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This gun is just a fun project for me. It's a 'collectible gun' ruined as a collector, so why not make something the factory didn't?
I'm torn between a two leaf express sight and a 'custom' peep, though.

That Trapper conversion is really a neat affair. Great wood on yours! My scantlin missed a good chance to be popsicle sticks.
Thanks Jack, the photos posted don't do it justice, as close detail is missing. The photo with the original (with the groundhog) has a date written on the back of July 14, 1973, so the conversion was a little later in my 'insurance photo'. Working with what I had, I took fresh photos (today) of almost 50 year old photos. I also removed the white line spacer from the butt plate. That was one of my earlier (my late 20's) attempts at 'kitchen table gunsmithing'. I cut the barrel and magazine tube with a hacksaw and 'squared it up' with a mill bastard and a square, and finished the crown with some 320/400 wet or dry. A rat tail file cut a new groove in the barrel and magazine tube for the barrel band retaining screw. A Dembart checkering set, a bunch of sandpaper and a 'few hours' of hand rubbing Dupont #504 oil finish (wish they still made that!). I was happily surprised at how good the wood was (both butt and forearm) under the factory stain and finish.
Can't wait to see some good photos of your conversion, which I'm sure will be a few notches above mine! The effort you will put into it deserves/warrants the investment in a better piece of walnut.

P.S. BTW, I'm a fan of the peep sight approach (obviously!) and the older eyes now really appreciate them. That groundhog in the 'original' photo was a 150 yard (paced off) shot while he was 'snoozing' on top of a brush pile, so the peep even helped my 'late 20's eyes back then! ;) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
I've got no business starting another project of any kind....at my age, I shouldn't even buy green bananas!!
It's taken 18 months to heal up a rotator cuff tear and both elbows and thumbs are arthritic and I still have the .257 Roberts stock to shape and finish, engrave and rust blue AND I was given all the parts of a mid '50s Superposed that somebody didn't finish ruining with a buffing wheel to rebuild... IT makes me tired to think of all the projects! I have enough fancy French walnut blanks to trade for a new truck, but not a stick of American in the house and no real desire to make one anyhow. I might build a custom metal project with a 'pattern stock' in place. ;)

The divots for the barrel band might be in the right place to be covered by a sling mount. :) Wouldn't that be handy!

Your 'Trapper' is a trip down memory lane. I started gunsmithing in Mar. '69 at a shop in my hometown. The manager was a go-getter marketing guy that did a great job suppling the demand. The big 'demand' was Marlin Marauders, especially in 35 Remington. The difference was in barrel/mag length and nothing else from an RC Carbine. We found a bunch of those and my spare time was spent making Marauders. A lathe certainly helped.
 

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I had to go down to my work room a little bit ago to try to fix an auto canner opener that had been dropped. While looking in a drawer for just the right tool, guess what I came across? It's amazing how one can save something (off fall) from a project on the premise 'You never know, I might need that someday for another project.' In that drawer were the barrel and magazine stubs from the 'trapper project'. I sold, or traded that little 44, I'm guessing sometime in the 1980's, but I sure hung onto those stubs for 'future use'. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look. I think I did a little more of a 'finished look' than the factory did on the magazine cut and the crown, these look like the factory used said faulty can opener to do that work!
Cylinder Auto part Metal Gun accessory Composite material
Cylinder Tool Composite material Tints and shades Auto part
Cylinder Composite material Gas Carbon Auto part


BTW, No, I didn't fix the can opener!
 

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You'll be in deep dookie if she finds out!;)
I've been married to the same lady for 54 years. I have visited Dookieville with a frequency that qualifies me for residency! In this case, I can plead innocent, as I'm not the one that dropped it. My guilt, and thus my current pass to Dookieville, comes courtesy of my inabilities as a repairman! Fortunately, I can afford a new can opener, hopefully it will be received as though it were a pearl necklace, and I can chalk up an 'Atta Boy". :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I finally got a chance to pick up the Marlin today. The hinky mag tube and band was the mag tube itself slid forward an inch. No problem putting it back and no scars were left. The gun is in really great shape. I'll change the rear sight tomorrow and shoot it with R-P factory loads. I expected some pretty severe scarring on this gun (given the price). I can't find anything wrong with it but that mag tube and it probably caused it to quit feeding reliably. The Monte Carlo is cut half away and still too high for irons. It seems the rear sight was changed to a much higher one but the front is OEM. It probably shoots over-the-hill high as it is.
Anyway you cut it, an early .444 at a $ per thou is nothing to turn down and I'm glad I didn't. My buddy got the other one in even better shape, 22" barrel, but very generic wood for a few bucks more.
 

