Tale of the $10 Ithaca 22 Rifle


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Float Pilot
May 3, 2012, 12:40 AM
A few years ago I was at a moving sale and I saw the stock of a rifle sticking out of a trashcan. I pulled it out and discovered an Ithaca Model 49R repeater encrusted with mud and rocks. The house owner said it was a broken pellet gun his kids played with and he was throwing it out. The barrel and action were both packed with small gravel and hard mud. the stock had NO finish left on it and the metal parts that I good see were bare of any finish but rust.

So I tossed it into the truck and drove to the local car wash. $1.75 later I had blown the sand and rocks from the action and bore. Then I discovered it had no magazine internal tube assembly.

Later I soaked it in PB Blaster for a couple of days until the lever could be moved and pried some more stuck rocks from the feeding mechanism. Then it sat in my shop until a few weeks ago.

While working on another project I came across a 22 internal magazine tube for $3. It did not have a spring or follower. Plus it was a few inches too long.

So I cut the tube, refit the end cap / knurled knob and found a long spring at the furniture store for $2.50. Then I made a follower out of a plastic dart from one of the old toy sets my kids had left around here years ago.

Now it was a challenge to see if I could make it shootable for hardly any cash.

So I removed the stocks and wire-wheeled all the metal parts.
Then I coated them with the last bit from a can of barbecue spray paint.
Then I lightly sanded the stocks, which were white and coated them with a little Varathane stain that was left over from another project.
Then I needed to but a rear sight adjustment step since that was missing.

CASH Spent So Far:
Gun in found condition: FREE
Cleaning at car wash : $1.75
Mag Tube:....................$3.00
Mag Spring from curtains: $ 2.50
Rear sight adj step:........$3.00
Paint: Already an old can
Varnish: left-over residue
Oil and solvents: Maybe 50 cents used.
Total : just short of $10

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163816&d=1336020015

I took it to the range a couple days ago to see if the scared up barrel would still shoot. The rocks and rust had not been kind.....

RESULTS AT 50 YARDS:

CCI Mini-mag Solids : 1,228 fps and a 1.0 to 1.5 inch group
WW Super X solids ; 1,344 fps and a HUGE group
Rem Yellow Jackets: 1,350 fps and a 1.0 inch group, (some feeding problems)
CCI- Velocitor 40gr: 1,335 fps and a 3.0 inch group
Federal Lightning: 1,279 fps and a huge group
CCI Mini Mag HP: 1,280 fps and a 2.0 inch group
CCI-Blazer ;........1,240 fps and a 3.0 inch group
CCI-Stingers HP....1,595 fps and a 3.0 inch group
Remington Viper solid: 1,388 fps and a 2.0 inch group

THIS WAS ME BLAZING AWAY THE WHOLE MAG AT 50 YARDS AS FAST AS I COULD CYCLE AND FIRE

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163817&d=1336020015

So at least two loads will make a 1.0 to 1.5 inch group at 50 yards. Which is not bad considering the front sight blade has a ball shape on top which covers the entire black section of the target at 50 yards.

It is now the $10 truck gun.

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shootniron
May 3, 2012, 12:50 AM
I'll give you the money back for it...just shoot me a PM.

Float Pilot
May 3, 2012, 01:29 AM
It is not exactly a tack-driver. But it works..
And I do not care if I loose it in a car wreck....

WardenWolf
May 3, 2012, 05:04 AM
That's pretty sweet. I'm pretty disgusted that the homeowner was so clueless and negligent that he let his kids play with A REAL GUN. Broken / incomplete or not, it was still a firearm. That said, you rescued it and did a very nice job fixing it up, and, while not quite a tackdriver, that's still pretty accurate for a .22.

blarby
May 3, 2012, 05:55 AM
Thats friggin american ingenuity right there.

Fantastic job, the techpriests are overjoyed at your revival of this old treasure.

You might try and use some of the firelapping kits, and tweak it for 22 to fix that scarred barrel. If you've come this far, I'm assured that you could do it.

Awesome. Just A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

gatorjames85
May 3, 2012, 08:53 AM
Very nice

Kernel
May 3, 2012, 08:58 AM
Diamond in the rough. Good work.

RaceM
May 3, 2012, 11:03 AM
Float, you're my kinda guy. Nicely done!

forindooruseonly
May 3, 2012, 11:24 AM
Nice save! It's hard to beat a lever .22 for utility, especially one that you won't mind if it gets banged up a bit.

BCRider
May 3, 2012, 01:44 PM
Maybe only $10 out of your pocket but I also see a whole lotta enjoyment from your side both for the challenge of fixing it and I'm sure the joy that it's at least shootable to a reasonable level of accuracy.

It would be interesting to see just how tight it can actually group if shot from a fixed rest. As you say the human element is still there even with bag resting it due to the eyesight to sight size issue.

TenDriver
May 3, 2012, 02:33 PM
You must have some redneck blood in you, Sir. Well done.

Float Pilot
May 3, 2012, 02:47 PM
You must have some redneck blood in you, Sir. Well done.


Yes indeed and proud of it. At one time most Alaskans were red-necks. Particularly in my area which was a homestead area mostly settled by folks from the Southern States. Unlike Anchorage 225 miles north of us in which most city folks talked like Yankees.

Here is my garden tractor to prove it......

From Alaska, the last Battle Field of the Confederate Navy Cruiser CSS Shenandoah

jrdolall
May 3, 2012, 03:05 PM
Sorry but I have to do this.

