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  #1  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:29 PM
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Default Old 'Econo-gun' .22's

A couple of what used to be 'econo .22 revolvers'.
Bottom is an H&R M999 'Sportsman'
Top is an Iver Johnson 'Sealed Eight'.

In their day, these were 'working man's revolvers', meant to be a far less expensive option other than S&W and Colt.
Interesting to me that there is absolutely nothing on the market now that occupies that niche anymore with anything approaching comparable quality - and never will.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:36 PM
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Those have always been cool guns. I gave my 2" to my late ex-father-in-law and my 4" to my girl friend who still has it somewhere.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:38 PM
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I have an old H&R 22 that belonged to my Dad. The timing is off so bad that it has fired a few times when the cylinder was not aligned with the barrel.

I only noticed it once I received it, after Dad's passing, I took to a gunsmith to see about having it fixed. Nope, the darn thing is riveted together, no part available. I forget the model number, but it's a 9 shooter, .... or it was at one time.

Those appear to be much better built revolvers, and in much better shape. Love the old top break design.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:46 PM
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Recently bought a used Taurus 94, have been shooting it a bang every time, and accuracy comparable to what 70y.o. eyes can do. Both single action and double action very nice. Was looking for a High Standard Sentinel, first revolver I had a a kid, but kept coming up a day late when one showed up around here.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:48 PM
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My first revolver was an H&R 922. 9 shot. 2.5" barrel.
It was kind of a pain to remove the cylinder to reload,
but it always worked just fine. A little later on, after WWII
they came out with a swing out cylinder and called it 929.

Most recent .22 I had was a Taurus model 94, that I used
to teach a lot of folks how to shoot. Gave it to a great
grandson a couple of Christmas ago. Have heard of, and
witnessed a lot of problems with Taurus semi-autos but
that model 94 revolver was flawless for many years,
and still going strong last I heard.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:42 PM
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A few years back I came across a JC Higgins 9 shot 22 revolver made by High Standard and sold by Sears Roebuck. Same gun as the Sentinel. Not much for fancy but it shoots good and with it's alloy frame is light to carry. I even found a set of the thumb rest target grips Sears sold as an accessory. The target grips are a little like lipstick on a pig however because a target gun it ain't.
Maybe with Ruger getting back into the economy 22 revolver market other companies will follow with their own offerings.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyphil View Post
My first revolver was an H&R 922. 9 shot. 2.5" barrel.
It was kind of a pain to remove the cylinder to reload,
but it always worked just fine. A little later on, after WWII
they came out with a swing out cylinder and called it 929.
The H&R 929 "Sidekick" was the first .22 revolver I owned. I bought it from a neighbor back sometime in the early 1960s and actually used it in competitive shooting with a group that fired on the local YMCA 50' indoor range weekly (wonder if the YMCA still has ranges anywhere?). A pretty good gun. Like someone earlier mentioned, I loaned it to a girlfriend who wanted it for protection. When she moved away, she took the gun, haven't seen her or the H&R since.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:11 PM
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I bought my first revolver, a High Standard Security Six, at age 14. I shot thousands of tin cans, pine cones and dirt clods, and hundreds of squirrels and rabbits over probably 15 years before I finally "put it on paper" and realized it wasn't very accurate. My solution -- I quit shooting it at paper! It is still my favorite handgun to shoot and even after countless thousands of rounds aside from a bit of holster wear it is as solid as the day I brought it home from K-Mart. No better plinker/trail gun ever made.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:14 PM
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That 922 stayed around for a long time. I have a '55 version of it with the 6" barrel. It's pretty accurate and it still fun to shoot.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:15 PM
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I grew up shooting my dads 999, my son has it now. I finally wound up with one a few years back. They are hard to come up with in my area. The coon hunters scoop them up as soon as they show up. I have a 929 and a HS Sentinal too. Shooting those old revolvers takes me back to great childhood memories shooting with dad.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:42 PM
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I was given an H&R 923 by a friend who said it didn't work. A good cleaning and lube and it functions just fine, and is pretty accurate too! Same as a 922 but chrome with plastic stocks.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:30 PM
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I've always loved the top break .22 revolver. The H&R sportsman was the best example in my opinion. I've owned the 999 and the 999 SAO as well as the Iver Johnson. My only issue is that most of the examples I've owned end up having an issue that affects reliability and also the double action is pretty heavy. I just can't get away from the cylinder full of those time holes and the ability to break open the revolver and pop out all those empties at once!

