data-csrf="1623897960,17df209abc0cc9d6b0a2151433cdeffb" Mini Mark X project | As Real As It Gets

Mini Mark X project

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
At one of the local gun shops on the semi-daily stop to see what components may have come in, this little rifle was on the 'Used Rifles' rack. Times being what they are, anything decent that's used just doesn't stay around long so there had to be more to the story.

It was an Interarms Mini Mark X chambered in 223. These are sometimes called 'Mini Mausers' but other than the bolt shroud, they are almost a duplicate of the little Sako L461 actions. They were imported in the '80's by Interarms, then by Charles Daly and finally by Remington as the Model 799. With the 20" barrel, it's a bit over 6 1/2 lbs.

Paul Harvey time now ("...the rest of the story"). When I tried to pull the bolt back, it hung up and really got tight. It had a nice, newer Nikon 3-9 in low cheapo rings on a Weaver one piece base so I thought the bolt might simply be hitting the power ring on the scope. Nope. :(

One of the sales guys stop by at that time and tells me about it. Seems like they took it in on trade for a new Christensen Arms double throw down, carbon fiber barrelled rig in some Creedmore KoolAide chambering and really didn't check it out. He says it shouldn't be on the rack and it's headed to their gunsmithing area to get checked out. Then he says he'd be really happy if it just went away so the shop charges wouldn't be assessed against it and get tacked on to the price before it came back out for sale. Guy must be a fly fisherman 'cuz he dropped that bait right in front of a fish that can't resist any gun that justs needs me to make it all good again. :rolleyes: "Get it out of here with the scope and leave $419 at the register" was the final set of the hook. Had Jeremy Wade from River Monsters been standing there, I would have heard him say: "Fish ON!" :eek:

As it looked:





From working with some Sakos, I had a pretty good idea where to look for the bolt binding and sure enough, there it was. The guide bar for the bolt is retained by a small roll pin through the guide bar. The guide bar normally fits really snug in the raceway...maybe .003-.004 clearance. Around the roll pin area, the guide bar was bowed just slightly and had a raised area on both flat surfaces where the roll pin went through..making it tight in the rear raceway. A little light stoning and it worked smoothly. Here's the roll pin area:



The back of the barrel had some scratch marks and sure enough...the extractor was hitting the back of the barrel. Some careful work with a diamond file took it back to about .010 clearance. Pics not great but you get the idea:



Taking the barrelled action out of the stock showed a bunch of stress in the bedding as the barrel moved about 1/16" up at the front of the fore end when the actions screws were loosened. Pillars are in now and it will get bedded in a couple of days:





My plan is to rescue the little devil, redo the stock, mount some good, lightweight bases and rings, feed it some good hand loads and see if we can't end up with a handy little rifle for predator calling or for walk around 'dog whacking w/o a lot of dollars invested.

If there's any interest, I'll update this as it goes.

Good shootin'. -Al
 
  • Like
Reactions: Minute of elk

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,566
241
Paradise
Have shot a few Mini Mousers...pass the Sako.(grin)

7" RPM 22PPC Fucking Improved for me,due the scant COAL latitude.

Any hope for the trigger?................
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,566
241
Paradise
Fact is,I just snagged a Bart #3 .224" in 7" RPM from Greg and it's headed to The Kali Koast for same.

700 based though.............(grin)
 

Dude270

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2014
764
26
Keep me posted Al.

I've had 2 of those in 223 and though a bit rough, they are handy.

Timney used to make a trigger for them that was nice
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,566
241
Paradise
The Montucky 223 rebooted 1-7" and 2.550" COAL would connect alotta dots.

So would same in 224 and 243 Grendel at like RPM................
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
I've got the trigger down to 2# flat with a bit of Arkansas stone work on the sear angles and still have plenty of sear engagement.

Handled two NIB Rem. 799 versions this morning at our big Dakota Territory gun show. One was the 7.62X39 and the other was a .222. Damn near walked out with both...haha.

Could still happen! ;) -Al
 

Horse1

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2007
2,901
3
In the vicinity of dandihood
I have a 223Rem and a 7.62x39 both of Interarms import vintage. Both came from Gary's on 41st oddly enough. The 223 was factory wood and good from the get-go w/26gn of H335 and a 50V-max or 50gn HP American Eagle. The 7.62 had a B&C Carbelite that upon re-install post-trigger work, showed a big crack through the tang. Took it back and I believe they bedded the crack shut and it's plenty accurate and functional now.

I carried the 223 as a "truck gun" for several years. Haven't shot it much lately. I've left the 7.62 as is for a low-recoil, low-cost more knock-down rifle for my kids to use. I've borrowed it out to several for the same thing. Let folks know it's basically a low-recoil bolt-action 30-30, they buy 123gn soft-points and shoot deer out to ~150yds. Several have been vastly disappointed that they couldn't just hand me $$ rather than the rifle back.

