My Magic .22 Long Gone - A Heartbreaking(warming?) Gun story


December 18, 2006, 01:31 PM
Inspired by another recent thread of someone asking questions about .22 rifles, I got to thinking about a .22 from my youth. My first firearm as it happens.

When I was ... oh, around 13 or so I suppose ( I'm going on 30 now ), I had a Marlin model 25 bolt action rifle. A cheap model 25 that was purchased by my mom at Service Merchandise for around $110 if I remember correctly. Now I can't speak for the rest of them, and it's possible that I just got a good one, but that gun was just bizarrely accurate. I can't think of a better way to put it. At the time, I had very little exposure to other firearms ( other than a trip to the range with a parent maybe twice at that point ). So I actually considered the accuracy of that gun to be perfectly normal. Now though, among the people I knew then that I still know now who have interest in firearms, the ridiculous shots that I made with that cheapy .22 rifle are legendary. I swear people still bring it up occasionally to this day, nearly 17 years later.
That being said .. I must admit to why I don't have it any more .. this magic .22 which I so fondly remember. I simply wasn't very responsible at the time. I did not treat my gun with respect or have the proper regard for safety. I'm not sure I can be blamed for that entirely though, as at that age I was taught no better. Well.. I'll just say it.. I left it outside behind a my grandparents old garage. For whatever reason, I just left it there. It went through storm after storm and at least one typically brutal New York winter it sat packed under many feet of snow. By the time it was discovered what had become of it, it was damaged beyond the point of return (or so I was told, now I'm not so sure it couldn't have been relatively easily restored.) My grandfather did away with what was left of it, though I'm not sure if I ever knew exactly how. Even then I seem to recall considering the fact that it was gone with something of indifference.
I was wrong to see it that way, but I couldn't know that then. I was just a dumb kid, and one who had a lot of other issues to deal with back then. Now I don't know if the accuracy of that rifle was quite as impossibly amazing as I and my friends remember it. I sure wish I still had it to confirm or deny the near magic powers that it holds in my memory.

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December 18, 2006, 01:57 PM
The Marlin model 25 isn't a magic rifle. I was a very, very accurate rifle that was simply over looked. I got mine when I was 12, I'm now 32, but luckily, I still have mine.

Me and my brother used to set up pop cans on the 100 yard target and shoot them off. We got tired of walking all they way out there after a couple of shots, so we laid the pop cans on their sides. This wasn't much better so we wanted a better challenge. We started laying them on their sides with the drink hole facing us and started shooting THROUGH the drink holes.

Mine has taken several turkey, all head shots, dozens of grey squirrel, and even a grouse or two. It has chewed apart hundreds of empty pop and beer cans and obliterated many a targets bullseye. I've also made some pretty amazing shots with mine, but others have with it as well. Out of all my guns it's the one that will never get sold and will remain in the family. It's the only gun that I have that I'm honestly attached to and simply can't part with.

I just started rebuilding mine. It's had a kabillion rounds through it and it won't fire off some harder rimmed .22 rounds because the firing pin spring is so worn. The old Glenfield 4x scope glass had started to turn yellow so that was replaced with a cheap 3-9x40 scope and may yet still get replaced with a red-dot. I'm going to have it reblued and maybe even have it set in a fiberglass stock.

I wanted to pass it down to my daughter like a good gun should, but she's too small and I could never live down cutting down the stock. So I got her a 10/22 which was a better idea in the long run because her and I can head to the range and chew through a brick of .22 together.

December 18, 2006, 02:09 PM
Mr. Hexidismal,

Go get ya another one :).

Marlin stil makes the 925, 925C and 925R also.

It won't hold the same sentimental value of your original one to be sure, but shooting it was half the fun right?

Just my .02,

December 18, 2006, 04:28 PM
Not to hijack your thread, but its funny how your possesions, in our case guns, go through rough times just like we do.

I, unlike you, were brought up with guns. My Mom and Dad were brought up with them too. My Mom remembers that the centerpiece of the pieces of furniture in the family room was the gun cabinet with all the guns visible for visitors to admire. My grandpa had quite a gun collection. His health went bad earlier than it should have and my grandmother survived for many years by selling the guns off one at a time to a trusted dealer in town. When my Dad entered the family he bagan buying the guns as she was too proud to take a handout. I guess a half dozen guns were retained out of my grandpas collection. My parents got divorced a few years ago and again, my Dad went through some hard times and again...those prized possesion saw him through. Im the proud owner of many of those guns now, and to look at them you wouldnt know the story they tell, of good times and bad. Rust spots or pits where they had been neglected as the owners mind was on something else for a few years or so. Well worn wood from shooting and hunting. These things will be handed down to my sons and they will retain the stories of thier lives.

Anyhow...yeah, I know what you mean about the memory of your gun being almost magical.

December 18, 2006, 06:15 PM
Not to hijack your thread, but its funny how your possesions, in our case guns, go through rough times just like we do.

No please, Hijack away :) . I posted this so people might post their own stories.

December 18, 2006, 06:31 PM

The last two are model 25N's. They're different than the 25. They take a different scope mount, use different magazines and appear to have slightly nicer stocks. not sure if there's any real internal differences though.

I picked up my model 25 at a gun show about two or three years ago for $90. I've added a few magazines to it but that's it. Great little shooter, but the sights are pretty cheap.

If you have a model 25 and need a new mag, get one or two now. The supply is drying up and the prices are going up. Dealers used to sell them dirt cheap after they were discontinued.

December 18, 2006, 07:39 PM
hex, pick you up another, the 25 still is accurate.

December 18, 2006, 07:40 PM
hex, pick you up another, the 25 still is accurate. as a matter of fact, there is a dude over at rimfirecentral, that specializes in tuning and tricking out 25's. go over there, and check him out.

December 18, 2006, 08:30 PM
matter of fact, check this page out.

December 18, 2006, 11:59 PM
I posted this so people might post their own stories.

Thanks -- right back at ya.

Several years ago, my dad left me a Savage Model 3b (i.e., a singleshot 22lr.) The gun is more than fifty years old, as far as I can tell. This design was sold in the gazillions, in several Savage/Stevens/(and Springfield?) versions over the years. I'm pretty sure that my dad bought it new before he was married to my mom. I doubt that he put fifty rounds through it, from its history known to me and from the condition of the barrel. During my entire childhood, I remember just one session of it being fired. It has not been fired for at least thirty-five years, probably forty.

I recently sanded and restained the stock, made a "functional" trigger guard to replace the missing original, cleaned the barrel and action, and bought a box of Remington Target cartridges. Put 18 rounds through it in the first session and was pretty pleased with the result on paper.

Had it out today for the second time, for some plinking/gun-shy dog training, and it scared me. As in: The gun was scary accurate at 35 yards, even with the cheapo ammo. Knocked a one-liter soda bottle around in a way that surely put the fear of God in any hares that might have been watching. I got to the point where I was aiming for the cap on the end of the bottle and grazed it once before it got too dark to continue. Next time (and all the times thereafter), I will treat it to something a little more respectable in the way of ammo.

Oh, and the gun catalogs all show the wrong value for it. It's priceless. :)

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