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Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

So, I've always liked using US military guns in games growing up. After shooting using rentals for a few years, this past summer I've suddenly spent way, way more than I care to admit, but developed what I think is a nice collection. All came from the CMP (the civilian marksmanship program), most from a trip I made yesterday to their South Store in Anniston, Alabama. I drove 20 hours for 4 rifles, so you're going to look at them god dammit.

My fiancee does not appreciate how much space in our basement looks like this:

First two however, are not from that trip but I wanted to talk a bit about the gun that started this - the M1 Garand. Now, to be honest, there are many goons way more knowledgeable about this gun than me so I just wanted to point some things out for this thread. M1s were made for the government by 4 companies - Winchester, Springfield, Harrison and Richard Arms (HRA), and International Harvester Corporation (IHC). Of those, Winchester only made them during WWII while HRA and IHC only made them during the Korean war era. Springfields are the most numerous by far (~6 million made) while IHCs and Winchesters tend to be more sought after from collectors.

So, here's my first garand from the CMP North store a few weeks ago:

Winchester made in May, 1944. That '520' carved into the stock behind the receiver is just a rack number. That's fairly common in USGI wood (which is also evident by the extremely dark coloration).

This rifle was probably completely rebuilt at least once - if we look closely on the stock

You'll see two 'P' stamps representing that stock went through pressure testing twice. I honestly forget when they switched between the different types of stamps. Unfortunately, any other stock stamps have since been lost to time....

For those of you not familiar with M1s, they are stupidly easy to field strip. You pop open a clasp on the trigger guard, and the whole trigger assembly falls out like so:

Real quick - see the milled hole at the back of the trigger guard? That's unique to all winchesters and early springfield make parts. Mid-war springfield switched to a stamped piece instead for cost.

That is one greasy assembly. I still need to detail strip and clean every rifle you'll see in here but I'm waiting on some tools and replacement springs.

Once you remove the assembly, the stock pops right off and you're left with this:

Now, only the receiver has a serial number - all other parts have a batch number at best, some don't have any markings. You can see the 'SA' at the end of the safeties batch number in the above pic indicating it's a Springfield armory part. While I'm not going to show every part for this gun, its almost entirely Springfield beyond the receiver. The parts range in manufacture dates from late 1940/early 1941 all the way to 1946 (postwar new barrel).

One last thing before moving onto more guns, Winchester was well known for the finish on their parts - specifically that they didn't see a reason to smooth out the milling marks. It's one interesting distinctive things about them:

I later went back to the North store just to see if they might have any non-m1s in stock. They didn't, and yet this followed me home somehow....

Now, I wasn't planning on picking up an IHC, but that one has the original barrel and most of its original parts. Sometime down the road, I'm going to aim to restore it to a full IHC rifle.
One cool thing about IHC barrels - they are stamped with the department of defense acceptance stamp (see the little eagle with 3 stars above it)

The stock is super light and dry looking because it's a CMP reproduction stock. This is extremely common with both IHC and HRA receivers, as few of their stocks survived in decent enough shape to remain in use.

ALRIGHT! So, at this point I got 2 garands. I do not need more garands. However, over the last 10 years the CMP has slowly acquired a large amount of older US milsurp they have begun to sell in stores only. Unfortunately, the north store had already sold all theirs by the time I went. So whats a guy to do? Accept the missed opportunity, and move on with their life? Nahhhh, how about drive 20 hours to the other CMP store location... Hey, I never said I make good decisions - I try to make *fun* decisions.
Also, quick note, Anniston is home to 2 of the 3 CMP stores. They have a 2nd store I did not visit due to to timing that is custom built as a massive state of the art long distance rifle range.

Now, despite me just saying I did not need another garand and I wasn't looking for another one, how could I ignore this?

It's a Springfield, June 1945 make.

But dat wood.

It's also got some interesting parts. See that 'R.A.' on the op rod? Remington made a few M1 parts for arsenal repairs. That's also a national match stamped part meaning it was checked to be within a higher tolerance as a match grade rifle part.

Now, I mentioned arsenal work on the M1s. This rifle got a lot of work done, and we can see this on the receiver (LEAD 9-64, so September 1964):

So what does LEAD tell me - this gun went through Letterkenny

No, not that Letterkenny!
Letterkenny Army Depot, PA.
So, I don't know if that's were the stock came from or if it was a replacement from whichever county we lent that rifle too, but a lot of interesting history in that M1, and I'm glad I brought it home. Plus, it's loving pretty.

