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  #1  
Old 04-18-2005, 12:06 PM
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Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?


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Greetings,

My grandfather has what appears to be a Stevens/Savage Model 70 'visible loading' slide action rifle. It almost looks like a repeating rolling block. Anyhow, it is missing the inner magazine tube, which I can fix. The gun is old, and has a nice patina, but appears to be sound. The style of action lockup makes be nervous, but would such a rifle be safe with modern ammunition?

My dad and I also found a Stevens/Savage "Favorite" in .22 at another grandfathers' that turned out be such a sweet little rifle (never grouped well though) that we bought a new production model. I would like to try this repeater too, if possible.

Thanks

Last edited by vercingetorix; 04-18-2005 at 12:19 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2005, 03:21 PM
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I know the gun, and have had some experinece at getting one to shoot...but I honestly don't know what they were stessed for. If I remeber right, the round is fet up and over the breech block...visibly being loaded into the chamber, so they named it that. Proably a 1920's-1930's gun (will have to look at the production dates) On top of that, just becasue modern ammo is "target velcoity" or "match" doesn't mean it has to be low pressure.

Most of these oldies have a well worn breech section...the bore can look good, but the head of the case will swell and split from the oversized chamber.

IF you can get it to run on .22 CB longs, that would be a good place to start...and possibly to stop if ti does what you want it to do...from there, you follow your sense of self preservation..

Last edited by ribbonstone; 04-18-2005 at 03:23 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2005, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribbonstone
I know the gun, and have had some experinece at getting one to shoot...but I honestly don't know what they were stessed for. If I remeber right, the round is fet up and over the breech block...visibly being loaded into the chamber, so they named it that. Proably a 1920's-1930's gun (will have to look at the production dates) On top of that, just becasue modern ammo is "target velcoity" or "match" doesn't mean it has to be low pressure.

Most of these oldies have a well worn breech section...the bore can look good, but the head of the case will swell and split from the oversized chamber.

IF you can get it to run on .22 CB longs, that would be a good place to start...and possibly to stop if ti does what you want it to do...from there, you follow your sense of self preservation..
Thanks ribbonstone.

Regrettably, I will be not be able to get at the gun until mid May, as I am in a different state until then. I plan to order a magazine tube from poppert's in the meantime, as all this gives me something to look forward to when I come home.

What about shorts? How is the chamber pressure in those. Secondly, I have only used long rifle, and know what longs are, but what does the CB stand for?

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2005, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vercingetorix
Thanks ribbonstone.

Regrettably, I will be not be able to get at the gun until mid May, as I am in a different state until then. I plan to order a magazine tube from poppert's in the meantime, as all this gives me something to look forward to when I come home.

What about shorts? How is the chamber pressure in those. Secondly, I have only used long rifle, and know what longs are, but what does the CB stand for?

Thanks
CB are a type of round that are specifically low velocity...and low pressure. Typically will toss a .29gr. bullet out at about 780-820fps. Very quiet...very low pressure.

Shorts' pressure isn't all that far behind .22LR's...at least in the ihg speed versions.

IF you decide to use .22LR's, then at least start with the "sub sonic" versions...believe they are a bit lower pressure (at least case heads don't expand as much as other rounds, so I assume it's due to lower pressure).
---------
"CB" stands for "conical Bullet". At first it had no powder charge, just the primer to send it on it's way...and the bullet was about 18-20gr. At one time (long-long ago) it was loaded in a little tiny case shorter than a .22short....then loaded into the same case as the .22 short. And then, (recently) loaded with a 29gr. bullet and a reduced powder charge, but the kept the name "CB". So it LOOKS just like a .22 Long...but is loaded to low velocity.

They alkso make them in .22Short...same deal, reduced load.

AND there was a "BB" cap as well....these loaded with a ball.

RWS still makes the littly tiny cased CB and BB caps...but they are NOT easy to get into a pump's chamber (certainly won't cycle through the action).
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2005, 05:30 AM
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Well, I appreciate your help on this, and I finally have the rifle. unfortunately, the rifling is completely gone at the muzzle and bore looks like someone drug spiked chains down it. Nevertheless, it is still a fine hierloom that is good to have. Apparently it must be safe with modern ammo. I think my grand dad was putting yellow jackets through it.

