Longtime Friend & Reader Mark S. sent me this missive a week or so ago:

The attached is a photo of a high school classmate’s mother, taken at the Balboa Gun Club in the Panama Canal Zone (sometime in the 40s or 50s, I think). We were wondering if you had any guesses or opinions about the rifle and scope. The items near her right knee are cash bundles of her winnings in a competition.

The rifle was no problem, and I identified it immediately:  a Remington 513 Target Master (513T), made from 1940 until the late 1960s.  (I actually had a chance to shoot one of these beauties when I helped the TSRA instructors get Son&Heir’s Boy Scout troop get their rifle shooting badges.  After they were done, the TSRA guys very kindly let me shoot off the rest of the .22 ammo they’d brought along.  One-hole groups and Big Smiles From Kim followed.)  Here’s a 513T exactly as used at the Boy Scout shoot, with a Lyman peep sight:

(The 512 model had a tube magazine, but was pretty much the same rifle.)

I would shoot this rifle against any modern commercial .22, even an Anschutz or CZ 455.  I might be beaten, but I sure as hell would not disgrace myself.

The scope was also easy, although I couldn’t figure out its magnification.  It’s the venerable Unertl, used mostly by the U.S. Marine Corps until late in the Vietnam War.

I suspect that the actual scope in the rifle club pic has 8x magnification, as it was the most common in civilian use (the USMC used the 10x).  And here’s a pic of the two together:

…and an unscoped Sporter model (essentially the same gun as the 513T, except that the bolt handle isn’t raked back) at Collectors, for just under a grand:

Ask me if I love this old tackdriver…


  1. It’s a cutey idn’t it?
    I like the 3rd one the best, with the knurling in the right places.
    Install that 3′ long 10x scope on it and send it here asap, the coin will be forth coming immediately.
    A couple doz magazines would be nice too.

  2. Given the location of the picture (Balboa navy base) and the date I suspect that the rifle and scope are US military versions.

    I remember shooting bottom of the line single shot Remingtons – nothing as fancy as the 513 shown here – at summer camp. We were issued one round of .22 short at a time. Lots of fun for an 8 year old. Our instructor had what I later learned was a Mossberg target rifle and if we kids were good and helped clean up the range we got to shoot a couple of rounds of .22 long rifle from the Mossie.

    1. Not the Balboa naval base. This was the Canal Zone – the actual location of the club was (and still is, according to Google Maps) on the other side of the Canal, directly across from Fort Amador, near Farfan beach.

      My dad and I, along with my Boy Scout troop, shot there many times.

      1. I am corrected. My almost 50 year old memories of places added to the fact that I was often in a drunken haze in those days sometimes produce strange results. Now for my “memories” of who was on the grassy knoll…;-)

  3. Dad left me a Mossberg 48B of the same style and vintage as that Remington model. The guns could have been cousins. Bolt action, tube fed, heavy as a tree trunk. First rifle I ever shot. He must have bought it soon after the war. Is it possible they had deals for returning GI’s?
    I took it to Appleseed a few years ago, just for fun, but that was a fiasco as it doesn’t suit their course of fire at all. Thanks, Kim, for the reminder to take the old girl out for a spin.

  4. Kim, I hate to be the dark cloud here, but that 3rd photo of them “together”, ain’t.

    The rifle is some version of a “sporterized” 03′ Springfield type action. The long, external Mauser claw-type extractor is clearly visible, as is the overall length of the action itself. Note also, the swept back bolt handle and longer floorplate configuration.

    For penance, you can have that rig shipped to my local FFL. I’ll oh-so-generously offer to pay the FFL transfer on both ends, as well as the actual shipping. /snrk

    Seriously though. ’03 or .22 aside, Pic #3 is a beautiful sight, and I’m glad you posted it, regardless.

    And curse you conversely, for pointing out that I lack such a heavy, target grade .22 in my safe.

    Finally, this: Collector’s Firearms is no longer at their former location at the intersection of Richmond & Fondren.

    They’ve moved about 1/2 mile away, to the intersection of Westheimer & Voss, and now occupy the 40,000 sq.ft. showroom of the former Barnes & Noble bookstore.

    All of those schweet guns that Mr. Clark used to keep “in the back room”?

    They’re all up front now, on full display.

    Can you say: “Pilgrimage”?

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    1. Just did a google image search on #3 and they say it’s a Shiloh Sharps Saddle Rifle. Imagine that!

      1. Always rely on the Gun Experts at Google.



        I’m surprised they didn’t designate it as an evil AR-47 Assault Sniper rifle with a High Bullet Magazine Capacity.

        Because they’re our “betters”, you see. No?

        No worries. You’ll be MADE to see!

        *sound of Google cracking their re-coding whip*

        Sunk New Dawn
        Galveston, TX

  5. Remington .22s of that vintage are wonderful. I have the model 512 my dad taught us boys to shoot with, as well as a rather ratty model 511 (detachable box magazine version). I also have a model 34 that was my uncle Frank’s barn gun. The 500 series looks like the 34 with a different stock and a modified bolt setup that makes it easier to mount a scope.

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