Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Posts about the Model 81~Woodsmaster~
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stu_2
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:56 pm

Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Hello folks, thank you for this forum. I need some help not only identifying a gun that's been in the family a longtime but learning how to take it apart and get it working. Unfortunately been in my dad's garage for years w/ the doors left open a lot, so it's quite rusted. The bolt seems seized. I put a lot of gun oil on and in it today, so I can make out:

Woodmaster Trademark Model 81 Remington reg us pat off 7976.

And he following is printed on the barrel:

Remington Arms Co Inc Ilion NY Made in USA
Browning's PATS 659 507 658 786-701.288-853.438-984 268

The last 3 may be an 8 instead.

What year I wonder? Wondering about this stuff too:

--Caliber/Gauge:.300 Savage, .30 Remington, .32 Remington, .35 Remington
--Grades: 81A Standard, 81C Special (changed to 81B) ,81D Peerless, 81E Expert,81F Premier
--Variations: No. 14 ½R Carbine (with 18 ½" barrel)
--what is it worth

Here are some pics:

http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/stu_2 ... 1.jpg.html

http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/stu_2 ... 0.jpg.html

Thank you!

Stu

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Roger
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Roger »

Stu, i'm glad you were able to resurrect your dad's rifle from the garage. It does look pretty rusty,but is probably salvagable.I have a product that will help with the surface rust without too much damage to the bluing. But it may be pitted under the rust anyway. I'll have to dig out the package for it though ,so give me a day or so to find it. I've found also ,that Liquid Wrench in the spray can, will actually eat rust too. The combination of the steel wool type pad with the liq. Wrench. Works well. It's not too easy to answer your other questions without some more photos. But the caliber should be imprinted on the barrel extension. That's the piece that the bolt fits up against when it's shut. It also has the chamber inside it. If it's anything other than an A grade it may be printed on the left side of the receiver. I can't tell from your photo. The serial # should also be there on the left side. Then it should have a production code printed on the barrel jacket on the left side near the receiver. It will be a few letters and /or numbers.
Thanks and good luck,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

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Roger
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Roger »

Stu,
Here's the email address for that steel wool like rust cleaning pad I mentioned before.
Www.BIG45METALCLEANER.com I've had good success with this tool.
Good luck,
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Thank you Roger, I'll check that out. I got the wood stock and wood forestock off. used wd40 and patience. Separated the barrel from the chamber. The bolt is still stuck. Is there something I can just soak it in for days or weeks?

I think the serial number is 7967. This number is also engraved twice in the metal that goes back into stock that was revealed when I got the stock off.

If there were approximately 55,581 between 1936 and 1950, it might be an early one.

Thank you for any help!
Stu

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81police
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by 81police »

stu_2, welcome to the forums! We wish you the best of luck getting this family heirloom back to working condition. It sounds like it needs a good soaking in some penetrating oil!

According to your serial number 7976, this would place the manufacture date somewhere around 1939. Remington employed a date code system which is a series of letters stamped on the left side of the gun, where the barrel jacket meets the receiver (just above the forearm). Sharing these letters will help up determine the month & year of mfg.

From your pictures your gun looks to be a standard "A" grade Model 81.
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

stu_2
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:56 pm

Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Thank you 81 police. I soaked it last night about 8 hours in a Dextron III/acetone mix. (mostly acetone). I'll see if the bolt is unseized today. I'm also soaking the barrel, so when I pull it out I'll look for the series of letters you are referring to.

I'm not really sure what grit steel wool to get and how to use it really, technique-wise, and with what oil. Different answers on the web. The rust is pitted. The black is partially rusted off the barrel. I've got an old fully-functioning Enfield rifle from my mom's side of the family, and to get this old Woodmaster from my dad's side in great working/shooting order would be really cool, especially when time comes to teach my nephews to shoot.

Thank you!
Stu_2

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S and S HUNTCLUB
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by S and S HUNTCLUB »

Hello Stu_2 & welcome to the site! It's great to hear that you inherited the Model 81 from you Dad's side of the family and the Enfield from your Mom's side. On the "Home Page", you'll find "The Model 8 and 81 serial numbers". Just click on it and you'll have the information you need to determine the production year of your Model 81. Like 81 Police mentioned, it sounds like you have a 1939 production, with only 2010 produced and/or shipped that year.

I very nice year to own in my opinion!

Regarding the RUST... I once purchased a Model 81 from a Pawn Shop south of me, here in Michigan. The rifle had rust build up over the entire surface as well. Here's what we use to do our best to bring them back to life!

We use a product made by Sea Foam called DEEP CREEP! It really does the job, by penetrating deep into the rust. It comes out of the can in a foam type liquid. We let it penetrate for a bit and this may sound primitive, but I use an old Buck Knife (with a rounded edge), to gently remove the upper surface of the rust first. A sharp blade may scratch the bluing underneath. A plastic putty knife will remove the upper rust as well.

