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Oddball Savage model 887

Discussion in 'Long Guns' started by CaddmannQ, May 12, 2016.

  1. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    The Savage Stevens 887 was a semi-auto tube feed .22 long rifle. As far as I can tell it was only made in 1978, 1979 and 1980. After tearing into it I can see why. It's a little tricky to disassemble and there is evidence of people having a hard time clearing misfires or Jams.

    Judging by the dirt it was probably jammed.

    I haven't shot it yet and that's the real test, but when the owner showed me the gun it was so filthy I did not want to stick a cartridge in it. His father had left it to him and it sat in the garage for 30 years untouched.

    It took a few hours to clean it up.

    This was never an expensive gun, the stock is solid wood but it's not Walnut. It's a type of wood that does not take stain well and it has a painted finish to hide it.

    The checkering is fancy and deep but it's just stamped and not cut.

    So it's not worth much money even good condition & I didn't pay a lot.

    Under the dirt it turns out this one is in good condition, but it was not thoroughly cleaned in its lifetime as far as I can tell (though it appears the bore was cleaned.)

    There was lots of powder residue & dirt the action. There was a little rust in the tube but not bad. There was almost no fouling in the bore!

    Once I swabbed it out, the rifling looked cherry.

    These are the before pictures when the gun is all dirty. I'll take some more pictures tomorrow when it's all clean.
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    More tomorrow...
    oli700 and Rossignol like this.
  2. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    20160512_002454_resized.jpg
    One of the things that makes this gun an oddball is the bolt assembly and the ejection port.

    There's probably a special name for this design but what happens is the bolt is in two pieces with the springs in the rear most half.

    When you fire this gun it ejects, reloads and the bolt cocks, but it does not close the bolt until you pull the trigger again. The firing pin is retained by the rear half of the bolt and simply slides in the front half.

    There is a spring clip at the top of the chamber which keeps the loaded round in the chamber when the bolt is not closed.

    I'm not sure of the advantages of this system unless it has something to do with high cyclic rate or maybe because the bolt stays open longer the chamber stays cooler.

    In any event this gun only ran for 3 years of production, so even though it's not a real Rarity, I decided it was wise enough to give it a place in my safe.
    20160512_022054.jpg
    Also the fancier model 80, from which this is based, may have run a lot longer in production. The design may have been more successful than I believe at this point.
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  3. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

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    Very interesting, I've never seen one like that.
  4. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Check out this video of the action. (That's not me in the video.)

  5. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    20160512_101956.jpg
    A photo in daylight. Everything else was shot at 2am in my garage...
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  6. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    The similar model 87 seems to have a better charging handle. This one is plastic, and by design, it is retained in the bolt by the firing pin.
    The 87 has a knurled metal knob.

    But the change to plastic might not have just been "cheepness" I can see where prolonged firing could cause wear of the pin and knob and bolt.
    With this design, the one plastic piece takes the wear, and you replace it cheaply when worn.

    I may make or buy a metal charging handle, or maybe just make a better plastic one.

    This one is old and doubtless shrunken from age and heat.

    This gun sat in a garage in the desert for 30 years, virtually untouched.
    It sure hadn't been cleaned in 30 years. The grime was caked in every groove and corner.

    Anyhow, if it shoots OK, this will end up as a plinking gun for the kiddies. Our public range now has a steel target .22 shooting gallery outdoors, and it's pretty cool.
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
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  7. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    20160512_000751.jpg
    The action was firmly bedded in the stock. BY DIRT!
  8. Rossignol

    Rossignol The Original Sheriff Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator Sponsor

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    12,758
    Oh my goodness! I don't do a whole lot of cleaning, but dang, I will get the grit out from time to time.

    And that is the strangest action I've ever seen. My wife's step mom has an older Stevens 22 auto but I have no idea what model. It was in bad shape and wouldn't reliably cycle. The action would close but without chambering the next round. I don't know what they eventually figured out. The action and bore were clean when they bought it, I assumed the magazine tube was dirty. I was never able to mess with it any more than I did though.
  9. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Well, I'll find out today. I'm going plinking.
  10. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    pretty cool

    I have 2 Savage 6A's , "clickity clack" or "gill guns", that I have rebuilt..........grand pappy to your rifle........same chop feed mechanism

    real tough to find parts, fun to shoot.
  11. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Haven't found any production figures for this gun so I don't have a clue how many were made or sold.
  12. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    its a lot.

    Savage doesn't mess around and most models sell very well ......there might be some form of Savage/Stevens in every household. I have a Savage 22 from 1890's , 1940's, 1990's......all shoot very well. Some of the actions are very unique and......well dead now because a lot of reasons but what is cool about Savage/Stevens is that they a not afraid to take a chance on new ideas and seeing how they shake out.

    You know how Ruger came out with the "Take down 10/22" a couple years ago ?

