Guns in Greenwich

I inherited a 1941 (?) Winchester 52 Sporter .22 from my father . A fabulous rifle with a jewel-like firing mechanism that he only let me use after I demonstrated some skill on a far cheaper Mossburg he bought me at the genuine Abercrombie & Fitch in, I think, 1963. My own kids learned to shoot with the Winchester and I’ve always intended to leave it to the most deserving of them (so start demonstrating your worthiness, boy and girls) but, what with moving around since 1996 or so, the rifle was sadly neglected and it needs at least a good cleaning.

It came with a scope (The Commander insisted I learn with Lyman iron sights but did give me the scope as well) and I noticed that it was made by Griffin & Howe. Googling them with the idea of perhaps buying a modern replacement for that  ancient scope (rifles have not improved since this one was made ; scopes have), I discovered that not only is the firm still in business, it has a retail gun store right here in Greenwich at 340 West Putnam Avenue, next to the old Captain Mud Duck’s and, fittingly, given the price of their inventory, adjoining the Maserati dealership.

So off I went, and ended up leaving it to be restored and perhaps (quote depending) having a new scope installed. But what a store – picture the danger of a Home Depot, with price tags ten-times greater. A paid companion/guardian is recommended for any visit here. One rifle that had me drooling was a Griffin & Howe, Krag “improved Zipper .22”, custom made by Seymour Griffin himself for his son-in-law. It’s damn heavy: 10 plus pounds, compared to the Sporter’s 7,  but that’s a good weight to get used to if you’re learning to shoot big bore guns without the expense of big bore cartridges. And the rifle is an absolute, gorgeous beauty. Anyone (Cobra?) know what an improved Zipper .22 is? Can it shoot a .22 Long Rifle cartridge? And does anyone care to donate the $8,100 price tag? Oh well – great store to visit.

Griffin & Howe Krag .22


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9 responses to “Guns in Greenwich

  1. Walt

    Dude Man –
    You have to start thinking before you post. And put yourself in your reader(s?) shoes.
    You haven’t cashed a commission check in like what, two years? You are perpetually pissed off about this and that, and always have your pantys in a knot.
    So then you go posting and drooling about your love for guns? You don’t teach school in Alabama and were denied tenure recently, by any chance, were you? Having problems with the GAR by any chance? Fighting with Frankie? Teri McBeal blew you off for Valentines Day? Huh? HUH!!!
    PLUS. PLUS!!! We already know you enjoy blowing Bambi’s brains all over the snow covered woods.
    Give up the guns, Dude. Take up something else. Knitting? Sitting on your middle finger? Let me ponder it some more, and I will help you out.
    Your Pal,

  2. christopherfountain

    I’d be happy if anyone blew me for Valentine’s Day, Walt – come on by. And since you’re still rich, stop and pick up that Krag as my present, would you?

  3. g w chase

    If you want a second quote on the renovation of the Winchester, visit Mitch Schulz. His “ffice”is in a section of the old Ruger plant in Southport, CT. I gave him two basket cases; a side by each 12 gauge and an over-under; 16 gauge on top with an 8x57R below. Nine months later they came back to me looking like when they were new in 1929. Beautiful work at a very reasonable price.

  4. g w chase

    That cartridge is a centerfire round, so I doubt if it will handle .22LR’s – may have to go to the internet for rounds or “roll your own”.

  5. AJ

    Now here’s a gun:

  6. prosperityfollowsdynamite

    Long time reader, first time writer.
    Words to the wise-leave your 52 alone. A good, proper cleaning is o.k., but refinishing/messing with it only destroys its value. Same with the scope; unless the optics are cloudy, it is fine-keep it and shoot it. Forget Mitch(spotty work at best), if your rifle really needs restoration Doug Turnbull(expensive but finest work in U.S.) is the way to go.
    Folks at Griffin & Howe are friendly, knowledgeable and their shop in NJ does good work. But understand-they only bought the Griffin & Howe name. The real G&H-the folks who made your scope and were once a subsidiary of the original Abercrombie & Fitch are long, long gone. BTW- you can take your rifle’s serial number, go online and find the year of manufacture. The Cody museum in Wyoming can often tell you(for a fee) when and where your Winchester rifle was shipped from the factory. Pretty cool.
    Hope this helps.

  7. As prosperityfollowsdynamite suggests above, restoration/refinishing may diminish the value of the gun somewhat. However, it’s yours and reflects a many years of honest use by you and your family, so do what pleases you personally.

    I inherited a pre-war Winchester M21 a few years ago in solid, perfectly functional condition. Upon inspection, Scott Moss in Norwalk recommended that I consider sending it to Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Co. ( for a minor “touch up” of the blue. While such restoration might result in a perfect finish, the mellow patina gained from many days in the field would be lost, perhaps diluting slightly the memories of the man who carried it in the field for decades. After only a few seconds of thought, I chose to leave it “as is.”

    By the way, I believe the .22 Zipper is a center-fire varmint caliber, the popularity of which has come and gone years ago, eclipsed by others such as the 22-250. While sourcing new cases may be quite difficult, forming/necking them down from those of similar case dimensions may be feasible, albeit a pain in the ass.

    Good luck with your fine old Winchester, Chris. Had I known many decades ago that you had access to such a piece, I would have attempted to trade you something truly extraordinary for it!