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Thread: 1897 Project No. 1

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  1. #21
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Doniphon View Post
    When the rubber buttplates were damaged, the military often replaced them with a Winchester metal checkered buttplate with a widow's peak.
    Thanks, Tom. I think I may just go with the metal buttplate then. Got plenty of time and work to do before I need to commit, so I'll keep chewing on it.

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Specializing in premium ammunition and reloading components. Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  3. #22
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Thought I would let everyone know, while I was browsing Numrich for possible new forend wood (which they have by the way), it seems they have reproduction heatshield with bayonet adapters again in stock again - riveted not welded, blued and unmarked.
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/813820
    They also have rear swivel sets, but there are no magazine plugs in stock.

    After reading around over the last many months, it seems the Numrich ones (from previous lots) fit pretty good on model 97 solid or takedown factory original full length barrels (cut back), and model 12 factory original riot barrels. Cutback model 12 barrels, norinco 97 riot barrels, and original 97 riot length barrels may likely be no-go for these without modification and/or shimming.
    Last edited by ssgross; 08-28-2022 at 05:53 PM.

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  5. #23
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Numrich is fast. FedEx man just dropped off adpater+heat shield assemblies. First appearance they look good. The bayonet adapters show light casting marks. nothing that can't be polished outs. The rivets are ground flush - barely visible on the outside, but of course that area wasn't polished then to match the rest of the heat shield. I haven't checked the fit yet on my barrels, but if it's good, then there is only some OCD things - polish down the front of the heat shield, sand off the casting marks, need to grind down the seam from the casting mould that goes right through the middle of the bead, and re-blue. None of that stops us from assembling and shooting. If Mr. Schwartz shield lives up to my expectations, why then I'm not very far away in parts from being able to make a separate forend for each of my x2 97's, and one for my model 12.

    I've decide to keep the stock on this one - other than the splinter on the wrist, it's in good shape, no crack, and hasn't been shortened. I'll fix the splinter easy enough. I decided to put on a hard rubber butt...but the one I have the bottom is flat, and there is a slight curve to the butt (vertically). The buttplate it wore was hard plastic, but no logo, seems thicker, and very chewed up, but had the right profile to fit the curved buttstock. Tom might you pretty please post some close up pictures at different angles of your butts? I need to decide if I will flatten the buttstock, or heat the buttplate to curve it to match.

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  7. #24
    Legacy Member Tom Doniphon's Avatar
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    Here's some photos of Model 1897 butt plates. They were hand fitted to the stock. So, the chances of finding a loose one that will fit perfectly are not very high.
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  9. #25
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Thanks Tom! The repro one I have fits...a tad oversize in a couple spots which gives me something to work with. The bottom of it is flat, and uniform thickness top to bottom. My stock has a slight curve from top to toe, just like your's shows in the 4th picture. So my question was should I heat and bend the buttplate to fit the curve, or file off the curve of the stock flat. Your pic answers the question - neither! The thickness of the buttplate needs to taper towards the toe. I think my repro with some tender love grinding the right profile on it's underside will work just fine and look great in the end.
    Thanks again!

    Now I just need to wait on a magazine plug. I suppose I could fit everything and wait, or find a friend with a lathe to make one. They seem easy enough to make. Classic Old West Arms has norinco ones, but with metric threads, for $35 +$16 for the screw. I'm not desperate enough to swallow that one times 3 just yet.

  10. #26
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    but with metric threads
    I'd just run in a tap and change it to inch.
    Regards, Jim

  11. #27
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I'd just run in a tap and change it to inch.
    yes, not a problem. I'm still choking on the price.

    By the way, I did a test fit of the Numrich adapters. They seem to give an ok fit on 1897 commercial full length barrels you plan to cut back. The Norico 1897 barrels are too fat at the muzzle by about .022 diameter or less to get it on. Model 12 commercial barrel, full length, is far to narrow - the adapter is to big. I have a later production model 12 riot barrel, the adapter is far too loose on that also.
    Last edited by ssgross; 09-02-2022 at 08:38 AM.