Pretty sure I was under $300 each out the door with them, but, I've had the 223 for ~17-18yrs and the 7.62 for ~15.
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
HOW could you stand not PPC'ing the x'39?!?....................
The receivers are pretty dainty and I like to run the PPC'S a bit....errrr....up there, shall we say, in the pressure range. ;) I do think it would make a slick 20PPC as they get happy at lower pressures.
 

tnv

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2007
681
6
TN
Al,
Please keep us updated on progress. I've always liked those mini mausers even though I've never owned one. They look about as handy as they come.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al Nyhus

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,566
241
Paradise
Was playing last night,with various OEM magbox,follower and follower spring components for snicking 22 PPC Fucking Improved's through an OEM 700 223 receiver. I need another stash of milled followers!

Will dabble more,to decide if the shoehorn shim goes fore or aft and to widen/radius receiver feed rails.

LOVE that cartridge!.......................
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
'Stick, I've got a gaggle of milled followers...pretty sure some are .17 Rem/222/223 if you need some. -Al
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Floating in the bedding today. Now the hard part...resist the urge to pull it out for 24 hrs.

 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
A few anxious minutes this morning
.

The new aerosol release agent I was trying for the first time didn't to want to r-e-l-e-a-s-e.


After a coffee refill, some pondering and a Lutheran-style genuflection, it did come apart. After a clean up and rounding of the edges, it shows less than .002 movement when the action screws are cracked. Sealed the exposed wood in the barrel channel and magazine area with some polyurethane clear and hit the gloss finish on the stock with some 00 steel wool soaked in acetone to knock the clear layer off. Next, the stock will get sanded and treated to some sort of top coat.

Good shootin'. -Al
 
  • Like
Reactions: bgold

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
With the action side rails just resting on a thin sliver of stock material, I removed the side receiver rail contacts areas and did a simple two point bedding job. Stock sides and mag box area have been enlarged for no contact. The recoil lug bottom was really rough with a lot of casting marks, etc. Thought about setting it up on the mill and taking .015-.020 off to make it flat. In the end, I did a skim coat of thinned JB Weld across the bottom of the lug to fill in the defects, prior to bedding. Plus, actual milling gets beyond the reach of most home gun tinkerers. I still want this to reflect what the average gunny guy can do at home.

The sides and mag box area still needed to have some final work and sealing done here. Not much of a pic, just grabbed this with the phone, not a camera.

 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Bedding the bases to the receiver. Bases have the anodizing removed from the bottoms, bedding compound applied to the bases, and screws lightly started. Mold release wax everywhere we don't want it to stick. ;) You can see the bedding compound oozing:



Some old Bushnell rings I use for bedding Weaver bases are put on the bases. Then, the ring lapping bar is set into the rings. The weight of the bar aligns the bases vertically and horizontally:

 
Last edited:

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Fitted the rings and started lapping. This is after 15 strokes with the lapping bar....very, very little contact. No knock on the rings as there's just a lot of tolerances that can stack up. But that's why you lap and then bed the rings.

As close to 100% contact between the bases and receiver and rings to scope tube gives a stress free mounting system that ensures repeatability. Repeatability is essential to accuracy. Also, once the rings are bedded they become pretty much 'universal' for any subsequent scopes. For ring bedding, AccraGlas Gel is better than any of the harder bedding style compounds. It has a percentage of Nylon in it that gives just enough flexibility to conform to the scope tubes w/o leaving any marks....similar to the Burris Posi Line inserts.

 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Rings are lapped and bedded, parting lines relieved, ready to go. I love how the ring tops come up to 'tight' instantly when they're correctly bedded...like the action screws on a well done pillar bedding job.



The tops were the same so they got the same treatment:





Been futzin' with the trigger and with some careful stoning and smoothing, it breaks at 1.5 lbs. with no creep, a bunch of sear engagement and the safety still functions fine.
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
41,566
241
Paradise
Nawwwwww....fell out of the sky yesterday afternoon,in this Storm.



It keeps telling me "Bartlein 8" 7-08!"..."Bartlein 8" 7-08!"....................(grin)
 

Dan In Alaska

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2007
3,195
24
Anchorage
Damn nice rifle! I'm sure glad you've moved out of your rebellious, let's-paint-everything-to-look-like-a-Kwik-fish-salmon-plug phase. 😁
 

ktnlocksmith

Active member
Apr 30, 2019
34
0
You ought to rattle can it just for S&Gs now. Can’t say I’ve seen a fieldcraft with a proper paint job yet.
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Got back to it a little bit this weekend. Rummaged around and found a Sinclair bore guide that needed the O.D. reduced to fit in the raceway. That done, I cleaned the beejeezus out of the bore with Butch's Bore Shine and then got after it with some J.B. paste. With a tight patch on the cleaning rod, it's twisted 1:12. The throat appears to be pretty long, as expected.

These little 7X10-12-14 mini lathes really come in handy for little projects like the bore guide.

 

Dude270

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2014
764
26
You're making me miss my little mini, Al.

