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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. I didn't see any that pertain to Lever Action .22 ...

Anyway - I've inherited my fathers 'squirrel gun'. I used to shoot this when I was a kid back in the early 70's and recently it's been handed down. As you can tell by the pictures, the rifle is severely rusted - most of it looks to be surface rust but I'm not sure and since I'm not a gun owner by nature, I'm not sure how to remedy the situation. I've read all over the place that I can use oil and steel wool but what grade steel wool and what kind of oil?
Also - since I have children and a wife that exceptionally adamant about no guns in the house -- does anyone know of any reputable 'good' rifle restoration companies in the Northern Los Angeles area (like the San Fernando Valley or Palmdale/Lancaster)?

From the research I've been able to read on line, it looks like this particular rifle was only made for a very short time (3 years, I think I read somewhere)... is that true? Also, whether or not that is true, is there a way for me to determine the year (or approximate year) it was made?

You can see the squirrel on the stock in picture 1 -- disregard the pellet rifle in the pic with it.

Pictures below... thanks in advance for all of your advice/assistance.

Dan
 

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Any kind of oil will work.
I would just get some OO steel wool and oil and start with that.
I am pretty sure any collectable value is gone.
Their are people around that can make it look good but it will cost more than it will ever be worth.
I would just clean it up the best you can and shoot it.
 
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I use 4 ought steel wool ,very fine texture ,and remoil ,soak the steel wool with rem oil lightly scrub the metal ,wipe off with an old rag and repeat ,looks like that one was kept in a wet towel . it may not clean up real good .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I don't really know how he took care of it... I've recently inherited his properties and stuff - I found this sitting in a 30 foot trailer (big-rig type trailer) with the pellet rifle... I recognized both of them instantly - I used to shoot the squirrel gun and because I did it while was at work, he bought me the pellet gun to deter me.
I know he had that trailer on a piece of land that was stricken by a forest fire about 20 years ago, it's possible the moisture came from that - or, perhaps it came from simple condensation from being in that trailer over the past 20+ years without protection. I found both of them completely unprotected. The case in the pic I purchased to make sure they don't suffer any more moisture damage.
*
SO, back to my questions.... the oil, is this the stuff you speak of? https://www.lowes.com/pd/Remington-4-oz-Gun-Oil/1000410937?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-Tools-Lubricants-_-1000410937:Remington&CAWELAID=&kpid=1000410937&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=1873&k_clickID=cfbfecb0-45aa-49c7-b19d-fb26282fb8e0&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1NzZBRCoARIsAIaMwuud33NhYz6HLXrKtvJdJqpiDcwZISxOpEw68f6bHZiZlrcFtdqYo0saAjeuEALw_wcB

And is this the steel wool? https://www.lowes.com/pd/Homax-Supe...qFSD5WII03ZLmUmlE82d42_SdD7dhOR4aAojIEALw_wcB

If you look at the 3 complete rifle images, you can see a non-rusted area towards the tip of the barrel, that was caused by my hand when I picked it up - that's why I suspect it's surface rust. But, since I'm a novice, on the barrel part, is it easy to determine the level of rust-rot inside the barrel? I didn't see any, but (again), I'm no expert.

Lastly - while "collectible" isn't necessarily something I'm looking for - I do want to know it's rarity or approximate rarity so when I pass it down to my children I'll have something to share with them... is there a way for me to determine it's production year?

...again, thank you in advance for your reply(ies).
 

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If, by some miracle, the bore is still in good condition, the rifle is probably salvageable. It wont be easy or cheap, but it can be done. Small parts can be replaced and blueing can be restored, but the one thing that cant be fixed is rifling. In any event, oil the heck out of it and clean it up, paying special attention to the bore. See if it will cycle ammo without firing, then the see if it will fire.

I really hope you can salvage this gun. It may not have collectable value, but if it's attached to good childhood memories, it's priceless to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, very much, for that feedback...

I was so worried about the rust and identifying the actual 'name' of the rifle that I forgot to mention -- Yes, it cycles ammo. It was fully loaded with a spent shell casing inside of it when I picked it up. Because of the rust, I didn't attempt to shoot it (I was tempted), but I did eject all rounds including the casing. Then I reloaded 3 rounds (with the mindset of 'shoot') and ejected them before firing.

So - yes, it cycles rounds -- no, I didn't pay attention to the spring or internals - I've put the rifle in my offsite storage unit, on the way out to his home in bfe, I'll stop by and inspect the guts... if it looks concerning, I'll take a pic and upload it seeking advice - otherwise, if it looks clear I'll report that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I found the website listed at the end of this post -- do any of you recommend I consider this as a viable option to remove the rust. I ask because it would be difficult for me to remove it from within the barrel if it's in there - this seems like it would work, and probably be less damaging to the barrel than me scrubbing on it... but I don't know what (if any) the ill effects would be. I'm referring to all 3 videos found on the page -- one is using a penny, the others are using electrolysis and vinegar respectively.

https://www.range365.com/penny-method-removing-gun-rust

Advise welcomed.

Dan
 

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Before you start with the steel wool or anything else I would go buy 2 can's of KROIL oil. This stuff is the best thing I've ever used for penetrating rust and lubricating. This will help get the rust off while penetrating the screws so you can disassemble it for internal cleaning. You said it cycled so next you need to clean the bore and make sure it's good or can be salvaged. If it's good then go to work on the rest of it. Not a big problem but where is the forearm for it. I would love to have that for a project. Take it slow and be careful not to bugger up the screws when removing. Might be a good time to buy a couple hollow ground screwdrivers. What part of the country are you in.
You can make a trough with heavy tin foil to lay the rifle in and let it soak in one of the cans of KROIL oil after removing stock.
 

