View Full Version : Heirloom Rifle

December 2, 2013, 04:48 PM
This will be my son's first Christmas and that's got me thinking of some of the family heirlooms that have changed hands over the years. I followed that chain of thought to wonder what rifle would make a great rifle to hand down to my son when the time comes. I've come for suggestions and input.

I have one Heirloom rifle, a Savage Model 10 .308 with a custom engraved stock owned by my late Uncle. It's a cool rifle, but VERY HEAVY and needs a smith's attention to get it shooting straight after several years of neglect after his passing.

I'm thinking of a CZ 455. This does not need to be his first rifle, just looking for something that might stay his favorite growing up with.

What have some of you Dads out there gotten your best gifting responses from?


December 2, 2013, 06:14 PM
Well I'm not a dad yet but I'm a son who has been handed-down several rifles.

Among my favorites are a Browning BL-22, a ruger M77 6mm, a Winchester model 37 red letter 12 ga., and a Marlin 336 .35 rem.

I guess if I had to pick a favorite it would be the Marlin 336, since I'm the 3rd generation to deer hunt with it.

But as far as going out and buying a new "first rifle" for a kid that will become an heirloom, I'd suggest a lever action .22lr like the Browning my dad got for me. I've had a lot of fun over the years with that rifle, many a squirrel, rabbit, and tin can have fell victim to it.

The Henry golden boy is a nice looking rifle, but slightly over-rated IMO. The Marlin golden 39A is a nice rifle, but the Browning BL-22 is my fave. I could be slightly biased though :D

December 2, 2013, 06:34 PM
I almost forgot to include the Mossberg 464 .22 in that list. They are a pretty close copy of the Winchester 9422 that I believe is no longer produced.

December 2, 2013, 06:50 PM
The Marlin Mountie is the best of the bunch, I'd find a nice one for him. It will serve him all his life and then his son and grandson.

December 2, 2013, 08:14 PM
I received a Browning .22 cal take down model on my ninth birthday and to this day have a great time using it while remembering times with my Dad shooting! I bought a set of Henry .22 lever actions Goldenboy rifles for my twin Grandsons. The nice thing about it is that Henry will at your request for a fee engrave names and dates with other sentimental offerings such as from Grandfather to you on this date which kind of makes it a special hand me down. Just my opinion and offering. Additionally, they have a very good warranty. I had another one for four years before I took it out of the box and couldn't get it to sight. Wrote them and was told if it would not sight send it back and they would repair or replace it. Hope this helps. All mentioned in prior posts were good offerings and I don't want to take anything away from them! :)

December 3, 2013, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, I've got some fun "researching" to do :)

December 3, 2013, 12:51 PM

Heirloom ? - Definitely IMHO a .22 levergun.

A pristine Winchester 9422XTR Deluxe did it for me, my Son, and both my Grandsons........ (though YMMV, of course)


December 3, 2013, 02:27 PM
The best heirloom guns are the ones that you can use regularly and use hard. Whether it's in your hands, his hands, or his son's hands, a rifle that can be used will build far more love and appreciation than something that only comes out of the safe every 3-5 years.

In my family, some of the most highly prized heirlooms are firearms that started out as basket cases, but were fixed up and used regularly, before being passed down.
Almost any day of the week, I'll take an ugly rifle with history, over a pretty rifle that has only known the inside of a cardboard box and/or the safe.

Just buy firearms that you like, and maybe you hope he will like, and see what he gravitates towards as the years progress. For me (and all of my brothers), it was a Rossi 62SA (pump action carbine .22), of all things....

December 3, 2013, 02:34 PM
Something that you or even better you and your dad used for many years. I have guns that came down from my great grandpa, grandpa, and dad. Some passed through all of them before coming to me. They are all priceless to me but I really like using the ones I saw grandpa and dad use before they were passed to me.

Art Eatman
December 3, 2013, 08:57 PM
Take him along to a gun show or three, to a local gun shop and/or some pawn shops. Let him look and see; you watch to see what he tends to drool over. :)

December 5, 2013, 10:51 AM
I've been passing rifles along for several years, because I have three sons and seven grandsons. The only two that were problematic were the southpaws, but I solved that problem last year, when Savage came out with their left-handed Axis rifles. While I like passing down rifles I've used, it simply wasn't in the cards for these two, simply because I wanted them to have left-hand bolt guns.

This year, I've got a grandson turning 14, and he's getting a 1983 model 700 ADL Remington in .308. He's been drooling over that rifle for several years and this year he'll find it under the Christmas tree. I hope he likes it.

December 5, 2013, 01:34 PM
Sounds great Pawpaw! There's not been a tradition of passing guns along in my family. My parents hunted phesant together when I was little but their small collection (which was 3 shotguns) were stolen in a home breakin when I was 5 or 6. They never replaced them. I look forward to laying the groundwork for what I hope to be generations of responsible and enthusiastic gun ownership.

Thank you all for the responses, by all means if you haven't chimed in yet please do!

December 5, 2013, 09:29 PM
40 years ago this Christmas I received my Ruger 10/22 carbine... The carnage it's inflicted on varmints, cans and paper is without measure...

Though I may have better, newer, more expensive, it's still my favorite...

December 6, 2013, 07:49 AM
Years ago bought my kids the Winchester reproduction of the model 52, only the Browning versions for Christmas. They are a classic of the first order, guaranteed to be a heirloom piece for generations to come.

The original model 52's were regarded as the finest examples of .22's ever made. Herbert Houze's book titled "Winchester 52, Perfection in Design" pretty much says it all. Unfortunately the original sporters bring upwards of $4,000-to-$8,000......that's why the (discontinued) reproductions are such a buy in the $500-to-$1000 range. Winchester and Browning versions can be found on GunBroker and gun shows.