Mine was in a B&C carbolight stock with a timney trigger wearing a 4-12 leupold in weaver mounts. In the days before I new how shitty it was, i shot 50 grain vmax in spring and summer and 63 sierra smp fall and winter. It handily killed everything i pointed it at from bear on down.

I kinda want one for nostalgia now
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
There's a like-new one on 24hrcampfire right now. ;) -Al
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Finished the wood work...smoothed some edges and eliminated the grip cap. Did a sand colored epoxy finish, then broke out the airbrush and added some black webbing for a bit of texture and followed that with a matte epoxy clear coat.

With this 16 oz. Weaver V16 4-16X44 scope, it's 7lbs, 2oz. all up. Could pare 4 ozs. with a short little Leupold 3-9X33 A.O. that's on hand, also. It's a bit butt heavy and the longer Weaver balances it pretty well, though.

Total tab figures out like so:

$448.33 - gun incl Nikon 3-9 scope incl. tax
$21.90 - Leupold Rifleman Weaver style rings incl. tax
$14.83 - Weaver two piece bases incl. tax (replaced the one pc base it came with as it had very little contact area to the receiver)
$12.82 - rattle can sand colored epoxy paint
$2.16 - two 6X1.00 mm Allen head button screws to replace the flat head screws for the trigger guard.

The Pro Bed and the aluminum round stock for the pillars was on hand, as was the Delrin bore guide that was cut down to fit this action. The black paint for the airbrush webbing and matte epoxy clear was also here from some other stock jobs I've done.

So, the total was $500.04. A pal needed a decent scope for his daughters new Tikka 308 deer rifle so the Nikon that came on this gun headed his way for $125.00. So all in, it looks like $375.04 for everything, less a scope. The Weaver I put on it was a NIB one from when they were discontinued years ago that I've been saving for...well, you never know!

As soon as it warms up a bit, I'll get the Bargain Basement Mini-Mouser out and see how it shoots.

 

Chesapeake

Well-known member
Aug 24, 2010
1,201
4
SW Washington
Curious how/what you use for a cheek weld. All the rifles I've seen you hang pics of (sitting on fenceposts?) look to have the scope mounted super high.
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Curious how/what you use for a cheek weld. All the rifles I've seen you hang pics of (sitting on fenceposts?) look to have the scope mounted super high.
Having my face mashed against the stock just doesn't work for me. :D

On this Mini Mark X, the rings need to be a bit higher than normal to clear the bolt knob. A smaller occular scope is a good thing to have but they are getting harder to find any more. It's a 30MM World out there and the occulars are usually the size of a can of beans.

Good shootin'. -Al
 
Last edited:

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
Good looking Al.
Thanks! Now if the little thing will just shoot !

Some warmer weather (mid 50's) headed our way next week so hopefully it won't be much longer to find out. Waiting on a Wilson inline seater that should be here early next week...they really speed up range work for seating changes. Since the throat is so long, I'll probably just load each bullet to magazine length - .020 and run with that.

If the barrel is anywhere close to decent, I'm hopeful it will shoot honest 1/2 to 5/8ths" , 3 shot groups. o_O -Al
 

Al Nyhus

Well-known member
Dec 30, 2008
346
20
What are you planning on shooting in it?
For what I'm going to use it for, the 40-50 gr. BTips or similar VMaxes or Sierra BKings will be dandy. I've got a couple other 223's that shoot 3/8"-1/2" with 748 so that's where I'll start for powder and go from there. I expect Benchmark, AA2015, AA2520 will all be tested.

Whenever I start with a huntin' style rig, I use a true BR quality bullet so as to eliminate a mass produced bullet from muddying the waters. Once they shoot pretty good with a BR quality bullet, I change over to the type of bullet I'd like to use for hunting purposes and go from there. Using a good BR quality bullet lets the barrel show you if there's anything there. Or not.

If it struggles with a BR bullet, it won't get better with a Hor-Nos-Ierra bullet, for sure. For a .224 BR grade bullet, the BIB 47-52's are the standard for me along with the Berger 52's.

Using a known quantity bullet right from the start saves a lot of time.
 

tnv

Well-known member
Dec 25, 2007
681
6
TN
Sounds like you have a plan. We stopped in at the Sierra plant in Sedalia years ago on the way back from a SD p-dog hunt. We bought some "blemished" bullets by the pound. These things were pretty bad as the acetyl tips on the Blitzkings were inserted crooked, backwards or not at all. I bought several pounds of the 50 grain Blitzkings to fart around with around the farm. I found they really liked 26.4 gr of Benchmark. I used them all last summer to eradicate groundhogs that had taken up residence under an old milk barn. I've come to really like Benchmark behind 50s and 55s.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al Nyhus

bgold

Well-known member
Jul 30, 2008
908
7
Missouri
It's crazy how nice some of their blems are, and how crappy some can be at the same time. When I used to stop in there, we would hand pick through the stuff.

I probably should stop in there again some time...