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Old February 21, 2016, 03:33 PM   #1
Gregory Gauvin
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Mystery Ruger .22 Bolt Action

When I was a young boy, there had been a small .22lr magazine in a box in the closet. The only firearm in the house at the time was my father's Winchester Model 290. I had no idea why or where this magazine came from.

Years later, as I began my gun collecting, I walked into a gun shop and found a Marlin Model 80DL with original Marlin scope. It was in pristine condition at a great price. But it had no magazine. For some odd reason, I just knew that magazine in the closet would fit. Turns out...it did. Doing research, I found that way back when the Model 80 was produced, they were originally furnished with an 8 round detachable magazine. At some point, Marlin stopped making these magazines and produced (or continue to produce for the discontinued rifles) 7 round magazines. They shorted the magazine one round because they added the red plastic follower. This red follower would act as an empty magazine indicator. The original 8 round magazine (which, are notorious to find), lacked any such red safety follower.

I asked my father where this magazine came about. He said before his grandfather (who worked at Winchester and hand selected his model 290) he had bought a .22lr bolt action Ruger rifle. He insists that it was a ruger, and that magazine was from said rifle - which he said shot terribly and he got rid of it.

I was researching old Ruger .22lr bolt actions. And I can not find any such rifle ever made by Ruger that would accept a Marlin magazine. Perhaps my father merely found the magazine at the range and took it him when he was a kid, but clearly, I can't fathom Marlin and Ruger having any interchangeable parts. I showed him my Marlin and he said it was not a Marlin, nor a Mossberg. And is positive it was a ruger.

I'm actually curious now which Ruger he had once owned, regardless of the magazine. What Ruger bolt action .22s models with a detachable magazine existed in the mid to late 1960s?
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Old February 21, 2016, 06:37 PM   #2
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Is there any way he might have bought it or been given it and told, incorrectly, what it was for?
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Old February 21, 2016, 10:57 PM   #3
Gregory Gauvin
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Probably. He hasn't lost his mind yet and has good memory. He probably found the magazine and took it home and had nothing to do with the Ruger he once owned. It's the only thing that makes sense to me.

I brought home a Winchester Model 1890 in .22 short, slide action, and he clearly remembers shooting one of these back in the 60s as a kid at the shooting gallery. I guess it's just one of those unsolved mysteries. However, since I recall seeing the magazine as a child, when I stumbled on the gun for it I bought the rifle to match the magazine.
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Old February 21, 2016, 11:45 PM   #4
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FWIW, some Marlin models made for Sears, Roebuck were marked "Ranger", a Sears trade name. Is it possible your father's memory is off a couple of letters?

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Old February 22, 2016, 08:09 AM   #5
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The first Ruger 22 bolt action was the 77/22 which used a rotary magazine similar to the 10/22. In fact IIRC ALL of the Ruger bolt actions 22 use the rotary magazine.
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Old February 23, 2016, 09:33 AM   #6
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sears ranger 22lr

JimK my wife has one of those old sears ranger 22lr bolt actions. It belonged to her grandfathers ,father so its pretty old. Still shoots great! But her grandfather lost the mag years ago. We researched awhile back and sure enough the 7rd marlin bolt mag works wonders! Just backin up your post. Thought this story my interesting cause mine is the exact opposite of his. I had the rifle no one from this century could figure out but not the mag...lol! Thanks for sharing! -cp423
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Old February 23, 2016, 06:40 PM   #7
Gregory Gauvin
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OMG Thanks! I would have never known. He said he had bought the "Ruger" at a Walmart or something. Obviously, he must have meant Sears. I will have to find a picture of a Ranger rifle and ask.
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Old February 23, 2016, 08:54 PM   #8
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The very first rifle Ruger made was the Ruger Carbine .44 magnum in (I think!) 1961, so if the story goes back further than that it definitely wasn't a Ruger.
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Old February 23, 2016, 10:37 PM   #9
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The first Ruger 22 bolt action was the 77/22 which used a rotary magazine similar to the 10/22.
And didn't come out until 1983.
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Old February 24, 2016, 04:13 AM   #10
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wow!

JamesK, what an incredible pick up.....well done sir!
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Old February 25, 2016, 04:36 AM   #11
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False memories/misconceptions can be very powerful things. A couple of days ago, a guy came into my LGS and claimed he ate, slept and used the latrine in Vietnam with his Mattel M16. He even went so far as to say that he couldn't believe Mattel made them.

Well, there were only three government suppliers for M16s during Vietnam, and Mattel was not one of them, nor have they ever been.

Unfortunately, one of the clerks brought up Google photos showing "Mattel" marked M16s which are known photoshopped pics, more or less "proving" the claim of the guy, and certainly not helping to dispel the myth.

So how do you go about telling someone who is absolutely convinced of something that he is FOS?

Obviously, the false memory of a Ruger bolt action rifle from the days of yore is going to be hard to deal with. Good luck.
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Old February 25, 2016, 07:34 AM   #12
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A couple of days ago, a guy came into my LGS and claimed he ate, slept and used the latrine in Vietnam with has Mattel M16. He even went so far as to say that he couldn't believe Mattel made them
I can't fathom a vet saying something like that. Sounds to me like he was never there...there are a lot of dirtbags around who claim to be Vietnam Vets, who weren't, aren't and never will be...I'd shun him like the liar he probably is.

