I recently saw a post by my friend Postban where he bought a single shot .22 pistol. It was a new Cricket Chipmunk pistol, with a laminated stock.
Here’s a picture of the type he bought.
I was impressed that the pistol was on sale for $168 from Bud’s Gun Shop. It looked like a fun gun for plinking and sniping squirrels. I decided that I would look for one.
We do not have a Bud’s Gun Shop in this neck of the woods, but we do have a Gander Mountain and I went to see if they had one of these pistols.
When I got there, I saw a sample in a locked cabinet behind the counter and asked the salesman to please let me look at it.
It was a standard model, without the laminated stock, and it looked like it had been there a while.
It was as beat up as any new pistol I’ve ever seen.
It had the following problems:
1. The front screw was missing from the trigger guard
2. It had scratches in the stock around the trigger guard.
3. It had dings on the front of the barrel.
4. The front sight was broken and missing the hi-vis insert.
5. The stock was beat up and scratched all over.
6. And they had a price tag of $199.99 on it.
The salesman admitted that it was in very poor condition.
I asked if they would be willing to make me a deal on it, but the Manager was gone for the day.
They told me to come back tomorrow.
I printed out the flier from Bud’s Gun Shop with the $168 price on it and returned the next day.
I got them to get the gun out again and I started to talk with the Manager.
I showed him the poor condition of the pistol and the sale price from Bud’s. I told him I was interested if they would make me a deal.
He said, “How about $139?”
I showed him some more of the scratches.
Him, “Okay, what would you offer?”
Me, “How about $80?”
Him, “Well, for that I will just repair it and sell it for used.”
Me, “Okay, what’s your best offer?”
Him, “How about $109?”
Me, “Make it $100 and I’ll take it.”
My buddy Vern was with me, and he had recently had surgery on his neck and was wearing a neck brace. The Manager asked me, “Did you bring your friend along with the neck brace for sympathy?”
I said, “Whatever will help.”
He said, “You’re killing me.” But he took it.
While we were waiting for the paper work, my buddy Vern said, “Looks like you have a project.”
Here’s the pistol as it was when I got it home.
I took it apart and started the work. It was apparent when I took it apart that it was indeed “New In Box”, and was not a used firearm.
I first stripped the remaining finish and sanded the stock smooth.
The grain was very “open” and it was hard to clean up.
My buddy Ted was in for a visit and he spent some time scraping it with the edge of his knife until he had it clean and smooth.
Then I stained it and then finished it with spray on Polyurethane. I sprayed a few coats and let it dry 24 hours. Then I lightly sanded down the “whiskers” raised by the finish and sprayed a few more coats on it.
I also put in an order at Midway for an inexpensive red dot scope and an order with Cricket for a scope mounting bracket.
I also smoothed out the dings in the barrel and re-blued the area. I removed the broken sights, as I wouldn’t need them with the red dot scope. I also took time to clean up and lube the metal parts of the gun.
Here it is after refinishing.
I finally got the scope base in and Vern and I put it on the pistol.
Vern put some Loctite on the threads before we tightened them down.
I had bought an inexpensive Tasco Red Dot scope for the project.
Here it is with the mount and scope on it.
Let’s see how it shoots. We will try it at about 25 yards, the distance to my back fence.
I shot a few rounds to zero the scope than then we were ready to shoot some groups.
I will try some “quiet” ammo in it, as I already have plenty of loud .22s and this one is going to be for short-range fun.
I tried some of the Remington CBee22 “Low Noise” .22 Long Rifle loads.
But much to my disappointment, they seemed to be almost as loud as other .22 long rifle rounds.
But, they did shoot into a nice group.
I then tried some Wolf .22 Target ammo, which is usually the best I can find.
It did well, but not as well as I expected.
I then tried some Wildcat bulk ammo, and it really liked this stuff.
Four of the five shots went into one hole.
I also tried some CCI Mini Mags.
I also shot some Aguila, .22 Colibri, marked “20 grain bullet, No Gunpowder”.
These were as quiet as a pellet pistol, but hit several inches low, even at 25 yards.
But they will be best for in-town use on tomato-stealing squirrels.
All in all, a fun project and I will enjoy shooting this pistol. And I bet the grandkids will love it.
And the squirrels are gonna hate it.