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Old 04-12-2018, 08:29 AM
VaTom VaTom is offline
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Default 22lr Vintage Rifle Accuracy - Continue to be Amazed

My collecting (accumulating) has recently turned from handguns to older .22 rifles. My last two purchases have been a Marlin Golden 39A (1958) and a Remington 572 (1977). I purchased both at local auctions and they are in excellent condition. I mounted economical rim fire 4X32 scopes (Bushnell and Simmons) on both after cleaning up and testing firing. After sighting in at 50 yards I continued to be amazed at the accuracy shot after shot with these rifles. I went to the range Tuesday with the Remington 572 for the first time and was shooting 1/2" groups at 50 yards from a bench just resting it on a plastic Birchwood Casey "nest rest". I was using CCI Mini Mag round nose.

My two other .22 rifles are a recent Model 60 Marlin and a S&W M&P 15-22. While these rifles are accurate, it seems the vintage ones are more consistently accurate shot after shot. They both have longer barrels also.

Last edited by VaTom; 04-12-2018 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:56 AM
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I like vintage and antique guns, more so than anything manufactured in the past 50 years or so.

My Winchester Model 1885 Winder Musket is a .22 Short single-shot rifle, originally intended for military training use about 120 years ago. Shooting from the bench it will consistently shoot 1/2" groups at 50 yards.

My Marlin 39A is about 50 years old. Just about any .22LR ammo will provide pinpoint accuracy as far as my old retired eyes can identify the target. My elder son has forcefully stated his claim on the Marlin!

My true favorite is the Winchester 62A, manufactured in 1939. From the bench it will put every single shot into a postage stamp-sized group at 50 yards. Younger son has voiced his claim repeatedly.

These are all original unaltered rifles with factory iron sights. Perfect for small game use, great fun at the range anytime.

Years ago I had a Winchester 52C, US Property marked. Truly outstanding .22 rifle that I foolishly let get away from me! Also had a nice little Stevens Favorite .22 single-shot that I wish I'd had the good sense to hang onto.

I also have a 1970's vintage Savage-imported Anschutz Model 164 bolt-action .22LR equipped with an old steel-tube Weaver K3 with post and crosshair in Redfield steel rings. Scary accurate to 100 yards, just as long as I do my part right. Different critter entirely, built around the old Anschutz 64 action used for match rifles, but with sporter-weight barrel and European walnut Monte Carlo stock. Just about as good as .22's get. I expect the arguments among the grandkids will be fierce, as they have all had fun learning with it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:09 AM
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My Buddy Milt gave a senior Remington 22 to my Son.
I replaced the aging Weaver scope and cleaned the bore.
It’s Amazing how well this old gun shoots!
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:34 AM
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A Marlin Golden 39A (1958) and a Remington 572 (1977)? You consider these as old rifles? I was born before 1958, and I don't consider myself to be old. Do you want to try my Winchester Model 52 from 1929? Or how about my much newer Mossberg Model 46B from the late 1940s? The Mossberg is accurate with just about any ammunition I put into it, and the Winchester Model 52 made it's reputation as a target rifle. My "new" Winchester 9422 was made in 1975, and it knows how to shoot.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:35 AM
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I like them too. I've culled down the accumulation over the last few years. one of my most accurate i'll never sell is a Marlin 99, basically a 60 with walnut stock. I have a vintage Weaver KV 2.5-5 scope on it. when I do my part, 3/8" five shot groups at 50 yds. one of the most accurate I have ever owned was a 1928 Winchester 52 pre-A with the ladder rear sight. took many a pasture poodle(prarie dog) out to 100 yds with that one. lee
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoboGunLeather View Post
I like vintage and antique guns, more so than anything manufactured in the past 50 years or so.

My Winchester Model 1885 Winder Musket is a .22 Short single-shot rifle, originally intended for military training use about 120 years ago. Shooting from the bench it will consistently shoot 1/2" groups at 50 yards.


Also had a nice little Stevens Favorite .22 single-shot that I wish I'd had the good sense to hang onto.

.
I've got a 1887 "Winchester 1885" low wall (?) in .22short..... Ive never shot ........ 9lb IIRC and a "at best" OK bore.

