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  #1  
Old 07-23-2010, 11:48 AM
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Mauser 22 Finally Finished (many pics)



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Well, after untold hours of work, the little Mauser .22 for my second grandson is finally finished. I went a little crazy on the number of pics here, but I know many were following the progress, so I wanted to provide shots from as many angles as possible. The devil is truly in the details on these projects, and it took much longer than expected to get all the little parts and final operations done. Since the last posting, I finished and blued all the metal, including the grip cap, trigger guard, front sight ramp, and various bushings and screws. I also made and inletted the stock bolt escutcheon and had “T” and “H.” engraved on the grip cap, my grandson’s initials.

To review the overall project, this is what I did to build this rifle:

I shortened and turned down the barrel from its original long and heavy target contour to this pleasing light sporter contour with a tight radius near the receiver, preserving the barrel proof marks. I reduced the height of the original trigger (not shown in these pictures, but Thomas will use the two-stage original until he becomes competent with the rifle) for the lower profile stock (reducing the height of the stock to a sleeker low profile is much easier with no magazine to worry about), added an NECG banded front ramp and rear peep sight (a scope mounted high enough to clear the bolt on this rifle is perched too high and ruins the lines), and used a petite grip cap from Dressel. I made the machined steel trigger guard, barrel sling eye, stock bolt escutcheon, and, of course, the stock itself with ebony fore and aft. I also bought the NECG DST, but making the trigger guard to fit it and getting it to work on this little .22 was a bear of a machining and fitting job.

I made the stock from a fantastic claro walnut blank barely large enough for a boy's rifle stock and originally intended for use as a guitar top . It was cut from a 150-year-old native tree felled in Old Sacramento about 10 years ago. I grew up in that area and probably saw that tree on a school field trip decades ago. While beautiful, the blank was quite thin, leaving no room for a cheek piece or a small “shelf” under the bolt release, perhaps this stock’s greatest flaw. While I trued up the blank and removed some material from the barrel channel with a milling machine, everything else was done by hand with good, old-fashioned scrapes, gouges, chisels, rasps, and files. I must say the pictures do not fully capture the beauty, depth, and chatoyancy of the grain; under the surface, the figure just dances and glows like it’s on fire!

Here’s how I would grade myself:

Wood-to-metal fit of the stock: A+

This is as close to perfect inletting as I can do, notwithstanding the hard-to-cut, “chippy” Claro walnut. Flawless wood-to-metal fit is a litmus test for stockers, and I think I’m proudest of this aspect of the project.

Metal Finish: B+

This part was so easy, I decided to lower my grade a bit. After I polished it down to 400 grit to remove any remaining tool marks, I bead blasted the metal and got a very nice matte finish. I did leave the bolt and cocking piece as is, to preserve a bit of the beautiful high polish finish of the original rifle. I also left the hood button on the sight ramp in the white, for a nice blued/white contrast that can also be seen in the bolt and receiver and the double-set triggers and trigger guard. Somehow, I failed to blue the front stock bolt (crrrrraaaaappp!), one of those devil details, so I sent it to a friend for bluing, instead of sparking up the bluing tanks for one measly screw head. The one in the picture is a temporary 6mm x 1mm bolt from Ace Hardware .

Stock Shaping: B+

Overall, I am really pleased with the shape and lines of the stock, but I failed to keep the line behind the grip cap on the right underside of the stock flat and identical to the left side. Sometime during shaping, I managed to dish that area out a bit, and it just looks like crap to me, prompting the lower grade. I tried to capture it in the pictures, but it is subtle enough to be undetectable to the camera, yet my eye is always drawn to that area. I guess I’m the only one who will ever know it’s there.

