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The Book of the Springfield: A Textbook Covering all the Various Military and Sporting Rifles Chambered for the Caliber .30 Model 1906 Cartridge; Their Metallic and Telescopic Sights and the Ammunition Suited to Them

The Book of the Springfield: A Textbook Covering all the Various Military and Sporting Rifles Chambered for the Caliber .30 Model 1906 Cartridge; Their Metallic and Telescopic Sights and the Ammunition Suited to Them

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The Book of the Springfield: A Textbook Covering all the Various Military and Sporting Rifles Chambered for the Caliber .30 Model 1906 Cartridge; Their Metallic and Telescopic Sights and the Ammunition Suited to Them

Lunghezza:
637 pagine
9 ore
Pubblicato:
Apr 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781473382497
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

The Book of the Springfield' is a textbook covering the most accurate military and target rifle in the world at the time. Which was the most popular rifle that ever fell into the hands of the civilian rifleman. As a military rifle it established new standards of accuracy. As a sporting arm it became the rifle by which other like arms were judged.
Pubblicato:
Apr 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781473382497
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

The Book of the Springfield - Edward C. Crossman

California.

CHAPTER I

THE MILITARY RIFLE

THE service rifle of the United States Army, Navy, and National Guard, as of 1931, is a modified Mauser.

The value and advisability of the modifications from the original Mauser design depend on whether the matter is considered from the standpoint of war production of an arm for the battlefield, or slow, careful, peacetime production of arms for expert riflemen and sportsmen. By expert riflemen I mean in this connection merely instructed riflemen as opposed to the hastily raised and half-trained levies which any country must put into the field as her main fighting force in time of war.

The Springfield has received a great deal of credit as the world’s most accurate arm, which should have gone to the wonderful ammunition made for it. I happen to have competed for weeks against Mauser-armed riflemen from South America and Europe in 1913 and in 1924 and I have seen much machine-rest test of fine American-made match ammunition in quite ordinary German Mausers made for the armies of various countries which desired to obtain the most accurate ammunition for their match riflemen. I am led to believe by those results in competition and on the machine rest that any time the Mauser works can be persuaded to use the small tolerances found in Springfield National Match arms and to use American match ammunition, then results almost equal to those obtained with the Springfield will be obtained.

It is of interest to note in what respect the service rifle departed from the Mauser when the experimental rifle of 1901 was worked out. Comparing it with the present day service Mauser, essentially the same as it was at the beginning of this century, we find these departures from the Mauser design:

Firing pin, cut in two and joined by a firing pin head, a flange on striker, and a connecting sleeve. Mauser firing pin, one-piece.

The two-piece firing pin of the Springfield rifle is a mistake in design. It was intended to permit of replacement of a broken firing pin without having to replace the entire rod and in the Springfield the cocking piece with its sear-notch as well as wall. In the Mauser a broken firing pin means merely replacing the rod, the head or cocking piece not being integral.

Unfortunately cutting the firing pin rod in two introduced a much greater liability to breakage than exists in the solid rod of the Mauser. Breaks occur in the firing pin sleeve, and in the flanges or collars of striker and firing pin proper.

I do not remember ever having seen a broken firing pin point on either Springfield or Mauser.

Another serious objection to the Springfield design is the cushioning effect on the blow of the firing pin, produced by this joint of striker and firing pin rod. The thrust of the main spring keeps firing pin and striker pushed apart to the maximum amount their tolerance of fit will permit.

Then when the firing pin falls it has to take up this lost motion between itself and the striker, a neat introduction of slight ignition delay and a cushioning or softening of the blow which should be as sharp and snappy as design will permit.

This lost motion and cushioning effect is easily observed by removing bolt sleeve with firing pin and parts assembled, placing striker point against some firm surface such as the edge of a workbench, then putting the thumb against cocking piece head and thrusting it forward toward the striker. It moves back and forth perceptibly.

Ejector, a separate limb pivoted forward of cut-off or bolt stop as some riflemen term it, instead of being pivoted in the combined ejector-box, bolt-stop of Mauser. Comment, no spring to weaken in the Springfield, but ejector breaks occasionally through its pivot hole. Either design satisfactory, Springfield convenient in permitting dry practice in bolt operation without interference by magazine follower corner.

Thumb-groove in receiver wall for clip-loading. Eliminated in Springfield because of seat for cut-off. Comment, makes clip-loading more easy and positive in Mauser; not important.

Locking lugs—on Springfield much nearer head of bolt than on Mauser. Result, Springfield lugs have been known to crack off diagonally forward across face of bolt. Mauser design better engineering.

Safety-lug, on Springfield an overgrown lump of metal which does no work except to aid in steadying bolt while bolt action is being operated. Useful to trip bolt out to right if front lugs crack off, but not bearing at all on receiver shoulder when correctly adjusted. Must be at least 4/1000 inch away from receiver shoulder, if through wrong adjustment it bears, it is likely to rupture receiver. On Mauser, a much smaller lug which turns down into shoulder under bridge. Springfield lug compels bridge to be higher than otherwise necessary to let lug pass under it. Rather clumsy in design and execution.