Also still have my take down Steven's Favorite..... that my Dad gave me as my first rifle in 1962/63 ......had all the springs replaced about 10 years ago and both my boys fired their first shots from it. It's in the 'white" and I refinished the the stock and forearm in the 80s. It's (was) about Minute of chipmunk at 20-25yds.......

Both now hang on my home office walls.................................

My 1963/64 511-X Scoremaster a Christmas gift from my Dad ....... still see occasional use........ but my "go to" rim-fires for the past decade are several CZ 452/453s in .22lr, .22mag and .17hmr...... my favorites are their FS/mannlicher stocked guns.....they make me

A 452 FS/mannlicher in .22mag with a Leupold 1-4x20 scope is my "Walking in Penn's Woods" rimfire!!!!!!!!

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Old 04-12-2018, 11:11 AM
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We live in a different world now. I'm 68, when I was a kid a 22
single shot BA could be had for around $20. It didn't matter if
it was a Win or a Stevens, they were expected to be accurate.
If a rifle didn't shoot, and it happened occasionally, they would
be returned for replacement. That's how things operated before
the throw away generation came along. Today you have to pay
premium money for a good 22 that will preform like the older
models. I have had literally hundreds of 22 rifles in my life from
older models such as Stevens Favorites and up through just
about all the repeaters you can think off. I never had one that
didn't shoot decent unless it had suffered some kind of abuse.
Not all them were match grade but some shot surprising well.
Now when you buy a run of the mill 22 you don't know if it will
shoot well enough to be practical. A good example of this is the
Ruger 10/22. I bought one when 1st out and several more in
the 60s and early 70s. They were excellent shooters even the
original carbines with barrel bands. Today due to the Bean Counters the 10/22 has suffered and is nothing special compared
to the other 22s on the market.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:27 AM
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I have a Remington 512 with a 6X Lyman Junior Targetspot on it that will basically shoot one hole at 50 with bulk pack ammo.

I have several Winchester 52's that will average under 1/2" at 100yds.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:17 PM
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I have a nice collection of vintage .22 rifles and all of them are much more accurate than I am. And they're all fun to shoot.
Regards,
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:30 PM
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I have a Marlin model 80 DL that I purchased from a friend at least 50 years ago. It has a horrible trigger but will shoot much better than I can hold it. Also have a 10/22, the cheapest grade, that I bought new last year and it amazes me how accurate it is. The stock is short so it just fits my wife. When she is feeling good she can out shoot me with it.

Love a good .22.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:06 PM
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I am a fan of vintage .22's. I have Marlins from the '40's to the 70's. They are all very accurate.
Leon you can swap of the sear spring on the 80DL and that trigger will be about 3 lbs.

Mals
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:23 PM
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I've found good accuracy from many of the earlier .22LR rifles of almost any make. This 1956 Winchester Model 75 sporter will give phenomenal groups out to 100 yards. Like their big brothers, the Model 75 target rifles, these had the match chamber and twist designed solely for the LR round, and the headspace was carefully calibrated. The bolt was marked with the rifle's serial number. It's the most accurate .22 I own, even though it was manufactured 62 years ago.

Many rave about Winchester's Model 52 sporter, derived from that company's primo target rifle, but I favor the Model 75 sporter, which was much lighter for field use. Ideal for small game.

John

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Old 04-12-2018, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
We live in a different world now. I'm 68, when I was a kid a 22
single shot BA could be had for around $20. It didn't matter if
it was a Win or a Stevens, they were expected to be accurate.
If a rifle didn't shoot, and it happened occasionally, they would
be returned for replacement. That's how things operated before
the throw away generation came along. Today you have to pay
premium money for a good 22 that will preform like the older
models. I have had literally hundreds of 22 rifles in my life from
older models such as Stevens Favorites and up through just
about all the repeaters you can think off. I never had one that
didn't shoot decent unless it had suffered some kind of abuse.
Not all them were match grade but some shot surprising well.
Now when you buy a run of the mill 22 you don't know if it will
shoot well enough to be practical. A good example of this is the
Ruger 10/22. I bought one when 1st out and several more in
the 60s and early 70s. They were excellent shooters even the
original carbines with barrel bands. Today due to the Bean Counters the 10/22 has suffered and is nothing special compared
to the other 22s on the market.
The earlier Ruger 10/22s will give surprising accuracy. This Ruger International model came from a special run for a distributor in 1995 - premium wood with a polyurethane finish. Pictured is a 10-shot group fired rapid fire at 25 yards - using nothing-special Remington Golden hi-speed hollow points. I like it a lot; it's 23 years old this year.

