View Full Version : My Grandfathers 22-- what might it have been?

April 30, 2008, 01:08 AM
I was having a discussion with my 88 year old grandfather today. He was telling me about the 22 he hunted rabbits with as a boy.

It was a single shot 22 bolt action. It could shoot 22 longs and shorts. My grandpa thought his dad had bought new when he was 5-6, so it was probably purchased in 1923-1925.

He thought it might have been a Winchester, Stevens or Savage, but he had no idea as to models.

My grandfather's family was very poor. It would not have been an expensive gun. He vividly remembers his dad buying 22 shorts and telling him not to waste any ammo-- so he would crawl on his belly to get up close. His family really needed the food.

I would like to get some ideas as to what types of guns it might have been in that timeframe, and then find some pictures and it show them to him-- see if any thing looks familiar.

Thanks for your help


April 30, 2008, 11:26 AM
I got my first .22 single shot rifle for my 6th birthday in 1932 - I'm not sure who made it but I think it was a Wiinchester - possibly something like a model 67BR (Boy's Rifle). Here I am with my "throphy rabbits" in about 1934 -


Yes, we did shoot mostly shorts because they cost two bits ($0.25) per box and long rifles cost four bits for a box of 50 rounds.:)

It required not only getting closer but head shots were more reliable.


Ben Swenson
April 30, 2008, 11:37 AM
There are lots and lots of old single-shot .22 rifles out there branded as Savage, Stevens, Sears, and so forth.

My grandpa's was a Springfield model 83 manufactured by Stevens. Great little rifle.

April 30, 2008, 03:55 PM
Yep you picked a bear to wrestle trying to figure it out from that information, as there were tons of different models built on about the same idea in the first 30 years of the century. Bolt action single shots with basic sights. They really all look very similiar in most cases, so that from a small black and white catalog picture it would be difficult to tell many of them apart unless there was one particular unique feature to the model in question. Something like the Savage, Stevens, or Sears or catalog store models would be the most economical models. I think Winchesters probably cost more even then. Good luck.

April 30, 2008, 09:12 PM
my grampa gave me a single shot winchester model 67 he told me he got from the sears catologue for $5. There is no way of proving this but I would have to believe him, it is a single shot bolt action.

April 30, 2008, 11:37 PM
That sounds about right - the 1930s were depression years. I bought a Winchester 74 semiauto (magazine in the butt and chambered for .22 shorts) in about 1939 and I never spent more than $15 for anything but my horse at that time - but that's another story.;)

Incidentally, at about age 13, I walked into the lumber yard and bought the rifle with no adult with me - imagine such happening today - and, so far, I've not yet had anything like a ND or AD. Dad was a shotgunner and never owned a rifle but he taught me gun safety very well.


May 1, 2008, 12:29 AM
Thanks for the help everyone. I figured this would be a tough call. That is why I figured I would focus on single shot models that were produced in 1920-1924.

But that information has been hard to find. The best I have found so far is for winchester here:


It shows a Winchester 1902 as a single shot bolt action that was made before 1925, and I did a search and found where someone said that one was made from 1902-1930. The other Winchester single shots were made after 1928.

But I have not found anything like that for Savage or Stevens-- but I figured someone must know if the models that were made in that timeframe.


//according to that website the winchester 67 wasn't made till the 30's, and I found a site that said the Springfield model 83 was made from '35 to 39.

May 1, 2008, 12:45 AM
I did some more research-- it looks like the savage 3C, 3D, 3DE and 3E, as well as the Springfield 53C, 53CD and 53D were also single shot bolt action 22's, but I can't find when any of those were made. I am assuming they were before the 83, so they could be possibilities.


May 1, 2008, 01:13 AM
It looks a lot like my 72 Win. .22

J F Cooper
May 1, 2008, 07:26 AM
You can eliminate the Savage Model 3, they came out in 1931.. The Page Lewis was an economical rifle of the period.. Also the Meriden Firearms co made a bolt action single shot for Sears..JFC

May 1, 2008, 10:27 AM
I guess your only choice without a brand name is to start laying hands on some books with illustrations. Perhaps you could find a library copy of Philip B. Sharpe's THE RIFLE IN AMERICA which has illustrations of rimfire rifles from the major makers up to just before WW2. Also text descriptions and dates of mfr. Mine is a hardbound NRA reprint. Maybe search data base and see if there is a copy at an out of town library somewhere. Numrich Arms(Gun Parts Corp.) paper back catalog of gun parts has alot of illustrations of old guns like that, including some more obscure brands and it can be mail ordered or bought at some gun shops. It is a pretty big thick book. See their website www.e-gunparts.com You can order a catalog there too. I can't think of any other sources off the top of my head where they would cover a large number of various brands of these guns. Probably are some old books or some reference books at gunshow book sellers. Going thru all the sources to look for the right "picture" is gonna take some time I guess.

May 11, 2008, 02:01 PM
and dont forget the hamilton rifle that was very popular as it was given for buying a case of soap.the soap was $3/4.
I bought a mossberg 42 b for $7.50 my father got a Mossberg target 22 with lyman 57 rear and 17a from for $17.50 from the factory.I have 3 of those 43b target guns great shooters
OJ you got to be an old one.those were the days for gun owners.I used to get on the bus and go to school with the 43b.I was on the high school rifle team.of course the school had win 52s but I shot better ofhand with the Mossberg.WRHearst sponsered the postal match thru the NRA.:rolleyes:;):D

May 11, 2008, 02:07 PM
OJ, that does indeed look like a Winchester 67 but the stock is too long to be a boys rifle.

May 11, 2008, 05:19 PM
OJ you got to be an old one.those were the days for gun owners.I used to get on the bus and go to school with the 43b.I was on the high school rifle team.of course the school had win 52s but I shot better ofhand with the Mossberg.WRHearst sponsered the postal match thru the NRA.
OJ, that does indeed look like a Winchester 67 but the stock is too long to be a boys rifle.

You guys are correct - it may not have been a boys rifle (at 82, memory's not what it once was) but it sure suited that boy. And yes, I could walk down main street (well - in a town of not more than the 115 pop they claimed - main street was the only street) with the rifle in one hand, my rabbit trophies in the other, and my dog behind and the only attention we got was friendly waves and congrats on my shooting - those were sure good days.

Here's the dog that should have been in that picture -


She belonged to a rancher just out of town who gave her to me because she came to town and followed me all day every day and he figured if she chose me over him, I should feed her also. One of the best dogs I ever had.;)