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Winchester commemorative honors Boy Scouts.

For years Winchester commemoratives have been eagerly anticipated by gun collectors of all ages. U.S. Repeating Arms' newest rifle commemorates a segment of gun enthusiasts which is frequently overlooked: the youth of America. USRA's latest commemorative celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America--one of the oldest and largest youth organizations in the world today.

Created in 1910 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a British officer who fought in the Boer War in South Africa, the Scouts were designed to education the young sportsman about nature, to instill in him pride for his country and, most importantly, himself. For 75 years, despite numerous social and political changes in America, the Boy Scouts of America have remained true to these ideals and prospered largely because of them.

I am a Scout myself and have enjoyed the many benefits of scouting. Not only have I learned many new things through the Boy Scouts, but I have also made new friends and experienced numerous exciting activities with them. Being brought up in an urban atmosphere, I probably would have never experienced such things as white water rafting, rapelling and overnight hiking trips, if it were not for the Boy Scouts. Millions of Boy Scouts, I am sure, share these feelings with me and are just as proud as I am that U.S. Repeating Arms has chosen to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America with such a fine rifle.

The rifle itself is the well-known Winchester Model 9422 XTR with a number of decorative embellishments. The receiver and the lever are plated with antique pewter and roll engraved on both sides. The right side is engraved with scenes depicting typical scout activities such as chopping wood and cooking over an open fire. Also on the right side is a representation of the scout sign. These scenes are framed by the Scout oath: "On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, help other people, keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, morally straight and to obey the Scout law." This oath is taken by all Scouts and repeated at the start of each weekly meeting.

On the left side of the receiver is printed the Scout law: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, kind, clean, reverent." These words surround scenes of hiking and canoeing trips and are centered by Dr. Robert McKenzie's 1937 historic bronze, "The Boy Scout." On top of the receiver the dates "1910 -- 1985" are engraved just behind the pewter-plated hammer. The serial number on every gun is found on the bottom of the receiver, just in front of the lever, and is prefixed "BSA."

The lever is engraved on both sides with representations of the various scout knots. The stock and forearm are made of satin-finish, selected American walnut and checkered in traditional style. Embedded into the right side of the stock is an antique, pewter-plated Boy Scouts of America commemorative medallion. The traditional-style buttplate and barrel rings are also pewter plated and pleasantly contrast with the high-lustre blued barrel, sights, trigger, bolt and screws. "Boy Scouts of America," inscribed into the barrel after it was blued, adds to this pleasing effect.

Up to 15,000 Boy Scout Commemoratives will be made, with royalties going to the Boy Scouts of America for various scouting activities.

U.S. Repeating Arms is also making a Model 9422 XTR Eagel Scout Commemorative. Becoming an Eagle Scout is one of the highest achievements in scouting. It represents years of hard work, sacrifice and determination, and this rifle is a fine tribute to such an elite group.

The Eagle Scout receiver is etched in triple levels and plated with antique gold. Both the right and left side of the receiver are engraved with the same scenes that appear on the Boy Scout Commemorative. The lever and hammer, both plated in antique gold, are engraved with representations of the various scout knots. The stock and forearm, both made of selected American walnut, have a high-lustre finish and feature spade-pattern cut checkering. Embedded in the right side of the stock is an Eagle Scout Commemorative medallion. The medallion, traditional-style buttplate and forearm cap are all gold plated.

The gun's only other variations from the Boy Scout Commemorative are a jeweled bolt and a brass magazine tube. A total of 1,000 Eagle Scout Commemoratives will be produced, bearing serial numbers EAGLE 1 through EAGLE 1000. Serial numbers EAGLE 1 and 2 were given to President Ronald Reagan and to Vice-President George Bush at the BSA's annual meeting held in Washington, D.C., last March 13th. At that same meeting, commemoratives BSA 1 and BSA 2 were given to Sanford N. McDonnel, president of the Boy Scouts of America, and Ben Love, chief scout executive, respectively.

In addition to manufacturing the Boy Scout and Eagle Commemoratives, U.S. Repeating Arms is also the exclusive supplier of Boy Scouts of America commemorative cartridges. These .22 high velocity, long rifle cartridges feature nickel-plated cases with a special 75th Anniversary fleur-de-lis headstamp and copper-plated bullets. The cartridges are packaged in boxes very similar to the Commemorative rifle cartridge boxes. Available in bricks of 500, these boxes are illustrated by the official Boy Scouts of America artist, Joseph Csatari. This ammunition complements both the Boy Scout and the Eagle Commemoratives beautifully and makes a fine addition to both pieces.

U.S. Repeating Arms will also be supplying other accessories, including a suede-leather gun case. The case has a buckskin fringe and a Winchester Boy Scout logo. Also available is a cherrywood gunrack branded with the Winchester name and a gold-stamped leather scout logo.

Aside from being a fine-looking commemorative, the 9422 XTR is an outstanding shooter as well. For years, the Winchester Model 9422 XTR has been recognized as one of the most accurate and reliable .22 lever-action rifles made. I found this out firsthand when I shot the gun for myself. On my first trip to the range, I used the gun's standard buckhorn rear sight; an interchangeable aperture rear sight may be substituted. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. The matted ramp front sight is hooded to help reduce glare. The rifle grouped well with its iron sights; however I felt that a scope would enhance its accuracy.

So, before my next trip to the range, I mounted a Bushnell custom 3-7X scope on the rifle. Both the standard 9422 and the Boy Scout and Eagle Scout Commemorative models are grooved for scope mounts. My rifle's accuracy increased noticeably with the addition of a scope. The gun's length of pull is 14-1/2 inches, as compared to 13-1/2 inches on the Boy Scout and Eagle Scout Commemoratives. This, coupled with the gun's weight relative to the regular Winchester Model 94, makes it an ideal rifle for the young hunter to shoot.

In my opinion, U.S. Repeating Arms has produced another outstanding Winchester commemorative that is destined to be a classic. Both the Boy Scout and Eagle Scout Commemoratives should be ideal first choices for the budding young collector, as well as providing years of shooting pleasure.

For more information, consult your local dealer or write to U.S. Repeating Arms Co., P.O. Box 30-300, Dept. GA, 275 Winchester Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511.
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Author:Forgett, Val, III
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:Testimonial
Date:Jul 1, 1985
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