I finished this project today and it turned out better than I thought it might.
The wood was OK, a few dents and dings most of which I was able to steam out with a wet cloth and a hot cloths iron. The finish was old shellac and was cracking and pealing. The bore and rifling was like new. The metal was pretty good but it must have had three different scopes mounted on it over its life span. I filled two unused scope mounting holes on the side with blued screws rather than plug screws (they look like they have a purpose other than filling unwanted holes). I found scope mounts that matched the original factory holes in the rear and the two that had been drilled and tapped (poorly done) in font of the breach. The original scope mounts are rare and original reproduction were $500 + and needed to be installed by the manufacturer, Even if I had gone that way I would have had visible gaping holes.
I was able to find a period correct Weaver K-4, 4 power scope on eBay. I won the bid, $32 bucks. It was a little rougher than depicted on the website but I took some 0000 steel wool and Vaseline to it and it came out real nice.
For the finish I mixed Bone Black with the second coat of linseed oil. The black got into the pores of the wood and set off the grain that was pretty plane Jane under the old finish. It has about eight coats of linseed oil (I lost count) and three coats of wipe on polyurethane (great stuff) and then a couple of coats of brown shoe polish as it's stiffer and more heat resistant than paste wax.
I replaced most of the screws that were damaged with new ones. The ones I couldn't replace I cleaned and re-cut the slots if they were stripped. There are some places where the bluing has been rubbed off but they are subtle blemishes that add a little character to a 54 year old rifle. I haven't found period correct rings yet. They are out there it's just a mater of looking for them. Once I get them and the scope installed I'll take her to the range and see how she shoots.
This was a fun project. It took about 15 - 20 hours over the course of about 10 days.
Because all the extra holes had been drilled for scope mounting it lost all it's collectors value so a complete refinish didn’t do any more harm to its value. Besides I wanted a shooter not a collector.
The polyurethane I used is a Min Wax product called "Wipe on Poly". It is really easy to use and looks fantastic over a stained or natural finish. In this case I wanted a final finish that would harden the wood to prevent dents and seal out moisture.
Ive got the bug. I'm already looking at an old model 70 to restore.