Question on Lithgow Sporting Rifles... Headwerkn?

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  • Question on Lithgow Sporting Rifles... Headwerkn?

    General question, somebody here might be able to help. I've googled the crap out of this and found nothing.... What are the physical differences between the Mod 1, Mod 1A and Mod 1B .22 Lithgow single shots?
    I had the opportunity to check out six of them a week or so ago, and saw there were two distinct types. One had the trigger attached to the receiver, the other had the trigger hung in the stock. The receiver trigger type had the small disc in the butt, the hung trigger had the large disc. At that stage I was thinking Mod1 and Mod1B... did the Mod 1 become the 1A after they brought out the Mod1B or are there three different rifles... if so, what are the differences? Can they be picked by serial number?

  • #2
    Very interested in responses to this too as I'm currently in the market for a good Lithgow single-shot .22


    • #3
      Am on my phone right now so will post up some comparative pics tonight, but in short:

      Mod 1 trigger is attached to stock, on the 1A and 1B it is fixed to the action like a modern rifle.

      Early Mod 1s use a screw in rear sight. Later Mod 1s use a dovetailed, friction fit rear sight which was maintained during the 1A and 1B production runs.

      Mod 1 has the white on black kangaroo logo (see my avatar) on the RHS... 1A and 1B use the smaller black embossed roundel.

      Mod 1 uses a different type on the LHs barrel and doesn't mention Slazenger. 1A and 1B use a condensed font and state 'Made by Lithgow Small Arms Factory for Slazengers Pty Ltd'.

      Apparently one model was supposed to use single piece stocks, however both my 1 and 1B use a stock comprised of 2-3 strips of timber.

      I'm yet to acquire my 1A yet so I'm not aware of the differences between the 1A and 1B. I'm pretty sure the bolt design, etc didn't change throughout the entire production run.

      If you contact the Lithgow Small Arms Museum with your serial number they can tell you date of manufacture.

      Cheers, Ben.


      • #4
        OK, quickly snapped some pics. Forgive the lousy colour balance... working in my living room with a single strobe, on camera flash and lousy overhead ceiling lights.

        Model 1 above, Model 1B below. The differing trigger mechanisms can clearly be seen, as can relative sizes of the RHS stock roundels. Note that neither of the stocks are factory finishes - it is actually not easy to find a Model 1 that hasn't been refinished at some point. The 1B has a modern poly varnish finish on it (whoever did it did a decent job too), the Model 1 has some kind of lacquer which is much older.

        All Model 1 single shots use a single, captive action screw forward of the trigger guard to secure the barrelled action** to the stock. The Model 12 and Model 55 repeaters use the same set up.

        ** Barrelled action being a misnomer of sorts, as the action itself is cut into the barrel like all/most .22LRs.

        Model 1 detail. The roundel should appear black with white inlay lettering and graphic, however this one is both rather aged and has been lacquered over. Roundel reads "PRODUCT OF LITHGOW S.A.F." On the stock you can make out the two pieces of timber used, as well as the pin used to hold the trigger and sear.

        Model 1B detail. Mainspring assembly is identical, with the different trigger assembly simply attached at the end of the barrel. Smaller black embossed roundel reads "SLAZENGERS SAF"

        Trigger/sear assembly in Model 1 stock. Triggers have massive amounts of sideplay as a result. Still pretty accurate though.

        Bolts are completely identical on both rifles. The Model 1 bolt's spring (left) is a bit gammy - presumably damaged at some point. Still works though.

        The earlier Model 1s had a rear sight secured with a screw (below). Mine was made May 1947 according to the LSAF Museum. At some point thereafter they changed over to a dovetail fit rear sight (above).

        All Slazenger .22LRs have a "Z" proofing mark on the top of the barrel, to signify that the rifle achieved appropriate accuracy during test firing.

        Actions on both rifles are completely identical.

        Model 1B barrel markings read:


        Model 1 barrel markings read:


        Note the much smaller typeface used, and lack of Slazenger being mentioned (yet).

