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Howdy from Florida. New here. I’ve recently picked up a fairly used and abused Marlin Marauder for a reasonable price. Everything points to it being th we real deal. I have a special affinity for 16 inch lever guns, despite muzzle velocity, terminal ballistics and all that other fancy gun article jazz. Most would say to leave such a rifle alone but I care not. What I wish for in this project is a rather nice, lightweight, jack of all trades rifle. I rarely shoot past 100 yards as I don’t enjoy missing things. I can thing of no critter in North Florida that the 30-30 can’t harvest. The rifle will pull duty as home, truck, woods, hunting, etc etc. As it found it’s way to me, the rifle wore a replacement buttstock that was oversized and terribly fit. The rear sight was missing and the blueing was worn.

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The wood was a decent piece of walnut. First step was to fit and glass bed the furniture, then give it a proper medium sheen oil finish. I got a Winchester 70 steel buttplate from tree bone carving. The entire stock was skimmed down drastically. The length of pull was set at 13 inches. I used a wood dye rather than stain so that the forend and buttstock color would match, but the grain would not be diminished as is the case with stain. After that a sanding sealer was applied, the. A perfectly clear grain filler followed by hand rubbed oil. The stock fit was done by polishing the tang to the exact contour of the inlet. The thickness of the straight stock is no wider than the receiver. Makes for a trim and light rifle. F34B10CC-4B3D-447E-A866-9E7C342F1116_1593305050556.jpeg


Got the butt plate inlet and also glass bedded it. Makes it a lil stronger
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Again the receiver steel was polished and contoured to the forend. It was also slimmed down to be no wider than the receiver. It was then glassbedded This isn’t done to make it more accurate, just stronger.
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I installed flush fit sling swivels similar to the old pachmayer studs that have been discontinued. They are nice. Low profile and push button release. The. The finishing started
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When complete it is glass slick and has a nice deep looking finish that is not terribly shiny. Then come the metal work........
 

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I shinned down a 1970s Marlin 1895. Flushed out stock with action and peeled forearm. Took plastic butt plate down with stock. I lost a good percentage of butt plate area and recoil increase is notable. My biggest regret is that I put a high shine stock finish on it.
 

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The rifle receiver will be color case hardened, as will the lever, barrel band, buttplate, and Talley QR scope rings. Barrel and mag tube will be high polish hot blue. All small parts will be nitride blued. I had a guide gun once that had the receiver edges knocked down and the lever reshaped. It actually makes a difference when you carry a field gun by the receiver at your side. I didn’t go nuts and ruin the lines of the rifle but I did ever so slightly strike the lines of the exterior. When it came to the lever I contoured the edges so that it feels much rounder. It is quite nice to cycle. The metal was polished to 800 grit which in hindsight may be too high for color case hardening. Talking to the smith that will do the work he may have to knock that down a bit. I am soldering a blank into the front dovetail and then sweating on a New England firearms European dovetail ramp. This will do absolutely nothing for functionality but I tend to get bored easily. I am also matching a custom sling stud base that is contoured to the mag tube. It will have the same grommet that is inlet into the stock for a quick disconnect sling swivel. Again, although every so slightly easier to remove the sling with a push button swivel, this doesn’t do much for practicality. Whatevs.

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The inside of the action was worked over as well. It will have a one piece firing pin ( yes I’m aware of the drawbacks) and one those fancy one piece ejectors. I’ve never broken an ejector on a marlin but it’s cheap and I’m already in there. This will be the first time I’ll be using an aftermarket trigger. I opted for the ranger point in gold. All other action parts were polished in the right places to make it smooth The soldering will happen tomorrow. I’ve got to finish the hand matting on the front sight ramp and make sure it’s contour mates to the barrel perfectly. Here’s where she sits tonight. That’s a weaver scout scope. Discontinued now but Natchez had them on close out for something like $129. Only weighs nine ounces and from my extensive testing in my driveway creeping out my neighbors it seems clear and crisp. Not sure how I’ll like the fixed four power though. Kinda wish I’d gotten the Leupold. But it’ll wear QR rings and there’s a little holosun red dot that also sport a qr base to swap back and 19EC25F6-6CC0-418E-8404-B282E2BC9C2F_1593309067315.jpeg

