Been reading some good books lately and have a post about two of them smoldering in the back of my head. Have not had the time or focus to address that post so here's how the weekend went.
Met one of my brother's in law at 5:15 Saturday Morning for an airboat ride out to a hunting place on one of the islands in the lake. He's a latter day "Daniel Boone" type that lives to hunt and generally knows where the deer are going to be walking. He lives on the shore of a lake about 20 minutes from where I live and he hunts the islands in the lake. Its a big, marshy lake with lots of islands and the deer walk across the lake from island to island. Its that shallow in lots of places.
He dropped me off at a climbing stand and I settled in with my Thermacell and bug tamer suit just about the time the pre-dawn chill set in. Just before sunup, I started hearing gunfire. I say "started hearing" because it went on all morning all around me. Not only was it the first day of "doe week, " but there was also some kind of special hog hunt on the adjacent management area so the woods were crawling with dogs. Everybody in three counties was around the lake or on the islands. Naturally, I saw nothing. Not so much as a squirrel.
Brother-in-law saw more. Someone wearing an orange hunting vest was walking around the woods making noise. We suspect it was some kind of local Bambiista out there to keep the deer from showing themselves to hunters. He also saw two guys who sat down about sixty yards in front of his stand and proceeded to shoot a doe that would have been his had they not been there. Both of us were surrounded by shooting on all sides.
When we got back to the house and started putting two and two together, we began to suspect that people who had seen his stands decided to set up nearby because his are in good spots. Why spend time scouting and learning the woods when you can just set up close to a stand put up by somebody else that has done the work for you? We may have identified a whole new species of woodland parasite. Don't know whether this is related to the recent election or not.
Got home and decided to work on a project that has been sitting around for a while. Another friend had been given an old Mauser that had been bubbad really bad and he gave it to me. The stock was broken and had been glued back together by someone who had never heard the words "epoxy" or "surgical tubing." It was glued with plain old white glue and didn't look like it was clamped in any way. Someone had decided to taper the steps out of the military barrel too. It looked like they used a file instead of one of those big old lathe machine things. Then, I guess to prove that they were not completely without a soul, they decided to mount a scout scope on the barrel rather than drill the receiver. "Set punch" is another couple of words they evidently never heard because they drilled lots of holes trying to get whatever their was rig lined up. So it had a bunch of little holes right over the chamber and a bunch more a few inches down the barrel. Maybe it will make a good jack handle for the Jeep.
The action itself was in good shape. Its a Peruvian action made in Belgium by that Fabrique place that everybody thinks so much of.
I had bought a take off barrel in 7mm Remington Magnum not too long after my buddy gave me the wrecked Mauser and its blueing was a close match to that of the action. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a stripped bolt that had been opened up for a magnum case so I bought that too. I've never fooled with opening up a bolt face before so it seemed like a good idea. I have no rifle chambered for the 7mm Rem Mag but I have dies and brass and it began to dawn on me that I had the makings of a decent hunting rifle.
With that pile of parts and nothing pressing to do the rest of the day, I opened up the original extractor and put it on the new bolt. I lapped the locking lugs and the cocking piece, cleaned it up and screwed the barrel on hand tight. Using an "at least once-fired" and resized case just for fun I decided to see if the headspace was close. Its maybe a couple of thousandths too tight. I mean it is so close I can force the bolt closed. Not bad luck for using a barrel, bolt and receiver that came off of three different rifles. I still want to true the receiver up but I have the mandrel for that. I'll have to get a reamer to get the last little bit of the chamber right but the less I have to ream, the less chance I'll have to screw something up. Once that's done I'll still have to open the feed rails up but there's no hurry for that. I have next to no idea what I am doing and will be taking it slow. Its not like I need this rifle for hunting. I just want to learn how to do all this. So far I have less than $200 in the project and I don't want to learn by making mistakes that will ruin the receiver.
It kept my mind off work and the parasites in the woods and whole rifles take up less space than piles of parts so it was good all around.