Alright, well this was fun to write up, thanks for reading! Wait, poo poo, I still got three other cases....
What's in the box?
Let's stick with WWII to start with.

That's a Remington 1903-A3, made February 1943

You know what else was made in February 1943? It's barrel. Yeah, has the original, and very low wear (1/1 CMP score)

So far, all the parts I've checked are Remington, for example, the bolt:

Now, one of the big things about the 1903A3 compared to older bolt actions was the conversion to aperture sights -

Some other nice things about this is you can still find the stock cartouches - here's the inspectors stamp (FJA - Lt. Col. Frank J. Atwood)

You can also faintly make out the crossed cannons of the Springfield ordinance stamp next to it.

Man, they loved stamping these guns

Now, all the bolt guns the CMP is currently selling were bought from VFW posts that were switching to the M1 garand. The post mine came from did note this on the receiver -

(the other side is also electropenciled) Personally, I think that's a cool addition to the guns history, and the CMP employee mentioned that they could probably track down what VFW post it came from if I emailed them the serial number.

The only flaw with this rifle is some damage to the stock, but otherwise, it looks like it was barely used.

Lets go back in time further, to the original 1903

This a very late Rock Island Armory 1903, probably late 1918 or early 1919. They stopped production around 430000.
It had an interesting time though, you can see two rebuild marks on its stock 1. a very faint SAA-F for the San Antonio Arsenal, and 2 a 1920s RIA stamp, inspected by Frank Krack

Barrels also from 1927, but almost unused at 0+/0+ wear.

This was back when the Army though most combat would take place at long distances, so check out these sights:

Thankfully, that was corrected for the 1903-A3.

I also managed to pick up an original 1918 Rock Island leather sling for it.

Gotta be stylish on the range.

So....1 more box. This one is the reason I did that drive. I can't wait to get it to the range.

The good ol' American Enfield, model 1917.

Of the three manufacturers, Winchester is the rarest. Other two were Remington, and Eddystone under Remington.
Receiver is from December 1918, this might be the oldest of the four guns depending on that 1903.

Fairly certain this is the original barrel too. Less than 1 in 100 Winchester receivers still have a Winchester barrel.

I almost missed this gun on the rack but one of the other guys there pulled it for me. There's a lot of older collectors that stop by the store just to see what the CMP has that day and are amazing sources of knowledge and will point out especially nice guns. He ended up buying an M1 with a USMC maintenance tag and another M1 with a 5 digit Winchester receiver. It was a good day to be at the store.

While the gun is not 100% Winchester (some Remington and some eddystone parts) amazing a lot of it is:

On the stock, you can justtttt faintly see the inspector stamp, although I can't track down more info on it.

and the 'P' pressure stamp

These sights are so over the top I kind of love it.

Annnnd thats how I bought 4 rifles with over 300 years age in one day. Hopefully a good decision.
But that's not all!

I have some boxes full of foam.

Wait, there's something in the foam. Something...stabby and covered in cosmoline.

After all, whats a garand without a bayonet? M5A1s, post Korean War, with original scabbards.

For being sold as 'heavy wear' that's a nice blade.

But....those aren't quite right for WWII, now are they? We need something...bigger. Only sold in the CMP south store, I got these:

.....Folks, I think I need more garands.

For $3, these were a steal. One day, I'd like to take a garand to a two gun match.

........... Yeah, that's sweet.

A few other pics - I arrived at 6:30 am from my hotel for them to open at 8am because I couldn't sleep I was too excited.

Inside the store:

Left wall rack is all M1s, behind the CMP armorer in the black polo was the 1 rack of 1917s.

This is next to the counter in the last pic, on your right when you enter the store:

1903s on the side with the Daisys, 1903-A3s on the one rack facing away (you can just see their muzzles).

Some display pieces:



Well, this is the longest thing I've ever typed for these forums. Hopefully y'all appreciate the pics.


flightless greeb
Jan 28, 2016

That's awesome! I wish it was at all feasible for me to make it all the way to a CMP store - this really feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity too - not like VFWs are gonna switch to the M1 Garand again in our life times. Really, if you're within possible driving distance of Alabama, and have any interest in USGI, this seems like a worthwhile thing to do.

Sep 25, 2006

Goddamn that is one hell of a haul.

Itís also making me lust after a 1917 again. Goddamn.

