Ruined Rifle UPDATED

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TedH
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Ruined Rifle UPDATED

Post by TedH »

While visiting family over the holidays a brother-in-law asked me if I could work on a rifle for him. I was presented with a single shot Rossi youth model 243. Outward appearance wasn't bad, just a little speckled rust on frame and barrel. Then I opened the action and couldn't believe my eyes. SOLID RUST. I asked him what in the world happened? He was deer hunting with it in 2018, left it in his stand while he came out of the woods for lunch, then got interrupted, never returned to his stand and forgot the rifle was out there, until deer season 2019.
I told him I'd do what I could to try and salvage it.
After some time spent with penetrating oil, bore brushes, steel wool, and elbow grease it's in surprisingly good shape except the barrel. It still looks like the inside of a 100 year old clay sewer pipe. Told BIL it's never going to shoot again, and he's just given it all over to me.
Thought about trying to find a different barrel, but didn't know how interchangeable these barrels are. Most barrels I've found cost more than the gun is worth, but I did find a cheap 17 HMR barrel that I'd try if getting it fit to the receiver wasn't going to be a big issue?

After cleaning, soaking, scrubbing, etc. I eventually got to the point that the bore resembled something with rifling. I tried a few rounds through it at 25 yards. Every one hit the target sideways.
In the search for a cheap replacement barrel any larger caliber barrels I could find were more than I wanted to pay, so bought a 22 LR youth barrel off ebay for $40. It snaped right in place and locks up solid, no fitting required. After mounting a 9x scope for accuracy testing, I tried a variety of 22LR ammo. It proved to be a very accurate, especially with CCI Minimags. Dime size groups at 25 yards.
Not needing another 22 LR, I bought a 22 WMR chamber reamer off ebay for another $40. When it arrives from the Ukraine, we'll see how the next step goes.
Last edited by TedH on Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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2ndovc
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by 2ndovc »

You never know, a new barrel may just snap right in. I did that with an H&R. Their website said that new barrels had to be "fitted" to an action. The .22 Hornet barrel that I came across at a show locked up tight and was really accurate.

jb 8)
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by AJMD429 »

Rimmed cartridges headspace simply so a new barrel in a rimmed cartridge might be easy.

Also....I'd be tempted to fire some abrasive-coated bullets and see if the bore could be somewhat resrored; our ancestors killed far more game than most of us will, using 'inferior' barrels, rifling, metallurgy, and cartridges... :oops:
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cas
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by cas »

How's the chamber? Rebore to .308?

Might not be worth it.
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TedH
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by TedH »

The bore is far, far beyond any restoration being possible. It was so rusted you couldn't see daylight through it. Thought about reboring but isn't worth the cost.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by JB »

You can clean out the rust, but you can't fix the pitting. I agree having someone rebore the rifle wouldn't be worth the cost. You might get lucky with fit if you could find a barrel.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by wm »

I don't think a rimfire barrel will work with the centerfire receiver. I think they are two different sizes and the firing pin placement is different.

I see Rossi barrels on GunBroker regularly for $70 or so.

You could also get a shotgun barrel. I'm no expert but I think all 12 gauge shotgun barrels work on the centerfire receivers. 20 & 410 barrels could be for one receiver size or the other.

One last option might be to send it someone to either bore out to 260 Rem (6.5-08) or sleeved in 243. Probably it would be close in cost to value of the rifle.

Wm.

P.S. I regularly do a GunBroker search for Rossi barrels …… I have a youth model rimfire combo of 20 gauge and 22lr. I'd like to find a 410 and a second 22lr to rechamber to 22mag. I will forward to you via PM any barrels I find for the center fire frame.
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TedH
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by TedH »

From the looks of the 17HMR barrel I found, it appears to have the chamber bored below centerline, so a center fire firing pin will strike in the correct place on the rimfire round. They offer switch barrel combos with center fire, and rimfire barrels from the factory.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by wm »

There might be another possibility …… but I can't believe it would be inexpensive. You could have a gunsmith take the barrel and cut it off and bore out the chamber enough so that another barrel could be set inside the Rossi shank. This would only make fiscal sense to me if you wanted some rifle chambered in a exotic cartridge.

I recall Ken Waters did this with a H&R 410. He had a gunsmith use the shank portion to turn a 32 caliber barrel blank into a barrel to mate to a 410 shotgun receiver to create a 'rook rifle' chambered in 32 S&W long.

