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Discussion Starter #1
I've been told that original 1897's should not be fired with high speed 22 ammo. From what i have found, high speed ammo came out in/around 1932.

Im not looking for a collectible, but a working gun, so it would get shot a lot, cleaned and cared for of course. I could get get a modern gun, and i wouldnt mind one. But just as easily i could get an original. I go the cheap route with 22 ammo (federal bulk) unless it gives really bad accuracy. And i wouldnt want to shoot to death an old classic so i want to be sure before i decide what i want.

I've posted on some other forums for a few years, but all i hear is "old gun old ammo" and the like from people that really do not know if the 1897 can handle a steady diet of high speed ammo. I figured if i could get my questions answered anywhere it would be here .

Thank you in advance.

~john
 

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Why don't you just stick to 'standard velocity' ammo? That's what my 39A shoots the most accurately.

The 22LR is a fairly low pressure round anyway. I can't see a problem with it. I know our metallurgy has come a long way since then, but typically the chamber area and lock up of the lever guns is very sturdy and thick. I can't see a 22 busting a barrel open as long as the bullet has somewhere to go.

I might stay away from 'hyper velocity' rounds to error on the side of safety. I really don't think high velocity rounds would be a problem.
 

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I don't think it is the barrel that you have to worry about. The bolt was strengthened on the latter 39's. I have a 97 that has a newer bolt.
But I will still stay with standard velocity rounds, because they are usually the most accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Accuracy is relative to me. If im setting at a bench, rifle in a rest or on sand bags, then i want the most accurate ammo i can get.

I rarely shoot this way unless im trying to adjust a scope or sights.

In general the kind of shooting i do, extreme accuracy is not needed. I can, and do hit shotgun shells at 50 yards a lot. As long as the federal bulk will hold this standard when i try it, then i see no need to change.

The main reason i dont care to shoot standard velocity ammo is cost. Bulk ammo from walmart suits my pocketbook. Its accurate enough for what i need as well. Now...im sure i will find the most accurate load for the gun and hold that in reserve for some friendly informal competition with friends, but for coke cans, federal does the job.


I've learned that high speed came about in 1930. Cartridges of the world reference.

Thanks for everyones input.

~john
 

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The 1897 was discontinued in about 1916 I think. If you shoot high speed ammo you risk breaking the bolt. A 39A bolt can be fit to a 1897 and is fine with high speed ammo. What is hard for me to understand why you want a gun that costs several times more than a modern 39A. Then worry about the cost of ammo and want to shoot the cheapest ammo you can get. Just buy a 39A and shoot federal bulk all you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks answering my question.

I'll start by saying that the reason i dont want to shoot regular ammo is more that im ornery then a real reason.

But I do plan to shoot a brick a week through the 22 rifle i decide on. I dont have a 22 rifle at present, and i have tried 20 different models over the years and none suit my fancy. I like leverguns, but the winchester 9422 i had didnt suite me, neither did the 3 henrys. I like the look and styling of the marlin 97 more then i do the 39. the older 39's i like better then the new ones. I do not care for the style of the 39 mountie much either. I do like the style of the 97 cowboy or texan model, but i dont like the crossbar safety much.

The cost of an original 97 and that of the 97 cowboy are about the same from what i've watched on gun broker. and the older 39's are right about the same. Heck a mountie will fetch 600 or more

Cost adds up with a brick a week. I havent priced any regular velocity ammo in a while so i'll make a trip to the gun store and see what it's running and make a comparison before i completely disregard it.

I am basically in search of the one 22 rifle that will be dear to my heart for the rest of my life. I have a ruger single six that i hold dear as the pistol. Early production new model with buffalo horn grips. I figure since im going to spend some money on a 22 rifle i might as well buy the one that suits me and let the search be over.

Does anyone know if all model 39's are safe for modern ammo?

thanks for the help and helping me understand

~john
 

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Brophy’s book says the bolt was redesigned in 1932. Therefore, the 1932 -1938 39 and all 39A’s should be fine with high-speed ammo. The 39 came out in 1922. I do not know how to tell a 1922 from a 1932.
 
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