View Full Version : Interarms Mark X bolt polishing advice.
February 18, 2008, 12:07 AM
I recently inherited a custom sporter based on the Interarms Mark X that my uncle built around 25 years ago. The rifle is chambered in .25-06. He told me that last time he took it to the range (10 years ago), a 100 yard three shot group fit under a dime. My dad told me that my uncle took 6 or 7 deer and at least two elk (and who knows how many coyotes) over the years in eastern oregon. The good news is that they think it only has about 100-150 rounds through it. Needless to say I'm anxious to try it out.
The stock (stunning figured black walnut thumbhole stock) had some dings in it that I ironed out. I'm about 75% complete on a Tru-oil matte finish. The recoil pad is cracked and looking rough so I'll probably go with a Limbsaver grind to fit.
The barrel crown has a small ding that I think I can lap out (truck floor damage) and since I'm on a tight budget I'll probably reblue the barrel myself (or do a Gunkote job, which I would prefer, if I can find an oven to borrow).
My current problem starts with some minor pitting on both the extractor and bolt. My eventual plan is to jewel the bolt but I want to get a nice polish whether I jewel the bolt or not. I went over the bolt with Flitz by hand first and worked some of the pitting out. Next I took a Dremel buffing attachment and chucked it up in my cordless drill (Dewalt 14.4). This proved to be much more practical. The problem is that the pitted areas appear to be galled now. The rust is gone but the areas where the rust was have opened up in size. This is not that noticeable but it's there if you look close. Will this slight defect cause problems if we try to jewel the bolt? is there a way to smooth out the areas that show galling? Any advice would be helpful:)
Once I get it all done I'll need to get a good scope. I'm leaning towards Burris Fullfield 3-9X as they are known for being bright and I'm in western Washington where hunting season tends to be dull and grey.
February 18, 2008, 11:14 AM
I have found using a small india sharpening stone with lots of oil and lightly stone the bolt body works well. When you clean the oil off it will not be bright, so here i start with 600 grit paper and finish with 1200. The brighter the finish (mirror look) the better the jeweling will turn out. I dont use power equiptment, take your time and finish blend everything by hand. Lots of work but well worth the end results. As you know stay away from polishing the locking lugs.
Sounds like a very nice rifle, if i was going to all that to bring it back i would have the muzzle recessed and save up for a nice caustic blue on the metal work, but thats me...ENJOY!
P.S. Welcome to the forum.
February 18, 2008, 08:13 PM
I've read that you can polish through the case hardening on the lugs pretty easily. Is it possible to go too deep into the sides of the bolt too? As far as finishing the barrel goes, I love a good deep bluing job, but I was thinking about Gunkote so that a matte finished scope and rings would match. Also it rains in this area (south of Seattle) and I've heard that Gunkote stand up well against rust. Of course as I mentioned, I'm going for clear matte on the stock as well. I may rethink this but there is a small ding in the underside of the barrel that needs to be worked out if I have it blued. I also just read about recessing of the muzzle. It would be nice if they did this at the factory! Seems like I've read countless stories about crown damage by truck floor. Maybe I'll invent the "Barrel Bumper 5000" to protect crowns for future generations! maybe I'm onto something.... Anyway, I don't have much of a budget if I'm going to buy a decent scope. I could just do a cold blue for now and save up for a pro finishing job in a year or two. I'm thinking of doing a float on the barrel. He bedded it in glass and it's pretty tight (no room for a dollar bill). He left a small bead of glass at the tip of the stock based on the knowledge that these barrels tend to like a little lift.
February 19, 2008, 11:18 AM
Your uncle built a very nice rifle, and if it shoots a dime size bug hole. I dont think i would mess with the bedding, i think he got it right! That may change when you add the gun coat finish,(or maybe not) but i'd leave it alone until all was to your liking and then range test it and go from there. ENJOY!
February 19, 2008, 05:43 PM
Buffing pits will slur them without removing them. Stoning or cutting the metal down with a hard surface is necessary. Then, as advised, polish with 600 grit and higher grade sandpapers.
February 19, 2008, 11:01 PM
I don't have an India stone so I worked out most of the pitted areas with a fine standard stone followed by a good rubdown with a Arkansas stone. Then I washed it down with brake cleaner to get rid of the larger abrasives around the bolt and down in the gap around the extractor ring. I also cleaned out the two oval ports in the side of the bolt to make sure that no abrasives end up in the firing pin assembly. I started polishing with some Wenol and managed to get rid of most of the heavier stone marks within about two hours. I found a tube of this in a friends basement and it's old enough to be "Made in West Germany". I scored quite a few items there including some Johnsons floor wax that I plan on waxing the stock with when it's finished. It seems to work relatively quickly rubbed briskly with tshirt patches.. I'm not sure if it will deliver a total mirror finish but it may be good enough for jeweling. Any advice on a finer polish to top it off with? Remember, until Uncle Sam sends me my tax bonus in May I'm tight for funds. I saw 500 grit today but just couldn't spend three bucks. In any case it's looking 200% better than when I started. The machining marks alone were rough let alone the pitting. The Yugos didn't waste any time on machining for looks.