You would have been better off saving for a while and buying a "name your brand" NIB. I once had an Ithica that I found encrusted with mud at a yard sale and got for free. By the time I got it all fixed up I had $10 in it and it was not worth the money. My new "name your brand" will shoot MOA at 25,000 yards, at night, without any sights or scopes, when shot by my 3 year old, who has never fired a gun. It shoots best using"name your brand" ammo that I hand-load using 350 grain bullets so you are wasting your time on that store bought ammo.

That is too cool. While I appreciate shiny new toys I really like seeing these older type guns restored and made usable. I myself am completely incapable of doing anything like that despite being 100% redneck and I tip my hat to anyone who can. My father has two old rabbit ear shotguns that I would like to restore but just don't have the energy to get started.

I have an old Roadster sitting in my barn if you ever come to Alabama:)

That target is better than I can do from 50 yards with a new rifle and a scope! My eyesight left with my flat stomach several years ago!

Bmont2409
May 3, 2012, 03:12 PM
And what kind of roadster may that be? Great job one the Ithaca, would love to find an old one and fix it up.

Salmoneye
May 3, 2012, 03:52 PM
Sweet...

:cool:

CoRoMo
May 3, 2012, 04:03 PM
I am not at all impressed with your rifle...



...because I'm way too busy being jealous.

Lucky son of a...

gpjoe
May 3, 2012, 05:48 PM
Nice.

1KPerDay
May 3, 2012, 06:27 PM
Great story. :Cool:

roadchoad
May 4, 2012, 09:14 AM
Show us how it patterns a CCI shotshell please! You might have a little lever action .22 shotgun, for those pesky woodboring bees LOL.

Very nice find and refinish.

TenDriver
May 4, 2012, 09:17 AM
Sorry but I have to do this.

You would have been better off saving for a while and buying a "name your brand" NIB. I once had an Ithica that I found encrusted with mud at a yard sale and got for free. By the time I got it all fixed up I had $10 in it and it was not worth the money. My new "name your brand" will shoot MOA at 25,000 yards, at night, without any sights or scopes, when shot by my 3 year old, who has never fired a gun. It shoots best using"name your brand" ammo that I hand-load using 350 grain bullets so you are wasting your time on that store bought ammo.

That is too cool. While I appreciate shiny new toys I really like seeing these older type guns restored and made usable. I myself am completely incapable of doing anything like that despite being 100% redneck and I tip my hat to anyone who can. My father has two old rabbit ear shotguns that I would like to restore but just don't have the energy to get started.

I have an old Roadster sitting in my barn if you ever come to Alabama:)

That target is better than I can do from 50 yards with a new rifle and a scope! My eyesight left with my flat stomach several years ago!
I'm in Alabama. Let's hear about that car.:D

murf
May 4, 2012, 03:06 PM
nice save!

how does the barrel crown look after all that rock and mud? maybe could use a little polishing?

murf

19-3Ben
May 4, 2012, 03:26 PM
how does the barrel crown look after all that rock and mud? maybe could use a little polishing?

That's EXACTLY what I was wondering. I was thinking that if it's not too good, a re-crown of the barrel might increase accuracy. On the other hand, 1"-3" groups at 50 yards with a .22 is really not bad at all.

Well done. that' a really neat little rifle, especially for the price!

MtnCreek
May 4, 2012, 03:36 PM
I would be more proud of that rifle than a new one. Great job!

blindhari
May 4, 2012, 03:52 PM
FloatPilot,
I can afford a new 22 of my choice with no real effort, same with a shotgun. However my father's 22 short octagon barrel, my mothers 22 cal 1953 Benjamin, and the 20ga shotguns I have rebuilt from useless are worth more than I can ever afford to give up. It does not matter what the cost is on bringing your gun back to life, the value is that it was your work that did it. You have a rifle you can rely on because you put it back together, priceless.

blindhari

ps At one time I was an armorer in the Army. 120 other soldiers trusted completely that thier weapons were ready to go anytime/everytime out of the armsroom. You might say I covered thier back, they covered mine.

splattergun
May 6, 2012, 03:50 PM
Well done, Float. And if you're ever hurtin' for cash, you could likely sell it for $150 at a gun show!

foghornl
May 6, 2012, 04:51 PM
That little rifle cleaned up very nicely...good looking shootin' iron

My cheap rifle story isn't that good, but my OLD Marlin 99 is a $20 pawnshop rescue...

When I first got it, it wouldn't reliably cycle ANY ammo, including CCI Mini-mags. I worked the action by hand a few times, and it sounded and felt like I was stirring up a bucket of sand-n-gravel. Finally got the action out of the stock, and swizzled it around in a bucket of Mineral Spirits for a couple of hours. Let it dry, and put everything back together. Hasn't missed a beat since then, even with plain-lead Rem Thunderbolts. I REALLY need to refinish it, though...looks like it was "Krylon-ed"...home-spray painted with black hi-temp grill paint.

hang fire
May 6, 2012, 10:18 PM
Many years ago when lived in AK, I used to haunt Elmer Hightower's gun shop few miles out of Seward. He always had a barrel or two full of NDN, Aleut and Inuit guns he kept for spare parts. Some had been nice guns in their day, but most looked like rusted up badly used and abused tools, muzzles with notches cut in them, stove pokers for wood fires &c.

Centurian22
May 7, 2012, 04:26 AM
Very impressive. I would LOVE to find and or take on a project like this. Congrats on your $10 'investment'!!! Beautiful!

jrdolall
May 7, 2012, 09:20 AM
The roadster is a 1952 MG missing the engine and the bonnet. It is completely rusted out and needs a total restoration. It was sitting in the barn when I bought the place. If I decide I want to spend $20k I will get it restored and cruise around.

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