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  #6  
Old 05-07-2007, 08:38 AM
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.22LR pressures are the same now as they were in the early 1900's. The thing that makes "modern" ammo "modern" is the use of Smokeless powder vs. black powder. By the time these guns were made "modern" smokeless power was the industry standard. Generally you only need to worry about (U.S. Made) guns MFG'erd prior to 1898 or so. When Black Powder (and therefore guns made for it's lower presures) was for the most replaced. So if your rifle is in good firing condition, it should be able to handle "modern" ammo. I would however stay away from hyper-velocity ammo such as Yellow Jackets or Stingers as a precaution. Just stick to the standard velocity stuff the gun was designed for.
The Stevens Visible Loader was a rather poorly designed rifle that tried to incorporate a repeating action w/the popular "Favorite" styling. From the start there were problems w/poor feeding/lockup. And several unidentified (via model # etc) modifications were made over the production run. Therefore if your rifle breaks, it's a REAL HEADACHE to find the RIGHT parts because of the un-ID'd variations of internal parts.
Because of this, enough Visible Loaders have found their way into history's scrap pile that these rifles (in shooting condition) are aquiring collector interest.
My advice would be to clean er up. Shoot it sparingly. And take good care of it for it's collector value.
If it breaks, you'll lose about 1/2 to 3/4 (depending on cosmetic condition) of it's value.
BTW: As w/the Favorite or nearly any other .22 rifle, if the bore and/or chamber is worn out, you can have the barrel relined for about $100. Essentially giving it a brand new (inner) barrel.

Last edited by Fatstrat; 05-07-2007 at 09:13 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2007, 05:59 PM
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I'm repairing an old Stevens Visible Loader that was given to my 86year-old father by his even older friend (whose eyesight was failing and the poor old guy thought it was a BB gun! No kidding!). The gun appears to be in good functional condition except the firing pin is Broken. (The firing pin is a 1/4inch diameter cylinder 1.25inches long and appears to have the front edge "post" or "pin" broken off.) I
found a Firing Pin on GunParts Inc website for about $20--so far, so good. What other part do I need to keep the FiringPin "captured" in the BreechBlock? i.e. the Firing Pin falls out of the BreechBlock. Is there some other part that retains the FiringPin in-place. I'm trying to avoid 2 separate orders to GunParts Inc--1 to order the schematic/FiringPin, and then a 2nd order to get the whatchamacallit piece to hold the FiringPin in the Block. What is the real name of the whatchamacallit piece?


If I can get this old piece operational again, I do plan to shoot it only with CB Caps (per some good input I found on this forum).

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I work thisproject with my (otherwise uninterested in my shooting hobby) 17yr old son. He thinks this gun is "way cool".
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2007, 10:46 PM
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One caution about using CB caps in old rifles. The CB cap is indeed a low stress load, good for old rifles you don't want to have to endure much pressure.
However, those old veterans often have rough bores. The CB cap at low velocity, can get stuck in the bore. I have seen it happen.
Just make sure when you fire a CB cap, you see a hole in the target, or check the bore for obstruction before you fire another one.
If a bullet does get stuck, run a few drops of oil down the bore, then use a stiff cleaning rod to gently push the bullet out of the bore.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2007, 07:00 AM
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I have a visa-loader it has handled CCI MINI MAGS WITH NO PROBLEMS but I would work up to them and she shot really accurate but I don't know if a steady diet of them! The old girl has had 100 or? so CCI's but your rifle might be as as tight.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2007, 09:09 AM
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Congrats on Visible Loader aquisition. I have a recently aquired one in project condition mayself. IMO the Visible Loader is one of the more interesting vintage .22 repeaters.
Here's a few tidbits from my research that you should know.
1st: There were several models of the Visible Loader. Model's 70, 70 1/2, 71, 72 etc. Some model number differences reflect different premium sight packages. And some reflect slight changes in internal design. I don't know if these would effect the firing pin. But you need to know which model you have. It should say on the gun. MIne has the number 70 in large numbers on the barrel just forward of the receiver.
2nd: The Visible Loader was a fairly poor design that more often than not are seen these days in non working order. And reportedly are somewhat difficult for experienced gunsmith to fix. Much less a novice (such as myself).
Numrich Arms has firing pins for the Model 70.
If you post over on the Rimfirecentral.com Savage forum and address your question to "ken w" , he has experience working on visible loaders and (as he has been w/me) will be very helpfull in technical advise. Good luck, keep me posted. I'm interested in hearing anything you might learn.
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2008, 10:34 AM
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Stevens Visible Loader

Maybe you can help me, just got a visible loader in good to excellent condition.
on the trigger guard plate is 8 765. Can you tell the year of this rifle from these numbers?
The pat says Apr 07.
Thanks, Jim
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2008, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vercingetorix View Post
Well, I appreciate your help on this, and I finally have the rifle. unfortunately, the rifling is completely gone at the muzzle and bore looks like someone drug spiked chains down it. Nevertheless, it is still a fine hierloom that is good to have. Apparently it must be safe with modern ammo. I think my grand dad was putting yellow jackets through it.