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Old 01-10-2020, 08:54 PM
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My Dad had a Iver Johnson Sealed 8 when I was a sprout. I was less than 5 and remember sitting in his lap and shooting at the glass lids they use to use in mason jars. Of course I had a lot of help holding gun up.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:55 PM
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I worked in a gun store in the 90's. We sold lots of those econo-22's. The cattle ranchers liked having one in the truck when they were keeping an eye on calves. Coyotes and feral dogs were always a problem. The old H&R and New England Firearms pistols were popular, so were Iver Johnson(we always had at least one guy who called them Ivory Johnson), FIE revolvers and old Hopkins- Allen too.
The Heritage revolvers play the same role now. I bet Ruger's Wrangler will too.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:28 PM
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I have a Supershot Sealed 8 (circa 1941) that is one of my favorites.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:42 PM
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I've got a 7 shot iver Johnson circa 1928, was originally my great grandmother's, then my grandfather's... it's easily tied for the most prized gun in my collection, the other being grandpa's duck gun.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Corp View Post
A couple of what used to be 'econo .22 revolvers'.
Bottom is an H&R M999 'Sportsman'
Top is an Iver Johnson 'Sealed Eight'.

In their day, these were 'working man's revolvers', meant to be a far less expensive option other than S&W and Colt.
Interesting to me that there is absolutely nothing on the market now that occupies that niche anymore with anything approaching comparable quality - and never will.
I love those top-break rimfire revolvers. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Corp View Post
A couple of what used to be 'econo .22 revolvers'.
Bottom is an H&R M999 'Sportsman'
Top is an Iver Johnson 'Sealed Eight'.
Mom had a sealed 8 but the barrel was octagon or hexagon (can't remember) and the cylinder pin pulled out too remove the cyl. so you could load and unload it. My brother has it now. A few years ago I saw another one in a store that had a round barrel. Both had one piece grips grips with a screw in the bottom like yours. I never knew the made a sealed 8 top break. Thanks for posting. Larry
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:25 PM
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My dad had one of the H&R top breaks when he was a kid. One day when the gun was apparently very dirty from high volume shooting, Dad attempted to perform a rapid reload so he could take a shot at a jackrabbit. When he slammed the barrel down onto the receiver, one of the rounds in one of the outside chambers went off and put the bullet squarely into the bottom of his right ring finger. There was no exit wound.

He told his parents (my future grandparents) that he had cut his finger crossing a barb wire fence. He figured they would confiscate the gun if they were told the straight story.

He carried that bullet around in his finger for eighteen years with considerable discomfort, but finally, an Army Flight Surgeon insisted on removing the bullet. Dad was 35 years old at the time. The bullet had evidently hit the bone in his finger dead square, because the deformed lead bullet was wrapped completely around the bone.

I just thought everyone would appreciate this as it shows that it's not a good idea to get in a hurry when shooting one of these top break revolvers.
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:15 AM
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Here are my old econo-gun .22s. Top is my Dad's 9-shot H&R "Expert" target pistol from 1938. It has the classic H&R top-break design which automatically ejects the shells from the cylinder as it opens. It still works perfectly, considering it went unfired for 75 years. I shoot it once or twice a year. Double-action is really hard, but single action is just about perfect. The second photo shows it with its target from Rastoff's Challenge.

Bottom is my Ruger Standard from 1974. As I recall, I paid about $60 for it. It also works perfectly, and still has the best trigger of any semi-auto I've ever shot, about 3 1/2 lbs. with zero takeup, and ultra-smooth. It's as accurate at 15 yards as most of my non-econo semi-autos.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:06 AM
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It's not a .22, but I do have one of the later H&R .38 S&W Defender (Model 925) top break revolvers, ca. mid-1960s, with the strange-looking bird's head plastic grips. Mine has a 4" barrel but they also came in 2.5 inch, and most I have seen were the latter. It is probably my favorite fun gun. It has adjustable front and rear sights (which I had to fix in place with Super Glue, once zeroed), and it will fire groups comparable to my S&W Model 14, no kidding. I did have to replace a broken original hammer spring strut (Nylon) with an all-steel strut, but that was a simple job. I have read that H&R made the same gun in .22, but I have never seen one. I would sure like to find one of those .22s. Has anyone seen a 925 .22? I haven't seen any 925s at gun shows for a long time.

