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View Poll Results: Restore or rebuild with changes?
Restore Savage 23a to Orig .22lr? 5 41.67%
Rebuild Savage 23a with a caliber change to .17 Mach II? 7 58.33%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 15, 2010, 07:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: February 14, 2010
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Original or Extra Spicy (Savage Rifle Rebuild)

What: Restore with or without changes.

Who: Myself and whoever does the barrel reline.

When: I have given myself a 30 day time to finish this project.

Where: My work shop at home.

Why: These parts were orphaned off of other unusable guns and bought individually. To make a firearm whole again.

Delima: restore to 22lr or spice it up to a .17 Mach II.

Ok... I have a project to perform. Either way I go it is somewhat straight forward. I have collected all of the piece parts to a Savage Model 23a in 22lr. The problem is, the barrel / receiver are in pretty bad shape and they are machined together. The receiver end just needs a reblue, the barrel exterior needs a very good sanding / polish and reblue to get rid of rust and pits. The bore is dark, worn rifling and also pitted in several areas. Its only salvation would be to reline the barrel, done professionally of course.

After it is done, regardless of either caliber, take it out for a range report. I honestly would like your thoughts on this project. I know restoring to historical accuracy is important. I also know this is an orphaned gun so why not trick up the caliber just a little. I am very undecided on this and would appreciate your help to decide one way or another. During the process I can take pics and show the progress if anyone is interested.

Option 1 - Restore this piece to orig state via the use of a .22lr barrel liner job and then refinish all the parts best I can.

Option 2 - Restore this piece but change the caliber to .17 Mach II via a barrel liner job and then refinish all the rest of the parts best I can.

The magazine and bolt face would not have to be changed at all to convert to .17 Mach II, maybe just a touch on the feed ramp and lips.

The only real change would be the caliber to the .17 Mach II. Here are some pics of the pieced parts, none of them were from the same gun, they are all orphaned piece parts. The only pieces I need to get are the front bead or globe sight. The parts in total with S&H cost $83.00 from many different sources. The barrel liner job regardless of caliber will be approx $50 to $100 depending on who does it.

The reblue I will do myself and the stock I will redo myself (any tips would be most welcomed).

The barrel - Needs major overhaul in and out

The stock - needs just a good oil finish and touch up, nothing major

The Bolt - needs cleaned and most likely a reblue to match the barrel and receiver. I may change all the guns springs and working parts like the extractors and such, have not decided that yet. (your thoughts would be welcomed) The bolt handle will just be polished and left natural metal color and not blued.

The Trigger group - Needs cleaned, sear face polished and most likely a reblue

The peep sight - needs no work, excellent condition

The Magazine - Needs work due to someone taking a file to the back and a reblue.

The Trigger guard - needs cleaned and a reblue.

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Old February 15, 2010, 09:14 AM   #2
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Location: Michigan
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My 2007 Std Cataloge lists this rifle at $100 poor to $250 Exc. unless you are in the habbit of throwing money away, I would keep it as original as possible. Collectors want the original patina on the guns. Refinishing will destroy any collector value. Some will say it's just a piece of junk, but by redoing it takes one more collectable out of the market and drive the price of the ones out there up.
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Old February 16, 2010, 02:41 AM   #3
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Currently there is NO collector value to this particular piece, they are orphaned parts from many different guns I have sought out and bought individually.

Sadly 2007 is ancient history when it comes to vintage firearms and accessories.

In 2010 via Gunbroker and Auction Arms as well as gun shows the value of model 23a's stays steady at $300 in well used condition and in the center fire models of 23b, c, d - they can run to $500. The model 1919 or 19NRA (same rifle) has gone for rediculas sums all because it closely resembles its big brother the P14 / P17 .30 Cal rifle and 1903/A3.

The magazines alone are going for $100, the rear "Savage" peep sight are going for close to $150. The original Savage slings for the 19 NRA are going for $75.

Aside from all of that, I am not restoring it to collect money, I am restoring it to honestly just bring another piece back to life that was orphaned. Just thought an upgrade to .17 Mach II would be a cool way of nringing it back to life in the new era. I am not sold either way yet.

In its condition now, it is not safe or usable and slapping it together as is with orphaned parts is not an option. There is no OLD patina on it, the pictures do not show all the rust and pitting as well as the extremely poor bore that is dark, pitted and rusted. It comes down to either the entire piece gets rebuilt or restored or not. The cost of making it .17 Mach II or .22lr are the exact same.

