Antique Repeating 22's

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by johnlives4christ, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i am curious as to some of the options people had for some of the earliest 22 repeaters. i know winchester chambered a few 1873's for the 22.

    and of course smith and wesson made the first 22's

    but what about colt? did they make the saa in 22? or what about other smith models?

    what about other rifles. i know stevens made the single shots and winchesters and remington mad single shots.

    what else was available.
  2. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

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    Marlin started making firearms in 1870...their lever-action repeaters came in many configurations back then,
    and I don't have a caliber listing, but Col. Brophy's book does.

    Marlin was making the Model 18 slide-action repeater for .22 LR/Long/Short back in 1906,
    previous to that it was all lever-action repeaters.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Seems like Colt made a grand total of 18 Single Action Armys in 22. So says my memory, anyway. I know it wasn't very many.

    They also made their Lightning Magazine Rifle (a pump) in three frame sizes. The one most folks think about, the Medium, came in 44/40, 38/40 and 32/20. But the Small frame was a 22. That would be around 1890.

    Of course, the Winchester 1890 is/was a John Browning designed pump 22.
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    and dont forget the winchester mod 62/62A gallery guns. great pump .22s
  5. steve99f

    steve99f New Member

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    Savage produced their model 1903 22RF pump from 1903 to WWI and then some in 1920. Clip fed, not tubular. Would feed shorts, longs and LR mixed.

    I have few, including a 22 short only variation made in 1903.
  6. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Years and years ago I bought a "bundle" of the .22 Colt Lightings. (literally!)
    One of the local gunshop/gunsmiths had a "bargain barrel" that would gather stuff he got tired of tripping over in the back of the shop. One day I walked in and he had just bundled about 10 of them up with innertube rubber bands like kindling.
    Most were missing parts and some in pretty sad shape, but for $25.00 I couldn't pass. I ended up with about three complete guns and a bunch of misc parts and it kept me entertained for a couple of weeks. (Wish I had them today.)

    This was the same gunsmith that talked about burning Springfield '03 stocks in the little stove they used to heat the shop in the winter. Of course this was back when nobody wanted original '03's. They wanted sporters and he made good money building them.
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i know the marlin 1897 was eventually turned into the model 39.

    i guess it was right around the turn of the century when 22's became popular as plinking weapons?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  8. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 New Member

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    rollin white started it all.

    he patented the bored through cylinder for use with the self contained metallic rimfire cartridge...

    he worked at colt, colt passed on the concept but S&W jumped on the idea.

    white produced and sold rimfire revolvers from lowell mass. before being consumed by smith...

    spent the rest of his life fighting patent infringement lawsuits against copycat arms makers...

    interesting guy.

    best regards, mike.
  9. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

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    To be honest, plinking was called target practice back then,
    most folks were engagued in survival via hunting small game animals.

    Annie Oakley started out as a small game hunter, who made precision headshots on wild game
    because bullets in the body of the animal meant you got paid less.

    Nobody but the rich folks wasted a shot if they could help it.
    Even as cheap as ammo was back then.

    If our economy goes bust again, look for folks to do the same thing with all the ammo they've
    been hoarding for the last few years. Those who can place their shots well, will have plenty
    of food for the table, those who can't, won't.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    on the marlin 1897s... i've looked at them on some gun auction sites and i can get one for right around 1200 bucks, or less i reckon. one in good shape. anyone know the manufacture dates for them and when they are safe for use with smokeless powder loads?
  11. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

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    1897-1922
    Those made after 1905 are designated as Model 97
    They both are supposed to be able to use current Standard Velocity ammo...
    however, I'd stick to the post-1905's for that.
    DEFINITELY would NOT use High or Hyper velo ammo...in either.