Gas escape holes. Generous slots milled in Mauser bolt, none in Springfield which often blows firing pin to full cock from pierced primer, and has broken many shooting spectacle lenses and whanged up many thumbs back in the days of higher pressure match ammunition and poorer primers. Mauser, generally speaking, handles escaping gas better than Springfield. Flange on Mauser bolt aids in deflecting gas from eyes of rifleman with ruptured case.

Cocking cam and main spring compression. Cam cut at a much easier angle on Mauser, due both to larger bolt circumference at this point, and more division of main spring compression between opening and closing. Mauser superior for a war rifle, Springfield, in carefully adjusted rifle far superior in smoothness and ease of closing and in most rifles, easier opening. This, however, more due to superior finish and adjustment than basic design for hasty war production. Mauser less sensitive to dirt and sand in bolt parts.

Safety-lock. Springfield complicated, hard to assemble in manufacture, does not work any better than Mauser in average war rifle and has more parts. Mauser easily taken apart with the fingers when the bolt is down.

Sleeve lock, Mauser operates parallel with bore of rifle, Springfield cams inward as bolt closes, motion at right angles to bolt travel. Mauser more simple to assemble and take apart and easier to manufacture, Springfield works more smoothly than Mauser which tends to resist closing stroke of bolt. Again the question of simplicity and ease of manufacture of a war rifle, as compared with the delightful smoothness and ease of working of a correctly adjusted Springfield.

Extracting cam, better designed in the Springfield.

Magazine floor plate lock, more easily operated in the Mauser, by any sort of extemporized tool.

Bolt guidance. The Springfield bolt is much less wobbly when fully open, with the result of a lessened tendency to cramp in operation. The enlarged rear diameter of Mauser bolt results in sloppy fit in receiver and tendency to cramp in operation.

Generally speaking, and comparing now the best sporting Mausers, with the sporter or National Match Springfield—there is little comparison. The Springfield bolt is smoother working on the average rifle above mentioned than the best Mauser that ever came out of Germany. The bolt handle is better positioned, the sear mechanism is better designed and susceptible of a clean and light pull adjustment. The Springfield closes easily and softly at the end of the stroke, the Mauser has a little tendency to jam in the hands of the man used to the Springfield because he tries to turn down the bolt handle when he encounters the main-spring resistance.

The rifleman wanting the best sporting or target rifle in the world need not go farther than the Springfield. But I still believe the Mauser the best war-rifle action.

THE TYPES OF SPRINGFIELDS

Twenty years ago when we civilian riflemen were first allowed to buy Uncle Sam’s lately rechambered war-gun and when the National Guardsmen around the country were gazing with awe and curiosity on the first sample sent out to them, the service rifle was made in just two forms, the rifle as zissued, and an arm which had been subjected to and much improved by a certain mysterious incantation known as star-gauging. It was understood that while the service rifle as zissued, was the foundation for this marvelous weapon, the incantation imparted to it certain virtues which were absolutely denied the ordinary war gun. Few riflemen knew what this process was, but no self-respecting rifleman would shoot a rifle that was not one of the mysterious Brahman caste of the holy order of Star Gauged.

I dislike to destroy anybody’s childish faith in Santa Claus, fairies, star-gauges or other pet beliefs but it is my duty in a book full of facts and near-facts like this one to point out that the star-gauge has nothing celestial about it, and that a rifle that is star-gauged is not in any way altered or enhanced. The process is in no way different from the garage mechanic who puts a mike on a shaft to see how big it is. Owing to the fact that the thing in this case to be measured is a tube with rifling in it, the mike is replaced by a hollow rod with graduations near the handle and with a pair of tiny arms at the measuring end which reach down into the grooves or on the lands to tell how far apart is the bottom of the grooves or the tops of the lands.

One of the arms, acting through cams and a rod inside of the hollow and larger rod permits the measurements to be read off the scale near the handle.

The only virtue in the star-gauge is that the Armory, finding too many hog-wallows or uneven spots in the old pre-war and more roughly made Springfield barrels than the present fine National Match and sporter barrels, would chuck the rifle aside and hunt up one that read a bit better. In these days stargauge cards mean little on National Match and sporter barrels.

Star-gauging is still used, but it has assumed its rightful place as merely a method for measuring a gun-bore, one of the steps in the selection and assembly of National Match and sporter and similar quality Springfield rifles. It is easy to assemble a rifle that is thoroughly inaccurate in spite of a perfect star-gauge card, so the rifleman may well forget about these figures which may be attached to his rifle. The rifles sold to civilian riflemen are highly accurate almost without exception—and an even rifle barrel is but one of the essentials of an accurate rifle as a whole.

After the war, through the efforts of the National Rifle Association, the National Board for the promotion of Rifle Practice, and many progressive and broad-minded ordnance officers, a number of unusual rifles commenced to issue from the Springfield Armory.

The first notable change was the decision to make or assemble each year a supply of specially built rifles for the National Matches, the number running about 2,000 per year.

The details of the new grade of rifles as printed by the Springfield Armory in 1921 for the information of riflemen at the National Matches are full and explicit and I print them herewith.

In most of the specifications there will be noted the usual military method of drop or bend measurement for the stock—the distance of the comb and heel from the center line of bore.

The distance of these two parts from a short range line of sight is more commonly used among sportsmen. With the shotgun, from the line of the rib.

With the service rifle the line of sight for 200 yards is about 1.06 inch higher than the center line of bore. Therefore to get out the more commonly used drop figures, you add to the Armory figures about 1.06 inch.

