Lithgow Slazenger .22

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Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by on_one_wheel » 28 Jul 2020, 9:46 pm

G'day folks

I'm looking for information on LITHGOW SLAZENGER .22 LR rifles as I'm looking to buy one of these iconic Australian made rifles.

I like the idea of owning one of first production run .22 rifles so a Model 1 is on the cards. Hopefully I can find one in good condition.

So far, thanks to Wikipedia I've worked out there were 3 single shot models produced for the commercial market.
Lithgow Model 1 .22 single-shot rifle produced from 1945
Lithgow Model 1A .22 single-shot rifle
Lithgow Model 1B .22 single-shot rifle

The thing I can't work out is what differences there is between the 3 models are.

Any advice or knowledge about these rifles would be greatly appreciated :drinks:

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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by rc42 » 29 Jul 2020, 7:47 am

An email to Lithgow directly may be needed here, it would be very lucky for somebody on the forum to have that kind of in depth product knowledge from 70 years ago.
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by flashman » 29 Jul 2020, 9:04 am

Hi ,about the little 22 lithgow ,yes I have 1 my Dad got me it back in 72 for my birthday ,best bunny gun a boy could have on the farm,shot shorts in close to the sheds ,longs out in the paddocks ,mine is still very good nick and taught all my kids to shoot with it and 4 grand kid also ,very safe to use, and yes it still gets a work out ,kids and grandkids wont let me go bush with out it.............. :lol:
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by Bugman » 29 Jul 2020, 4:57 pm

Yep had one of these many years ago. Great little rifle. As the saying goes, "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" Hope you get one.
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by No1Mk3 » 29 Jul 2020, 7:07 pm

G'day on_one_wheel,
Differences between the models were minor, apart from trigger mounting. The early mod 1 trigger was retained in the stock whereas the Mod 1A/!B trigger mounted to the action. Early Mod 1 rear sight was screwed to the barrel and not windage adjustable whereas later and all 1A/1B had a dovetailed rear sight. The Model is based on the Winchester 67 and 1B on the Winchester 69, Cheers.
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by on_one_wheel » 29 Jul 2020, 7:20 pm

Ok ...
So I found this information on another forum. It answers my question
Thanks to "Ben,from Australia", a collector of Lithgow-made Slazenger rifles.

"The full production list was:

Model 1 .22LR single shot
Model 1A .22LR single shot
Model 1B .22LR single shot

Model 12 .22LR bolt action repeater
Model 55 .22LR bolt action repeater

Model 24 .22 Hornet bolt action repeater
Single Barrel Shotgun .410 single shot bolt action

"Slazenger" and "Lithgow" are used interchangeably to describe their manufacture, both officially and in common use today. Technically, they were made by the then-government owned Lithgow Small Arms Factory in Lithgow, NSW, using wood furniture produced by Slazenger, and sold under the Slazenger sporting goods brand.

Both Model 1 and 12/55 rifles share a fair bit of DNA from Winchester rifles of the 30s and 40s - I believe the Model 67 and 69 rifles respectively. Famed Australian demonstration shooter Lionel Bibby, Slazenger's main designer, had previously worked with Winchester.

Differences between the Model 1, 1A and 1B are minor. The Model 1 used a trigger design held within the stock, whereas the 1A/B used a trigger design fixed to the action as per contemporary rifles. Early Model 1s used a screw-in rear sight, latter going to a dovetailed design which was carried over onto the 1A and 1B. Early Model 1s supposedly used a one-piece coachwood stock however every Model 1 I've seen has used a multi-piece stock. Other differences are purely cosmetic... the Model 1 used a white-on-black "kangaroo" emblem on the right hand side of the stock... latter versions had a smaller, embossed black logo. The typeface on the LHS barrel markings changes across models too. Early Model 1s don't mention Slazenger, just Lithgow Small Arms Factory.

The Model 1s were the basic, affordable rifles of the era - light and easy to handle - and often the first rifle a young boy (or girl) would be given. Standard sights are very basic but they are very accurate and more than capable of taking down rabbits, birds, rodents and wallaby. With over 220,000 produced they are very common today and most gun stores will have several available for less than AU$50. Unfortunately due to our convoluted permit-to-acquire process and limits on junior shooters, they tend not to be big sellers and many have been handed into police for destruction, which is sad. People are slowly catching onto them as something worthy of collecting, though."


So based on Ben's information I'm leaning towards getting a Model 1A or 1B because it sounds like there was a significant improvement with the trigger mechanism as compared to the Model 1 and a minor improvement in the way the sight were fixed to the rifles.
Other than that,so far it appears that the differences are purely cosmetic.

Other noteworthy facts are that the barrelled actions were made from surplus 45t proved .303 blanks, which is steel of much higher quality and strength than required for a .22LR
Stock timber was apparently the same timber earmarked for No. 1 Mk III* production.

Iv Also found some very good information here
https://www.lithgowsafmuseum.org.au/comproduction.html

More info was stolen from here viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3539

I've tracked down 2 rifles, both Model 1A, I'll be inspecting them very soon :thumbsup:
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by on_one_wheel » 29 Jul 2020, 7:27 pm

No1Mk3 wrote:G'day on_one_wheel,
Differences between the models were minor, apart from trigger mounting. The early mod 1 trigger was retained in the stock whereas the Mod 1A/!B trigger mounted to the action. Early Mod 1 rear sight was screwed to the barrel and not windage adjustable whereas later and all 1A/1B had a dovetailed rear sight. The Model is based on the Winchester 67 and 1B on the Winchester 69, Cheers.


Cheers No1Mk3
I just spotted your reply after I finished putting together my last reply.
Your information definitely makes the info I found elsewhere more credible . :drinks:
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by Chappo » 30 Jul 2020, 9:08 pm

I have a model 24 and 2 of the .410 shotties. All good rifles and a great bit of australiana.
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by Vicko » 31 Jul 2020, 10:11 pm

Chappo wrote:I have a model 24 and 2 of the .410 shotties. All good rifles and a great bit of australiana.


How does the M24 shoot Chappo?
I wouldn't mind adding one to the collection one day...
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Re: Lithgow Slazenger .22

Post by Diamond Jim » 03 Aug 2020, 9:55 pm

Chappo wrote:I have a model 24 and 2 of the .410 shotties. All good rifles and a great bit of australiana.

What is the scope mount on the model 24? My dad has had one for nearly 60 years but ours has iron sights. It has always been a very accurate rifle but I've always though it would benefit from a scope.
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