As is well documented, I like lever guns. I parted ways with one recently (Thanks @Rob112o) in anticipation of buying a Marlin in 44-70 or another old Winchester SRC. However, I was checking local haunts for odd ammo and such and one of them had a used Marlin Golden 39a for sale. While I was not looking to buy a 39a, it was definitely on the “list”. This poor rifle was filthy. The bore looked good, so I think the PO must have cleaned it at times, but the action was filthy, as were all the nooks and crannies. Also, it had obviously been left too close to a campfire as side of the stock was charred and the butt plate was missing (it had an old ratty butt pad covering it. The rifle had a period correct Weaver V-22 rimfire scope as well. Unfortunately, the eyepiece was broken
I looked it over and talked to the counter guy. It was listed at $600 but he offered to let it go at $500. I was going to wait because of some GB auctions I was bidding on, but when I checked them, I had been out bid. Fate was telling me to buy it. I figured that would have to drop another $150+ on a replacement factory stock, but the price was good.
I wish I had taken before photos of how grungy the entire rifle was. I took it apart completely and cleaned up the metal parts with denatured alcohol. The stock and forend were cleaned up with denatured alcohol and acetone using 0000 steel wool to remove the grunge and old finish. The stock had been lacquered at some point and took more work.
Since I was initially planning on replacing it, I was more aggressive and used some 150 and 400 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove the finish and the loose burnt wood until I got down to decent “charred” wood. Once done, I went back with several applications of Danish Oil. I think it turned out pretty nice. I actually like the look of the charred areas. I have a “new” butt plate on the way. Once I get it installed, I will see how much modification it will need to match new contour of the end of the stock. I can always replace the stock if I want to, but I like that I have saved the original stock as best as I can.
Still on the hunt for a 45-70.