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Hello, I got this little gem a couple years ago in Portland OR (detailed pics below). I love rimfires, weird little guns and of course wood and iron, and this one had one of the most beautifully figured stocks I'd ever seen on a Chipmunk. It was hand-made in the shop of the ORIGINAL Crickett designer / gunsmith (Jim Thompson) from which all Chipmunks and Cricketts spawned. It's the real deal. So I snapped it up for for $100 + 25 to my FFL. That's where the rabbit hole began!

I'd like feedback on the work done and what else I might do to fix the stock (or not). I'm also considering selling this rifle if anyone is interested. None of the grandies are interested or small enough to enjoy it. One might still come along, but I'm torn about holding onto it for a "maybe someday."

Condition when I bought it: The little chipper had the original peep sight attached but was missing the windage and elevation bar. There is a little barrel wear and blems near the muzzle but this is very minimal. Bore is clean. It had a crack in the stock at the receiver that was poorly repaired and had spread almost clear through the wood. If you pulled on both ends of the stock it would open like a little mouth. Worst of all, the kid that once had it had carved their initials into that beautiful stock both sides, pretty deep in on one side. :-(

My before pics are on a hard drive somewhere... below are the afters.

Work done:
(1) I meticulously scraped off the horrible Elmer's glue job that landed mostly inside the stock and seemed to have no effect on the crack itself.
(2) I pulled open the stock crack and used a medical syringe to carefully apply wood glue as thoroughly as possible, then rigged a vise and sandbag setup to keep pressure on the crack as it dried. The crack is just behind the trigger, there is zero wiggle and you only see it in a certain light if you're looking for it.
(3) I got a replacement windage bar from Keystone, and it fit perfectly with minimal tweaking and a little more glue removal.
(4) I stripped the stock and started working on the blemishes. I used a damp cloth and heat gun to pull up some smaller dings. I spot sanded the lighter scratches with 200 grit and used 400 grit to hand sand as much of the gouged initials as I could. The right side was dug in so deep it started to reprofile the curve on the side of the stock, so I stopped. It's not very noticeable but the right side is now flatter than the left.
(5) I bought an EGW pic rail (the one that doesn't require the rear sight delete) and mounted it on the rifle.
(6) I applied a few coats of Howard's Feed 'n Wax just to sheen it up. The pics were taken right after the last coat, highlighting the figuing nicely. I didn't finish it yet because, as I said, I decided halfway in that I didn't have a recipient for this project, and I don't need a tiny garden gun myself. And I figured if I did sell it, the buyer would probably want to do their own favorite finish coat style.
(7) I dug up an old PCC tacticool case to put it in. It's tall enough to hold it with a scope attached.
(8) Bought 2 spare peep sights from Keystone, thinking I would make a U notch sight out of one, just to see how that would shoot. Too many projects!
(9) I went and shot it and it worked great, but out of maybe 30 rounds the extractor had 2 FTEs.

I pulled the bolt and noticed the extractor was out of joint. I stripped the extractor, the plunger and spring, cleaned them, oiled them, and reassembled them. The extractor looks good, but it still sometimes pops out like a trick knee. That assembly might need a more thorough cleaning/oiling or deburring. I also read that if the chamber gets fouled then the extractor tends to fail. I have only done basic cleaning/oiling with CLP and FP1, no serious lead removal.

So, after ~20 hours and ~240 invested, I now have a fully functional, optics-ready, 90-95% restored Original Crickett. And of course, the satisfaction of a good learning experience.

I was thinking on the stock, if I were to continue on, I'd sand down the rest of the scratches on the right side, then sand down the left to reprofile it to match (this would make the stock pretty flat). OR less invasively, just sand down the left to get it closer to the right side. Or do nothing, and maybe no one will notice that doesn't have OCD. :) I mean, it's not bad, no one has mentioned it who's seen it, but I know it's there.

So:

  • What do you think about the rifle and the project overall?
  • What would you do with the stock, if anything?
  • Any thoughts on the extractor situation?
  • What would be a fair price if I were to sell it?


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If you wanted some more practice CF I wouldn't be afraid to steam the dents (use an iron, it'll work better than the heat gun) and sand her down the rest of the way and apply some Tru-Oil or similar. You'll probably have to work the butt plate too or it'll show the undercut. It is a prettier piece of wood than you normally see on those.

