Modifying an IOF 30-06

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shooter50
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Modifying an IOF 30-06

Post by shooter50 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:56 pm

PART 1
When I went Dangerous Game hunting in Africa in 2013 I had the occasion to examine a lot of Blazers, Tikkas, BSAs and Sauer rifles in Africa. Having seen and shot an IOF 3006, I realized our product was not too bad, with a proper finish and basic gunsmithing work it could definitely match up to the Blazers and Sauers at least for hunting. In fact i wished that if destiny would let me go to Africa to hunt again i would proudly bring my IOF 3006. This post is the outcome of that desire.

Disclaimer:
    I am not a professional Gunsmith
      This is the way I went about the modification, there may be many mistakes and some may do it better
        I am lucky to have a some Gunsmithing supplies with me
          Some of the pictures could be better
            There is a lot of resource available on the internet, I have only chosen a few.

            1. We are all aware of the basic shortcomings of the rifle, the stock is of poor quality, the butt pad needs replacement, front and rear sight need to be changed especially if the rifle is to be taken on a Safari. The protective finish is paint on the barrel and the receiver which needs to be replaced with either rust blue or Cerakote/Durakote. etc etc.
            2. The first step if of course the disassembly of the rifle. An excellent starting point is the Sauer 202 Manual avalible here Sauer202 Manual
            3. Once you have dissembled the rifle you have to remove the sights, these are pressure fitted and held in place by locking pins
            Rear Sight.jpg
            Foresight.jpg
            The rear sight ring was fitted too tightly in my opinion needed to be heated up and then vigorously hammered to slide it off
            4.The scope mounting holes are too small for a rifle kicking as hard as a 3006. They might suffice for occasional target shooting but for a hunting rifle on a Safari would just not do. You need to enlarge them and tap them to accept 6-48 standard screws. What you need is a 6-48 tap which is not easily available in India because of the imperial thread. Luckily the taps are available at Amazon. A good 3 mm carbide drill shall suffice. Best to get it done at a machineshop with a CNC machine, that way the centering is preserved. (Assuming it was centred by the manufacturers :D )
            Front Scope mount Holes.jpg
            Rear scope Mount holes.jpg
            5. I decided to mount a Remington 700 ramp sight with an express rear sight on the rifle. I had these lying with me, the unique nature of affixing factory sights on the IOF rifle makes this a totally different procedure. Make two steel rings one for the front and one for the rear of exactly the barrel diameter at those places. The IOF sight rings are way too tight, they are hammered in on to the barrel which creates unnecessary stresses. Your rings should be able to slide in with a little bit of force. In my case the front annulus was 1.5 mm thick and the rear annulus 2 mm thick made of MS, so as to enable them to slide over the barrel and match the existing contour.
            Front Ring.jpg
            Rear Ring.jpg
            These rings should be then drilled and tapped to fix the front and rear sights. No drilling, filing or touching the barrel.
            6. The rings must be soldered on to the rifle barrel, again lots of issues getting supplies in India. Ordinary Printed Circuit Board solder wire would do but commonly available resin based flux doesn't work on steel. Acid based flux is required. I first drilled and tapped the front sight holes on the front ring, again a 6-48 tap is required and then drilled the rear ring for the rear sight holes. To ensure a proper fix i first tinned the ring and the sights, leveled them and then soldered them on to the barrel using a common propane torch. you can also do it on your ordinary gas burner. The key is to level and affix the sights before you solder them on to the barrel. An excellent resource is hereSoldering Sights
            Before soldering on the sights one has to ensure that the rifle is not canted (Is Level). To fix a level i mounted a scope base on the front receiver and taking that as a reference leveled the front and rear sights.Strong crocodile clips are useful for affixing the sights during the soldering process. Fix the rear sight first or else u wont be able to slide in the rear sight ring :D
            Level Reference.jpg
            Front Sight level before soldering.jpg
            Rear Sight Level.jpg
            Front Sight Affixed.jpg
            Rear Sight Fixed.jpg
            7. The IOF bolt is a poor example of workmanship, there are machine marks everywhere. The bolt is made of some sort of steel alloy and chrome plated. It luckily can be rust blued. I personally feel that the flat butter knife type of bolt goes better with the two piece stock as it rests on the rib of the receiver. What is required is careful filing and shaping of the bolt handle and a fine polishing of the bolt to get rid of the machining marks. Disassembly of the bolt is well described in this video though the camera work is very poor. Bolt dissembly
            I decided to blue the bolt handle and the plunger
            Rough bolt.jpg

