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My version of the "Day of the Rascal" build from this site

3279 Views 47 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  STEINBVG
One of the members here built a replica of the "Day of the Jackal" rifle that looks really true to the movie. He made a great build thread about it here: https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1240731

I always liked that movie and I've wanted, for some time, a very light rifle for backpacking so I've decided to make use of STEINBVG's great work and the motivation he has provided for me to make my own.

Therefore I've decided to copy his build with some slight differences since I'm not trying to be accurate to the movie, but rather to just be similar. I expect to make a stock like the movie, and another for the backpacking that focuses on tiny and light.

So far I'm just getting parts and I have verified that the donor rifle functions. It's been too nasty to go out, but at home I was able to shoot 10 yards with the OE peeps using super colibri and the rounds overlap so this will be a good donor for the project.
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Picked up a 3/8 grade 8 bolt on the way home from work.

Finally located my punch set.

Converted the bolt to cock on close, but I have more to do here as the closing force is too high.

Waiting for the scope to arrive. Waiting to pick up weaver bases and modify them.
I thought I would chime in.

Nice to see you starting this project.

I will gladly help if necessary.

Cheers friend.
The scope finally came. Barska 4x15 3/4 inch tube. Wow it is crap, but it is very small, very light and very cheap. If it will more or less hold zero it will be good enough.
I bet I bought a cheaper s scope 3-7x 20 for under $14. :D
I have a solution for you

Looks like that scope is from the same place as mine, just mine is a fixed 4x. At that price I didn't want to trust the mechanicals inside it.

Many other projects have been keeping me away from this.

The scope came with 3/8 dovetail rings. The rifle has no dovetail, but does have weaver bases. I can't find any 3/4 inch tube to weaver base rings. Looks like I'm either going to mill the receiver for the dovetail, or mill the bases from weaver down to 3/8. Trouble is I don't have a mill and my friend who does moved and all the stuff is in storage.
I saw this perfect dovetail blank, it works with my scope rings, fact . But I could not use it as the profile , even though slick, was not low enough for my work- I made my own rails because of the crutch. Milling would be even better, but my rule is not to alter the original parts.

This blank can be cut to the lengths and drilled /сountersunk to 6x 48 screws.


There was another option

That looks like the answer. Thank you. I had missed that in your build that you can order a strip of already made 3/8 dovetail.

I was worried about milling the 3/8 in the aluminum weaver bases and having it not be strong enough.
Actually I never mentioned or used these rails in my build.
I was just aware of them.
Before I found brownells option which is just for dovetail, much cleaner, I tried a combined weaver/ dovetail rails for Ruger10/22.

They also work, I could cut out 2 separate pieces with the correct hole distance for the Rascal receiver, although the radius of the Ruger receiver is a bit bigger.
It looked silly, but worked holding my scope. Afterwards I made my own rails from .5" wide 1/16" thick flats. The scope rings grab them nice .

I have no pics of the Ruger rails with the scope, but here is the video where they present for the last time on my Rascal…, I guess the weaver portion could have been grounded off.
The 3/8 dovetail rail stock came today. I got lucky and the lower side round is just about right. I typically JB Weld bed my bases for final mount anyway, so it will work out fine.

I sent for a copy of the book and am sad to say that the paperback version I got does not include the graphic plates.
I,m glad it works out. Pictures?
If you need a digital copy of the book I can email you one.
Picked up a 3/8 grade 8 bolt on the way home from work.

Finally located my punch set.

Converted the bolt to cock on close, but I have more to do here as the closing force is too high.

Waiting for the scope to arrive. Waiting to pick up weaver bases and modify them.
Did you fix the too much preload on the firing pin spring?
Making progress.

Nice. Clean. Keep'em coming.
I bet you thought I was gone. ;)

I now have a thing that looks like a lathe and some tooling, but no driver. I've been messing with it a bit to up my game beyond the "I've watched some videos" level before I do something dumb like thread the muzzle crooked.

I re-made the striker. Now the hole is actually in the middle, the front face is more square than "looks good from your house", and the diameter fits the inside of the bolt better. I also noticed that the first one had some marks in the face from hitting the firing pin so I put a light heat treat on this time.

The old one is on the right, and the new one has the nice dark blue heat treat on the left.
I see the recess in the striker reduced the tension of the spring while retaining the original rear plug on the bolt? I was changing the rear of the bolt any way thus didn,t find it necessary to drill out the striker.( instead I drilled out the threaded rear plug)
I too have firing pin marks on the striker, but I always can cut a new one, perhaps from a ruined 3/8 drill bit.
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Tonight I cut the threads on the muzzle and also cut the fill peice for the front sight dovetail.

