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  #1  
Old 04-14-2017, 09:57 AM
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This rifle made for walking


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I live in a somewhat rural area (nearest red light 9 miles away) and I walk a 5.5 mile circuit daily weather permitting. I got this P14 (Winchester) a number of years back and at first I had a cut down 1903A3 barrel on it and a adaptor and I had a Elliott 303 Brit reamer I sent off to Dave Manson about 12 years back and had him alter the neck/throat to dupe a 30.06. At the time I did not have much 303 brass and for some reason I failed to have him take down the base dimension. Well the first barrel gave birth to brass that was SAAMI MAX. So about six months ago I sent reamer back to Dave and he took it down to where the cases would only expand .002" at the base dimension after I FL resized it. The Elliott had a floating pilot for a 303 so I switched pilots from another Elliott reamer I had in 30-40 Krag so it could be run into a 300x308 barrel.

This was the action/stock as I received it, ears ground off and buttplate replaced with a recoil pad. I inletted a Winchester sling swivel into the forearm with a 1/2" end mill and on the butt I used a stock screw that was supplied on the Remington Mod 37 which the Marine Corps also used on their M40A1 Sniper rifles.

The rifle is carried muzzle down on the right shoulder to make it quickly able to raised to the standing position and be able to be aimed and fired left handed. The location of the butt swivel makes it handy to walk through woods as the butt area is below my right shoulder and doesn't catch low limbs.

The black tip is a 3/4" chair leg protector I buy them in packs of 4 at Lowes. I generally turn muzzles for these at .752 but this one was like .745 so I placed one turn of electrical tape around the muzzle and another piece about 1/2" on top of that and the cap is just right to be able to be removed before firing but in an emergency I would just raise it and fire and get another chair leg protector when I got home. I shot one off and it blows a hole about 3/4" wide in the front end and comes to rest about 30 feet down range. When I ride my mountain bike I have it slung over my back and I have got dumped three times in 15 years and every time the muzzle got rammed into the tar and gravel road we live on and every time the muzzle has escaped any damage.

On a lark I was going through a pile of stuff and I found a 8 groove 12 twist 30 cal barrel I had got off ebay a number of years back but there wasn't enough meat on the back to thread it for the P14 action. Both the P14 and M1917 Enfields require a special barrel blank larger than the standard barrels most barrel makers stock. There was no name on it and I don't know who made 8 groove barrels but the internal finish looked really nice when I toured it with a borescope. I had completely forgotten about it so I got to thinking and came up with the adapter below made as follows:

1. Found a piece of round stock and chucked it in lathe and turned it to about .005 under the size of the front of the action. I then threaded it with the square threads required to fit the P14 action.
2. I drilled it out and tapped a hole 7/8X14 tpi (same as loading dies) and cut it and faced it off to be square with bore center line.
3. I chucked up the barrel and turned the breech end and threaded it 7/8X14 and made it a tad longer so when I screwed both together the barrel protruded out a few thou and I faced them off together and cut the extractor slot.
4. Then I chambered it for the 303 Brit. (min chamber dimension)

It should be understood I already had a RCBS FL 303 die cut for 308 diameter bullets to be loaded and fired.

I contoured the exterior to give me a .800 diameter section about five inches in front of the receiver for a Weaver 92A base to be mounted along with a handgun scope.

Once I was satisfied everything was right I put a couple drops of Loctite on the barrel threads and screwed it together.

I have some Hornady 168gr. match bullets and loaded them up. Initially I was loading 40.7 gr. 4895 and on a lark I tried 40 gr 4895 and a CCI BR primer and it shoots very well. I figure the velocity is about 2380 as with a 100 yard zero it drops bullets into about a 4" group at 300 yards that is 20" low and per the Sierra Infinity Five program suggests that velocity.

For a proof round I loaded up one round of Greek milsurp 303 ball ammo and covered the action and fired it. No signs of high pressure at all.

When walking there are five rounds in mag with bolt closed on empty chamber and a extra stripper clip full.

The route I walk has provided occasional targets during the years, 3 rattlers, 1 copperhead, and two tractor thieves I spotted in the process of stealing a neighbor's tractor. I maintained surveillance and called the County PD who swooped in and snatched them up. They both got three years.

As it turns out the if I grip the rifle to where trigger finger knuckle just touches back of the scope the balance is perfect.

It weighs in at 9.2 pounds as pictured loaded with 5 rounds.