Reuben Sandwich
Jan 27, 2007

Cyrano4747 posted:

Itís also making me lust after a 1917 again.
I never looked for a CMP 1917 for years simply due to they always mentioned the guns they had were in poor condition. That one OP has doesn't look that way but it's unknown the rifling condition.

Mambo No. 5
Feb 24, 2009

Admiral Parry "Terror" Sornis,
Dead Birds Society

Thanks for the gun porn! Those rifles look great and I hope to have a similar set to you some day.

Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

Reuben Sandwich posted:

I never looked for a CMP 1917 for years simply due to they always mentioned the guns they had were in poor condition. That one OP has doesn't look that way but it's unknown the rifling condition.

They have a lot with good bores, but other people online say you need to inspect them. I'm probably going to keep mine as a safe queen until I have some extra funds to send it into the CMP for a new production barrel and keep the old one as a historic piece.

Sep 25, 2006

ZarathustraFollower posted:

They have a lot with good bores, but other people online say you need to inspect them. I'm probably going to keep mine as a safe queen until I have some extra funds to send it into the CMP for a new production barrel and keep the old one as a historic piece.

What's this about needing to inspect m1917 barrels? Are they confusing them with the early SN 1903s?

Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

Cyrano4747 posted:

What's this about needing to inspect m1917 barrels? Are they confusing them with the early SN 1903s?

No, the CMP only labels them as 'dark bore' or 'bright bore' and some folks have notice a wide range of pitting/wear in the rifling regardless of how the CMP marked it. Like, some people bought 'bright bore' and then found pitting on inspecting it with a good light, and other folks have cleaned up 'dark bores' into really nice shape. Mines a dark bore, and I'm hoping it'll be nice once I have time this weekend to slowly clean it, but like I said, I'll probably rebarrel it to preserve the winchester barrel anyway.

So, for cleaning wood, should I do it at all? I feel like there's a lot of grime on both winchesters, and was thinking of gently wiping them with mineral spirits based on other stuff online, but I could use any advice. Overall, my plan is to disassemble all the guns as far as I feel comfortable, soak any metal parts in solvent to remove grease, cosmoline, and grime, then oil/grease as appropriate for each part. The wood however terrifies me because I don't want to hurt it. For the stocks in better shape already, I was going to buy some 'gunny paste' from garandgear to give them a natural wax coat just to protect them a bit better, but if that's a terrible idea, I'd like to know now.

Also, I hope you appreciated the title Cyrano.

Jan 10, 2007

Their eyes locked and suddenly there was the sound of breaking glass.

Great haul...

...but you should have picked up a daisy for shiggles.

flightless greeb
Jan 28, 2016

How serious a task is rebarreling a 1917? Seems like a lot to go thru to preserve and then potentially lose the original barrel when you die etc, like how much are you planning on shooting it?

Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

flightless greeb posted:

How serious a task is rebarreling a 1917? Seems like a lot to go thru to preserve and then potentially lose the original barrel when you die etc, like how much are you planning on shooting it?

I'd do it through the CMP, $200 for the barrel, dunno how much they charge for time. I probably wont shoot it enough for it to be a big concern, but it's something I've thought about if the bore is pitted inside.

Although right now all my money is going to pay off this, then I should get a serious safe...

Edit: $~100 to $175 in time for the CMP to do it:

ZarathustraFollower fucked around with this message at 21:40 on Aug 14, 2020

Miso Beno
Apr 29, 2004

Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty

Fun Shoe

What a haul! Congrats on getting all of the guns. As for rebarreling 1917, it's a nontrivial task and probably not at all worth it in my opinion. If you want to clean the stocks BE GENTLE. USE GENTLE SOLVENTS. LEAVE THE SAND PAPER IN THE GARAGE.

I've had good luck getting surface level gunk out of wood with simple green, a brush, 0000 steel wool, and some boiled linseed oil but its also easy to gently caress up stock markings.

Sep 12, 2007

Ask me about Proposition 305

Do you like muskets?

I'm surprised your 1917 has as many non-Winchester parts as it does! Everything I heard about Winchester 1917s says "parts interchangeability with other manufacturers isn't really a thing."

Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

McNally posted:

I'm surprised your 1917 has as many non-Winchester parts as it does! Everything I heard about Winchester 1917s says "parts interchangeability with other manufacturers isn't really a thing."

I think that's only the really early ones - those with the simple 'W' on the receiver. There's a 1917 on gunbroker right now with an eddystone receiver and winchester bolt for example.

