Somewhere on the internet I read that if you buy a new Criterion Barrel at the north store during the National Matches the CMP armorers van will install it for free. So, I hauled my rack grade Winchester with me to the Matches.
I rolled in to Camp Perry late in the afternoon on the Sunday before SAFS. There was not a lot going on in Camp at that time, it was nice to have the place more or less to myself. I stopped by the CMP van and confirmed that the internet was right, then headed over to the CMP store and picked up a barrel.
CMP went above and beyond again. Not only did they install the new barrel for free they tuned the op rod, replaced some small parts and gave me some advice on other parts to replace. All in about a half hour, which was enough time for me to spend too much money on commercial row.
There are some conditions on this. You will need to be a registered participant in the national matches and turn around and ability is based on how busy they are.
Now that this rifle has a nice new barrel I plan to replace the stock and perhaps the gas tube which should give me another nice rifle to use for JCG matches.
While I didn’t think to bring the receiver with me, I also picked up a CBI barrel for my 03A3 which brings me close to completing my 03A3 build.
I met up with Josh from CBI during the Vintage Sniper Match. He was working on a story about some shooters on the line using CBI barrels. We talked a little bit about the matches, CBI’s background, their future plans and firearms in general. I was impressed with their focus on quality and how they have strived to maintain quality during the “panic.” They have some exciting things in the pipeline. I won’t give any spoilers but it’s probably going to end with me spending more money!
My rack grade Winchester was in very poor shape when I picked it up at camp perry this summer.
I have used raw linseed oil in the past between seasons on my match Garand. However, this one is well beyond what a coat or two of linseed oil will fix.
I used Klean-strip KS-3 stripper and sunnyside pure raw linseed oil. I went with Klean-strip as it is supposed to protect the structure of the wood and raw linseed as it makes a more “traditional” finish.
First I stripped it down, WEAR GLOVES WHEN USING STRIPPER! This stuff is harsh on the skin it ate through my gloves several times. I applied it thick and then wiped it off with a scotchbrite pad.
I also steamed the stock with an old iron, over a tub of water I soaked an old towel and pressed the towel against the stock with the hot iron, this pulled out some of the dents and also brought out a lot of the dirt and grime. Be careful not to electrocute yourself.
At some point in this process I replaced the front handguard with a used handgaurd from SARCO and stripped and steamed it the same as the rest of the stock.
After it was all stripped I went over it gently with the scotchbrite pad which sanded out some of the remaining dents. This stock was of no particular value and had no markings so no value was lost.
Once I was happy with it, I started applying linseed oil. Raw linseed dries very slowly and will absorb into the stock so it’s important to apply it in very thin coats. I hand rubbed a light coat, just dipped my finger tips in the linseed and rubbed until the wood absorbed it. I did this once a week for several weeks then once a month for a few months.
Don’t leave any linseed oil “on” the stock it should not look slick or wet after application. Wait a couple weeks before shooting it to keep it from warming up and getting sticky.
In an ongoing effort to restore my rack grade Winchester that I’ve nicknamed my “Winchester Grenadier” I picked up a M15 Grenade Launcher sight and disk.
I installed the sight disk after repairing the holes one of which was a ripped up a bit.
The “Sight, Grenade Launcher, M15” is a simple stamped contraption used to aim grenades fired from a M7 Gernade Laucher suck on the end of a Garand.
Seen here with an M7 launcher and an M31 inert practice grenade (not explosive no one panic)
The top of the M15 sight. Note the level and the front sight post on the left and the rear peep sight on the right.
The bottom of the M15 is marked PRL which per Bill Ricca’s site means it was made by Pressure Lube Inc in NYC between March 44 and March 45.
Since the holes in my Winchesters stock have seen better days I modified the tabs on the M15 sight by filing down the tabs a bit so that it doesn’t require as much torque to rotate the sight on the disk. The file on my Leatherman Wave fit nicely between the tab and the body.