In a previous post, I showed the refinishing I did on my M44:
Having completed that, I decided to really overhaul my 91/30. I wanted to refinish the stock, but I also decided to shorten the barrel by 10 inches.
So I disassembled the rifle, then used a hacksaw to cut the barrel. Then I used a couple of files to smooth down the end of the barrel. Next I picked up some Permatex Valve Grinding Compound from Auto Zone, and a couple of round-head brass screws from the hardware store. I put one of the screws into my cordless drill, smeared the grinding compound on the end of the barrel and on the screw, and then ground away at the end of the barrel for about 20 minutes, creating a very nice bevel on the crown of the barrel. I also tapped the front site out of its dovetail mount on the discarded section of barrel.
With the stock, I removed the top barrel cover and used a wood saw to cut away the bottom barrel cover. Then I used files to reshape what was now the new front end of the stock, to make it look like a traditional gun stock. As with my M44 project, I used furniture stripper to remove the Soviet shellac from the stock. A few stains in the wood simply would not come out, so eventually I resigned myself to them and finished with a coat of Minwax "natural" stain to give the stock a honey cast, then applied four coats of clear satin Minwax Polycrylic. The photos below show before and after shots of both the M44 and the 91/30. The change in the 91/30 is the most dramatic. It used to be 8 inches longer than the M44, now it's 2 inches shorter.
The only part of the project that isn't finished is replacing the front site. I ordered a front site adaptor from Brass Stacker, but it hasn't arrived yet. The adapter is a clamp-on base with a dovetail that allows you to use the original front site.
I haven't had a chance to fire the reconfigured 91/30 yet. Perhaps later this week I'll be able to get to the range. One other thing I noticed was that despite removing 10 inches of barrel and the wooden barrel covers, the cleaning rod and associated hardware, the gun is still heavy. I didn't weigh it before and after, but it's still a boat anchor.
Update: I took it to the indoor range and put about 25 rounds through it. This range is only 25 yards deep, so no way to really gauge accuracy, but at that short distance, it was easy to nail the bullseye. And fun to shoot, too. Blasts a fireball and makes a mighty big bang. Guys a couple of lanes down from me drifted over to see what was making the earth shake.
This is before
This is after. It's hard to believe that the 91/30 (left) is the same rifle.