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Antique Military Firearms
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This is mint condition Springfield Armory Model M2, .22 Target Rifle that was manufactured in 1942.

 

The historical use of .22 rifles for U.S. military training traces its roots back to the 1870s when the New York National Guard used .22 caliber rimfire versions of their service issue Remington Rolling Block rifles for indoor shooting and target practice.  The U.S. Navy followed this practice in the 1880s with .22 caliber Model 1870 rolling block rifles.  Limited numbers of Krag service rifles were also converted to fire .22 caliber for use by other state national guard units in the late 1890s and early 1900s. 

The U.S. Army did not formally develop a .22 caliber service training rifle until 1907 when Springfield Armory manufactured 3,000 Model 1903 Service Rifles with a .22 caliber barrel.  The center fire bolt remained standard so the .22 caliber short round was fired by inserting it into a cartridge holder that was roughly shaped like a .30-06 round.  This rifle was known as the U.S. Gallery Practice Rifle, Caliber .22, Model of 1903, better known as the Hoffer-Thompson rifle.   While the Hoffer-Thompson concept was a good one, the use of the cartridge holders was more complicated than the Ordnance Department wanted. 

The result was that in 1922, Springfield Armory was directed to work with the National Rifle Association to develop a .22 caliber rifle that could be used by shooting clubs associated with the Director of Civilian Marksmanship as well as by high school, college, and ROTC shooting teams. 

The result was the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .22, M1922.  The M1922 Rifle had a 24-inch barrel with rifling of four grooves and a twist of 16:1.  The M1922 used the Lyman 48B rear sight and the standard M1905 front sight.  Telescopic sight blocks cold also be installed upon request on 7.2 inch centers on the barrel.  The bolt was a two-piece type with a rotating head.  The “throw” of the bolt, or the length required to open and fully extract the bolt, was made similar to that of the standard Model 1903 rifle.  The M1922 used a sporting stock, called the “Stock, Model of 1922,” which also called the NRA stock.  The receiver and barrel on the Model 1922 was blued and the bolt was polished bright.  The receivers were marked in the standard Springfield fashion over the chamber with “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY/ MODEL OF 1922 / CAL. 22 / [serial number].  2,032 receivers were manufactured at Springfield from 1922 to 1924, 2,000 for DCM sales, 20 for U.S. Army evaluation, and 12 to build International Match Rifles.  The Army conducted extensive testing of the M1922 Rifle compared with the Hoffer-Thompson 1903 Rifle and adopted the M1922 in May 1923. 

Upon formal adoption, Springfield did incorporate some changes into the original M1922 design and the result was the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .22, M1922M1 Rifle.  This rifle was manufactured from 1925 through 1933 with 20,010 manufactured.  The bolt was redesigned to use a single-point striker attached to the firing pin rod.  The bolt throw was again designed to replicate the throw of the standard Model 1903 Service Rifle.  The rear sight was now a Lyman 48C and the stock was altered slightly.  The finish on the M1922M1 was parkerized until 1926 when the finish was changed to carbonia blackening.  The bolt remained polished.  Of the 20,100 M1922M1 rifles manufactured, 14,680 were U.S. military training rifles and 5,330 were sold through the DCM and NRA. 

The final service .22 Rifle was different enough in design that it was given a completely new designation of M2.  It differed from the M1922 series in that the bolt was set back further into the receiver, and a new bolt, stock and magazine were used.  The bolt was changed to eliminate the locking latch.  The bolt head on the M2 locked into the bolt body through a raised rim at the rear of the bolt head.  Two types of M2 bolt bodies were used.  The first was used until 1934 and was not adjustable for headspace.  The second, used form 1934 until the end of production, had a setscrew that could be adjusted to change the headspace.  The M2 stock was modified with less drop to the comb and a shorter, thinner pistol grip. 

Many existing M1922 and M1922M1 rifles were converted to M2 specifications before WWII.  M1922 Rifles that were upgraded received the M2 bolt, firing pin/striker assembly and the new magazine and were stamped with an “A” after the serial number on the receiver.  If an M1922 rifle had previously been upgraded to M1 configuration, then the receiver was stamped with M11 on the receiver. 

Approximately 3,800 M2 rifles were built with the first type, M2 nonadjustable bolt.  The remaining 17,381 M2 rifles were manufactured with the second type M2 bolt that was adjustable for headspace.  The government sold 7,660 M2 Rifles from 1938 through 1940 through the DCM and the NRA.  The rest of M2 production was for the military.  Springfield Armory continued manufacturing M2 parts into 1942.  All barrel manufactured in 1942 were 23.5 inches long, ½” shorter than pre-1942 barrels, and the crown was changed in early June 1942 to a countersink.  M2 production ended after 1942 since it freed up Springfield Armory for M1 Garand production and it was cheaper to purchase Winchester M75, Stevens 416, and Remington M513T rifles for gallery practice. 

Springfield Armory manufactured the M1922, the M1922 M1 and M2 .22 caliber rifles with their own serial number sequences beginning at 1.  The highest observed serial numbers for the M1922 is serial number 2,020, for the M1922 M1, 20,010, and for the M2 Rifle, serial number 21,181.

The serial number on this M2 Rifle is 11628, which indicates it was probably manufactured between 1938 and 1942.  The Bolt Body is in mint condition and retains its polished finish.  On the bottom of the bolt handle root is a “7” stamp.  The bottom of the Bolt Handle has the first three digits of the serial number electro-penciled, “116.”  The top of the bolt handle has the correct “NS” marking, indicating a nickel steel bolt, over the designation “M2.”  Both the original Headspace Adjustment Screw and Set Screw are present, and their single slots are unmarred. 

