Gun Club’s ‘.22 Rifles of the World’

Sharing memories of an American classic, Gun Club’s “.22 Rifles of the World” event

Mike Moss

Continuing the Gun Club’s highly successful evening presentation series, following our “Handguns of the Old West,” “Long Guns of the Old West,” and “Bayonets,” this month we revisited a nostalgic favorite and globally important rifle in our evening event presentation of “.22 caliber Rifles of the World.”

The .22 is often the first rifle any young marksman would shoot, or own, and was a common gift (especially for young boys) across America in the early part of the 1900s. If Mom or Dad taught Janey or Jimmy how to shoot, it was probably with a .22 !

Robson Ranch Gun Club master curator Dick Remski led the audience of nearly 40 Ranch residents on a historical tour-de-force of one of the world’s longest-produced and most widely employed rifles. Assisted by Alan Boyd, who led the demonstrations and displays, Dick covered the origins of the .22, a rifle dating back 160 years in American history. We had six beautiful antiques on display, which were over 100 years old, and as Dick was fond of pointing out, we had 18 exceptional pieces on display that were older than he was! Among this amazing collection of over three dozen pieces (all provided by Robson Ranch residents) was a truly unique World War II “bring back,” taken from a Hitler Youth Corps German combatant.

Our presentation followed the .22’s evolution—both the rifle and its ammunition—from the .22 Short rimfire cartridge, through to the .22 Long, the higher power cartridges of the 1930s, and the application of .22 rifles during World War II, concluding with today’s high-precision .22s, similar to those you’d see in the Olympics Biathlon event. The major manufacturers, as well as the house brands, the actions (rolling block, bolt action, pump action, lever action), the training guns, and the hunting rifles, all were on display, and Dick and Alan left no corner unexplored.

Following the presentation, the attendees were able to closely view and discuss the arms on display with the table hosts in attendance. The popularity and familiarity of the venerable .22 rifle could not be missed, as attendees compared the displays to the ones they grew up with, and swapped “back in the day” stories of the .22 and their youth.

The mission of our Robson Ranch Gun Club is to provide an opportunity and forum for our members to meet, share their interest in firearms, participate in various forms of shooting sports, and provide a learning environment for all skill levels of firearm ownership and uses. Our monthly meeting is the second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. in the clubhouse. Safety is always our primary concern and is a shared responsibility of each member.

For more information, please contact Club President Larry Hampton at [email protected] or Vice President Mike Moss at [email protected].