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Voere 22LR Bolt Action

No bolt, no mag – what to do?

It’s not unusual for an older rifle to make its way through the family tree and lose its bolt or mag along the way – especially .22s which can be used and abused. The other way no mag/bolt guns fall into our hands is through Trademe auctions, usually run by gun stores that have used older rifles for parts, and no longer need the barrelled action and/or stock. So, is it worthwhile trying to restore these firearms to their former glory?

What’s the value?

If it’s a family heirloom, it could have enough sentimental value for you to undertake the project regardless of cost. However, if you’re eyeing up an auction, it’s probably because you want to get a rifle together on the cheap. Depending on your scenario, it may or may not be worth the time, money and effort to restore the firearm.

A word to the wise – thoroughly research your intended purchase before assuming you can find the parts to complete the project. As an example, I wanted to put together a cheap shotgun and bought an SKB semi action and stock, missing the forewood and barrel. I had seen some barrels online, and figured it would be easy enough to put this thing back together.

However, I found out (like an hour after the auction), that the SKB factory had been shut down, and that the barrels that I had found in the States were not ideal. There are some available locally – for over $900. There goes the idea of a cheap shotgun. So I paid $29.50 for something that probably won’t ever be used for anything, except perhaps testing out gun blue or stock reconditioning products.

What’s the cost?

Sometimes you can source the parts, but you have to be inventive to keep the cost down. The thing is, if it was cheap to do, the gun store would have bought the parts and sold a complete rifle for more – so you know it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

A good example of getting creative is a rifle I got from my father-in-law. It’s a .22LR bolt-action from sometime around the ’70s or ’80s. It was sold by a trading house by the name of Wischo Kg Erlangen in Germany originally, essentially assembled from parts provided by various European manufacturers. The rifle is basically a Voere.

The rifle came into my possession for the princely sum of a nice bottle of wine. It had a decent looking barrel and a crisp two-stage trigger. However, it was missing the rear sight, magazine and bolt. By keeping my eyes open, I managed to spot a Voere parts auction on Trademe.

The auction was for an action and bolt, with about 8 inches of barrel attached. See below video of me firing this weird thing, after fitting it to the stock from the rifle I had acquired.

Included in the “barrelled” action was the rear sight – a stroke of luck. Also in the auction I got a 6mm garden gun without bolt, which is just a wallhanger in my office. Oh well. I’m never even going to try solve that mystery.

The Wischo rifle sporting the Voere sight, pictured next to the Voere bolt, action/barrel and trigger group.
The Wischo rifle sporting the Voere sight, pictured next to the Voere bolt, action/barrel and trigger group.

The issue then became whether the parts I bought on an (educated) whim for $40 would fit my rifle – as technically they were not from the same gun. Well, it turned out I was right with my assumption that the trading house rifle was a Voere in disguise, however the bolt wouldn’t close nicely and the rear sight was obviously different, as it had a larger dovetailed base.

A machinist/engineer friend of mine helped me take a small piece of metal off the action around the bolt, which got it cocking smoothly, and extended the dovetail to take the sight off the parts gun. This cost me a box of Heineken.

All that’s left to buy is a magazine, which I can get from here, or here, for between $100 and $150. So, all up, for the cost of a bottle of wine, a box of beer, $40 for parts and around $150 for a mag, I’ll have a nice wee shooter with a bit of character and a story worth telling. By throwing in some of my own time and effort, I can reblue the rifle and varnish the stock, and it will end up being a really good looking little gun too.

So, again, it can be worth it – but you’ve got have the time, and sometimes know the right people, to make it worthwhile restoring a non-functioning rifle.

Geoff

Geoff

Geoff is a shooting and reloading enthusiast who would rather be at the range, but is content to write about it. He is a member of Howick Smallbore Sporting Rifle Club and Waiuku Pistol Club.

4 thoughts on “No bolt, no mag – what to do?

  1. Hi I have a voere 22 as pictured above that was a mates dads, it was very poorly maintained has cleaned up pretty well. Want to take the bolt apart as firing Spring very sluggish and miss fires lots. Have taken the he front of bolt apart but not sure on back section to access the firing Spring. Can you help?

    1. Hi Robert,

      I’ve also taken apart the front of the bolt, but fortunately not had to disassemble the rear section.

      I can’t see any obvious way to do this, and my fear is that it may have been pressed in in some way. Many rifles around the time had parts pressed or pinned to reduce cost of manufacture. But this unfortunately means they can’t be disassembled without a lot of effort (if at all). For example, you’ll notice the barrel on your rifle is stamped in, not screwed in. So it is actually almost impossible to replace the barrel.

      I’m equally curious about this, and I’ve fired off a few emails to Voere and also a couple of old distributors to see if anyone has a user manual or some instructions on how to take the bolt apart. I’ll let you know if they come back with anything useful.

      You’ll notice your rifle is on the list of Voere production that no longer has spare parts (I’m guessing you have an M2107 or M2108). http://www.voere.com/en/history/productsengl.html

      Hopefully you’ll be able to find a suitable replacement spring – or it may just need a clean.

      A couple of things you may have tried already, but have you checked the spring at the firing pin end? Also, have you tried spraying some parts cleaner into the bolt body? I would give that a go, let it dry and then spray in some lubricant.

      Let us know how you get on!

      Cheers

      1. Thanks for the reply. Yes it looks like the rear tab that locates the cocking piece holds it all together I can get a slight movement out of it, but without knowing how was put together I won’t try to hard if I wreck I’m stuffed. Will keep pushing lub into it and working it.

        1. Hi Robert,

          Couldn’t find anything, sorry. Contacted Voere and the below was their response:

          “I’m sorry to tell you that we do not have any instructions regarding Model 2107 or 2108 because both model were not made by us but our former sister company VOERE Vöhrenbach.
          This company ceased to exist in the late 80ies.”

          I also tried a couple distributors, but no luck. I think you’re right, that rear tab does seem to be the only thing locking it all together, and just like you, I don’t want to screw mine up and have no bolt again!

          While looking around I did find the following, which is a pretty good overall look at the gun, but doesn’t go into the rear section of the bolt. If you contact the author, he may be able to help – he seems quite into his older weapons.

          http://www.thamesvalleyguns.co.uk/Mauser107.pdf

          Cheers

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