Wood Finish: B

The pores are so deep on this claro that the stock is not filled yet, even after 30+ coats of Truoil. I wanted to have it ready to take with me to the Sierra Nevada soon, so I stopped to allow the oil to cure hard. I’ll probably knock the shine off a bit before it goes into the field and continue the process when I get back. Also, I thought long and hard about checkering. I’ve done my fair share, but the old eyes are not what they used to be (actually, they were never that good). I may send it out for checkering after my trip, but the fact the rifle has none calls for a grade deduction. Finally, while the ebony tip and butt plate are truly jet black, and the joints are perfectly square and flat, the stinking ebony has shrunk about 1/64” since I started finishing the stock, even though I waiting many weeks for it to stabilize before I did the final sanding. Interestingly, when non-gun people handle this rifle, the first thing they notice is the little step in the walnut and ebony seams. Oh well.

Overall Grade: A

I kind of fudged the GPA here a bit because, despite all its flaws, I think the rifle, as a whole, is really, really nice. It weighs a mere 4 lbs 15 oz and has that indescribable, solid “gunny” feel. It is a boy’s rifle, with diminutive dimensions all around, something that is hard to visualize from the pics, but it is truly dainty and lively in the hands. I’ve probably written enough about the stock, but its shape and feel are just about perfect for a small person, yet large enough for me to shoot comfortably. I’ve said this before, but the miniature Mauser .22 action is as well made and solid and smooth feeling as any .22 bolt action ever made; more so than most. They are a steal for anyone looking for a top-drawer action. This is just a delightful little squirrel rifle, and I hope Thomas will someday appreciate the effort. Maybe 100 years from now, someone on Antiques Roadshow will think it’s worth thousands of dollars. For me, it is already priceless.

Enjoy:










I guess I forgot to put the rear sling eye in for this pic, but this one shows the grain in yet another light:






This is what it's all about; my son holding Thomas with his new rifle:


Now, I can get back to my 52 mannlicher project...my son just informed us they are expecting their second baby!........OMG, What if it's a girl

Teddy Bear Rat

Last edited by TEDDY BEAR RAT; 11-05-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:15 PM
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Beautiful work, sir.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:09 PM
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Very nice! I really like those rifles. You don't think you could post some good pictures of the bolt, do you? I can't seem to find any good close up pics of the configuration with the claw extractor.

I never post on your threads, but i very much enjoy them. Keep up the awesome work!
DW
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:51 PM
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Girls can shoot too if the new one is a granddaughter.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:18 PM
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very nice build sir...

I love the wood. That is a true labor of love right there. I am glad you didn't turn it into the guitar part you talked about.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:04 PM
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TBR, that turned out to be a most beautiful rifle!!!

You really did well on that one!! Congratulations!!

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Old 07-23-2010, 09:21 PM
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Awesome work!
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:39 PM
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Great job. Glad to see no scope on that classic
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:58 PM
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It really humbles me to see that caliber of work!

A VERY lucky grandson, and a VERY talented grandfather!

Salute!
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:05 PM
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Great to see it finished and the young man who owns it. Beautiful.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:13 AM
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Oh my, beautifull rifle !! You sir are a very talanted craftsman!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:28 AM
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Sir I make my living since I was 18, 20 years now as a custom cabinet maker, I think you went into the wrong career as half the men I have worked with could not hold a candle to your work, Congrats, on a very dificult build working in 2 medias!! I wish I was you grandson ,as I could not wish for a sweeter 22 , Dale in Canada Journeyman cabinetmaker/joiner of America
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:37 PM
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That is just flat out beautiful. My hat's off to you for your craftsmanship, and your benevolence to your grandson. I'm giving you an A+.

FWIW, if your next grandchild IS a girl, until you know with certainty her level of enthusiasm for shooting, I'd suggest applying your gifts to building a grand doll house for her. It may not have the practicality of the rifle, but in the long run, I'll bet it will be good for nearly as many smiles.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:06 PM
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WOW, what a rifle... your family is lucky to have you. That wood is something else, and the Mauser action is great. You have a gift, sir.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:09 PM
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Wow, that's some impressive work!

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