John

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Old 04-12-2018, 02:24 PM
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Got three 10/22 Internationals....... a early 90s in green/black stock (Birthday gift from my wife) and two others from special runs in the early 00s (Got them both 'used" as you couldn't hunt with a semi in Pa and they are not conclusive to a lot of modifications) .....non of my wood is that nice; but they are all good shooters.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:38 PM
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Yup, you cant miss with vintage .22LR rifles. Even the cheapo ones are built like tanks compared to some modern jobbers. My old Mossberg M- 44 US can drive tacks if you any handy.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:08 PM
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Modern semi-auto .22's are fun to shoot, but a lot of the older steel and walnut rifles just ooze class, and are accurate to boot. The old Mossberg pictured is a favorite. Ragged one hole groups at 50 yards with ammo it likes, peep sights and all.

Larry
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:14 PM
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I had a Ruger International with Mannlicher stock that I bought
back in late 60s from a short run. Rifle is still in family, I had to
give it to my Sister in Law to pay off a bet. After 3 nieces she
had one in the oven and she always liked that rifle so I bet her
it was going to be another girl. I lost and had to pay up.
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:22 PM
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Great information from you guys. Ideas for my next purchase! Have only been collecting since I retired 4 years ago (born in 1953). Learned to shoot at boy scout camp back in early 1960s on single shot boot action 22 rifles it cost 5 cents for 10 rounds and a target! Dad got us a Remington 572 and furthered our shooting abilities as kids. Many dads, uncles, and Scout leaders were WWII or Korean vets and taught us how to shoot and take care of our guns back in those days. As gunnery Sgt Ermy says " I like wood and steel on my guns".
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:25 PM
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I had a british Enfield No. 8 .22 l.r. for quite a time. Build in 1958 IIRC. Though it had a very good screw adjustable ladder sight, I had a 4x32 scope installed. Shot 15-round groups at 50 meters from a simple bag rest you could cover with a 1/2" patch. After a few trips to the range I was so bored by this accuracy that I didn't use it much furthermore. Sold it 2 years ago for the same reason. Great rifle, but not as much a challenge as my 1885 High Wall 45/70...

regards from Germany
Ulrich
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mals9 View Post
I am a fan of vintage .22's. I have Marlins from the '40's to the 70's. They are all very accurate.
Leon you can swap of the sear spring on the 80DL and that trigger will be about 3 lbs.

Mals
Thanks. Tell me more, what spring to purchase, source etc.
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:29 PM
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I agree about 22lr rifles- still the most accurate rifle and most fun you can have with a rifle! I have a Marlin 995 carbine, a wz 78, and a CZ 455 American. The 995 and wz 78 are both about 30 years old. And both are tack drivers. The wz is a 9 pound bolt action target rifle the Poles used in the 80s as a training rifle. Shooting 22lr out of a 9 pound rifle is a joy. Iíve had my 995 for 30 years and itís just an extension of me at this point. The 455 is only about 6 months old so itís the new kid.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:17 PM
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My mother gave my father a Winchester Model 67 single shot .22 rifle for Christmas, 1946. I was less than three months old. Dad used his .22 to slaughter hogs and shoot cottontail rabbits. I hunted with it as a boy, teen, and man, killing a bunch of cottontails with it. Dad gave me his .22 when I turned 16.


A few months ago, I took Dad's .22 to the range for some plinking fun. To see if Dad's .22 still shoots straight, I set a target up at 25 yards and took a shot. In the photo below, you'll see that first shot on the target. I think you'll understand why I didn't take any more shots at that target. Dad's .22 is still a tack driver!

Winchester Model 67 in .22 Long Rifle, Long, & Short.






The Target


Thanks for looking at my dad's .22 single shot rifle.

God bless,
Birdgun

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Old 04-12-2018, 06:47 PM
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I have an inherited little 1904 savage. Never fired it. I also inherited a Marlin39A from the 30's and passed that on to my son without firing it. I still have a Remington 582 from the 70's but it has not been shot since then, so no comment on the accuracy. I have however had my eye out for a puff Remington 510 targetmaster. Great shooters. I do not think they are D&T'd or dovetailed for a scope, but they are wonderful singleshots
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:33 PM
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A couple months ago I picked up a Winchester 72 at a local gun auction, I've been busy with other projects and haven't gotten it to the range yet.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:47 PM
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This is a group of 5 shots fired from my Winchester 52E at 50 yards with iron sights using Eley Bulk ammo from CMP.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:51 PM
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I have an old Remington 550-2 22lr, with a centerpoint (i think) 4x scope.