Which gives to the N. M. Special rifle, for instance, listed as .76 inch from line of bore to comb, and 1.166 to heel, a line of sight comb drop of about 1.81 inch, and a heel drop of 2.21 inch. And incidentally they are almost ideal prone shooting comb and heel measurements.

In order to make clear the apparently multifarious types made at the Armory, it may be remarked that there are four distinct types of butt stock used on Springfields, and these butt-stocks, coupled with sporting fore-ends or service forestocks, without and with grasping grooves, afford a number of combinations.

The original Model 1903 or service rifle (known as S in the description has a stock 12.86 inches long, and with 2.5 inch drop at comb from line and 3.15 inch drop at heel from line of sight. It is too crooked for any good use and particularly atrocious for use with a telescope sight. Also it is too short for comfort although additional length may be easily overdone when it comes to rapid fire from the shoulder.

A stock was finally worked out to submit to Springfield, largely through the effort of Col. Stodter, then Director of Civilian Marksmanship. It had the quite obvious points of desirability of much less comb and heel drop, and a good pistol grip, clumsily shaped as it comes from the Armory, but affording plenty of material to work upon. This was put in manufacture by the Armory as the NRA or Model 1922 stock, the comb drop being 1.81, the heel drop 2.21, both from line of sight, the heel drop therefore nearly an inch less than the service stock, the comb drop 3/4 inch less. The stock length was 14 1/8 inches, against 12.86 for the service. For the average man it is about as much too long as the service is too short, but happily a long stock can be cut shorter, but a short stock cannot well be cut longer.

This is the butt-stock used on the rifles made with the civilian in mind, the Sporter, the .22 which is sold, not issued, the NM Special, and the various free and match rifles. These stocks are not used in rifles issued to the military services. They don’t want the soldiers to find out what a comfortable stock is like. Mutinies are terrible things and wind up by somebody getting thrown in the hoosgow or guard-house.

The Army also worked out a pet butt-stock for the .22 rifle which was issued to the services—not the one sold to rifle shooters—you could not run fast enough to give one to a real small bore rifle shooter. This is known as the 1922 M. 1 stock. With plain fore-end of sporting type it is the M 1, cal. 22, but combined with the service forestock and handguard it is 1922, M 1, cal. 30. This beautiful creation has even more drop at the heel than the service affair, which in turn has an inch more than plenty, the figures being M 1 stock, heel 3.26, comb 2.14.

The fourth butt-stock is one which will be issued to the service when the present supply is gone, and which is found on the 1929 National Match rifles. Like the NRA and 1922 M 1 it is a pistol grip stock, drop at comb from line of sight 2 3/16, drop at heel 2 9/16. The grip is short and well shaped, but 3 1/2 inches from trigger to nearest point, which may turn out too short for a full, large hand. This is known as Type C.

This type of butt-stock, combined with the standard service forward details and outlines is to be the standard on all service rifles when the present 1903 stock supply is gone, and is the standard on the 1929 National Match. The length is 13 inches, or only a trifle longer than the service.

So the four types of butt-stock with various forward types from sporting to service, make quite an assortment.

STYLE S

The United States Rifle, caliber .30, M 1930, is the only caliber .30 rifle at present authorized for general issue to the service. It is sometimes popularly referred to as the Springfield Rifle" because it was first made and is still made at the Springfield Armory, Springfield, Massachusetts. It is a breech-loading magazine rifle of the bolt type. The magazine of the rifle will hold five (5) cartridges and one additional cartridge may be inserted in the chamber, thus making the maximum capacity of the rifle, for one loading, six shots. In order to facilitate the loading of the magazine, cartridges are ordinarily put in brass clips, holding five cartridges each. The magazine, however, may be loaded by inserting single cartridges by hand, one after the other.

The proof firing or tests of rifles consist of the following:

Each rifle is proof fired using a cartridge giving a pressure of 68,000 pounds per square inch, followed with five (5) cartridges of regular ammunition (maximum pressure 52,000 pounds per square inch). The rifle is then boresighted or targeted, finally inspected and thoroughly cleaned, especial attention being given to the bore and chamber of the barrel.

After the rifle has been proof fired and properly marked to show that it has passed the proof firing test, one (1) rifle out of each one hundred (100) rifles are fired on the range at 200 or 500 yards for accuracy, and one (1) rifle from each five thousand (5000) rifles are fired for endurance—6000 rounds.

The following tests (known as shop test) are given to indicate the final inspection required of the rifle:

a. Test all working parts, including the insertion of a clip into the magazine and loading and extracting five (5) cartridges.

b. Test for interchangeability of the components of different rifles.

c. Inspect critically the interior of the bore and chamber for bulges, rust, poor workmanship, etc.

d. Test the headspace with minimum and maximum gauges.

e. Test the trigger pull.

f. Test the tension on bolt stop.

g. Examine the rifle at small of stock in rear of tang of the receiver for clearance required and for any indication of cracking.

h. Inspect the bolt to determine the projections of the striker point beyond its face.

i. Snap the firing mechanism twenty-five (25) times on an empty chamber of five (5) per cent of the rifles and examine firing pins and strikers.

j. Test the bolt lift (must not be over 15 pounds).

