This page is a re-archiving and compiling of all the posts I made on this project. Since those posts are scattered throughout my other posts, I figured a single page put together would be easier to share with anyone that didn’t get to read/see them as I went.
(UPDATED 8-6-16, Williams 5D sight fitted. scroll down)
Sometime around the first weekend of September 2014;
A friend of mine gave me some old rifle parts that he found while cleaning up… Its about enough parts to build 1 and a 1/4 rifles… But also missing some key components. They are both the same model of pump rifle, and looked like .22s, from the bore size… but we couldn’t find a mark on them as to make model or caliber, and the chambers looked too big for even .22 mag.
I later found a mark on one reciever, “L25”
Google is your friend as they say, and after looking up model 25 pump rifles, and going through a Lot of images of different pumps made over the years I found it; They are the Remington model 25.
Made between 1923 and 1935, only 33,000 ever made(not many for firearms, even for that short time span) and They only came in 25-20, also called .25 Winchester Center Fire or 25
WCF, and 32-20(.32 WCF)
I can’t date these exactly since I can’t find a serial number or date code on either one yet, need to clean them more…( I actually have no idea where a serial number should be on these, on some take downs its inside one receiver half… and under the rust in this case.)
These are .25-20, (unless of course someone has re-chambered them out bigger at some point). 25-20 is a small rimmed bottle neck cartridge, a hold over from black powder use, it
looks like a .30-30 shell that got wet and shrunk…
((One site I read, someone mentioned that only 12,000 were ever made in
the .25-20 caliber.. I take this info with a
grain bucket of salt though))
They came in 24″ and 18″ barrels. Both of the ones I have are about 16″ The shell capacity is soposed to be 10+1.
There are some of these in 25-20 for sale online right now in good but
used condition for about $1k… Kinda a rare little bugger it seems! (just my luck… I like rare and limited stuff, but in this case it will be a pain since I have to try to find parts for it!! )
These will Never be worth anywhere close to that, but its interesting to see how rare/popular the model is.
Got a copy of the original users manual for them from Remingtons’ site(gotta commend them for that, keeping paperwork on something they made 80 to 90 years ago, and having it easily available!) And I’ve found some exploded views online, although still not really showing the area I need to see apart(it is shown as a completed assembly in the diagrams!)
Winchester and Remington both still make loaded ammo in 25–20, but its bloody expensive, and I can’t find anywhere online that has any in stock… Same with the new un fired brass from both companies. Once fired brass to re-load is obtainable, but its running almost a buck a case!!
I am going to have to come up with 2 or 3 rounds at least, to make sure it feeds and cycles OK if I can put it together.
My loading manual has load data for 2400, a powder I have on hand, in this shell,
which is a relief over the more obscure powders also listed (especially since we can’t get ANY powder here right now..)!
The one assembled action is fully functional as far as actually shooting is concerned. Anyway as far as I can tell without a shell to put in it to test the extractor and ejector…
Could easily use it as a single shot as is though, I think.
All of the main feed mechanism in the receiver seems to be there, all it really needs done is re-build the magazine feed part to make it a repeater like its soposed to be. And re-finish it and the stock of course.
The assembled action looks like a re-barrel job with a clean barrel blank, the other bare receiver has what looks like a shortened, but stock, or stock replacement barrel on it, with all the propper dovetails cut. I’ll see which one has the better bore, and chose that way.
That clean new barrel on the assembled one has a odd muzzle, it is counter bored out to about .300” for the last 3/4” of the barrel tip… Slip in flash hider or silencer maybe?
Numrich/gunparts has Some parts available, some not… about 1/2 of what I would need to put one together isn’t available, but about 1/2 of that I Think I can adapt from other gun models and the rest i can just fabricate from scratch. Honestly I think I can fabricate everything it would need from scratch if I absolutely had to(wouldn’t want to though!!). I guess we’ll see!
