Tree Squirrel Rifles

bls8433

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Mar 6, 2012
Messages
33
I forgot to add in the rifle from my youth. My dad bought this Savage Model 29B in 1949. I started shooting it around 5 years old. Shot many squirrels, but we mainly used this on the shoot "Rats" along the Lackawanna River and in the Rail Road Yard in Moosic PA. Between the both of us we shot thousands of rats. At the time my father was the Yard Master for CNJ RR and he would take me to work with him. The Yard had a lot of rats due to the grain spilling out of RR cars and the River at that time was polluted and loaded with rats. About an hour before dark the rats would start coming out. Sure made me a sharpshooter trying to hit a rat at 75-100 yards with iron sights! I remember every couple of weeks my father would buy us a brick of Federal 22 LR Hollow Points in a bright red box. They were Less than $5 a brick back then (penny a shot).
My dad purchased this Springfield/Stevens model 85 back in the late 30's. I used it growing up on the farm. Squirrels, blackbirds and striped gophers where the main targets. It had very fine sights and my record was 8 spriped gophers from the hood of my 65 Chev with 8 shots, all head shots. I don't think this rifle was rated highly but it shot very well for me. It had field nicknames of 'gill rifle' or 'clickclack' - Named as the action would remain open until you released the trigger. It also had a bolt lock that allowed you to shoot shorts by using it like a bolt action. Now is a safe queen due to poorer eyesight but had great memories.
 

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bls8433

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Mar 6, 2012
Messages
33
I see you Savage pump and raise you a Remington model 12 pump. And I "Challenge" your Browning!
I see you Savage pump and raise you a Remington model 12 pump. And I "Challenge" your Browning!
I have not run accross many of these Browning Challengers. I purchased a Challenger back in 1974 and found it was very accurate. It ended the lives of a number of varmints. I believe yours has the original poly grip/stock. I was in college and stupidly left mine on the dash for an extended amount of time. The poly stock warped pulling away from the steel frame. I sent it into Browning and they sent it back with the very nicely checkered walnut stock.........at no charge! See top pic.
 

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Jon Bischof

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Oct 25, 2002
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970
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Paragould, AR
I have not run accross many of these Browning Challengers. I purchased a Challenger back in 1974 and found it was very accurate. It ended the lives of a number of varmints. I believe yours has the original poly grip/stock. I was in college and stupidly left mine on the dash for an extended amount of time. The poly stock warped pulling away from the steel frame. I sent it into Browning and they sent it back with the very nicely checkered walnut stock.........at no charge! See top pic.
It must have been back in the 70's when my father bought ours. Love the Walnut grip stock on yours! What year was it Browning replaced it for you?
 

memtb

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Dec 30, 2013
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2,467
Location
Winchester, Wy.
I have not run accross many of these Browning Challengers. I purchased a Challenger back in 1974 and found it was very accurate. It ended the lives of a number of varmints. I believe yours has the original poly grip/stock. I was in college and stupidly left mine on the dash for an extended amount of time. The poly stock warped pulling away from the steel frame. I sent it into Browning and they sent it back with the very nicely checkered walnut stock.........at no charge! See top pic.

In the ‘60’s I bought a Browning Nomad, somewhat similar to the Challenger, one of the only two firearms that I got rid of.…..I’ve regretted it ever since! memtb
 

M1A1ABRAMS

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Jul 2, 2022
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In the ‘60’s I bought a Browning Nomad, somewhat similar to the Challenger, one of the only two firearms that I got rid of.…..I’ve regretted it ever since! memtb
Got a auction coming up with a couple Contenders in 222 Rem & a 30 Herrett, if interested. Not to mention lots of other goodies. I'm interested in a few pieces they have for my collection. lol
 

Gravel Road

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Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
70
My dad purchased this Springfield/Stevens model 85 back in the late 30's. I used it growing up on the farm. Squirrels, blackbirds and striped gophers where the main targets. It had very fine sights and my record was 8 spriped gophers from the hood of my 65 Chev with 8 shots, all head shots. I don't think this rifle was rated highly but it shot very well for me. It had field nicknames of 'gill rifle' or 'clickclack' - Named as the action would remain open until you released the trigger. It also had a bolt lock that allowed you to shoot shorts by using it like a bolt action. Now is a safe queen due to poorer eyesight but had great memories.
Those are really neat rifles. I have my late father-in-laws and it is so cool to be able to stop the action by holding the trigger back.
 

woodneagle

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Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
14
Location
SE Michigan
My very first .22 rifle, age 13, was a JC Higgins model 31 by High Standard. On the farm as a kid I shot "at" a lot of crows and missed them all. Grandpa had guest hunters from the next state over who did squirrel hunt and who proudly show me their bags full. There were about 40 acres of woods on the farm, plenty enough for good squirrel habitat with all the grain droppings they could find. The weakness of that rifle was the rear stock attachment to the receiver and eventually it broke off.
20220719_161748 (1).jpg

In order to preserve the rifle, I cast a resin handgrip and added an aluminum plate for a butt stock. The recess or dip in the stock makes it very comfortable to bring up to align the crosshairs and the hand is in a good position for trigger squeeze. The grey plastic pieces are just 3/4" electrical PVC slotted to slip onto the 1/8" thick aluminum. I never altered any mechanical part of the rifle, just made a new stock, so I think I'm safe in doing that. It sure made a more functional rifle from a family heirloom piece that is now 67 years old. That's a nice REX 4 X 32 AO scope, cheap, but just right for this application.
 
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Coyote Shadow Tracker

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Dec 9, 2020
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Social Circle, GA
My very first .22 rifle, age 13, was a JC Higgins model 31 by High Standard. On the farm as a kid I shot "at" a lot of crows and missed them all. View attachment 432036 Grandpa had guest hunters from the next state over who did squirrel hunt and who proudly show me their bags full. There were about 40 acres of woods on the farm, plenty enough for good squirrel habitat with all the grain droppings they could find. The weakness of that rifle was the rear stock attachment to the receiver and eventually it broke off. I made a mold of a handgrip and cast one in resin. It's very strong, enough so that I could slot it and make an aluminum butt stock. I removed the front wood hand guard and replaced that with a flat aluminum plate using the original bolt hole. Now it's kind of a "tactical" version, easy to aim and get the cross hairs lined up.
Darn don't let the ATF see that rifle!
 

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