the Model of your firearm

There are essentially three Models of the 61 Winchester, with many  factory variations possible within those models.  The first model was the early  'pre-war 61 Model' with a plain walnut pistol-grip stock, a flat shotgun-type buttplate, and a smaller (< 7") grooved forearm slide handle.  The next version was the 'Standard 61 Model' and differed by having higher serial numbers and a larger grooved forearm (>8" slide handle) .  The third type of model 61 produced was called the "Magnum,"  and this model differed in that it shot only .22 Win Mag bullets and also had the larger (>8" slide handle) grooved forearm.  Each model could have factory variations/added features (for example a single caliber, a rear peep sight).  

Use the Key to determine which gun you have.  Start at "a" and then select one of the "a" choices.  Follow the path through the key (e.g., go to 'b' or 'c') to determine your Model 61 rifle type.  Then confirm this determination with the overall descriptions.  These guns were very popular and some have gone through many hands.  Each owner had an opportunity to modify the gun, add parts, change parts, and remove features.  Be alert for such modifications, and remember that any modification from the original has undoubtedly decreased the gun's value.

To become familiar with the vocabulary and words used to identify parts of your gun, examine the Parts Diagram by Clicking Here.

Easy Key:

a1. My gun DOES HAVE an exposed hammer.  You either DO NOT have a Model 61 Winchester or you have a modified or replacement barrel of some type.  The gun's value will be impacted.  If you still feel that your gun is an 61 Winchester,--- Go to section  b.

a2. My gun DOES HAVE a hammerless receiver and a  24" round and tapered or octagon barrel.  ---  Go to section b

Rounded Receiver

Exposed hammer 
(not appropriate)


b1. Caliber is either .22 Short, Long, and/or Long-rifle or one other single .22 bullet type with a bullet shaped loading port---  Go to section c

b2.  Caliber is .22 Magnum only with a larger (> 8") forearm---  You have a Model 61 MAGNUM, post-war production.  The serial number should be between ~262,794 and 342,001 .  Go to Section Step 2


Winchester Model 61 MAGNUM


c1. Gun has a smaller (< 6") grooved handle for the pump forearm and a bullet-shaped loading port
     You have the earlier 61 Model (pre-war).  Check to be sure that your gun has a serial number between 1 and 57,493.  Go to Section Step 2

small grooved forearm

c2. Gun has a large (>8")  grooved handle for the pump forearm and a bullet-shaped loading port   You have a post-war Model 61 Winchester.  Check to be sure the serial number is after 98,200.  Go to Section Step 2


Large forearm


 BEFORE GOING TO STEP #2, if you want to check that your Model 61  identification is correct, click on this link OUTLINE OF FEATURES, that provides a brief outline of features associated with each major variation of the Model 61.


Continue to Step 2 and the Variations of Models

Introduction | I. Models | II. Variations | III. Condition |61 Models (Outline) | Gun Parts Diagram | Home