Satisfying day with an old friend

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by polishshooter, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,091
    Location:
    Indiana
    In 1966 My oldest sister was dating a guy who one Sunday announced we were having Frog's Legs for dinner, and brought over his .22 rifle and a box of shorts to shoot some bullfrogs in our pond.

    I thought it was the prettiest rifle I had ever seen. A old J.C Higgins B/A with the longest barrel I had ever seen, and it never ran out of bullets! And it shot EVERY .22 round you could imagine! I was 8 and in love!

    Anyway, after my first taste of frogs legs (Tastes like chicken! I love 'em as long as you Deep fry them! ) My future Bro-on-Law:p asked Dad if he could just leave the rifle at our house, and we could use it all we wanted.:D

    For the next 4 years or so I LIVED with that rifle, shooting it whenever I could scrape up $.49 for some cheap shells, or when I was RICH I could afford a 100 oack of CCI Mini Mags for like $1.59:p if I remember right. I remember that it was pretty accurate too, I made some "bragging" shots when my cousins and I were plinking and shooting blackbirds.

    But all good things end, and After my sister and bro-in-law built their house, they took it back (But I got a marlin 25 for Xmas when I was 12, so it wasn't all bad!)

    But anyway, fast forward to labout a year ago. We are visiting back home and out of the blue my Bro-in-law says "Oh Yeah, I was going to give you an old rifle that I don't use any more becaue it;s unsafe" and he GIVES me that old JC Higgins! Turns out it fired one time when he closed the bolt and he put it away and went and bought a new Ruger.

    Well, a couple of trips to the used parts guys at a couple of shows, and I have enough Marlin 81 (Early Model, that's who made it for Sears) trigger parts to rebuild it and make it safe, and a new tube, and I'm back in business. I shot it a little bit with an old Blaser scope I had last year, but a couple of weeks ago I stumbled on the last two Bushnell banner 4x32 .22 xcopes on clearance at Gander Mountain, and bought them both, for both of my Marlins.

    Well after a good cleaning yesterday, I took the RASS bench out back and set up at ecactly 50 yds, shot it first to sight in, then to see what different ammo would do with it. My FIRST three rounds of Remington Golden HPs just to see if I was on paper went into less than 1/2" with 2 touching:eek:hing! of course 4" low and to the right, but with 32 clicks up and over I was right on. And sadly when I was TRYING to shoot a group after thai I never matched that first one!:p ALMOST but not quite

    I shot 5 shot groups. It likes Remington Vipers and CCI Stingers, and the Remington standard Golden bullets H/Ps. It doesn't group worth a crap with Federal Spitfires or CCI Mini Mags (Funny, I remember way back it DID!:confused:)

    But My last group with the Vipers was into .730" with one flyer, four of them into .390"!!!

    The last Stinger group was .90" and the last group with the Remington HPs was just a hair over 1". The others didn't do better than 1 1/2" some of them gave 3 inch groups.

    But anyway, the old girl still can shoot! My Bro in law bought it when HE was a teenager, and he's 70 something now, so it is pushing 60 years old.

    And It's now mine. I think I'll buy him a nice bottle!:D
  2. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Idaho
    Great story. Getting it back must have been wonderful !

    To try for better accuracy, pick up a box of Wolf MT match. It's about $5.00 a box, about the cheapest match ammo that's decent that you can get.
    For whatever reason, it seems to shoot really good in every rifle I have used it in. Maybe not the best, but usually at least a close second.

    Make sure to clean all the fouling out of the barrel. When they sit for years, sometimes some JB Bore cleaner is the only way to get the fouling out.
    Put some on a patch on a tight fitting jag, and scrub until it no longer comes out a real dark black. You can over do it with the JB, but do scrub enough to get almost all the fouling out. Use a scrubbing motion and put some KROIL on a patch, real wet, run it through the bore and let it soak for about 30 minutes before usng the JB. It gets under the fouling and makes it come out easier.

    Good luck, let us know how she turns out. I'm betting fouling is hurting the groups. I've had to clean most older rifles I've got with JB unless the bore was clean before it was put away, most were not and the JB was the only thing that would remove the old fouling.
    Used to use it a lot in my gunshop on rifles just like yours that customers brough in because they were not shooting well. It's a super fine abrasive in a paste, finer than jewelwes rouge. It will not hurt the barrel, just don't over do it. In some cases, I have used 20 or more patches worth, but 10 to 15 should do it and won't hurt the bore. If the parches stop coming out black and are a lighter color, I'd say stop and just brush with a good bore cleaner the shoot it.

    I just bought an old Savage and had to scrub for 2.5 hours until the patches stopped turning real black. After I was done, in horribale shooting conditions, it shot .376", just one hole, 5 shots @ 50 yards, so the JB didn't hurt the 94 year old rifle.

    John K
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
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