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Old June 9, 2021, 08:25 AM   #1
Classic12
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Antique Colt .22 rifle

A member of our shooting club showed up with this rifle on Tuesday rimfire



















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Old June 9, 2021, 08:26 AM   #2
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Serial number indicates it may be a Lightning made in 1889 ?!

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Old June 9, 2021, 08:32 AM   #3
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How nice. We don't see many of those, not many made, an expensive .22 for the day, and apparently low survival rate. Is it .22 Short or Long? The .22 Stevens Long, Rifle only came out the year before, unlikely to be a .22 LR.
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Old June 9, 2021, 05:27 PM   #4
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Not a lot of Colt Lightnings made, they only made them for about 10-15 years, fewer in 22 than anything else. That rifle is pretty rare and fairly valuable.
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Old June 9, 2021, 08:58 PM   #5
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That is way cool.
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Old June 9, 2021, 10:51 PM   #6
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Awesome!!!!
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Old June 10, 2021, 03:04 AM   #7
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Interesting. Any chance that would be a John Browning design?

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Old June 10, 2021, 07:24 AM   #8
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"Any chance that would be a John Browning design?"

No. Had it been a Browning design it would have been MUCH better than it was.
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Old June 10, 2021, 10:42 AM   #9
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In those days Winchester was snapping up every design Mr Browning came up with, either to produce or to keep other companies from getting them.
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Old June 10, 2021, 01:18 PM   #10
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"Is it .22 Short or Long? The .22 Stevens Long, Rifle only came out the year before, unlikely to be a .22 LR. "

I've not been able to find any indication that Colt made any chambered for Long Rifle.
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Old June 10, 2021, 01:26 PM   #11
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Flayderman says they made 89912 of them.

Colt Collectors site says
"The small frame Colt Lightning Magazine Rifles were produced from 1887 to 1904. They were chambered for 22 Caliber and accepted long, short, or a combination of long and short cartridges."
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Old June 10, 2021, 05:45 PM   #12
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Beautiful.
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Old June 11, 2021, 10:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
In those days Winchester was snapping up every design Mr Browning came up with, either to produce or to keep other companies from getting them.
I figured there was a chance since he worked for Colt on the M1911 around that time...

Anyway it's one I don't have to think about getting since I mostly collect JMB designed guns...

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Old June 11, 2021, 10:58 AM   #14
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The Lightning rifle came out in 1884. It was designed by Dr W.H. Eliot who turned from dentistry to firearms design.

I figure Mr Browning was working on the 1886 lever action if he had not already finished it and moved on to the 1887 shotgun or 1892 rifle.

First Browning automatic pistol designs were around 1898.
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Old June 11, 2021, 01:06 PM   #15
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When Browning started developing semi-auto handguns he wasn't working with Colt, he worked with FN, and that relationship was primarily for smaller handguns chambered in .32 and .380 ACP.

He apparently started working with Colt on larger handguns chambered in more powerful rounds (the first being the .38 ACP) apparently because FN wasn't interested in the larger designs that would eventually morph into the M1911.
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Old June 11, 2021, 01:49 PM   #16
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First FN Browning was the 1899 .32, revised only a little to become the long running 1900.
First Colt Browning was the 1900 .38.
It would take a comparison of patent dates to tell what he was working on when, but there seems a lot of overlap between jobs for his customers.

The 1903 hammerless was made in large size 9mm Browning Long by FN and Husqvarna and in small size .32 by Colt.
The Colt got the .380 in 1908. I don't know if it was an original chambering for the FN 1910.

I doubt Mr Browning had any input into the FN 1922, it looks like a kluge to make the 1910 design a military weapon.
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Old June 11, 2021, 03:21 PM   #17
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I wasn't aware of when the Colt .22 rifle was made. All good info and JMB and his work are always interesting subjects...

The list of JMB designed guns is I want is way longer than the reach of my finances but one can dream...

Tony
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Old June 12, 2021, 07:28 AM   #18
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"First FN Browning was the 1899 .32, revised only a little to become the long running 1900.
First Colt Browning was the 1900 .38."

Browning started working with FN in 1895 or 1896. As far as I can tell, he didn't start working with Colt until 1898.

FN originally wasn't interested in the larger, more powerful Browning designs, but did come around.

Around the same time Colt and FN entered into an agreement whereby Colt would make Browning designs for sale in North and South America, and FN would sell the same guns under their mark in Europe and Africa.

Browning ended up selling the same designs to both companies under the agreement.

And, it wasn't just pistols, either. Shotguns and rifles, as well. A few years ago I saw a Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington at a gunshow.

Only it had been manufactured by FN and was stamped 9mm...
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Old June 13, 2021, 09:47 AM   #19
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"FN originally wasn't interested in the larger, more powerful Browning designs, but did come around."

Yeah, when they thought they had a lucrative order from France in the works.
Took them several years and extensive redesign by Msr Saive before they were able to sell anything.

Well, there was the Grand Browning, but that was a flop.

Last edited by Jim Watson; June 13, 2021 at 09:54 AM.
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Old June 13, 2021, 09:04 PM   #20
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This is the first I've heard about a "Grand Browning." So I looked it up and watched the Forgotten Weapons video on it on U-Tube. I'm not sure if I'm sorry it wasn't made or not... It's just a skinny M1911 in a weird caliber...

Tony
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Old June 14, 2021, 09:31 AM   #21
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"The 1903 hammerless was made in large size 9mm Browning Long"

It just dawned on me...

The FN 1903 was a larger size handgun, but it was blowback operated.

It wasn't the locked breech action that Colt was manufacturing at the same time in the United States, making possible more powerful cartridges like the .38 ACP and the .45 ACP.

As far as I can tell, the only locked-breech Browning designed handgun FN put into production was the Hi Power.
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