Vintage Takedown .22 Care And Cleaning

Whether we use them or just cherish them, those little .22s are worth all the care we can give them as we safeguard and protect these old guns.

by Norman E. Johnson

As a teenager, back in the forties, my uncle allowed me to use his old Winchester .22 pump to hunt small game and perform a little target practice. Each time the rifle was used he would ask that I wipe it down with a lightly oiled cloth. This I did quite faithfully as I cared for the rifle as if it were my own. The old rifle endured many decades of use, showing relatively little wear, but other guns I knew showed the ravages of use and neglect.

As I have serviced guns for more than half a century, a good number of these have been the older, takedown .22 rimfire rifles in both lever and pump. Strangely enough, some of these old guns failed to receive proper care and perhaps because they were takedown models contributed to this. A good percentage of the bores were badly pitted and showed sign of cleaning neglect. The actions on some of them were loose and worn. Others were as smooth as silk, showing little wear, even after a century in existence.

Servicing Takedown .22s

Read more in our August 2014 issue. Back issues are available.

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