Oh yes one more thing if you build a P14 you need to change the firing pin to a 1917 firing pin as they are larger diameter on the front. Just chuck the bolt up and find a number drill around .058 to .062 as the Brit firing pins are very sharp and I have seen P14s with punctured primers from them.



Jack, broom_jm, Jaquimaman and 2 others like this.
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Last edited by Humpy; 04-15-2017 at 04:46 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-15-2017, 02:13 AM
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The "Mad Gunsmith" of Aiken. You make it sound so hum-drum and easy. "I had all these parts and hunks of metal laying around and thought, surely there's a rifle in this pile."
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:11 AM
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Well all I can say was the guy that trained me at the Army Small Cal Lab in the 70s instructed me in far wider areas than I was working in and I learned so many things from him. He started at Springfield Armory in 1950 and he was the epitomy of a gun lovers gun lover. When he was at Springfield he took every file home in the engineering area (3 to 5) per night and read the complete history of every part on every weapon Springfield Armory ever made and moreover he could remember the most incredible minutia of why this or that was changed.

He was a old bachelor and I was a young bachelor so we went together and rented the third floor of a old house built around 1900 in Milford, Pa. We talked guns on the way to work, all day at work, on the way home from work and went to the range about every weekend or a gunshow.

His name was Robert E. (Roscoe) Picard and he died about 1994. He was in a nursing home in Kewanee, Illinois and I got to talk to him right before he died.

I never saw him asked a question about any gun that he could not answer. His specialty ranged from muzzle loaders to present day and he knew it all.

To make it worse he knew John Garand, Al Cole (engineer in charge of M14 design team) and other big names from Springfield Armory days. He was at SA for I think 17 years and got transferred to Rodman Labs at Rock Island when the sorry low life swamp dwellers in Washington closed the armory which should have been labeled a crime against humanity. Robert McNamara was SECDEF and ordered it. Absolutely no one in the Army Small Cal Lab when I got there had any kind words for him.

Roscoe got transferred again circa mid 70s to Picatinny where the small arms section was called the Fire Control & Small Cal Weapons Systems Lab. FC&SCWSL which we renamed and pronounced it FICK&SICWHISTLE, Chuck Rhoades was Chief and a former ammo engineer from Frankford and he passed lots of very good info to me about munitions production. Marty Tyska was also formerly FA and came to Picatinny. He was also a highpower competitor and he taught me the fine art of case neck/shoulder annealing that duplicates the exact procedure used at FA, LC and all the other arsenals. No yawl, cases are not dumped into water after heat is applied.
Ed Symasko was on the M60 design team and was in our office.

This is how I apply heat at first to a spinning case then work toward the case mouth. This is a case for an Italian Vetterli I made from a 348 Winchester case. Oh yes the cases are rotated at 30 RPM per production records from FA. You can achieve this with a electric drill and a Variac. Before I got a Variac I was able to duplicate the blue tint perfectly with a faster RPM so it is not really critical to maintain 30 RPM.

JBelk and Dimner like this.
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Last edited by Humpy; 04-16-2017 at 01:11 AM.
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2017, 04:13 AM
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Just when I thought I knew a thing or two about guns...
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2017, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
Just when I thought I knew a thing or two about guns...

Yep.................................

When we were younger, we knew everything - today, not so much..


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  #6  
Old 04-16-2017, 01:30 AM
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Just remembered I was at a gun shop in Alabama a few months back and they were having a close out on reloading equipment and I got a real deal on two boxes of Hornady 155 gr. Amax bullets. I forgot all about them (happens when you get 70K on your BODOMETER) and ran across them yesterday.

At the price they were selling them for if they had ten to twenty boxes in stock I would have relieved them of those as well.

Should work well in 12 twist barrel.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2017, 02:59 AM
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I've been very happy with 155gr AMax bullets in a couple of 30 caliber rifles.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2017, 12:50 PM
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Humpy, I always really enjoy your posts. For a young guy your posts always open a small peek into a world unknown to us younger generation. I really appreciate you taking the time to write up the post on that rife and letting me have a glimpse of that special place
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:46 PM
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Thank you so much for that. The younger generation are the ones I write for because so many of the youth don't have access to good info and are not exposed to the expertise I was.

I was lucky, grew up on a rifle range. My youngest memories from about 3 was when I was at the range with my Dad who was a top flight smallbore shooter in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

He took me to Camp Perry in 1957 and I fell in love with the place. It is heartbreaking that the decision was made to move it but I understand the logic, just feel that so much has been lost.


For instance in 1985 there were like 46,000 highpower shooters. I understand now there are only 30,000 shooters all disciplines combined.