Last edited by UpandAtIt; February 16, 2010 at 02:47 AM.
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Old February 19, 2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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Sounds like a fun project whichever way you go. I would say that if you go with the .17 to be sure the cartridges feed properly. None came by my shop but there was a story floating around the community about several Savage
.17 Mach 2's that had pushed the bullet into the case and then in some way got crammed shut and popped the primer and charge before going into lockup, thereby causing some damage. I'm kinda considering converting an old .22 to .17 Mach 2 just because I can. Goatwhiskers the Elder
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Old February 19, 2010, 09:18 AM   #5
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Goat whiskers, do you do barrel relining there at your shop or do you send it out to someone like Redmans etc?

I wish I was a tool and die guy with a stamping press. I could make a small fortune on the magazines for this rifle. Sadly I am just a Quality Assurance Eng / Plant Manager with just enough knowledge to make me dangerous.

Even the crap triple K magazines (remakes) that really do not work w/o major fitting, they are going for $45.00 each.

I tried taking a Savage model 35 Magazine and reworking them to fit a 23a but that is close to 2 hours work on each mag and looks like crap.

I think the angle of the feed ramp is important when dealing with .17 Mach II due to the bottle neck casing and the pointed bullet.

I converted a AR Industries AR-7 into a .17 Mach II and it works great with factory .22lr mags or the Ramline 25 round mags but the triple k 15 round mags were just junk.
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Old March 2, 2010, 08:30 AM   #6
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Ok, votes are the fun begins

The votes are in. I am going to convert this Savage 23a Orphaned Parts gun into a 23a in .17 Mach II.

Steps I am going to take: Pictures of before and after. During if it warrants it.

1. Barrel to be cut to 17 inches. (I will do this at the shop on lunch hour). Barrel end will also be threaded to 1/2 28tpi to add a M16 Vintage 3 prong flash hider

2. Barrel relined, chambered and crowned in .17 Mach II, at this time scope mounting holes for a base will be done. It will be a scout type scope forward of the receiver. There will also be holes drilled and tapped for the addition of a Tech-Sights "GI" Aperture Sights when the scope is detached (using Ruger sight base hole centers of .835 center to center and front sight a 3/8” dovetail slot. ( Tech-Sights $37, and Redmans of WA $93.00)

3. During this time of getting the barrel done (approx 1 month turn around), (keeping the orig schnoble intact) clean and refinish the stock with Lin-Speed Oil. (I will do this, I was told rub one coat a day for 1 week, 1 coat a week for 4 weeks, 1 coat a month for 3 months)

4. Polish and prep metal parts for a reblue. (I will do this and the parts will be electro etched (bolt will stay a dull shine) for a matt surface). I still do not know if it will be re-blued or phosphated, I am leaning towards the phosphate finish. I will also rebuild the bolt to include a new firing pin, spring, both extractors and their springs and pins. ($14.00 for the bolt parts from Popperts

5. Do the metal finish (I will do this at the shop)

6. Assemble rifle, mount scout scope base, rings and scope (already have them from another gun I had sold) (laser bore sight) test and then range report with both the scope and the Tech-Sights.

Place in the gun rack cabinet with the dozens of other projects completed.

Approx total cost of materials and Redmans service to include the orphaned parts will be $203.00.
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Old March 2, 2010, 09:22 AM   #7
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Sounds great except the flash hider, but it's your rifle. I did a few of these 17cal conversions for a gunsmith friend who is a an engraver not a machinist. His customers liked the results. I'm not one to cut up a classic gun, but if building from parts, go custom.
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Old March 2, 2010, 01:45 PM   #8
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Yes, all of these parts were bought seperate from all kinds of sources. The barrel was seriously being used to hang clothes on as a bar accross the closet of a guys house. Whe he asked me if I know what it was, the receiver milled into the same barrel blank was a dead give away. There are STEEL hanger scratches all over it, rust in and out and some pits at the chamber and muzzle.

I took it home and rane the bolt up and down the receiver, works like a charm even with the welded bolt handle.

Maybe not the 3 prong flash hider, maybe I will EDM some * Magna Port slots in it or something like that. I want something at the end to blow flash to the sides for night time fire

The parts truly were Orphaned parts and took about 1 year to find em all after I found the barrel.
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