Single-Shot .22 Handguns

by
posted on April 16, 2014
SWcampPerry22_F.jpg

Pistol marksmanship competition in America was not always under the stewardship of the NRA. Before World War II, an organization called the United States Revolver Association was the governing body for most firearms competitions in the country. They even conducted the trials and organized our Olympic teams. Founded in New England in 1900, the USRA is still in existence and still shooting matches. It is no longer on the national scale, but this legendary body is a big part of handgunning history.

Part of the old program of USRA matches was the slow-fire, single-shot type, fired with special .22 rimfires at (I believe) 50 yards. The target was small and great accuracy was required. Both Smith & Wesson and Colt developed special guns for the job. As a matter of fact, S&W had several single shot .22s over the years, most of which tipped the barrel down to open for loading and unloading. The last such gun was the .22 Straight Line, which had the external contours of an auto, but pivoted the barrel sideways to load and unloaded. That’s unusual, but not as different as the Colt Camp Perry model. This pistol had the revolver-like appearance of a medium-frame Official Police or Officer’s Model Match. It differed in that it had no cylinder, just a steel block that filled the cylinder window and swung out to the left. The barrel was screwed into this breech block and moved when it was opened. Unusual.

The gem of the .22 single-shots was the Harrington & Richardson USRA model. Another break open with downward tilting barrel, the USRA was designed by handgun authority Walter Roper. It had a number of interesting innovations in design, rifling, sights and a clever interchangeable grip feature. I have fired one of these extensively and consider it to be a minor masterpiece of design.

Latest

Developing Walther Pdp F Series 5
Developing Walther Pdp F Series 5

Developing The Walther Arms PDP F-Series

Walther Arms' PDP F-Series is a duty-grade handgun that's built specifically to fit the average woman's hand. Here's how the company developed this innovative offering and how its history in the Olympics informed its design process.

11 New Ammo Options For 2023

As the ammunition market is returning to normal, many manufacturers are seeing this as a cue to introduce new loads of America's favorite cartridges as well a few new cartridges altogether.

Ballistic Software—Hot & Trending In 2023

Gun owners are more connected today than ever before, and thanks to modern software and mobile hardware, today’s trendy shooter has the computing power to simply solve complex ballistic calculations with just a few swipes. Here are the trending ballistic apps of 2023.

The Armed Citizen® Jan. 27, 2023

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

NRA Gun Of The Week: Browning Citori Hunter Grade II

Follow American Rifleman staff on this “Gun Of The Week” with the Browning Firearms Citori Hunter Grade II, a field-ready, 16-gauge shotgun that sure doesn’t disappoint. In fact, this boxlock shotgun has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.

Rifleman Q&A: U.S. Model Of 1928 Thompson Variants

I was reading an auction catalog, and a reference was made to an American military Thompson submachine gun. It stated it was a “1928 Colt Navy overstamp, not a Savage.” The catalog made that verbiage seem important. What’s the significance of the “overstamp,” and were there other military 1928 Thompsons besides the Navy guns?

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.