  12. #28
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I'm still choking on the price.
    I swallowed it Jim - just another kick in the butt for not having a lathe yet. been looking at one of those cheap bench top things from China just to ding around on (knowing you need to tear down and rebuild them first), and make odd bits like this that don't require too much precision. A machinist by handle "blondihacks" has some great videos on her precision Mathews bench top lathe. I've been eyeballing the VEVOR imports mini lathe - they have 1.5" spindle bores. Whatever it's merits, or lack thereof, it certainly would make spinning and polishing barrels less time consuming. I've slow rust blued many barrels now for myself and friends and my elbow hurts for a week after a long Saturday hand sanding a barrel.

    So, worked on the barrel last night. running my fingers down it getting ready to sand for bluing I noticed a dip a few inches ahead of the chamber. A dent? nope, the dip is mostly all the way around. scrubbed out the bore and looks down the pipe there is a "second" forcing cone where the barrel is pushed in. Oh boy. Let's inspect Bubba's handiwork. Roll the barrel on the counter. It's bent too, about 1/32 bow upward, starting just after the dents. Me thinks bubba dropped it maybe? sat on it? who knows. given the damage I knew existed (receiver extension. busted and dings on the bolt face) it looks like whatever happened - at some point bubba clamped the barrel up in a vice...super tight enough to push the walls in, and wrenched on it hard enough to bend the barrel. Or maybe the barrel was already bent. who knows. Another reason why I have no issue cutting this barrel back!

    1. fix the bend. rolling on a table next to my other good original barrel, I mark the area of the high spot with a Sharpe. Next, we clamp a few hockey pucks in the vise, and holding the barrel on it's end we wrap the high spot against the curve of the pucks - smartly smack it, just gently assisting gravity. We aren't beating it. Then roll it again, mark, smack, repeat until it rolls evenly.

    2. fix the pressed in area. Using the good barrel as a gauge, drop through some socket ratchets to get a ball park of what ID these should be. 0.700 gets stuck in the damaged barrel, falls through the good one. 0.726 gets stuck in the good one. I went off to the local thrift store, where they have buckets of old ratchet nuts fort .25 each. Micrometer in hand, I selected several from 0.700 - 0.728. Starting with 0.7, chuck it up in the drill press, bevel the edges and scuff the surface to hold plenty of grease. Drop in the bad barrel and drive through the pushed in area to swage it. I worked my way up to 0.725. 0.725 pushed through the original barrel with light taps from the palm of my hand on the drive rod. So, I think we are good here. I have some pin gauges on the way to do a final check. For now, my eyeball detects NO deformation in the barrel now. Sanding the outside will show if there is any more swaging to do, which we will finish by using the pin gauges as swage (yes I'll ruin them. relax. these were 3.99 each, x4, 0.724, 725 and 726 727). Total tool cost ~$20, much more costly though to my pride when I whacked my hand with a hammer whilst beating the drive rod swaging the barrel. It hurts to type.

  13. #29
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I swallowed it Jim
    It's the easy way and the taste will soon fade.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    been looking at one of those cheap bench top things from China
    Don't go too cheap, you'll always regret it. Buy one you can do anything on and the through bore will accommodate your regular gun barrels. Too small and it presents difficulties.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    I noticed a dip a few inches ahead of the chamber.
    Is it possible there was a bulge and someone had it rolled out?
    Regards, Jim

  14. #30
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Is it possible there was a bulge and someone had it rolled out?
    Possible, but I don't think so. the inward push was no where near uniform all around - was more pronounced on two sides like more of a squeeze. In fact, shining a light through with my swage in place showed it was slightly squashed with daylight on either side, and the bow in the barrel did not coincide either parallel or perpendicular to this area. I think bubba tried to refinish this one. The bolt had clearly been re-blued (over top of the hammer/punch marks on the face), same with the carrier and the receiver too. I think he clamped it too tight in a metal barrel vise, busted the extension (which had the correct serial on it) and bent the barrel getting it on or off (or otherwise), and set the whole project aside to rust into the condition I found it in. Given the level of bubba's sophistication elsewhere, I don't think rolling out a bulge would be in his wheel house.

    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifle View Post
    Don't go too cheap, you'll always regret it. Buy one you can do anything on and the through bore will accommodate your regular gun barrels. Too small and it presents difficulties.
    I've had my eye on what I want for a long time. But that will have to wait until I have a proper shop on the other side of city limits. Every day it seems I talk myself in and out of getting something just to tinker on.

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