Sent you a PM, thanks again
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:01 PM
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Thumbs up

Were the same guy, just a different generation, great post even though my walking gun would be totally different. Anyone that puts that much thought, time, and effort into a rifle is ok by me.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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I can understand the depth of knowledge and skill required to do what a true gunsmith can do when reading posts like yours describing this rifles construction. I thought of your Vetterli thread while reading about this rifle. I'm envious of some of your oportunities, though you are the one who made the most of them. Thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:00 PM
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Humpy--
How is the action bushing done? I'm assuming Vee threaded internally smaller than '03 minor diameter?

I have action bushings for M-98s that takes a seating die for fire forming add cartridges but I have plenty of room with 1.1 OD and .875 the OD of the die thread, but you're much more constrained. Did you go with fine threads to reduce depth or do something kinky with more square threads? (15/16-28 has a minor dia of .890.)
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:49 PM
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Humpy,

Sir, my hat is off to you.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:29 AM
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Thanks much for those kind words, glad you guys like it.

Jack, yes the bushing cut from solid round stock chucked up in 3 jaw. I square threaded the outside to go into the action, then drill and tapped the center hole 7/8X14 before I take it out of lathe. This action was made by Winchester so I was pretty confident it was safe as there was evidence of a active former life with original barrel.

Then I chucked up the barrel and turned the breech end down a tad longer than the bushing and threaded it 7/8X14 about 75% of the way in and finished it with a die as I wanted the threads to have play in them so when it torqued up on bushing the shoulders would contact 360. The barrel thread is around two inches long.

I chucked the action on a action mandrell and squared the front of the action as well.

I screwed the barrel into the bushing and faced both off and located where the extractor slot needed to be milled and did that. Loctite put on threads

Then I chucked the barrel up and about four inches in front of the bushing I took barrel dimension down and turned it cylinder .800 till it ran out.

Finally I mounted a Weaver 92A base for the scope mount. Same base that fits Super 14 Thompson Contender which is secured by four screws taking lots of care that the base was at located at 12:00.

Also a 11 degree target crown.



This is what it looked like with previous barrel. I cut off the original barrel and kept the breech end, drilled it out, tapped it 7/8X14 and used the front end of a 03A3 barrel off a drill rifle barrel I removed. Barrel had been welded to a 03A3 action I had and was brand new but of course had the plug welded in chamber. It was about 20" long, maybe a tad shorter. It was a comfortable weight to carry and I did not have sling swivels mounted in this variation. I carried it for maybe five years.

As indicated in original post the Elliott reamer was measured and found to be cut at SAAMI max chamber dimension so I sent it back to Dave Manson who reground the base down to I believe .4545. Now when it is fired there is no visible swell on the base dimension.
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Last edited by Humpy; 04-17-2017 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:53 AM
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Well done, Humpy -

Admire a craftsman that produces such skilled work and is able to explain it to a novice. Thanks.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:09 AM
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Thanks again Humpy, I recently turned 40 and grew up in a suburban setting with almost no education in anything traditional or applied. Strong in science and math, but weak in anything hands on. The best way to put it: I graduated high school not knowing that a 2x4 was not really 2x4 or how to sharpen a knife. So I have spend my whole adult life trying to fill that void. Even more importantly, I have been trying to teach my 2 kids as much as I can so they can get the bug as well and expand down a path that interests them.

I don't mean to turn this into a conversation on 'generations' or anything like that. Just want to give an idea where I'm coming from. My quest is for knowledge and hands on applications. There are a few on this forum like Humpy here who write such good posts that I just soak in. People you wish you really could just sit down over a cup of coffee and listen to for hours.

PM returned
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
Humpy, I always really enjoy your posts. For a young guy your posts always open a small peek into a world unknown to us younger generation. I really appreciate you taking the time to write up the post on that rife and letting me have a glimpse of that special place
Dimner,

I'm right there with ya. I think I've read just about everything that Humpy and a few other guys like him have written on here. It sure helped me shorten the learning curve when I started handloading.

Used to have a guy like Humpy locally that did all my gunsmithing work. He had shot just about every form of rifle competition and made much of his own "kit" to do it. Never went by there that I didn't learn something new, usually two somethings. Now that he has passed, I kick myself almost daily that I didn't hang out more at Clif's shop.

Shoot Straight.

Jeff
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:14 PM
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You must be talking about Cliff Huston. He was a long time friend and taught me his tricks on rebarreling as well when he visited with us a few days with Kitty when he came up to Benning for a match.
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