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Kroil comes in big cans. 0000 steel wool and PATIENCE. Don't scrub. Wipe in long as you can strokes. 30mins here, 30mins there.
 

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find your serial number and check it out here: https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/marlin-years-manufacture/

Clean it up to the best of your ability by either the penny or wool...yes 0000 grade, check out the Reference Library down the index some for info on just about anything related to Marlins. Good luck with your rifle, BTW....sad that it got so rusted, but you may get lucky to wind up with just some surface rust and not pitted.
 

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Another option would be to brown the barrel. You card the surface rust off then oil it with any good gun oil.
The flintlock long rifles were usually browned.
When browning a barrel on purpose, the difficult part is getting an even coat of surface rust. But that's what you've got already. Browning would be an unusual metal treatment for a 39a, but it would be interesting and it would preserve the rifle. If that one were mine, my objective would be to get it back shooting.

Blueing is just another form of controlled rusting. Both offer further protection against rusting.
 
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Yeah, I don't really know how he took care of it... I've recently inherited his properties and stuff - I found this sitting in a 30 foot trailer (big-rig type trailer) with the pellet rifle... I recognized both of them instantly - I used to shoot the squirrel gun and because I did it while was at work, he bought me the pellet gun to deter me.
I know he had that trailer on a piece of land that was stricken by a forest fire about 20 years ago, it's possible the moisture came from that - or, perhaps it came from simple condensation from being in that trailer over the past 20+ years without protection. I found both of them completely unprotected. The case in the pic I purchased to make sure they don't suffer any more moisture damage.
*
SO, back to my questions.... the oil, is this the stuff you speak of? https://www.lowes.com/pd/Remington-4-oz-Gun-Oil/1000410937?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-Tools-Lubricants-_-1000410937:Remington&CAWELAID=&kpid=1000410937&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=1873&k_clickID=cfbfecb0-45aa-49c7-b19d-fb26282fb8e0&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1NzZBRCoARIsAIaMwuud33NhYz6HLXrKtvJdJqpiDcwZISxOpEw68f6bHZiZlrcFtdqYo0saAjeuEALw_wcB

And is this the steel wool? https://www.lowes.com/pd/Homax-Supe...qFSD5WII03ZLmUmlE82d42_SdD7dhOR4aAojIEALw_wcB

If you look at the 3 complete rifle images, you can see a non-rusted area towards the tip of the barrel, that was caused by my hand when I picked it up - that's why I suspect it's surface rust. But, since I'm a novice, on the barrel part, is it easy to determine the level of rust-rot inside the barrel? I didn't see any, but (again), I'm no expert.

Lastly - while "collectible" isn't necessarily something I'm looking for - I do want to know it's rarity or approximate rarity so when I pass it down to my children I'll have something to share with them... is there a way for me to determine it's production year?

...again, thank you in advance for your reply(ies).

The steel wool is fine.
As far as the oil goes , since you are going to Lowes anyway I would suggest this oil. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dial-Oil-Evaportative-Cooler/3092819
You can find it in the swamp cooler department. I have been using this oil on my guns for years. It works just as good as any gun oil and is much cheaper.
 

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There are many good suggestion above.

I would remove the wood and disassemble the rifle (you can leave the barrel attached to the receiver.)
Use 0000 fine steel wool with oil to remove as much rust as you can.
From the looks of the rifle, you'll need a lot paper towels or rags to wipe it down & check your progress.
Kroil oil will work.
Here's my method: Get a long planter tray (at Home depot, Lowes, True value, any hardware store..) Buy a gallon of full synthetic motor oil. After cleaning off some of the rust with 0000 steel wool & synthetic oil. Fill the planter tray with synthetic motor oil & submerge all the metal parts (barrel/receiver, lever, sights, etc..) in the oil -like giving it a bath. Leave it submerged in oil for a couple of days/week. The synthetic oil will help break up the rust. You can go over the metal with the steel wool & oil if necessary. I went with motor oil because it's inexpensive (vs. gun oil) & I had some in the garage. I've used this method on an old mil surp rifle.
Keep in mind that you will probably need to re-blue or cerokate the metal because the rust looks pretty significant. Once you get the rust off, you be able to see if there is any pitting to the metal that may need to be addressed.
It's not difficult to do. It just takes some patience and determination. The end result is rewarding.
I would do the work in the garage, basement or backyard if your wife is not fond of the idea of gun cleaning. (My wife hates the smell of gun solvents.)


Planter trays come in different sizes..

 

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Even if the bore is trash you can have it relined. A simple procedure but not cheap.
Go to the gunsmithing section for info on disassembly. Taking pics of the action at each step can be helpful when it comes time to put back together.
I would do the steel wool / oil to see what you are dealing with. Stay away from using power tools as they can cause problems.
Some discreet inquires about possession and transfer in your state may be helpful to avoid future embarrassment with the law.
And lastly WELCOME TO MARLIN OWNERS from NE Indiana.
 

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You are lucky to get your hands on your father's rifle, regardless of its present condition. Worst case scenario would result in a piece worth holding onto, but I would bet on your end result being a functioning gun you can shoot, a family heirloom with some added 'character.' Wishing you the best of luck in the restoration efforts. Keep us posted with the results.
 

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Of all the above advice, the best is PATIENCE! If using steel wool, use 0000 and go very slow! You can do it! John
 
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