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.
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 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 ) 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. 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
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
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 . What was required was trimming the foreend and fixing the ebony tip. An excellent resource is hereEbony Foreend REST IN PART 2