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MtCntryBoy 07-13-2008 04:57 PM

Old .22 rifle ?
A family friend gave my son a single shot .22 rifle a few years ago and I am checking on serial numbers and any information anyone can provide.
The rifle is a WARDS Western Field Model 38 bolt action single shot rifle and
when I started to look, there is no serial number. Tried looking on the net
but as usual - nothing.
Would appreciate any and all help.


matt g 07-13-2008 05:17 PM

This is a potential legal issue. You need to contact your local DA and let them know what is going on and explain your case to them.

mrwatch 07-13-2008 06:26 PM

Serial numbers were not required to be put on 22s until=is it 1964? Probably older dated rifle. I would not be concerned.

ScottG 07-13-2008 11:59 PM


Originally Posted by matt g (Post 31693)
This is a potential legal issue. You need to contact your local DA and let them know what is going on and explain your case to them.

Matt, you're looking through California eyes, Montana's a free state. There's no registration or requirements on transfers of long guns.

Righteous 07-14-2008 12:24 AM

Western Field is a preivious trademark used on Montgomery ward rifles and shotguns.
The western trademark appeared littery on hundreads of rifles sold through that department store.Most of these models were made thru subcontracts with both domestic and international firearms manufactures. They were "spec" guns made to sell at a price to undersell the cometition.Most of these models were made with less features and less expensive woods then found on the others.To date there is very little interest in collecting these guns no matter how rare they are. It crosses over to being made by mossberg however there is no model 38 listing in Montgomery ward or mossberg for this model.

RL357Mag 07-14-2008 01:01 AM

I'll look next week when I go to my cabin. I have an old Numrich Arms catalog with a cross referrence section listing dept. store's and arms manufacturers. Sears, Montgomery Wards, and JC Penny sold Ted Williams and Western Field trademark guns, but the guns could have been made by Winchester, Mossberg, Remington, etc.

c3shooter 07-14-2008 01:54 AM

AS the man said- Westerfield" was the store brand. Guns were made for sale under that name by Mossberg, Stevens, Marlin, etc. Serial numbers were not required on rifles or shotguns until the 1968 Gun Control Act- I have a least a dozen that have never had a serial number. If it NEVER had one, no problem. If a serial number has been obliterated- BIG problem. The Numrich on line cross reference does not show a model 38 (there is a 37 and 39, no 38) so can't help much. If you can post a photo, some of us may be able to ID the rifle for you. Me, I'm betting on Mossberg. For anyone else that wants to look up a store brand,, select FORUMS, scroll down, look on left side for cross reference. Their site also has many (not all) exploded drawings of different guns- comes in handy.

cpttango30 07-14-2008 02:23 AM

Mossberg made a lot of westernfield guns.

You might want to look at I am sure someone over there would be able to tell you exactly what you need to know.

I have 3 rifles with out serial numbers. If the rifle didn't come with one then it is not a problem. You run into a problem when you remove the serial number. don't worry about it not having one.

MtCntryBoy 09-27-2011 04:01 AM

Hey all, I appreciate all the responses, especially those of you who provided me with some good reference information. I apologize for not responding sooner, but family matters and work have not allowed much free time for me. Lately, I have been away from home for work or gone early and home late which does not allow much free time to get on the computer. Not that I have not looked at your responses, just that along with researching and checking this and other matters I got lost along the way. Again, my apologizes folks. The firearm is stamped on the top of the barrel with the following: WARDS WESTERNFIELD MODEL 38 - - 22 S. L. & LR! Thank You RL357MAG for your reference. I was not worried about no serial number as our family owned two single shot 22 rifles when I was growing up here and neither had a serial number. I was just curious as to who may have manufactured the rifle. I also took the 22 rifle to a very well known and respected gun smith in Billings who told me pretty much what you said about who made the rifles and about when it may have been manufactured. By the way, he also was a "Marine." My response is directed at all who posted comments, Thank you for your time, I fully appreciate your taking time to post a comment. I am sure this firearm will be used for recreational purposes and serve him a long time down the road, in the trusted manner in which he was raised. Which is to respect the firearm, treat the property of others as if it were yours, and never use it in a careless manner.
Again Thank you all for your comments and posts.
Thank you Firearms Talks for allowing me to post this and for keeping track of me. I hope in the future I will have more time to spend here.

big shrek 09-29-2011 01:06 AM

Oddly, only two of my cross reference guides have the Westernfield 38...and they give two different numbers...LOL

So...its probably a Mossberg model 21 or 35 :D

Mossberg 21

Mossberg 35

Which stock is it? :)
And both had the old Mossy #3 peep sight on the rear...both were target models...

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