Then, we use #0000 (Super Fine) steel wool and the DEEP CREEP to remove the rest of the rust as best we can. The "rusty pawn shop rifle" I mentioned, turned out to be a beautiful rifle, with just a touch of spotting/freckling on the bluing.

Don't be afraid to rub the bluing. Use plenty of DEEP CREEP and just make sure the surface and the steel wool stay moist. Have plenty of rags on hand too. Wipe off the nasty stuff and repeat, until the rifle is as clean as you can make it.

Here's a couple of pictures of the product we use. It is safe for firearms. We even soak the small rifle parts in a glass jar, using the DEEP CREEP penetrating oil. It's great stuff Stu!

Good luck with your project and let us all know how it turns out sir!

Enjoy Life, Bob & Jeff @ S and S HUNTCLUB
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Roger
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Roger »

Stu, the big45 metal cleaner won't harm your bluing. Steel wool can if used too aggressively. That's one product that will save you money on your investment. Do check it out.
Roger
Roger
raw4555@gmail.com

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Thank you Huntclub and Roger a lot. Right now I'm still soaking the whole receiver mechanism (bolt/magazine/trigger) all together inside a big ziplock with rubber bands around it w/ the dextron/acetone. Tried the bolt this morning after 8 hrs soak. Didn't budge. Will try the other products.

Next thing is I've got to decide whether to try to take this whole mechanism apart myself or get a professional to do it. When I took out the three screws on the left side of the receiver, the thin metal underneath shifted in two of the screw holes, so probably hard to get those screws back in. I don't even know how to pull the magazine out on a clean 81. Just pull it out I guess.

Thank you all for the support and knowledge sharing!

stu

Headoftheholler
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Headoftheholler »

I've cleaned surface rust off firearms for longer than I care to remember using well oiled 0000 steel wool.
If its pitted deep you can leave it as is or get it restored, but draw filing pits is neither cheap or easy to do.

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81police
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by 81police »

stu_2,

Regarding disassembly & reassembly, please refer to the following two links to help you. The first link has a few videos you can check out. The second link has some disassembly guides and parts breakdown.

http://thegreatmodel8.remingtonsociety.com/?page_id=842

http://thegreatmodel8.remingtonsociety. ... ge_id=1855

S & S Hunt Club: great advice!!!
Cam Woodall
Site Co-Administrator

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Sarge756
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Sarge756 »

Ditto for Roger`s recommendation of Frontier 45. You will not be disappointed with this product . You are on the right track with the ATF and acetone mix. It beats most everything out there. Cheap and it works.
Take a look here for a complete tear down of a model 8 with closeup photos and good explanation.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/buster_cha ... 271360342/

Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Thank you 81police and Sarge756. Yesterday morning before your posts I took the gun to a professional who has specialized in old guns for 40 years. He said it was only the second Model 81 he's seen in his career. Thank you very much for the links. I will pass along them to him. He was highly recommended by some gun collectors I know.

I want the gun to fire reliably, and there's probably a much better chance of getting result that with the gun in his hands rather than mine. He noticed some rust on the tip of the barrel and said that it might not be as accurate as it once was. We'll see. One of my gun collector friends said there's a process to shave some of the barrel tip off to improve accuracy, but it reduces the value of the gun. I would like to put a scope on it if possible. Any suggestions on scopes or anything else?

I appreciate you guys' advice a lot.

Stu_2

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rem81auto
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by rem81auto »

stu_2 wrote:Thank you 81police and Sarge756. Yesterday morning before your posts I took the gun to a professional who has specialized in old guns for 40 years. He said it was only the second Model 81 he's seen in his career.

Stu_2
Yikes, that gunsmith needs to get out more.

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

rem81auto wrote:
stu_2 wrote:Thank you 81police and Sarge756. Yesterday morning before your posts I took the gun to a professional who has specialized in old guns for 40 years. He said it was only the second Model 81 he's seen in his career.

Stu_2
Yikes, that gunsmith needs to get out more.
I meant to say the second one to come thru his shop. He says they're not common around here, mid TN.

Headoftheholler
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by Headoftheholler »

Not that common here either, I've been in every pawn and gun shop in east ky several times a month for years and never laid eye on one.

I wonder if the gunsmith is referring to counterboring? It will increase accuracy but so will a recrown.

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imfuncity
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by imfuncity »

stu_2, welcome aboard. You are getting the right stuff from these restoring vets.

Couple of thoughts:
These rifles were state of the art back when but they were only intended as minute-of-deer - great fun to shoot and reliable straight shooters but they never did put three inside a quarter at 100yds, etc. Thus I would not worry about the barrel or mess with it, at least not yet.

