.458 winchester silk purse from a sows ear project

ChrisG

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Ok... so I bought a "project gun". A Whitworth Mauser .458 Win Mag. There seems to be some slight pitting on the barrel and the Tupperware stock looks to have been painted with a rattlecan. The bore apparently is mint despite all the other issues... so I m hoping for a diamond in the rough here. If I need to I will rebarrel it but I am hoping that isn't necessary.

The first order of business will be to TIG weld up the holes in the side of the rear portion of the action where the peep is installed, then sand everything back to bare metal and get as many of the pits out as possible. Then I will give it a rust blue. I typically do about 5-10 applications and carding before finally soaking for a few days in ATF.
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Once the rust bluing is done, I am going to send the rifle off the gentry custom and have one of their 3 position M70 styled safeties installed.

From there I will be fitting and installing an English walnut classic sporting stock from Richards Microfit Stocks. That will be finished in oil and checkered (Might go with Fleur de Lis but we will see how the mood strikes me after the stock is finished.

A set of nice steel scope bases will follow that.

I will be slicking up the action as well when it is apart.

Now... keep in mind that I am not made of money, but is there anything else anyone would suggest to give this rifle a classic big game rifle look and feel?
 

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Very cool, have you thought of reaming it out to a 458 Lott. You get the best of both worlds.
 

CoElkHunter

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Nice rifle and project. I picked up the same rifle awhile ago. The action/barrel are mint and feeds everything from the magazine, but the walnut stock needs some work. Mine needs sights/barrel band. I don’t see anything else on yours that you haven’t mentioned that would be beneficial? The bluing/wood are going to look great on your rifle and the three position safety is also a plus.
 

ChrisG

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Very cool, have you thought of reaming it out to a 458 Lott. You get the best of both worlds.
I thought about it but it is a standard large ring mauser and I dont know how much meat that will leave in the action.
 

ChrisG

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Nice rifle and project. I picked up the same rifle awhile ago. The action/barrel are mint and feeds everything from the magazine, but the walnut stock needs some work. Mine needs sights/barrel band. I don’t see anything else on yours that you haven’t mentioned that would be beneficial? The bluing/wood are going to look great on your rifle and the three position safety is also a plus.
Bluing and checkering always take me a while to finish out butso far, I havent been disappointed when I don't rush it. I did wraparound on my old .375 h&h before I sold it. It probably took me three weeks to finish working on it here and there but I think it came out pretty good. I may do this on the whitworth as it is such a classic look
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CoElkHunter

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Bluing and checkering always take me a while to finish out butso far, I havent been disappointed when I don't rush it. I did wraparound on my old .375 h&h before I sold it. It probably took me three weeks to finish working on it here and there but I think it came out pretty good. I may do this on the whitworth as it is such a classic lookView attachment 405419
Beautiful! Your quite the craftsman.
 

ChrisG

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Beautiful! Your quite the craftsman.
It was an attempt at some sweat equity into the firearm before I sold it and it worked! I got $300 more than I paid for it with then investment of a little time, elbow grease and tung oil. Plus it is really fun to watch something plain jane transform into something really unique as you work on it.
 

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If you decide you want to get rid of that rattle can stock, let me know what you'd like for it... Im looking for a beater mauser stock for a project Im working on..

Turning your sows ear into a silk purse will be a fun project.. I always have a great time on those sort of things..
 

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I like "the look" of a Barrel Band sling swivel on a big bore rifle.
Watching eagerly to see the end result.
 

ChrisG

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If you decide you want to get rid of that rattle can stock, let me know what you'd like for it... Im looking for a beater mauser stock for a project Im working on..