First thing is to try to order some brass so I can have dummy rounds to cycle the action and check the chambers with, and in the mean time, hot tank/wash/scrub/sand them to get the rust and grime off.
parts diagrams for refference;
Right to left;
- .45 Long Colt
- .357 Magnum
- and the 180 grain bullet thats in the .30–06; Almost as big as the whole .25–20 shell!
Been working on that rifle project; Its getting there.
Almost to where it will cycle the action without fiddling, and I do know 100% whats wrong; Two main issues, one that directly effects the feed, and one thats indirect, that just limits the gun to a single shot magazine. Just gotta find a workable solution to the first…
The second is (comparatively) easy, just have to make and fit a part from scratch.
Started fitting the woodwork in the mean time;
And blue printing for the part I have to make;
After more a few weeks of fiddling, learning, fitting, endless disassembly and reassembly, and a bit of frustration I was able to finally figure out exactly what was wrong with this rifle and why it wouldn’t cycle/feed.
Don’t worry, I’ll do a detailed post on all of that later…. Its complicated, but easy to explain in person… But to explain,in text will be hard. And will take lots of pics. Gonna take writing several drafts before I can post something coherant and understandable in text form.
The main point right now though is that after another week of work, and trying several solutions, I found one!
The gun now cycles 90% flawlessly, and WILL cycle every time 100% of the time, even if it does hang up a little some times!
So, I did a preliminary fitting of the stock, (involving drilling and tapping new holes in the sucker since the stock isn’t quite right for this gun anymore, after i messed up some of the inletting… ). Cleaned the snot(more accurately Rust, and lots of it!) out of the barrel bore, improvised some parts(like a hose clamp as a mag tube hanger), stole the rear sight off of a the Win94 .45 colt, Loaded one round, and fired it into the wood pile.
After checking that I was still alive, having all my fingers and face intact, and there weren’t any new holes in the gun; SO far so good!
I reloaded and fired another 4 rounds… Shoots good! pretty darned accurate too for having no front sight
It is still only a single shot since I do need to make a cartridge stop for it so it will feed without over loading the action and jamming. Well, OK, its a 2 shot, or maybe call it 1+1… if you chamber one round, you can then put another in the mag, and it will cycle that round in fine without jamming. Any more in the tube and it jams up.
The proof; fired brass!
The rifle as it is now;
Top do list items are;
Finish fitting, shaping and finishing the stock.
make a safety cross bolt,
make a mag tube hanger,
make and fit a cartridge stop(that will be the Really hard part to make and time correctly to the action!),
make/fit a butplate for the stock,
make/fit a bushing for the new stock mount screw,
make inserts/fillers to take the screws in the fore stock/plug the over sized holes.
make/fit a front sight ramp and blade.
Install sling swivels.
Have loads of fun shootin it!
Eventual plans include a new steel finish, possible new blueing… haven’t decided yet on what I want to do there.
Remington 25 action fitting and tuning, Final Part 1.
- make a bushing for the new stock mount screw Bought one that will work.
- install bushing for the new stock mount screw,
- Finish fitting, shaping and finishing the stock.— Bought stock finish(Tru-Oil)
- make/fit a buttplate for the stock,
- make a safety cross bolt,Bought parts!
- make a mag tube hanger,Bought parts!
- make and fit a cartridge stop(that will be the Really hard part to make and time correctly to the action!), Bought parts!
- make inserts/fillers to take the screws in the fore stock/plug the over sized holes.
- make a front sight ramp. Bought a used one on the ‘bay!
- make a front sight blade. Took the one out of the soldered on ramp on the .218 Bee barrel on the other receiver.
- Install sight ramp and blade.
- Install sling swivels.
- new blueing… haven’t decided yet on what I want to do there. Bought a bottle of cold blue.
I was going through Numrichs site again looking for a front sight for it, without any luck… But did notice that this time they now have the other parts I need!
So, I ordered the cartridge stop, safety parts, new firing pin(one I have is broken in two but still works), mag tube hanger… No, you don’t want to know what this hand full of parts cost me.
They came in Monday.