I totaled my Ranger in a black ice accident last month. I had forgotten that the wife cut back to liability and medical for the summer since we weren't driving it. I would have reminded her.... Happened so quick I didn't have time to flip the 4X4 switch. Went from wet to ice on a left hand corner thats banked to the right. Truck went straight. Stopped when it hit a steel light pole. I was doing 30 in a 30 zone and witnesses said the pole barely shook. At least i wasn't hurt I guess. It crumpled like it should, even the roof. I miss the truck. It was my first and I paid it off two years ago. Only had 60,000 miles on it. I had just filled it up and it had a new canopy on it (flew off and cracked upon landing three lanes over)! Enough comiserating. What's done is done.
My main concern is that I need to have this rifle up and running by early June. Any minor rework (polishing, etc.) can be finished later. I want to take my time and do it right. Going on a trip through the southwest and plan on trying it out on some varmints. Need to pick up a scope by then. Any thoughts on 3-9X vs 4-12X for occasional varmint and deer hunting? I'm looking at $200 for a budget on the scope which I'll have next month.
As far as finishing the barrel goes, I've decided you're right srtrax. I'm going to look for a scope with a gloss finish rather than matte. I'm going to touch up the bluing for now and then save up for a pro hot bluing (need to find someone around Seattle that's good) does anyone know if Cabelas does this kind of work? We have a new store up here now. Maybe next winter after hunting I'll get it done. I think the bluing and matching scope will complement the era that the rifle is from better anyway. I need a sling too. The leather one it came with is very nice but the skin is cracked through si i woulodn't trust it for long. The rain here is hard on leather anyway.
February 20, 2008, 12:15 PM
I live in Puyallup. If you need help to refinish your Mark X, let me know.
February 21, 2008, 12:01 AM
Thanks scorch, I may take you up on that offer.
I got some surprising news today. My dad has decided to donate a twice used Burris 3-9X Fullfield to the cause as an early birthday gift. He's pulling it off of a CZ 17HMR bolt gun that he hasn't used since I shot it two years ago. It isn't a rimfire scope by the way. The scope is matte so I'm going to get some Leupold bases and standard (short) rings in matte to go with it. I can now use the money I was allocating for a scope to get the barrel finished and buying a portable rest, sling, etc. Now that I'm saddled with this matte scope should I still go with a good hot bluing or should I get some matte finish baked on? I have a decent compressor so I could pick up an airbrush and spray it myself (I have some production painting/airbrush experience in the aviation industry) . I've read that the barrel should be parkerized first and I'm not sure what that entails. The only problem then is finding an oven to cook it in. In the old days I could do it at work but now it wouldn't go over so well. Maybe a gunsmith is the best way to go? I may have $150 to spend on the finish.
I would have to account for the additional coating thickness by sanding a little bit of the bedding out from under the barrel. Yes, the barrel AND action are bedded in glass.
Dad also has a new progressive press so I'm going down some time in the next month (St. Helens, Or where I grew up) to get the scope and pick up a RCBS rock chucker he doesn't use now as well as a powder scale and some other goodies. Then I'll need to get some .25-06 dies (Redding is his recommendation). One of these days I should at least go get a box of factory loads so I can shoot it for the first time! I'm in Maple Valley so I can drop over Tiger Mountain on hwy18 and shoot in the clearcut on the east side of the highway.
February 21, 2008, 01:05 AM
here's the bolt after much polishing. tried to get a better pic but i'm not trained on my wifes new nikon. not sure where my camera is but when I find out where she put it away I'll take more pics.
February 21, 2008, 03:38 PM
From what i can tell you 've done a good job on the bolt, i found that taking a photo of bright work isnt easy. I'm not up on the paints for a finish, someone else will have to chime in on that. All my customers want hot caustic blue or a slow rust finish. I would take Scorch up on his offer, at least he is in the same state and posts here often. Dont know his work but i'll bet its well done and here too others may chime in saying so. Give him a pm on what you want and his prices so you know where to start saving.
Picture below is on a Comercial 98 Mauser i done long time ago. Best picture of the bunch and still doesnt do it justice.
