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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sometimes I see old Marlins (or other guns) with extra dovetails or holes in the barrels. Often these holes or dovetails make the gun much cheaper, as most people pass up such guns because of the defects someone did to them. If the price is right I snatch them up quickly, as a little gunsmithing can make them very presentable!
Recent purchases I made in May in Denver at the Colorado Gun Collectors Show were two such guns. Both at huge discounts because of issues. One was a Schoyen Ballard schuetzen rifle with 6 extra holes, and two extra dovetails. The other a Ballard Rigby #6 1/2 schuetzen rifle, with one extra dovetail. The Schoyen was a big project, as it not only needed the holes filled, but a complete restoration of all the metal to restore it. But the Rigby Ballard only had an extra dovetail, and some trigger adjustments; and the rest was extremely nice! Did the trigger adjustment in seconds, but just got time to do the dovetail repair today. Here's the step by step.





I drifted out the rear sight blank, and got the Bronells 3/8" dovetail filler material out. Checked the fit to the dovetail, and it was pretty tight, so I figured it would be good as is. Cut a piece .75" long, and after gently tapping the edges of the barrel dovetail lightly, to ensure no gaps, I put red Loctite on the piece and drove it in place.
Next I taped around the filler with blue painters tape, adding numerous layers over the Rigby flats, just to be sure no accidents could harm them! Then I began filing the filler down with a coarse mill file. Once I got close to the barrel, I switched to a fine mill file. As I began to nick the blue tape, I switched to a very narrow fine mill file to keep my file strokes to just the filler. After getting the filler just barely high, I removed the tape and began blending it into the barrel surface. Once completely even, I got out my roll of 1" wide emery paper and stropped the filler and barrel to get the filler blended into the barrel contour.
I finished the fill with 320 grit emery paper sanding lengthwise to match the original barrel finish. Once it blended in well, I heated the barrel slightly with my heat gun, and hit it with Oxpho Blue solution. Then heated it again and hit it with browning solution to match the barrel's color. You can see the filler a bit about 2.5" in front of the Rigby flats.





The filler isn't invisible, but it's much better than an open dovetail, or a blank filler. You can't weld on a barrel without destroying the bore. The weld will move metal, which will create an irregularity in the bore. So cold filling them with a tight filler is the way to go. If a gun has a bad bore, then the filler can be welded in, and finished off. The barrel needs to be rust blued afterwards, as hot blue will show the different metallurgy, and expose the repair. Rust blue wont show the welded in filler, or different metallurgy.
When filling threaded holes, I buy soft steel rod and thread it with a die to the hole's thread size. I short thread the rod so it tightens before the rod bottoms out. Then I cut off the excess and peen the end down. After peening the end, I file them to fit the barrel contour and then polish them until they disappear. Then the barrels get the same tough up bluing, or a complete bluing if they need it.
Hope this makes you reconsider buying a project with holes or dovetails, as they can be bargains!
 

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That`s quite crafty, nice rifle to...Reminds me of the rifle Quiggley used in the movie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're welcome! Round barrel fillers are tougher than octagon, as they can't be pre cut closely, and then worked down. They can be somewhat shaped, but not very closely, as the round portion tapers, and it tough to rough in very closely.
 

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I recently picked up a 1972 Glenfield Marlin Model. 60
Upon breakdown I noticed that the barrel seemed loose. I removed it and I do not see anything obvious that would cause this. I saw that you mentioned a filler compound... Would that solve this issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I recently picked up a 1972 Glenfield Marlin Model. 60
Upon breakdown I noticed that the barrel seemed loose. I removed it and I do not see anything obvious that would cause this. I saw that you mentioned a filler compound... Would that solve this issue?
No, I did not reference a filler "compound". My filler for this is steel dovetail material, not an epoxy or other filler.
Fillers should not be used on threads to tighten them up if they are loose to the receiver. Your gun needs to be checked by a competent gunsmith to see why the barrel is loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very beautifull pictures.
Thanks! I sometimes have trouble taking decent pictures, but these came out OK.


This is my next project! A recent purchase that some frontier gunsmith reworked into a "Greener" style takedown!



The gunsmith split the action below the barrel like the Greener Martini was done, and added a tensioning screw crossways through the action to allow loosening to let the barrel be spun off by hand. Never seen a Marlin Ballard done this way, but had my old gunsmith look at it, and tell me if it was safe. He said it would be fine for the .32-40 cartridge it's chambered in.



Sad part is whoever cut it didn't have the proper tool to make the cut properly, so it's not truly straight. I will need to strip the action and set it up in my mill and make a cut over this angled cut to straighten it on the surface and look better. I'll only go deep enough, and wide enough to remove the surface and make it look proper.
I may also change the tensioning screw out to a lever with threaded screw shank, so it can be loosened without tools.
 

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Sounds like a "Bubba" got hold of it!
 
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