Safety fitting was easy, although re-assembling the hammer mech took 3 tries
I now realize the dovetail on the barrel for the mag tube ring is no longer a dovetail… Will need to find another way to mount it. (thinking of tack welding it lightly )
So, up to this point I had the rifle functioning pretty darn good, feeding getting better and better. Then I fit the cartridge stop. It modifies the resistance of the action and timing of a lot of it.
- So I went from a repeater that didn’t repeat that would cycle and feed a single round,
- to a repeater that has a working magazine, that would sorta cycle.
- Then to a repeater that wouldn’t cycle and would even jam up tight Without ammo in it.
- Then to a gun that wouldn’t cycle OR feed from the mag, but didn’t jam when empty…
- back to working mag, no empty jam, and a fair/random cycle/feed.
- And now back to a repeater(working Mag) that won’t cycle/feed at all…
1 to 3 was fitting the cartridge stop, mag spring, and follower tension and timing…
4 was taking metal off the trailing end of that new cartridge stop to remedy the binding up, then taking too much and rendering the function as it was when the part wasn’t there…
5 was welding metal back onto the cartridge stop, and them re-fitting it. And fitting a large stop ring to the mag follower(it was slipping under the cartridge stop with no round in front of it and dragging/jamming)
6 was taking too much metal off the bolt face to clearance the timing/feed issue; Which worked great actually, now the case slides up that face perfectly. It just doesn’t provide enough drag to slow the travel and allow the nose of the cartridge to come up, so it flips the round vertical and jams it between the bolt and the barrel…
At this point I am down to welding material back onto the bolt face amd re-fitting it from scratch, and adding metal to the bolt lugs that engage the action bar, to fix the slop in the timing(really wish I’d thought of that Before I took too much metal off the bolt face! )
I have discovered Gunsmithing/re-building an action is NOT for the faint of heart.
But I’m still enjoying it.
Remington 25 action fitting and tuning, Final Part 2.
Last night I spent another 11 hours in the shop working on it.. Figured out what was needed to fix the feeding and tried it. Welded on the action lugs that engage the two pieces, the re-filed/ground them to fit, to tighten it up. Had a perfect alignment of bolt and action block, fixing the timing…
Problem then was it was too tight and wouldn’t allow the bolt to go into full batery/lock up. Fitting it so it could close up put me back where I started with the other fit… It did leave it a tad tighter though.
After that I Welded on the bolt face, creating and shaping cartridge guides from scratch. Got it the first time, perfect! Fed smooth as glass, fast lock up etc… Except the action locking closed for firing, I had added enough material in both welding and fittings to space the action back about 1/8″ (0.155″ actually). Re fit the bolt face as close as I could get it to the barrel(actually a touch tighter than it started since I trimmed the extractor back too…), but it still had to go foreward. I cheated and trimmed the action catch for the lock, and extended some other grooves for the cartridge stop to ride in…
That got me Absolute Perfection!!! Smooth feed, solid lock up, ejection, etc… YAAAYYYY!!!!
About an hour later while working the action durring some cosmetic work on the stocks, I got a loud CLICK, then a CHUNK, the the action jammed. Then dropped a chunk of metal. EEEK!
Snapped off the new cartridge guide I’d just welded up on the bolt face… CRAP
Had a heavy metal grain to the broken edges… Hard brittle metal. I had thought about, and knew I needed to anneal/temper the welded areas before working the action much or subjecting it to recoil… Just forgot to do it! UGH,
So, out came the welder, Dremmel and files again, and I re-did the previous work on the bolt face. Was harder to fit the second time around, and its not as glassy perfect this time but its darned close! Took half the time to do it too… And i left it a bit beefier where it broke before, just in case.
And this time after I was sure of the fit, I fired up the oxy/acyt torch and proceeded to heat the whole thing through the colors; straw,(500F knife temper) Gold brown(650F softer knife temper) blue/purple(700F to 800F weak spring temper) to greyish light blue((950F ish… no useful temper, not dead soft annealing, but pretty soft) And let it slow cool to room temp. Will see how it works out this time.
