22 Target Rifles
The 22 target rifles of the 1950s and 60s would consist of several different rifle companies. Winchester and Remington would be the primary target rifles in 22 caliber during the 1950s and 60s. The Mossberg rifle company would also be a dominant force in the 22 target rifles of that era.
The Hammerli target rifles of the early 1950s were the premier 22 match target rifles of that era. They were a very fine firearm but this small bore match rifle would retail for $420 in 1954. By contrast the Remington or Winchester small bore target 22 rifles would list price for around $140.00.
By the start of the 1960s, Anschutz would produce a model 1413 super match and a model 1411 match rifle of exceptional quality. The model 1411 match rifle would retail for around $140.00 in 1961. The Remington 40 X target rifles would retail for $166.00. The Winchester model 52 would retail for around $140.00 with no sights.
It is interesting to note that the Mossberg small bore model 144, target 22 rifles would retail for $32.00 in 1954. Because of the reasonable price and decent quality they did sell many of those firearms. They were heavily used and because of this they are hard to find in excellent condition. Remington did make a Matchmaster model 513T that would list for $62.00 in 1954.
As a gunsmith in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s I would work on many of these target rifles. We had a large number of camps that used the Remington 513T and the Mossberg model 144. They would primarily need cleaning and trigger adjustments. Firing pins, Main bolt springs, and extractors were also problems from these firearms. I would also reblue many of these rifles. Very hard to shoot the barrel out on a 22 rifle or handgun. Rust or pitting would cause problems if the firearm was not cleaned or cared for properly. Known of 22’s rifles with many thousands of rounds fired and still shoot amazing groups.
We would also have several high school rifle teams in our area of Pennsylvania. Many of those schools had rifle teams back into the 1950s. I would be a rifle coach for one of those schools in the late 1980s. The majority of the rifles were Remington 40X rifles or Anschutz small bore target rifles.
These rifles are extremely fun to shoot and most anyone could shoot them. They can also be relatively inexpensive to shoot.
Remington and Winchester both made 22 match ammo in the 1950s. Remington would sell Peters ammunition also. Remington Arms Company would make Palma and Police Target Master Kleanbore 22 target ammo. Peters would make Dewar and Police Match. Winchester would make Super-Match and Stainless EZXS 22 target ammo in the early 1950s.
This 22 long rifle ammo is very collectible if in original boxes and in great condition.
Finding the Winchester target or Remington 22 rifles in collectible condition can be a challenge. Many of these rifles were heavily used and are not in the greatest condition. This would also include the Mossberg model 144. If you can find any of these rifles in excellent condition they can be a great addition to round out your firearms collections.