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Building a rifle on a Military Boltaction.

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Unread 02-08-2011, 07:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Carlisle, PA
Posts: 478
Re: Building a rifle on a Military Boltaction.

My father in law had a '03 Springfield sporter built for each of his 4 children back in the 1958 time frame. This one is my wife's.

She's had it since she was 14 and has never fired it. It was fired with corrosive primer military surplus ammo by somebody (nobody has ever admitted doing it), not cleaned, and the barrel was destroyed by the time I first saw it in 1968. She kept it, hauled it from MI to CA and then to PA. It has sentimental value but it bothers her that it won't shoot. It put bullets sideways through the paper at 50 yards.

So for my 43rd anniversary present to her I'm rebarreling it.

I'm almost done. I chambered, crowned, and polished the new barrel (CrMo) - that involved some challenges including my first square threads, first time cutting an extractor groove (did that yesterday). All I have left to do is put on a front sight, blue the barrel, and test fire it. I may also bed it and install a new recoil pad. The new barrel is a slightly heavier taper and 2" shorter to make it work better for her. She's 5'3", 130 lbs. I left it chambered in .30-06. I can make her some reduced loads for it.

This is it with it's new barrel installed:

It's a work in progress, but I have till June 22nd to get it done so I'm in good shape.

The wood in the stock is really pretty,

the action was polished and blued when it was originally sporterized, so I think it's going to look pretty good. With any luck at all it will be a useful PA brush country deer rifle. It has the Williams peep sight on it and those work quite well. I can use it even with my 68 year old eyes.

All that said, I wouldn't start out to build a sporter based on the Springfield or Mauser actions. The Springfield was a lot more challenging to rebarrel than a Remington or Savage, or even a Pre '64 Winchester. I'd be OK with a pre '64 Winchester action as the starting point, but good luck finding one of those for less than the price of a custom action.

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." R. Feynman. (Last sentence of the Feynman appendix to the Space Shuttle Challenger Report.)
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Unread 02-08-2011, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: on the Southern Plains
Posts: 1,971
Re: Building a rifle on a Military Boltaction.

That's a nice piece of Maple. The Springfields are challenging in more ways the the square thread. The first stock I made by hand from a blank, 18 years ago, was a Rock Island. They have some curves on the bottom that make inletting quit "challenging". Unlike the Mauser, they're not flat from recoil lug to rear tang. The Rock Island had been sporterized, professionally, at an earlier time. It still wears the 'antique' Lyman receiver sight and soldered band front sight.
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face. 1993 graduate Montgomery Community College 2yr. gunsmithing program
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