Screwed up a collectible rifle...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Trey Veston, Apr 14, 2021.

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  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    I bought a Ruger M77 .30-06 in 2000. It was stainless steel and had the black composite "boat paddle" stock. Paid $400 for it back then and it was an OK rifle. But, the trigger was heavy at 6lbs, the rifle wasn't all that light, and the stock design transferred A LOT of energy into my shoulder. Seemed like it always kicked hard for a .30-06. But, it was very accurate with cheap Federal 165gr ammo and worked great as an all-around deer/bear/elk rifle.

    However, it was shiny and gaudy. I was fresh out of the military as a Combat Engineer Recon squad member and decided it needed to be camouflaged and blacked out.

    Took it all apart and taped the barrel, sprayed the action parts flat black, and did a great camo on job on the stock.

    Worked great for the next 20 years.

    Recently, I decided to replace it as my primary do-it-all hunting rifle with a lighter Model 70 pre-64 action set in a composite stock and barreled in .30-06 Ackley Improved. Much, much better than the Ruger in every way.

    Figured the Ruger was'nt worth selling and forgot about it. Then I find out that those "boat paddle" Rugers are actually collectible. Going for around $1200 on Gunbroker.

    So I decided to try and salvage mine. Krylon camo paint on a composite stock for 20 years likely ruined it.

    Took the rifle completely apart and used Power Scrubber a little at a time to remove the paint. Was going fine but painstakingly slow. Went to the store and bought some actual paint stripper for the metal parts and sprayed them down. Everything came off quickly and easily. The action and barrel were perfectly preserved in 20 years of hunting.

    But the paint was struggling to come off the stock. Tried a small section of the stock on the inside with the paint stripper and it took the paint off immediately. Didn't seem to affect it. Sprayed it on the remaining half of the stock, let it sit for a few minutes, and started scrubbing with the brush.

    Oh, crap... It's turning white and going very wrong. Washed it all off immediately and surveyed the damage. Stock was not harmed, but is discolored. I used some auto trim restore stuff and it helped quite a bit. Still, just having paint on the stock pretty much ruined it cosmetically.

    I wish I had known that it was going to be a collector's item some day.

    It turned out pretty good, but it's not a pristine collectible now, so no way it will bring the stupid amount of money most of them bring.

    Maybe somebody knows of a treatment that will restore it to perfection. Not sure if I will even sell it, now. if the collector's value is gone, then it is worth more to me as back-up hunting rifle if I can only get $400 for it.

    Before...

    IMG_20200409_081734049 (1).jpg

    After...

    QLpWLWqhSGupXnZForA4HQ.jpeg

    HWoEorvTR4q-XoNJkBU1LQ.jpeg

    Wy9YafabRoiRhTtOIBPNRg.jpeg

    uaCwYmspQZCz8xvZybtrSg.jpeg

    JHKEpvAbSAmfkWkUueZFaQ.jpeg

    We_ZNXCeTJyt9jJ13pVjpA.jpeg
     
  2. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Maybe buy a pristine stock and sell yours? I bet you could get 700 even with the cloudy looking stock.
     
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  3. milsurpguy

    milsurpguy member

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    Yeah its hard to know.
    I want to black out my 94AE but the original walnut colored wood is almost perfect. So I think I'll try and find the newer lighter colored wood that everyone seems to hate in fair or worse condition and black that out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  4. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I love Rugers and the number I have will attest to my commitment to the brand. But your Ruger is not a "collectable" of any consequence and likely never will be. Enjoy your rifle as it is, knowing it's your rifle and nobody else's.
     
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  5. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Might try hitting it with a plastic restore product like McGuire's.
     
  6. welldoya

    welldoya Member

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    I’ve got a Ruger 77/22 that looks just like that.
    I too was astonished when I saw what they are going for.
     
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  7. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    It actually is.

    How else do you explain a 20 yr old $400 rifle going for over $1000 today?

    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/897095219
     
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  8. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Boat paddle for lyfe!
     
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  9. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    After another treatment, it is looking better, but don't think it will bet back to perfect...

    IMG_20210414_200243855.jpg

    IMG_20210414_200301486.jpg
     
  10. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Missed the part where you were using Auto treatments already.... Heating the stock with a hair dryer may help also, That's a trick one of my car buddies suggested when I was trying to get the cowl trim on my Tiburon black again, That in the McGuire seem to work pretty well.
     
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  11. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Ironic that if I do sell this rifle, I will replace it with another Ruger. Only an American Predator rifle in .308, which I will likely camouflage, having learned nothing from this experience, lol.
     
