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A "Good" .22 Circa 1888?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Skofnung, May 4, 2004.

  1. Skofnung

    Skofnung Well-Known Member

    Hello again.

    I have a weird opinion question regarding .22 caliber rifles in the late 1880's.

    If you were a father that wanted to get his son (age 10 or so) a small game rifle, the year being 1887 or 1888, what make and model would it be and why?

    Did the .22 Long Rifle cartridge exist in 1888? I know that the .22 Long did, but when did the .22 LR come out?

    Thank kindly you for your help.
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    Stevens brought out the .22 extra long in 89 or so and it became known as 'the long for rifle ' cartridge. So in 87 or 88 you would be buying a .22 long gun .
  3. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    The Remington #4 Rolling block .22 rifle was a pretty dandy boy's rifle and it first came out in .22long. The .32rimfire was a good 'farm gun' too, as velocities were low.;)
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    According to one source, the .22 LR was developed by Stevens in 1887, and came out in 1888. The rifle that used it would have been the Stevens Tip-Up, which was introduced in the 1870's. (Note that the .22 LR could be fired in rifles chambered for the .22 Long, but most .22 Long revolver cylinders were too short, hence ".22 Long RIFLE".

    The Winchester Single shot came out in 1885, but first chamberings were for center fire cartridges, and I don't know when it came out in .22. It would have been expensive, and only for a VERY good boy.

    The Remington Model 2 Sporting Rifle (a rolling block action) came out around 1873 and definitely was made in .22 Long by 1888. The better known No. 4 did not come out until 1890, but was definitely made in .22 LR specifically. These were good quality and sold at a reasonable price.

    The Marlin-Ballard No. 3 Gallery Rifle was made from c. 1876 to 1891 in several variations, including fancy wood and a pronged buttplate. These were also expensive.

    Henry Marcus Quackenbush began making .22 rifles in 1871; they were of lesser quality, but inexpensive and sold well. They were often used as prizes for selling salve or other door-to-door products often peddled by boys. (Another product of the company was nut crackers and HMQ is still seen on the common spring type, unless they are all made in China now.)

    I have concentrated on single shot rifles because I think that would be more likely for a boy than a repeater; further, repeaters in .22 were pretty uncommon and expensive. Other calibers would have been possible. Several .25 rimfire cartridges were available around that time, as well .32 and .38 rimfire and centerfire. But I agree that .22 would be more likely for a boy.


  5. Skofnung

    Skofnung Well-Known Member

    So, back at that time, were "rolling block" rifles called rolling blocks or were they refered to by their make and mod. numbers? Is calling these Remington rifles "rolling blocks" a fairly new (after 1900) thing?

    The reason I ask is that in a reprint of a Montgomery-Wards catalog from 1895 that I have been reading, as well as other contemporary catalogs, all of the "rolling block" rifles were listed by model numbers, and nowhere were the words "rolling block" used.

    Even Flobert rifles with "rolling block" type actions were called the "Remington System" just like the standard Flobert was the "Warnat action."

    Thanks for the information.


    On the subject of Flobert rifles, just how poor were they? Please tell me what you can about them


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