Welcome to our recurring series of “Curious Relics.” Here, we want to share all of our experiences, knowledge, misadventures, and passion for older firearms that one might categorize as a Curio & Relic – any firearm that is at least 50 years old according to the ATF. Hopefully along the way you can garner a greater appreciation for older firearms like we do, and simultaneously you can teach us things as well through sharing your own expertise and thoughts in the Comments. Understanding the firearms of old, their importance, and their development which lead to many of the arms we now cherish today is incredibly fascinating and we hope you enjoy what we have to share, too!
In the first part dedicated to Stevens 325-A, we covered the history, variations, and specifications. Despite the interesting factoids, I really enjoy going over older firearms and especially when they get some range time. It has been a cold couple of weeks up here in Minnesota so I have not had much of a chance to go to the range, but I still have a second parter of a much-loved hunting rifle for you today. The Stevens 325-A Bolt Action 30-30. Let’s keep it going!
General Dissasembly: Stevens 325-A
Disassembly and cleaning of this rifle are very straightforward. As always, practice proper gun safety and make sure your firearm is unloaded. The bolt is removed by unlocking and bringing it to the rear and pulling the trigger. The bolt is easily pulled out the back (make sure the extractor is in the correct position when reinstalling). From here remove the magazine as well as the three screws on the bottom of the gun. Two screws hold the bottom metal to the stock and one of them also goes into the receiver. The third screw is located upfront by the sling swivel and is attached to a barrel band. The receiver can be taken out of the stock carefully.
Range Time: Stevens 325-A
Although, I do not have a photo of a target on a range day to share, I can attest that the groups this rifle produces are completely adequate to hunt with. The spoon or butter knife-style bolt handle is extremely easy to grasp and cycle. The overall length is compact and the weight distribution makes it feel lighter than it is. The recoil is actually the only uncomfortable part of this rifle. Even that is not terrible, but it is stout given its compact and lightweight nature. I can only guess it is due to the long life of heavy hunting and wear, but the magazine will sometimes slightly disengage as a result of the recoil; thus, not feeding another round.
Aftermarket Parts & Accessories: Stevens 325-A
As far as aftermarket parts and accessories go, there is a wide pool of places to visit compared to the tiny pond of information pertaining to this handy hunting rifle. Numrich and cfnparts.com have some parts in stock and I saw a handful of parts on eBay as of writing this. Surprisingly, there is a bunch of options for replacement stocks out there such as some at Gunville, Macon Gunstocks, Cottagecfraftworks, and Boyds (highly recommend). I was not able to find a good source for a Lyman 40 sight if someone needed one. It should be said that some Savage Model 340 parts are not interchangeable such as the bolt specifically and the magazines as well. Although, I did find some information on modifying the magazine, but it seems more worthwhile to find a correct magazine.
Final Thoughts: Stevens 325-A
All and all the Stevens 325-A is a solid gun. It is incredibly simple to use, clean, and manipulate. The gun’s overall length and weight make it ideal for trekking through the woods or taking it out for some target practice. The recoil can be stout, but the accuracy and ease of use make you forget about it. Guns like these always seem so mysterious and when you get down to the nitty-gritty they are extremely interesting and have very cool factoids to be found along the way. It is always a pleasure to work with this rifle!
In closing, I hope our Curious Relics segment informed as well as entertained. This all was written in hopes of continued firearm appreciation and preservation. We did not just realize how guns were supposed to look and function. It was a long and tedious process that has shaped the world we live in. So, I put it to you! Is there a firearm out there that you feel does not get much notoriety? What should our next Curious Relics topic cover? As always, let us know all of your thoughts in the Comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.