The finish and heat treatment:

The exterior parts of the rifle are finished black by case hardening or by the process of bluing, browning or parkerizing as indicated in the following paragraphs.

All casehardened parts of rifles must be practically file hard on surface, i. e., the surface shall not be cut with a sharp file of an approved type. Such casehardened parts as bolt and receiver which receive a double or second heat treatment must not only be file hard on surface but must also have a tough core.

Those components which are manufactured from forgings and later heat treated must be annealed with the exception of the barrel. Annealing on other components (not heat treated) is optional, but it is in some cases desirable as an aid to machining.

The final acceptance of each rifle are made only after it has satisfactorily undergone the firings and shop inspections previously prescribed, and has been properly marked to show it has been inspected and accepted.

The principal dimensions of the rifle are as follows:

The overall length of rifle is 43.212″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.44″.

The drop of butt plate from centerline of bore is 2.09″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate 12.86″.

Rifling: Standard for all .30 cal. Rifles.

Number of Grooves—4.

Twist, uniform, one turn in 10 inches.

Length of travel of bullet in bore 21.697″.

The total weight of the rifle, including Oiler and Thong Case, but without Bayonet, is 8.69 pounds.

The weight of the Bayonet is one (1) pound.

STYLE SS

This is the regulation service rifle, caliber .30 (style S) with a National Match Barrel. The Stock* is style S, the service stock, M 1903. The stock has grasping grooves.

A record of the stargauging is furnished with the rifle. The rifle is boresighted but is not targeted.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 14 oz.

All other data is the same as on the style S rifle.

This rifle is issued to the using services in connection with the promotion of marksmanship of troops. It is also manufactured for sales.

STYLE N. M. 1929.

This is the National Match Rifle, cal. .30. The stock* is Model 1929 stock (known as the type C modified stock) and is especially selected for workmanship and grain. It is made of black walnut. It is a pistol grip stock with no grasping grooves.

The bolt, extractor, and extractor collar are polished bright and the runways for the bolt in the receiver are also polished. It has a headless firing pin assembly and a reversed safety lock assembly. The trigger pull is between 4 and 5 pounds without creep. All component parts are especially manufactured. All working surfaces are polished after hardening. The barrel is National Match, starguaged. On all style N. M. Rifles, made for sales, the receiver is drilled and tapped for the Lyman receiver sight, but the stock is not cut for the Lyman sight and the Lyman sight is not furnished unless specially ordered.

This rifle is targeted and the target and starguaging record are furnished with all rifles sold. All components not mentioned above have the same finish as those on the service style S rifle.

The weight of this rifle is 8 lbs., 14 oz.

The overall length of rifle is 43.352″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.09″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline is 1.39″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate 13.00″.

*National Match Rifles manufactured previous to this year had a style S stock.

STYLE NB

This rifle is exactly the same as the National Match Rifle (style N. R. A.) cal. .30, except that it is mounted on a Model 1922 M1 stock, style MT, cal. .30, (formerly known as style B Stock). This is a military type pistol grip stock with no grasping grooves. It is made of black walnut. It has a National Match barrel, is targeted and the receiver is drilled and tapped for Lyman Sight. This rifle is maufactured for sales only.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 14 oz.

The overall length of this rifle is 43.562″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.09″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 2.215″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate 13.21″.

STYLE SB

This is the regulation service rifle, caliber .30, mounted on a Model 1922 M1 stock, style MT, cal. .30, (formerly known as style B stock). This is the military type pistol grip stock. There are no grasping grooves. The rifle is boresighted and the stock is made of black walnut. The general finish of all metal components is identical with that of the service rifle, style S. This rifle is manufactured for sales only.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 14 oz.

The overall length of this rifle is 43.562″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.09″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 2.215″.

Distance from centerline of trigger to butt plate is 13.21″.

STYLE NBA

This rifle is exactly the same as the style N. R. A. rifle, cal. .30, except that it is mounted on a Model 1922 M1 stock, cal. .22 (pistol grip) with stock screws front and rear. The stock is made of black walnut and has grasping grooves. This rifle is manufactured for sales only.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 12 oz.

The overall length of this rifle is 43.562″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.09″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 2.215″.

Distance from centerline of trigger to centerline of butt plate is 13.21″.

STYLE NM

SPECIAL.

This rifle is exactly the same as the National Match Rifle (style N. R. A.) cal. .30, except that it is mounted on a Model 1922 stock, style M. T., cal. .30. This is a military type pistol stock with no grasping grooves. It is made of black walnut, takes a sporting type butt plate and two stock screws are used. This rifle has a service type firing pin assembly, a National Match Barrel. Rifle is targeted and receiver is drilled and tapped for Lyman sight; otherwise the finish of metal parts is identical with the style N. M. Rifle.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 14 oz.

The overall length of rifle is 44.477″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is .76″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 1.166″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate 14.125″.

STYLE NRA

This is a sport model rifle, cal. .30, on a model 1922 stock, caliber .30 (pistol grip) except that two stock screws are used. The stock is made of black walnut. There are no grasping grooves. This rifle has a service firing pin assembly, otherwise the action is identical with the style N. M.