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My first Marlin CF rifle is coming my way tomorrow and I don't know what it is.
Straight grip, .444 with a stock medallion but a 24" barrel that looks to be not original to the gun. It was cheap enough to not worry about it too much. Pawn shop .444s are cheaper if you buy a pair and offer half asking price. :)
I took the straight grip, but think it should have a 20" barrel and the forearm put on a weight reduction program, but the medallion is curious.
Ammo hard to find .444 I looked every where got 8 boxes gun shows high dollar
 

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Neither Richards nor Boyd's makes a buttstock for the 444 although Boyd's does make a forend. Probably somebody out there makes a buttstock. eBay may even have one.
 

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My first Marlin CF rifle is coming my way tomorrow and I don't know what it is.
Straight grip, .444 with a stock medallion but a 24" barrel that looks to be not original to the gun. It was cheap enough to not worry about it too much. Pawn shop .444s are cheaper if you buy a pair and offer half asking price. :)
I took the straight grip, but think it should have a 20" barrel and the forearm put on a weight reduction program, but the medallion is curious.
My first Marlin, back in 1972, was a .444 with the 24" barrel and canoe paddle buttstock. I was very impressed with the quality. It would actually feed an empty case from the tube into the chamber. With a cheap 4X scope and handloads of the Hornady 265 grain it was good for one inch at 100 yards. When the 45/70 became available I foolishly sold the.444 to get the "bigger & better" 45/70. It also was a good rifle but the .444 was a better caliber for my uses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I shot mine twice this morning. I replaced the rear sight by guess and held dead on at a hundred yards but flat missed the 18x18 plate. Don't know where I missed but at the shot a coyote streaked out of the sage brush running right down the shooting lane. I held dead on the departing coyote at 275 and seemed to lift his hind end off the ground with a spray of dirt that activated his afterburner and 'gone gear'. The second shot didn't kick at all! Amazing how that works.
I'll work on zero tomorrow, if the sun will shine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I'm always amazed and seldom prepared for what's hiding in plain sight. I literally 'forgot' what rifle I had in my hands and reached for a bolt handle yesterday!
Several years ago, I had guest here zeroing rifles. There was a tennis ball full of Tannerite on the 300 yard target and after probably 20 rounds of zeroing two rifles at closer range and all the talking and walking around we did, I invited shots on the tennis ball which was missed a dozen times at least. BUT, when it was hit the sage brush erupted in deer! How a half dozen deer stayed hidden while bullets whizzed by I have no idea, but a new BOOM brought instant results.
 

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First lever I shot was a marlin 444 , beautiful gun I have no idea why I don’t have one .
I ended up with a Enfield 444 , when I tried to by some Amo the only box I could find after ringing around all the gun shops within a two hour drive was $90 .
Needless to say they stayed there .
crazy prices.
Peep on a marlin 444 gets my vote.
look forward to seeing it finished.

cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
This gun is too nice to alter like I wanted to. The pictures I got seemed to have blue wear and patches of discoloration. It ain't so! 98% original blue and 90% condition of the wood. It's worth more as original than after I messed with it. I need one that spent the winter in a saddle scabbard. :eek:
 

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Bitter sweet situation to be in .
People look at you strange when you say ‘o this is better than I wanted’
They just don’t seem to understand.
At least you are released from an extra project.

cheers.
 

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Stretching the action isn't really noticeable and It doesn't alter the appearance of the rifle .. most would never know. . And if your a reloader the possibilities are very interesting
And does nothing to change the factory ammo .. they actually work smoother with less chances of jam up
 

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Jack said;
............[The hinky mag tube and band was the mag tube itself slid forward an inch. No problem putting it back and no scars were left].............[I can't find anything wrong with it but that mag tube and it probably caused it to quit feeding reliably].,,,,,,,,,,,
1 Inch!!, On my 1894 the Mag cap screw that extends through and into the blind hole in the barrel had failed to keep my magazine tube in place and cartridges hung up all the time and it was no more than 1/8" forward. I re-positioned the tube and it moved again after just a few shots.
Took it to a local Gun Repair and he said i would have to leave the rifle and he would get to it in a couple weeks(season had just started)! and that he would have to make a screw. I took it 7 blocks to an Old Curmudgeon and he open a drawer in arms reach and handed me a new screw, $0.50
The one i replaced must have been made too short because the new one has been working for over 40 years.
 
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