Rare J. Stevens Removable Side Plate Ideal Rifle .22 Falling Block Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,775.00

WOA#: WY240321BS135

Make: J. Stevens

Model: Removable Side Plate Pre-Ideal

Serial Number: 134

Year of Manufacture: 1893-1894

Caliber: .22 LR

Action Type: Single Shot Falling Block Lever Actuated Rifle with Ejector

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “J. Stevens A. & T. CO / CHICOPEE FALLS. MASS U.S.A.PAT.APR.17.94”.  The bottom tang is marked “134”.  The bottom of the barrel is marked “134”.  The right side of the lever is marked “374”.

Barrel Length: 24”, 1/3 Octagonal 2/3 Round

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a flip up hooded beaded post dovetailed to the barrel.  The rear sight is an empty dovetail.  The top tang has a pair of drilled and tapped holes for a tang sight (not included).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece wood featuring a screwed on checkered schnabel style forend and a butt-stock with a smooth straight wrist, a straight comb and a Schuetzen style butt-plate. There are a few light scratches, nicks, and compressions. There are no cracks. The LOP is 13 1/4” from the trigger to the rear end of the butt-plate. There are some minor losses on the wrist around the bottom tang.  Overall, the stock is in Fine condition.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Hardened

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is dark with defined rifling where not interrupted by erosion.  There is moderate erosion throughout with some minor pitting. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 5/10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about none of its finish. The balance of the finish shows mild operation wear.  Most of the metal has gone mute and taken oxidation and patina mottled throughout.  The screw heads are tool marked but retain strong serviceable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle is in Fair condition for Antique. (See Mechanics).

Mechanics: The lever is loose to the receiver and does not lock.  The action functions correctly. The lever lockup is strong. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The rare J. Stevens A. & T. Co. Side Plate Ideal Rifle in .22 caliber is a highly collectible firearm known for its distinctive design, precision, and historical significance. Manufactured for a brief period from 1893 to mid-1894 and estimated about 2,000 made, this rifle stands out due to its removable side plate mechanism, which sets it apart from other Stevens models. Because of its short production run, the Side Plate Ideal Rifle is one of the rarer and more desirable rifles among Stevens collectors.

The rifle features a falling-block action operated by a lever located beneath the trigger guard, providing a strong and reliable mechanism known for its precision. Chambered in .22 caliber, it was designed for small game hunting and target shooting, boasting a high level of accuracy that made it a favorite among marksmen of its era.

Overall, this Removable Side Plate Ideal Rifle is a remarkable piece of firearms history. Its unique design, exceptional accuracy, and limited production make it a sought-after item among collectors and a testament to the innovative spirit of early American firearms manufacturing.  Please see our photos and good luck on your bid! – L.S.

Rare J. Stevens Removable Side Plate Ideal Rifle .22 Falling Block Antique
Rare J. Stevens Removable Side Plate Ideal Rifle .22 Falling Block Antique