Developed in the 1920s as a counterpart to the 1903 rifle, the Model of 1922 and its successors the 1922M1 and 1922M2 allowed soldiers to build core marksmanship skills at lower ammo cost and on shorter, more accessible ranges, while practicing a manual of arms that transferred very easily to the full size rifle. Replacing the "Hoffer-Thompson" 1903 Gallery Rifle in this niche, the 1922 did away with the 30-06 sized cartridge adaptors in favor of a fixed 22 caliber chamber, eliminating a significant sticking point in terms of reliability, ease of use, and accuracy. Many of these early 1922s are rebuilt to the M1 and M2 standards, leaving few in original condition. This particular example, in addition to the very low serial number "3", is configured the 22 Hornet. Rifles in this style are known to have been developed at Springfield by armory staff using 1922 and 1903 receivers as the base and what was originally a 22 WCF wildcat developed by Captain Grove Watkyns, which as later standardized as the Hornet. Often seen with more extensive modification (particularly welding and cutting in the bottom of the receiver to install a new magazine assembly) this example has the receiver left untouched, operating in single-shot mode. While no particular documentation is included, this may have been an early prototype or proof of concept model, confirming that the barrel and bolt modifications would work as envisioned before attacking the challenges of the magazine. Hooded blade front sight and Lyman adjustable peep rear sight, with a "SA/4-22" barrel secured with a single barrel band and the serial number "3" on the receiver ring. The bolt is marked "W L/3" op top of the handle and "716" on the bottom, with a faint electro-penciled number (appears to be "3") on the underside of the body. Fitted with a unmarked pistol grip stock, with a sharply checkered buttplate and a brown leather sling.
Very fine, with 90% of the arsenal blue finish, showing bright wear along the edges, a few areas of brown patina and mild handling marks. The bolt shows some light spotting and wear, and may have been polished on the underside. A conventional 1903 floorplate has been installed to close up the now-vestigial magazine opening. The stock is very good, with some dents and dark spots overall. Mechanically excellent. A scarce variant of the Model of 1922 Rifle with a very low serial number to boot.
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