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Been wanting a mark series for a while as a cheap plinker but was never really turned on by anything I saw. Then a stainless mark II 6 7/8"appeared in the used gun case of the LGS. Now, I have a thing for stainless. Does not matter what it is, make it out of stainless and it makes me drool. Get the sales guy, take a look - seems to be basically in good condition, some scuffs on the metal like it was laid down hard on the sides, chamber looked clean-ish but cruddy in the corners - looked like a gun that had been really filthy but was cleaned and prettied up for sale. What's the worst that can happen? Serial numbers shows it to be a '96. Thick dust on the box.

$250 out the door and directly to the range, do not field strip, do not lube - the chamber felt oily so something had been squirted in there. Box of minimags, load, cock, bang. So far so good. Second round...mush no bang. Did the hammer fall? Did it fail to cock? Hard to tell. Tap, Rack, Ba....mush. :( The bolt felt like it was dragging, not moving really easily. Drop mag, work bolt back and forth, no improvement. Rode hard, put away wet. As it warmed up it would go a few rounds before mushing out. Bad springs? Hard to tell but eventually I got through the box of ammo and went home mentally tallying the bill from volquartsen to make it run right, but at least it should get one good cleaning, right?? On the bench, tried pulling the take down lever - no dice. Had to pry it up with a screwdriver, gritty. Dirty? :confused:


Very hard time pulling out the spring assembly. Bolt came out, the underside was crud, the spring was crud. Had to use a rubber mallet to get the upper off the lower. Why so tight? Crud crud crud, but it...could be worse. Rode hard, put away wet. Maybe a squirt of oil once in a while, not much hope. Disassemble bolt, crud. Into the ultrasonic - a gratifying amount of carbon swirling away. Upper won't fit, so it gets loaded with bore foam stem to stern. Back to the ultrasonic. Very dirty fluid. but the bolt and lower come out looking very good. The take down lever is still very tight - close inspection reveals rough edges from stamping. Was it ever used even once?


Some fine file work smooths it out to where I can open it with my finger. Some lube into the spring, play with it a bit, the hammer spring seems pretty strong for an old used up gun. Let's look at that bolt...aside from some scratches pretty good, maybe. The extractor is looking...good? Not worn much at all. Detail work; toothbrushes, q-tips, every nook and cranny cleaned, lubed. The sear and hammer mate perfectly. Why the mush?


But it's time to tackle the bore. Very dirty fluid running out. Fill with bore foam again, let it sit, scrub with a patch - pure black. Squirt of copper remover, let it sit, scrub with a brass brush. Do it again. And again. Bore foam, patch, not too bad. Wet patch with gunzilla down the chute. The bore SINGS (not squeaks) a clear note as the patch runs down the bore - minimal carbon. Dry patch, sings for me again, patch comes out white. Only ever had that happen once before in a brand new barrel! Dare I hope?


Crisp, sharp rifling - perfectly square, not a speck in it and I can see reflections inside. IT'S A MIRROR IN THERE. :D Crown looks...perfect. Oh, my! This gun had maybe a few hundred rounds through it, was never broken down, maybe a squirt of oil once in a while! It's practically brand new! Reassemble, function check, the bolt glides almost like glass, perfect function, everything looks beautiful! Out comes the mother's mag polish and the upper takes a nice shine just for good measure, but it's back to the range. Mag full of CCI standards, first round goes bang, second...mush. CRAP!!! Open it up, look it over everything looks...fine? What the...?

Try some winchester bulk rounds to see if it likes high velocity better and they're eaten up like candy. Brass ejecting high, far and proud. Then a round goes click. reload it, click. Two decent pin strikes and it's into the dud bin for that one - it's not the gun's fault! A few velocitors for fun, a bit louder, more muzzle flip but right on target - this tank could eat those all day long. Back to the CCI standards - will the dreaded mush return? Forty nine more rounds without a hiccup. :D:D:D The hammer spring must have been was rough and dragging but now it's running smooth as silk. Pack up, go home grinning. Gun is more accurate than me, which is all that really matters.

I found the original bill of sale tucked into the manual. Looking back, the original owner must have played with it once in a while but got sick of all the jams. He probably heard horror stories about how hard they were to field strip and he never opened it up. So it sat on his shelf for a years until he got sick of it and sold it.

Lucky me. :bthumb:
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