It is a great rifle. Mine was made in 1956
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:04 PM
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I thought the 550-2 was the gallery rifle in .22 Short only. Not rare but quite uncommon.

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Old 04-12-2018, 08:19 PM
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My first was a Christmas gift from my girlfriend. It was branded Westernfield. My folks didn't care for guns and rolled their eyes when they found out she had given me a gun. It's lazar straight shooter. Well we married and we shot the rifle a bunch. She moved on and a couple of years ago I gave it to our son. Figured he need to be the owner. He had shot it a bunch. Later bought a 39-A from my brother and it was a fun shooter compact and accurate. I sold it to a friend without saying anything to son. He had me on the ---- list about that one.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:59 AM
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Some vintage rifles.
1946 Winchester 52B
Rem 513T
CMP H&R model 12 single shot bolt action target rifle
Couple BSA 22 rf Martini's
Frank
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
I thought the 550-2 was the gallery rifle in .22 Short only. Not rare but quite uncommon.
It can fire 22 short, long and long rifle. I never try the shorts on it only LR. One thing I love about it, is how quiet it is, almost like a an air rifle.

The tricky part is to take it apart for cleaning. A thing I do once a year with the help of youtube videos.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:28 PM
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I had a 70's Anschutz 1903 (nothing to do with our military rifle!) Prone stocked rifle on a bench it would consistently hit shotgun shells in the primer at 200 yards (using Eley "Club" ammo and a 24x Leupold scope). My 10-22 I bought new is the spring of 1974 it is the Deluxe model. Shoot well with most ammos.

About 15 years ago, I picked up a Savage 9-C, that had seen time in police property room. It has been drilled for about 6 different sight and scope bases and the muzzle threaded for a suppressor (probably a home made one-the reason it was in the property room). All in all, it shoots 1/4 groups at 50 yards.

Old used 22's are relatively inexpensive, so over the years I picked up about 20. Now I have stock to outfit the 6 grandkids. Except for one problem; 3 grandkids are left handed and none of the 22's are!

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Old 04-13-2018, 09:44 PM
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I had a Remington model 11 in my hands for a few minutes this evening. Beautiful shape, the owner said it's a tack driver.

Have a blessed evening,

Leon
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Old 04-14-2018, 07:01 PM
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I have a Stevens 15-A that was made in the early 50's. It shoots as accurate as any .22 I own including a CZ 453 I have that's pretty accurate. The only thing about the Stevens is you can't mount a scope on it. That's OK. It's a single shot that is made so well my great grandchildren will still be shooting it. There's nothing to break really and what will break is made so strong it is very unlikely to break.

The price of the rifle has never been high. I've seen them sell for under $50. Some people report seeing them go for $35. And other gun makers made very similar rifles (Stevens made guns for a lot of companies but other makers did too). It's hard to tell them apart without looking close. No walnut stock but still beautiful to me because it works extremely well. My brother probably killed 100 squirrels with it before I owned it.

There are still some fairly cheap .22's that shoot very well. Savage makes some, so does Ruger and Marlin. Even after the so called end of Marlin when the merger came they still make some fine shooting rifles.

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Old 04-14-2018, 08:19 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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My first firearm was a Ithaca M49, a falling block single shot .22 LR that looks like a lever action repeater. I received that one on my 15th birthday. I was also given my granddaddy's Stevens .22/.410 that same day. I've owned a bunch of .22 rifles over the years-a Nylon 66, a Remington 550-1, a couple of Ruger 10/22s, a Winchester 9422, etc.

Right now I have a 10/22, a Marlin 1870-1970 lever action, a Marlin 60 that was left to me from my daddy, the Ithaca and a Remington number 4 rolling block. All are fine guns.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:57 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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I have thoroughly enjoyed my 22 rifles, the 39A is the only vintage one. All purchased on advice of forum members on a 22 rifle post. Still looking for that 22 CZ bolt action rifle.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:06 AM
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The only time I ever shot a 1-inch 5-shot group at 100 yards from a bench rest with a rifle not having a scope was with this Springfield Model 1922AII. Barrel date is 4-32.

