Ah, the good old days.
Ron Howard walked down a dirt road to a fishing hole. Cars had big, purposeless fins. Candy bars cost a nickel. There was lead in your paint and Reds in your soup – okay, so it wasn’t all great.
While some stuff from the “good old days” is better off gone, there are a few ideas from back then that are well worth resurrecting.
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There was a time when little cartridges got their own little rifle actions to go along with them, and this combination is sorely missed by many shooters today. Fortunately, there is still one shrunken varminter on the market.
The Savage 25 Walking Varminter is a real blast from the past. On the outside it closely mimics the lines of the old, small, cartridge-specific rifles built fifty years ago.
A sleek profile, slim receiver and minimal stock give the rifle a Winchester 43-type look that belies the very modern design.
The old 43 was held shut by nothing more than a single lug that did double-duty as the bolt handle. The Savage 25 features an adorable little action with three forward-mounted lugs much like the old Sako varmint rifles. This makes the 25 amply strong to handle hot, present day, cartridges like the .223 Remington and the .204 Ruger.
This combination of a classic look coupled with 21st Century strength makes for a very intriguing rifle.
To sweeten the deal, Savage has equipped the Model 25 with its excellent AccuTrigger, which solves many of the trigger issues you can run into with little guns. To make the improved action and trigger really pay off the barrel contour on the 25 is a bit heavier than that of its predecessors.
Perhaps the most interesting decision Savage has made with the 25 is to chamber it for three really classic varmint calibers: 222 Remington, 22 Hornet and the formerly wildcat but recently legitimized 17 Hornet. These three cartridges are perfect in terms of efficiency for high volume gopher shooters or low volume shooters who appreciate saving money.
This selection also means that the 25 can be re-barreled somewhere down the line to odd chamberings like the 32-20 Winchester or the 17 Remington with a minor amount of a gunsmith’s labor.
In the current market, a rifle like the Savage 25 doesn’t seem that different at first blush. There are a ton of varmint rifles out there these days and the 25 is more or less in the same price bracket. So, why go with an oddity when there are plenty of guns with large actions converted to handle small cartridges?
Well, for starters, an action specifically designed for a group of cartridges will always function better than a converted action.
Second, the 25 is just plain cool. These are varmint rifles we’re talking about here. They’re supposed to be different and awesome and weird.
The 25 Savage is all this and is accurate as well, so look one over next time you’re at the gun counter.
Maybe a rifle from the “good old days” is just what you’ve been looking for.
Featured image via SavageArms.com