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Old December 23, 2013, 09:12 PM   #1
IrvJr
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loose stock on Marlin 39A

hey all. I have a Marlin 1897 .22 LR lever action rifle. It's basically a Marlin 39A with a hexagonal barrel.

It is a wonderful gun and it is probably the most accurate gun that I own (even more than my CZ 452 FS).

I took it out this evening to rub down the metal with an oily cloth and noticed that there is a little play in the butt stock to receiver finish. I can pull on the butt stock and it will pull away about 1/16" to 1/8" from the receiver. I can then push it back against the receiver. I don't think the screw that attaches the receiver to the buttstock is loose... I tried it with a screwdriver and it was tight.

Is there something I can do to tighten the fit up a little?

Thanks in advance.
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Old December 24, 2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Been there and done that !!!

Quote:
Is there something I can do to tighten the fit up a little?
First off, what I suspect happened, is that you are storing it in a safe that has either a Hot-Rod or some form of dehumidifier. After a long storage period, your furniture has shrunk. This is common and happened to me. My tang screw was also tight. So much so that I had a heck of a time, breaking it loose. You are describing a lot of travel and I wound up shimming mine up, in order to tighten. There has to be a better way as all I did, was treat the symptom and not the cause. I've been wondering if one couldn't remove the furniture and slowly expose it to a more humid environment. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 24, 2013, 10:57 AM   #3
IrvJr
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pahoo

Great point!

You are correct... I keep it in a safe with a goldenrod dehumidifier (basically a heater) and the stock was stored just above the device. I think you are right... it must have shrunk....

Any ideas on how to unshrink it?
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Old December 24, 2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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New tricks for old dogs !!

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Any ideas on how to unshrink it?
Our stocks took a long time to shrink and I'm going to give mine some time to swell back up. Right now, I'm leaning toward removing the furniture and letting it sit out during the summer months. I'm sure there is a quicker was by introducing the humidity but I've never been down this road. Perhaps others will chime in and provide more experience. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 24, 2013, 12:34 PM   #5
603Country
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When wood shrinks (and expands), it'll be across the grain and not lengthwise.
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Old December 24, 2013, 04:11 PM   #6
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Interesting !!!

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When wood shrinks (and expands), it'll be across the grain and not lengthwise.
Interesting but with your expertise, would you venture a guess as to what is happening and how to correct it? ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 24, 2013, 05:00 PM   #7
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Do NOT set it in the rain. It has to be done slow.
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Old December 25, 2013, 08:02 AM   #8
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I doubt you will ever introduce enough moisture into the stock to make it fit flush and nice again. I would suggest the use of a little stock bedding compound to take up the slack and it should last you for about the next 100 yrs.
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Old December 25, 2013, 10:09 AM   #9
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Stock needs to be re-fitted. There isn't any other way about it.
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Old December 25, 2013, 11:47 AM   #10
603Country
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Pahoo, I had to look up a diagram on attachment of the stock on that rifle. I have a 39A, but could not remember how the stock was attached to the action. Since the attachment is only by screws through the upper and lower metal straps extending from the action, then that's where the problem of a loose stock has to be. If it was my rifle, I'd remove the stock, paying close attention to how tight the screws are in the wood. Could be that one or both have been stripped out a bit and are loose. If that's the problem, I'd drill out the holes to a larger size and then glue in a carefully fitted new and round bit of walnut or oak (something stout, unlike Pine). I'd use Titebond glue, which I (as a woodworker) have a lot of on hand. Wait a day or two for it to dry completely and then redrill (very carefully) a hole somewhat smaller than the screw and then install the screws. Another, and somewhat easier, way to do that would be to just insert some good tough wood into the hole and glue it in place, let the glue dry, and then reattach the screws. I'd do it the first way, but I have every tool you can think of. This second way should work fine also.

If, however, the screws being loose isn't the problem, then I would shim up the recesses (inletted areas) in the stock where the two metal straps are carefully fitted. That would bring the areas of contact between the stock and the action metal back to where it should be. If carefully done, the metal will completely hide the shims. I'd use wood for the shims if possible, and preferably a dark Walnut, and glue it into place so there'd never be any wiggle that would loosen it up again. If the shims are going to be real thin, then I'd probably try to go with a shim just on the lower (lever side) strap and then sand that shim until I got a glove fit of the metal to wood.

Again, I'd use Titebond glue (Titebond III is waterproof if that's of any interest) and not use a Polyurethane glue like Gorilla Glue. Those foam and expand.

Anyway...that's how I would approach it. And if the OP lives in Texas, just drive on over here and have a beer while I do it for you.
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Old December 25, 2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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One machine screw !!

