Sunday, June 11, 2006

Flea market report

Largely because by the time I got off work this morning I was too tired to do anything except walk around(sitting still I'd have fallen asleep) I went to the market today. And while stumbling around I found two things. First was a B-Square scope mount, one for (I believe) Mauser rifles. If you're not familiar with these, you drive out the pin the rear sight leaf pivots on, remove the sight from the base and put this mount in. Adjust two screws, fore & aft, to level & lock it in place and you can mount a long-eye-relief scope or red-dot sight without having to do any drilling or tapping. They run about $40 new last time I looked, got this one for $5.

Other thing I ran into was this: a Remington Model 34 .22 rifle

(yes, I know it's a lousy picture; live with it) This poor thing was missing the takedown screw which locks the barrel & receiver into the stock, and the bolt was stuck halfway and wouldn't budge, so you could say it had 'issues'(it does have the trigger guard, I'd just taken it off and done some cleaning before I thought to take a picture). For which reason I got it cheap. These rifles were made 1932-1936 according to the Remington site. The Model 33 was a single-shot, this one's a tube-magazine repeater. The stock was in good shape, dry but no big cracks or holes; the finish on the receiver and barrel was worn silvery and there was that stuck bolt thing. But... all the big parts were there, and I really like these old rifles and thought just maybe I could do something with it, and made a very low offer, figuring if he said no I'd tried. He said yes, and I took it home.

The bolt was seriously stuck, so I drifted out the two pins that the trigger, sear & carrier pivot on. The trigger & sear came out, the bolt freed up and came out, and the carrier came out. It was dry inside, no trace of oil or grease except the old black film inside the bolt when I took it down. The bore had a lot of old crud in it, but after a few patches soaked with solvent and some scrubbing it turned out to be nice and shiny, with sharp rifling(blessings on modern .22 ammo). The receiver is sound; there's a little pitting on it, and on the barrel under the edge of the forend. Magazine tube clean inside, inner tube that holds the spring & follower is good. The bolt is complete and, after cleaning, just fine. It looks like there are only four things not there: the trigger spring plunger, the extractor spring and the carrier friction spring & plunger(whatever they are; I'm going by the parts drawings in the Gun Parts catalog and it doesn't show the assembly-disassembly). Gun Parts has the trigger spring plunger and extractor spring; I'll dig around and find an illustration of the carrier details and if I can't find those two pieces I can probably make them.

After cleaning & oiling everything fairly heavily, I reassembled it and now I've got the bolt working smoothly. I fed some of my homemade .22 dummies through and it feeds with no problem, so I'm wondering exactly what the carrier spring does? Hopefully I'll find a good picture that shows how they fit in and go from there.

I cleaned the stock and except for some dings on the left side in front of the grip it's not bad a'tall. I've got a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits I use on some stocks(got that from Head), and I painted some of that on, let it soak in, then wiped off the excess to let it dry. It looks pretty good, a nice piece of walnut; it'll finish up nicely.

So, barring something wierd turning up, I've got an unusual old rifle that should fix up nicely and do just fine for punching holes in targets. Or maybe hunting squirrels or rabbits. And if I get some grandkids before I die, I can use it to help teach the little beasts to shoot. So I consider this a good deal all around.


Carlton Houston said...

My grandmother left behind a Model 34 to my dad. I love to shoot it because it is so difficult to miss what you are aiming at with it. Dad and I sat in the top of the barn and plinked at tall grass across the yard a piece and picked out particular weeds.

I borrowed it recently and found that it won't feed correctly as if there is a part missing right in the middle under the bolt. It works fine as a single shot, but it would be nice to make it whole again.

I enjoyed reading your article and wish I knew as much about the rifle as you do. Maybe I could find the parts for it! :)

Firehand said...

If the elevator is still there and moving up & down as you work the bolt, first thing I'd think of is the magazine spring.

Pull the inner mag tube out- the part you pull up to load, just take it all the way- and push on the follower at the end. If there's very little tension, the spring's probably fatigued and just not pushing the cartridges hard enough to feed properly.

This one did that, and to test this I pulled the spring and stretched it a bit; worked perfectly after that.

If that's it, best solution is to find a spring that fits from Brownell's or some of the other parts places, they carry a variety of replacement springs for this type rifle.

Be advised to try this, or just replace the spring, you have to drift out the pin holding the 'head' of the tube in place, and drift it back in after: punch & light hammer time, and I'd suggest putting some good penetrating oil on and letting it soak a while first.

superrob said...

I have one of these that I inherited from my father. I can hit a .303 cartridge at 50yrds and blow the heads off quail everytime.

The top of the reciever is quite thin so I have used " Liquid Nails " to bond a weaver type rail in two sections. The bond is strong and amazingly can be removed without damage by scraping off the glue and steel wooling/rebluing the area.
I have also put on a bipod.

The accuracy is better than or on a par with any Ruger or BRNO when I have shot with others. No-one can believe that the rifle is 75 years old. The bore is bright and rifling crisp, the action feeds perfectly every time.
I hope to give this to my boys one day.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather gave me this rifle as a gift when i was... let's see... twelve? Thirteen? Somewhere around 1982-3, anyways. He bought it new, so i'm the second owner.

i've used this rifle every small game season in the ensuing years without incident --- it is absolutely, positively the finest shooting, most accurate and easy to handle plinker i've ever used.

Mine is in decent original condition: it could use refinishing, both wood and metal, but there are no dings in the stock or foregrip to speak of and the action is smooth and tight. Of course, grandpa and i are --- were --- anal about upkeep.

In the final analysis, although i use this gun quite often, i feel that's why he gave me the gun. To let it languish would be to deprive me of a wonderful little hunting gun and deprive him of a little bit of legacy.

The only question i have is: now that i have a boy of my own... do i give him the gun later on, or do i skip him and give it to my grandson, as grampa did?

Firehand said...

Damn, that's a question I can't even begin to answer. Either way, it's a win.

Anonymous said...

This was the first gun my father trusted me with the take out alone at 13 and start shooting. It served me well and my brother now has the gun. It is a great kids gun for many reasons; it shoots everything; shorts, long rifles and just longs, it is bolt action so you have to work each shot and it was deadly many squirrels in the great beyond can vouch for that commnet. -RJS

Bruno Hauptman said...

Any idea where I can get a replacement inner tube magazine for my 34?


Firehand said...

Dick Williams shows having some parts, you'll have to e-mail them to see if have that one:

Remington's factory site shows this page
with some dealers who handle old Remington parts; might check with some of them. I looked at Gun Parts Corp., they show sold out of those.

"chip" said...

My father gave me an old dusty model 34 bolt action with a crack in the bottom of the stock.
I removed the bolt and cleaned it a bit,I removed the because the tube retaining ring that threads into the bottom of the barrel has wore out threads.I figure a helicoil will fix that but the bolt wont go all the way in .Do you have any idea what I did wrong? if you can help my email is

Firehand said...

I'd think a helicoil, if you can find one that size, would fix it. I hate to say it because sometimes people overuse it, but if there's not one that size, you could clean out & degrease the hole and put in some JB Weld, put in the ring shank, install the tube and let the stuff cure. That'd probably be a 'it's there for good now' fix.

My first thought on the bolt would be that in cleaning it you decocked it; if so, you'll have to grab the bolt body(I use a glove to help) and rotate the bolt handle counter-clockwise to cock it. If that was the problem it should slide right in.