View Full Version : Cheap, old .22 single shot rifle

January 30, 2006, 04:45 PM
I have exhausted every single internet source I can find to identify an old .22 rifle, and I'm just flat stumped. Here's the link to the rifle, with photos. If anyone here can identify this rifle, well, you'll be the only folks in the history of the flippin' internet to do it!

A friend showed up with this little rifle a few months back. It’s an old, very cheap .22 single shot. The only markings on the metal are "PREMIER" on the side of the receiver and ".22 Long Rifle" on the barrel.

This is a cheap old .22. The parts are stamped, and even the trigger guard is screwed into the stock with wood screws. However, it does have a nice, long, heavy barrel, and I couldn't stand to not fool with it.

The gun had been stored in an old warehouse for decades. A dirt dauber had even built a nest in the muzzle. The gun was grimy, greasy, and just plain dirty. It was also rusted shut.

I started taking the thing apart, and it was very simple to do. It's a single shot, and I managed to get everything apart, cleaned, and reassembled. I even sanded down the old stock and refinished it. Everything is slick as a cat now, except for one thing ...

It won't fire. ... More specifically, it appears that the firing pin strike is too light. I’m working on that. In the meantime, any idea what this rifle is? I have seen lots of stuff that was close, but nothing with a stock and action characteristics like this, and nothing with a weird bolt handle like this one. The bolt is a two-piece affair. The firing pin looks at first blush like it ought to be the extractor - it has a lobe at its back end that fits into a recess in the back half of the bolt, and its main body lies inside an external dovetail in the front half of the bolt, its end protruding out into the concave bolt face.

The combination sear and trigger spring is flat, and it is screwed onto the bottom front of the receiver (this one with an obvious replacement screw and a lock washer!) It was so weak that I had to do a little bending on it to coax a bit more tension out of it.

One cocks the piece by pulling on the rear of the bolt. The back half retracts and the sear catches a grove in the bottom of the back half of the bolt and locks it back. The back half takes the firing pin with it. The sear is integral to the spring and does not move. As the trigger is pulled, it levers the flat mainspring downward taking the sear with it, and the back half of the bolt is released. As the rear half of the bolt moves forward at the direction of a coil spring inside the back half of the bolt, it takes the firing pin with it, pushing it down the channel in the front half of the bolt and into the rim of the cartridge.

I have also noticed that the front half of the bolt is actually just a hair loose, even when closed, and the bolt handle has nothing to close down on - it just sits there against the side of the port, and when the rifle is dry fired, the handle even moves up about an eightj of an inch. (Yes, I know, ... it's worn out.)

Here's as far as I have gotten: Premier is a brand name for guns sold by Montgomery Ward and, probably, made by J. Stevens. Most of the attributes of my rifle are like the J. Stevens guns, except (1) the bolt on mine is a simple, short column and not a knobbed bolt handle, and (2) the stock is very shallow (meaning from top of receiver to bottom) and has no real relief cut out for the bolt in closed position.


January 30, 2006, 04:46 PM
Here are some more photos.

January 30, 2006, 04:47 PM
And some more photos ...

January 30, 2006, 04:49 PM
Here is a photo of about the closest thing I could find, a Springfield Model 120. The cocking piece looks identical, but the receiver and stock are different. In my limited reserach, I've discovered that there are a lot of similar rifle with the same barrel contour.

No idea. Any help?


January 31, 2006, 01:01 PM
Smiled when I saw no responses to this one. Quite the puzzle, ain't she?


James K
January 31, 2006, 02:23 PM
I think that receiver is too close to the Marlin 100 to have been made by anyone else. A unique feature of the 100 is that the bolt locks into the loading port, something no other Marlin or any Savage/Stevens does. The trouble is that some other stuff, like the extractor, doesn't jibe with the 100.

The odd bolt handle appears to be a gunsmith job, put on when the original bolt handle broke off.

Of course, it could have been made by one of the many makers whose products have not been well documented, like Crescent, who made guns under dozens of trade names.