The runways in the receiver are not bright. The floor plate, guard and the butt plate (which is shotgun type) are carbonia blacked. The barrel and receiver are browned.’ The butt swivel assembly, butt swivel screws and the lower band pin are niter blued. The floor plate catch, guard screws, front and rear, and the butt plate screws are blacked. The bolt, extractor, extractor collar and the rib on the follower are polished bright. All working parts are polished after hardening. All components not mentioned here have the same final finish as the service rifle, style S.

The barrel is rifled and chambered to National Match specifications. The barrel is tapered having the same outside dimensions as the caliber .22 style M1. It is ground and polished and exposed its entire length. It is fitted to the stock without a handguard by means of a special lower band. The rifle has no upper band or stacking swivel.

The trigger pull is between four (4) and five (5) pounds without creep. This rifle is equipped with the service front sight but has the Lyman No. 48 receiver sight instead of the service rear sight.

This rifle is targeted and the target and stargauging record are furnished with the rifle.

The rifle weighs about 8 lbs., 12 oz.

The overall length of rifle is 44.477″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is .76″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 1.166″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate 14.125″.

STYLE T

This is a heavy barrel target rifle, cal. .30, on style N. R. A. rifle stock (pistol grip) without grasping grooves. The stock is made of black walnut.

It is furnished with barrels 26, 28 or 30 inches long. Barrels are tapered from 1 1/4 inches at the breech to .860 inches at the muzzle. The barrel is stargauged and the rifling and chambering are the same as for the National Match barrel. The barrel is ground and polished and exposed its entire length. It is fitted to the stock without a handguard by means of a special type lower band.

It is equipped with a Lyman No. 48 C receiver sight, Winchester Globe front sight, headless firing pin assembly, reversed safety lock assembly and blocks for the Winchester No. 5 A telescope. The butt plate is of shotgun type. The runways in the receiver are bright, otherwise the general finish of all metal parts is identical with that of the Sporting Rifle, style N. R. A. The rifle is targeted and the target and stargauge record are furnished with the rifle.

The rifle weighs about 12 lbs., 4 oz.

The overall length of this rifle using a 28 inch barrel is 48.477″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is .76″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 1.166″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate is 14.125″.

U. S. RIFLE, CALIBER .30 SPECIAL TARGET INTERNATIONAL MATCH TYPE STYLE A

This is a heavy barrel special target rifle on style N. R. A. rifle stock without grasping grooves. The stock is made of black walnut, is fitted with a Swiss type adjustable butt plate with binding screw, post and post plates.

It has a heavy barrel twenty-eight (28) inches long tapering from 1 1/4 inches at the breech to .86 inches at the muzzle. The barrel is stargauged and the rifling and chambering are the same as for the National Match barrel. The barrel is ground and polished and exposed its entire length. It is fitted to the stock without a handguard by means of a special lower band.

The rifle is equipped with a Lyman No. 48 C receiver sight, Winchester Globe front sight, headless firing pin assembly, reversed safety lock assembly and blocks for the Winchester No. 5 A telescope. The runways in the receiver are bright, otherwise the general finish of all metal parts is identical with that of the sporting rifle, style N. R. A., caliber .30. The rifle is targeted and the target and stargauge record are furnished with the rifle.

The rifle weighs about 13 lbs., 4 oz.

The overall length of rifle is 50 1/2″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is .76″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate is 13.625″.

U. S. RIFLE CALIBER .30, SPECIAL TARGET INTERNATIONAL MATCH TYPE, STYLE B

This is a heavy barrel special target rifle on style N. R. A. rifle stock, without grasping grooves. The stock is made of black walnut, is fitted with a Swiss type adjustable butt plate with binding screw, post and post plates. It also has a cheek piece of Swiss type.

The barrel, which is the heavy type, is twenty-eight (28) inches long tapering from 1 1/4 inches at the breech to .86 inches at the muzzle. It is stargauged and the rifling and chambering is the same as for the National Match barrel. The barrel is ground and polished and exposed its entire length; it is fitted to the stock without a handguard by means of a special lower band.

It is equipped with a Lyman No. 48 C receiver sight, Winchester Globe front sight, adjustable palm rest, Garand type fast firing pin, Woodie type double set triggers and blocks for the Winchester No. 5 A telescope. The runways in the receiver are bright; otherwise the general finish of all metal parts is identical with that of the style N. R. A. rifle. The rifle is targeted and the target and stargauge record are furnished with the rifle.

The rifle weighs about 14 lbs., 12 oz.

The overall length of rifle is 50 1/2″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is .76″.

The distance from trigger to butt plate is 13.625″.

From the centerline of bore to bottom of palm rest is 7 1/4″.

U. S. RIFLE, CALIBER .22, M 1922 M1 STYLE M1 (For Issue)

This rifle is designed to replace the Gallery practice rifle. caliber .22, Model 1903. The stock is the Model 1922 M1, cal. .22, made of black walnut and has grasping grooves. The barrel is ground and polished and exposed its entire length. No hand-guard is used on this rifle. This rifle is for issue only. The barrel is fitted to the stock with a special lower band.

The front sight is of the same design as service rifle, cal. .30. The rifle is equipped with a Lyman No. 48 C receiver sight and has a headless firing pin assembly. The safety lock is the standard service type. The rifle is drilled and tapped for telescopic sight blocks. The rifle is targeted and the target is furnished with the rifle.

The overall length of rifle is 43.562″.

