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Refinishing Question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Powderman, Jul 13, 2003.

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  1. Powderman

    Powderman Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    Well, I did something I thought I'd never do again. A person I work with asked my help in refinishing a Marlin 336. Common gun, but this one belonged to his dad.

    When I saw the rifle for the first time, I almost lost it! This rifle had been sitting in a cloth case for almost 20 years, in a garage. Water had dripped on the case.

    The rifle is one massive rust bucket.

    I took on the job anyway--the stocks are in surprisingly good shape, and should be easy to sand, fill, and hand rub.

    The metal parts are what worry me.

    I have just finished removing the last of the gross rust from the barrelled action. This has disclosed large, nasty pits all over the receiver, some of which are REALLY deep. The bore is in good shape except for one massive pit near the muzzle.

    I need opinions on a few options.

    1. I can do some draw filing on the receiver, and contour the pits on the barrel with hand filing. Blend it all with some hand sanding, then have it bead blasted.

    2. Take it to a person who has the tools, remove the barrel, chuck it into a lathe and turn the O.D. down to remove the pitted metal.

    The first is the cheapest, the second would be MUCH more expensive.

    What do you think?

    (PS) A few years back, I did some gunsmithing of my own, all legit, and can still turn out a heck of a hand prep job for bluing.
  2. Clemson

    Clemson Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    Greenwood, SC
    How about a hand prep job on the receiver and replacement of the barrel with a new one from Marlin?
  3. mete

    mete Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    How deep is "really deep" ?Make up a depth gage and check then you will know how much you need to remove.
  4. stans

    stans Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    Deep pits are usually a bad sign and removing them by milling, sanding, or filing can lead to dangerously thin metal. The Marlin 336 is not a particularly rare item and I would suggest a new one or a used one in much better condition for shooting.
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    Tig weld up the pits and then machine the surface smooth. With a polish (preceeding the reblue)you may not even notice.
  6. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2002
    North Texas
    OWNER'S purpose is probably the major consideration

    Powderman, does the owner want a complete restoration of the rifle, to near-factory specs? If so, you indeed face a formidable task! I think I would consider a combination of the above suggestions - - - perhaps locate an inexpensive used example of the same model, with a good barrel - - Substitute that barrel for the "ruined" one. You could drawfile the worst areas on the receiver, probably after doing as 4V50Gary suggests, having the Tig welding done and go from there. This would PROBABLY be less expensive than sending the rifle to Marlin for a new barrel.

    If, on the other hand, the owner simply wishes to use the rifle for a wall hanger, a lot of the really expensive (time and money both) restoration work is essentially unnecessary. The big pit in the bore is probably not a safety factor. May or may not affect accuracy but surely makes cleaning a hassle. Again, this piece probably wouldn't be a regular hunting arm. It having sat unused and neglected for so long, the owner's main concern might just be to have ole dad's rifle in fairly presentable condition.

    I am fully cognizant that sentiment is a powerful stimulus. If the owner is willing to pay the tariff for a real restoration (certainly far beyond the cost of replacement with another, similar, rifle,) so be it. MY main concern would be that the owner was fully informed as to the options and costs, before any additional expense is incurred.

    Let us know how this project goes. Some before and after photos would be very interesting.

    Best of luck - - -
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