After casting and shooting cast bullets for over 40 years, I keep finding out things I should have learned years ago. Often I know that most of you probably know what I have stumbled across, but I cannot find any reference on the site. I owned a Stevens 44-1/2 rifle years ago and foolishly traded it. Recently I bought another one, and studied the rifle closely. I noticed a screw in the bottom of the receiver, and decided to find out what purpose it serves. I stumbled across the fact that it can be removed to allow the barrel to be unscrewed from the receiver, and that all 44-1/2 rifles were made this way. A good vintage single shot rifle probably will cost $2000-2500 or more.
CPA has been making Stevens reproductions about 10 years, and their quality is reported to be excellent. They sell for about $2000 and up. They also fit barrels to originals. I have ordered a 32-40 barrel for my rifle. Less than a third of the price of another rifle, and of course I don't have to buy another tang sight. The also build a rimfire block and extractor and can fit a 22lr barrel. To me this would be a good reason to pick the Stevens over a Highwall or Ballard or rolling block were I interested in shooting a single shot.