Project Plinker: Reviving a Mossberg 42C
I snagged this trashed Maverick 88 for $100 bucks on a whim the other day.
I just wanted somehting to work on, and a $100 pump gun didnt sound bad. I didn't really care too much though. A buddy of mine contacted me and realized I had beat him to buying theshotgun as he saw it on our local forum as well. I told him he could have it for the $100 since I didn't really care, and he said he would give me an old mossberg .22 that is a project gun, and he doesn't have the time or skills for.
So, basically, I bought this trashed shotgun for him, he paid me for it, and gave me a old *** .22. All I wanted was something fun to work on, so this works!
Anyway, here's the goods, I may need some advice through here as I've never really 'restored' or even owned an old firearm.
Mossberg and Sons Model 42C (Siumilar to the infamous M44 from CMP)
Magazine fed bolt action .22 S-L-LR
Produced between 1938-1941
Needs worked on
a bit of bluing left. No real pitting
stock is actually in mostly decent shape except 1 crack.
Missing magazine ($50)
Crack in stock
Bore is rusty
Missing a few screws
Missing magazine plate ($8)
seized take-down screw
missing buttplate (Seems to be unobtainium)
heavy heavy patina
missing rear sight ($30-$85 depending).
Cracked trigger guard, but serviceable ($18 to replace).
So, this is what i was given. How it arrived to me.
dirty dirty dirty
Hard to see, but the last 1" or 2" of the barrel (closest to the camera)was a dusty rust color, there was all sorts of crumbs in the barrel, and the firling towards the end looked to be absent. The bore was very dark and dull.
So, the project begins!
As you can see above, i clearly got the thing disassembled.
I put a pair of vice grips on the biggest flat head i had, and SLOWLY applied pressure on the large screw after applying PB blaster. It wasn't seized so much as gunked in place.
I broke it down 100% and cleaned everything pretty good. I used my fingers to scrap a bunch of gunk/minor rust off the barrel and receiver, but didnt do too much for fear of removing even more blue.
After a ton of cleaning, here's what we have. It's in pretty decent shape for being 70 years old, it's clearly used, not in like new condition.
Most of the barrel is more of a brownish color than black/blue, but it isnt rusty if that makes sense. just a very patina'd blue.
After scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing the bore, I was highly pleased with the results. rifling is perfect. zero pitting. nice and bright after cleaning it.
I am, however, concerned with the crown. Not sure how bad it is but it looks a bit funky.
After making sure everything was clean and functional, i cycled some rounds through it by hand (no mag) and it extracts just fine.
My immediate plans are as follows:
1. acquire a rear sight. From what I can tell, the 42C's onloy had the open rear sight, not the peep sight which is big bucks. There are a few S102 sights on ebay right now, they go between 20 and 65 bucks it seems.
2. shoot it to see what we are working with. Not going to dump $100 into it if it cant group worth a damn with or without sights.
Future plans may be:
3. Acquire the rest of the missing parts to make it complete.
4. DIY crown the barrel if it's not grouping okay.
5. Maybe some form of refinish to the stock and metal? This sill absolutely ruin any value though.
1. How do i repair the stock? Insert some wood or gorilla glue and clamp it? I hear people say wood glue wont stand up to cleaning chemicals. I only use very 'soft' cleaning supplies like Slip2000, not solvents.
Well seems like nobody really cares but ill post anyway.
I got a period correct mossberg mount and an old weaver scope. I have a correct sight (S102) on the way to me in the mail as well.
Got it out and zeroed the scope.
Then sat my butt down at 25 yards and shot with my elbow resting on a stool.
Don't mind the 2 flyers each time. I felt myself pull for sure. The trigger is super heavy and is taking some gettin used to.
These were shot with okay ammo. Winchester super x.
Ill be interested to see what happens when I sit down at a bench with some good ammo.
Looks like I have a shooter! Not bad for free.99
Doc, I have several of the Mossbergs from that time period- if the bore is not leaded up, will shoot better than I can.
Part of your challenge in finding parts will be- they only made that model from 1938-1941. Looks like you have been shopping over at Havlin Sales already.
And yes, I like my Mossys!
Looks good so far. A retouch on the crown may improve groups a bit.
To repair the stock I would try driling a hole throught the two pieces above and below, and using a brass screw. Before putting the screw ino the wood mix up some two part epoxy and work it into the crack in the stock with a straight pin. Then clamp the wood together and put teh screw in. Leave teh screw long and cut it off and file it down flush. This will give you good enough bonding and a mechanical device to keep the wood from reopening or having the crack travel any further.
Your comment about a leaded barrel brings up a question.
I shot this to verify function before i had a rear sight or scope. I fired maybe 30 rounds through it and had like 4" groups (no sights). I then switched from Remington Thunderbolt to Super X and my groups went to about 10-12"
This blew my mind.
I went home and when I went to clean the gun there was so much leading jsut outside the chamber that I couldnt fit the weight on my boresnkle through it. I had to fiddle with it to get it to drop through the the muzzle. And it pulled out more lead than i have ever seen in a barrel before.
Are there leading issues with these old rifles?
I fired more of the super x the other day and had no leading issues. I know Thunder bolt is terrible ammo, could this have been the sole cause?
Doc- some older 22s have had thousands of rounds put thru them without cleaning. Much of the older 22 ammo was lubed with a wax- combine that with some carbon, age for 40 years- and that's whatcha get.
Give it a good soak with Hoppes (I cheat, I spritz mine with AeroKroil, let sit for an hour, and ALL the crud comes out on first brush stroke)
And as said- if the crown is dinged, that is easy to fix. Hand drill, large round headed brass bolt, and some abrasive.
BTW, with match ammo, my model 46s and my 46B(b)s will shoot one hole groups at 25 for sure, and at 50 if I am having a good day. Be sure to clean the trigger/sear, and trigger pull should get a LOT better.
I cleaned the trigger and sear. I'll give it another good thorough cleaning now that I know it shoots well and is worth the effort.
The crown does need some attention, i have read about the brass screw and valve grinding compound. I'll likely do that before too too long.
I'm just excited that it shoots fine!
Also, its having ejecting problems, but it could just be a dirty/gummy extractor. it worked fine at first but after some shooting it wont kick out the empty brass. it extracts just fine, but doesnt fling em. Gotta reach in and flick them off the bolt.
Project Plinker: Reviving a Mossberg 42C
Hey Dr. nice looking 22 there. Barrel came out nice/ If the crack in the stock opens up when you flex the stock put a little waterproof glue in the crack sparingly and clamp if at all possible and wipe off all excess. If it does not open up leave it be. From your targets, I would leave the crown alone.
BTW if you want to remove lead from a barrel A little gass on a brass or nylon brush works wonders. Must let it evaporate completely before shooting. It dissolves lead fouling quickly and inexpensively. Any questions give me a call. Cliff 978-424-7024. :)
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