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.
(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.
- 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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