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Old July 26, 2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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Extra value for ultra-low serial number Stevens slide action?

Was at a friend's house and noticed that he has a Stevens "Visible Loading" pump .22, in excellent condition. Assuming the serial number is the only number visible, on the metal rear of the trigger guard, it is under 10 (ten) and has the suffix "A". So unless there was production without a suffix, I'm wondering if this was one of the first ten of these rifles ever built and if it is, how much that might add to the value. Blue book, without reference to age, shows $550 for 100% and $400 for 95%, but there is no mention of serial numbers. The few that are for sale on Gunbroker today are in not nearly as good condition and the only one for which I saw a serial number had a much higher one.
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Old July 26, 2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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I have never seen a Visible Loader with a serial number. Serial numbers were not required before 1968, and most manufacturers of .22 rifles did not serialize them. That number might not be a serial number, might be an assembly number or a date coce.
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Old July 26, 2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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OK - that almost certainly clears it up. I believe he said he's owned it since the early '60s - and it looks much older than a 1960s build. Easy come, easy go. Thank you very much, particularly for the quick reply..
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Old July 27, 2012, 12:52 AM   #4
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Out of curisosity, does it work? Visible Loaders have a miserable reputaion for reliability and smooth workings.
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Old July 27, 2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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Back in the day, they weren't referred to as "Miserable Loaders" for nothing...................

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Old July 28, 2012, 02:48 AM   #6
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LOL - I didn't ask if it works. It looked like it would work very well, even though the receiver is odd relative to Brownings and others of the era. He bought it from a gunsmith in the 1960s. Good question, though, for a non-serial-numbered gun.

I was embarrassed but educated by Scorch's reply, in that I had never seen a shootable non-serial-numbered gun except the WWII pot-metal jobs that were dropped to resistance fighters. I hadn't known that, pre-1968, serial numbers weren't required, nor did my gun buddies, including a Camp Perry #2 in Nationals (long ago). Guess I just had good taste, since all guns I've ever handled prior to this week had a serial number, all the way back to the 1850s.

I now fondly remember advertisements in (pre-'68) magazines where you could order any gun you wanted, to be sent to your house without any conditions whatsoever - in the time in America that my favorite columnist Charley Reese might have termed Freedom Days.
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Old July 29, 2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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It's an assembly number. Stevens guns were cheap, reliable workhorses for the most part. Unfortunately somebody forgot to tell the visible loaders about the reliable part.
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stevens , visible loading

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