        Underside of the barrel has a mark - on the 1B it reads "H". In my divine wisdom, I forgot to photograph the Model 1 or even remember the mark it had, but I know it was something different. Can't be buggered getting the rifle out again tonight, will check tomorrow.

        What this means I know not yet. Possibly a QA or assembly identifier?

        And that's the end of the story!

        Incidentally, LSAF Museum are asking Model 1/1A/1B owners to take part in their survey to help restore lost production records and information. More details can be found here ->

        As stated before they can also attempt to date your Slazenger rifle based on its serial number.

        Hope this is of interest to someone. Will update it when I get my 1A and complete the set.

        Cheers, Ben.


        • Recoil
          Recoil commented
          Editing a comment
          Great write up Ben, now I know where to go for information! I have a 1B and my trigger is very light... How do you find your triggers?

      • #5
        Hey Mods, can we maybe have excellent write-ups like Headwerkn's one here copied from the thread and then stickied somewhere prominant for easy consultation?


        • Guest's Avatar
          headwerkn commented
          Editing a comment
          Originally posted by GSR" post=5368
          Hey Mods, can we maybe have excellent write-ups like Headwerkn's one here copied from the thread and then stickied somewhere prominant for easy consultation?
          Hi GSR,

          I plan on doing a more exhaustive analysis and photo gallery off all of the Slazenger rifles in a few weeks' time (just waiting on a 1A to complete my collection). It will probably be put in as an article from the home page of the site, and will reference to it from here via a sticky.

          We'd actually like to do this on a regular basis for anyone who takes the time to do a really great write up on a useful subject.

          Cheers, Ben.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Savage" post=5295
        We have a shoot every christmas with ten Lithgow/Slaz open sight single shots lined up, some need to be manually cocked and others cock on close, which models cock automatically?
        As far as I'm aware all Model 1s use a manual cocking bolt. I do recall reading somewhere about a modification to make the bolt cock on close, though I can't honestly recall where. Sounds a bit dodgy though, not the sort of thing I'd recommend.


        • #7

          For all owners and users of Lithgow / Slaz .22LR rifles with MANUAL COCKING read the following press clipping.
          Never carry this type of rifle with a round in the chamber and bolt closed, it might be the last thing you do.
          Attached Files


          • Guest's Avatar
            headwerkn commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by Blott" post=14165

            For all owners and users of Lithgow / Slaz .22LR rifles with MANUAL COCKING read the following press clipping.
            Never carry this type of rifle with a round in the chamber and bolt closed, it might be the last thing you do.
            Good point... I'll have to check this with one of my own rifles to be sure, but I can see how the firing pin can be pushed onto the cartridge base with enough force to fire it.

            Incidentally you can "lock" a cocked Model 1 bolt by pulling it out then turning it 90 degrees to the right. This would be the "safer" way to carry a loaded Model 1, though I fail to see the issue in 99.9% of situations with leaving the bolt open until you're ready to shoot.

            Cheers, Ben.

        • #8
          Just thought I'd follow up on this 'fault' with the design of the Model 1's bolt.

          On Sunday I grabbed my trio of Model 1s, some Zs and a ball pein hammer. The result? The Model 1 and 1A fired with a light tap on the end in the uncocked position. The Model 1B DID NOT.

          That article was dated 1948 - the Model 1B design was brought into production in 1949. I think I may have figured what the actual difference between the 1A and 1B - other than lettering on the receiver - might be now.



          • sn@abrc
            [email protected] commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by headwerkn" post=73430
            The Model 1 and 1A fired with a light tap on the end in the uncocked position. The Model 1B DID NOT.
            Are you able to see what the differences between the bolts or actions are that prevent the 1B from firing like this?

            I am wondering if a modification is possible or feasable to bring the 1 and 1A to the same standard as the 1B.


        • #9
          I'm taking the 1a out this weekend I'll check mine to see if this happens. I'll try out my 1b when I put it back together again!