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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by wm »

TedH wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:24 pm
From the looks of the 17HMR barrel I found, it appears to have the chamber bored below centerline, so a center fire firing pin will strike in the correct place on the rimfire round. They offer switch barrel combos with center fire, and rimfire barrels from the factory.

Like I said I am not an expert. I just recently started to look into making a useful purse out of the sows ear combo I have. Please keep me informed as to how this project develops.

Wm
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TedH
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by TedH »

I had never seen one of these rifles before now either. Im only messing with it for the chance to get into a usable truck gun for cheap. I'll post update if I end up trying something.
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DocRock
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by DocRock »

Possible option:

JES Rebore. Jesse does great work and, by gunsmith standards, is quite fast. I've had two barrels bored out by him, one a break action H&R, and was very pleased. 358 Winchester would be a logical choice of the chamber itself isn't very terrible.

http://35caliber.com/8.html
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by vancelw »

He doesn't want to spend $250 (minimum) on a $175 rifle.

Screw a breech plug in it for 209 primers and use it in ML season. :lol: Don't even bother cleaning it anymore
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by marlinman93 »

I have to ask the obvious. How does one forget a rifle for a year in the woods?
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by mikld »

marlinman93 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:24 am
I have to ask the obvious. How does one forget a rifle for a year in the woods?
Lots of after hunt alcohol...

Reading Wm's post tells me barrels might be interchangeable, ala Contender. I'd call Rossi and ask...
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TedH
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by TedH »

marlinman93 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:24 am
I have to ask the obvious. How does one forget a rifle for a year in the woods?
I asked him that. He just shrugged his shoulders. He's not a gun guy, or even a hunter. Frankly knowing him, I wasn't terribly surprised by it. :roll:
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Blaine
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by Blaine »

Plug up both ends after filling with that foaming bore cleaner stuff.....Follow up with a wire brush chucked into a drill. Repeat with foam and brush. :roll: Shoot a box of ammo thru it.....return to owner. I doubt if he will notice that it shoots 5 inch groups at 50 yards.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by EdinCT »

If your up to it you could check out the price of a liner ,drill it out and epoxy the liner in in a caliber like 357 or 44wcf.
Then rent a reamer and finish ream it by hand.
People here have done that.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by elmo123 »

Have you shot it yet? I have a 38-40 and a 25-35 rifles that look similar to sewer pipe like you describe and both shoot pretty good, you never know it might surprise you.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by marlinman93 »

EdinCT wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:13 pm
If your up to it you could check out the price of a liner ,drill it out and epoxy the liner in in a caliber like 357 or 44wcf.
Then rent a reamer and finish ream it by hand.
People here have done that.
Would likely have to rework the bolt face and extractor to go to either of those cartridges from a .243 caliber rim size.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by 44shooter »

I would not put much time or money into it. Get a new barrel or two if you want. Trash the original. Most importantly, don't let that man borrow anything of your's.
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by Ysabel Kid »

Ted, your BIL is incredibly lucky some kid didn't find the rifle in the woods... :shock:
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by Tactical Lever »

Ysabel Kid wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:45 pm
Ted, your BIL is incredibly lucky some kid didn't find the rifle in the woods... :shock:
I don't know... Some lucky kid might have been able to salvage it and take better care of it! :lol:
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Re: Ruined Rifle

Post by Tactical Lever »

Sounds like maybe a wall hanger, or maybe can be hogged out enough to take a .410 and at least be useable in a pinch. If you can't do it yourself, the gunsmithing will probably cost more than the gun's worth?

As another poster mentioned, a barrel sleeve may work? I was thinking one of the long cartridge adapters.

Not sure what's involved with fitting a barrel. Probably be easier to remove material rather than add. Probably mostly around the pin/hinge on the barrel?
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Re: Ruined Rifle UPDATED

Post by TedH »

Updated in original post.
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Re: Ruined Rifle UPDATED

Post by gamekeeper »

Pleased to hear you got it shooting again, I still look real close at any deer stand I see just in case... :wink:
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Re: Ruined Rifle UPDATED

Post by Woodtroll »

I'm thinking that the .22 WMR bore is usually a couple thousandths bigger than the .22 LR bore. Might still work, though. Glad you got it shooting again!
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Deaf Smith
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Re: Ruined Rifle UPDATED

Post by Deaf Smith »

My little brother (well he is now in his 40s) left his .243 Remington rifle uncleaned for several years. Yes rusted barrel. I also cleaned it very well but it still looked like some WW1 'dark' bore rifle!

Oh well.
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