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Much to do tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I shinned down a 1970s Marlin 1895. Flushed out stock with action and peeled forearm. Took plastic butt plate down with stock. I lost a good percentage of butt plate area and recoil increase is notable. My biggest regret is that I put a high shine stock finish on it.
Yeah I did have concern about recoil. I’ve shot a number of 30-30. None were painful but I removed a good amount of material and added a steel butt plate. I know me though, I’ll have fun sighting the thing in and shoot it for a month and then start something else. I’ll carry this thing more than I shoot it. I’ve some nice firearms but the ones I shoot the most are not especially special or expensive.
 

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Welcome aboard from New Hampshire.
Very nice build you’re doing. Thanks for sharing with us.
 

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Wow that looks really cool. Are you doing the case hardening yourself? If so I would love to pick your brain or see how it is done. I'm in Clay county btw.
 

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Welcome to MO and thanks for posting the build pictures. It is looking great so far! Do you have some detail pictures of the swivels and studs?
Studs are simple. Made by grovtec. I think folks use them on ar 15’s a good bit. You just use a 1/2 inch forstner bit to sink a grommet into the stock. Glass bed it in there. Then dress the excess to be flush with the wood. Here’s a pic before the final dressing and blue.

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Then the swivel connects with a ball detent on its sides. Fast disconnect and lower profile. And it’s a little different which is why I did 032C9424-6F8D-4E1F-A76F-8249761FDCC8_1593360799039.jpeg

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Nice work on the Marauder. What did you use to finish the stock?
After the dye and sanding sealer I used a product called aqua coat clear grain filler. Very nice product that fills grain within two applications and dries 100 percent clear. I got mine a woodcraft here in Jacksonville. There are many other ways to fill grain but none are this fast.

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After that good old tru oil with sanding between coats with a sanding block. It comes super glossy so after you are satisfied with the results I wet sand it with 2000 grit and then use the stock sheen conditioner from birchwood Casey. Dulls it down a bit.
 

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Wow that looks really cool. Are you doing the case hardening yourself? If so I would love to pick your brain or see how it is done. I'm in Clay county btw.
Nah that I think is worth farming out. Too much specialized equipment and trial and error to produce a quality product. The hot blue takes tanks and chemicals that are not at all cost effective. I’m sending it off to Wyoming arms. Nice fella, does lovely work, and he actually answers his telephone which seems to be a rarity when it comes to gunsmiths.
 

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Here is the rifle before work began next to my Henry carbine ( wonderful rifle btw, if it only had a loading gate ) and a 16 inch 357. I bought the 357 and the matching 44 mag from buds guns early 2000’s. They came with ported barrels which made them illegal fro CAS Still have em both

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Welcome to the forum.
Fantastic work. I like how you slimmed down the profile and created a continuous flow from wood to metal. I can almost imagine how nice that feels in the hand. Can't wait to see the case hardening on it.
It's going to be a beautiful woods gun.
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the updates :top:
 

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Welcome Bell. Nice build you’re doing. I love CCH on levers, so will be looking forward to seeing the final product.

I’m also a sucker for a 16” levergun. I have two Henrys in that length (.357 Big Boy steel, and a SGC .22 LR with the octagon barrel). I’d have another if anyone made a .30-30 in 16.5” these days. I ended up with a 336BL as my main carry carbine. It will be on all my deer hunts this year. I’m in BC so lots of tight brush and mountains, but with open fields and logging cuts thrown in. I went with a Natchez close-out on the Nikon 1-4x20 M223 scope. It’s also on QR rings and I have a Skinner peep for in the tight stuff or on the hike in when I can slim down the package by tucking the scope in my pack. I’d love to slim down the furniture a bit on the BL but it’s really nice wood with decent checkering. Maybe I should find a spare set to work on...
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Welcome to the forum.
Fantastic work. I like how you slimmed down the profile and created a continuous flow from wood to metal. I can almost imagine how nice that feels in the hand. Can't wait to see the case hardening on it.
It's going to be a beautiful woods gun.
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the updates
Thanks so much. It is super nimble and trim. I do worry bout recoil though. Carried a lot and shot less I suppose
 
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