          • #10

            Has there been any update on this? I haven't found anything anywhere else in this Forum about it.

            Ben, did the upgrade from a 1A to a 1B bolt and make it safer?
            I would like to 'fix' my 1A if it works.

            If there is another thread about this, please direct me to it because I haven't found one


            • Guest's Avatar
              headwerkn commented
              Editing a comment
              Hi Ken,

              My apologies, I've been tied up with work of late, what little time I've had spare has been spent playing with the Lithgow Arms Crossover and a Naughton-Fieldman .22LR thumbhole I've just acquired.

              I've got some trigger time pencilled for this weekend, will make a note to try the 1B's bolt in the 1A and 1 and see what happens.

              Cheers, Ben.

            • Guest's Avatar
              headwerkn commented
              Editing a comment
              Originally posted by DragonMan" post=143189
              Has there been any update on this?
              Apologies for the delay - lots on this time of year.

              Just redid the test with a decent knock on the cocking knob, uncocked, from a 450gr ball pein hammer.

              With the correct model's bolt in each rifle, the Model 1 and 1A both discharged with a decent knock. I should reiterate - it wasn't a light tap. You'd be very unlucky to fire one of these by dropping it etc. Would have to hit a rock or hard surface at just the right point. Obviously it has happened before though.

              The Model 1B didn't discharge with continued, increasing hits up until the point I dared not hit it any harder for fear of bending or damaging anything.

              With the Model 1B's bolt inserted into either the Model 1 or Model 1A, neither would discharge with repeated tapping.

              Thus, one can deduce:
              • The Model 1B's bolt design is different to the Model 1 and Model 1A. The differences are internal and obviously minor, but they're nonetheless there.
              • Model 1 and 1A's can therefore be 'safety upgraded' with a Model 1B bolt. No modification to either bolt or action is necessary (external dimensions are the same).
              • It is therefore my position/suggestion/whatever that the only functional difference between a Model 1A and 1B is the change to the bolt to prevent knock-fire on a loaded chamber with an uncocked bolt. LSAFM unfortunately cannot confirm it for me due to lack of records, but logically this explains why there was a third revision of the design back in 1949.

              Incidentally I also tested my Sportco Model 40 single shot .22LR rifle, which is similar in function. It too wouldn't knock-fire. Makes sense given the Model 40 is a late 50s/early 60s design, Jack was obviously aware of the issue in manual-cocking bolts.

              Hope that's been of interest to someone! Naturally I don't recommend anyone actually hit their rifle(s) with a hammer. The things you do for science

              Click image for larger version

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              Cheers, Ben.

          • #11
            Thanks heaps for doing this scientific research for us. You have earned your Professorship :lol:

            But seriously, I appreciate the help
            I will hunt down a B bolt for my 1A
            If I find more than 1 I will buy them so others with 1's and 1A's can upgrade too.


            • #12
              Hey guys. Finally finished collecting the set of Lithgow sporters.

              Have to say, the hardest one was the little Mod55, but got lucky scoring one with a Field mount included. A big bit of help from Deano, and bingo... a very nice scope for the rifle tops it right off!....

              Here's the updated "Family Portrait"
              Attached Files
              .....if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but enough people call it a chicken, then it will be a chicken!

              think about it...


              • Guest's Avatar
                headwerkn commented
                Editing a comment
                Awesome work mate. You did well to find Model 1s in such clean condition. Most look like they've been towed down a dirt road for half their lives.

                That SAF Target rifle is a thing of beauty. I suppose I can wait until one of the couple of owners down here need a kidney or lung, and then make them an offer they can't refuse.

            • #13
              To anyone who happens to read this article i seem to acquired in some of my collection of bits and pieces a brand new un used No 1 ? firing pin if ant one desires this pin please let me know. My first rifle was a No 1 that had been run over by a tractor and had a broken stock which I relpaced with one made of WA jarra. Lots of fond memories from that first custom rifle!!