Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Western Field 45 project part 1

I bought this gun a few years ago and made the mistake in thinking it was a Mossberg manufactured rifle, turns out it was made by Savage, a copy for the model 56 (a derivative of the model 4) built for the Montgomery Wards Department stores.

This what the gun should look like

I found some great information on this model and the peep sight originally installed on it on the 24hr Campsite forum.

I was even able to find the correct magazine for it and shoot it. I found it to be quite precise. I like the old school styling and quality manufacturing that is hard to find today....This gun is definitely a keeper.

So I made the decision to restore the gun.

Before pictures:

You can see the butt stock needs some work, I am guessing that the damage was caused by moisture (perhaps from improper storage?)

I also noticed the sights are not original, the rear is a Marbles

The front is brass, probably also a Marbles, you can see the outline of the old ramp front sight

The plan:
  • Refinish the wood, removing dents, gouges and scratches and putting a satin oil finish on it
  • Re-cut the checkering (if possible)
  • Replace the steel butt plate with a thin rubber recoil pad.
  • Re-blue the metal
  • Nitre blue the screws
  • Add period correct sling swivels
I found this NOS Westernfield rubber butt pad on ebay, from Gun Parts Corp. The screw hole spacing was perfect, but the pad is a little wider and taller than my butt stock, so it will need to be fitted.

and because this is a vintage rifle, I plan on putting a white line spacer between the butt pad and stock. I bought some of this 1/16" thick white ABS plastic

I could have bought one, Pachmayr still sells them:

as does Boyd's...but the price for the sheet above was cheaper than one pre-made one and I can get 4-5 spacers out of this 6"x12" piece.

The rifle already has holes for sling swivels so I figured I would put some back on it.
I found this set of vintage Winchester model 70 style, 1" sling swivels at a gun show for $2 (I believe these were made by Uncle Mikes....)

 I will also add the white donut spacers to the sling swivels as well.

A sling is mandatory on a vintage rifle, I purchased this Amish Made, Buffalo hide 1" leather sling, it is a quality made unit that will fit with the era of the gun.