Stevens Model 15 | Weapon Trivia Wednesday

| January 17, 2018
| 22 Comments
Categories: Learnin'

The Stevens Model 15, more properly the Stevens-Springfield Model 15,

Stevens Model 15| Weapon Trivia History

The Stevens Model 15, actually to be completely accurate the Stevens-Springfield Model 15, was released in 1938. First published in the Spring 1938 Sears & Roebuck Catalog, it was originally priced at $3.19.

Stevens Model 15 | Single Shot Boys Rifle

The Model 15 was intended for the boy’s rifle market and was favored for use by the Boy Scouts of America. Most of the Stevens Model 15s had a 22 in. barrel and an overall length of 37 in. They usually tipped the scales at 3.75 lbs. Technically a bolt-action, it was a simple single-shot design, one that locked by turning the bolt handle downward. Its short design allowed the bolt handle to lie directly above the trigger. This Stevens-Springfield Model 15 rifle had 24 parts in total. For a boy’s rifle that meant very few to break or lose.

Actually, in that regard, it’s almost a perfect Marine’s rifle!

The Stevens Model 15 (Stevens-Springfield Model 15) single shot .22 caliber rifle, originally intended to be a youth rifle, was favored by the Boy Scouts. Some gun history for you from Breach Bang Clear on Weapon Trivia Wednesday.

The Stevens-Springfield Model 15 single-shot .22 caliber rifle was originally intended to be a youth rifle and was popular with the Boy Scouts of America.

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The stock was made of birch, stained to a dark walnut color, and the metal was basic blue with some versions featuring butt plates.

The Stevens Model 15 (Stevens-Springfield Model 15) single shot .22 caliber rifle, originally intended to be a youth rifle, was favored by the Boy Scouts. Some gun history for you from Breach Bang Clear on Weapon Trivia Wednesday.

Model 15s had birch stocks with blued metal barrels and parts. Some versions had butt plates, many did not.

The shooter loaded a single round of .22 Short, .22 Long or .22 Long Rifle into the chamber and closed the bolt to shoot. With the bolt closed, a cocking knob on the rear of the bolt pulled back. Four and a half pounds of pressure on the trigger let the striker lose and the round went downrange.

Wow, plenty of fun!

Declining Interest in the Model 15

Many of these rifles were built over a long period, but they fell out of favor as new-fangled models came to market. Repeaters by other companies for a few dollars more in the post-WW II economy killed sales and desire for these little rifles. As basic as these rifles are, and as many of them were made, there simply isn’t much collector interest in them. We paid $20 for ours and the shipping cost more than that.

Still, they represent the first step many boys made on their journey to become shooters, hunters, or soldiers.

The Stevens Model 15 (Stevens-Springfield Model 15) single shot .22 caliber rifle, originally intended to be a youth rifle, was favored by the Boy Scouts. Some gun history for you from Breach Bang Clear on Weapon Trivia Wednesday.

Later repeaters killed most interest in the Model 15.

Actually, there is a lot of potential in these old rifles. They are surprisingly accurate and, despite being marketed as a boy’s rifle, most adults have no problem shooting them.

Removing the stock screw on the Stevens Model 15 allows the rifle to be broken down into a small and compact package. This makes it ideal for the hiker or backpacker who wants to tote a small, single-shot .22 on the trail. Although it was probably made that way for cheap and easy manufacturing, it does show how a rifle most people would walk by 100 times at the gun shop could still find gainful employment!

The Stevens Model 15 (Stevens-Springfield Model 15) single shot .22 caliber rifle, originally intended to be a youth rifle, was favored by the Boy Scouts. Some gun history for you from Breach Bang Clear on Weapon Trivia Wednesday.

The Stevens Model 15 (Stevens-Springfield Model 15) single shot .22 caliber rifle, originally intended to be a youth rifle, was favored by the Boy Scouts. Some gun history for you from Breach Bang Clear on Weapon Trivia Wednesday.

The Stevens Model 15 breaks down very easily, making it ideal for an outdoorsman to bring along.

