Favorite Firearms: A Model 84C for Bus Fare

posted on April 26, 2021

My half-brother Charles F. Minter, Jr.—who later became a major general—owned a Springfield Model 84C bolt-action .22 rimfire rifle when he joined the Army Air Corps in 1943.

When he wanted to come home on leave after completing basic pilot training but couldn’t afford bus fare, I cashed in a war bond that I had gotten by filling my Victory Stamp Album and gave the money to him. The bond’s value at the time was $18.75, and I took the rifle from him as repayment because that’s about what it was worth.

The Springfield was a well-built, utilitarian rifle that taught me to shoot and hunt. It got me into competitive Army and Air Force rifle shooting, which I did throughout high school and college, and later I got into competitive trap shooting. 

It was also used for home protection, to repel burglars who were stealing car tires during the war, and to slaughter pigs on our Georgia farm. That old Springfield is still a cherished possession after all of these years, and it always arouses great childhood memories every time I shoot it.

W.W. “Buzz” Wells, California


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