Finished at last. This has honestly been the toughest project I've ever done. It has also been the one I've enjoyed the most.
Keep in mind this was the first gun I've "built", as opposed to assembling like an AR or FAL.
From the start, this was meant to be a hunting rifle, not a beauty queen, or "Dream Gun".
The plan changed in mid stream a couple of times, mainly because my plan was not always what my son wanted. For instance, I planned on a 'cheap' plastic stock and a spray can cammo job, along with a Duplicolor ceramic engine paint for the metal. That was changed because my son wanted a wood stock. Now, I knew I couldn't do checkering on a wood stock and make it look good. And to me the only thing worse than a nice wood stock without checkering, is a nice wood stock with bad checkering. We compromised on an unfinished laminate stock from Richards Microfit Stocks. I can live with a laminate wood stock and no checkering. In fact most of the ones I've seen have no checkering. I shaped it, glass bed the action and barrel, and finished it at the end with several hand rubbed coats of True Oil.
The metal finish was another departure from my plan. As the build progressed, I could tell that it was not going to be a beater gun. I felt like it would be a bit nicer than I might have planned, so we upgraded the finish. I finished the metal with Norrels Moly Resin baked on firearm finish. The stock, barrel, and bottom metal are flat black. The bolt, scope rings and bases are flat grey. Small parts on the bolt and ejector are alternated in black or grey.
The bottom metal was still another departure from my original plan. The stock I planned on had a blind magazine well. The stock we got didn't. The bottom metal on the Yugo does not pivot open, and i wanted it too if I used bottom metal. After no less than 20 hours of frustrating trial and error trying to modify the Yugo metal to pivot I gave up. I purchased bottom metal for a Swedish Mauser that had the "1909 Argentine" style floor plate release. After just a bit of modification it worked well.
The straight bolt handle was cut off, and I put on a "Ruger" style. The charger hump on the receiver was ground off. I used 2-piece scope bases from Leupold because I think the 2-piece look classier. I replaced the military trigger with an adjustable trigger with safety from Bold. The military safety shroud was replaced with an FN sporter style. I put on a new 24" barrel from Brownells, and finished the chamber. It is in 6.5x55 Swede. We drilled and tapped the action and topped it with a Nikon Buckmasters in 3-9x40.
And then, toward the end of the project, I decided that I wanted to make his first rifle just a little more special for him. I made a real ebony fore end tip and I put his initials in a custom grip cap.