Hard to guess on price, they don't normally go for much. Maybe $150 or so? I doubt you'd get the $240 you've got in it back out but these are strange times for gun prices and someone might fall in love with the wood. If you do decide to sell it here put an ad in our marketplace as selling inside forums is highly discouraged.

Have fun with it!

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hard to guess on price, they don't normally go for much. Maybe $150 or so? I doubt you'd get the $240 you've got in it back out but these are strange times for gun prices and someone might fall in love with the wood. If you do decide to sell it here put an ad in our marketplace as selling inside forums is highly discouraged. Have fun with it!
Yep, LtCrunch, I think someone in the gunbroker mad-grab peanut gallery would pay me what I put into it, but on a 'family & friends' forum I'd let it go for less. Maybe a reasonable barter could be struck as well, which doesn't hit the wallet so hard. :)

I definitely have had fun with the fixes (I enjoy fixing things!) and am happy with the result so far, given where it started. I do have a few projects patiently waiting for my attention, but who knows, I might take another run at the stock just to see it through - I appreciate the tips and encouragement. :)

Waiting to see if I get feedback on that pesky extractor issue...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you do decide to sell it here put an ad in our marketplace as selling inside forums is highly discouraged.
And yes, of course, I would only post an ad on the Trading Post and not in a discussion thread. For some reason the new website won't let me do that now... currently waiting for the moderators to guide me through the process of getting access.
 

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And yes, of course, I would only post an ad on the Trading Post and not in a discussion thread. For some reason the new website won't let me do that now... currently waiting for the moderators to guide me through the process of getting access.
I think you have to have a minimum number of posts....20 or 30? You're close on the post count. Go find some other recent threads and comment on them.
 

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Yup, 30 posts is the magic number required before a member can place/respond to an ad in the marketplace.

Frank
 
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That is a beautiful stock, likely a Presentation Grade stock which I believe was a factory option way back when. Very pretty, even with the 'beauty marks' shown.

For me, not so much a collector but as a purpose rifle, one kept behind the kitchen door for needed fast use, valuable. If you live out in the rurals where taking off from your back porch is feasible, that would make for a nice woodswalker. I would definitely remove the scope, replacing with a much smaller fixed power scope.

Thanks for the great pictures of your rifle.
 

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Not sure about responding to an ad though. I am pretty sure I saw someone with just one post responding to a weaver scope last night.
I could be wrong Barrelhorses. I'm just going by what Doc G said in post 2 on this thread:

Can’t comment

"The reason why you cannot respond to an ad in the Marketplace Classifieds section is because you have not met the requisite minimum 30 forum posts and 30 days of membership required for participation in that area of Rimfire Central. Unfortunately, this pre-requisite became necessary because of the rampant behavior of scammers and thieves. Once you hit the 30 post limit and hit day 31 of membership, that area will be open for your free use."

It's going to take us all awhile to get this new system memorized 🤠

Frank
 
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Here's a screenshot showing a member with one post was able to comment on a scope. Is it possible that premium members are exempt from the post count requirements?
I believe you Barrellhorse and I can't answer your question other than what I quoted from DRGunner. As far as I know being a premium member just cuts out the ads and lets us toggle the right info pane on and off.

Maybe Sir Flysalot knows more.

Frank
 

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Back to CosmicFire's little Chipmunk. Anyone have any thoughts on his extractor issue?

"I pulled the bolt and noticed the extractor was out of joint. I stripped the extractor, the plunger and spring, cleaned them, oiled them, and reassembled them. The extractor looks good, but it still sometimes pops out like a trick knee. That assembly might need a more thorough cleaning/oiling or deburring. I also read that if the chamber gets fouled then the extractor tends to fail. I have only done basic cleaning/oiling with CLP and FP1, no serious lead removal."

"Waiting to see if I get feedback on that pesky extractor issue."..

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is a beautiful stock, likely a Presentation Grade stock which I believe was a factory option way back when. Very pretty, even with the 'beauty marks' shown.

For me, not so much a collector but as a purpose rifle, one kept behind the kitchen door for needed fast use, valuable. If you live out in the rurals where taking off from your back porch is feasible, that would make for a nice woodswalker. I would definitely remove the scope, replacing with a much smaller fixed power scope.

Thanks for the great pictures of your rifle.
Thanks JR for the compliment and the input. Your reply has me once again tempted to keep it, even though I'm trying to downsize and reduce my footprint of "stuff" for my next move.