One interesting thing I like about the 925. Seems like it's designed for carrying in your pants waistband without a holster. It stays there perfectly without moving around and won't fall out or down.

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Old 01-11-2020, 08:27 AM
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I have owned, & still own a few of these, but Iver Johnson's quality is no match for the later H&R pistols & revolvers. I also have a couple of the NEF revolvers after they took over H&R.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther View Post
I worked in a gun store in the 90's. We sold lots of those econo-22's. The cattle ranchers liked having one in the truck when they were keeping an eye on calves. Coyotes and feral dogs were always a problem. The old H&R and New England Firearms pistols were popular, so were Iver Johnson(we always had at least one guy who called them Ivory Johnson), FIE revolvers and old Hopkins- Allen too.
The Heritage revolvers play the same role now. I bet Ruger's Wrangler will too.
So right panther - having worked p/t in gunshops both before and after my LE career can attest to the most common gun-brand 'rural misnomers'. They were:

- 'Ivory Johnston'
- 'Harrison-Richards'
- 'Smith & Western'
- 'Mossenberger'

There may have been others. It's early
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:41 PM
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Another economy .22 is the High Standard Double Nines. A 35.00 dollar revolver that will cost you $300.00 plus now at a gun show, if you can find one. I rarely see one at any show.



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Old 01-11-2020, 11:11 PM
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I learned double-action revolver shooting on an H&R Model 676. In an effort to upgrade I replaced the H&R with an S&W 34 Kit Gun. The Kit Gun was a lemon. I still have it, and now it works good, but it's been back to the factory twice.
I miss my old H&R.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:10 AM
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My first handgun was an Iver Johnson Trailsman 66 in 1960. My dad had an IJ when he was a kid, so he pushed me to get the 66. I really wanted a Ruger Single Six.

The Iver Johnson went to the factory twice for indexing problems. Every charge hole was surrounded by multiple dents from the firing pin missing the cartridge. When it still wouldn't index after the second trip, dad let me trade it for the Ruger. As I recall, the 66 cost $36.95 new. Swore I'd never own another IJ.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:28 PM
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I have been very pleased with my S&W 22S, it is worthy of the clichéd positive, superlatives that we throw around on this forum. It was my only 22 handgun for a long, long time until I bought a Ruger Single Six recently. Maybe not a legend in materials and craftsmanship, but it has been in performance and will never be sold by me.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wundudnee View Post
Another economy .22 is the High Standard Double Nines. A 35.00 dollar revolver that will cost you $300.00 plus now at a gun show, if you can find one. I rarely see one at any show.



I think that that one, or a similar Hi-Standard, was used in the Manson shootings.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:10 PM
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From what I have read several times the gun used in the Manson shootings
was a Ruger Single Six.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:16 PM
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My Grandfather’s H&R ‘ Fortyniner’ model 949
A very accurate 9 shot .22.
He bought it in the 60’s sometime.
Forgot to mention that it’s DA/SA
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:13 PM
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Many years ago my 1st handgun was a Ruger 9 shot revolver. It worked OK but was not really all that good for target shooting at 75 Feet. Caught my son when he was around 8 playing with it outside one day with his friends. The usual Cowboys and Indians game. At that time he had to climb shelves up about 9 feet high to get it down out of its Carry Bag. No ammo was stored anywhere's near it He's near 50 now and does not shoot at all. I now have a 19 year old grandson who does shoot and is very good at it as well. All is not lost after all.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:28 PM
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I used to get to go shooting with a few classmates when the associate pastor would take us down to the river outside of town with his pull pin H&R "snubby"... a great childhood memory... he also helped perform my marriage ceremony 25 years ago... he passed a few days before Christmas and I was just remembering all the good times we had... thanks for bringing back a happy memory.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:37 PM
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Back when I was in graduate school, broke and living in a rough neighborhood, I purchased a High Standard Durango to keep in the house. I bought it at a Gibson’s store for $34.95. I think the revolver that Tex Watson reportedly used in the Manson case was a High Standard Double Nine Longhorn.
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:43 PM
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I buy every nice old H&R .22 I see. This is the lastest:



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Old 01-13-2020, 02:28 PM
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I still hold on to the hope that since I think Remington owns the rights to the H&R brand they might bring back the 999 in stainless at about a $400 price point... I believe it would sell very well....
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Corp View Post
A couple of what used to be 'econo .22 revolvers'.
Bottom is an H&R M999 'Sportsman'
Top is an Iver Johnson 'Sealed Eight'.

