I am a sucker for classic varmint rifles. I grew up reading of people like Lindahl, C.C. Johnson, Donaldson, Smith, and of course, Griffin & Howe, and Niedner. In particular, I am a sucker for those built on converted 1922 Springfields. The magazine G&H made for them is just amazing in how well it feeds the little hornet case. And yes, I believe that the bulk of these repeater conversions to Hornet were done by G&H with the exception of the very first few that were done at Springfield Armory. Many were converted by various gunsmiths as single shots. Sedgley also made a repeater conversion, but it is very different from the G&H and does not seam to be nearly as plentiful.
Anyway, the following rifle showed up at my door step the other day. SA 1922 ser# 412. Barrel date 12/28, so likely not the original barrel.
First the good, bore is in decent shape, looks to have been a little rusty at one time, but is cleaned up pretty good. Finish on the stock and metal is original and is very good condition for a 80+ year old gun. The stock is the armory stock that has been restyled likely by G&H. Some of the G&H stocks have a very distinct point formed where the stock meets the grip and this point fits neatly between the forward points of the grip checkering. This stock has that feature which is not particularly common on the reworked armory stocks in my experience. The magazine feeds the hornet case as it should.
The bad. The rifle has been through at least 2 different scope set-ups. The side of the action has 5 plugged holes from a G&H side mount. Whoever plugged them did a good job, but whatever steel they plugged them with does not take cold blue. The receiver ring and bridge have both been drilled and tapped. The receiver ring would not bother but they drilled it at 5/8" centers rather than the correct 7/8". The bolt handle has also been altered and the stock cut accordingly. And, it has been converted to K Hornet. Not a big deal for a shooter, but it does hurt the value. And the front sigth has been removed. I put a Lyman on it for now, but it really needs either the original Armory sight, which G&H did leave on a lot of these rifles, or a G&H banded front.
And the ugly. The bolt handle, ugly as sin. Have to do something about that. The stock has a chip in the heel, and the buttplate has gotten rusty at one time and stained the wood where it meets the buttplate black.
Not sure where I'll start with this one. I'd be interested in everyone's thoughts.