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  #1  
Old 11-16-2014, 04:17 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Posts: 1,877
Default Building my 1941 USMC Sniper Clone

I recently acquired this...



This is a 1942 Remington 1903 (pre 1903A3) that has at some point been drilled and tapped for a Redifield scope base. Therefore I don't feel badly about turning it into a Faux 1941 USMC Sniper. This rifle will be used for CMP Vintage Sniper competition. In the end it'll look something like this



I need to get some parts ordered and the easy work out of the way. Mounting the scope blocks is the most difficult part. The rear is pretty much taken care of, the front though, actually screws into the barrel. I'll be silver soldering them in place once they are located and bolted down.

I need to decide if a Criterion barrel will suffice or do I pop for, and send the whole thing to Krieger for a barrel. Criterion I can do all the work myself and honestly they are pretty good tubes that come complete and short chambered. Krieger I will have to send the receiver and bolt to them and they'll do everything. Price tag difference, $190 (just barrel and I do the work) VS $750 (true receiver, barrel blank, barrel install).

I have a set of Steve Earle bases on the way and I'll buy a Chicom Leatherwood / Hi-lux Unertl clone from Creedmoor Sports unless I happen across an original 8X 1.25" Unertl in the mean time. About the same price range at roughly $650 by the time I get it here.

Stock will be a Boyds CMP that I will have to do some extensive fitting to. Rest of the stock hardware, odds and ends will come from Ebay, etc.

When done this rifle will likely replace my 03A4orgery. The A4 shoots well (sub MOA) but at 600 yards the scope is the limiting factor. I put a 188 (99/89) on the board at Perry with it last July in tricky wind. My partner laid down on the gun for the first time there and shot a 177 (91/86). Giving us a Bronze.

This is the view @ 200 yards through a 2.5X 60 year old Lyman Alaskan. I replaced the cross wires in it so that you could actually see the 36" aiming black of the MR1 @ 600 yards (documented here somewhere). They subtend about 3/4 minute now and the scope has parallax which is the main complication.



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  #2  
Old 11-16-2014, 04:18 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
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Location: Monroe, Michigan
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Default

Since posting this I've been quite busy acquiring components to put it together. I traded my 513T for all of the stock hardware / trigger guard + a set of Redfield International sights for my 52C Winchester. I sold the 12X Unertl off of the 52C to buy the competition legal 8X Unertl re-production from Creedmoor sports. I made a trip to the CMP North store last weekend and picked up a new Criterion barrel and C stock. Steve Earle supplied the reproduction Unertl O & E bases.

I planned to face the receiver and the lugs when I started this project. After screwing the barrel on until it made contact it became obvious I would have to do that anyway. The timing marks are about 45 degrees apart. That equates to .013 crush between receiver and barrel to make them line up. I have never done quite that much, but close, and it takes a buttload of leverage. I'll face the receiver to leave .005 - .006 or about 15 - 20 degrees. An arbor from Brownells and some time on the lathe later today should have it ready to screw together next week. Once I get that far I'll rent a reamer from www.reamerrentals.com

A few photos of what I am talking about here as well as parts, etc.















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  #3  
Old 11-16-2014, 04:20 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
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When I initially hand assembled the barrel to the receiver and installed the stripped bolt the bolt contacted the coned breech of the barrel. Just slightly. Knowing that I would have to set the face of the receiver back to square it to the C/L of the receiver I anticipated that the bolt would no longer cam into battery. I was correct. Last night I faced the receiver. After mounting it in the collet lathe and supporting the arbor in the live center and indicating everything I mounted the receiver. The results were .0045 inches of face run-out. I took .006 off of the face and when hand assembled the bolt contacts the breech. If you look at the last photo of my last post you can see the witness mark from my first hand tight test.

I have a couple of options here. I can shorten the barrel by re-cutting the tapered breech and deepening the extractor cut, I can skim the locking lugs in the receiver to bring everything to print spec or I can thin the locking lugs on the bolt. I am limited on tooling and that means no decent steady rest for the lathe. I also am not set up to hold an irregularly shaped receiver. So this all means I have tooling to manufacture since you can't exactly purchase it commercially. Or I can see if I can make the 4 jaw chuck work.

The receiver to barrel indexing marks are about 15 degrees apart now. What I don't exactly understand yet is why I have this condition. Prior to facing the receiver face to locking lug distance was 1.178 with blueprint being 1.18. I am now 1.172. The Barrel tenon measures .734 and blueprint is .736. Everything should fit. I have not measured the bolt yet but I have multiple bolt bodies and all have this condition. Bolt face to rear of the locking lugs should be 0.509 - 0.5105. It's the protrusion that supports the shell after it is stripped from the magazine that is contacting. More measurements required I guess. I need to ponder my options as I don't want to paint myself into a corner.