    I'm currently using Standard Velo in my 1913 Marlin 37 Slide-action,
    no signs of any non-normal wear.
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    did they ever make a reproduction of the 1897? that standard bulk stuff from walmart is high speed ammo aint it?
  13. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

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    The son of the 97 is the Marlin 39 Lever-action repeater.
    1922-1938

    Then after a short break for WW2/Korea, intrest picked up again, starting with the 39 Carbine.
    1960 (90th anniv carbine), 1963-1967, 1970 (Century Limited),

    The 39M (Mountie) Carbine
    1954-1960

    The Golden 39M rifle
    1960-1987
    (Octagon barrel in 1973)

    The Marlin 39-TDS carbine (Takedown)
    1988-1995


    The 39A's pretty much have the pistol-grip stocks...however, some folks have taken
    the 39 straight lever & rear stocks and made cowboy versions of their 39A's.

    And that's everything I know about Marlin straight-stock .22lr lever-actions ;)


    As far as the ammo...Standard velocity .22 rimfire ammunition are cartridges with muzzle velocities between 1055 fps and 1100 fps.
    Look for things that say
    Standard Velocity or Target or Match

    Like this...
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=271391
    [​IMG]

    or this...
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=666826

    Lapua Match X-Act is the most expensive Match-grade ammo I care to buy...
    and it's strictly only for competition...due to cost.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  14. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    why would high speed hurt a model 1897? i dont like pistol gripped 39s. i been looking at the 1897's though and they got the straight grip stock and square finger lever. very handsome. i aint about to pay 500per 100 or more for 22 ammo though.

    a friend of ming has a mountie and it's okay... but the finger lever is still all rounded and gay. square looks so much better. perhaps i could get a 39 and convert it.

    i guess what it boils down to is that i want a traditionally styled 22 lever gun. not a henry, not a browning and not a winchester. dont like the look of the browning... dont like the design of the winchester & i had bad luck with one. and henrys aint no count for the long haul.

    i want a 1897 really, so whats wrong with shooting high speed bulk ammo though it? a 22 dont make that much pressure from won type to the next does it? wouldnt it still be a 1:16 twist?
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    John, Marlin made the 1897, starting in, big surprise, 1897. Shooting a gun that old with high speed ammo would probably be a bad thing.

    A few years ago they re-released the 1897. Now, are you looking at getting one of the modern guns, which would be fine with any kind of 22 LR, or one of the antiques, where the hot stuff would hurt it?
  16. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i didnt know they rereleased it. i'd probably be looking at the modern one. i have no idea which one i've been looking at online... i would guess the rerelease though because they looked pretty good.

    why will high speed hurt the old ones? what will it do?
  17. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Active Member

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    Well, first you are dealing with a rifle that was built to take low-power .22lr's,
    the smokeless powder of olden times was much weaker.

    You add in 100+ years of abuse & metal fatigue...

    With High Velo, it might not happen immediately, but sooner or later, something will break.

    With Hyper-Velo...you better have a spare action standing by, within a couple boxes something should die.

    Why chance it? Get a modern version (post 1958) and enjoy being able to use any .22lr ammo.
    Or buy a spare action assembly and shoot what you want.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  18. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    when is generally the considered the turning point where its safe to use high velocity ammo in 22? or is just on a per gun basis
  19. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I'd say, for my own guns, a few years after "hi speed" 22s came out. Probably mid 30s. It's like with smokeless powder. They invented that stuff in 1886, IIRC. Winchester said their 1894 rifle was safe with smokeless. 8 years later. Colt said their pistols were safe, in 1904. 18 years later. S&W said theirs are safe in 1907. 21 years later. They come out with this new, stronger stuff, and the guns start breaking. So they make the guns stronger. But the guns always lag behind the powder development.

    So I don't shoot hi-speed 22s in anything made before WW2. But that's just me.
  20. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Hi, a simple general rule to remember is "Old gun...Old ammo. New gun ...New ammo.
    This is a very safe blanket rule. However there are exeptions to every rule. And these exeptions are based mostly on the desighn of the gun and it's construction and of course the materials used in it's manufacture.

    So to be on the absolute safe side, use only the standard ammo and keep away from the hyper vel stuf.

    An old gun becomes old for two resons, 1-it was left alone, 2-someone took care of it.
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