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Thread: Marlin 100 / Sears Ranger 103-8 - anybody have one?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Marlin 100 / Sears Ranger 103-8 - anybody have one?

    If so, a picture of the underside of the bolt would be greatly appreciated.

    A co worker has asked me to help restore his grandpa's. It is missing the firing pin and what I am guessing to be a very small, cone-headed screw that is probably used to retain it in it's slot in the bolt. There's also a slight indentation that might indicate that the screw should also be holding in some kind of plate, but that could just be a dent or machining error.

    The Numrich website has a rather poor, 1930's-'40's era diagram of the parts that does not show their relationship to one another, and it does not appear to list anything that would be the screw.

    Any more detailed pics or links would be a huge help. Thanks!
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Sears "J.C. Higgins" rifle, model 103.18, which is in truth a Marlin Model 100. When looking at the bottom of the bolt I can see the slot where a fire pin can be dropped into the body of the bolt. The bolt is round at the front, then the bottom has a flat section that extends both in front of and behind the bolt handle. There is NOT a screw in the bottom of the bolt. The fire pin is retained by 2 stake marks in the fire pin slot of the bolt body. One of these is on the front (round) section of the bolt. The other is on the flat section at about the front of the bolt handle. These 2 stake marks retain the fire pin inside the bolt but are not so deep as to prevent the fire pin from moving in the slot. This bolt does not contain a fire pin return spring. Carefully open these stakes to insert your new fire pin, then close them while allowing for fire pin movement, and enjoy. Glad I could help with your project.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Thanks T.M.! That does help a lot.

    I think we may be dealing with a case of several minor sub-types of the Marlin 100. Here's what I'm dealing with:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can clearly see the front stake mark you're referring to. I've got the pencil pointed at the threaded hole in the bolt I'm working on. Directly across the F.P. slot from that is is a flat depression that might be part of a stake, but it does not look like it was done with the same process as the one toward the front of the bolt.

    Dunno. . .I've got a decent specialty bolt place near my office. Might see if I can get lucky. Failing that, the set punches come out.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I'm willing to make a guess that your project is not the first time someone has needed to fit a replacement fire pin into this bolt. When I see your 2 stake marks, that makes me suspect your original fire pin was staked into the bolt. That pin failed and whomever went to replace it tried a different method for retaining the replacement pin inside the bolt. I didn't look at my rifle to see if there was enough room under the bolt for a protruding screw head to allow the bolt to cycle inside the receiver. If you can locate a screw of the correct dimensions to fit the hole, it may be worth a try. If it works, all is good. If it does not allow the bolt to flow, or causes other interruption inside the receiver, you still have the opportunity to stake the pin inside the bolt.

    Looking at your photo, it appears the "flanges" created by the original staking have been filed away to allow the replacement pin to enter the channel where it lies in the bolt. You do not have to re-use those original stake locations for your stake marks. You can make your stakes close to the originals so you have fresh bolt material to move above the pin to retain it in the bolt. I have done this on previous occasions. You have the luxury of versatility in this repair. Please let us know how you resolve this correction, am always willing to learn from others experiences.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    It IS a bit of a puzzlement. If that drill & tap job is a post-factory repair, it's VERY well done. I'm going to have to take a very close look with a magnifying glass to see if the mostly-gone nickel finish on the bolt exists inside the screw hole.

    That said, it makes little sense to do it with one stake and one screw, unless maybe someone wanted a system in which the firing pin can be taken out for regular cleaning. Given the life the typical hardware store single shot .22 leads, anything that can work loose and fall out is probably not the best call. At any rate, it's good to know I can get it running without a screw.

    Out of curiousity, does yours have a hard rubber buttplate, or a chunk of sheet metal held on with two Phillips screws? The one on my end has the latter, which I thought was a garage repair until I went online and started seeing a bunch with the same. Mine overhangs the edges of the wood - I haven't checked length of pull yet - maybe someone shortened it and reinstalled the plate?
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    The pre WW2 Ranger and Marlin 100 used just the 2 stake hits to hold the firing pin in place.
    It looks like the flat area where the rear stake is loacated may have been filed down a bit for unkn reasons.
    I'd guess the old staking matrl went with it and the small bevel headed screw was added to hold the firing pin in place.
    A neat job of it from what is shown. Probably just a common hardware 4-40 or maybe 6-32 screw.

    Here's a pic I found of the bottom of the bolt of another 103.8 Ranger that someone else was working on. You can see the heavier taper in the center where the rear stake mark is. Makes me think the OP bolt was filed down a bit.
    Shows the orig (broken)firing pin and a replacement from Numrich
    You might have to enlarge it to see better.

    https://www.go2gbo.com/forums/attach...2473156485.jpg

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check