October 2012

Firelapping an Ancient Marlin

Substantial bore work revived a superb old lever-action rimfire.

Our recent report on firelapping in the June 2012 edition ended with a note that the process can also be applied to 22 rimfires, but we had not yet tried that. Soon after publication of our report, reader John B. sent us an email wondering if we were interested in firelapping his old 22 rifle. John had an ancient Marlin lever-action 22 that no longer shot well, he said. He offered to send it to our Idaho office to see if we could resurrect its bore. We had just experienced a disaster testing a modern Marlin 39A (August 2012). We thought this would be a good opportunity to examine an old Marlin to see what they used to be, and maybe we could even help its bad old bore. We were having fits trying to get publishable results firelapping any of the 22 firearms we had on hand. They were in excellent condition, and we were stymied trying to make excellent guns shoot even better. We decided to give Johnís questionable 22 a shot, so to speak, and asked him to send it along.

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