The drop of stock comb from centerline of bore is 1.09″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 2.215″.

The total weight of rifle is 8 lbs. 14 oz.

Distance from trigger to butt plate is 13.21″.

U. S. RIFLE, CALIBER .22 M 1922 M1 STYLE M1 (For Sales)

This rifle is for sales only. It has a model 1922 stock, caliber .22 made of black walnut and has grasping grooves. The stock is grooved for an M1 barrel and is fitted with a shot gun type butt plate. No handguard is used and the barrel is fitted to the stock with a special lower band. The barrel is chambered for caliber .22 long rifle ammunition.

The barrel and receiver are browned. The floor plate, guard, butt swivel assembly, butt swivel pin, follower, guard screws, front and rear, lower band assembly and magazine are blued. The sear, bolt sleeve, trigger and magazine base are oil blacked. The magazine retaining spring is carbonia blacked. The remaining parts have the same finish as the caliber .22 style M1 rifle which is manufactured for issue.

The front sight for this rifle is of the same design as the service, caliber .30. The rifle is equipped with a Lyman No. 48 C receiver sight and has a headless firing pin assembly. The safety lock is not reversed. The rifle is drilled and tapped for telescopic sight blocks. All rifles are targeted and the target furnished with the rifle.

The rifle otherwise is the same as the caliber .22, M 1922 M1.

The weight of this rifle is 8 lbs., 15 oz.

The overall length of this rifle is 44.477″.

The drop of stock comb to centerline of bore is .76″.

The drop of butt plate heel from centerline of bore is 1.166″.

Distance from trigger to butt plate is 14.125″.

Of this bewildering assortment of riches, some types are not for sale to the civilian rifleman.

He may buy:

The cal. 22 rifle with NRA stock

The style B Free Rifle (when available)

The Style A Free Rifle (when available)

The Style T Match Rifle (when available)

The Style NRA (Sporter) cal. .30

The Style NM Special (A fine scope rifle with service forestock)

The Style NM 1929

The Style SS

The Style S, or straight service.

The question as to which model to buy is easily determined by the use for which the rifleman desires the rifle.

The .22 rifle is the best stocked .22 now on the market and probably as accurate and satisfactory as any.

For the Free Rifle artist the Style B Free Rifle is the arm to select when they are available, which is not always. It is complete, and ready to fire. The style A or Style T is for the man who desires to install his own Free Rifle equipment from set triggers to palm rest.

The Style NRA (Sporter) is THE rifle for the man wanting the best available hunting arm without the expense of special stocking in extra quality walnut. Much, or little, money may be spent on this rifle in cutting the stock to the length found best suited, in shaping up the grip, in thinning down grip and forestock and in checking both. No amount of money will buy a more accurate rifle or a more reliable or smoother adjusted one. It is the rifle for the man who wants to do target practice and hunting and is the rifle for the man who wants to shoot on the range but not necessarily enter matches restricted only to service type rifles. It is the rifle—for use with a telescope sight, because of its very straight stock.

The Style NM Special is the rifle for the target man who has no designs in mind on game, but who wants a straight stock, particularly for use with a telescope sight and yet the service forward outline and equipment. With its 14 1/8 inch butt stock it is the rifle for the long-armed target shooter.

The NM 1929 is the rifle for the regular military target shooter who wants the most comfort possible from his rifle, the highest accuracy, and yet a rifle eligible for any match, service or otherwise. The pistol grip adds much more than compensates the additional cost of the rifle, for offhand shooting.

The only reason for the purchase of the straight Type S or service would be either economy or else the need for just an ordinary Springfield without trimmings or special selection for accuracy and adjustment. The target shooter would much better hold out on the gas man and the vendor of other luxuries and hoard his pennies longer and get the NM ’29 rifle. He is getting a lot more than he is paying for, I can let him in on that secret.

It is only fair to remind the rifleman that no Ordnance Department has done so much as our own to cooperate generously with the civilian rifleman and to give to him the finest rifles and ammunition possible to turn out. Not only this but it has even produced a beautiful and accurate sporter which is sold to him complete with Lyman 48 sight retailing at $10 or more, at a price of about $40. Only people who have been in the game as long as the writer of this screed can fully appreciate the cooperation the rifleman, and the National Rifle Association receive from the Ordnance Department of our Army—and the magnificent rifles and ammunition made available at a fraction of the cost they would have to bring commercially.

The end of war is no more in sight than the end of burglary or highway robbery. It behooves us still in our right hands to carry gentle peace—and to keep a loaded gun handy. And the loaded gun is an efficient Army and Navy, a trained civilian population—and the wherewithal to arm and equip them when the emergency arises.

The Springfield has been changed in minor details since it was converted to 1906 ammunition, but few of them are apparent to the glance. The stock-bolts are as prominent as any other change so far as the rifle appearance is concerned. They pass through the stock under the receiver-ring or threaded hood as our British friends term it, and at the rear end of the magazine floor plate. The earlier rifles sometimes split just back of the tang and sometimes diagonally just back of the magazine well.

Also the earlier rifles could be fired by pushing the trigger forward, and a pin was fixed in the guard to stop this motion. This was translated by dumb-Doras here and there around the country as being for the purpose of taking out the creep, as they termed the first take-up of the trigger. This they proceeded to do by bending this pin to the rear, preventing the trigger from moving clear forward—and naturally preventing the sear from its safety engagement with the firing pin.

