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Repairing a Marlin 1897 in .22

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:45 pm
by Tank
So, I came across this lovely unmolested Marlin 1897 in .22 rimfire, it is totally unspoilt and original. However, as is always the case there was a snag, no magazine cutoff. This is a small spring steel inset that controls the cartridge feed from the tubular magazine and stops the mag just dumping it's contents when you lower the lever to cock the rifle.
Now, this part is available from Brownells and I could have just ordered one, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I had another, similar rifle so I could just copy from that, right?
So here is the part, made from annealed spring steel stock. I arrived at the final shape using files and a scraper:
Here you can see, at the top of the picture, the fixture I made to hold the part as I machined it on the manual Mill:
This is the part I copied:
So, now it will be obvious to you that it needs heat treating, that is hardening and then tempering. Well it just so happens I know a man. So first the part was hardened and then placed into this very old, very large and very accurate tempering furnace:
We had to fasten the part using a piece of iron wire to the smallest basket we could find, which is so huge you can't actually see it.
Here we are setting the control to temperature.
The final stage, checking the actual hardness. Interestingly, during the second World War a good many of these hardness testers were sent to machine shops around the country doing "War Work" and I would bet that a good number were scrapped, unused. Shame really because they are incredibly accurate:
And here we are, a few gratuitous shots of the part fitted up (yes I had to make a screw too) and the breech assembled:
This is a bit of a keeper as it was manufactured in 1907 and I have a few guns from the 1900 to 1920 period and it fits into my collection nicely, shoots well too which is always a bonus.