Guy L Johnson
January 31, 2006, 09:46 PM
Tell Me about the rifling in the barrell because i have a Very similar gun, It is a smothe bore garden gun.

February 1, 2006, 01:58 PM
Hi, Jim. You have provided the most detailed info to date, and I thank you, sir! Guy, the rifling is standard rifling with a right-hand twist.


February 2, 2006, 09:51 AM
jon, this 22 looks the same as my page-lewis reliance model d,except for the bolt handle. page & lewis were stevens employees that sarted thier own company about 1922. in about 1929 one (page i belive) died and the survivor sold out to savage. hope this is helpful.jim y.

February 3, 2006, 11:50 AM
Thank you sir. With all this, I am reasonably certain that I have some variety of early Stevens-type, perhaps something that was made in the transition years, and perhaps with a modified bolt. I am going to do a Savage Arms recommended to me this morning and contact their recommended independent identifier to see if I can narrow things down even more.


November 5, 2006, 10:17 AM
Can anyone post a photo (not a schematic but an actual photo) of a Savage / Stevens model 15A single-shot, bolt-action .22? I have been trying to identify one of those weired, cheap .22 rifles made way back when (before serial numbers), and someone has suggested that it might be this model. I've looked on the web and can't find a photo, so if someone could post one, I'd sure appreciate it.


November 5, 2006, 10:40 AM
I don't have a picture, but my first .22 was a Stevens/Springfield M15A. Yours is close, but isn't one of them.


November 5, 2006, 02:33 PM
May be a Stevens 29A.
Go here check then look in a Blue Book or another firearm book that has pictures.


November 5, 2006, 03:19 PM
sir, check gun broker auction #59491628 for a fair picture.jim y

November 5, 2006, 03:40 PM
Here you go

Premier is a Tradename on used on rifles manufactured by J. Stevens Arms, and on rifles that were sold by Montgomery Ward. The Montgomery Ward rifles could have been manufactured by Savage, but if they were my reference material did not say so. The best place to look for parts is Gun Parts Corp. Marc


April 14, 2007, 08:48 PM
I dont know much about it either. but I do have a gun data book with alot of info in it, but I lost it. dont worry I'll look for it.

April 30, 2007, 11:15 AM
One of my references says that this was built by Mossberg for Montgomery Ward during the late 20s, early 30s. Not much to go on, but I hope it helps.

April 30, 2007, 11:26 AM
Mine is pretty close to yours, and almost identicle to the springfield you posted--it's stamped with "Coast to Coast". And rumor has it that Savage produced rifles for those stores under Springfield and Stevens back in the day--yours is probably one of those I'd bet, though I couldn't even guess at a model number. Mine is still in the vault, and probably the best little .22 I've ever owned--took thousands of gophers with it as a kid.

March 12, 2008, 07:42 PM
I received a Stevens 15A .22cal single shot bolt action recently from my father in law, and know little about it.....however, google directed me to your article, so, I hope we can be of help to each other. Please contact me via e-mail for detailed pics I have, if you are interested. [email protected] Please reference the 'gun posting' in the name of the e-mail subject. Thanks!

December 28, 2009, 05:19 PM
it's a Savage Springfield Model 120 Bolt 22 Calhttp://echo2003.webs.com/ss.jpg

December 29, 2009, 02:17 AM
^^^Yup, that's it--exactly. Love that little plinker!! :D

The only thing I would like to complain about is the thread title. Cheap? NEVER. How about inexpensive, Only because I'd call this thing priceless. It was my first rifle as a hand-me-down, and STILL holds a cherished spot among my other rifles--always will. It STILL does its job as well as any I could ever hope to have. ;)

July 19, 2012, 11:40 AM
Just wondering if anyone ever clearly identified bigjon's little rifle? I have the same rifle and would like to restore it for my son. There are no marking other then "Premier" on the barrel.

July 19, 2012, 02:47 PM
Why not start a new thread with pics instead of putting it in one 6 years old?

July 20, 2012, 10:23 PM
It's a Stevens "Junior" Model 50, which was their designation for the Page-Lewis Model D after they bought out the Page-Lewis company. The bolt handle is a replacement.