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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for parts - Century Arms Bearcat .22 rifle/Mossberg Model 20,21,C

    I have an old Century Arms Bearcat single shot .22 rifle, circa 1931 I think. It's a cheapo gun, but has been handed down through the family and has some sentimental value to me. This was the first gun that I owned, passed on to me by my dad on my 10th birthday, and very well used over the years. I've probably put at least 10,000 rounds through it.

    It's been in storage for the last 10 years or so needing some work, and I recently got it out and started to look at trying to get it shootable again and ready to hand on to my son.

    I believe this was actually built by Mossberg, as the bolt/action appears to be identical to the Mossberg Models 20, 21, and C that were made in 1931-1932 (see below). The only difference between the 2 guns that I can see is a slight difference in the shape of the stock, so I believe parts for those Mossberg models would be interchangeable.

    The top end of the trigger that catches in the bolt is worn down so far that bumping the stock will set it off.
    The firing pin is broken and extractor is worn down to the point that it no longer catches the rim of the cartridge.

    If I could find a complete bolt assembly (or the needed components thereof) and a trigger I'd be all set, but I've not been able to find anyone who still has parts for these old guns laying around (even used). Any help sourcing these parts would be very much appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Jake
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  2. #2

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    You don't see knurled knobs like that any more!

  3. #3
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    A google search for parts turned up very little. If you cant find parts, I bet you could play amateur gunsmith and rework the ones you have. Someone with a welder might be able to build up metal on the top of the trigger piece that you could then file down to the right size and shape. The extractor...maybe deepen the cut so it can move in more and grip the rim? Guess it depends on how its worn. I bet you could make another out of a washer of the right thickness and some time with a dremel. Not sure with the firing pin.

  4. #4
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    I'll post a pic of the firing pin when I get I chance. I'm not sure it's fixable. I took the gun to Ken at Village Gunsmith in Dartmouth, MA and he basically told me that for him to machine the parts needed would cost me at least $300, and recommended just keeping my eyes open for another one to rob parts from..... that's a long shot, I know.

  5. #5
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    Thats to make all new parts. If you put up pics of all the rts it wou help a little. What he suggested is the easiest. Still think amateur gunsmith time might fix some of it. Lol

  6. #6
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    I appreciate the input guys.

    I took it apart this morning and snapped some pics.



    Here is the trigger, the top of the sear (?) that snaps up into the bolt when cocked is worn down so that it barely catches, and would need to be built up/reshaped. I don't have access to a welder these days, but that would not be a tough job if I had access to the tools.



    I've been missing the extractor spring for about 20 years, but it worked for a long time if I just pushed down on it with my finger when opening the bolt. Over the years the lip on the front of the extractor has worn down so that it doesn't catch at all any more. I think I could make one of these with a dremel if I had to. As mentioned, I have no spring for it, nor am I 100% sure I remember how the spring should be installed.



    The handle is loose where it attaches to the bolt. It looks like it has been brazed at some point in the far distant past, but has popped loose again. This is does not interfere with function at all,,,, yet,,, but is something I'd like to remedy before it gets too bad.



    The toughest challenge is the firing pin. The two pieces in the photos below used to be one piece....








  7. #7
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    hmm, pic's aren't working for me right now. I'll take a peak when I get home. (well, they're about 1" square, so details are lacking)

    If you cut the inside edge of the extractor in somewhat, so that it could move in more, and re-cut the claw on it, it might work. The spring on the diagram you first provided (214) bears on the pin (213). I assume they fit in a hole in the bolt body? You could probably find a small spring at a hardware store that fits the hole, and cut a small nail that also fits to replace the pin (213). Smooth and slightly round the ends with a file or sand paper. Maybe harden the tips with a torch so they don't wear too fast. That would be my first attempt with that, but I would look at the extractor and slot in the bolt to see that there was enough material to work with on it.
    Last edited by ARV; 02-02-2012 at 09:44 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the tips on the extractor. I'll try that before fabricating a new one, although I did find some stock just the right width and height to cut a new one from if I need to.

    I might actually be able to do a similar thing with the trigger... just slightly notch the place where it rests against the receiver to allow it more upward travel.

    Pin 213 is the pin that the extractor itself pivots on, so the spring cannot bear against that directly. I think the extractor spring (214) must go between the back of the extractor itself and something on the bolt, though I can see nothing there for it to rest against. It might actually rest against the back of the notch in the firing pin itself. I haven't yet been able to find a spring small enough to replace 214, even McMaster Carr doesn't have anything that small. I'll keep looking I guess.

    I did find some hardened steel pin stock that can be cut to the right length to replace both 212 and 213, as they are both a bit deformed.

    Any suggestions on fixing the firing pin? That one has me stumped.

    Thanks again for your input! Rep inbound :)

  9. #9
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    Can you post a close up-ish pic of the part of the bolt the extractor fits in? (and the spring with something for reference, a dime maybe?) I would trace the extractor on something first, so you have a bit of an "original" to fall back on in case you need to make a new one if working on it doesn't work.

    WRT the trigger, if you go that route with working on the receiver itself, when you square off the trigger, you might want to consider hardening the top of it a little so it doesn't wear as easily, being careful not to make it brittle. It will also be harder to undo what you did to the receiver vs the trigger. Make sure the spring is long enough and strong enough to push it all the way up before you cut out any metal.

    for the extractor spring, you could try the one from a retractable pen if its small enough. If not and you cant find anything, depending on the size of the original, I might have a really tiny spring that would work. I'll have to find it and compare.

    The firing pin I will have to look at when I get home. All the pic's are too small for me to get anything more information from than "I think its metal"
    Last edited by ARV; 02-02-2012 at 01:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARV View Post
    Can you post a close up-ish pic of the part of the bolt the extractor fits in? (and the spring with something for reference, a dime maybe?) ...

    for the extractor spring, you could try the one from a retractable pen if its small enough. If not and you cant find anything, depending on the size of the original, I might have a really tiny spring that would work. I'll have to find it and compare.
    Sure thing, I'll take some more pics tonight when I get home from work. I am missing spring 214, so I do not know exactly what size it was. I do have the trigger spring (215), and will take a closer photo of that with the exact specs. In the old Mossberg diagram, extractor spring 214 looks to be about 1/2 the diameter and 3/4 the length of the trigger spring,,, if that is to scale. Definitely much smaller than an inkpen spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARV View Post
    WRT the trigger, if you go that route with working on the receiver itself, when you square off the trigger, you might want to consider hardening the top of it a little so it doesn't wear as easily, being careful not to make it brittle.
    I'm sorry I didn't make that clear enough. I'm not talking about notching the receiver itself, but instead slightly notching the part on the trigger where it contacts the receiver stopping its upward travel. I'll take a pic tonight of it assembled on the receiver which will illustrate it more clearly. I would want to dress the top of the trigger a bit, and could easily do a bit of tempering after if necessary. If that doesn't work, I can just get some stock and cut a new trigger.

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