Marlin Firearms has been providing .22 rifles to the U.S. market since shortly after John Marlin started the company in New Haven, Conn. Countless American gun-owners learned to shoot with one of Marlin’s various small-bore rifles. And while the .22 LR is a great little round, some people prefer a small-bore rifle with a just little more punch—enter the .22 WMR.
Whether popping holes in aluminum cans or hunting small game, I’ve always been a big fan of the .22 WMR. This venerable little round provides an increase in both power and velocity, allowing for larger game, such as hogs to be taken, with a negligible increase in recoil and expense.
In addition to the thousands of rifles chambered in .22 LR, Marlin produces high-quality varieties of bolt-action rifles in .22 WMR, including the 925RM.
Built for hunting small game, the 925RM comes with a black, fiber-glass filled synthetic stock, which keeps the weight around 6 pounds without a scope, a 22-inch, Micro-Grooved rifled barrel, pre-mounted swing swivels and adjustable sights. Of course, a scope can be easily mounted to improve range and accuracy.
The 925RM is a lightweight bolt-action rifle that is easy to handle on a variety of targets whether moving or stationary. The stock is sturdy with sharp, molded checkering to maintain good purchase even when wearing gloves. The stock feels like it would scratch easily, but for a small-game and plinking rifle, this isn’t a big concern.
The action was quite smooth, though it felt really short for someone like me who is used to shooting long-action calibers such as the .30-06 Sprg., but, with just a little bit of practice, I was able to work the bolt without taking my head off the gun. The trigger was also good for a gun of this type—it had zero creep before smoothly breaking at an even 7 pounds. While I prefer a lighter trigger pull, having one at 7 pounds is ideal for beginners who are just learning how to shoot rifles.
Breakdown for cleaning and maintenance is easy. After ensuring the rifle is unloaded, simply pull back the bolt while depressing the trigger and the bolt will slide out of the action. From here, clean from bore to muzzle, which keeps fouling out of the action allowing for more time between cleaning the trigger group. If more cleaning is needed—after a rainy hunt or heavy shooting session—all you have to do is remove two screws on the bottom, which releases the barrel and the trigger mechanism from the stock. Reassembly is done in reverse.
For testing, I attached a Leupold Rimfire 2-7x28 mm scope before heading to my local range to burn through a variety of rounds from Remington and CCI, as well as the new Winchester JHP Tin rounds. Accuracy was good with numerous five-shot groups measuring under an inch with each load, though I had the occasional flyer with both the Remington Accutips and the Winchester loads. Overall, the 925RM favored the CCI Mini-Mags best with five, 5-shot groups averaging barely over an inch, though I thought the rifle did well with every load.
The .22 WMR cartridge has always been an excellent round for those who want a little more power without going up to a center-fire, and the Marlin 925RM wrings the little cartridge for all it's worth.