View Full Version : Restoring an old rifle

Pvt. Pyle
March 5, 2012, 11:37 PM
I have a Springfield Savage Model 87A .22 Rifle that I have been trying to get operational and have the parts on order to do so. Thinking of which way to go with refinishing.

So I guess I was thinking about putting some sort of small scope on it once its done so kind of eliminate the sights. Only the front sight is still there. Was also thinking about getting the barrell and stuff cerakoted. What would I be able to use to fill in the dovetails for the front and rear sights and the gouges where they tried to put on a scope mount? Would a guy be able to braze something in there and then smooth it off? Just that way its metal? Or solder? Trying to get the barrell to be smooth of sights and and marring. Or would it be possibly a better investment buying a new barrell?

Then I have to sand all the paint off the wood stock and refinish it.

March 6, 2012, 10:10 AM
For the sight dovetails, use these:
For other nicks, dings etc in the metal, as you're going to do the coating thing, fill them with epoxy and sand them down before coating. I saw a thread on one of the gun forums recently where someone did this with an old Savage 99. The end product looked great.

Bill DeShivs
March 6, 2012, 02:40 PM
You can use epoxy "plumber's putty" to fill the dovetails. After it hardens, file and sand it smooth.

James K
March 6, 2012, 02:52 PM
If you want to get fancy, Brownells has dovetail blanks which most gunsmiths use for filling in dovetails, not putty.

FWIW, and at the risk of making an enemy (I hope not), I would not spend a dime on that rifle; its proper role is as a tomato stake and it doesn't need a nice finish for that. I worked on maybe hundreds of those rifles, under a dozen or so names and model numbers, and they were all junk. They would work OK for a while when new, then something would go wrong. Fix that, and something else would go bad. Finally, parts supplies ran out and we were able to tell customers that no parts were available. Thank heaven!

If you insist on spending time and money on that rifle, you will start with junk and many dollars and frustrating hours later you will still have junk.

Just MHO, of course, but if you doubt me, ask yourself why so many turn up incomplete or in pieces, stuck away in junk boxes. Those were the result of screaming fits by previous owners.


March 6, 2012, 05:40 PM
James K is right, they aren't worth messing with unless you just want the exercise. The only gun I know of that starts from the basic model 87, and has so many engineering changes in it that you also have the models 87A through the model 87T, and all the letters in between. They never did work right.

Bill DeShivs
March 7, 2012, 07:22 PM
He's talking about painting the gun. It's a cheap gun. Epoxy putty would be completely serviceable under a painted finish.

James K
March 7, 2012, 11:53 PM
You are right, Bill. Why waste a perfectly good dovetail blank?


March 8, 2012, 08:48 PM
My 87B is a little finicky about what it eats but it has hammered out many thousands of CCI's without a glitch since at least 1978. It eats Federal bulk pretty good but does hang up every now and then with them. It's more accurate than my 10/22 which isn't saying anything and my Marlin model 60 which is saying something.