Taurus Model 63R .22 Rifle
 

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 30th, 2004

 

 

 

With the introduction of their Model 63R, Taurus has brought back one of the greatest little .22 auto loading rifles ever built. The original 63 was built by Winchester.

Winchester introduced the model 63 in 1933 to replace the model 1903, which was chambered for the .22 Winchester Auto cartridge. The 63 was able to use the more popular .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The original 63 was in production until 1958. There was limited run of Japanese-built Winchester 63s made in 1997 and 1998.

The Taurus 63R is a very close copy of the original, and is a welcome sight for shooters who fondly remember the old autoloader. Like the original, the Taurus has a ten shot magazine which loads through a port in the right side of the buttstock. The magazine is loaded by retracting the magazine tube by means of a knob recessed into the butt plate.  The rifle can be easily taken down for cleaning or storage by loosening the knurled knob at the rear of the receiver, and sliding the two halves apart. The action is operated to chamber the first round by pressing rearward on the operating sleeve, which protrudes from the front of the fore arm, and is often mistaken for a magazine tube.  The safety is a crossbolt design that blocks the trigger from movement. In addition to the original safety, Taurus has added their key-locking safety system to the bolt, and when activated effectively locks the action of the rifle. This feature can be used if desired, or ignored if not.

Like the original, the Taurus has a twenty-three inch barrel as supplied with all but the earliest of the model 63 Winchesters, which had twenty inch barrels. The model 63 is a full size rifle. It has an overall length of thirty-nine and one quarter inches, and a weight of six pounds and six ounces. The tapered barrel measures .710 and .555 inches at the breech and muzzle, respectively. It balances very well, with the balance point being at the front of the ejection port. It feels like a real rifle, unlike many of the rimfire rifles on the market today, which feel more like a toy than a firearm.

The fit and finish on the Taurus 63R is beautiful. The hardwood stock has a subdued oil finish, and the metal is polished to a deep lustrous blue. Just as it should be, the metal parts on the 63 are steel, with no cheap aluminum or plastic parts present. The wood-to-metal fit is very good, and much better than that of most .22 rifles on the market. It is good to see such quality workmanship on a rifle made of real wood and steel.

For testing the Model 63, I gathered together several different types of .22 Long Rifle ammunition, including standard velocity target ammo, hypervelocity light bullet loads, subsonic heavy bullet loads, bulk hollowpoint loads, and anything else that I could find. Functioning was flawless throughout the tests, with the 63 feeding, firing, and ejecting perfectly every time.

Accuracy testing was done at a range of fifty yards. Accuracy was very good with the open adjustable sights.  The scope mount for the 63 replaces the rear sight, and was the only problem that was encountered with the rifle. The mount places the scope too far forward to use a scope of normal eye relief. I would greatly prefer to see this rifle drilled and tapped for scope mounts, or at least grooved for tip-off mounts as were the latter original model 63 Winchesters. If I buy this rifle, I will have it drilled for a receiver-mounted scope.  The steel on the receiver is plenty thick for this, and Weaver number 25 bases match the radius of the receiver top. Other than this one problem, I could find no fault with the model 63, and this was with the mount and not the rifle itself.

There are many choices today in a good twenty-two rifle, and I own several myself. There is and always has been something very special about the Winchester Model 63, and the Taurus is a worthy successor to that legacy.  A vintage 63 in excellent condition will sell for close to one thousand dollars. You can buy four of these Taurus 63s for about that much money, and give up nothing in functioning or accuracy. While the wood on the Taurus is not walnut, it is very attractive, and the deep bluing is reminiscent of the old Winchesters.  The Taurus is also available in stainless steel, for those who prefer.

For me, I like the blued version. I also like the twenty-three inch barrel. It points well, much like a quality shotgun. It comes up to the shoulder quickly, and swings easily to align with a moving target. It is a fine little rifle, but more than that, the Taurus Model 63R takes me back to a time when guns were made of real steel, and assembled with pride. The quality of this firearm belies its low price. It brings to mind a time when rimfire rifles were built to put meat on the table, of days afield or in the woods looking for a rabbit in the snow or a squirrel in the tall hickory trees. It is refreshing to describe a new rifle without using the terms "polymer" or "injection molded".

With the Model 63, Taurus has allowed another generation the opportunity to enjoy a finely crafted twenty-two autoloader at a very affordable price.

Check out the 63 and other Taurus products online at:  www.taurususa.com.

Jeff Quinn

 

For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:



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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

Long a fan of the original Winchester Model 63, Jeff was very impressed with Taurus' version. It offers quality in materials and craftsmanship, an accurate and reliable hunting companion, and a real breath of nostalgia, all for a bargain price.

 

 

A worthy successor to the grand old Model 63, the Taurus Model 63R is a beautifully-made, quality .22 repeater. Quality of materials, fit and finish rivals the original.

 

 

Author fired the Taurus Model 63 with a wide variety of .22 ammunition. The 63 proved to be 100 percent reliable and very accurate, even with iron sights.