So barring that breaking again, thats it for function! I’m down to finishing the stock, mounting sights and doing some bluing. I even got the mag tube band tack welded to the barrel wile I was at it..
I’ll throw some pics of some of this stuff up here soon, so you guys can have a better idea of What The Heck I’m talking about with the action fitting.
So, a few pics…
The bolt and the locking lugs/legs
Here it is sitting on(and coated it) one of THE greatest inventions EVER for metal work; Layout blue. Swab it on, let it dry(few seconds) assemble the parts, and watch for where it wears the blue off/marks it etc… Fast easy finding of contact and abrasion points. Also great for marking and layout, you scribe through it to the bare steel leaving non permanent but highly visible lines/marks. At one point or another I have had the entire action of this rifle coated in this stuff. 😀
Not much change, but it is a bit sharper cornered whereit engages the action bar lugs along the back edge and back lower corner. Also made the lugs a littme taller to tighten up the action in the reciever a bit.
The bolt face, before;
Checking overall length so I knew where to grind to if I needed to re-cut it to original, in case this hadn’t worked out…
Finished the first time;
And the piece that came off;
And, as it is now, the second fitting, with the piece that came off the first version;
The main tools used in re-fitting the bolt; Flex shaft variable speed Dremel( yes, actual Dremel brand tool, variable speed model circa 1990… Still going strong!) Flux core wire feed welder, and Lots of files!(some regular a nd a couple in diamond grit)
Current mess for fitting and assembly dutties;
Magazine tube band welded to the barrel;
It ain’t real pretty but it works!(other side is actually worse… I was selective for the pic 😉 )
The mag follower was binding in the tube, and against the new cartridge stop, so I made an end for it the right dia that couldn’t try to pass the cstop and wedge in place… right dia? The same as the cartridges of course… So… 😉
Need to get a thinner screw for that, its a little hard to start the first shell against it as is. I’m really enjoying one skill that I’ve learned with these recent gun projects; Tapping threads. Something I always avoided before after some bad experiances… But with the proper drill size, and new sharp taps, its really rather easy, and a great way(duh!) of attaching two items together!
Another one for drilling and tapping; I had to find a new way to mount the stock after I messed up the inletting and stock angle that allowed it to factory mount through the butt to the tang end…. Cross drilled the tang, tapped the hole, matched to the stock, and voila;
That pic also shows the new safety parts that I ordered, now installed.
Taking out the rasp marks, and removing 20+ years of dirt, oil, and oxidation. 80 then 100 grit powered, then 120 grit by hand.
After the hand sanding;
After two coats of true oil, and buffing out with some textured leather(didn’t have any steel wool);
It actually looks better, and more even in person… the cameral flash is playing tricks with the finish.
The forestock blank that came with it;
It needed trimmed for length, and the top opening for the barrel cut. Also the 2 dia stepped hole through the center needed oepened up some. You can see some of the curl in the grain here, it was actually a pretty decently figured piece of walnut;
I opened up the holes as best I could, and cut it down, then figured a way to easily cut the open top into the inner channel…. Ripping saw on an angle, at measured marks for the barrel taper. Worked great;
Except I missed. The outer dimention I measure and cut on should have been my Inner dimension… So its the right contour to fit the barrel, just Waaayyyy too wide. Ironically it fits the .32 cal barrel O got perfectly, but still too deep, without enough room under the barrel for the mag tube.
Ah well, can’t win them all. And its not like I lost much, it didn’t fit before, and that hasn’t changed! 😉
Front sight installed!
When I ordered this thing I had no idea what it came off of, and I also more importantly had no idea of the radius of the contour on the bottom… IE, what dia barrel it would fit, or if it fit a tapered barrel or a straight contour.. I figured it would probably be close enough to work. Later after ordering I hoped it would at least be close enough that I could shape a 1/16” steel space to fit it, and the bottom to fit the barrel..
I got lucky!
It fits it 99% perfectly!!