That's a BSA Sweet 22 on there that I just had lying around, and yes, it's a bit much. I was thinking red dot or maybe an old pistol scope would be a better fit. Never been a red dot user, but as I get older, my eyes are starting to need shooting crutches.
 

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I'm actually surprised this thread survived and wasn't shut-down for fishing for offers. I understood the policy with the previous format, but since the New Postings are now littered with countless TP ads anyway, the point seems moot...but what do I know?

More important, I did a full-blown custom on a Chipmunk for my grandson years ago. This included an English walnut stock, ebony fore-end tip, grip cap, butt plate, custom bottom metal and cocking knob, custom scope base mounted low and directly to the receiver top, barrel band, and banded front sight. As I finished it, this was about the time I realized the Chipmunk was not really worth the upgrades. In gunsmith school, this was known as, "Taking a dump in the bathroom sink," meaning one putting all the crap in the wrong place. My friend did the same thing when he built a full-length stock for a Chipmunk. I later did the same upgrades on a Mauser 340B barreled action with great results, and my grandson loves it.

So, the Chipmunk is what it is, a petite, but cheap and somewhat awkward little kid's rifle. Having to insert the cartridge into the chamber is a pain, even for little fingers, and much worse with a scope mounted. Also, the Chipmunk extraction is often iffy. It's cute and just right, size wise, for wee ones, but all these quirks combine to sour a shooting experience for impatient kids used to instant gratification.

So, since it's not worth much anyway, I would stop, cut your losses, and set it aside for a future grandchild.

Sorry, but that's the way I see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I'm actually surprised this thread survived and wasn't shut-down for fishing for offers. I understood the policy with the previous format, but since the New Postings are now littered with countless TP ads anyway, the point seems moot...but what do I know?

More important, I did a full-blown custom on a Chipmunk for my grandson years ago. This included an English walnut stock, ebony fore-end tip, grip cap, butt plate, custom bottom metal and cocking knob, custom scope base mounted low and directly to the receiver top, barrel band, and banded front sight. As I finished it, this was about the time I realized the Chipmunk was not really worth the upgrades. In gunsmith school, this was known as, "Taking a dump in the bathroom sink," meaning one putting all the crap in the wrong place. My friend did the same thing when he built a full-length stock for a Chipmunk. I later did the same upgrades on a Mauser 340B barreled action with great results, and my grandson loves it.

So, the Chipmunk is what it is, a petite, but cheap and somewhat awkward little kid's rifle. Having to insert the cartridge into the chamber is a pain, even for little fingers, and much worse with a scope mounted. Also, the Chipmunk extraction is often iffy. It's cute and just right, size wise, for wee ones, but all these quirks combine to sour a shooting experience for impatient kids used to instant gratification.

So, since it's not worth much anyway, I would stop, cut your losses, and set it aside for a future grandchild.

Sorry, but that's the way I see it.
Teddy Bear Rat, I appreciate your honesty and agree with your conclusion. Your story made me laugh, mostly with embarrassment at my own folly.

As far as fishing for offers, all I can tell you is that was not my intent. I understand and respect the selling rules on this site. I only asked for thoughts on the value because I wanted REAL opinions, not just prices I saw floating around in the GB distortion field or other volatile marketplaces. Got the answer I was looking for. Sorry I didn't know it wasn't kosher to ask.

Yes, i will probably end up keeping the rifle for now, even though I have waay too much stuff I don't use. I'm really working on decluttering, but it's like peeling an onion. Lots of layers and it sometimes makes you cry.

I'll admit that I'm guilty of bragging on that stock. it's pretty sweet, and showing it off is probably the main reason I wanted to post it here. I knew others would appreciate seeing it, even if it is on a silly little nothing child's rifle.

As someone who isn't very inexperienced at working on guns, I appreciate the experience and opinions of everyone on this forum. The feedback I got on refinishing is helping me decide what to do. My OCD wants me to keep going, but it's rarely ever satisfied, so I will take the advice given and set it aside. I'm still not sure what to do about the extractor issue. I think a thorough cleaning / deburring of the extractor and chamber is the next (and probably last) remediation step. But all that will have to wait, as I have more pressing projects in the works. It's going back into cold storage for now.

Thanks to all for your time and input.
 

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I didn’t mean to just shut you down. The point is I’ve been there. And I never thought you were fishing either, it’s just the way forum works. It’s probably the right approach, since we’ve all seen the random poster ask about value then never appear again after the item sells.
I would hold on to it and display it prominently; I never tire of nice wood.
 
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