Resurrecting an Oldie

Improving and repairing firearms. Rifle bedding, barrel work, stock replacement and other ways to improve your firearms.

Resurrecting an Oldie

Post by Homer » 04 Aug 2018, 8:27 am

G'Day Fella's,

A couple of years back, I purchased a well used and abused BSA Hunter in .222Rem.
I have a thing for certain Post WWII sporting centrefire rifles, and this BSA falls into this category.

So the rifle was made, in the 1950's (exact date TBC), and has had a tough life and a bloody rough owner but all the important parts are still intact.
For starters, the barrel channel was "Free Floated", the action was "Bedded", and the exterior stock finish (and a lot of the checkering) was removed, obviously by a preson that had no real idea of what it was they were doing or how to go about achieving this correctly.
I'll let the photo's do a lot of the talking on this but lets just say, I'm sure the BSA Factory, new more about how to do these tasks, than the individual that ruined this rifles stock.
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D'oh!
Homer
Last edited by Homer on 09 Aug 2018, 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Reserecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 04 Aug 2018, 8:39 am

G'Day Fella's,

Here are some additional images of the barrel channel area ............
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DSCN2847.JPG (622.91 KiB) Viewed 1995 times


So I hope the images show clearly enough, how the barrel channel was "Floated" and all the wrong area's of the action, were "Bedded" with Plastic Wood (?), and no release agent used on the metal...........

Double D'oh!!
Homer
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by bigrich » 04 Aug 2018, 4:22 pm

bit of work , but she's worth fixing by the look of it. nice ole rifle homer :thumbsup:
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by JimTom » 04 Aug 2018, 5:45 pm

You have a bit of work ahead of you there mate. Will be satisfying to get her up and running again though I’d say. Good luck with it and keep us posted mate.
“Shoot straight you bastards, don’t make a mess of it.”
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by SCJ429 » 04 Aug 2018, 5:46 pm

Despite this attempt at bedding, was it shooting OK? Are you going to recut the checking and restore the existing stock?
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 04 Aug 2018, 6:25 pm

G'Day Fella's,

Thanks for your kind comments and good wishes.

The barrel is a bit rough on the inside, so I made up a barrel vice bush to suit, and unscrewed it out of the action
I have also purchased a new replacement stock blank, off http://www.hatchersriflestocks.com.au to suit this action size.
I'm not sure what I will rebarrel it in (.222Rem again, or 6.5 Grendel, 7.62x39 or ???).

Here are the proceedures I went thru, to make up a barrel vice bush to match the BSA Featherweight barrel profile.
As you can see in these images, the BSA barrel has a flat machined in the reinforced section/Knox Form, at the bottom of the barrel.
So I hoped that this was there for a purpose from the factory, and luckily it worked, as the barrel screwed out pretty easily.
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You can see here, the two halves of the Action Clamp.
I used the same Bottom Half, as that to suit a Win M70, and machined up a new Top Half for the BSA (and other flat top actions like Brno, Sako etc).
You can also see the barrel "Donut" sitting on the barrel clamp halves (with the section machined out of it. And a miscalculated reject of this part, in the back ground..... D'oh!)
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Here is the part I made the Flat Sided Segment out of, and there it is, sitting in the background.
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And here I am machining it to the correct dimension...... (prior to clamping and welding it into the "Donut").
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I'll post some more images shortly

D'oh!
Homer
Last edited by Homer on 04 Aug 2018, 6:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 04 Aug 2018, 6:41 pm

So, as can be seen above, I machined up a "Donut" that was a couple of thou bigger, than the diameter as the barrel reinforce/Knox Form.
I then machined up a "blank thing" and hacksawed off a section and then machined down the flat side of it, until it was the correct dimention.
I then filed a few chamfers around the edges of this, and then clamped it together, prior to TIG welding it together (see this below, prior to welding)
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This flat section, is the surface that engages the previously mentioned flat, on the bottom of the barrel.

I then mounted this "Donut" in my barrel vice, and nipped it and the action wrench up "just enough".
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And Bingo, it unsrewed fairly easily.
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Here is the unscrewed barrel (with the flat sided "Donut", in place), next to the action.
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D'oh!
Homer
Last edited by Homer on 05 Aug 2018, 8:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by bigrich » 04 Aug 2018, 6:47 pm

pretty tricky stuff homer, luv your work ! after seeing your vice/tooling ,barrel removing ( say that five times fast, i dare ya ! :lol: ) i've no doubt you'll sort it :thumbsup:
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Wm.Traynor » 04 Aug 2018, 7:14 pm

Well done Homer :thumbsup:
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by JimTom » 04 Aug 2018, 7:37 pm

Mate you sure are a handy bloke by the looks. Would like to have half your ability.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Noisydad » 04 Aug 2018, 7:51 pm

Big tick! Homemade stuff is so much more satisfying than shop bought gear!
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 05 Aug 2018, 8:51 am

G'Day Fella's,

Thank you for your kind comments, very much appreciated.

