Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Project Deer Stalker Part 1

I am always on the look out for new projects and when I saw this Savage/Stevens model 325C for $100 I had to investigate further.
I already reload and keep 30-30 Win ammo as I have a Winchester model 94 in that caliber, so adding another rifle with the same chambering was an easy decision. 

See my Featured Gun post on this rifle here

I decided to name this Project Deer Stalker because it seems like the perfect deer gun for the woods or brush, areas where you need a lightweight, short, easy to handle rifle. The same reasons Ruger used the name for their .44 Carbine. Ruger was forced to drop the name because of a similar sounding name being used by Ithaca (Deer Slayer).

The first step is a thorough inspection....I had checked the bore before buying the gun and it was shiny and sharp.

Here are the before pictures:

The rear sight is a Marbles and the front one looks different than some of the others I have seen, this may be one of the changes made from the 325B or maybe from a model 340?

very light corrosion on the barrel

Here are the cracks in the wrist, they look pretty serious

The butt plate has seen better days

There is a large chunk missing from the grip cap area. 

When I removed the stock there was some rusting on the barrel where the barrel band rides.

Because I didn't have much in the gun and it needed a new stock, I took the plunge and bought a beautiful stock that was made for a model 340. The stock will fit, I may need to make room for my bolt handle (which is different than the model 340).

The butt pad looks like a correct reproduction unit, but the screws should be slotted. I'm pretty sure I have some correct ones in my stash. If not I can restore the originals. I am not going for a perfect restoration, I just like to have them look "period correct", meaning that the mods and parts match what was available when the gun was first purchased

I also have this nice Amish made 1" buffalo hide sling that I  purchased on ebay. It will look perfect on this rifle.

First on the list is to shoot the gun and see how it runs.

Second would be to fit the new stock to the gun

Then I plan making this one of the nicest 325Cs ever by:
  •  polishing to a high shine and rebluing the metal
  •  polishing and nitre bluing the screws 
  •  polish the bolt and bolt handle to a high shine
  •  adding sling swivels and the leather sling.
The first step was to shoot the gun. I had a few boxes of 30-30 cartridges that I had loaded and some Hornady American Whitetail Ammunition, all where 150gr soft points. I had one box of my reloads that would not chamber completely, I think I might not have sized them fully or maybe with an older die set. The Hornadys and most of my other reloads worked just fine.
I took a box of reloads that chambered and took the gun out to shoot.
The gun chambered, fired and extracted the reloads without fail. I fired a couple of magazines full of ammo.

The empty cases showed no signs of an abnormal chamber, no scratches and no blow-by. The dimples in the primer, were not perfectly centered, but pretty close.

A picture of the bore, dirty, but no signs of rust when I cleaned it

All in all it showed to be a good investment. 

On with the refinishing.