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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Dating Stevens Model 44 (Read 32865 times)
slumlord44
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #45 - Jun 26th, 2014 at 9:23pm
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I have seen various theories on what happened to the Stevens records. Sort of like who really killed JFK? Lots of theories but no one will probably ever know for certain.
  
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uscra112
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #46 - Jun 26th, 2014 at 10:43pm
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Smiley  Maybe I'm giving it too much credence due to current events?    Smiley

Whatever, they're gone, so reconstructing a time scale based on a survey is all we can hope for.

Phil

  
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waterman
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #47 - Jun 27th, 2014 at 2:29am
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Back in 1953, when I was 13, I found a book in our local library called "Merchants of Death".  The book was about those American firms who profited from the sales of weapons during the 1914-1918 war. 

(My aunt was the librarian and pointed out the book.  That's probably why I remember the details.).

Anyhow, the writers of the book wrote that Westinghouse burned the Stevens records.

  
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Rick Fischer
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #48 - Jun 27th, 2014 at 1:13pm
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Creedmoormatch, thanks for the reply.  If that's the way it came from the factory, that's the way it will stay.  It just didnt look very secure, so I thought it might be a post production kludge.  If the notation at Wisners is correct, it is "early" production, what ever that means.  Yeah, the date of manufacture will remain a mystery, but still, I'm curious.
  
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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #49 - Jun 27th, 2014 at 5:27pm
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That's a very common mainspring arrangement, both for Favorites and for 44's.  The spring should have a slightly concave end to keep it indexed on the peg, and the metal at the rear of the frame and inletting in the grip area of the stock will keep it from wandering out in any case.

There was a guy (think his name was John Kubelka or something) who sold aftermarket springs of that type for several years.  They would primarily fit Favorites, but would work on 44's too, in a pinch.  I e-mailed him about a year ago but he'd run out of stock and wasn't planning on making any more.  I should have bought a couple extras, I guess.
  
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waterman
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #50 - Jun 27th, 2014 at 6:38pm
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My experience (3 of 4 rifles) is that broken mainsprings of that type are common.  Anyone who shoots one needs a couple of extra mainsprings.

I tried substituting a stronger spring.  It made the trigger pull much too heavy.
  
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uscra112
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #51 - Jun 29th, 2014 at 4:23pm
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The shape of the spring is crucial.   The geometry of the 44 action moves the force vector from the spring much closer to the hammer pivot as the rifle is cocked, when using the OEM spring shape.  This is why good 44s have such a light trigger pull, and require so little effort to cock.   Use spring of the wrong shape, and this advantage is negated.   

Look at the geometry of the last 44 - the model 417 - to see how to negate this feature entirely.   

Sadly, the design wisdom of Joshua Stevens seems to have been forgotten or ignored by his successors.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #52 - Jun 29th, 2014 at 7:52pm
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waterman wrote on Jun 27th, 2014 at 2:29am:
Back in 1953, when I was 13, I found a book in our local library called "Merchants of Death".  The book was about those American firms who profited from the sales of weapons during the 1914-1918 war. 

(My aunt was the librarian and pointed out the book.  That's probably why I remember the details.).

Anyhow, the writers of the book wrote that Westinghouse burned the Stevens records.



I'd be inclined to believe that over many other stories, since "Merchants of Death" was published in 1934, and close enough to the records burning for the author to have gathered first hand knowledge from individuals who knew. Good info Waterman!
  

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Gone Fly Fishing
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #53 - Jun 29th, 2014 at 8:05pm
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Quote:
Anyhow, the writers of the book wrote that Westinghouse burned the Stevens records.


Hi Waterman --

Am I correct that it was some time ago that you read this particular book?  Most published authors are scrutinized by proof readers, and then editors.

Are you certain that the words "alleged to have burned " were not included in that sentence ?

C.M.M.
  
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uscra112
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #54 - Jun 29th, 2014 at 8:14pm
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It looks as though that book is available on Amazon, but only as a Kindle, which I neither have one nor want one.    Anybody with a Kindle up for some reading?

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Rick Fischer
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #55 - Jul 10th, 2014 at 1:15pm
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bent_ramrod, thanks for the reply.  My spring has no such concavity, and I was thinking of grabbing my die grinder and adding one.  My spring must be a replacement.  Now if I can just find my die grinder.
  
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Larry D
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #56 - Aug 29th, 2014 at 1:28pm
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I have a 44 in 22lr # 16831 side extractor .......Larry  Smiley
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #57 - May 8th, 2019 at 2:16pm
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uscra112 wrote on Jun 9th, 2014 at 5:17pm:
A little summary so far:
Highest number on my list with side extractor is 16260 - Gunbroker  415163717
Lowest number seen to date with centre extractor is 18040 - a model 45 DST owned by frankeore

Grant wrote that  the center extractor started in 1901.

Highest number seen with screw pivots is 14542  - was on Gunbroker.
Lowest number seen with two-piece bolts is 15329 - was on Gunbroker.
In the 1903 catalog they tout the new design, so it must have been implemented between the 1900 catalog publication and 1903. 

According to catalogs, no centerfire Model 44 actions after 1903, except .25-20 and .32-20     Also from 1903 on the Models 45, 47, and up were on the 44 1/2 action, so any such on a 44 action must be 1903 or earlier. 

Highest 44 action in a large centerfire caliber is 25423 - GunBroker 407393445 - a .32-40

Highest centerfire action to date is 52341, a .25-20, Gunbroker  410040824
Highest centerfire caliber barrel is 61674, .25 caliber in my collection.
Highest Model 44 rimfire to date is 90039 - Gunbroker # 421669982         

1929 catalog does not mention [i]any[/i] centerfire calibers for the Model 44, only .22/.25/.32 rimfires.

All Model 44 style actions discontinued in 1932.  Except model 417 which seems to have a new s/n series.


Just so that you can update your list again, I just bought a Stevens 44 in .25-20SS that is just slightly higher in serial number than your previous high number (your barrel #61,674) with my rifle being #61,820.  26" half round / half octagon with a 6 o'clock extractor.

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I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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cheatin_charlie
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #58 - May 8th, 2019 at 4:18pm
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Just bought a Model 44 in 22lr  at auction about a month ago.  Serial # 72973.
Looks like a capitol I in a circle stamped into action.  Side of action stamped
"Trade Mark Stevens".  Barrel stamped J. Stevens Arms Co.  Good shooting rifle with terrible trigger.  It has the newer case hardening not the Stevens ripple type.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Dating Stevens Model 44
Reply #59 - May 8th, 2019 at 6:43pm
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I also see that there is another 44 Stevens in .25-20SS very similar to the one I just bought in an upcoming Canadian auction that is listed as serial number 79,810.

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I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't quite reached my "Expiry" date yet ...
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