CLASSIC ARMS OF 1953
I will now continue my yearly evaluation of Classic Arms of the 50’s and 60’s. The golden age of these great firearms are the main focus of this website. We are also looking at the scopes and accessories of that era. The Classic Arms of 1953 would include some all time great firearms and cartridges in the Golden Age.
The Classic Arms of 1955 article that I wrote was about the greatest year (IMHO) of the 1950’s era. I will give my best year of the 1960’s in another article at a future date. I will now continue with another 1950’s article. Classic Arms of 1953 will be the next article for the 1950’s. Other years of the 1950’s will follow.
The year of 1953 would not have as many new firearms introduce as in 1955. But those that arrived would defiantly impact the collectors market a half a century later. The Ruger Firearms company, Harrington and Richardson Firearms company, and Hi-Standard Firearms company, would introduce new handguns in 1953. More on each of these firearms below.
Marlin Firearms would be just introducing the new version of the Marlin 39 in the “Mountie” model. The Sako Firearms company would introduce the Riihimaki model in the great 222 Remington cartridge. The Savage Firearms company would now offer the Model 340 in the 222 Remington, 218 Bee, and 22 hornet cartridges. More on each of these firearms below.
The Remington Firearms company would be offering additional variations to the popular 721 and 722 bolt action firearms. They would also add a new cartridge to the new Remington 760 “Gamemaster”. It would now have 4 cartridges available.
The Colt Firearms Company would update and improve a couple of their handguns in 1953.
REMINGTON 721-722 Special grade and the Standard grade rifles were available in 1953. They would both have checkering and sling swivels. The Special Grade would have select walnut wood and forearm tip. Available in the great little 222 cartridge. Great collectable firearms from the 1950’s.
Early in 1950, Remington would introduce the 722 model in the new 222 Remington cartridge. They would claim that the new rifle would be the perfect varmint rifle manufactured at that time. It certainly was a great combination of the short action light weight (7 1/2 lbs) varmint rifle and extremely accurate 222 cartridge. A great start for Remington in 1953.
Remington would also announce the addition of the Deluxe Grade model 760 in 1953. It would have checkering and a grip cap added. Slings swivels would also come on the deluxe models. All Remington 760’s would now come with the new addition of the 270 Winchester cartridge in 1953. The 760 would now come in four cartridges. The 30-06 Spfld., 300 Savage, 270 Win., and 35 Rem. Great Classic Arms of 1953.
Marlin firearms would advertise the new model 39 called the Mountie. In 1953 they would only make this model with a 24 inch barrel. Around 4300 of these 24 inch Mounties were made and are very desirable. Marlin would also be in the process of moving all their firearms from the old Ballard type rifling (6 Grove deep) to the new Micro-Groove (16 Grove shallow).
The Ruger firearms company would also add a new handgun in 1953. Ruger would introduce the first revolver of the Ruger gun company. Ruger S.A. Revolvers would be one of the great success stories of the second half of the 1900’s. Ruger would introduce the new single-six revolver in 1953. It certainly was a great year. It would come with a 5 1/2 inch barrel and fixed sights. They would also have the classic hard rubber grips. They only came in the 22 LR cartridge. One of the first revolvers to use coil springs in the action. No flat springs were used in the new Ruger Revolver.
Ruger would also get some great advertising by a couple of pistol shooting champions in 1953. Ruger would advertise the superb abilities of the Ruger Mark I target pistol that were shot by two expert pistol shooters in 1953. Ruger would start making the Mark I target pistol in 1951 and getting this kind of success after 2 years would help to make it a very popular pistol in the years to come. Any Ruger Firearms from the early 50’s are great collector firearms. Truly great Classic Arms of 1953.
Winchester Arms Company would start producing the Winchester Model 70 in the 308 Win cartridge that was just introduced by Winchester. It would be available in the Winchester 70 Featherweight Model. A Classic start to a very popular cartridge. One of the most popular cartridges of the last 60 years.
Interesting to note that Griffin & Howe would advertise that they could convert the Winchester 70 or the Model 54 in the 22 Hornet to the Remington 222. They would do yours or you could buy a new converted 70 from them. The new 70 conversion would cost 150.00. The new Remington 722 special grade in 222 caliber was listed for 113.00 dollars. Came with checking, sling swivels, and select wood. The Winchester 70 in the 220 swift was priced at 120.00. Those shooters who liked the model 70 would spend considerably more for one in the new 222 Remington cartridge.
