Favorite Firearms: A Fallen Hero's Savage Model 24

by
posted on January 3, 2022
Savage Model 24

I still remember the look of extreme loss and grief etched on the mother’s face as my father and I sat in her living room. The despair so clearly displayed was over her son dying during aerial combat in the skies over Korea. The mother of this missing-in-action airman, a family friend, had just given my father her late son’s Savage Model 24 over-under, break-action combination gun. This meeting took place, if memory serves correctly, in 1956.

Sadly, too often did our men and women in military uniform go into harm’s way with inadequate tools. This was the case with the loss of the mother’s son. He was flying a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star performing a low-altitude ground attack, a role that the P-80 was never designed to do. Reportedly, 113 P-80s were lost to ground fire during the Korean War. His plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire during the attack run, but he managed to keep control and fly out over the ocean to perform an emergency water landing. Tragically, even though he successfully ditched his P-80, he wasn’t able to get the canopy open to escape before his plane sank. Every time my hands handle his Savage Model 24, it is done with a deep sense of honor and humility. As I see it, I am merely a custodian of this Savage for future generations.

This specific Model 24 has a low three-number (no letter) serial number, located within the conventional ovular Savage stamping found on the left side of the frame, right by the trigger guard. This would place the date of manufacture between 1949 and 1950, depending on the specific information source. The two barrels have different chamberings, .22 Long Rifle for the top and .410 bore on the bottom, with a slide button for barrel selection. It would be impossible to manufacture such a combination gun of similar build quality at a reasonable price point today.

I only hope that this young American hero had as many opportunities as possible to use this Model 24 in the forests of his hometown before his untimely end. I have no doubt that he truly appreciated what a remarkable and versatile firearm his Savage Model 24 was.

Latest

Winchester Model 60A
Winchester Model 60A

Favorite Firearms: A Winchester Model 60A Named “Li’l Ole Bess”

My favorite firearm has been in my family for four generations. It’s a Winchester Model 60A single-shot, bolt-action, .22-cal. rimfire chambered for the Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges.

Review: Winchester Model 70 Long Range MB

It is not uncommon for useful technical improvements in one arena to be adopted by and integrated into another. Materials and manufacturing processes originally devised for the aerospace industry are now commonly used to manufacture firearms.

Editor’s Choice: Ruger Wrangler Birdshead

Sturm, Ruger & Co. is expanding its handy and affordable Wrangler single-action .22 Long Rifle revolver line with a more compact version featuring a gracefully curved bird’s head grip and shortened barrel.

New for 2022: Marlin Model 1895 Trapper

Marlin added to its classic lever-action rifle line with the launch of the Model 1895 Trapper, chambered in .45-70 Gov't.

Beretta Offers Discount For Military, Law Enforcement And First Responders

Beretta USA is offering a 15-percent discount on its website to those who serve in the military, law enforcement and as first responders.

The Armed Citizen® May 16, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.