            The two piece stock of the IOF 3006 does not lend it self easily to hand stock making. To start with u need to drill a through hole in the butt stock for the rear fixing screw. This is again best done on a lathe, hand efforts will give rise to poor fit. A good resource is hereButt stock draw bolt
            The fore end is made of pine wood and again inletted through machine contouring. Its fit on the receiver was surprisingly very good.It was very badly shaped with an awkward Schnabel forened. I decided to reshape it and use it instead of making a fresh fore end. For the rear part i used Kashmir walnut that i had lying around with me. I dont like Monte Carlo or Hogback European or American stocks, i prefer the classic British hunting stock with straight comb so that scope mounting can be easy. An Holland an Holland style cheek piece goes well with the stock. The final shaping of the stock must be done carefully with the receiver fitted.
            I thinned out the forend and decided to give it an ebony forend. Indian ebony is as good as any and Amazon sells ebony paper weights :D . What was required was trimming the foreend and fixing the ebony tip. An excellent resource is hereEbony Foreend
            Butt.jpg
            Fitting Foreend.jpg
            Ebony block.jpg
            Shaping the block.jpg
            REST IN PART 2 :)
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            Last edited by shooter50 on Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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            sourabhsangale
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by sourabhsangale » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:12 pm

            Where are you carrying out the modification ?

            shooter50
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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by shooter50 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:33 pm

            PART 2
            8.The essential part in choosing the wood for the stock is to shape it in such a way to ensure that the grain flows through the stock especially the pistol grip. Once the basic shaping has been done the recoil pad and the grip cap are fitted. I have used a Pachmayr Recoil Pad and a Recknagel grip Cap.
            Recoil Pad and Grip Cap.jpg
            Sanding must be done around the Recoil Pad and the Grip cap to make it fit the intended contours. Sand always along the grain. I start with 120 grit and go up to 600 grit.U can raise the grain with a wet cloth and again sand to give a mirror like finish. Sanding imperfections are best seen in daylight.
            Sanding the Stock.jpg
            The final shaping of the stock must be done with the receiver attached for a good fit. Be careful or else u might sand or file the receiver :D
            Shaping the Stock.jpg
            Shaping the Stock1.jpg
            There is a ton of information on Gunstock finishing on the internet. I prefer a linseed based oil finish, it is not as shiny as polyurethane or Tru Oil but gives the Gun a classy finish.

            9.The IOF receiver is not made of steel and hence cannot be rust blued but the bolt, barrel and the sights can. The first part is to remove the existing paint finish using 180 grit. When u strip the IOF of Paint u notice the imperfection in the metal finishing. There is no solution except to sand them out. Major dents should be left as it were or else u will remove too much metal. Start again from 180 grit work upwards to 400 grit.
            Lots of Imperfections.jpg
            Lots of Imperfections1.jpg
            Polish the barrel lenghtwise and in a shoeshine movement. A very good resource is here Polishing the barrel for rust blue
            I used a Winchester Rust Bluing solution which was made from locally available reagents.The essential part in Rust bluing which is missed in this country is carding (or removal) of the rust after each application. This is essential for that dull satin finish that u see on high quality guns of Holland and Holland and Rigby. It is a delicate and time consuming process but well worth it. Unfortunately i ran out of patience on the project and missed taking pictures of this part. i will be happy to share details with those interested.
            Carding the rust.jpg
            Carding the rust1.jpg
            The sine qua non is using a steel carding brush, if u dont have one use 000 steel wool it is available on Amazon.
            10. I would not like to go into the checkering and stock finishing details because as i said earlier there is a lot of resource available on the internet. I used a simple 20 lpi pattern with a rather large foreend patch simply because the IOF has the front sling swivel wrongly placed and even though the 3006 doesnt recoil much it can hurt the hand, there should be enough checkering behind the swivel to provide a hold. This can of course be corrected if a new foreend is made.
            11. I had originally planned to DuraKote the receiver but because of COVID 19 my durakote shipment from the USA did not arrive, To finish the project i decided to spray paint it, Cerakote/Durakote maybe someother time :D
            Painting the receiver.jpg
            12. Putting it all together. The only requirement is a padded vise. If u dont have one, wrap a thick towel around the jaws. Nothing mars a good gunsmith job more than vice jaw marks. Another essential is a set of properly fitting screwdrivers so that the screw heads dont get chewed.
            Heres the product all assembled, it needs a coat of oil finish and some minor work :D Click on the image, then right click for view image to see in higher resolution.
            Safari Rifle1.jpg
            Safari Rifle.jpg
            Part 3 will cover mounting the Riflescope. What a nightmare the IOF 3006 is for hunting scopes. Scope mounting holes are badly aligned and the rear mount rib/slot makes it difficult to affix safari mounts.
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            Last edited by shooter50 on Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