The Bolt Head also is in mint condition and retains all of its polished finish.  The bottom of the Bolt Head has the remaining portion of the serial number “28” electro-penciled.  When assembled, the bolt exhibits the entire serial number.  The original Extractor and Ejector are present, and both retain their polished finish.  The rear of the Bolt Body has an “M2” stamp.  The drawing number “C 3998-4” is stamped on the side of the ejector.  The bolt face is in mint condition and shows no signs of firing. 

The Bolt Sleeve is in mint condition and retains 98% of its original blued finish.  The one-piece Firing Pin retains 100% of its original blued finish and the tip exhibits no wear to indicate it was ever fired after proof testing.  The correct standard service rifle spring has 34 coils and remains in the white.    The original Safety retains virtually all of its original parkerized finish and has the correct sans serif “READY” and “SAFE” stamps.  The original Cocking Piece is in mint condition and has the correct drawing number “C 3995-1” on the left side of the lug.  The head of the cocking piece retains crisp checkering.  The Firing Pin Locking Spring remains in the white. 

The original five-round magazine is present and retains 99% of its original parkerized finish.  The upper left side of the magazine is correctly marked “M2.”  The floorplate is present and is still tightly secured to the magazine.  The Follower exhibits only very light wear.  The magazine still secures tightly into the floor plate.

The Standard Trigger Guard is present, and it retains 99% plus of its original parkerized finish.  The Trigger is the standard serrated and ribbed 1903 type and it also retains virtually all of its original parkerized finish.  Both guard screws are present, and both retain the majority of their original blued finish.  The M2 Gallery Rifle Floor Plate is present, and it retains 100% of its original parkerized finish.  The Magazine Release is in mint condition and it retains 98% of its original blued finish and it functions perfectly. 

The original stock is in mint condition and retains its original oil finish.  The stock is the M1922M1 with the bottom of the pistol grip squared off and a recess before it contours back towards the rear of the butt.  This stock has crisp fingers grooves on both sides and was the type of stock issued to military firearms as opposed to those made for civilian sale.  The stock has minor dings and a few small scratches but it is mint overall. There is one small gouge on the bottom of the pistol grip.  The bottom of the stock wrist has the crisp circle with serif “P” proof stamp.  On the left side of the butt is the Springfield Armory box cartouche with “S.A. /  R” stamp.  The Butt Plate is the correct 1903 Type 5 Butt Plate without butt trap and large checkering that was used on the .22 gallery rifles as well as .30 caliber sporting rifles and National Match B Rifles.  The butt plate retains 99% of its original parkerized finish and both butt plate screws retain the majority of their original blued finish.  The stock cross pin to retain the barrel band exhibits all of its original blued finish on both exposed ends.   The Rear Sling Swivel Assembly retains all of its parkerized finish and both assembly screws retain the majority of their original blued finish with unmarred slots. 

The receiver on this M2 Rifle is in mint condition.  The exposed, top portion of the receiver retains 100% of its original parkerized finish.  The original Type 4 Magazine Cutoff, which only acts as a bolt release on the M2 Rifle, is present and it retains all of its original parkerized finish.  The bottom of the cutoff barrel has the “2” stamp, indicating it was only for the M2 Rifle.  The receiver rails and the base retain all of their original parkerized finish.  The receiver markings remain crisp and are “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / CAL. .22 M2 / 11628.”  The Breech Face of the receiver retains virtually all of its original parkerized finish and exhibits no wear from firing. 

The rifle is fitted with its original and mint condition Lyman Micrometer Windguage Receiver Sight No. 48C.  The Screw-in Rear Peep Sight retains 100% of its original blued finish.  All of the adjustments on the Lyman sight remain crisp.  The Lyman Sight base retains all of its original blued finish. 

The original M2 .22 caliber Barrel is present and is in mint condition. The barrel is 20” long and it retains 99% of its original parkerized finish.  On the top, rear of the barrel is the sans serif “T” stamp, indicating a Target barrel.  The top, front of the barrel is marked “S A / [Ordnance Bomb] / 8-42.”  The original standard Front Sight Base and Adjustable Blade are present and retain all of their original parkerized finish.  The front sight is protected by a sight protector that is marked on the right with a sans serif “G” in a triangle, indicating it was manufactured by Gotham, and the left side has the drawing number “C64157-4” stamp.  The muzzle is correctly flat, and the crown is correctly countersunk.  There is a small area of old corrosion at the 2 o’clock position on the crown but it is not near the bore.  The bore is in mint condition with strong rifling and a mirror finish.  The left, rear of the barel has the sans serif “LONG RIFLE / CART’GE ONLY.” Stamp.  The original M2 Barrel Band is present and retains all of its original parkerized finish.  It has the “U” stamp on the right side and is the milled type.  The original Sling Swivel and Screw are present, and they also retain all of their original parkerized finish. 

This rifle comes with its original and mint condition WWII Model 1907 Leather Sling.  Both steel hooks are present, and all six rivets remain tight to the leather.  The leather is still supple, and the hook holes still have the leather punches in them, indicating this sling, along with the rifle, was never used.  This sling was manufactured by Boyt, and it is marked “BOYT – 42.” 

This is a mint condition and probably unfired Springfield M2 .22 caliber target rifle that remains just as it did when it was checked at Springfield during WWII.  This will still make a superb target rifle.