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Q:
I was recently given an old Remington Model 33 - its a bolt-action .22 with iron sights. I showed it to a gunsmith and asked him about mounting a scope I had recently replaced on a different gun. The Model 33 is an older gun from the 1930's and the gunsmith said the metal was too soft for mounting a scope on it. That sounded a little bit odd and I'm thinking about speaking to another gunsmith but thought I would throw this out here and see if anyone here has anything to say about mounting a scope on a Remington Model 33 .22 bolt-action rifle.

Question by Bryan01. Uploaded on January 02, 2011

Answers (13)

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I would trust the gunsmith. The metal in that older .22 may not be hardened enough to accept drilling and tapping, may not be thick enough, or may not be built in a way that a drill and tap is possible. Not familiar with the Rem. Model 33, but drilling and tapping some older guns ends in a ruined firearm. You would certainly destroy any antique/collector value.

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from MLH wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Maybe he was just trying to tell you in his own way that some things just aren't worth doing.

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from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

While I agree with the comments above, there's no harm in getting a second opinion. The target version of that rifle came with a Lyman aperture sight, which had to be mounted on the receiver.

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from derik wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Keep in mind tapping an old rifle for a scope can bring the value of the rifle down. But that is also something I have not heard of before.

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

anytime you alter an old firearm, you risk lowering the value. i would leave it the way it is.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I also would listen to your gunsmith because he new right off the bat it's manufacturing dates. Fjestad blue book states it was made from 1932-1935. Besides soft metal there may not be thick enough metal and the screws would interfere with the action.

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from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Thanks for the info . . . I did think about the fact that adding a scope would reduce its value as a collector piece but I checked the Bluebook and it really isn't worth all that much as it is . . . and, I would get far more value out of it with a scope, moreover, I'm sure my grandfather wouldn't have had a problem with me adding a scope if that means I can shoot it more accurately . . . although I think that's a moot point now

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from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Older gun actions, especially .22 LR's, were never made of better quality ordinance type steels. The chamber pressures and such didn't require it and would drive up costs.
I'm quite certain the gun could be drilled and tapped by a competent 'smith. The torque on the base screws to keep the base immobile, would probably strip the holes.
I'd just shoot and enjoy the iron sights.

Bubba

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from deerhunterrick wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Not familar with this model right off the top of my head but do believe it has a dovetail rear sight on it. So here is my suggestion for you. Find a busted dovetail sight or remove the blade from one you can find. take a piece of flat bar stock 4" by 1' , drill the dovetail and tap the flat barstock with 6/40 tap. Now solder the complete topside of the dovetail to this piece of flatstock. Find some Weaver mounts and drill and tap the flatstock to match up to the mounts. Now you have a platforms to mount you scope and have in no way wrecked the value of your firearm, weakened any part of it and you have scope to beat. If there is a will there is a way. As far as the metal being to soft in a firearm,that is a crock. If anything it would be too brittle if anything.If there was too much pressure in the breech the gun would and should not be fired anyway. Cracks,fire etc would make the gun useless as there would be pits that could run through the breech making it split the casings upon firing and could potenially cause an eruption in the metal surrounding the breech. Not a goos thing. I have worked on shotguns where somebody had added rifle sights that were drilled and tapped in the breech area. This is not a problem if the breech area where the screws are is level and even with the breech wall. If not the pressure of the shell will expand and get stuck in the screw holes or blow the sight off the gun minimum or it could split the barrel and explode being the worse.

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from RES1956 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Deerhunterrick, thanks for calling Bull to the metal too soft crap.

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from Brent Moody wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

I received a model 33 which was passed through a couple generations. If you can't hit a target with that gun and the iron sights I doubt that a scope will make any difference either. It is the straightest shooting rifle I ever had (passed to my son now). You are not going to shoot one out to 200 yrds anyway so wy ruin a gun like that by putting a scope on it? I will buy it and you can get a modern .22 with the money..

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from David LaPell wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

I have had a Remington Model 33 for more than ten years and I have killed A LOT of game with it. Back when I first got it, they were going for about $100 or so, it was decided to put a scope on it. The guy mounted mine with some modified universal mounts and I used a vintage Weaver fixed 4 power 3/4 inch tube which gave it a look like it had been done a long time ago. It now wears a Weaver 3/4 inch 3-6 power scope. I have never had an issue to date and I can't tell you the number of rounds that have been down the barrel of this gun and the scope mounts have never moved in that time. Even on Gunbroker they rarely go for $200 most around the $150 range. I would say get a second opinion and if you want a scope, put one on it.

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from David LaPell wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

I have had a Remington Model 33 for more than ten years and I have killed A LOT of game with it. Back when I first got it, they were going for about $100 or so, it was decided to put a scope on it. The guy mounted mine with some modified universal mounts and I used a vintage Weaver fixed 4 power 3/4 inch tube which gave it a look like it had been done a long time ago. It now wears a Weaver 3/4 inch 3-6 power scope. I have never had an issue to date and I can't tell you the number of rounds that have been down the barrel of this gun and the scope mounts have never moved in that time. Even on Gunbroker they rarely go for $200 most around the $150 range. I would say get a second opinion and if you want a scope, put one on it.