Quote:
Pahoo, I had to look up a diagram on attachment of the stock on that rifle.
603Country, Not sure what diagram you are referring but if you look at this schematic link, you will see that there is one main "machine" screw that goes through the top tang and threads into the bottom tang. The stock is suppose to fit firm to tight, in it's fit and finally pinched between top and bottom tang. When the stock shrinks, the fit goes out the window and then there is play between the tang screw shank and the stock. There is a limit as to how much you can tighten the tang screw before you loose the effect of the clamping. You have to refit those fit surfaces and that is what I did. My screw had been tightened so hard, that I had a heck of a time, loosening it. Finally did and now have a tight fit and plenty of travel left on the screw. .....
By the way, my forend was also loose but not as bad ....


Be Safe !!!

http://www.brownells.com/schematics/...9A-sid283.aspx
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Old December 25, 2013, 01:12 PM   #12
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You will have to remove that screw (there is only one) and the stock, then use a fiberglass bedding compound to fill the hole. Then fit the stock tightly and re-drill the hole in the new position (you might have to remove some wood for a proper tang fit). Believe me, this is not a "measure twice, drill once" job. It is a "measure a dozen times, drill carefully" proposition. You will probably want to drill a small pilot hole first, then if that comes out OK, you can drill the larger hole. Drilling is done with the stock OFF the receiver, but with a lot of trial and a lot of patience.

Jim
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:07 PM   #13
603Country
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I guess I coulda walked 10 feet and picked up my 39A, but I didn't. Absolutely right that there's only the one screw. Still, my advice is good, though the one hole is going to be tougher to do properly. Now...based on the new and better information, I'd probably build a jig, using one or more Jorgenson wooden clamps (or the Harbor Freight equivalent) to hold the stock so that my drill press when used, would drill the exact same angle hole. I'd use the existing screw hole, and with a drill bit in the press, to set that angle to the jig. Then I'd plug the hole with a walnut or oak dowel. Get a friend with a wood lathe to make the dowel for you (or PM me with the diameter needed and I'll make and mail you a couple of dowels, since I have a wood lathe). Then glue the dowel in place, let it dry and drill it out and remount the buttstock.

Another, and possibly easier, approach would be to drill the hole out in shallow fashion (not all the way through the stock) to a depth of maybe 3/8 of an inch at both ends of the hole and to a larger size hole. Glue in a plug to both shallow holes, sand flush as required, and then redrill the holes through the plugs. This approach takes away the difficulty of drilling a hole completely through the wood stock grip and having to be exactly right the first time. I think that would work.

Or...a new fore end and buttstock would look nice.
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Old December 25, 2013, 02:21 PM   #14
Pahoo
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Take a second look

WAIT !!
There is no wood screw, it's a machine screw that and acts more as a clamping screw than an anchor screw. No dowelling or drilling needed, just tighten the top and bottom, Tang area fits ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 25, 2013, 06:47 PM   #15
603Country
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Yes, I know it's a machine screw, but if it's been tightened and the stock is still loose and slides in a front-back manner, then the screw hole has obviously been 'wollered out' as we say in the south. If that's the case then the hole has to be filled and properly redrilled - if the stock is not going to be replaced.

If the OP can just tighten the screw and fix the problem, we've worked way too hard on this. I assume the OP already tried that. And, he said that the stock did move in a front-back manner, if I read correctly. With a tight or loose machine screw, it shouldn't move like that. That would be why I suggested the enlarged hole and plugs, with the plugs then being drilled for the hole. That would remove any front-back movement if the hole was drilled in the proper place.

If he'll just drive to Texas, I'll fix it. I'm almost finished with a daughter's small Cherrywood table and will soon need another project.
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Old December 25, 2013, 07:59 PM   #16
IrvJr
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Hey all,

Thanks for the great replies. Didn't get a chance to respond earlier.... Christmas celebrations were underway.

603Country.... unfortunately I'm in southern NH, but will take a look first and see if I can shim the stock to tighten the fit.

I repaired the foreend on my Browning O/U shotgun a couple of years ago (damaged it while hunting) and did a pretty good job. i think I will try and tighten this up.

if the shims don't work I will look into filling then redrilling the hole.

Thanks all again for the very helpful replies!

IrvJr
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Old December 26, 2013, 12:32 AM   #17
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You can shim the stock at the front where it fits into the receiver or use bedding compound in that area. You can also do either at the back of the tangs. I didn't recommend either because the fix will show on the outside, either in a gap or by showing the shim or fill compound. Depends on whether appearance is important.

Jim
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Old December 26, 2013, 10:23 AM   #18
603Country
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Possible shim visibility is why I recommended using a Walnut wood shim. And, it's possible that only the bottom has to be shimmed. You'd never see that shim on the bottom, whatever you made it of. I'd make the shim a bit too thick and then sand it to fit.
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Old December 28, 2013, 09:31 AM   #19
tobnpr
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Don't own a lever action...
Is there some reason the receiver can't be epoxy bedded same as a bolt gun to keep it from moving in the stock?
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