A rifle made for training. From information of characteristics, it was made in November/December 1937. No serial numbers were applied at manufacture (prior to 1968).
Action style: Bolt action, single shot, striker manually cocked after loading and closing bolt. Design was intentional to reduce possibility of inappropriate discharge for inexperienced shooters.
Barrel length: 27 1/8 inches. Conventionally rifled, twist rate of one revolution in 16.25 inches.
Weight: Five pounds, two ounces. (Unloaded, of course.)
Sights are traditional rifle sights of the era.
Rear sight is a leaf sight with slide, adjustable for elevation by moving the slide to elevate or lower the rear sight. The rear sight blade with sighting notch is flat topped with half-round notch measuring three-sixteenths inch in diameter. The assembly is mounted to the barrel by a dove tail arrangement at the front of the assembly. This allows for drifting the entire assembly (using a brass or other non-marring drift and small hammer) either left or right to adjust windage, or to remove the original sight and replace it with some more appealing to the owner. Since this rifle hasn’t been manufactured since the 1960s, casual replacement of parts is not advised to preserve the collector appeal and value.
Front is a single post with a one-eighth inch bead. The front sight is also mounted on a dove tail base. Therefore, it also is drift adjustable for windage or replacement of different front sight entirely.
Actual sighting is addressed following.
Rifle is not equipped to casually mount a telescopic sight; no ‘grooves’ or drilled and tapped mounting sites.
Rifle fired on morning of 30 June 2017 at Four Rivers Sportsman’s Club (Hastings, Nebraska). Sky was overcast but bright, temperature in the upper 60s to lower 70s, no discernible breeze. All shots fired from a basic bench rest mechanism. Shots and velocities timed on a C. E. D. chronograph.
Ammunition types used were CCI Standard Velocity (1070 fps advertised) and Norma USA match-22 (1100 fps advertised). Due to the era of manufacture, I thought ‘standard velocity’ ammunition was more in keeping with the design of the rifle than any of the newer, ‘high velocity’ ammunition. I also felt the sights where more suited to standard velocity ammunition. I doubt modern loadings will harm the action or barrel, but no doubt someone will object to such practice.
Ten round velocity findings:
CCI Standard Velocity: Average of ten shots, 1053 fps; spread of fastest to slowest shots, 105 fps.
Norma match-22: Average of ten shots, 1033 fps; spread of fastest to slowest shots, 32 fps.
Both types of ammunition showed a more or less even spread across the range of velocities. A better test would be one hundred rounds of each ammunition. Expense and time tend to discourage me in this.
Groups fired at fifty yards to provide adequate idea of accuracy.
Since I used five of the CCI shots to insure registration on target at twenty yards, the fifty yard group is only five shots and measures 2 inches high and 1.5 inches wide. I held ‘center’ on the target and the group registered 4 inches high and 1 inch right of aiming point. I point out the rear sight was moved to the lowest setting and registration was still some four inches high at fifty yards.
As the rifle showed itself to be reasonably regulated, I fired the Norma group from fifty yards. I fired eleven rounds of the Norma ammunition on the fifty yard target as one shot did not register on the chronograph. Using a six o’clock hold, eight of the rounds grouped 1.25 inches high and 1.625 inches wide, roughly .5 inches below aiming point. The other three shots were outside that cluster, expanding the total group to 2.25 x 3.25 inches, still about .5 inches below point of aim.
I hasten to add some of the ‘looseness’ of the groups are no doubt the result of my aged eyes and the rather imprecise nature of the open sights.
Both groups would be suitable for small game of squirrel or rabbit size at fifty yards and possible further with better eyes.
Sight picture is questionable. Aligning the front bead centered in the semi-circular rear notch is intuitive; but positioning the front sight is debatable. I achieved best results with the front (round) bead at the bottom of the target. (Usually referred to as the “six o’clock hold”.) A possibly more intuitive hold is to cover the target (a bullseye in this case), this is referred to as a “center hold”. With the rear sight in the lowest position, a center hold results in shot holes roughly four inches above point of aim at 50 yards.
The arm functioned well. The only ‘difficulty’ I found – and it’s so minor I hesitate to call it a ‘difficulty’ – is the extractor is somewhat in the way when inserting a new cartridge into the breech. Merely pushing on the bolt causes the extractor to move (lower) out of the way and the cartridge chambers properly.
EDITED: The final paragraph is amended. In a late-breaking and chagrinning development, I was instructed correctly about removing the bolt from the action.
Clear and make safe.
Close the bolt.
De-cock the striker.
With the bolt closed, pull the trigger and keep it back.
Open and remove bolt.
Pull trigger and keep back to replace bolt (line up root of bolt handle with split in receiver.
NOTE: Pulling trigger with bolt open will not allow removal of bolt.
All in all a useful rifle for the purpose intended.