Timberline Hawk survival rifle

Not much is known about the company Timer Line Hawk. So this is as much of a history as I could gather. The registered agent of the company  was John A. Mc Gerty and the filing date was March 29,1983. It was a company formed initially by four men to take over the assets of the old Armalite company when they closed their doors. Initially they did the warranty work for Armalite on the AR-180 and 18. What is not generally known is that they also design and built guns other than the AR180 series rifles. This article is about such a rifle. This is the 2 shot rotating barrel 22lr survival rifle.

There are a few draw backs to this rifle. The first is that the point of aim is different for the two barrels. The second is that you have to be careful when loading as it is easy to get the cartridge not properly placed to allow the action to close.




dsc_2258sThe side of the rear barrel support. You can see the pins that pinned in the barrels to the support.

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe barrel release latch on the bottom of the frame.








dsc_2219csLooking at the end you can see the machined area for the extractor.

dsc_2245csThe barrels are actually AR-7 barrel liners.

dsc_2240sThe retaining notch is cut in behind the made in USA. Looking at the machining of this notch you can see that these were prototype weapons only.

dsc_2217cAn interesting logo used by Timberline Hawk.

dsc_2216cwThe storage tube that was also the stock. To be used to store survival items.

dsc_2218csThe rubber cap that acted as a butt plate


dsc_2359csThe rifle taken apart and next to it’s storage bag.


dsc_2366csAs it would be stored in the back pack.

dsc_2368sThis is a limited prototype weapon that I don’t think ever went into serious production. The number on this rifle is 42 and it is the only one that I have ever seen or heard about. There were a few spare barrels assemblies made, I have one in my collection.

This rifle came out during a time period when small light weight survival rifles were all the rage.

I want to thank Pete, a friend of Gun Lab, for letting me photograph his very rare rifle.

Weapons man has an interesting write up on the original derringer that was the initial idea for this rifle here.

6 comments to Timberline Hawk survival rifle

  • Rick Saunders

    Strange buttstock though. I seem to remember seeing this written up somewhere, possibly when they were testing the waters for the market.
    Swivel guns always intrigue me, especially old flint guns. Allowed one to get that second shot. Or, the breech loading flint guns.
    Sheer cost to build must have been enormous in the grand scheme of things.

  • Pete

    Good writeup and pics as usual Chuck. Great find of the Weapons Man piece. One can sure see where the idea for the little rifle came from. Looks like the Twist22 has a better barrel latch than the TH gun, but the TH shoots every time you drop the hammer! Using only shorts might be wise given the barrel retention setup.

  • Craig

    I came in to contact a sister rifle to this one(through a friend of mine who “inherited” it from a family member), although not complete – it was missing the wood stock piece and stock retainer bumper. The owner of the sister rifle is in Orange County, CA – not far from the original locations of Armalite and Timberline Hawk Co. You can see the sister rifle’s pictures here:
    To my knowledge, there was no SN on the rifle I researched.

    I did quite a bit of research and was able to track down and speak to an engineer and later owner/operator of Timberline Hawk Co: Lee Jensen. He remembered the rifle and said there were only a handfull of them made and seemed to believe he had their blueprints lying around somewhere. I believe he’s still alive (in Iowa) running a welding/machine shop and is easily searched on the web.


  • Kirt Keller

    I own Serial #005. John Wayne’s doctor gave it to me. Dr. Egan said that The Duke gave it to him and the rest of the story was that the guys the made these solicited JW for an investment. Like so many deals he backed or partially backed, it was a loser. JW bought all is modern guns at the now defunct Grant Boys on Newport Blvd. Grant Boys was right in the middle between JW’s house and Timberline’s address. The whole thing must date before mid 1979.

  • Kirt Keller

    John Wayne’s doctor gave me serial #005 and he said The Duke gave it to him. JW invested some money in the company, things didn’t go well and he got Ser #005. The story then would have to predate 1979.

  • Mike Sullivan

    I have an opportunity to purchase one. Any idea of value?

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