Project where maybe I "Chewed Off more than I can Bite" or something like that ...
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Thread: Project where maybe I "Chewed Off more than I can Bite" or something like that ...



  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    Project where maybe I "Chewed Off more than I can Bite" or something like that ...

    I took in a project that maybe I should have said "Nope - NO THANKS - Naw - Don't Think So - Maybe sometime in the Future, like my next life" or some more intelligent retort than sure we can give it a try.

    140+ years old. A Whitney Kennedy .38 40 lever action Carbine. It should look something like the 2 pictures below which I borrowed from an Internet Site.





    The rifle is a beast ... weighs a ton. The mag tube is so heavy duty it could almost be used as a barrel.

    From research - if you can believe everything you read on the internet - these carbines were Civil War military issue weapons. So denoted from things I read about the Special Ladder rear sight and the caliber.

    The one I have doesn't have the look of the 2 above.







    The fore grip didn't look to be in too bad a shape really until it was removed from the gun ... but after that a couple of problems presented themselves ...





    There are some metal issues ...





    Have some Patina ( really it's called RUST ) and pitting issues all over the barrel, Receiver and the mag tube is 33% pitted.


    The action works smooth. Haven't checked the cycling yet ... no ammo.

    The gun was found by the Dad of the current owner. Gun was found in 1971. The Dad was out driving around the northern Permian Basin area and came on an old abandoned house half covered in sand. He went inside exploring and found the rifle buried in the sand either propped against a wall or in a wall. The sand had done a fair job of protecting it over the years. Found it with the broken butt stock but no missing piece to be found.

    It has been in the family ever since and now seems to be the time to get 'er done.

    Had a butt stock made and have a fore grip coming. The original fore grip will be repaired but it being a strong, safe and long term solution leaves something to be desired.

    One other thing. After getting the rifle disassembled close examination shows that this is a "Number Matching" gun. All of the major parts are stamped with this guns specific Mfg. assembly codes.

    There is a lot of time and work here with no guarantees of any level of success. Maybe more than I care to take on but that ship has sailed.

    Will some progress pics later.
    Last edited by rjtmac; 09-05-2019 at 10:36 AM.
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  2. #2
    Gunfighter
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    Wow what a project. Thanks for the share.
    cajun56 likes this.

  3. #3
    Marlin Fanatic
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    From all your work you posted so far! I have great confidence in your abilities to restore rife, not to new but great shape.

    What a find!


    ca'jun56
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  5. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    How's the bore? Does it have rifling? I feel very confident that it will look awesome when finished. Good luck!
    V

  6. #5
    Certified Gunnut
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    Well, if it's possible, you'd be the guy who can do it . . .
    levergunx1 likes this.

  7. #6
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    It might be in bad shape but that's the coolest thing I've seen in a while. I'm looking forward to your progress reports.
    "You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from." Cormac McCarthy
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  8. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinceA View Post
    How's the bore? Does it have rifling? I feel very confident that it will look awesome when finished. Good luck!
    V
    The bore is in surprisingly good shape. The rifling is well defined, complete from chamber to muzzle. The bore is clean with some minor pitting you can see.

    I ran a brush through it with some cleaner and brushed it well. I was kinda surprised by the lack of rust and gunk that came out. Ran a few pads through it and the last one came out fairly clean.

    It will need some more work to clean it out as good as can be. I will have my gun smith friend check it out but I do not see the bore being any deterrent to shooting the gun.

    The sand seems to have done as good a job as one could have hoped for being exposed to the elements for who knows how many years. After that the gun has been stored who knows where to the open air for another almost 50 years.
    Last edited by rjtmac; 09-05-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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  9. #8
    Wrangler
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    Civil war it's not. Was a contemporary of the 73 Winchester, off the top of my head, maybe a year or two ahead. Had one of these in good shape about 30 years ago, in 44-40. Was a good shooter, different functioning than a 73, and certainly no stronger. Outside of stopping the rusting issues, I'd leave the metal alone, let the patina show the character of the gun, then age the wood to match the metal. Would make a neat collectible. It'll be interesting to see your end results, you do some good stuff!

  10. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    New butt stock ...





    Fore Grip Repairs started ...










    I wrapped the 5/8" bolts - which fit the size of the mag tube channel - with painters tape to oversize them just a little. When I filled the crack with glue the bolts were used as support inside the fore grip to keep it from squeezing down when the clamps were put on. The tape on the outside is painters tape folded over on itself to be sticky on both sides. Serves as a gripping point for the clamps on the smooth and curved surface.

    Last edited by rjtmac; 09-05-2019 at 10:16 AM.
    Marlin • Benjiman • Beretta • Bushmaster • Harrington & Richardson • Henry • Kimber • Mossberg • Remington • Ruger • Savage • Sig Sauer • Smith & Wesson • Stevens • Taurus • Winchester ... Banner • Bushnell • Cabelas • Center Point • Crimson Trace • Leupold • Nikon • Sig Sauer • Simmons • Tasco

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    Team .22 Magnum #155
    Team 30-30 #1366

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    • 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 VT
    • 2007 Honda Rebel 250

  11. #10
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    I had one in 44.40 many yrs ago. and the moron I am I traded it.
    cajun56 likes this.


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