Marlin 783 Project Rifle


June 3, 2014, 09:52 AM
It's a shame what some people will do to a nice rifle in the name of custom work.
This is the story of a poor Marlin 783 that got another chance.
Last year I walked into a gun shop to have a look around. One of the guys there knows that I like 22s and work on stocks. When he saw me walk in he said to me, "I got you a 22 for your collection". He then pulled a bolt action Marlin off the rack and handed it to me. Oh the poor thing, I wanted to cry due to the un godly things that were done to it. There was wood filler and something else in a large area on the right side of the buttstock. There were small holes all over the stock. It looked like some one had used tacks to decorate the stock at one time. The tacks had been removed and the holes filled with a light colored wood filler. The right front of the stock had been glued back on with wood glue. I handed it back to him and said no thank you.
He then said he would let me have it for $100. I told him I would think about it and left the store.
Latter that day I went back to the store. I left again with the rifle in hand and $98 less in my pocket. I got him to come down a little because the tip of the magazine tube was bent.
The rifle sat with my other project guns until two weeks ago.

A gun could get lost in this place.

Here are a few pics of the Marlin.

First off I needed to know if the stock was salvageable so, I stripped it.

There were two deep holes and deep cut ugly checkering of some kind on the right side of the buttstock. I have no clue why this was done to the stock, but it appeares that someone wad trying to fix something that someone else had done to the stock before.

After taking a good look at the stock I decided that I would try and save it.

The big issue was the buttstock. I looked at it like it had cancer and cut out the ugly and replace it with good wood.

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June 3, 2014, 09:53 AM
I used Acraglas to fill the tack holes and chips.

I also found another crack in the stock. It was an easy fix.

June 3, 2014, 09:54 AM
I stained the stock with Chestnut Ridge Military Stock Stain to help hide the many repairs and started the BLO finish.

I applied a top coat of Tom's 1/3 Mix to the stock after the oil had cured. How do you think it looks?
I wanted to keep that BTDT Look (Been There, Done That) because I don't plan on refinishing the metal.

June 3, 2014, 01:43 PM
I think it's a fine job! The 783 was a real gem of a rifle, a good workhorse. I think this stock shows loving care in its's got character befitting a working man's gun!

The 783 is my personal favorite...probably because that was my first gun purchase over 30 years ago. That one has long since been stolen, but I managed to find a good deal on one listed on gunbroker last year and got the winning bid. Then I found a 783 barrel for a song, which I bought and had refinished for a build project, with an eye towards a gift to my son who loves the 783 I bought. (That was his first real gun he shot.)

The barrel and magazine tube is all I have...I'll need to buy a bolt, all the trigger and magazine feed pieces, a stock, and a few other things to build this. I plan on doing some custom work on the stock...heck, I may just make one from scratch. I'm thinking next year I'll be able to start on it.

June 5, 2014, 05:26 AM
i have a 782 (removable box magazine) that my wife bought me for our 2nd anniversary. its a great shooter, with the right ammo, and a good day, she will shoot sub moa 7 round groups. for what you had to work with, you did a great job. i am sure i would have used the wood as a dust collector someplace. my talents are NOT in wood. while i have different saws, my favorite wood saw is a chainsaw. so that should give you a feel for my carpentry skills. i have done a few straight up refinishes of stocks, which is easy. but i do not have the patience or skills to do that kind of work. good job. i hope you get a lot of use from that gun. i wouldn't be without mine.

June 5, 2014, 02:21 PM
You made me laugh.
I was about to toss the stock into the junk stock pile and dig out the Birch 783 stock that I picked up a few years ago. But then where would have been the fun in just swapping out the stocks.
Oh! I don't feel safe around a chain saw, I would most likely cut my own legs off.

June 6, 2014, 08:24 AM
Great save.

June 6, 2014, 09:09 AM
Good job,very nice work saving the stock, very impressive.

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