So moral of the story... Pre-threaded, crowned and short chambered "ready to install" barrels aren't always "ready to install".

Photos where we are at now. In the first photo you can see the non clean-up. There was .0045 face run-out. Print limit is .002 TIR



Barrel installed hand tight. Once tightened so that the index marks align the breech to locking lugs will be at least another .006 closer together.



Everything you would ever want to know regarding how the 1903 Springfield was manufactured.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu3192...ge/n0/mode/1up

Upon further review of all parts the barrel is the culprit. Bolt is at high end of spec, receiver is at low end. Barrel cone is .020 short from drawing @ 0.194 deep (even with bottom of extractor cut). Spec is .216 0.002. Tenon length is 0.734 with spec at 0.736. So either I machine the cone myself or call Criterion and send it back.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:22 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
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Houston we HAD a problem. As mentioned previously the bolt would not close with the barrel screwed in hand tight. After laying the receiver, bolt and barrel breech out in Solidworks and subsequently dimensionally verifying the parts I found that the breech cone on the barrel was .020 shallow. Some searching on Google revealed that a few others had encountered the same issue. Off to the lathe I went.





That should end the machine work.

CMP offers a 3 in 1 action wrench. It will not fit the model 1917 which is an upsized version of the 1903. I had re-barreled a 1917 last Winter and opened the 1903 profile up to fit. That barrel required a lot of leverage as the index was not as close as I would like it. The 1917 profile actually fits the 1903 yet, a bit of a gap, but you are bearing on the recoil lug and side of the receiver so the gap doesn't matter much. Here it is screwed together. There is a good interference fit and nothing will ever come loose. The barrel vise is the standard one sold by the CMP. It is nothing special but fits the 03 and 1917 profile barrels. A little rosin is required to really get a good hold on the barrel.





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  #5  
Old 11-16-2014, 04:23 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
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Since I am using a 1947 vintage Springfield replacement bolt body with a 1942 Remington, well used, receiver i wanted to verify bearing surfaces were in contact well. One of the unique things about these old rifles is that they use a modified square thread. You don't just buy an insert to cut these from the nearest Verdex or Kennametal rep. You actually will have to grind your own insert to thread with. I have a bolt lug lapping fixture I built for a 700 Remington and it, while the same OD as the Springfield has a more common and standard 60 degree thread. So in a pinch I made a little lug lapping tool with a couple of 380 cases, old resized '06 case and a spring.



Results after 300 cycles of the bolt.



I also took the liberty of lapping the bolt lugs to the raceway to smooth things out.

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  #6  
Old 11-16-2014, 04:24 PM
Rootsy Rootsy is offline
 
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....And then there is the rear sight base / collar that is actually a press fit over the barrel. NOS barrels come with the base installed. Criterion barrels neither come with them installed, supplied nor are the dowel holes cut to secure it in place once pressed home. Most are destroyed when removing. I bought this from a fellow CMP Forum member for a good price and it was in pretty good condition. Measuring it there was about .001 - .0015 press on both surfaces. Early 1903 criterion barrels were known to be severely oversized (about .060) which was the OD of the 1903A3 barrel. This barrel was correctly cut on both surfaces. So aligning it becomes the big issue.

I used a set of reticle leveling bubble levels. I am not using these sights so "close" is good with me. I managed to get them very close really. Incidentally the step on the side of the sight collar aligns with the index marks. I am not totally up on my rear sight collar variations so they may not all be like this. This collar has no relief cuts.

To drive it home I started by loosening the barrel vise to use it as an anvil against the sight collar. The I disassembled the rear sight collar and I heated it up with the propane torch. It slid on within 1/4 inch of home. I re-heated with the torch in place and then drove it home with a piece of cherry and a mallet against the rear of the receiver. Some of these go on seriously hard. I feel lucky. I also ran a ball hone through the rear sight collar to clean it up and used a file to knock the corners off.

Next up, finish reaming the chamber.



with the bolt installed you can see how far the chamber has to be reamed. At least .010, maybe more.





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  #7  
Old 11-17-2014, 10:48 AM
pmclaine pmclaine is offline
 
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Default

Love these educational threads. Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2014, 12:29 PM
chuckindenver chuckindenver is offline
 
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Posts: 2,653
Default

removing the phoshate coating on the area the sight base is pressed on, makes this much easier,
wire wheel does the trick, and no heat should be needed.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2014, 05:19 PM
pickax pickax is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Daytona Beach Fla.
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Thanks for a great post. You got skills!
I can see I'll be sending my parts to Chuck when I get around to building one.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2014, 06:09 PM
wesvb wesvb is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Friendswood, Texas
Posts: 1,357
Default

Excellent post!
Now I just got convince the Minister of Sex and Finance that I really, really need a lathe.
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