The bolt lever of the rifle was bent to the rear to facilitate a stage of manufacture, from about 1918 on. The slight rearward bend is an easy way to identify bolts made after this time.

There were of course many other minor changes in the 24 odd years since the rifle took its 1906 form but the important ones took the form of improvement in materials of which changes in the heat-treatment of receiver and bolt and later changes in both material and treatment play a large part.

The Model of 1903 bolt and receiver, up to 1918 were made of steel having the following components: WD 1325 formula

In other words it was a low carbon twenty to thirty point steel, easily machined and in its untreated form, soft and easily upset, but not brittle.

Such steel could not stand the wear and tear of a military rifle, let alone the thrust of two comparatively small bolt lugs taking an actual blow of around 6500 lbs. as we take pressures.

So the ancient and honorable process of casehardening was used to give the outer surface a hard, glass-like surface, The process consisted of Forging receiver under a ton hammer, hot-trimming and straightened while hot. The receiver was next put in charcoal and allowed to cool very slowly. It was then pickled to remove the scale and cold-dropped to bring it to size. After the final machining operations the receivers were heated in bone, four of them in a pot, to 1500° F., this heat maintained for four hours in a muzzle type of oil furnace. The receivers were then quenched in oil.

They made our Krag receivers and bolt this way, and made practically 800,000 receivers at Springfield, and probably 200,000 at Rock Island under this process. Our Model 1903 rifles from the first one of 1901 to 800,000, made in 1917, or sixteen years of manufacture, contained this type of receiver and bolt. There were few records of rifles letting go save with the ancient and honorable process of letting the water run low, burning the crown sheet and probably having a little nigger on the safety-valve in addition.

A correctly casehardened receiver and bolt would stand a lot of grief. However, casehardening is not a positive and scientific process, to be controlled accurately as to its results. It is O K for a large thick piece of steel where a little variation in the thickness of the shell did not much matter but a Springfield receiver is quite thin, and a very deep skin would make the receiver mostly hard brittle skin and no core. Also any variation in the carbon content of the steel increased the thickness of this skin, and the brittle tendency of the piece.

Ordinarily these old-style receivers and bolts were entirely satisfactory. If they had not been the Government could not have made and issued and sold nearly a million of them, all of which is referred to some of these brothers who have been squawking about dangerous receivers below 800,000 and how everybody ought to be warned against them because they themselves put a nigger on the safety valve and then kicked because the boiler didn’t last quite so long as a later type boiler might have done.

I desire to make it emphatic, however, that the situation is merely this: The old receivers were and are entirely satisfactory where normal conditions prevail. Age is nothing against them except where age also means much use and plenty of hammering from the bolt lugs which in itself has a tendency to make steel more brittle. Under abnormal conditions the old receiver and bolt will not stand what the new one will stand. Pressures or gas-escape through ruptured case which might lift off the top or shatter the old receiver, with the new one merely blow off extractor, bulge out the magazine walls, shatter the stock over these walls, blow out the floor plate and probably sprinkle and pepper the shooter with brass and powder and gas.

Strange to say, however, the record of men actually hurt with old type receivers is no different from that of men actually hurt with the new type, as per the records of the War Department. I have seen at least six instances, either present at the time, or shortly after, of the old receivers letting go—and probably as many with the new ones. Some of the old rifles were literally broken in two from the shattering of the receiver, and yet the shooters were uninjured.

I go into this in detail because there are thousands of these older rifles in service, giving entirely satisfactory results, but there has been a lot of entirely unjust and ill-advised talk in print about the danger of these older rifles. As well refuse to cross the old Brooklyn Bridge because the new one is still stronger, or refuse to cross the pond on the Mauretania because the Bremen has much later safety devices.

The reputation of the Springfield was made with rifles much below 800,000. Nuf ced.

There are many Springfields about the country which have been rebarreled and the date of manufacture of which is a deep dark mystery as the date on the barrel of the service rifle near the muzzle is merely the date of barrel manufacture.

There are others which never did bear any date or from which the date has been erased in some barrel polishing or turning and bluing operation.

Through the courtesy of General Hof, Chief of Ordnance, I print a list of the years since the inception of the Model 1903 rifle chambered for 1906 ammunition, showing the serial number of the rifle produced in January of each year. From this the rifle owner can determine the approximate date of manufacture of his rifle if the receiver number is left intact, which is not the case with some sporting rifles with the Springfield for a foundation.

It is well to keep in mind that the old case-hardened receiver was changed to a stronger, tougher, double-heat-treated receiver at about No. 800,000 in 1918 and that in 1927 with rifle No. 1,275,767, the carbon-steel, double-heat-treated receiver was changed to a nickel-steel receiver, which is still stronger. In Rock Island rifles the nickel steel receiver came in with No. 285,000, approximately.

