Savage Model 110 .30-06
I acquired this rifle from my father, who bought it, and several other rifles from my brother's girlfriend. Her husband passed away, and she had them sitting around and had no use for them. He jumped at the opportunity, and they arrived on a mutually beneficial price. for the whole lot.
This rifle was in very poor condition, and I wish I had photographed it prior to working on it. The finish was rough with rust and pitting in many places, and it was ugly. I cringed when I first saw it, and relegated it to "junk" rifle status, and prepared to give it no more attention until I could part it out, or sell it for a pittance at the next gunshow, or to someone who needed a deer rifle, and was very poor.
That likely would have been the end of it, if I hadn't thrown it up to my shoulder. Once I did that, and sighted down the once proud sights, I was hooked. Never in all my life have I raised a rifle with friendlier ergonomics, even in rifles that cost three times this ones original price. I can't quite identify what feature, or combination of features was responsible, but both my Dad and I remarked how "perfect" thjs tired old rifle felt when shouldered. It might have been the length of pull, or the drop at heel or comb...Perhaps it was the weight? I don't know, but the rifle "feels good". In fact it doesn't just "feel good", it feels "just right". Kind of a Goldilocks sort of thing.
"Oh well", I thought, "that is really too bad". I decided to check the rifles bore just the same. The M110 was designed to have an interchangeable barrel, and I was thinking if I could pick up a .308 barrel for a reasonable price, I could build up a cheap rifle in that caliber, which is one I don't have (bolt action .308 hunting rifle). When I saw the bore, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was immaculate. I don't mean clean, there was all sorts of closet dust in it, but the lands and grooves were crisp and sharp, and the whole bore was mirror bright. I couldn't tell if the rifle had ever in fact been previously fired. Wow. I couldn't re-barrel this rifle when this barrel was this nice. Only one solution. Refinish it.
I had been playing around with Norrell's MolyResin for some time on AR-15 and other firearms, and it seemed a natural choice for this one. So I quickly set to work. I disassembled the major components, and began cleaning. I used a wire brush wheel and some phosphoric acid to strip off the rust and old bluing, and to polish up the rusty bolt. Then I baked all the metal to seep out any oils that might still be present. Then I bathed it all in some really nasty brake cleaner. Finally it was time to actually spray on the new finish. Once that was done, it was time to put it in the oven to harden the MolyResin. Only problem was, a barreled action was too long for my kitchen oven. Only one choice: BBQ!
I had previously built a BBQ/Smoker out of an old 250 gallon oil tank, and after cleaning it out a bit, and suspending the rifles action "just so", I brought the heat up to 300 degrees and PRESTO! An hour later, I had a nice rifle.
After re-assembling all the parts, I was really happy. It looked like a million bucks...relatively speaking. It really looked nice compared to how it used to look.
However, it wasn't until I took it out to the range and saw how good it shot: 1" group at 100 yards, that I really started to love this rifle.
I saved it from an obscure future, and now it's one of my favorite hunting rifles.
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