Also, the dovetail for the sight post was a little loose for the post I scavenged off the 218 Bee barrel… A little work with a ball pein hammer tightened it up nice. The post is a touch too wide for the ramp, but it works! (better too wide than too narrow…) Once I get it sighted in and peened to hold it in place, I’ll grind the sides flush for a nice clean fit. The sight hood off the other barrel even fits it! (needs a little tweeking, but it will deff work on there)
SO… I started out to mount it with screws… But didn’t have any the right length. Shortening one woulda been easy… Lengthening the other… a little harder. It would have been OK, but that coupled with my problem of the HSS drill bits I have not being stiff enough to not flex when drilling a curved surface… I didn’t want to have to re-weld and re-drill these holes in the barrel… So while I was tack welding the sight to the barrel to make it 100% solid as a drilling guide I decide to heck with it and just tacked it in several places.. 😉
That ramp is now permanently mounted. 😀
It ain’t super purty, but it works!
Was fooling with parts I have here, and realized that the scope rail off of my Browning SA-22 will fit on the Model 25.
If I cut a dovetail at the right height in the bottom of the rail to match up to the one in the barrel, mounting can be as simple as driving a dovetail blank through both of them. And if I miss all of the holes in the rail, it will still be useable for the SA-22!
Not sure I really want a scope on this rifle, but at least I have the option available.
Blued and 99% finished!
Just need to mount a simple but plate(need to scrounge some brass plate wide enough for it first), and some sling swivels, and she’s done!
This is about 4 applications of the blueing, as per the directions, with propper cleaning and de-greasing before and after each coating. It took a LOT better than the last time I put this stuff on a gun barrel.
It took, and was getting darker with each application, but I honestly got tired of the process and stopped. Wasn’t sure of the darkness I left at first, but it actually “cured” some over night and got a little bluer, and I really like it.
I’m really liking the mottled almost case hardened look to the receiver!
Its a nice less than clean look for a vintage gun. Hides the old pitting from rust in the metal pretty good too. From more than a foot away its fantastic, its just up close or in certain light that it looks really grey, it really is a mottled blue tint in most light.
This first pic is a 95% true representation of how it really looks at first glance; blue and dark, but mottled.
The barrel finish, I’m not so sure of, but it grows on you. I MIGHT put another coat or two on the barrel. Might not too. 😉 The barrel is decidedly greyer than the receiver, but like the receiver, from more than a foot away its fantastic, its just up close or in certain light(like a camera flash) that the grey stands out so much.
I did it in parts, and hadn’t done the trigger guard/tang piece yet, so I went ahead and assembled it as is, and I really like the contrast! SO its staying “in the white”, and will just get a protective coating of wax/oil to stem off any rust. The action bar where the loading gate is was the same way, hadn’t gotten to it yet… Not sure if I’ll try to blue it. Its OK as far as contrasting looks go, and it is a high wear area anyway with the loading gate on the front, and the cartridge stop ridding on the back, I have a feeling most of this type of blueing will wear off of it pretty fast anyway.
The stock came out great too, up to 10ish coats of True Oil… Its sealed real well, and just starting a slightly gloss sheen but still pretty matte. I like it. Its sealed and protected, but not glassy and has a good vintage look. Fits the gun nice.(even on a brand new rifle I wouldn’t really want glassy full gloss anyway!)
I’ll be putting a couple coats of a good wax finish on it to harden it up a tad for further weather protection, and call it good. Now all I gotta do is get some range time!
As far as I can tell, this problem wasn’t a error in my build, its a flaw in the original action design… With not enough cartridges in the magazine to have positive spring pressure on them, there is no pressure on the cartridge stop, and it swings free.. if it swings far enough, like if the gun is turned on its left side, the tail swings out too far and lets the inner end drop too far in its channel, preventing the action bar from sliding. And jamming the action.
