Serial #1 Reising Arms Co The Bear .22 LR 6.75″ Semi-Auto Target Pistol C&R

SOLD FOR: $1,225

WOA#: WY240318RU049

Make: Reising Arms Co.

Model: Target Pistol, “The Bear”

Serial#:  1001. Production began with serial 1001 (Blue Book of Gun Values).

Year of Manufacture: 1921 C&R

Caliber: .22 LR

Action Type: Single-Action Semi-Automatic Pistol fed by a Detachable 12 Round Magazine

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “THE REISING ARMS CO, / HARTFORD.CONN. U.S.A.” The top of the barrel is marked “.22 LONG RIFLE CTG.” The left side of the frame is marked “1001”.  The right side of the barrel is marked “PATENTED MAY 19-1916 OTHER PATENTS PENDING”.  The grip panels feature a bear which is marked “REISING” just above the bear and “IT’S A BEAR” just below the bear. The bottom of the barrel flat is marked “1001”.  There is what appears to be a proof mark on the right side of the frame under the grip.

Barrel Length: 6.75”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a screw-set banded pinned blade fixed by the muzzle. The rear sight is a screw-set “U”-notch dovetailed to the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece checkered brown hard rubber panels. The grip panels have some light handling marks but overall the checkering is crisp with defined peaks and clear markings. There are no chips, just small nicks around the edges. The left grip has a very thin crack above the top grip screw.  The checkering remains sharp. Overall, the grip panels are in Very Good-Excellent condition for C&R.  The slide has the correct amount of 12 sharp V cut serrations on each side.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is some no erosion. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 9.5/10.

Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 50% of its metal finish. There is thinning throughout along with some general frost. The heaviest finnish loss is on the leading edges and around the grip frame.  There is a crude scrub mark on the right side of the grip frame near the beaver tail along with some tooling marks also around one of the pins.  The markings remain clear. The screwheads have some light tool-marks, but they remain serviceable. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good condition for C&R.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide to frame fit is snug. The barrel can be tipped forward in order to use the gun as a single-shot pistol and to make cleaning the gun easier. The barrel has no play to the frame. Has Magazine disconnect. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories:  The pistol comes with a single 12-round magazine. Overall, the magazine is in Very Good condition. The right side of the magazine is marked “5” and “12”.  The bottom left of the magazine is marked with a Roman Numeral “VIII”.  The balance of the finish matches the pistol.

Our Assessment: This single-action target pistol, chambered for .22 LR rounds, was produced by the Reising Arms Company. Eugene Gustavus Reising, its creator, was an American arms designer born in 1884 in New York. Reising’s career in the firearms industry began at Colt, where he advanced from an assembler to a firearms designer, working alongside the legendary John Browning to develop the iconic Colt Model 1911. He demonstrated the M1911’s capabilities to help Colt market it to the US Army. In 1913, Reising left Colt under controversial circumstances after reportedly using a Luger in a pistol competition. He then designed a machine gun for The Hartford Machine Gun Company, though the project did not advance. In 1919, Reising established his own gun company, producing the unique semi-automatic target pistol we now see at auction. He managed two companies dedicated to distributing this design until 1925.

Reising’s career took a tumultuous turn in 1925 when he was imprisoned for two years under the Sullivan Act for allegedly selling banned silencers to criminals in New York. After his release, he maintained a low profile until 1938 when he began developing a submachine gun. In 1939, Reising joined Harrington & Richardson (H&R) as a firearms designer, where he completed his famous Model 50 submachine gun, later used by the US Marine Corps during WWII and leading to several other models, including the Model 65 training rifle. Reising continued his work with H&R until his death in 1967 at the age of 82. This pistol represents Reising’s inaugural signature design, notable for its aesthetic appeal and mechanical integrity, and stands as a testament to one of the 20th century’s most underappreciated weapons designers.

This Serial # 1 Reising Target Pistol is more than just a firearm; it’s a piece of history, representing Eugene Reising’s legacy in American firearms development, making it a coveted treasure for any discerning collector or firearms aficionado seeking a cornerstone piece for their collection and stands as a paragon of firearm collectibility and historical significance. It has honest aging to its finish but the mechanics are as strong as the day it left the factory with a pristine bore that’s nearly too good to be true.  This is definitely a once in a lifetime piece you don’t want to miss!!! Please see our photos and good luck on your bid!  – L.S.

Serial #1 Reising Arms Co The Bear .22 LR 6.75" Semi-Auto Target Pistol C&R
Serial #1 Reising Arms Co The Bear .22 LR 6.75″ Semi-Auto Target Pistol C&R