You know these can be relined (the old bore drilled out) and a new rifled liner put in with epoxy and they will shoot like a brand new rifle. Brownell's sells the liners and drills and epoxy to do this or there are smiths that will do this for you. once a liner is in it needs chambered with a chambering reamer, but that's about all there is to making a shooter out of them. This is a good way to save a lot of those old 22's that would be a good shooter if only they had a decent bore.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by James Wilkens View Post
Maybe you can help me, just got a visible loader in good to excellent condition.
on the trigger guard plate is 8 765. Can you tell the year of this rifle from these numbers?
The pat says Apr 07.
Thanks, Jim
It is my understanding that the numbers on Visible Loaders are assembly numbers and not serial numbers.
And as far as I know, there is only one way to date any vintage Stevens. Contact the Savage historian (Contact info available on Savage Corp. Website). It will cost an approx $25. fee.
To be honest, I'm not sure how/where this guy gets his info. Or how accurate it is.
Reportedly there was a fire at the old Stevens plant many years ago that destroyed many records. Then Savage changed ownership in the 1960's and reportedly dumped all other records of the previous owners. Repoertedly to absolve themselves of any culpabiity for any lawsuits the vintage guns might generate. A fresh new start.
If this guy has any records, he seems to be the ONLY one who has them.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:40 AM
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Fatstrat

Thanks for the help. I will give it some thought.
Jim
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2008, 05:07 PM
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Stevens Visible Loader ammo

I have one and on the barrel it is stamped "standard velocity" only. That is what I do. It had shot our bore so I had it relined as described in one of the above posts. If you have an oversized chamber and don't want the rounds to expand and get stuck, use shorts or CB's. Here is mine:
Attached Thumbnails
Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_2587.jpg   Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_2579.jpg  
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Last edited by 97th signalman; 02-17-2008 at 05:26 PM.
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  #16  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:06 AM
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Question regarding a .22 Stevens Visible Loader

I am trying to help my dad out. He has a .22 Stevens Visible Loader that was my Grandpa's. He took it apart to clean it and now he can't get it back together. Do any of you know where I could find directions on putting it back together? He has been to several gunsmiths and they were not able to help him. Do I need to post more information on the gun?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:32 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Here's one place you might check for a parts diagram, that may help:

www.e-gunparts.com

As far as a specific assembly book, sorry, I don't know. Where do you get stuck at, exactly?
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  #18  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:57 AM
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Thank you, I will check out that Website.

I am not sure where he gets stuck but I can ask him and repost.
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  #19  
Old 11-10-2008, 11:06 AM
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I think he means "Where do you live?"
Boy your dad did a BAD Boo-Boo. The Visible Loader is extremely tricky to properly reassemble. And many, if not most modern gunsmiths won't touch one.
I have a gunsmith in Okla. who helped me w/mine. Actually he did it all. Did the same thing your dad did. Took it apart and couldn't get it back together. But after several months of (off & on) trying, he managed to get it back together.
So he's at least got one under his belt. I can give you contact info if you'd like to see if he'll take on another. He's in NE Okla.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:07 AM
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Stevens Visible Loader

My gunsmith had some difficulty with disassembly and reassembly when he put a barrel liner in my rifle. It took him a while but he figured it out. Later I found a pretty good assembly guide for the Stevens Visible Loader on pages 278-279 of The New Revised Edition of The NRA Guide to Firearms Assembly - Rifles And Shotguns. It is availiable through the NRA as BK01616 for $24.95

http://www.nrastore.com/nra/Products.aspx?cat=Videos

By the way, these rifles are not good candidates for relining. The thin walled barrel sleeve does not have enough material wall thickness to accomodate the twin estractor notches on the breech face. The fired cartridges lack support and distort the chamber walls. As a result the cartridges are poorly supprted and the firing pin really deforms the rim causing reliability issues...it doesn't always go bang. I wouldn't have ever bothered with relining If I had known all that. I started with a cheap wall hanger with no rifling and now a I have an expensive wall hanger with great rifling. I ended up going another way in my quest for a decent .22 pump and bought a nice Remington Model 12C that works and shoots as it should. I still have the Stevens because it was left to me by my father-in-law who died 25 years ago. It was his boyhood gun in the 1920's.

Anyway, good luck getting yours back together.
Attached Thumbnails
Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_2579.jpg   Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_2587.jpg   Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_1201-small.jpg   Stevens "Visible Loader"- Safe to shoot?-img_1194-smaler.jpg  
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Last edited by 97th signalman; 11-10-2008 at 01:32 PM.
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