My first rifle…

I got a chance to get to my first rifle, and figured I’d put up a few pics…

I received this one in 1959 when I was eight.

It’s a Stevens Crack Shot 26, made sometime after 1913. Not sure what year it was actually bought and brought into the family, that is lost in the mists of time.  I was told I was the third one in the family to get it. It has an 18 inch barrel, and the stock has never been cut. It also has fixed iron sights, and was pretty damn accurate!!!

Stevens 4

I know I put literally thousands of rounds through it over the next four+ years, and I remember paying something like $.50 a box for 50 rounds of .22 long (that is a BUNCH of coke bottles, etc. at $.02 a bottle)… It got much better when I started mowing lawns at age 11, I was RICH! I think I was getting $3 a yard…

Stevens 3

It is a falling block, takedown version with the 22 barrel bored off center so the firing pin will strike the rim of the 22LR cartridge on its lower edge.  My conjecture is that off center drilling allowed the placement of the firing pin in the falling block to allow a center fire version to be made without having to re-design any parts of the action,  Since I’ve never seen one of the old Stevens 25-20, I don’t know if that is true or not…

Stevens 1

But if you look at this picture, you’ll note the 22 long rifle designation is in larger alphanumeric that the rest of the roll mark…

Stevens 2

This one is not real pretty, as I beat the hell out of it as a kid. I know I dropped it in a couple of creeks, and I’m pretty sure I dropped it out of a tree at least once…

But, having said that, I killed a many a can with this thing, and quite a few (well a few) squirrels and a bunch of frogs over the years…

And this is really what I credit with my ability as a rifle shooter, is all the time I spent in the fields and woods with this little rifle… Eventually it will go to my grandson after I get the sear replaced (I’ve worn it down to a hair trigger, and I DO mean hair trigger)…


My first rifle… — 22 Comments

  1. Stevens – – a division of Savage, now – – still sold that rifle until this past year, when they appear to have discontinued it. It was known as the Stevens Favorite in recent years, and came in both standard and breakdown configuration.

  2. It’s a solid rifle. Any young man would be proud to own it. These sorts of heirlooms are important to hand down — of course under the “enlightened” laws in many states you either need to fill out a ream of paperwork or it’s “impossible”.

    Then again, that rifle may never have been registered in the first place… ;^)

  3. What a beauty! Stevens was the first rifle for many a young shoot, myself included (a 1950 model, single-shot bolt-action).

  4. Excellent! And remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Years down the road someone will look at that rifle and be able to imagine all the places it’s been, all the cans with holes in ’em.

    I think the ‘long rifle’ in conspicuous bold print was to separate it from other firearms, some of which were chambered for .22 short.

  5. Robert- Thanks, I wasn’t aware of that!

    Brighid- LOL, if old and beat up is beautiful, yep!!!

    Gerry- Thanks!

    LL- Rifle? What rifle??? 🙂

    And no, I doubt it was registered/documented anywhere other that the original shipping order…

    Rev- True!

    Mad Jack- Thanks and good point!

  6. I have one of those. It’s in pieces because I’m refinishing it for one of my grandsons. They are great for the young ones to learn on.

  7. Great post Jim. Those “first rifles” are awesome heirlooms. I still have my “first” given to me by my Dad. A Winchester model 62. Shoots shorts,longs, and long rifle. Dad gave it to me @ age 10 (1959). Serial # says it was mfg in 1946. My cousin was the first owner. It will go to my grandson when the time comes.

  8. Keads- Thanks!

    Robert- I’m debating whether to refinish it or just get it repaired… Your thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

    WSF- Thanks!

    Craig- Understood, at least yours HAS a serial number… sigh

  9. Your first rifle shows the sort of loving wear that the shotgun my dad passed down to me shows. You’ve seen it…

    He carried it all over the ranch from the time he was 8 or 9, shooting birds with it, until he grew up and realized what it was. Then he put it away and it sat until he passed it on to me. It’s a shooting gun again, as it should be.

  10. My first rifle was a Stevens that I bought when I was 12 at the local Western Auto. I paid for it with my money earned mowing yards. When I told Mr. Deck I wanted to buy the rifle he called my Dad to make sure it was alright with him. That was my only back ground check.