The quality of what was marketed as a discount rifle is surprisingly decent. The fact that the Stevens Model 15, though now an octogenarian, is still capable of accurately putting lead downrange is a testament to old-school firearms manufacturing.

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22 Comments

  1. eric mayer

    i have a j stevens model 15. it’s missing the front sight. the barrel has a half moon keyway machined in it where it should seat. no luck finding anything on the net. need help.

    Reply
  2. Mike

    can you unload this rifle once it is cocked? I’ve tried twisting the cocking knob, pulling it back while trying to open the bolt. No dice. The only way i can unload it is to fire the round.

    This rifle belonged to my father-in-law who bequeathed it to my son. It is still with me and I was trying to get a bead on a raccoon but he got gone before I could take the shot. That’s why I was trying to unload it.

    Reply
    • Randy

      The way to unload a cocked model 15 is as follows. Holding the rifle in a safe position so if it goes off you don’t hurt anything, grab the rear cocking knob and put your finger on the trigger. Then pull back on the cocking knob, pull the trigger and slowly ease the cocking knob down into the fire position. It won’t go off, And you can then move the bolt back and remove the round.

      Reply
  3. Arthur

    Pandemic had us looking at stuff in closet that we usually don’t pay too much attention to and we rediscovered my old model 15. I’m finally taking apart and cleaning like it’s never been cleaned. Sanding stock, maybe cold blu the barrel where all the yrs of use happened. Love our model 15….best single shot 22 ever owned

    Reply
  4. Steve

    The little model 15 I am holding now has been in the family since i was a kid . I remember I used see it on Grandpa’s gunrack. I have been collecting and shooting firearms since I was given this Mod 15. This was my first .22 rifle, after numerous pump up style BB/Pellet rifles. I own quite a bit of hardware now and talk about accuracy at 2 3 hundred yards or more now with the right stuff? I still get more pleasure out of taking my Son out plinking and making unbelievable shots with this little Mod 15 Springfield.

    Reply
    • Harold D Bargeron

      Steve, any idea on where I can get a complete bolt system and trigger guard? I have had my Model 15 for God only knows how long. My dad gave it to me and it never had the bolt or guard. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Mike

        You can find parts on the internet, just type in Springfield or Stevens 22, model 15 parts for sale. Some are hard to find and a complete working bolt is usually over 125 bucks, so it’s good to keep searching often for a deal.

        Reply
      • jared L stanfield

        Try Numrich Gun Parts Corp.

        Reply
    • Brandon

      I have one myself. I grew up with it, shooting at my grandparents’ Sugar Grove, Va property. I cherish this gun and the memories I made with it.

      Reply
  5. Russell Hammond

    I still own the model 15 that I used as a youth on our farm near Downing , WI. Learned to make each shot count. In the army in 1969 I qualified as an expert with the M14.

    Reply
  6. Phil

    Got a Springfield Stevens model 15 22 caliber from my dad and was wondering why it would not eject the cartridge and was loose but was tight was fire n.

    Reply
  7. john burner

    Had one growing up on the farm in Woodstock, VA and dearly loved that little gun. Took it everywhere I went on the farm. Really loved doing long range shots with it, like the time I took out two buzzards (yeah, I know, probably protected now but not then) with one shot at a distance of 210 yards. I had a 4 X scope on it but it still required a lot of windage and elevation to do shots like that, and I was darn good at it. Daddy sold the gun circa ’69 at the nick-nack store at the local weekly stock sale there in town where everybody took their stuff to be bought/sold (no garage sales on the farm) and I haven’t been able to find it even after posting ad’s in the local paper. Sure would like to get my hands on it again!

    Reply
  8. Ken

    I have a Springfield 15 that my dad traded for about 55 to 60 years ago. It was my squirrel gun as I grew up hunting with my dad . Dad traded a 32cal pistol for it . The owner before me could strike a match at 15 ft with that rifle. I got the 15 out today looked it up and read the comments people made about the rifle. I was thinking about getting a air rifle but after shooting shorts in this gun I figured why waste the money as quite and as accurate I had the best choice. I cherish this rifle and hope the family does too.