Turning your sows ear into a silk purse will be a fun project.. I always have a great time on those sort of things..
I only had 1 500 grain .458 bullet so I loaded it up with some varget and I just wanna try the rifle with the stock that is on it. But when I swap it for the walnut one, you pay the shipping and you can have the old one
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John Wasmuth

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I only had 1 500 grain .458 bullet so I loaded it up with some varget and I just wanna try the rifle with the stock that is on it. But when I swap it for the walnut one, you pay the shipping and you can have the old oneView attachment 405422
If for some reason he doesn’t buy the stock let me know and I will.
 

rinehart0050

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I like the sound of your plans! Have you considered QD for the scope mounts so that it can be fired open sight?

Also, if you want to fancy it up, an ebony tip on the stock or metal grip cap might look nice.
 

ChrisG

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I like the sound of your plans! Have you considered QD for the scope mounts so that it can be fired open sight?

Also, if you want to fancy it up, an ebony tip on the stock or metal grip cap might look nice.
I actually have some black Wenge I may add to the forend. The metal Grip cap is also a likely possibilty. I may get one of the inset ones and then checker the bottom of the grip cap as well like these:
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rinehart0050

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I actually have some black Wenge I may add to the forend. The metal Grip cap is also a likely possibilty. I may get one of the inset ones and then checker the bottom of the grip cap as well like these:
View attachment 405425
Very nice!
 

ChrisG

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Very nice!
Haha like I said, a silk purse from a sow's ear. I have to be careful that I don't drop $2,000 dollars trying to turn a $700 Whitworth into a Rigby... But when I am done, I can brag that I own a "British big bore express rifle built on a Mauser action"!

Alas, in a not so British caliber... but I have to confess... I am an Anglophile when it comes to rifles. I think the classic turn of the 20th century British rifles were some of the most beautiful and functional guns ever made. They had a level of taste that was subtle... a subtlety that completely eluded Roy Weatherby with his garish high gloss plastic covered stocks, horrendous inlay, sharp accentuated protuberances and unnaturally high cheek pieces.

The British excelled at making rifles that were gorgeous to behold but not so much that you were afraid to take them hunting, throw them in a horse scabbard or a trucks rifle rack and go get some game with them.
 
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ChrisG

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So I picked up the rifle today... it isnt in horrible shape... but it is definitely sow's ear material. Bore is bright and shiny though! I will take some pictures later when I get a free moment. I want to shoot it a couple times as-is and then the sanding, bluing, filing, TIG welding, more sanding, oiling and checkering can begin. I have a new bolt handle on the way I will weld it on to give it a staight down 90° to the stock angle instead of the swept back one that all Whitworths have. Then the gentry safety will go in.
 

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What a great project! Am watching with interest.
Also its great to see another .458 Win mag out there! It really is a great round and don't let anyone tell you otherwise...
If you're after any loads let me know as I have a few good ones using 480 & 550gn Woodleigh projectiles.
As l said, watching with interest and good luck with it. Can't wait to see how it turns out (y)

Russ
 

ChrisG

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So I got an in depth look at the rifle. Pulled it apart and it actually isn't that bad... oh it has some pits in the bluing and some issues with a bit of a rough action but the barrel is crisp and bright. Like most Whitworths, the rear "express" sight leaves are one step above being made from electrical box punch outs, but the gun is definitely a diamond in the rough. After all... it's a mauser!
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So I polished up the bolt. It had a little surface rust on it. If you've never taken 600 grit sandpaper to a
firearm, its very liberting! Polishing the estractor to run smooth.
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Or a diamond file. In this case working on the follower to smooth over the chamfer where the bolt runs over to smooth up the interaction between it and the bolt. The rest of the follower was smoothed up to make its travel easier up and down the magazine well.
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ChrisG

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So I ran a couple dummy rounds through the gun hard after I cleaned up the bolt and follower and it feeds flawlessly. So I pulled the peep off the back of it as the next step. Fortunately it wasnt seized and came right out. Word to the wise, hollow ground, flat head screw drivers of the correct size, will save you a lot of stripped or buggered up screws.
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As a side note, if anyone is interested in a williams micrometer peep sight for a commercial mauser, PM me I will make you a really sweet deal.
 

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