In this connection, the records of Springfield Armory indicate the following approximate dates of manufacture:

In 1917, the metallurgists at the Springfield Armory worked out a more modern and an improved system of heat-treatment for the Springfield vital parts. Using the same steel the process became: After being cold-dropped to bring it to size, it is then annealed by packing in charcoal, heated to 1500° F. for two hours and allowed to cool in the furnace. It is then pickled. After completion of the machining operations the receivers are heated in bone in an American Gas Co. carbonizing furnace at 1500° F. for two and a half hours, then quenched in oil, re-heated to 1300° F. in a salt bath for five minutes and again quenched in oil. The receiver is next drawn at 350° F. in an oil bath and air-cooled. It is then tested for hardness with a scleroscope and must test between 45 and 60. Compare with the simple casehardening operation used for the earlier million of these rifles or up to 1917.

Rock Island, on re-assuming the manufacture of Springfields and parts in 1917, had gone in for nickel steel, largely, I believe, through the influence of Major Penny, formerly of the Winchester Co. and a devotee of this material for vital parts. In 1919, I visited Rock Island for a few days and Major Penny and I went thoroughly into the nickel steel vs. carbon steel question. Springfield refused to believe nickel steel as good as their new treatment of the old carbon steel. We took five bolts of Rock Island make, using nickel steel and five of the newest type Springfield carbon, heat-treated, made after 1917, and we put them one by one into a crusher machine. In this the bolt is held by its lugs and a terrific pressure is gradually applied to the head of the bolt until the lugs give way. The pressure is read off a graduated scale.

The average pressure necessary to sheer off the lugs of the nickel steel bolts was 31,000 lbs. Not 31,000 lbs. per square inch, which is a chamber pressure matter, but an actual weight.

The average pressure necessary to remove the lugs of the carbon steel bolts was 21,500 lbs. Either offered a huge margin of safety, the maximum pressure on the Springfield bolt-head in the rifle while being fired being not over 6800 lbs. actual. However, it is true that this is exerted as a blow for a short time, while the pressure in machine was exerted as a slow squeeze over a considerable time. I noted that in several instances the lugs of the carbon steel bolts suddenly popped off with a loud crack while in every case the nickel steel lugs sort of oozed off the bolt like so much taffy.

Springfield took up nickel steel for receivers and bolts and certain other parts early in 1928, with receiver No. 1,275,767. All following are of nickel steel. In Rock Island make, all receivers over 285,507 are nickel steel. The first nickel steel receivers used at Springfield, as of 1928, were partly manufactured parts from the Rock Island Arsenal, which ceased to make service rifles or parts shortly after the Armistice. The supply was exhausted in 1929 and the Armory is now buying its 3 1/2% nickel forgings from private makers.

The treatment worked out by Springfield for receivers over 800,000 gives the assurance of a bolt and receiver with shell hard enough to stand wear and upset-tendency, with a softer, tougher core which will not shatter or crack. This is also true of the later nickel steel treatment.

Springfield barrels are made of this steel.

W. D. Formula 1350

Nickel steel is not used because it has not shown the ability to resist erosion as well as the carbon steel. They are rolled from bar stock to a rough shape. The blanks are then normalized at 1650° F. and annealed at 1600° F. for two hours. They are then hardened by heating in an open fire to 1550° F. for one hour and then quenched in oil. They are tempered to meet these requirements:

Yield point—75,000 lbs. per square inch

Tensile strength—110,000 lbs. per square inch

Elongation 20%

I have gone into more technical details of Springfield manufacture than necessary or advisable for a book intended merely to talk about rifles and rifle shooting from the standpoint of the shooter. My reason for so doing is because of the considerable amount of distrust and misinformation floating around about Springfields and the safety or lack thereof of certain types and serial numbers.

Practically all of the working parts of the Springfield are hardened or tempered or heat-treated in some manner.

Old processes of finishing the various parts of the rifle were thrown into the discard after the war. Parkerizing took the place of blueing, so-called, properly called browning, a coating of oxide produced by controlled rusting. Parkerizing changes the surface to an insoluble phosphate, highly resistant to rust. The barrel, bolt (except the polished) extractor, guard, floor plate, butt plate, upper band, receiver and similar parts are all Parkerized. It is doubtless durable and quick and economical and the right finish, but it is less handsome with its dull, almost pitted surface, than the brilliant deep bronzy-blue of the older process, well done.

Real bluing, found on certain parts of some Springfields and other rifles like the Savage, is also known as oil blackening, and is done by heating the part to about 1500° in bone and then quenching in oil, or else dipping the part into oil, heating for a half hour at 650° and then quenched in oil. Another blue is the nitre process, which is quick and easy. The dope is a mixture of sodium nitrate and manganese dioxide, nine to one in favor of the sodium nitrate. It is heated to around 750°, then the parts to be blued are dipped in it for about five minutes until the required color is obtained, then they are plunged into cold water, later into boiling water to remove the dope and finally into oil.

So-called bluing such as we find on our gun barrels of commercial make and the like, is really browning, and is a long, complicated and uncertain process, requiring many operations, humidors to cause rusting, scrubbing off the rust, boiling, recoating, and so on in endless repetition if a good job is desired.

Parkerizing takes about one and a half hours after the parts are prepared for the solution. For all of which reason in addition to its greater permanence and rust-resistance the Armory quite naturally, gives three cheers for the Parker process.

On the Armory’s fine sporter, however, and on the Free Rifles, the barrel and receiver are browned, not Parkerized. Strangely enough, the firing pin assembly is browned, a queer finish for such a small part. The reason is that Parkerizing leaves the surface too rough, and oil-blacking or bluing cannot be done, it draws the temper in the cocking

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