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Thread: First M1 Rifle sent to Winchester

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    First M1 Rifle sent to Winchester

    The very first M1icon Rifle that was sent to Winchester for study, evaluation and test firing was received by Winchester on Sept 19, 1938, that eighty one years ago today ! The serial number of that M1 Rifle is 1607. At some point in time it was returned during the war and put back into the system. Here is a photo of 1607


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    That would have to be a Gas Trap, wouldn't it? I have always thought WRA did not make any.
    Real men measure once and cut.

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Canfield covers the Winchester testing of s/n 1607 in his new book on the M1icon Rifle (a lot of the Winchester data came from Mr Clancy who sold the
    information to Canfield before he died). Later another Springfield gas trap was sent to Winchester, serial number 15070 which is still at Cody. It
    was never returned. New information has surfaced indicating another third M1 rifle was sent to Winchester but I do not know the serial number.

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    Gas Trap

    Way back in the 1970s I bought several Gas Trap barrels from Burt Kellerstedt, one of which was marked WRA on top. I always thought it was fake (still do) but I thought just maybe they made some GT barrels when they were figuring out what to bid on the first contract.
    Real men measure once and cut.

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Notice Edwin Pugsley signed the receipt along with Col Robert Sears (WRA RS cartouche), it was thought that Pugsley felt the M1icon was not ready for
    production. By the time Winchester started to manufacture the Educational Order batch of 500 rifles in Dec 1940 the old gas trap gas cylinder and
    short barrel were gone.

    Might be a nice GCAicon Journal article on the gas trap (s/n 15070) at Cody, I do not recall any photos

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    I authorize you to research and write it, Robert!
    Real men measure once and cut.

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    Notice that it is a Springfield rifle that was sent TO Winchester and the receipt was sent back to Springfield.


    Bob
    "It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "

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    Bob, I know someone that was a Cody not long ago, he wrote the article on SA serial number 1607 for Billy Pyle's "The Garandicon Stand Report". Bet
    he could write an article on 15070 that at Cody.

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    Bob, I might know a guy who copied the docs on this from the Archives and could provide the info to someone if they want to write it.

    I did do a quick search thru them though. I admit, this is so outside my wheelhouse. I know very little of the WRA history. It looks like it's several hundred pages and I read for maybe five minutes into it. I see a work order for the 500 educational rifles Then a mention of a 65,000 in number contract. I see a lot of correspondence where WRA was figuring up the cost and how they would gear up for the production.

    For instance one contract I see of the 65,000 M1icon's order is dated June 22, 1939.

    It looks like WRA was notified of the new "front end" revision at least by Nov 3rd 1939. They were directed to make a cost analysis of the change and submit it.

    I don't see a mention of the first 500 done till Jan 1941. Though I do see some early estimates they would start around Nov 1940. But at least from the one chart it looks like the first 500 were done in Jan 1941.

    But for a quick scan, it looks like they knew of the Gas Port long before they started production. Otherwise from my search which I admit was basic, I see nothing that would make me think they ever made any gas traps.

    It looks like they were in the planning stage when Ordnance informed them of the change. So it was incorporated early.

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    Ok I read a little more. It looks like the 500 educational order was placed in April 1939. Then Ordnance started to look for a company to do a contract of 65,000 by July 1939. WRA and Remington both submitted bids. WRA won, and then was awarded a finalized contract for the 65,000 on 9/20/39.

    There is a little bit a discrepancy as I see some of the first WRA rifles were delivered in Dec 1940, instead of my Jan 1941 above. But it say the 500 Educational order wasn't completed till Jan 1941.

    But regardless, they never geared up to produce anything but the Gas port it looks like.

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