Organic Weapons

Mr. Free Market sent me this excellent article (and please read it before carrying on), which extols the virtues of a wooden-stocked hunting rifle:

Beyond performance requirements, I want the rifle to look like the rifles of my childhood. That means a nice wood stock. I can remember back to when I was a little kid, my dad first showed me his deer rifle—a beautiful Browning A-Bolt Medallion that my mom had given him as a wedding gift—and instructed me on how to handle the gun safely and avoid touching the metal on the barrel or the lenses on the scope with my grimy hands. Even as a little kid I could tell that the rifle was imminently important, even if I wasn’t sure why. My dad loves that gun, and he still hunts with it today.

Mr friend Mr. FM knows me well. But it goes further than looks.

I always get a twinge of unease when somebody says that a gun is just a tool, like a hammer or drill.  A gun is much more than that.  A real gun isn’t a tool — it’s an extension of your body and soul.  Picking up a gun is not the same as picking up a  tool like a hammer, just as picking up a fine sheath knife is very different from picking up a steak knife at a restaurant.

And I’m sorry, but picking up a plastic-stocked rifle just doesn’t do it for me.  I know all the pros and cons of plastic stocks vs. wooden stocks, but the biggest con of a plastic stock is that it feels artificial — to put it bluntly, I feel like I’ve picked up a tool.

In my response to Mr. FM, I said that I’m going to replace the (very few) plastic-stocked rifles in my gun case with wooden-stocked ones.

So here we go.  I’m having a secret auction for this gun:

It’s a Marlin 882SSV (stainless steel varmint) HB in .22 Win Mag, and anyone who has ever seen me use it will attest that it’s a one-hole shooter.  It’s topped with an El Cheapo Shooter’s Edge 4x32mm scope, which is surprisingly good for the price.  I’ll throw it in or take it off, if you have something better.  Also included:  a couple spare mags and (for N. Texas / S. OK bidders only) 200 rounds of .22 Mag.

Marlin discontinued the 882SSV back in the early 2000s, because they’re idiots.  Ruger’s not going to reintroduce it anytime soon (if ever), because they too are idiots.  Parts and spares, however, as plentiful and inexpensive.

I’ll take the highest bid over $350, because you can’t get a decent .22 WMR rifle for less than $450, and the Marlin is a proven tackdriver.

What I want to replace it with:  CZ 457 American (below) or the 457 Varmint HB (if it’s still available):

Bidding opens today and closes at midnight Friday night.  All bids must be sent to my email addy.


  1. I absolutely agree about wood on a rifle. One black AR and five brown .30 cal, two of which have probably been fired in anger.

  2. As you may be aware, I have not been intimately involved in shooting sports in nearly 50 years. So I can’t claim any familiarity with current trends and tastes in the field. However, I can’t help feeling that at least some of the drive for absolute accuracy is somewhat akin to virtue signaling or chest thumping. I find a great deal of sympathy with the author’s take on the necessities and realities of what it takes to bring down a deer in the woods. If the beauty of blued steel and walnut can do the job, why change it? I grew up with a depression-vintage A3-’03 and an 8mm Mauser with a hand-made stock. (And a Winchester “Boy’s Model” .22 long rifle (single shot, bolt action) and a Remington Nylon Model 66) And nothing I have seen — well, OK, very little — since has persuaded me of the superior utility of the modern plastic gun.

  3. Not being from a gun-owning family, my first gun purchase didn’t come until the age of thirty-two. It was a beat-up Savage 110 with a wood stock, chambered for 7mm Rem Mag. I bought it to go elk hunting with my new father-in-law. Despite heeding his warnings to hold the butt tight to my shoulder, I always had very visible bruising to my shoulder if I shot off more than a couple of rounds. Eventually I replaced that rifle with a Weatherby Vanguard in 300 Weatherby Mag with a synthetic stock. Despite having far more muzzle energy, I can shoot the Weatherby all day without discomfort. I attribute this to the synthetic stock. No, it’s not a beautiful rifle, but knowing that it works well with me is worth giving up a bit in aesthetics.

  4. Kim,

    Have you considered a Boyd’s stock? They have a number of different woods available, as well as customization options.

    Having said that, my preference would be for the CZ. I have the 455 Varmint in 22LR and it’s a thing of beauty. That it’s splendidly accurate is icing on the cake.

  5. For what it’s worth, I agree. I have a 452 American in 22 LR and it’s great. For me, anything in 22 WMR is just a more expensive way to plink.

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