Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3544: Al Freeland BSA Martini Prototype Single Shot Rifle

Auction Date: May 5, 2019

Super Rare One of a Kind Al Freeland BSA Martini Prototype Single Shot Rifle with Eric Johnson 8 Star Barrel

Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Super Rare One of a Kind Al Freeland BSA Martini Prototype Single Shot Rifle with Eric Johnson 8 Star Barrel

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Single Shot
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 LR
Barrel: 29 inch round
Finish: in the white
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1678
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Modern Long Gun
Description:

This is a super rare and very historic BSA Martini Prototype single shot rifle. This one of a kind rifle was purchased directly from the Freeland family estate after Al had passed away and the gun shop was closed. In looking at the rifle we believe it to be the "Prototype" for the "Mark Series" Martini rifles as manufactured by the BSA Company based on the recommendations from Al Freeland. Al Freeland produced this design in his gun shop by adopting a MK I trigger group/bolt assembly to his newly designed receiver. The receiver actually has no markings and is slightly longer than the MK I, however the trigger group/bolt assembly is stamped "UF734" on side. At that time he designed it to use two action locking screws, one mounted on each side, later this was changed to using just one large through bolt screw to secure the trigger assembly inside the receiver. It still retains the larger ejection port on the right side and it now incorporates a step on the back side of the receiver to keep the buttstock from shifting sideways, which was eventually incorporated into all later BSA Martini designs. During the assembly Al fitted a super rare Eric Johnson "8 Star" target barrel. This is the only "8 Star" Eric Johnson barrel this describer has even seen. Certainly this designates this barrel as the best/highest quality barrel produced by Mr. Johnson, who in his own right was one of the premier target rifles makers in the 1940-1960s.The top of the barrel is stamped: "MADE BY ERIC JOHNSON/*****8" and towards the breech it is marked "FOR 22 L.R. ONLY". Al Freeland then fitted one of his custom log forends with the double screws on the bottom with a hand stop rail. He also fitted one of his custom three position buttstocks, both of these became the standard signature patterns for all follow-on BSA Martini Target rifles. The buttstock is also fitted with one of Freeland's adjustable aluminum buttplates with the black sure-grip buttplate pads. As noted the action is unmarked and both the receiver and barrel are in the white. This rifle also comes with its original black fiberboard Freeland rifle case. This was the traditional target rifle carrying case used by hundreds of target shooter in the 1950s through the 1980s, that was designed and sold by Freelands gun shop.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with the receiver and barrel all completely in the white as noted above. The internal trigger grip and bolt are blued/in the white as supplied by the factory. The walnut stock and forend are both in very fine condition with 85% + of their original varnish showing minor handling marks and finish loss on the sides. The carrying case is in good condition with the hinges, protective corners and Freeland name plate intact, but showing staining along the lower sides of the case. A very rare and historic BSA Martini Prototype single shot rifle.



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