February 22, 2008, 12:09 AM
Nice work srtrax.. I hope mine turns out that nice. Tempted to leave it as is and probably would if I liked seeing myself in it! Still can't find that camera... She says she didn't move it but I swear it was here on the desk... Anyway, when I locate it I'll post some nice pics. I use the same camera at work and I do good detail work with it. How did you imbed your pic in the post? I could only find an option for a limited file size. Should I use photobucket next time?
I sent a pm to scorch so we'll see what he says.
February 22, 2008, 12:18 PM
Here is how i Posted pictures here...at first!
First go to "manage attatchments"
then go to browse find the picture you want and select upload
when the attatched picture appears above the "attachment key" right click on attached picture ( for example: ts29-1.jpg)
now go to properties and right click and copy the URL
now paste the URL onto the posting page and manually bracket
between the URL
now submit reply
Now i use Irfanwiew and resize/resample image to 640 x 480 or 480x 640 depends on picture layout. Export that to photo bucket and click on IMG code and it copies it for you in the proper layout and past it to my post!
Anyway, let us see how your rifle comes along, would like to see it when finished... unless your as slow as i am about getting things done! :rolleyes:
February 22, 2008, 12:22 PM
Ends up like this...
February 25, 2008, 12:27 AM
Near complete for now. The finish isn't as fine as I had hoped but it'll do for now. I'm having the barrel and action refinished in matte black GunKote in a couple of weeks. Going to dad's place after that to mount a Burris Fullfield 2 3-9X and grind a new recoil pad to fit. I need a sling for it too as the leather one it came with is cracked. Then I'll get some reloading classes from him.
February 26, 2008, 09:33 PM
Back in town for a couple days, Thanks for the PM... Sweet, and it shoots dime size holes. Very nice!
February 27, 2008, 01:07 AM
Well he says he put three under a dime... He's a pretty honest ol'boy with plenty of time behind a barrel. We'll find out late March/ early April if I'm up to his level. I've always been handy with a rifle or a six gun. We'll get the scope lined up and see what she'll do (I would have tried it already but no open sights installed). Hopefully none of the remodeling affected it in an adverse way. Hey, it has the old weaver two piece mounts on it still. I was looking at reusing them by using the Burris Z mounts (low). The other option is Burris Trumounts and Burris Standard 1" rings. I was going to go with Leupold but the mounts and rings I want seem to be on backorder everywhere. Mount availability for the MarkX/FN Mauser is pretty slim.
Anyway, Burris Zee mounts are $23 plus S&H and Trumounts with Standard rings would be $37.90 plus S&H. Which way should I go? It it worth the extra expense? I could use the extra money for other items I need.
February 27, 2008, 10:22 AM
If it were me i would throw this one up in the Art of the Rifle with the pictures and ask questions there. The feedback will be far more reaching, and most of us there have a thing about gun **** anyway!;)
February 27, 2008, 11:42 PM
If you have a weapon that can do dime sized groups, why would you do anything that could possibly ruin that performance? I like handsome rifles as well as anyone else but function is more important than a pretty but uselesswall hanger. I do not get too hung up on the barrel matching the scope (silver scope on blue or even vise versa as the $ demands). use what you got and save to bring all the elements together after you have had a chance to enjoy a family trophy. Remember, if it ain't broke don't fix it! --IMHO---Woodinski
February 28, 2008, 01:05 AM
I'll be hunting in the fall near Seattle where it rains constantly most years. The barrel requires more expense to prep for bluing then I can afford. The cost of a top notch bluing is out of range as well but it needs to be finished. GunKote will be applied to a thickness of .0003-.0004 so interference or change would be minimal. It's more of the idea of changing the look that bothers me some. It's obvious the finish was incredible at one time and parts of it still are. Unfortunately it has some wear and tear. I am pricing a hot blue now but I can get the crown repaired and get the barrel and action finished for $150 which I can barely afford as it is. I'm eager to see if it still shoots well, my uncle did let his stepson borrow it 2 years ago. The kid sold the Redfield scope to a pawnshop and then lied about it. Hopefully he didn't abuse it too much although I see a chip in the steel in the top of the barrel and it makes me wonder. My uncle sold it to my dad because he didn't think it was worth the expense. Dad was going to work on it until I showed interest.
March 3, 2008, 04:59 PM
I have been cleaning up my Parker Hale. It now has a Interarms Mark X bolt body.
I put a Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x44 scope on it. I think the mounts and rings are the same for the Mark X as the Parker Hale 1200. They have a fitment guide on their website. Burris glass is great, although I don't like the controls on the Fullfield II. You have to twist the front optic for aperture adjustment, and twist the rear optic for power. I am using the Burris quick release rings.
I had the gunsmith polish some of the pits.
A Teflon coating re-finish is over 200$. I think the chemicals are under 40$. Maybe I can find a junk oven somewhere.
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