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Thread: Falling block/rolling block rifles.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Default Falling block/rolling block rifles.

    Love the idea of owning one of these! I am a big fan of single shot and double rifles. I have an encore that I love and I was thinking of getting a inexpensive acurate small game/plunking rifle when a Stevens favorite caught my eye. Things have changed for me since I got the encore and I can not picture affording a $1,000+ for a gun again but $300 for a neat looking 22lr I could do! The smaller Stevens 22's would be great for my son as well.

    Question is every other gun with this type of action seems to be $750+ why are the Stevens rifles so much more afordable? Market flooded with them or are they generally not shooters? Read several reviews that raved about the guns but the price difference makes me wonder, seems these days $50 is a lot of money for me and I cant afford a 2-300 dollar boat ancher/paperwieght.
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    Generally speaking, Stevens are most definately shooters.
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    I wonder if you're comparing centerfire with rimfire in coming up with that price spread. Certainly CF Ruger #1's will top out that range, but rimfires are lots cheaper while still accurate and highly functional.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Im not finding many RF rolling blocks Brown bear but would be happy to look at any other sugjestions. The Ruger no 1 is not avaible in 22lr without a conversion kit.
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    Rick, I own several falling block rifles, none of which are a Stevens .22. I wondered the same thing as you and when I began to look at them close, they aren't really made to be "nice". The wood is not really fit and finish. It's very utilitarian, what I mean is it is there as a stock or forearm but it ain't real special. But you could give it to a kid and let'em go on the farm and not worry a bit about bumps and scraps. The workings all seem to be fine and its very simple so I think its all about the utility and nothing fancy. I have never shot one nor do I know anyone who has so I can't say about how they shoot. Have you looked at one close up?

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    No experience with the current Steven's Favorite...at least not the modern ones. The old school ones were pretty decent and there were plenty of rolling block .22s around. There are the usual issues with old time metalurgy and eroded bores on the originals. New ones are likely better metal, worse fit and finish.

    With an Encore, why not an additional barrel in .22LR?

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Mark thats what I am coming to believe, the are simple utilitarian guns. And neat as all get out! In fact I have seen a few and the older ones seem to be the nicer workmanship........in fact the ones I have seen are very well put together at least as far as I can see.


    Hodgeman
    Well the stevens is about the same price as a new barrel. There is no way in hell my kid is ever dragging the encore up the side of the mountain for Ptarmagin! No way in hell my wife is even dragging the encore up the mountain for ptarmagin either! The Stevens is 1/4 the weight and has the "cool old gun" factor. And I have wanted a rolling block rifle since I was a kid, not a chance I'll be able to afford a Sharps so the Stevens makes a neat substitute.
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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    Rick, I often thought of getting one and reworking the wood just because it would be fun to do. I barely have the time for what I have now though. It would be an inexpensive way to experiment with making a stock and if I screwed it up I wouldn't feel like a wrecked it.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Ditto Mark, and I have just the wood to do it in.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Some of the Stevens can be very spendy indeed but most not.In the thirties many a young lad got his first Stevens for selling White Salve Ointment door to door,I believe twenty sales got you a mod.17. If you can find a little Ithaca lever action falling block they are fun rifles too.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Thanks Will I'll keep my eyes open.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I picked up one of the new style favorites a few years back off the used rack at one of the gunshops in town. I forget how much I paid, I think it was $175. At one point I thought it would be cool to have one of every action type in 22rf, so the favorite scratched that itch. Unfortunately I guess you could say I'm a bit of an accuracy snob, and the favorite just wasn't up to snuff. I don't recall exactly how bad it was, but I think along the lines of 2" at 25 yds.

    At least on the rifle I had, the barrel tennon was machined several thousands smaller than the action, and you could literally wiggle the barrel back and forth by hand. Needless to say, when the barrel flops in a different direction after each shot, you aren't going to be able to get good groups. I did remove the barrel from the action and I knurled the tenon to tighten up the fit in the action. Accuracy was slightly improved. I figured what the rifle really needed was to cut off the tenon entirely, machine a new tenon for a tight slip fit in the receiver, cut a new chamber and re-crown the barrel. You'd also have to re-attach the stud for the forearm, or shorten the forearm.

    They are fun little guns that go bang, but if you care at all about accuracy, I'd look elsewhere.

    I do have a Remington 4a rolling block, and inspite of being nearly 100 years old, and a pitted bore from corrosive primed ammo and relatively crude iron sights it shoots very accurately. As I recall examples in reasonable shape run around $400, I'd say that is money well spent.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    2" at 25 yards would be totaly unacceptable to me Paul! Thanks for sharing your experiance with them. Seems to me that like most old guns some are worn out some still shoot great, going to have to give the whole thing a bit more thought.
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    Rick:

    I had too have one a few years ago for the same reason- I love single shots. I ended up giving it to a girl I was teaching to shoot because she really liked it. Yes, they are a little rough and the sights limit the accuracy, but I think the grin-factor makes up for it! I think with a little elbow grease and some nicely grained wood you would have a nice project that will produce a nice plinker without breaking the bank.
    B

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    The little Ithaca might fit your need very well. It uses a Martini type action and the one I got for the kids seemed to be as accurate as plain iron sights allowed. You should be able to pick one up for $150 or so. It is quite small and light weight. Also there are now several single shot kid sized bolt guns out such as the chipmunk and others. I haven't used one so I don't know how accurate they are. Can't remember who but there is a switch barrel 22/410 that is priced fairly low as well. I know they aren't falling/rolling block but the price is right.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Rbuck351

    That would be a Rossi matched set. Rossi makes a full line of breach action single shot rifles that get rave reviews for accuracy in the lighter calibers.........thinking the 410/22 combo might be perfect for Gunther's Birthday next year.



    Thanks for the comments guys! I have to sell some stuff before I make a move on a "new" gun but I'll definately post pics of what I end up with if anything.
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Rick:

    I had too have one a few years ago for the same reason- I love single shots. I ended up giving it to a girl I was teaching to shoot because she really liked it. Yes, they are a little rough and the sights limit the accuracy, but I think the grin-factor makes up for it! I think with a little elbow grease and some nicely grained wood you would have a nice project that will produce a nice plinker without breaking the bank.
    B
    Great reason to give away a gun and I tend to agree. I have a 1950's ruger single six that is butt ugly but shoots strait. I cant think of another gun that has had me smiling from ear to ear more often........I had a 10/22 that was all tricked out and spooky accurate, never really conected with that rifle dispite the game it consistantly put in the pot.
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