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Thread: Makeover: De-sportered my 1896 carbine

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  1. #1
    Member Warpspasm's Avatar
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    Makeover: De-sportered my 1896 carbine

    Even though some said "It's a nice sporter, leave it alone." a sporter wasn't what I wanted. I picked this sporter up gun up few weeks a go and after a few prayers went to work. I removed the rubber recoil pad, stripped off the shiny lacquer finish and removed the sling swivels. It was a challenge and I did some things I've never tried before, like shortening a handguard and carving by hand the inlets to allow it to fit over the receiver on one end and under the barrel band on the other. I hand carved an inlet to allow the steel buttplate to fit the stock too. I also plugged holes that were made from aftermarket sling swivels. Finally, I gave her 3 nice coats of BLOicon and ended up with 2 coats of Tom's 1/3 mix. I have to admit, I'm amazed by how well this turned out. Here are some pics. The first one is the rifle before any mods by me. The fifth one is the handguard before I started it's modifications.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Looks good now, I understand not wanting in sporting config. I forget, did you say the bore was nice? I'd expect it was as those were the ones chosen for hunting rifles, not ugly bores.
    Regards, Jim

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  5. #3
    Member Warpspasm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Looks good now, I understand not wanting in sporting config. I forget, did you say the bore was nice? I'd expect it was as those were the ones chosen for hunting rifles, not ugly bores.
    The bore is almost pristine.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warpspasm View Post
    almost pristine
    Makes it even better then.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    Wow! That worked out great-- another one saved. Salt Flat

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    CPR worked on that one. Very nice work!


    CPR = Cost Prohibitive Restoration.
    Sometimes its not about the money.

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    Really Senior Member jon_norstog's Avatar
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    Well it came out very nice! I like the horns on the barrel band - for use with a scabbard I guess. Can you do something about the front sight?

    jn

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    Member Warpspasm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon_norstog View Post
    Well it came out very nice! I like the horns on the barrel band - for use with a scabbard I guess. Can you do something about the front sight?

    jn
    I'm still trying to decide what to do with the front sight. I'm just afraid of what's under that band and opening up a can of worms. I also still need to do something about a handguard spring clip and riveting it to the hand guard. That worries me too. LOL

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warpspasm View Post
    I'm still trying to decide what to do with the front sight.
    I'll bet it's sweated or just press fitted. Do you SEE a key or cross pin there?
    Regards, Jim

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    Member Warpspasm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'll bet it's sweated or just press fitted. Do you SEE a key or cross pin there?
    I think you're probably correct about being sweated or press fitted. My concern is more about the condition of the barrel finish under the band, but mainly about what I put on there to replace the sight I have. Ideally, it would be real carbine front sight, but they're pretty much impossible to find and crazy expensive if do find one. I think I read that you can use a Springfield 1903 front sight, but I'm not certain about that. I want to do something though, and I'm open to suggestions.

    I'm sure most of us know, it's easy when you fool with this kind of stuff to get carried away with putting too much money into something that really has limited collector value. In the case of this carbine, unfortunately, whoever turned it into a sporter did a professional job and sanded the carbine stock to remove all of the markings, bobbed the butt .3" to fit a rubber recoil pad, and used what is probably a shortened rifle barrel (in great shape by the way). Who knows about the receiver? I've come to the conclusion that nobody knows for sure what range of serial numbers really covered the carbines. On the OTHER hand, many of us know these kind of projects aren't just about collector value. It's the challenge to make them as close as possible to an original and personalize them for your liking. The trick is knowing when to stop. So far, I'm still struggling with that trick. HAHAHAHA.

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