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Well after picking this poor little neglected rifle up last December I finally got around to working on it a few weeks back. I got it for my son (7 years old) to use this deer season and to use as a father son project. The action was so full of gunk it would hardly move and the stock had been refinished by someone other than a MO member... Anyway, I striped the finish from the wood and then turned my son loose with some very fine 1200 grit sand paper and a sanding block to smooth things up. After multiple rotations of sanding and wiping down with a damp cloth the little guy had it looking pretty good. I let him choose whether to stain or not, shiny, or oil finish look, etc... After showing him several scrap pieces of walnut stained with different colors he finally settled on Minwax Special Walnut. I prefer cherry stained over walnut but hey it’s going to be his gun and I wanted it to reflect his tastes. After staining we then moved on to applying Tru-Oil. After a few coats he decided he like it shiny, again not my preference but again it is his rifle.

While he was sanding I worked on cleaning up the action and bore. The bore came out nice and shiny and after a good cleaning the action is as slick as any Marlin I’ve seen. The trigger is very crisp breaking right at 4 pounds. After the wood was finished we reassembled the rifle and decided to install an inexpensive 4x Bushnell scope and I think it turned out pretty nice.

We have been working on a reduced load for the 30-30 for a while and we settled on 24 grains of H4895 with a 130 grain Speer FP bullet. I’ve not had a chance to chronograph it yet but I think it will be enough for a southern whitetail at 50 yards are so, I know it sure is accurate enough. Last Saturday I took him to shoot the rifle with the reduced load and he loved it. The rifles recoil is more like a 357 magnum in a Marlin 1894 rifle than a 30-30 so it is just about right for him.

Anyway, here is the before and finished rifle…
 

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Hey there Festus -- What a great start to a long story that will be years in the making. Best regards. Wind
 

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Looks like you both done good! Building a memory like that with your son will proove to be timeless. Good luck this hunting season and more memories!
 

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Good job! Next, we need to see a couple pis on the "Marlin moments" forum with him at the range or in the woods.
 

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great job on the clean up and restoration of the wood. he might have a career in woodworking. good luck to him this fall. lee
 

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I'd say that's a mighty fine job you and the boy turned out. That's a building block in a life long relationship between you and your son. I hope you both get deers this season. Good luck. ;D
 

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Wow great story. Your son will remember this project for a life time. I still remember several projects my dad and I did together. He's 85 this year. Great job on the gun as well. You mentioned cherry stain over walnut, I got a marlin that has a redish tint to it and want to reproduce it on another gun is this how?
 

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What a great story & i must say your son has got talent & good taste. hope both you & your son enjoy many, many years together building more memories.
 

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Way to go! Saved a nice old lever gun and created a family heirloom too. Best of luck to you and your son. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guy's! He is very proud of his rifle and is already bragging to his buddies about shooting a 30-30... We have an old model 60 Marlin that I think we may rework over the winter. He really seems to enjoy the simpler things in life and has about talked me into getting some chickens ::)... I'm not sure how that will work out but we'll see...

4Charlie said:
I hope you both get deers this season. Good luck. ;D
Thanks!
CITYSLICKER1 said:
You mentioned cherry stain over walnut, I got a marlin that has a redish tint to it and want to reproduce it on another gun is this how?
Yes, I have used this method for several years to reproduce the redish tint a lot of older rifles have. As long as you do not apply too much it will really make the grain show up. Eli Chaps and others have posts over in the gunsmith section that goes into detail of these procedures.
 

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Festus, thanks for the great story and pictures. You and your son have not only saves agreat old Marlin, but also created some great memories that will last for years to come. Keep us in the loop about when he gets his first deer with his own rifle. Y'all take care, John.
 

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Festus--

Every boy needs/deserves a Dad like you--congratulations--he will never forget it.

Steve
 

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yessiree...that is as fine a rifle as any boy could want ..and the story he has to go with it he can tell to his son when he passes it down again!!
 
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