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Old 05-17-2019, 03:49 PM
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Who made this gun?



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Walked into my range's GS today to buy some stuff. A gentleman had just come in (and was still there) and gave one of the counter guys a couple of old guns. One was a revolver and one was a 22 rifle.

So I immediately started checking the 22 out. The brand on top of the barrel, ahead of the rear sight, was "Witte Hdw Co, St Louis, MO". The model is apparently the X.L. Next to the brand stamp is a stamped circle with an A inside it. The right side of the circle is incomplete, and the A is on the left inside of the circle, so possibly there was supposed to be another letter there as well.

It is single-shot, and the left rear of the barrel is marked "22 Short, Long and Long Rifle". I wonder who made this for Witte? What research I could do indicates it might be Stevens. It was likely made sometime between 1887 (the year 22LR came out--invented by Stevens BTW) and 1920.

I bought it on the spot ($50). The bolt/receiver was gunked up, but it did pass a function check. Took it home, cleaned it up. The bolt now cycles nicely now. Three test pulls on the trigger with my spring gauge all came out to 0.8#! Fired one round into my closet bullet trap to do a full function check. 24" barrel, 21" sight radius. Bore cleaned up nicely.

Enclosed are some pics. Lemme know what you think. Also what model of whatever major gun brand would it correspond to.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bolt 1.JPG (88.1 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Bolt 2.JPG (57.4 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg Brand mark.JPG (60.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg Receiver 1.JPG (72.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Receiver 2.JPG (89.7 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-17-2019 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:50 PM
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Two more pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Witte rear.JPG (127.3 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Witte front.JPG (116.4 KB, 17 views)
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:00 PM
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Most probably either a Stevens Model 56 or Savage Model 4 sold by Witte's Hardware store in St. Louis back in the 1930's.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:05 PM
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I seem to recall Iver Johnson making a model called the XL, but my memory is not as reliable as it used to be.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
Most probably either a Stevens Model 56 or Savage Model 4 sold by Witte's Hardware store in St. Louis back in the 1930's.
Nope, this gun is single-shot as I said. My kwik research on the two models you mentioned show them to be mag-fed. However, my gun does appear to be a single-shot version of the 56, so probably precedes it.

EDIT: This gun, apparently. Stevens Model 15.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-17-2019 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:18 PM
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Looks like a Mossberg Model 10 or 20 as a house brand for the store.


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Old 05-17-2019, 04:22 PM
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yep, looks like a Stevens Model 15...I think we have a winner!
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:34 PM
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Stevens is a different action layout.


Heres my Westernfield M36(Mossberg 10) There version came with target sights and swivels.

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Old 05-17-2019, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewehrfreund View Post
I seem to recall Iver Johnson making a model called the XL, but my memory is not as reliable as it used to be.
They made a model called the X, with a Schnabel forend. Single-shot S L LR.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by scooter22 View Post
Looks like a Mossberg Model 10 or 20 as a house brand for the store.
Nope, bolt is different. Compare the undersides of the two bolts.

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-17-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:02 PM
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The whole rifle looks like a twin of a bolt 410 shotgun I acquired recently. Mine had no marking at all but the stock, trigger guard, bolt, trigger, and action takedown screw all appear identical. The two differences (outside of it being a 410) are that mine has a removable 3 round magazine and bead sight.

My research online indictes it was probably a Stevens/Savage make.

It appears in your pictures that the action screw is not fully seated. I had to shorten the screw to get it fully tighten the action in the stock as the screw was bottoming out on the bottom of the action before the action was contacting the stock.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by theearlof View Post
My research online indicates it was probably a Stevens/Savage make.

It appears in your pictures that the action screw is not fully seated. I had to shorten the screw to get it fully tighten the action in the stock as the screw was bottoming out on the bottom of the action before the action was contacting the stock.
I just loosely put the gun back together for a minute to take the whole-rifle pics, then took it down again. No issue with the action screw.

Polished the bolt, ending in 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Used a couple of 1911s to hold the gun up for the pic.

Gonna shoot it tomorrow!

Also I should mention that it has a metal buttplate; two screws, no markings on it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Polished bolt.JPG (120.7 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by Tom_in_MO; 05-17-2019 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:14 PM
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The Stevens Model 15 has the receiver and barrel all made out of the barrel blank like the Winchester 67.

This one has a separate barrel/receiver.

As such - it's probably not one of those.

The hard part about a lot of these old miscellaneous store brands is that they were made up of miscellaneous pieces and parts so they often don't really match ONE main model perfectly.

It sure looks like a Mossberg. Mossberg based store brands were famously a mishmash of every sort of surplus or discontinued/overstock part under the sun that they could dig out of the corners of the warehouses and under the benches of the factory. They fitted them all together and out the door they went.

As such - you often have to do a bunch of sleuthing to chase down which parts came from what model/year guns.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:41 PM
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One thing that stuck out in your pictures was that the front of the trigger guard is bowed backwards (like mine) which makes the front screw inside the trigger guard bow (makes it hard to install/remove).

Also, the bolt can be cocked by pulling back on the knob at the rear of the bolt.
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckjohn View Post
The Stevens Model 15 has the receiver and barrel all made out of the barrel blank like the Winchester 67.

This one has a separate barrel/receiver.

As such - it's probably not one of those.

The hard part about a lot of these old miscellaneous store brands is that they were made up of miscellaneous pieces and parts so they often don't really match ONE main model perfectly.

It sure looks like a Mossberg. Mossberg based store brands were famously a mishmash of every sort of surplus or discontinued/overstock part under the sun that they could dig out of the corners of the warehouses and under the benches of the factory. They fitted them all together and out the door they went.

As such - you often have to do a bunch of sleuthing to chase down which parts came from what model/year guns.
Coming around to the idea of Mossberg 10. All the little details match, except the bolt bottom, but who knows? Designs mighta changed a bit over the course of years.

I had been thinking Mossberg copied the Stevens design, but now I don't know what to think.
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