Savage Arms would advertise that the Model 340 would now come in the 222 Remington and 22 hornet cartridges. This would become a very popular firearm and many would be sold. It would come with a detectable magazine and be drilled and tapped for the Weaver side mounts. This would make adding a scope much easier. It was a great deal at the time as it was advertised at 48.75. Varmint hunting was now becoming popular and Savage Firearms was now entering this market. Both Savage And Remington would sell many fine 222 rifles in the 50’s and 60′.
Colt Firearms would also be active in 1953. They would introduce the new Colt Officers Model Match revolver in the 38 special and the 22 long rifle cartridges. This would include an adjustable rear sight. This was a great revolver and I would enjoy shooting many of these firearms over the years. Just a great collectable firearm. Colt would also advertise that a new improved Colt Woodsman pistol was available. They would come with a new rear sight, called the ACCRO sight and a ribbed slide. They would come on the Match Target, Target, and Sport models. I would own and shoot a Match Target pistol for several years.
Hi-Standard would introduce the new Flite-King 22 autoloading pistol. It would shoot 22 short ammo and be advertised as lightweight, economical,,and quiet. You could buy it for 44.00 dollars.
Harrington & Richardson would also introduce two new revolvers in 1953. The H&R model 922, 9 shot 22 LR. They would have three models to choose from. The 922 standard, camper, and bantamweight. They would also introduce the H&R Sportsman Model 999, 9 shot 22 LR with New features and grips. Very popular revolvers from the 1950’s.
Sako Firearms would be introducing the new 222 Remington cartridge to their bolt action rifles in 1953. These little short action rifles would come with a standard or full length stock. Had a detachable magazine and French walnut stock. Just a great Classic Firearm. One of my personal favorit rifles in the 222 caliber. Available in the 22 Hornet and 218 Bee also. This rifle would be great in any gun collection. Great Classic Arms of 1953.
Weatherby Firearms would be advertising their fine line of rifles made in Southgate, California. The would really be considered custom rifles in 1953. Built on the Mauser action and of course the Weatherby style stock that became a standard design on most Weatherby’s. Many of the custom rifle makers and gunsmiths of the 50’s and 60’s would follow that design. Stock inlays would be added to many custom stocks of that era. The weatherby rifles of 1953 are highly sought after in the gun collecting world.
1953 would feature a couple of custom gun makers that are considered excellent collector firearms. The first would be the Griffin and Howe custom built rifles. The second would be the Jaeger custom built rifles from Jenkintown, Pa. Both would have detachable scope mounts if wanted. Well made rifles and highly desirable Classic Arms today.
SCOPE AND MOUNTS OF 1953
A new scope mount by the Leupold Scope Company would be introduced in 1953. It was called the 2-Pc Adjusto-mount. Both the windage and elevation were built into the mounts. Looks very similar to the modern mounts of today. The new style mounts have no elevation adjustments. Most of their scopes in 1953 would have no scope adjustments on the scope. By 1955 the scopes would have the windage and elevation built into the scope. The mount and scope could be adjusted for a perfect fit.
Advertised in 1953 was a unique scope called a Supra scope made in Germany. It was advertised as a vari-power scope in either 2 1/2 x 6 or 4 x 10 power scopes. The adjustments for the magnification were by the rear eye piece. Very similar to what you see on scopes today. Quit unique and ahead of its time. Of all the firearms with scopes I handled over the years, I do not recall ever seeing one of these.
Bushnell would introduce the new Bushnell Scopemaster scope line. 2 1/2x, 4x, and 6x power. Quaility and low price is what was advertised. No variable power scopes by bushnell in 1953.
Weaver Scope company would advertise a variable power scope in the 2 3/4x or 5x power in 1953. Baush & Lomb would offer a variable powered scope in a 2 1/2x or 4x.
Remington Classic Arms would far and away be the top innovator in 1953. They would not offer a new firearm to their lineup in 1953,but they would instead offer several upgrades and variations to their already popular firearms. The Remington 721 and 722 select grades were great rifles at good prices. The model 760 Deluxe grade was a nice addition by Remington in 1953. The number one reason that Remington had such a great year in 1953, was something called a 222 Remington cartridge. This impressive cartridge would become an instant success that would also benefit the other firearms companies as well. The Classic Arms of 1953 would become good collectable firearms.
You could easily argue that Ruger would be the number 1 company with the release of the Ruger Single Six 22 LR Revolver in 1953. This revolver would become very popular over the years and help the Ruger Company become a major player in the firearms world. Great Classic Arms of 1953. I would give Remington the number one spot because the Remington 222 cartridge would also benefit several other firearms companies in 1953. Savage Arms and Sako are a couple of companies that would benefit. Classic Arms of 1953 would be a good year.
Be sure and visit my Classic Arms of 1955 and see what can happen in a couple of years in the Golden Age of Classic Firearms.