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Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

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PT7
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Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by PT7 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:32 pm

There might be those times it's okay to have elder eyes like mine, which don't let a person see too well. I didn't notice some fit & finish issues with my H012MAW .357 Big Boy, until I decided to take closeup photos a few days ago. I've only been to an indoor range with it one time since I got it in mid-January; haven't handled it that much.

I was surprised that the wood-to-metal connections over the entire gun were not fitted well at all. I placed pointers at some of these spots in the pics. But I also tried to move my fingernail perpendicular across the connecting points of wood and metal. Mostly my fingernail "tripped" on the wood-higher-than-metal flaws, and vice-versa. Actually, the best fit on this rifle is the stock's recoil pad to the wood. Really well done.

There are also some metal coating flaws. In particular, one pic shows this clearly near the rounded ends of where the lever action happens.

The dovetail front sight was an issue Henry already addressed by sending me a new sight. When I was cleaning the rifle, I found the dovetail easily drifted out with my fingers. Almost did a double-take looking at the sight in my hand. First time I didn't have to use a punch to drift a dovetail!

Again, holding the All Weather at arm's length, the smallish flaws are not easily seen. Still think it's a sharp-looking Henry in spite of them. Henry QC simply missed the bull on this rifle!
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by Henry88 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:33 am

To be honest PT7, the only thing there that would bug me is the site. I just can't bring myself to care about the small imperfections. You've probably seen some examples of Marlin's fit and finish. If not visit the rant forum at Marlin Owners forum :D

But be it cars, or whatever, I have this peculiarity that any imperfection or scar just makes the cherished possession more mine.

Forunately, I don't collect art or precious vases :D

Having said that I don't think folks that are analytical about, or protective of, their gear are being over critical. We all have certain things that are important to us, like my beer cooler, for instance :D
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North Country Gal
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by North Country Gal » Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:07 pm

Wood being slightly higher where it contacts metal is actually the correct fit. This is sometimes referred to as a fit that is "proud". It reduces the chances of the softer wood being split or cracked by the metal. Not to worry on that one, as long as it is not too oversized and as long as it is consistent. It should only be slightly proud, not exaggerated. From the pics, can't detect any problem, there. That rear end of the forearm, in fact, had better be a bit proud or you definitely risk a split forend.

The big gripe about wood to metal fit is when you get a gap between the wood and metal. Have seen some Marlins and, yes, new Henrys where you could see daylight between the fit of wood and metal in the tang area or the forend area. Poor tang area fit and forend fit are chronic gripes with lever gun lovers. On new guns, a sloppy fit is sometimes caused by the wood being green when the gun is assembled and shrinking, later, as it dries out. This is a matter of the wood not being properly cured before being made into a stock. In other cases, it's simply careless and sloppy assembly. Regardless, when I see a new gun on the rack like this, it's a red flag for me. Makes me wonder about the rest of the gun.

As for metal to metal fit, on the very best guns I've owned, the fit is so perfect as to not even be able to detect it with a finger nail. On utility or rough use guns, I don't worry about it much.

A poor sight dovetail fit on a new gun is inexcusable - should have been caught in QC - though it is actually an easy fix by using a shim.

On cast parts, some rough areas are to be expected in guns in this price range, though, yeah, they do bug me, too. Again, an AW is not meant to be a showpiece kind of a gun, so it's really your call on how much you can tolerate those minor flaws.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by RanchRoper » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:30 pm

As long as my rifle drops the critter I'm aiming at, a few nicks here and there are ok with me... :)

Nice rifle PT.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by PT7 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Thanks to all three.

Henry -- Agreed. The little stuff is no biggie, and I'm okay with it.
But I must include one comment on your beer cooler: :lol: :lol:
Henry88 wrote:To be honest PT7, the only thing there that would bug me is the site. We all have certain things that are important to us, like my beer cooler, for instance :D


NCG -- Learned quite a bit from your teaching through this thread....thanks. And do agree that an AW is a working tool. I can easily "tolerate" such minor flaws. Plus I'll put my own on the rifle, too.

It reminds me of a "big decision" I had to make back in 1989. My wife and I had bought our first (and last) brand new car together. She drove it to her office, and I drove my Mazda pickup. The new car was a silver & black Pontiac LeMans. When it was barely two months old, she got caught driving through two different, very bad hailstorms on the same day. Good 'ole KS weather. Came just shy of totaling the car. The big decision was to take the $$ and repair all the damage, or take the $$ and pay against the car loan. It was a tough call, but I figured on a silver body those hits wouldn't be overly visible, and eventually the sun would work some out. I took the $$, paid off the car in less than 1 year, drove it for 10+ years, and my daughter then drove it for another two years. It was a good decision for me, and a lesson I've kept about how things don't remain pristine and new. And here is what really helped: I named the car "DIMPLES." :D We all were happy to have this great-running LeMans!
North Country Gal wrote: An AW is not meant to be a showpiece kind of a gun, so it's really your call on how much you can tolerate those minor flaws.
And your 1860 will do just that, especially in your able hands, RR.
Thanks for the rifle compliment. I think it's a very nice-looking Henry AW, too. ;)
RanchRoper wrote:As long as my rifle drops the critter I'm aiming at, a few nicks here and there are ok with me... :)
Nice rifle PT.
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HENRY H001TLP Small Game Carbine .22LR
HENRY H012MAW Big Boy .357 Magnum All-Weather

A quiet place to rest awhile...Psalm 46:10

"Frail as summer's flower we flourish..." by Henry F. Lyte

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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by Mistered » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:49 pm

This is sometimes referred to as a fit that is "proud"
True and correct.
Winchesters typically had/have 'proud' wood to metal fitup and my 1967 'Buffalo Bi' Commemorative has a very nice proud fitting with the edges rounded to the metal.
My 1899 Mod 94 stock does not have a proud fitting and it is possible a previous owner may have sanded the stock to 'match' the metal. If it was done later it was a very nice job as the wood fits the metal well.
It's hard to say but a couple collectors who looked at it believe it WAS altered later as they said WInchester did not fit the wood to the metal this nicely - in any era.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by RanchRoper » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:04 pm

I looked at mine up close and the wood is ever so slightly higher than the metal where is joins. Very very slightly. But all wood to metal joints are tight with no gaps anywhere. And everything feels tight on it when I handle it. No sloppy lever, or anything moving that shouldn't.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by North Country Gal » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:47 pm

Love the story on the car, PT. Great example of a working tool, so to speak.

Removing too much wood when sanding on a lever gun stock, especially in the tang area, is a common mistake when refinishing these guns. Have done it, myself. Easy does it.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by Mags » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:06 pm

PT7 made me look. I never would have noticed otherwise. Front sight is off to the right about a millimeter. The forestock wood were it goes under the back of the brass barrel band is elevated with cut square edge. Would be nicer if it had a quarter-round edge.
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Re: Fit & Finish -- some flaw fotos

Post by ESquared » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:46 am

PT, as you know, I've held and shot that rifle, and we both remarked at the time about what good looker it is. It was then and it still is.

However, if the flaws that you have found become too much for you to bear, please let me know and I'm sure we can work out an arrangement to relieve you of your burden!

Seriously, I think you just got up on the wrong side a couple of days ago! That's a beautiful gun! "Shoot it like you stole it!" as the saying goes!
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