Sep 25, 2006

Honestly I wouldn't worry about "preserving" the original barrel. I would be loving amazed if you put enough rounds through it to noticeably affect it.

I mean, it's possible. Especially if it's a brand new barrel and your'e shooting competitions or something. Plenty of people who shoot JCG matches have managed to take a 0/0 barrel on out through where they don't feel comfortable shooting it in matches any more. But that's a loving lot of shooting and even if you get it to that point it's not like you've noticeably damaged it's historical value, you've just shaved off enough muzzle and throat that it's not accurate enough to write home about.

If that were my gun I'd clean the barrel then run a box of M2 ball through it to see how it looks after that. Then I'd probably cease worrying about it.

This is coming from a dude who owns and shoots more than a few guns that would be WAY more of a pain in the rear end to get replacement barrels for if I managed to shoot the rifling smooth yet who shoots them all the time.

Don't worry about it. That gun's in better hands today and is going to see far better care than at any time in the last hundred loving years.

Sep 25, 2006

So I just did some googling because I figured M1 garand barrel life was a probably debated to hell and back topic on the CMP forums. These figures are for Garands, but let's just pretend that barrel life for any USGI .30-06 is roughly the same give or take whatever.

Basic consensus seems to be for a brand new barrel:

5000-10000 rounds for "match" accuracy. Less if you're a really high end dude who is going to notice small deviations at 600 yards, more if you're a mere mortal. General consensus that 5,000 is where accuracy starts to drop off.

20,000 rounds for what we could be comfortable calling "service" accuracy.

If we assume your barrel has already seen 75% of its operational life you've still got, conservatively, 5,000 rounds of shooting before it's not really worth taking to the range.

Shoot your rifle.

Enjoy your rifle.

Mar 14, 2009

Lipstick Apathy

Awesome, that's a big thing to not worry about!

So, for general cleaning based on what I've seen in the milsurp thread and online:
1. Once I'm down to just metal parts hit everything with break cleaner
2. Follow up with a water-displacer (like WD-40)
3. Clean the gently caress outta the barrel with normal stuff (Probably a lot of Hoppes bore solvent)
4. Reassemble and oil/grease everything.

I know this is all like 101, but I want to do it right and I've only really done normal post range cleaning before.

Also, are the swiss stripper clips (like this: work for the bolt guns? Or should I order ones made specifically for the 1903s?

ZarathustraFollower fucked around with this message at 23:06 on Aug 14, 2020

Sep 25, 2006

Clean the barrels as you would any gun barrel. Brass or nylon brush with some cleaner on it (hoppes is fine), some patches soaked with the same, then some dry patches.

For the first cleaning yeah, hit the metal parts with brake cleaner. WD-40 is OK-ish for just getting your bone dry gun not bone dry any more, but honestly I don't care for it. You're better off just using a penetrating oil. PB Blaster works, although these days I just use a bottle of hardware store penetrating oil. The poo poo I have right now is called 3-in-1 but it's literally just the stuff that was on the shelf at Home Depot the last time I was there. I just put it on a rag.

For the stock the traditional way to go is some boiled linseed oil on a rag. You don't need much. Like a quarter sized dollop and rub it in until the wood doesn't have a wet look when you pass over it. I think I usually do that two or three times for my garand and 1903, once or twice for the carbine.

If you dont' want to do that, order a bottle of howard's feed-n-wax. Don't let the wax in the name fool you, it's not going to really wax the stock. But it will lightly clean it and put a little oil in it.

For the garands you're going to need to lubricate them. This is a pretty solid guide: . I just use red bearing grease like you can find in any auto parts store.

For the bolt actions just oil the bits that rotate. A few drops of oil around the moving bits of the bolt, a few drops of oil on the springy bit for the trigger, and you're good to go.

edit: I don't know if those stripper clips will work. I'll go see if regular K98k stripper clips will work in a 1903, but I suspect the receiver cut-out will be the wrong shape.

Sep 25, 2006

Ok, regular 8mm mauser stripper clips kinda work, but they're a touch wonky. I don't know how well 6.5mm strippers would work, as the case head is a slightly different size.

Frankly I've never really felt the need to use stripper clips with my bolt actions. I mean, I have a poo poo ton of them, I think I might even have at least one for every different caliber I have, and they're kinda fun to mess with once in a while, but most of them have sat in a box on my shelf for years running.


Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

i have a hole in my head

Daaaang, that's quite the haul there!

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