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Stevens 87A

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by ZBill, May 17, 2009.

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  1. ZBill

    ZBill Member

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    Hi folks: I don't really have any questions but just wanted to share a few pictures of an 87A I recently picked up.

    I did a search and found the following from Mr. Keenan on TFL: "For those who don't know, those guns (there were several variations under a dozen model numbers) had a rather unique semi-auto system. When the gun fired, the bolt came back and locked back until the trigger was released, at which point the bolt went forward and chambered the next round. I could never see why it would not work like any other semi-auto .22 rifle and even modified one to act that way. It jammed every shot; apparently all that machinery needed some kind of delay to work right. Every time I looked at one of those guns and compared it with the simple Browning, and the later Remington 66 and Marlins, I got more ticked off at whoever designed it. Jim"

    Anyway I am lucky mine works and it has beautiful wood. Sort of looks space-age from a 1930's vision.

    Just wanted to share pics of a rather odd design.

    Bill
     

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  2. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I have mine (a 24"bbl model 87D) and love it...it has no equal in my collection. It is my favorite and holds the most sentimental value. It was my Grandparents only gun...my Grandmother (whom I was very close to and passed away about 2.5yrs ago) used it to kill a bull. She had a bit of trouble with a neighbor's bull getting in the garden and warned him that should it ever happen again, she would shoot it. The next time it returned, she shouldered the .22LR and shot his um...well...testicles out from under him. The bull was found dead later that afternoon near a local stream.

    To tell a bit more, that you may or may not know. It was a rather cheap gun in its time, and was sold by Sears (and probably other retailers under the brand Stevens) where mine was purchased by my late Grandfather. It was also branded by Savage (Model 6), Springfield, and Fox. It was available in several variants (noted by the letter following the model) and several barrel lengths. As you noted the action is like no other that I am aware of, the bolt will not return until the trigger is relieved. Another interesting aspect is the locking bolt. It can be locked to the rear for maintenance/cleaning/etc. or locked forward for firing single shots. My rifle is very accurate and reasonably reliable, and despite it being the gun of least value in my collection it holds the most meaning and is the most valuable in my heart.

    Congratulations on owning one of the most interesting firearms that I know of. If you have any questions about your gun, or would like any details feel free to let me know. I have attached a photo of mine as well as a pdf of the parts schematic and original add for the gun.
     

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  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I admit to bias against those guns. I am sure most of them worked OK and they sure sold a lot of them. But, like cops and crooks, I saw the bad ones and they were a PITA to try and fix. The mechanism depends on a balance of springs and once the springs weaken, things go downhill rapidly.

    If you have one that works, fine and good luck. But I can never suggest that anyone wanting a .22 autoloader buy one of those used when better guns are available.

    Jim
     
  4. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Jim, I have heard a great deal of horror stories that concur with your tale, but mine has served me and my family well. The only issue I have had was the with the lifter spring...I replaced it and it has done fine since. I will admit that I am biased with respect to this gun, because it has so much sentimental value.

    I would like to find a Model 85 to have one that is clip fed.
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The clip fed ones were better, as the gun also had trouble with feed from the tubular magazine.

    As I said, I am sure most worked OK, and I wish you well with yours. An heirloom is always priceless, no matter what its value in dollars.

    Good luck.

    Jim
     
  6. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Good to know, I will probably pick one up if I find one for a decent price. How is accuracy? The 87D I have is very accurate, but it may just the 1 of a 1000, as I do not have experience with others.

    Jim, Sorry if I came off as being defensive, it was not my intention. Just felt like sharing, it is a gun that doesn't get too much publicity. Like I say I cannot give an unbiased opinion on this particular gun, I would have a hard time not liking it no matter what. :)
     
  7. klowrey

    klowrey Member

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    By the way, it is my understanding the last year of production for the 87A was in 1968. In 1968 it retailed for $48.50 according to my Gun Digest Summary book for 1968.
     
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Welcome to THR klowrey! Thanks for the info, that is a bit higher than I would have expected.
     
  9. krs

    krs Member

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  10. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    With those guns the problem was never accuracy. They shoot very well.

    Jim
     
  11. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    krs, thanks for the link but it appears that all the goodies are gone from that one. :)
    I know mine sure does, great gun.
     
  12. kanook

    kanook Member

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    I bought mine the day I turned 18 at a pawn shop for $50 OTD back in 87
     
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