  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Just by the go wild! It comes pre-screwed up from the factory!
     
  13. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Using Mother's Back to Black...

    Zc6c88ycQWqzBCQcHzx1kA.jpeg
     
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  14. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Don't think I've ever tried that one, But if it works on chemically dried out plastic I might try it on the moderator on my bulldog
     
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  15. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Try some atf, I can bring the color back to plastics and old paint jobs.
     
  16. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Well, I paid $275.00 for a Steyr Mannilicher "Zephyer".22 rifle and sold it ten years later for $1,000.00; paid $369.95 for a Mauser Model 620 Trap shotgun and sold it about nine years later for $795.00 and, just this year, sold a Browning muzzleloading "Mountain Rifle" for $875.00 that I paid $275.00 for. Were they "collectables" in the strictest sense of the word? No, they were just worth more than I paid for them several years hence.
     
  17. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    You could have gotten a G43 mauser for $20 after ww2 now see what they bring. My little Remington model 33 was $3 new in 1931 I bet I could get $150 for it now.
     
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  18. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I dunno when the stock alone will sometimes sell for more than a current production rifle of the same make and model, id have a hard time NOT calling it a collectible.....
     
  19. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Your firearms increased in value simply because of economics.

    If a Ruger M77 from 2000 in .30-06 and a wood stock sells for $500 on Gunbroker, which is more than it sold for in 2000, but the M77 in a specific stock, in the same caliber, and the same year, sells for $1400, then something tells me that the Ruger M77 with the specific stock is indeed a collectible.

    I don't think old Glock pistols are collectible. But it doesn't matter what I think, because people have paid $10,000 for a Gen 1 Glock G19. Doesn't matter if you or I think a gun is collectible or not. If people are willing to pay more for a specific firearm, that is no longer available, than other similar firearms, then it is a collectible.
     
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  20. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    When buying any gun, it is important to always factor in the future collectors value. This means no modifications and ideally, no rounds fired through the gun.

    Guns are meant to be kept in safes and collected like adult baseball cards. It is unwise to actually use them or change them to suit your needs.

    YEAH RIGHT,

    Do not worry about it man. That rifle served you for a long time and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it, it looks just fine as is and you did a solid job in restoring it. Guns are made to be CARRIED AND SHOT. If I have a gun around I enjoy using and it suits my purposes, I’m gonna use it. When I’m worm food the next guy can figure out the damn “collectors value”.
     
  21. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I did the same thing with my .223. I I was able to get it off 20 years later, but the stock needs some love. You guys have inspired me!

    I would love to have on old boat paddle .308 with iron sights.

    I wish someone would bring back the boat paddle stocks. I would buy a couple for my other Rugers.
     
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  22. NuclearMeltdown

    NuclearMeltdown Member

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    I almost bought one of those in .223 when I was in high school. They got a bad rap for being ugly, but I kind of like them.

    On a similar note, I have a Model 70 Featherweight XTR in the not-super-rare-but-kind-of-collectable category. It's in a desirable caliber: 6.5x55 SE. I bought it unfired a few months ago, but it's horribly inaccurate with the three loads I tried. Groups are well over 6" with PRVI, Remington, and handloads. The bedding "compound" looks like hot glue and the barrel touches the channel on one side for a few inches. What I need to do is have a classic hooded post front sight added with a WGRS rear sight, have it re-bedded, and have the barrel channel cleared out like it should have been from the factory back in the 80s...

    ...but it's "collectable!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  23. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Up until “YEAH RIGHT” I was thinking “What the heck? Is he serious?”

    Haha...got me AND I agree 100%
     
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Keep it, use it.

    I'm not a huge fan of Ruger bolt guns, but the 77 is vastly superior to the economy American. I have a KM77VT .220 Swift, and though not a great stock trigger and not as smooth as a 700 action, it does shoot. My sister has a regular Mk II stainless/synthetic in .280, and it also shoots just fine. I also had a pre-MK II wood & blued M77 in 6mm Rem than I sold to another member here years ago when I was hard up for cash, and it was a good rifle, too.

    If it's the detachable mag you're after, there's a solution:

    https://pacifictoolandgauge.com/ruger-performance/2072-ruger-m77-mark-ii-la-stealth-detachable-mag-bottom-metal.html
     
  25. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    That's cool as heck, but not really applicable to my .30-06 rifle...

    I really want a short, light, handy .308 bolt gun with detachable 10-round mags. Why? No idea. My M-70 in .30-06 AI will serve as an appropriate rifle for hunting deer, elk, bear, and antelope. But a short little tactical .308 just seems fun...
     
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