    I have a Savage from 1890's that is designed to that with one big knurled finger bolt , and its an octagon barreled lever action
  13. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Please Oli, post a picture of it!
  14. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    ok, give me a few.....
  15. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    bear with me.....this rifle has a roll mark that says Marlin . It was in heavy conjunction with Stevens, consisses is that it was origionally a Stevens design that was purchased by Marlin. In my research it seemed collector communities call it a "Marvins"

    When you see pictures of Anne Oakley shooting a rifle over her shoulder looking through a mirror, this is the the rifle she is shooting. This Model was her favorite 22

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    sorry about the sewing machine.....the ol lady took over the table for a couple weeks now lol, ever since we went by the Lavoy Finicum shooting site, she thinks she can just occupy shit
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  16. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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  17. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Range report, 5.12.2016

    Well the rifle range time was extremely enjoyable yesterday. I only shot 3 guns. The mini.
    1463239768013-452095401.jpg
    AR with new foreguard.
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    Gills of The Gill Gun.
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    I shot shorts, LRs, and mags from the .22 Magnum mini revolver, I shot 120 rds of PMP .223s from the AR15, and I shot 50 LRs and 50 shorts from the Savage Stevens.

    Mine only has two gills, not 4 like the earlies, but I can see where the name comes from.

    All the guns ran flawlessly. The wmr cases are a little sticky to get out of the mini pistol, in the Shorties were the most accurate of all at 7 yards.

    The long-rifles tended to shoot a little high and wide, and the Magnums all shot off slightly high and way to the left. Of course this gun is made for close personal contact situations so 7 yard accuracy is not so much of an issue.

    The AR is a well-oiled machine and it ran like a well-oiled machine with not a hiccup or a glitch.

    I replaced the original plastic foreguards with a machined aluminum quad rail. This mounts the bipod really well, and will allow me to put an LED flashlight or laser sight on there quite easily.

    I had to remove and replace the scope so I spent the whole time re-sighting from 7 to 50 to 100 yds. This Leupold AR Model 1 it's a terrific little scope, but it's going to wind up on the Henry Lever Action .22, as with my eyes I need a lot more scope once I get past 50 yards.

    I put my old 4x Tasco on the Savage-Stevens 887. It's not powerful enough, but it's a Workhorse that just keeps going and going. It survives any abuse so far, and served many years on a 30-'06.

    I mounted it on some cute little Millet windage adjustable rings. They're blued steel and they grip the gun really well, but once you get them adjusted and tightened really well they put a little dent In the dovetails. I guess that will serve to help keep them located forever as I don't think this gun has enough horse power to shake them loose.

    After just an eyeball sighting in the garage, I plunked the 7-yard bullseye on the first shot! I immediately switch to 50 yards and put two shots within two inches of the bullseye. I shot the remaining 11 shots rapid fire into the 50-yard target and produced a roughly rectangular pattern 4 by 5 inches, almost the same shape as the heart zone on a 7yd silhouette target.

    WOW! Rapid fire and not 1 jam. :)

    I quickly blew through my remaining 22 long rifle cartridges and then started loading it up with shorts.

    That's when I started having amazing fun.

    A .22 short doesn't have enough poop to cycle the action so you have to fire this gun repeater Style. At seven yards I took one shot and hit the bullseye. POP! With ear plugs in you can barely hear it.

    At 50 yards the bullet was dropping way over 12 inches, and you could see with the 4x scope, the final few feet of travel where most of the drop occurred. The bullet slowed down so much I could watch it. I could see clearly that the light Breeze was blowing them sideways over 12".

    I watched one bounce off of the wooden post on my target stand! Terminal velocity must have been about five feet per second LOL.

    I can't say that, what has turned out to be my least expensive gun, is now my favorite gun ; but for certain it is the most fun I've ever had with a gun.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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  18. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Oh lordy! Oh Oli, she's a real beauty. I'm very impressed.

    If there's one woman in this world that I find incredible beyond belief it is Annie Oakley. A Little Orphan girl who grew to stand up to Buffalo Bill?

    What's not to like?

    By the way I've seen that split action design before and I believe it was on a Marlin .22 in a magazine somewhere, but I've never seen one in person. It looks amazing.
  19. oli700

    oli700 12g Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    its funny because both my Grandpa and my Dad had this rifle and thought it not to work, feed issues .....it was put together wrong. I put it together right and started shooting it....my Dad gave it to me.
    Weird because my Dad was decently good with firearms and my Grandpa was a master......so that made me feel good to fix that rifle.......and it still shoots on the money

    that split design is Marlin.....popular belief. It might be originally Savage/Stevens......I cant tell because the information on old rifles like this are all over the place and a lot is guess work when you come down to it......so there might be no truth to it......I tend to believe it though
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  20. CaddmannQ

    CaddmannQ 12g Supporter

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    Lucky you! a gun that wasn't worn out because they couldn't shoot it.
    oli700 likes this.

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