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I would trust the gunsmith. The metal in that older .22 may not be hardened enough to accept drilling and tapping, may not be thick enough, or may not be built in a way that a drill and tap is possible. Not familiar with the Rem. Model 33, but drilling and tapping some older guns ends in a ruined firearm. You would certainly destroy any antique/collector value.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

While I agree with the comments above, there's no harm in getting a second opinion. The target version of that rifle came with a Lyman aperture sight, which had to be mounted on the receiver.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

anytime you alter an old firearm, you risk lowering the value. i would leave it the way it is.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Maybe he was just trying to tell you in his own way that some things just aren't worth doing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Keep in mind tapping an old rifle for a scope can bring the value of the rifle down. But that is also something I have not heard of before.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

I also would listen to your gunsmith because he new right off the bat it's manufacturing dates. Fjestad blue book states it was made from 1932-1935. Besides soft metal there may not be thick enough metal and the screws would interfere with the action.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Thanks for the info . . . I did think about the fact that adding a scope would reduce its value as a collector piece but I checked the Bluebook and it really isn't worth all that much as it is . . . and, I would get far more value out of it with a scope, moreover, I'm sure my grandfather wouldn't have had a problem with me adding a scope if that means I can shoot it more accurately . . . although I think that's a moot point now

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Older gun actions, especially .22 LR's, were never made of better quality ordinance type steels. The chamber pressures and such didn't require it and would drive up costs.
I'm quite certain the gun could be drilled and tapped by a competent 'smith. The torque on the base screws to keep the base immobile, would probably strip the holes.
I'd just shoot and enjoy the iron sights.

Bubba

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerhunterrick wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Not familar with this model right off the top of my head but do believe it has a dovetail rear sight on it. So here is my suggestion for you. Find a busted dovetail sight or remove the blade from one you can find. take a piece of flat bar stock 4" by 1' , drill the dovetail and tap the flat barstock with 6/40 tap. Now solder the complete topside of the dovetail to this piece of flatstock. Find some Weaver mounts and drill and tap the flatstock to match up to the mounts. Now you have a platforms to mount you scope and have in no way wrecked the value of your firearm, weakened any part of it and you have scope to beat. If there is a will there is a way. As far as the metal being to soft in a firearm,that is a crock. If anything it would be too brittle if anything.If there was too much pressure in the breech the gun would and should not be fired anyway. Cracks,fire etc would make the gun useless as there would be pits that could run through the breech making it split the casings upon firing and could potenially cause an eruption in the metal surrounding the breech. Not a goos thing. I have worked on shotguns where somebody had added rifle sights that were drilled and tapped in the breech area. This is not a problem if the breech area where the screws are is level and even with the breech wall. If not the pressure of the shell will expand and get stuck in the screw holes or blow the sight off the gun minimum or it could split the barrel and explode being the worse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RES1956 wrote 3 years 12 weeks ago

Deerhunterrick, thanks for calling Bull to the metal too soft crap.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brent Moody wrote 2 years 4 weeks ago

I received a model 33 which was passed through a couple generations. If you can't hit a target with that gun and the iron sights I doubt that a scope will make any difference either. It is the straightest shooting rifle I ever had (passed to my son now). You are not going to shoot one out to 200 yrds anyway so wy ruin a gun like that by putting a scope on it? I will buy it and you can get a modern .22 with the money..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David LaPell wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

I have had a Remington Model 33 for more than ten years and I have killed A LOT of game with it. Back when I first got it, they were going for about $100 or so, it was decided to put a scope on it. The guy mounted mine with some modified universal mounts and I used a vintage Weaver fixed 4 power 3/4 inch tube which gave it a look like it had been done a long time ago. It now wears a Weaver 3/4 inch 3-6 power scope. I have never had an issue to date and I can't tell you the number of rounds that have been down the barrel of this gun and the scope mounts have never moved in that time. Even on Gunbroker they rarely go for $200 most around the $150 range. I would say get a second opinion and if you want a scope, put one on it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David LaPell wrote 31 weeks 1 day ago

I have had a Remington Model 33 for more than ten years and I have killed A LOT of game with it. Back when I first got it, they were going for about $100 or so, it was decided to put a scope on it. The guy mounted mine with some modified universal mounts and I used a vintage Weaver fixed 4 power 3/4 inch tube which gave it a look like it had been done a long time ago. It now wears a Weaver 3/4 inch 3-6 power scope. I have never had an issue to date and I can't tell you the number of rounds that have been down the barrel of this gun and the scope mounts have never moved in that time. Even on Gunbroker they rarely go for $200 most around the $150 range. I would say get a second opinion and if you want a scope, put one on it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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