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  #16  
Old 08-21-2013, 10:12 PM
fast14riot
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Also, have you pulled the scope out of the rings? I seem to recall some shoddy rings used in the 70's (before my time, but have seen them) that looked similar to those, they rode on a single rubber cone mount with a screw inside the ring. Maybe you'll get lucky and find out its just JB weld holding them on!

Can you see any of the stamping on the forward ring at all? Also, all the prts will be stamped with a R (remington) or W (win.) or E (eddystone). Most now are mixed as making repairs in the field sometimes involved stripping what was needed from a fallen soldiers gun, or just picked up cheap over the years.


-Xander
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2013, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mhorsley View Post
But the question with this one is; will the comprimised receiver faill after one shot......or after 20?
Simple answer - you're rolling dice every time you fire if it has lost its heat treating.

I can't zoom in enough to see if its welded but if it is they are beautiful fillets, done by someone with real skill welding. First things first. Take the scope out, check for the aforementioned hole and see if you got lucky. If not then see if the rings are magnetic. You can't weld dissimilar metals, but you can braze them. Next look around the receiver near the joints for a ring of discoloring surrounding the mounts. When you weld it leaves heat induced coloring (unless the bluing is too deep or it was polished and reblued).

After you've checked all that and got no idea check with a file on the joint. Most, but not all, brazing rod is bronze based, so you should have a distinct color. Really close up pictures would help a lot too. Brazing with a rod and welding with a rod use basically the same technique so it won't tell you much but hopefully the joint looks like a neat little stack of overlapping dimes all closely spaced or a smooth weld with only vague lines at the corners.

I think checking headspace will let you know if the lugs are softened and set back, though you might be able to check the lug faces on the bolt too. Can you get a picture of the wear on them?
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:55 AM
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Competent silver soldering = OK.
Welding/brazing = wallhanger.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-2013, 02:40 AM
fast14riot
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Originally Posted by Evernevermore View Post
Simple answer - you're rolling dice every time you fire if it has lost its heat treating.

I can't zoom in enough to see if its welded but if it is they are beautiful fillets, done by someone with real skill welding. First things first. Take the scope out, check for the aforementioned hole and see if you got lucky. If not then see if the rings are magnetic. You can't weld dissimilar metals, but you can braze them. Next look around the receiver near the joints for a ring of discoloring surrounding the mounts. When you weld it leaves heat induced coloring (unless the bluing is too deep or it was polished and reblued).

After you've checked all that and got no idea check with a file on the joint. Most, but not all, brazing rod is bronze based, so you should have a distinct color. Really close up pictures would help a lot too. Brazing with a rod and welding with a rod use basically the same technique so it won't tell you much but hopefully the joint looks like a neat little stack of overlapping dimes all closely spaced or a smooth weld with only vague lines at the corners.

I think checking headspace will let you know if the lugs are softened and set back, though you might be able to check the lug faces on the bolt too. Can you get a picture of the wear on them?
First off, good closeups with no flash and in focus.

I do agree that if it is indeed welded, those are the hallmark of a very skilled welder! The action does exhibit many touches of highly skilled work, making it an interesting conundrum you have!

The shaping of the rear bridge to look like the Remington 30 (which was a 1917 based gun anyways), tastefully done loading port mods, the bolt handle all speak to a true craftsmans work. There is the possibility that if these mods were done at the same time as the welding/brazing, that the action was heat treated to maintain structural integrity.

These actions are heavy duty no doubt, and uses the bolt handle as the third safety lug, copied from Mausers. The aft ring is directly over where the "duck pond" is and possibly the original rear sight screw hole. The duck pond can be clearly seen in the pic of my gun I posted earlier, it was there to aid in adjusting the original vernier rear sight. Some fill it in, other leave it.

The heat coloring that was mentioned likely won't be visable, it is not durable and rubs off easier than fresh cold bluing. Bazing rod will be either brass or copper based, but if silver based that would be ideal. Silver brazing starts at 1150*F and goes up to 1550*F.

Honestly, I would be more concerned about flux flowing into the barrel joint and causing oxidation (rust) in there after years.

As far as checking lugs, these actions weren't as soft as mausers tend to be, mine had to be drilled and tapped with solid carbide bits. I doubt you would see any lug deformations. Headspace is often on the loose side, these were military rifles afterall and troops didn't want to have to wipe off ammo dropped in the dirt.

Finding a shop to check the heat treat shouldn't be difficult, and likely won't be expensive. There will be a fab shop somewhere close by that has a rockwell hardness tester. Test the action near the welds and also on th bottom. It will leave a small dimple in the steel, but I would leave it there along with a signed note or picture of it being tested just incase you ever part with the gun. Make sure that it is tested on the C scale. Again, it should be high 30's to low 40's, but I'm not an expert on that and its ultimately up to you to deem the rifle safe for fire. I'm not responsible for injury.


-Xander
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  #20  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:27 AM
mhorsley

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Here is what it looks like under the rings. I cut them off last night and it appears that they were welded. The hole on the serial number has a broken tap in it. Obviously the reason it was welded. I did some researching and the soldier who was issued this rifle was a scout in WW1. Would the armory performed this kind of work for him? The rings were very old and one piece, so they would need to be bent open to mount a scope, or an old scope may have been slid in from the rear.
That being said, now that I have the rings off I will take it to the machine shop for the test. Thanks for the info so far guys, much appreciated!
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  #21  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:35 AM
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Here is how I tracked down the original owner.
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  #22  
Old 08-22-2013, 11:39 AM
fast14riot
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He said earlier that it was left twist, so that would be an original barrel.