Second, regarding a scope. JUST SAY NO (if the holes are not already there). To drill it for a scope will destroy some of it's value and IMHO, what you are trying to do - preserve it and it's history. Pretty sure these old war horse, even with old eyes, can still do minute-of-deer out to about 100yds with the iron sights - at least for me at 64, they still work on deer-size-paper targets.
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Hello headoftheholler and imfuncity, thank you for the comments. Regarding the scope, I was assuming one would remove the upper sight and use existing holes. Sounds like that doesn't work. I agree with you about preserving the historical integrity of the gun, so I won't do it. Probably won't do anything to the barrel either.

It occurred to me that this must have been my great grandfather's gun. I know he used to take the train all the way to Maine to hunt. We have some old pictures and two mounted deer heads and a mounted black bear head he shot up there, that are all hanging in the house.

I am actually not a hunter myself, but I love alone time in the woods, and I wouldn't mind getting into it and taking a deer or two a year for meat. Using his gun would be cool, and I thought of the scope to decrease chance of just wounding the animal. But I guess I just need to practice, know my limits, and wait for the right shot.

Hope the gunsmith can get it working. I'm not sure exactly why I got so excited about this gun, but I sure did.

Much Obliged,
Stu

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imfuncity
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by imfuncity »

Did you say PICTURES? Ain't no thread complete without pictures... Granpa, Great Ganpa, Dad, you...? Anyone with the gun? (Yup, I'm the guy they talk about "don't mention pix around him, he won't let you off the hook till you post some.")

As to hunting, never been myself either... sure would like too. Love some bear meat done right!!
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Ok I'll have to go into storage for the pics, but when I find em I'll post some.

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imfuncity
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by imfuncity »

stu_2 wrote:Ok I'll have to go into storage for the pics, but when I find em I'll post some.
Well played... good "forum". :D
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

imfuncity wrote:
stu_2 wrote:Ok I'll have to go into storage for the pics, but when I find em I'll post some.
Well played... good "forum". :D
Huh? Not really sure what you mean?

http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/stu_2 ... sort=3&o=0

Here it it:
http://s1184.photobucket.com/user/stu_2 ... sort=3&o=0

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S and S HUNTCLUB
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by S and S HUNTCLUB »

Hello Stu, Thanks for sharing the great hunting pictures of your family. Wow, what a blessing to have those photos to look back on my friend. It appears by the bigger picture, that your great grandfather had a straight grip Model 8 and the other gentleman, had a pistol grip Model 8 (Or vise versa). Also judging by the hunting apparel, the rifles would be from the era of the Model 8's.

I'm just guessing here Stu, but I think that maybe your grandfather, after sharing some special hunts with your great grandfather, may have purchased your Model 81 in the later years. What a great bunch of pictures to have Stu! You are very fortunate to have such great family pictures of the past.

Hang on to the Model 81 and cherish it! I honestly really do love to see these old hunting pictures of the past. Wish I would have lived back in those times!

Enjoy Life, Bob @ S and S HUNTCLUB

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

Thank you S & S for you post and thoughts. It's my grandfather on the left in the large photo. That looks like the gun in his hand, doesn't it? The photo is framed under glass, but there may be more photos in photo albums buried somewhere in storage that may have dates and info written on the back, but it will take me a while to unearth them. Thanks to everyone for all the help! You guys are great.

Stu_2

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S and S HUNTCLUB
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by S and S HUNTCLUB »

Hello Stu, In the bigger picture with the two gentleman standing is the snow with their rifles, your grandfather is holding the barrel on a vintage "straight grip" Model 8. The autoloader you received from your Dad's side of the family is indeed a Remington Model 81, with the standard pistol grip butt stock, found on the Model 81's.

So, to answer your question... I would say that the Model 81 you have, is not the one pictured with your grandfather in the picture of your grandfather and the other gentleman, standing in the snow with their vintage autoloaders.

What the picture tells us though, is that your family had a passion for hunting with the early version Remington Model 8's and the later Remington Model 81's that you received from your Dad's family. It's very nice to have those vintage photo's of your family Stu. I bet if you dig a bit deeper, you'll find a photo somewhere with the Model 81 pictured with your family.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else you may be able to find out about the history of these rifle's and your family. Very Cool Stu! I sure hope you get the opportunity to get your Model 81 warmed up, by running a few rounds down the barrel. I know that you're really going to enjoy the Model 81 Stu.

Enjoy Life, Bob @ S and S HUNTCLUB


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imfuncity
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by imfuncity »

Great. Thanks for the pictures.

("Well played... good 'forum'". - no worries, just a bad-joke.)
Though defensive violence will always be “a sad necessity” in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men. - St. Augustine

stu_2
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Re: Quite Rusty Woodmaster Model 81 Rem 7976: need help

Post by stu_2 »

No worries imfuncity. Thanks for the help. Getting the lower tang behind the trigger guard that screws into the stock tack welded b/c of cracks in it so I can safely shoot the gun.

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