Nice pair! There are some good discussion on the 87M on another forum:
The two rifles pictured below, were, according to the information provided to me, part of the Savage/Stevens program to design and produce a .22 cal. training rifle for sale to the US army. Supposedly, the bolt action rifle is a one of a kind piece. The skeletonized rifle is one of the .22 cal semi-auto made under two labels: first the Savage Mdl 87M, and then (post WWII) as the Sears Ranger Model 101.16.
Did you ever buy something and later wonder why in the world you did so? That’s the way I feel about these rifles. They just don’t fit into my collection. At one time, I wanted to build a sub-collection of cutaway or skeletonized rifles. When I found this cutaway, I had to buy it. The two rifles were being sold as a pair, so I got the bolt action as well. I soon found out that cutaways are just about unavailable so this new branch of my collection never got off the ground.
I purchased these two rifles (for $500 each) from high-end pistol collector/dealer Dick Anderson, who was a familiar face at many gun shows in the Northeast during the ‘80s and ‘90s. I believe he attended the larger shows throughout the country, so many forum members probably knew him as well. I bought these at the Springfield, MA. show and he told me that he obtained them locally from the family of a deceased Savage executive. As you probably know, the Savage factory was based in this area.
According to Mr. Anderson, there was a packet of original Savage factory photos, test reports and correspondence concerning these rifles and the attempt to market them with the Army during the post war years. He promised me that as soon as the family got done sorting out any personal documents and photos that they wished to retain, he would obtain and send me whatever he could get his hands on. I had known Dick Anderson for close to 20 years (and I trusted him to keep his word), so I never pushed him to wrap things up. Unfortunately, Dick was diagnosed with a fast-moving cancer and he was dead several months later. I felt bad for his family and I thought it was selfish of me to inquire about a document package that they presumably knew nothing about. All this happened about 5 or 6 years ago. While I believe the story about these rifles, without that factory documentation, I cannot prove it to be true.
I have these rifles in long term storage and I have not laid eyes on them in probably six years or so. I do not recall how they are marked. Or any specific features.
Besides just passing along some information to my fellow collectors, I’d like to gauge possible interest in my selling them. I don’t want to go through the hassle of an auction. I’d prefer to sell them here on the Trader. I would like to get my original investment back (i.e., $1000 for the pair). It’s going to be a first class pain in the neck to dig these out of storage, and I’m not going to bother unless someone here has some interest in buying them. Clearly, I’m not looking for anyone to make any commitment. I’m just trying to decide whether it’s worth the effort to dig these out, prepare descriptions and photos and post a For Sale ad on the Trader. I repeat, by expressing potential interest, you are not obligating yourself in any way.
So, guys. Let me know what you think.