Made in limited numbers for only a brief period, the rifle was designated the Model 25MB, but everyone knows this handy little take down carbine best as the Midget Magnum. Those who known it love it. Those who haven't probably will, and that's the problem because those that have them already aren't letting go.
In 1979, Marlin introduced a basic little bolt-action .22 with a 7-shot detachable single-stack box magazine and 22-inch barrel. This rifle, the Glenfield Model 25, was a hit with kids and adults alike due to its ability to cycle long, short and long rifle .22 rimfire cartridges with ease and its light (5-pound) overall weight. Marlin modified this rifle as the Model 925 from 2004-10, then replaced it with the new XT-22 series a few years ago.
The company dropped the Glenfield name in 1982, and made several short-lived subvariants of the now-Marlin Model 25 to include the 25MN in .22WMR, camouflage stock versions, and the .22 LR-only 25N series. One such example of this was the 25MB, which is largely regarded as the people's choice from this series of bolt-guns.
The Midget Magnum
What made the gun so special was a number of nifty features such as its caliber (.22WMR) which gave it the "magnum" part of its name. Another neat thing was that this gun was as short of a carbine as could be made by law, with a 16.25-inch Microgroove barrel and an overall length of 35.25 inches. This gives you the "midget" part of its name, which is a little non-PC today, but hey, it was made some 30-years ago.
Best of all, the gun was a take-down design which meant that it broke down into just two pieces, each a little over a foot long, making it capable of being stuffed in a backpack or the handy (and capable of floating) black nylon bag it came with. Besides the bag, the rifle came standard with a 4x tipoff scope. Weight? Just 4.75-pounds.
This made the gun a natural choice for backpackers, campers, boaters, pilots and fishermen as it was a compact and dependable rifle that could still in a pinch serve as a survival gun for small game and even limited self-defense against predators on both two and four legs.
For some unknown reason, Marlin Firearms only made these guns for about a year, introducing them in late 1987 for a MSRP of $173, and then discontinuing the rifle the next winter. By the 1990s these were scarce. Today they are downright harder to find than classic Marlins from before World War II.
Getting your own
While the gun books classify this rifle as being worth about $150, good luck finding one for that price. These guns have become the default ideal gun for bug out bags, disaster preppers and the like. It's as compact as the AR-7 series "survival gun," but has a more powerful chambering and, due to its bolt-action, is by far more reliable.
A brief sampling of what is available over the past 90-days on several online gun classified sites seem to give the typical price as somewhere closer to $300-$350.
Good luck and let me know if you have one on the cheap. Until then, I'll keep filling Marlin's suggestion box with calls to bring this gem from the age of the big hair bands back to full production.