Noisy Dad, in this instance, "Neccesity is the mother of invention", as you just can't buy factory made bits, you will need for so many tasks.
So you have to design and make them yourself, if you want a job to progress......... or do something thats different, from standard.

People need to appreciate this, if they ever question the cost of Gunsmithing work (as so much unseen work, goes on behind the scenes).

Avagreatweekendeh!
Homer
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 05 Aug 2018, 9:21 am

G'Day Fella's,

So with the barrel removed from the action, it was time to inlet the action into the new stock.
FYI, the cocks that Cameron Hatcher supplies, are slightly undersize in the inletting.
So you will need a good understanding of how and when to do articular tasks (and some appropriate tools), before you start removing wood.
This is the first time I have undertaken this task, so I'm no expert and it was a bit of a learning curve.................. so, you need to go Slow and Steady.

Here is a couple of images of the XX select grade, Australian grown, English Walnut stock (as received from Hatcher Rifle Stocks), in different light conditions.
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HooRoo for now
Homer
Last edited by Homer on 07 Aug 2018, 1:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by bigrich » 05 Aug 2018, 9:30 am

very nice wood. are you going to stain/varnish or oil ? i will be watching your rebuild of this closely as i have a 1976 winchester 70 xtr in 222 that needs a freshen
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Wm.Traynor » 05 Aug 2018, 7:08 pm

"Different light conditions", you say, Homer. Wow, what a stark contrast a bit of light makes :) :o
Very nice grain though :thumbsup:
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 06 Aug 2018, 4:10 pm

G'Day Fella's,

Thanks for the kind comments.

I was pretty lucky, for the price, as the stock wood is pretty nice.
The RHS of the stock, is a bit plainer than the LHS, but it is all good, dense and hard, air dried Walnut.

The reason I screwed the barrel out of the action, was so I could inlet the action, into the stock.
Not knowing what profile the barrel will be, I can do the barrel channel later, once it is sorted and in place in the action.
With the inletting of the stock deliberately made undersize for the action, I had to carefully chisle and file the high spots away, so the action would eventually slip down, into the stock.
There are some obvious areas, where the Pantograph's cutter has left areas of the stock radiused, like the recoil lug reccess and some other areas.
So I initially chiseled these to a 90 degree/square corner.
Once these were completed, the action would drop below the surface and into the stock part of the way.
You can see a Before.............
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and After image of this below.
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I used a Blue Texta/Marker pen, to paint the lower and side surfaces of the action.
The point of this, is to rub off onto the stock inletting, to show you where the metal is contacting the wood.
You then carefully chisle or file this Blue section of stock wood away.
Here is an image of this, with the Blue Texta high spot mark(s), on the stock wood.
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You then repeat this a couple of hundred times (well it seems like that many times), until the action is where you want it to be, and only making contact, where required.
In this instance (BSA, Mauser, Sako, Howa etc), on and around the recoil lug area at the front, and the botton of the tang at the rear of the action.

D'oh!
Homer
Last edited by Homer on 06 Aug 2018, 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by sungazer » 06 Aug 2018, 5:07 pm

Nice work Homer. I at first thought the same about the action and no release agent but there are some people that do glue the action into the stock so it may have been done on purpose. A lot of that stain on the stock is from cleaner chemicals that has dribbled out those holes. Ask me how I know. I found that the Hoppes foaming cleaner will do that. So clean it up quickly if it comes back into the action.
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Re: Resurrecting and Oldie

Post by Homer » 06 Aug 2018, 5:34 pm

G'Day Fella's,

Whilst I have built and restocked a dozen or so properly laid up fibreglass/synthetic stock rifles, as mentioned above, this is the first time I have attempted this task, on a wood stock.
Given this history, I do know what works and what doesn't, so a lot of this past experience has been incorporated, into what I'm doing with this wood stock.
This includes Pillar and Epoxy bedding of the rifle action, into it's stock.
But before this, I had to inlet the trigger guard and floor plate into the bottom of the stock.
This again required me squaring up the radiused corners, left after the Pantograph had done its bit.
Here you can see where I have done this in the top of the photo, but not the bottom.
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Here are some images of the aluminium pillars I made up along with their action screws, and then the pillars, inset into the stock screw holes.
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Also, please note above, that both radius's have now been squared up, in that part (for the trigger guard), of the inletting.

These Pillars were epoxy resin (Brownell's Acra Glass Gel), glued into the stock, at the same time I bedded the action into the stock.
The difference is, I applied Release Agent only in the holes of the pillars, then all over both the action screws and to all the bottom and sides surfaces of the action.
This way, the outside of the pillars will adhere to the stock, the action screws won't adhere to inside of the pillars and the same with the action in the stock.
I apply two coats of release agent, at least a couple of hours (in Winter), before the bedding job is to be attempted, so that the relaese agent has completely cured.

D'oh!
Homer
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