Well written, good reading! Thanks for the insight and experiences.
I remember as a boy when my father inherited his father's Stevens Favorite Falling Block in .22 lr. It was shootable at the time and I remember many times plinking away at pop-cans in the back yard. The firing pin is no longer effective so it now hangs on the wall above the stove at my dad's house.
There's a story behind the rifle though. It started out as my grandfather's brother's rifle. My grandfather and his brother each had matching Stevens Facorites (in their teens I would imagine). My great uncle loved to experiment... with other people's stuff
He took my grandfather's gun and loaded an empty .22lr shell in the chamber. Next he dumped the powder charge from a 30-30 down the muzzle into the .22 casing. He then topped it off by tamping the pulled .22 bullet down the muzzle on top of the much too large powder charge. He rigged up a string to the trigger, set up the rifle on one side of the barn, ran with the string to the other side of the barn and gave it a hard yank... and that was the end of my grandfather's original rifle.
As a result my great uncle had to give my grandfather his own rifle which now hangs on the wall at my parents place.
A few years ago someone was (or is still) making a replica of the Stevens Favorite and my mother bought one for my dad, now he has a working version as well!