The Sheridan Knocabout Pistol: This .22 is no toy
Today everyone remembers Sheridan as a player in the airgun market, with many of us having cut our teeth on one of their pump .177 guns as youngsters. What not everyone knows, however, is that the company at one point tried to move into the actual firearms market and in the 1950s came up with a 22-rimfire pistol that was well received for what it was: the Knocabout.
Founded by Mr EN Wackerhagen, Racine, Wisconsin-based Sheridan Products started in 1945 with the stated purpose of giving the founder’s son a ‘better airgun than anything then on the market’. Soon their Super Grade, Bluestreak, and Silverstreak models of pneumatic air rifles were the glimmer in the eye for both kids and dads alike. Why such cross-generational interest? The Sheridan products had been designed by a gunsmith, rather than an airgun maker, which gave them the feel of actual rifles.
In 1951, the company was looking to expand and decided that a safe bet would be a rimfire pistol. At the time, semi-auto target pistols by Colt, Smith and Wesson, and a new upstart known as Ruger, were popular. The best way to compete with these makers was to offer a ‘beginner’ level pistol, for a good price.
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