June 2003

Pump-Rifle Probe: Are These Rimfire Slide Actions Any Good?

Henry’s Pump shines against an original Winchester. We have questions about the Taurus Model 62 Carbine.

Pump-action .22 rifles have been with us for well over a century. Many millions of kids cut their shooting teeth with a pump rifle, a supply of tin cans, and Dad’s careful tutoring. Shooting galleries throughout the U.S., and probably the world, used the Gallery model of the Winchester, so many people gained familiarity with the rifle even if they never owned one. Pump-rifle designs were generally simple and durable, and the Winchesters probably set the standard for other makers to follow.

The common talk among shooters was that you could load the .22 pump rifle in the morning and shoot it all day, or something like that. Whether or not the Winchester Model 62 was the first rifle that spawned that phrase (it was probably the Winchester Model 1890), the 62 would fill the bill with its full-length tubular magazine that accepted 20 Short, 16 Long, or 14 Long Rifle cartridges. Per the 10th Edition of Modern Gun Values, the Winchester Model 62 rifle was introduced in 1932 and discontinued in 1959. That tome gives an approximate value for the Model 62 Winchester in excellent condition at about $600, but that price has probably gone up since our 1996 edition was printed. We were lucky enough to obtain the loan of a Winchester 62A in excellent condition, which gave us an excellent basis for comparison with two new pump .22s we also acquired, a close copy of the Model 62 Winchester by Taurus, called the M62 Carbine ($279) with 16.5-inch barrel, and another by Henry Arms, called simply the Pump Action .22 ($300), with an extended forend and side ejection.

We put these to our functional and accuracy tests, beginning with the Winchester to see what a good, classic pump gun would feel like. First, we shot them offhand to get a feel for what they offered. Without spoiling the story, we liked what we found from this informal shooting. All three balanced well, and all three had acceptable triggers. We were shooting at a stump at 75 yards, so didn’t try for accuracy until later, off the bench. But all fed and functioned well right off the bat. In fact, there were no failures to feed or function with .22 LR ammo in any of the three rifles throughout our shooting. Here are our formal findings.

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