|Rifle||Cooey 82||Manufacturer||Cooey Machine & Arms Co.|
|Action||Rotation Bolt||Barrel Length||27″|
|Magazine||single shot||Weight||6.5 lb|
The Cooey 82 rifle isn’t an entirely uncommon sight in North America. These little .22lr rifles have an often overlooked military history and are still useful training rifles.
H.W. Cooey Machine and Arms Company had been offering the Cooey Model 78 target rifle in .22lr. The 78 (and later 82) was an extremely simple, single shot, bolt action. Cocking was completely manual, meaning that cycling the bolt only extracted and ejected the spent casing; bolting forward simply sealed the action with the bolt providing the locking surface. Shooters had to then pull back on the cocking piece to ready the action. There was no additional safety mechanism because of this very deliberate cocking system.
In 1942 the 78 was fitted with a full stock and swappable steel weight within the forestock, giving it a military-style look and heft. Roughly 30,000 were purchased by the Canadian government for use as a military training rifle under the name “Rifle, Cooey Pattern. .22 in. Instruction No.1.” While the gun was also sold commercially, military examples are serialized on the pistol grip and display a Canadian property mark in the form of a letter “C” with a broad arrow nested inside.
Cooey 82s were well suited as training rifles in war time. The manual cocking was a defacto safety and made the shooter very conscious of the “one in the chamber.” Firing singular rounds put the focus on marksmanship and prevented waste during the war years. Obviously it did have some weaknesses being more complicated to operate and not providing the muscle memory a full-sized training rifle would, but as a simple introduction to shooting concepts it was certainly useful. Cooey trainers proved to be rather robust and some went on to drill service. Post war a great many were released into the civilian market and are fairly common sights in Canada and the United States.