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Old 04-15-2018, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole Joe Clark View Post
I had a Remington model 11 in my hands for a few minutes this evening. Beautiful shape, the owner said it's a tack driver.

Have a blessed evening,

Leon
Surely you meant a 511. A Model 11 is a Browning designed shotgun, think Remington Auto-5.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
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Surely you meant a 511. A Model 11 is a Browning designed shotgun, think Remington Auto-5.
Nope, a Remington model 11, plastic stock, bolt action.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
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I am a fan of vintage .22's. I have Marlins from the '40's to the 70's. They are all very accurate.
Leon you can swap of the sear spring on the 80DL and that trigger will be about 3 lbs.

Mals
Good Morning,
I found some springs in my box of "stuff" that might work. Changed them out and will check them out when I get to go back to the range. I also took the magazines apart and cleaned them, they should work better now.

Have a blessed day,

Len
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
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All purchased on advice of forum members on a 22 rifle post. Still looking for that 22 CZ bolt action rifle.
I fell in love with the CZ rimfire rifles a decade ago with my first a 452FS in .22magnum. I bought it for the stock ...... thinking the .22mag would only give so/so accuracy....... well ammo has come a long way since the 60s.

That rifle will shoot under the heavy crosshairs of it's Leupold 1-4x20 scope all day long off the bench......that's a 1.25-1.5 inch group at 100yds. My best groups have been just under .9inches at 100.

I've managed to pickup several more over the years...... a couple are still nib (bought 'used" or new old stock) and unfired....... but every one I've shot have been very accurate. The 3 .22lr ( FS,Trainer and Scout) will all shoot under .5 at 50 yds. w/ one hole .2-.3 groups not uncommon.
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:33 PM
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Have 2 rimfires made in 1947. A Marlin 39 with Ballard rifling, open sights and a Martini Cadet 12/15 with an 8-32 scope. Both are tack drivers, fun to shoot. Larry
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:13 PM
dave1918a2 dave1918a2 is offline
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Only have one rimfire left. A Winchester Model 61 born in 1948.
What a tackdriver. Looking at a Model 63 now but don't know the DOB.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:13 PM
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I started collecting turn of the century 22’s and early 1900’s 22’s for the grandson. I heard stories and school kids taking these 22’s to school so they could shoot supper on the way home after school.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:39 PM
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"Nope, a Remington model 11, plastic stock, bolt action."

The confusion between the Remington Model 11 shotgun and your bolt action .22 rifle is that yours is correctly called the "Remington Nylon 11"" There weren't lot of those made.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:02 PM
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I have a few vintage Winchesters, but I've gotten to where I can't see well enough to do them justice.



I also have at least one example of every single shot .22 Winchester made. I still can hardly hit what I'm aiming at.

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Old 04-16-2018, 06:09 PM
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In the past few years I've been drawn to Remington Model 34 rifles. My first love has always been Winchesters but I sure do like these little Model 34's. They are so much fun to shoot and so accurate. Kind of a forgotten gem.

Last edited by Housepuss; 04-16-2018 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Wrong model number in text
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:36 PM
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I have a Remington 34 that’s the only new gun my grandfather ever bought new, in the 30’s. When I got it the stock was cracked length wise, the thumbscrew bolt was replaced with a hardware bolt, it was pitted and rusty, and the sight elevator was missing. I got it all fixed up thanks to Numrich and a semi-inletted stock. It really is a tack driver too.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"Nope, a Remington model 11, plastic stock, bolt action."

The confusion between the Remington Model 11 shotgun and your bolt action .22 rifle is that yours is correctly called the "Remington Nylon 11"" There weren't lot of those made.
Sorry about the mistake. It's not my rifle, we were at a friends house and he showed me his rifle that belonged to his late Father in law. I'm gonna try to get some photos of it.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:42 AM
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Here is my ole Marlin Model 80 DL. It has been re blued and I did the stock many years ago. I have owned it for around 50 years or so.
I just put the 4 x Weaver scope on it, might get to the range to tune it up later this morning.





Have a blessed day,

Leon
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:45 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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A neighbor had one of those thumb trigger Winchesters. About as simple a firearm as you could build.
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