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Old 06-08-2014, 7:34 PM
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BigJ BigJ is offline
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Originally Posted by MeatyMac View Post
During the stock bedding demonstration did they go over unitizing the front hand guard to the lower band and furrule?
Yes they sure did. That AFPG NM gun has a unitized handguard, and they showed several steps regarding to how replicate that modification on our own guns. It involves drilling and countersinking two holes into the lower band, and pilot holes into the hand guard wood behind the holes; without those holes in the guard screwing directly in WILL crack the wood.

They also discussed removing the liner, as well as how this modification ultimately makes the hand guard "fragile"; basically you end up removing all its support, and if you were to grab it and lift the gun (say out of a rack) you'll most likely crack the wood. If that's a concern, they also showed how to leave the liner in to make it stronger, but obviously that doesn't result in a fully floated barrel. Essentially you need to be prepared to break a guard or two over the years, if you make this mod.

Could you tell us more about checking the receivers, what were the main areas that were checked and how, were any gauges used?
Sure! The first thing they had us looking for was pitting everywhere that contact the wood, as those are the areas most susceptible.

John pointed out several areas on the receiver to look for wear as well. Here's an example showing nice sharp locking lug surface:

Essentially what you're looking for are sharp crisp corners especially where the bolt locks, rather than rounded off areas. Any chipping in this area might indicate a previous out of battery detonation, and given the choice you might want to pass on that particular one if you find any.

Also, check out those rear sight serrations. You want sharp crisp edges there for the detent on the sight to 'click' with. Rounded serrations or groves in there will give you problems when it comes time to sight your rifle in, and keep it sighted in.

Check for rewelds (any discoloration be leery of). Avoid those if possible.

Pay special attention to the back legs; make sure they're not cracked.

Check the heel; any signs of cracking here most likely indicate the gun was fired out of battery.

They also discussed the two toned receivers and the reason behind them; basically (if I remember right) SA serials 2.1mil and under were prone to cracking in the heel, due to the metallurgy used in those early guns. The black on a heel indicates it was later annealed; ie they figured out that they could dip the heels of these receivers in molten lead to strengthen that area to prevent it from cracking. Serials after 2.1mil used newer metals all together, and therefore didn't need to be annealed. Look for a diamond mark as this was used by SA to indicate the newer stronger steel was used on that particular piece.

That's another example of deciding what you want out of your build; the black heel is generally considered more collectible, but maybe not the best choice for a match caliber shooter (although they stressed over and over again none of these are "bad"; its just a matter of preference, really).

John also mentioned Winchesters in general, and showed us an example compared to the H&Rs. There was no comparison; the finish work of the H&R was far superior to that of the Winchester... the 'chesters looked literally like it was the machinists first day on the job. And he was probably drunk. Again though, the 'chesters are pretty darn collectible, but maybe there are better choices to go with for a shooter.

As for tools used on the raw receiver, the only thing we couldn't really be sure of based on visual inspection alone were the barrel threads. And for that we just threaded in the same tool required by the lapping process anyway; if it threaded in you were good to go, if not then not. But no, we didn't really measure anything on the receiver alone to check against a spec.

Hope that helps!
"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." - Elmer Davis

Last edited by BigJ; 05-07-2018 at 12:38 PM..
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