    Reply
  9. Fred Baue

    Hi everybody. I’m from St. Charles, MO (First State Capitol!).
    Best Christmas I ever had when I was 12 years old and opened this big package and there in a box
    was a Stevens Model 15A. Santa’s stock really went up that year. My dad, who was a dead shot,
    taught me to shoot and took me rabbit hunting. To paraphrase Carl Perkins, “I ain’t never shot a
    rabbit.” I was not a good shot, tho I enjoyed plinking at cans and bottles. Lots of fond memories being
    outdoors with that rifle.
    My dad may have had that model when he was a boy in South St. Louis. He said you could get one for $3.50. His pal John’s
    father had a hardware store where you could buy guns and ammo back then. This would have been
    the 1930s. They would get a case of .22 long rifles every Sat. and go shooting along the Miss. river bank.
    500 rounds, every week. After a while you start to improve.

    Reply
    • Thom Seabolt

      Got my model 15-B (w_butt playe) as a birthday present from my oldest brother in 1959 and still have it. Haven’t shot it in about 60 years, but now that I have the time I’m cleaning it up to play along with my other guns at a local outdoor range. It was then and still is today, one of my most prized possessions!

      Reply
  10. Gary "Snook" Hoffman

    I got my Model 15 as a first rifle at age nine. Mine was ordered from the Speigel catalog for $11.25. I am eighty now and save for an extractor that my tool and die maker grandfather made for me it has provided good service and still works. Now valued as a family keepsake. NRA Life Benefactor Member. Former member 1st. Marine Div. Rifle and Pistol Team. God Bless America. Join the NRA and fight gun control. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Jeff

    My first 22 to use was a Model 15 ( J Stevens Arm & Tool ) . My uncle used it as a teen ages before WW II . He was crossing a fence and stuck the mussel in some snow causing a bulge just in front of the front sight , when he shot it . I constantly shot birds out of a tree ( on the farm ) to feed my cat , had to clip them in the head so they would flop around . Darn cat would only eat them if they moved ! My uncle’s oldest son now has that gun , I now have a model 15 A and model 15B both can drive tacks ! To bad that these guns or not in production, cheap and fun to use .

    Reply
  12. MisterBad

    Yours is the first model 15 I’ve found online that looks like mine, with the stock that looks like it was made from a 2×6 with slightly rounded edges and flat sides. Is this version of stock an early or later model of the model 15?

    Reply
  13. Gene

    Yes, that’s normal. The sear catches the striker at the back of the receiver via a notch in the striker. Rotating the bolt to open it while cocked will cause the sear to disengage the notch and allow the striker to move forward. Furthermore, the design allows for the trigger to be pushed FORWARD and release the striker, causing the rifle to fire if loaded and cocked.

    I got one of these rifles in 1969 for two dollars, second hand. It served me well for years. The rear sight elevator was a slip of stamped metal, and got lost along the way. I used a wooden match stem for an elevator, and it worked like a charm. You hear of rifles labeled as “tack drivers”, but that rifle truly was one. I used to tap spent .22 cartridge cases into fence posts, and could drive them on in with it from 20 yards away. If I could see it, I could hit it with that rifle. I’ve killed squirrels with it at 40 yards when all I could see was their head peeking around a tree trunk. It was utterly deadly to squirrels, rabbits, snakes, and groundhogs.

    Mine was stolen by some miscreant in 1998. 21 years later, and innumerable firearms later, I still miss that rifle. Cheap though it was, it was probably the most accurate weapon I’ve ever owned.

    Reply
  14. David Pifer

    I was doing a function test on a closet find model 15 and found it would discharge when opening the bolt while cocked. Is this normal?

    Reply
    • Chuck

      mine will not allow the bolt to be opened when it’s cocked.

      Reply
  15. Brett

    These are great rifles. They fire both .22 rounds, short and long. A friend gave me one, stating the barrel was ‘shot out’. I cleaned it up and my sons proceeded to show me how much better shooters they are by nailing bulls eyes at 50 paces…

    Reply

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