I was there as a FAC in '69-70, lived, fought and supported 5th Special Forces personnel out of An Loc, lll Corps. I was issued a CAR 15 and the Berets had the 16. None of us had any problems with the guns; but then we kept them clean and took care of the magazines; loading one less than the textbook capacity. But by '69, the "dirty powder ammo" and lack of cleaning kits problems had been sorted out.

As to the M14/M16 controversy, I'd say in defense of the 16, that fully automatic fire (not the 3 round burst) was easily doable, but the same could not be said about the M14 without the heavy barrel and bipod. And we used the 16 at distances that rarely stretched beyond 100 m, and most often much closer.

Rod....
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Old February 25, 2016, 07:55 PM   #13
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"I can't fathom a vet saying something like that. Sounds to me like he was never there...there are a lot of dirtbags around who claim to be Vietnam Vets, who weren't, aren't and never will be...I'd shun him like the liar he probably is."

This may not be universally correct. Case in point: I know this guy to be a VN veteran-no question about it, he was there.
We got together every morning at the fire house for coffee and gossip. One morning I brought in an AR15 another guy had asked about and laid it on the table for "show and tell".
The VN vet went ballistic telling about how those were all plastic except the barrel and made by a toy company. Also how they didn't work and how one had darned near got him killed(this part is basically true). I never said a word-just pushed out the pins and laid the parts out on a paper towel between the coffee cups. After a couple of minutes of ranting, he got up and walked out. His perception and memories had been skewed by a life threatening wound and he truly believed what he was saying.
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Old February 25, 2016, 08:52 PM   #14
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"I can't fathom a vet saying something like that..."

You guys are too young to remember the WWII vets who told a lot of real whoppers. I had to take a pass on at least a dozen Walther PP's and PPK's that had been "tooken off Gorring hisself."

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Old February 28, 2016, 03:16 PM   #15
Gregory Gauvin
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Hehehe, my local gunsmith who served in Vietnam who recently just cleaned up my M14 trigger and mounted/installed a Leupold MK IV on a parts gun I had built (with a Gene Barnett barrel) was issued the M14 in Nam. He referred to the M16 and AR-15s as Mattel pieces. I guess many guys called them Mattel tinker toys back in Nam, because of the plastic feeling handgaurds and their light weight. He said he never got into AR-15s. He didn't give up his M14 in Vietnam either. He said qualification for the M14 back then was 500 yards.

I guess it's like anything else. Once you get accustomed to something...change is hard. I'm a low end torque Detroit muscle engine engine kind of guy, and even though they make turbo charged 4 banger cars that go mighty fast, I can't get away from my gas guzzling V8s that lack top end, but can rip hell and smoke tires to oblivion just off idle.

BTW, 168gr Federal Gold Match shot a .4" 3 shot group @ 100 yards after he tuned it up. Considering the bullets are .308"....hehehe, I would say that's pretty good? Before I went to pick up my rifle I asked him how did it shoot? He said "I'll let you be the judge of that". Made me wonder if it shot like crap or I had something to brag about...but had a feeling it would be good after he turned my Taurus PT1911 into something that can shoot smiley faces around a Les Baer. (Retired Master GunSmith for Kimber)
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Old February 28, 2016, 03:22 PM   #16
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As far as M16 and automatic fire...he said back then they loaded their 20 round mags with 18 rounds only, and the M16 on full auto would rip through a mag in the blink of an eye. The cyclic rate is something like 700rpm if I'm not mistaken, so, quite frankly that is true. He's from the era of "shot placement". Or one shot, one kill. Was not found of spraying bullets and hitting nothing. And for his age, putting 3 rounds in essentially the same hole, is one tried and true Veteran whose words I respect very much.
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Old March 1, 2016, 05:06 PM   #17
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Well, there's a difference between war stories and fairy tales, don't you know. Fairy tales start off "once upon a time . . . " and war stories start off "now this ain't no . . . "
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Old March 8, 2016, 05:11 PM   #18
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The following is simply a rumor that may, or may not be true: I had heard that when the M-16 was being developed, that Mattel, being a company that was in the vanguard of injection-moulded-plastic technology, was the source of the original stocks for the M-16 rifles, at least for the first ones built. Does anyone here know if this is actually true, or just another firearms myth?
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Old April 13, 2016, 04:44 PM   #19
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Mattel did not make M-16 handguards

The Mattel thing has been discredited many times but it will probably never actually die.

The thing is, I'm just another guy on the interwebs, no more credible than the guy that 'actually saw the Mattel logo' so what to do?

Do you trust Snopes? They say Mattel didn't do the furniture on the M-16.
http://www.snopes.com/military/m16.asp
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Old April 14, 2016, 12:09 AM   #20
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Well, as you said, Mattel was involved in injection molding plastics. Only problem with any stories about their involvement with M16 parts manufacturing is that M16 and M16A1 stocks and forearms were made of layed-up Fiberglass, not injection molded. That, and Mattel was never issued a contract to supply M16 parts. But don't let facts interfere with a good story!!
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Old April 14, 2016, 02:03 AM   #21
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The thing is, I'm just another guy on the interwebs, no more credible than the guy that 'actually saw the Mattel logo' so what to do?
That same guy came in again a few days ago and was telling me about a Colt New Frontier .44 Magnum he sold.

Go figure...
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Old April 14, 2016, 03:27 PM   #22
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i think i read some years ago, colt did chamber the colt NF in .44 mag. but didn,t market it do to problems with NF holding the pressure. eastbank.
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