Classic Arms of 1955
The classic arms of 1955 would have a stellar lineup of new firearms in the golden age of classic firearms (IMHO). Manufacturing and firearms development at its finest. 1955 would be one of the finest years of the 50’s and 60’s era.
Several firearms companies like Winchester firearms and Remington firearms would both introduce new firearms and variations that year. Savage, and Marlin would also introduce new firearms and variations.
Several new handguns would also be introduced in 1955. Ruger firearms would introduce the new Blackhawk series revolver in the 357 magnum. The Ruger gun company was on the Move.
The Colt firearms company would reintroduce the Colt single action army revolver “peacekeeper” that same year. They would also introduce the new Colt revolver in the python model 357 magnum. Probably one of the finest handguns ever made.
A couple of new lever action rifles would also be introduced in 1955. These would be radically different from the lever action rifles of the past.
Not only were new firearms being introduced, but new scope and scope mount variations were added in 1955. New cartridges would be developed and added to the new firearms lineup.
I will do a separate article on the scopes and other gun related accessories from 1955. The golden year of classic arms (IMHO).
The Remington firearms company would introduce several new firearms in 1955.
- Remington model 740 semi auto rifle
- Remington model 572 pump action 22 rifle
- Remington model 722 BDL
- Remington model 722 Varmint in 222 caliber
- Remington model 40X 22 target rifle
The Winchester firearms company would also introduce a new classic arms lever action rifle in 1955.
- Winchester model 88 lever action rifle
The Marlin firearms company would introduce several new rifles to their classic arms lineup.
- Marlin model 336 in the 219 zipper
- Marlin model 56 lever action 22 caliber
- Marlin model 322 bolt action 222 caliber
- Marlin model 39 mountie lever action 22 caliber
The Savage firearms company would introduce a new Savage model 99 in a featherweight version called the model 99F.
- Savage model 99 F in 300 and 250-3000 calibers
The new Remington model 740 would be a vast improvement over the semi auto Remington Model 81 that Remington made until 1953. The model 740 would be a much sleeker looking firearm with many modern improvements. Ease of assembly and disassembly would be much improved. This would also allow the use of the more popular cartridges of that period and become a much better big game hunting rifle.
These are not considered great collectible firearms from the classic arms period of the 50’s and 60’s. Finding them in excellent condition and maybe with the original box would help its value. Also finding these in the D or F models would be great finds but extremely hard to find.
The new Remington model 572 would be a completely different type of pump action 22 rifle. It would not only be much easier to manufacture but also much easier to disassemble and assemble for repairs. It would also be lighter to handle and have that nice sleek looking design. The modern era of gun manufacturing was well under way. I personally still liked the Remington model 121 better than the new 572.
But I can appreciate why Remington had to make the change in their manufacturing process.At least Remington was making a quality product to replace the harder to manufacture firearms that they were replacing. Many of the 22 rifles of that era were of questionable quality and looks.
The Remington model 572 would not be considered a great collectible firearm. Again, if you can find them in the original box and are in great condition, they will be sought after in the gun collecting world.
The Remington model 722 would introduce the varmint version and added a fancier version called the 722B model. The 722 varmint version would be in the new 222 Remington cartridge that Remington had just introduced. This was a great combination and extremely accurate rifle. One of my favorite rifles to shoot.
Finding the standard 722 in excellent condition can be hard because of them being popular and heavily used. The 722B model had a fancier stock and checkering with sling swivels attached. These are a little harder to find but are certainly more desirable. A great find when available. Classic arms at its best.
The Remington model 40X would be a brand new rifle from the ground up. Considered a great target rifle and it became extremely popular with target shooters. This is another firearm that has to be an excellent condition for any collector value. But they are extremely sought after by bench shooters looking for a quality used 22 target rifles.
Remington arms company would bring more new firearms and versions of any gun manufacturers in 1955. They certainly were great innovators of the firearms companies of that time.
The Winchester firearms company would manufacture one of the best rifles of the golden age of classic firearms(IMHO). This would be considered a truly new concept in the firearms world. A totally new concept in lever action firearms. It would bring the lever action rifle of that period into the modern cartridge world. This would of course be the Winchester model 88.
Savage arms would also develop their model 99 for the newer cartridges in the near future. But Winchester would lead the way with the Winchester model 88. It would be lightweight with a new bolt system. It would have a one piece stock to help with accuracy. A short fast action and of course the new 308 Winchester cartridge. A nice collectible firearm and very desirable in the 284 and 358 calibers.
The Marlin firearms company would be very active in firearms development in 1955. All of the guns listed above would be considered good collectible classic arms today. The Marlin model 336 SC (sporting carbine) in the 219 zipper is a very collectible firearm. It was a radical idea at the time to put the 219 zipper cartridge in a 336 rifle. A nice little rifle to have and and admire.
The Marlin model 56 was a totally new lever action 22 rifle made by Marlin. It was noted for the short stroke of the lever and was considered much faster to operate than most 22 lever rifles of that period. Not many of these rifles were manufactured and are quite desirable. Finding them in great condition is a plus, but they are desirable no matter what the condition. Few were made.
Marlin would bring out a new version of the model 39. This would be called the Marlin model 39 ” mountie”. It would have a straight grip stock that resembled the western style lever guns of the old west. It would come with a 20 inch barrel. These are very desirable and sought after by Marlin collectors.
Another Marlin rifle from 1955 would be the bolt action 322 model. These our rare and very hard to find. Only manufactured for 4 years.
By 1955 all Marlin model 336’s would be drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
The Savage firearms company would upgrade the famous Savage model 99 lever action rifle in 1955. This would be called the featherweight model. The model description would be the savage model 99F. It would prove to be a very popular firearm for many years. It would weigh only 6 1/2 lbs and was designed for easy carrying and fast handling. It came in the popular 300 savage and 250-3000 cartridges.
A great collector firearm and very desirable today. It would have been drilled and tapped for scope mounts from the factory. A great little classic firearm to have and admire.
The Colt firearms company would add a couple handguns to their already impressive lineup in 1955. They would reintroduce the single action army revolver ” peacekeeper” in the 45 long colt. It was discontinued in 1941. The old single action revolver was making a comeback.
One of the great stories of classic arms in 1955 would be the Colt firearms company introducing the new Colt python in the new 357 magnum. In my opinion this is one of the finest revolvers ever produced. Great design, great looks and superb craftsmanship make this a classic firearm.
Both of these Colt revolvers are great collector firearms and great investments. You cannot go wrong in acquiring either of these classic arms for your personal collections. I would give either of these an excellent rating.
The Ruger firearms company would also add a new revolver to their handgun lineup. This would prove to be a big hit with the shooting public for many decades. It became an instant success. That would be the Ruger Blackhawk in the 357 magnum caliber.
Like the Colt python, the Ruger Blackhawk would become a timeless classic firearm that came out of the 1950s. These early Ruger revolvers became very collectible because of the model variations over the years. They are very collectible and still in good numbers. Buying one of these is definitely a good investment. Ruger would also introduce a mark 1 target model with a muzzle break that was available in 1955. A wonderful handgun to have if you can find one.
Ruger firearms can be great investments and are still available in decent numbers. Rarer variations do exist and will demand premium prices if you are able to locate them.
One of the main reasons that I have chosen 1955 as the golden year of classic firearms was because of the Colt python and the Ruger Blackhawk. They were both exceptional products and well received. They would represent a new era of firearms evolution and of course the addition of the new magnum cartridges. The handgun classic arms would never be the same.
There will be more information on individual models in separate articles in this web site. Please check the site out and let me know what you think.