Also, the original barrels had a witness mark at the action joint top center, its a very fine line. Eddys were HT'd very hard, hence the broken tap. If you decide this thing is ok to shoot, are you going to have it D&T for new bases? Be sure to a competant smith do the work and that they are blind holes on the front ring.

Also, if you have trouble getting it hardness tested, there are test files. Just make a couple light passes with the expeced hardness file and if it cuts the action is softer, if it skates off the action is harder. It would be a shame if all that excellent machine work was all for nothing.

Keep us updated!


-X
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  #23  
Old 08-22-2013, 07:58 PM
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Aw man, mhorsely please tell me you didn't pitch those bases! Those bases can tell a lot.
What did you cut it off with?
Did you grind anything flat?

@fast14riot - I talked about the lugs because it could show softness from welding wiping out the upper lug heat treat. Simple non destructive clue to look for as one weld is right over the upper lug recess I believe.
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  #24  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:43 AM
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Just got back from the machine shop. With the rockwell tester it tested 55. The barrel tested 35. We tested very close to the welds. I have found out that they originally were around the mid to upper 50's so I guess the next step would be to strap it to the fence post.
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  #25  
Old 08-23-2013, 02:45 PM
fast14riot
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What all locations were rockwell tested? I hope at least some "control" areas that were unaffected by welding heat.

55 hRc might be just about right for an Eddystone, I may have only seen numbers for rem and win receivers. But, I would consider that acceptable hardness. A tractor tire works well to tie rifles to as well.

@Evernevermore - yep, you're right. There is a lug right under the weld.


-Xander
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2013, 03:58 PM
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Its your gun but the next step Id do is check headspace first. Again, simple nondestructive check. That's very promising that the RC is where it should be but where did you check?
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2013, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mhorsley View Post


Here is what it looks like under the rings. I cut them off last night and it appears that they were welded. The hole on the serial number has a broken tap in it. Obviously the reason it was welded. I did some researching and the soldier who was issued this rifle was a scout in WW1. Would the armory performed this kind of work for him? The rings were very old and one piece, so they would need to be bent open to mount a scope, or an old scope may have been slid in from the rear.
That being said, now that I have the rings off I will take it to the machine shop for the test. Thanks for the info so far guys, much appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhorsley View Post
Just got back from the machine shop. With the rockwell tester it tested 55.
RC 55 is too hard IMO. It will have less shock resistance than it should. The previous owner(s) may have gotten away with firing the piece on numerous occasions, but repeated shock loadings will cause it to fail somehow at some point. Maybe catastrophically.... use common sense.

M17 Enfields were made of a through hardening alloy (similar to AS2340) containing 3% nickle and 0.40% carbon. Its maximum toughness comes at a Rockwell C scale reading of approximately 38 to 42.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhorsley View Post
We tested very close to the welds.
Not the proper place to test.

1) Rockwell C scale readings must be taken on a flat surface to get an accurate determination. Preferably on a sectioned piece. Trying to measure on an outside radius will give inaccurate readings, the reading will be erred on the low side. (An internal radius will give readings that will be erred on the high side.) If your rifle did measure RC 55 on the outside radius of the receiver ring then it's actual reading may,... may exceed RC 60.

2) Not that it matters at this point,... testing on the outside radius may have taken place on an area containing weld fill... a meaningless finding in this case.

Remington and Winchester M17 Enfields that I have tested (on the internal locking lug buttressing shoulder have never exceeded RC 45. A couple of cracked Eddystones went to 50 and 51. No P14, IIRC, even those marked ERA ever exceeded 48

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhorsley View Post
... I guess the next step would be to strap it to the fence post.
Good luck with that Make sure that there are no innocents about when you touch it off.

Your rifle should be considered a wall hanger. But then it is your rifle and your skin .

Just my professional opinion. YMMV...
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2013, 06:28 PM
fast14riot
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Hey smithy, good to see I wasn't mis-remembering the ideal rockwell numbers. I do know that eddys are a fair bit harder than rem and win receivers.

Either way, this rifle in my opinion should be considered suspect and continual checking should be done to try and catch signs of impending damage.

Good luck to the OP and be safe.


-Xander
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 2mene22s View Post
If it's that hard , I would consider not using it. Hard receivers due to poor heat treatment was the problem with the low number 1903 Springfields.
Sort of. I just read Hatchers Notebook beginning of the month and he goes to ENORMOUS detail on the low number Springfield s as he was involved in the analysis. The heat treatment was two stage and the failed receivers were predominantly "burnt" on the first heat treat as they were still being observed by sight to control the heat treat.

I'll have to look up the hardness numbers he quotes
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  #30  
Old 08-23-2013, 10:20 PM
fast14riot
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You know, looking at some TTT diagrams for various 3.5% Ni steels, hardness increased as tempering temps rose. Peaking at around the mid 50's hRc at ~600*C. Right about the temps of a weld affected area. I suspect your hardness readings might actually be correct. Also, I have never heard of the receivers being through hardened, I always read they were shallow hardening, different from case hardening. Declassified documnts for the P14 call out 3.0% Ni steel for the bolt and 3.5% for the receiver with no HT specs called out. It was generally eyeballed.

This was also paid by the piece work, so the boys in the foundry turned up the forge a bit, and drew less strikes into the trip hammer, increasing output but possibly burning the steel.

Anyways, just been doing a bit more reading. I do like these guns and yours is a fine example by a talented smith but probably the rings done at a later time. Use caution and be safe, whatever you decide...


-Xander
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