            shooter50
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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by shooter50 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:16 am

            PART 3
            Sorry folks, I have got buzy with the battle against COVID 19, hence shall post details on how to align and fix heavy duty scope mounts later. After assembling the rifle found that the tang safety was too hard. Had to remove the trigger assembly and soften the safety spring. An easy job. The cotter pins holding the trigger assembly are also of poor quality and need to be replaced. All that later. Here are pictures with a Weaver 3-12 scope. I have used Warne detachable mounts.Click on the image, then right click for view image to see in higher resolution.
            With Scope.JPG
            With Scope1.JPG
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            Last edited by shooter50 on Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

            Bishop
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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by Bishop » Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:57 pm

            Absolutely stunning modification sir. New stock and express rear sight adds to the charm. If possible share about the making of blueing solution.

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            eljefe
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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by eljefe » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:04 pm

            Labour of love.
            Bravo. I was expecting the part about scope base screw holes being out of kilter, but pine for the furniture ? Ghastly. Very understated talent there, Your brevity doesn’t do justice to the very hard work. I’ve just finished a stock and took the action and bbl to the ‘white’ for a complete face lift for a martini cadet in 7.62x39, and the cramps in my hand can attest to the effort.
            I hope this is an inspiration to a gun inclined reader to be drawn to the dark side of ‘smithing 🙏🏼
            ''It dont mean a thing, if it aint got that zing!''

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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by mohansingh » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:01 pm

            Bishop wrote:
            Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:57 pm
            Absolutely stunning modification sir. New stock and express rear sight adds to the charm. If possible share about the making of blueing solution.
            (y) (y) (y) (y)
            Totally agree.Never seen an IOF 3006 like this in India. BTW that shadow line cheek piece is more in the Rigby mould than Holland and Holland. :D

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            Vikram
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            Re: Modifing an IOF 30-06

            Post by Vikram » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:00 am

            Shooter50,

            Simply brilliant. Probably the best post on this topic here. Thank you for sharing. It would be great if you can post the rest of the details and photos.

            Did you test fire the rifle after you finished it? What kind of accuracy are you getting.



            Best regards-
            Vikram
            It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

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            timmy
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by timmy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:47 am

            shooter50: I am quite taken with your lovely rifle and the tremendous amount of work and skill that went into it, which is so obvious in your pictures and description! My hat is truly off to you, sir, for this lovely and tasteful work of art!
            Regards,
            tim

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            timmy
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by timmy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:49 am

            eljefe: Is there any chance of seeing pictures of your Cadet in 7.62x39, along with a description of the work that was done to it? I am keenly interested!
            Regards,
            tim

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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by eljefe » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:18 am

            I’ll see if I can find some pics and remember how to post them, Timmy.
            ''It dont mean a thing, if it aint got that zing!''

            "...Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away..."

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            sumbriavikramaditya
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by sumbriavikramaditya » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:27 pm

            A great article on your awesome modification.
            Please share pictures of your African Safari too.
            And how much does it cost to procure all this stuff?

            rajeevbhosale
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by rajeevbhosale » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:23 pm

            Simply stunning ,you took all the pain to document everything in detail and took the time to put it up all on the forum ,good work keep it up , would like to know how much time did you take to finish this one

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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by brajesh » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:19 pm

            Stunning modification

            riflemarksman
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            Re: Modifying an IOF 30-06

            Post by riflemarksman » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:12 pm

            Since most people shooting IOF 30-06 rifle would not use it beyond 200 to 300 meters , then do these modifications really improve the accuracy that much ....considering the amount of money spent on modifications which is at times more expensive than the cost of the rifle itself.........yes, the modification will make the rifle look good......unless there is an issue with the functioning of the gun, like the bolt etc

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