So with 2 rounds or less in the gun,(one chambered, one in the mag) or any time there is just one round or less in the mag there is no spring pressure on the stop, and it swings free… Fully loaded its fine and can’t jam up. But if your not holding the gun just right, the last round won’t cycle to chamber…
Its easy to fix when it happens, just turn the gun right side down so the stop gravity drops into place, or reach up and press it in with my trigger finger(easy since I shoot left handed, would be a pain for righties). Easy to fix, but it’d get old reeeeaaaallly fast if you were emptying the gun FAST eother for fun shooting, or at a threat… Although it would tell you instantly your down to one round… but it’d still be a P!TA IMO.
So, I drilled and tapped a couple holes, and added an over travel stop plate over the cartridge stop tail to prevent it from swinging past flush on the receiver, and jamming the action. Now it cant jam and prevent the last round from cycling/chambering.
Brass because its easy to work with and generally looks nice 😉
Need to get a couple different screws eventually that have a lower profile head… But these work fine for now.
Sling and Swivel studs installed;
Measured the length I wanted with the adjustable sling off my hunting rifle, and made a matching length simple leather sling out of an old belt. The butt stock stud was simply drilling the stock and installing it. The forestok stud was a little more work, had to check its threads and patch to a tap, and a die, use the die to extend the threads all the way to the to under the stud head(it originally had about 3/16” without threads) drill and tap the mag tube hanger/band, install deep and tight, cranking in hard to get the alignment needed, and grind the tail of the bolt flush on the inside of the ring.
At a range day with a friend this past May, I finally got to do some real shooting with this rifle. It functioned flawlessly for over 25 rounds! Not a single action catch or hiccup!
But after a bit, the rear sight shot loose, and my accuracy testing went out the window, so I can’t really tell you how accurate it is beyond its be a great bunny buster at standard bunny range (20 to 30 yards max).
The sight was never a good fit, loose in the dovetail, but I had forgot to pein the dovetail down..
My fix though was actually a little more involved than that. 😁
Got me a good peep sight mounted this week.
Got a great deal on a couple NOS(New Old Stock) Williams 5D rear peep rifle sights. This project is the adapting of one of them to a rifle it wasn’t designed for.
The sight I got is a #141, made for a Remington 14 or 141, which are basically, 99% the same exact receiver shape as the Model 25, just a tad bigger.
The rights top piece has a curve under it to fit the top and back of the receivers, the side mount plate a clearance cut out to clear the swell on the grip frame behind the receiver.. And all of it fits the 25 almost flawlessly.
I just had to pick an exact position, figuring for receiver clearance at lowest setting(wanted it to Not sit on top of it at the lowest setting for protection from excessive recoil vibration(never mind the thing being bolted to the receiver lol) ) I also set it so that just off the lowest setting was in line with where I had the buck horn set… Which was dead on at 15 to 20 yards, probably my minimum/standard range or close to it.. I also made sure to get it level with the receiver top to get the aperture vertical so I don’t look through it at an angle.
Pick spot, Having a spare receiver for fitting things sure is handy!
Scribe guide lines on the gun,
Sharpen my blunted center punch(boy howdy that lathe is handy!)
Punch hole(little off center but who cares when you making up where it goes, as you go to begin with 😉 )
Couldn’t find exactly the right drill, so I went a touch bigger, and did a test on some 1095 bar I have.
Perfect! (Hole is only .007″ bigger)
To get the second hole in the right place, I drilled lightly through the sight base hole, at full screw hole dia, then used that divot to center the right drill. I still missed by a few thou, but the play in hole size and screw diameters on the mount made it fine… 😀
Anyway, it’s on there and looks great, if I do say so myself!
( man that pic was a total PITA to take! Your eye will automatically center the post in the sight, but the camera won’t! Paaaaiiin to get it all aligned and the focus right, then not move it when you tap the screen to take it. Oi. Lol )
Just need to find time to get to the range and sight it in. Hopefully less than the year that went by the last time I wanted to shoot it!
Thought this was interesting, adds for the M25 from ’26, three years after they came out in ’23. That 25R carbine looks awfully familiar 😉
I’ve been searching for 20+ years for a replacement barrel for my model 25 .25-20. Any suggestions? It was my grandmother’s and I loved shooting it but there was an incident causing a small bulge in the barrel. I’d love to get it back into action.