Feeling better, but still not up to full, so since I'm stuck inside, decided to get started on something I've been thinking of: semi-restoration of my Martini Model 6*.
This old rifle, from the stock markings, was used for years in a British school for a training rifle, and it shows the marks of hard use and sweaty hands. The bore was relined at some point, and is just about perfect(shoots like it, too), and the interior works are very good; but the exterior is really bad in places. The worst is on the barrel along the edge of the forend where those sweaty hands made a lot of contact with it(and no cleaning, apparently:
Doesn't look bad from a distance, but you get up close,
you can see the pitting. The action's not nearly as bad, here's the left side(I got started on it before I thought to take pictures)
and here's the right
This is one of the takedown versions, which makes this a bit easier; pull a pin and the barrel unscrews, so I can do it separately from the receiver.
I said 'semi-restoration' because the depth of the pitting is such that to actually remove it all would take a huge amount off the barrel, more than I want to off the receiver and destroy all the trademarks and proof marks. So I'll clean up the surface very thoroughly, do enough sanding on the receiver to give a better surface, the barrel enough to even out the color of the unpitted area and then rust-blue them, also the lever and inner receiver. Should look pretty good. I thoroughly degreased and cleaned the wood and gave it a few coats of oil after I bought it, so that can be set aside.
Here's the receiver after about a half hour with first 120-grit and then 220-grit wet/dry paper, left side
by the simple method of putting the paper on a flat, waterproof surface and working the receiver back & forth. On the left side- which is worse- it's easy to see now that removing all the pitting would remove the trademark, too.
So I've got a lot of work to do to prep the surfaces. The inner receiver, lever and trigger will be easy, somehow they wound up with worn, dark finish but no visible pitting. The Parker-Hale rear sight will get the treatment- the body, not the eyecup with the adjustable aperture- and then I'll shine the back surface so the numbers show well. Screws will be easy too, except for the forend screw, the head's pretty ratty there: it'll require some sanding and cleaning to get it ready.
So this is started. I've got all the small parts in an egg carton(a very good way to keep them in order and together, I highly recommend it), the receiver is oiled and I'll get more done on it over the next few days.
Oh, I decided on rust bluing because I can do it myself, and it's FAR more durable than chemical cold blue, any I've used at least. I'll have to rig something for boiling the barrel, the other parts that won't be a problem.
*Yes, if you've been around a while you know I originally posted on it as an 8; looking around since has convinced me it's a 6, so I updated the original post with that number.