I then set up to make a thread protector, but sometime before now something happened to ruin the cutting edge on the drill bit I need, so that will have to wait until stores open.

I also blued the work.
Pictures into the studio, please
The 'silencer' looks nice. Mine is 12", I need to cut it off, but i'm tired of the project.
This weekend I started working on the trigger group. It sure is painful using only a drill press and files.
Angle grinder? Dremel ? Much faster
So many things have pushed this project back. Car stuff. That co-worker who keeps coming to work ill and then everyone else gets it. House stuff. More car stuff.

I did a quick lathe project for more practice: 32 acp converter for my 7.62x54r.

But this project is still on the list to do.
Looking forward to it
I feel like Lebel at the point he realized, at the elevnth hour, the date on which the operation would take place. How could I have missed it?

Upon watching again, the movie, and also reading the book, I find that the trigger is of a completely different design to what I had thought previously. I shall have to completely rethink how to accomplish these parts. Fortunately, I do not believe the changes will invalidate my work on the trigger housing up to this point which has been rather laborious. Indeed, I believe that I will have the oportunity to affect a much nicer trigger without the limitations on geometry imposed by my previous ideas on the topic.

But, first thing is first, I shall have to attempt to learn to speak and write English in a way normal to the ear of today and do away with the style in which the book is written.
I believe in the book and movie they filed away existing trigger, trilled and tapped the stub- into which the removable trigger tip gets screwed in and out[ in order to fit inside the crutch]
My fire control group allowed me to do the same: I could have pinned a flat trigger stub with a tapped hole that would be pushing down on the sear + have the removable tip for the finger just like in the book/movie. However simplified it and made one piece trigger which just drops into the housing
My original idea looked more like what you have in the pictures.

After a very long wait for "backorder", my tubes are marked as shipped so I hope I can start on the crutches pretty soon.
I was under impression you were only building the pack rifle? Going all the way now?
Last night I took an old lug nut from my Subaru and bored out the threads until it was nice and light. Then I welded it to the original bolt end cap. Oops, started with the bolt assembled so I could get it aligned, and even the little heat from the tacks wrecked the striker spring. I'll probably have to get one from Savage and if they will do it get a new end cap as well so I can have an original setup and the Jackal setup.

The crutch tubes came today, and with my design it will just barely fit into the tube. Which counts as a fit. Unlike the movie version I will be using both crutches to contain all the parts which certainly simplifies the space constraints. Barrel and receiver in one crutch, scope etc in the other. Now I'm trying to get the lug nut clean enough to take blue. So far that hasn't worked. Turns out the grime is beat into the metal by wrenches over the years.
I,m always afraid to alter existing parts. Try to get away with replacing them with my own- less worries. You know the bolt plug is 7/16x 20? I had a mild bolt in 7/16 and made it out of it. Drilled out, for the spring and guide. And for the knob used 7/16 x 20 lug nut from some car. Bought the whole set. Shaved off the chrome and blued., having the threaded plug and knob separate gave me adjustable preload on the spring so there,s no weak strikes.
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Not much progress lately.

The trigger group housing is coming along pretty well.
Also finished one end of the 'strut'.

All these were a deal more difficult than they should be as I broke my single point threading insert, and the pack of replacements I thought I had are the wrong ones for my tool.
Also, much extra hours for work so less time to do cool things.
How thick is the trigger housing? What diameter crutch tubing you think will accommodate the thickness of the receiver, scope rails and the trigger housing combined?
Time for a quarterly update. I have been agonizing over the trigger design and how to build the parts in the design. I think I have it worked out finally so I started working on the housing again now that the screws came in.

I've also been trying to land on a layout for the tubes to make the crutches. I loaned out my actual crutches so I've been hesitant to commit. I want to be able to use the real crutches a bit until I'm sure of the dimensions before I ruin some expensive tubing. I think I should be able to get those crutches back soon.
Looking good.
I know your pain. The design and execution of the rifle I believe is not as difficult as to make it slim and squeeze it into a tube not thicker than 1.5”, as anything thicker than that won,t look realistic as a crutch. My thickest part , even very modified scope barely fits in it. The action is trimmed to fit in the next section 1.375”. The Silencer and the strut - in the tube 1.250”.
I,m a strong believer that a constrained freedom of creation produces great outcome. In my case in addition to your pains, I refuse to weld. Only fasteners.
I hope it,s helpful. Keep us posted.


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By the way, the bolt handle thread is extra fine 5/16x32. Had to order a hard bolt from McMaster Carr to make the locking stub
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