In their day, these were 'working man's revolvers', meant to be a far less expensive option other than S&W and Colt.
Interesting to me that there is absolutely nothing on the market now that occupies that niche anymore with anything approaching comparable quality - and never will.
I dunno, I would argue that some of the firearms by Ruger, Charter Arms, and (at the risk of my credibility) even Taurus are extremely high quality in spite of having very low prices.

Are they as high quality as Iver Johnson or High Standard, heck no, but they really don't have to be, and their prices on the used market are priced like Saturday Night Specials.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:25 AM
webley green webley green is offline
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Many years ago, working for the USFS in Colorado, the bartender at my favorite bar bought a pistol and rifle from a broke cowpoke or so I was told. I in turn bought the pistol from him. It was the High Standard Double Nine just like the one shown in the box on a previous post. It came with a Hunter holster, gun belt and a paper sack of various .22s by that I mean, some shorts, longs and long rifles. That is one good shooting revolver, a number of bricks of .22 long rifles have gone through that gun over the years. Still one of my favorite .22s.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwslate View Post
From what I have read several times the gun used in the Manson shootings
was a Ruger Single Six.
It was a High Standard Longhorn.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:57 PM
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I recently came upon a couple of those 22s. Got a High Standard Double 9?? in good condition and a H&R 999 for 300 bucks the pair. Gave my Granddaughter the High Standard and a brick of 22s(she already wore them out) and still have the 999. It shoots just fine and think I will keep the ole thing. If I remember correctly a top break H&R was the first revolver I ever shot when I was about 6. Surreptitiously of course out of my best friends father's sock drawer
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
It was a High Standard Longhorn.
Well then I stand corrected Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosquebass View Post
A few years back I came across a JC Higgins 9 shot 22 revolver made by High Standard and sold by Sears Roebuck. Same gun as the Sentinel.
I've had a couple or three of these over the years too and they were always great shooters! Thinking they were in the $175 - $225 range in excellent used condition.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robvious View Post
I still hold on to the hope that since I think Remington owns the rights to the H&R brand they might bring back the 999 in stainless at about a $400 price point... I believe it would sell very well....
You’re kidding I hope. Other than the occasional individual 22 handgun that shot better than it should have the best deal in 60s was Ruger Standard auto pistol for 37.50. The next rung up would have been Ruger S-6 & Colt Scouts.

The H&Rs, IJs and Hi Standard revolvers were second rate guns at best.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:03 AM
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There are inexpensive SA 22's on the market. Too bad they have fixed sights. I wonder if there is a practical way of adding an adjustable rear sight? Even if you could drift the rear sight, that would be sufficient.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:33 PM
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I have a S&W 22 A that is a decent shooter I picked up new for $199 a couple of decades ago. I also have two H.S Sentinels, a -3 and a -6. The -3 will put 8 shots in an inch at 25 yards and throw the one out of the marked cylinder off to the left 3/4". The other shoots a little over a 2 inch group, fine for what I need a 22 for. I am another that looks for Sentinels.
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:02 PM
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I've owned a couple of High Standard and H&R 22's over the years. Decent guns, but they never stayed around long before something else caught my eye and they went on down the road to make room (and budget).

But what I'm most thankful for in regards to those guns was seeing them in the Shooter's Bible and such books and magazines. As a youngster growing up in rural Hanover County Virginia during the mid 60's or so, I knew I'd never be able to afford those Smith and Wesson or Colt handguns...But an H&R and 30 or 40 bucks, or whatever they were. They were in the realm of dreaming about. I might be able to get one one day.

They helped to keep the dream alive.
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:18 PM
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I once owned a Rohm 66 Single action Revolver. It had an alloy frame and cylinders for 22lr, and 22mag. For a cheapo revolver it shot pretty good. When I was a kid I couldn't afford 22mag ammo so I never used any. I kept it in my 55 Chevy which was stolen, along with the Rohm 66. Neither were ever recovered.
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:58 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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check if they are safe to use and if they are,you might be darn surprised at the level of accuracy these old timers can give you.
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