My new favorite rifle is 107yrs old


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Collector0311
January 24, 2014, 02:44 PM
My passion for firearms was self made.
My mom and dad never had, or allowed them in our house growing up.
I taught myself to shoot, bought my own weapons, and hunted a bit with friends and their families.
When I joined the Marines, I sold all my guns since they meant nothing to me really.
Moved home to CenTex after 5yrs in, and built my collection back up. Everything I own, I've bought or traded for.
I always wondered what I would hand down.
Last night my wife and I went to dinner at my Dad's parents.
After dinner, my Grampa pulls out an old rifle bag and starts to tell me a story about his grandfather who bought this rifle the day his son was born (my great grandad) in 1906. Since my father and uncle had no interest in it, my Grampa wanted me to have it.
I had never held or seen a rifle like this.
It's a Winchester Model 1905 in .35WSL
194035194037194038194039194040
The past 24hrs have been nothing but cleaning and research, this rifle seems to have been built in 1906.
I love learning new methods of operation, and this blowback rifle sure gave me hell when it came time for assembly.
I thought I was going to have to give my future kids a gun that I'd bought, which would have been fine.
But inheriting this piece from my grandfather who got it from his dad, who got it from his dad, that's something I never expected.

I have a new favorite rifle, and now I know what I'll be handing down.

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tdoyka
January 24, 2014, 02:52 PM
:what: i uh :what:

nice gun!!!

Steel Horse Rider
January 24, 2014, 03:46 PM
I have a Winchester 1907 in .351 Self Loading which was the model following yours. Winchester was ahead of the curve when they built these semiautomatic rifles, even if they may have missed in the cartridge design. The split in the forearm piece is very common in these but it can easily be repaired using Acraglas or something similar. It will probably never be worth a lot on the open market but it would be invaluable as a family heirloom. I am pretty sure you should be able to find custom made cartridges for it if you want to shoot it. I have several hundred rounds of original Winchester .351 ammunition for mine but I have not shot it for years but it was a fun weapon to shoot. The ballistics are not great but it is a consistent path so the accuracy was good out to 100 yards or so. I have saved all my brass and some day in my spare time hope to get a die so that I can reload them.

eldon519
January 24, 2014, 04:03 PM
The 1907 saw some interesting use in WWI. The French even modified it to be a sort of proto-assault rifle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Model_1907#.C2.A0France

horsemen61
January 24, 2014, 04:17 PM
Very nice rifle man

horsemen61
January 24, 2014, 04:18 PM
And great story to go with it :D

Captcurt
January 24, 2014, 04:21 PM
Forgive me for drooling.:D

Collector0311
January 24, 2014, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the feedback y'all.
I'd love to halt the progress of those cracks and seal them.
What kind of time and money is involved in the acraglas process?

PJSprog
January 24, 2014, 05:33 PM
That is truly awesome.

torqem
January 24, 2014, 05:41 PM
google for Browne'll Supply, THE gunsmithing source. their online catalog teaches a bit about acraglas. You can all them, get past the know-nothing order takers, ask to speak to a real smith.

bainter1212
January 24, 2014, 05:41 PM
Nice heirloom. I have a picture of my great grandfather, his brother and a bunch of their friends all posed with their rifles and the bucks they had shot. There are a couple 1907s in that picture.
Glassing that crack should be a fairly simple procedure. I just repaired a crack on my 1917 that way and it was easy.

I like the Miles Gilbert kit. It comes with dyes so you can match the color of the stock.

Mastrogiacomo
January 24, 2014, 05:47 PM
That's a keeper. Beautiful gun and a beautiful thing that's part of your family history too. Congrats....


Laura

Steel Horse Rider
January 24, 2014, 07:32 PM
Procedure for Acraglas: Clean the broken area to remove any oil or dirt from the broken surface. There is a number of ways but an old gunsmith told me that Coleman stove fuel was the best thing he had ever used for that purpose so that is what I have used for three stocks. Anyway, clean the area and let it thoroughly dry. The repaired area must be clamped together somehow after the mixture is applied so it is best to figure out how you are going to do that before mixing the epoxy! I us a bunch of the bar clamps available from places like Home Depot or Lowes but I suspect the ones from the Chinese Tools Are Us store would work just as well. You may or may not need to build or use some type of jig or piece to apply pressure evenly to the repaired area, but use wax paper between the repaired area and any blocks or clamps so they will not become a permanent fixture of the stock. You can insert toothpicks to hold the crack open if necessary. Mix the epoxy and (as mentioned) add the color dye to match your particular stock color. Once mixed, use a popsicle stick, toothpick, or small screwdriver blade to work the mixture into the crack so that it is thoroughly coated throughout. Add your clamping devices (over the wax paper) and make sure everything is aligned and secured. Set aside for 12 hours or so and then check your repair. Sand smooth and refinish (I would probably do the entire stock unless you can match the existing finish).

Eldon: Thanks for that link, I knew about the reconnaissance pilots using the '07 because I wrote to Winchester shortly after I bought mine and they sent me a short history of the rifle that included that information but there was certainly a lot more information on that link than I ever knew!

dalv
January 24, 2014, 08:05 PM
Collector:
Really, really, nice gun and the link to your family makes it all the more valuable - and I'm not talking $$$.
Take this advice, for what it is worth, and I freely admit to not being an expert.
I also have several guns that were handed down from my Grandpa and Uncle that I truly cherish, and will never part with. I told both of my sons that they will receive - when it is time.

I would strongly urge you not to apply any filler, glass, etc. to the wood - or any other part. It is over 100 years old and looks damn good for it's age... you've heard the cliche - It ain't broke,,,so don't fix it!!!!

Please, leave it for what it is, and that is the history and years of service that it provided your family.

I really like what your Grandpa did in keeping it in the sock and not trapping moisture like a foam gun case would, a mistake many people make.

It is truly awesome, I would leave it alone and find a safe place to keep it.

I have a 1930's Savage 99 30/30 I discovered in my Uncle's shop that I proudly display in my home. Not to mention the early Parker SxS shotgun my Grandfather used to hunt with.

The true beauty of these early works of art are in the patina that they earned after all these years. It can never be duplicated and I believe, you only can hurt it by applying any modern chemicals.

Oil the stocks, like the Old Timers would have, and don't mess with perfection. (I like Howard's Feed n Wax)

After all, it is not a daily firearm ( I hope) that you will be crashing thru the woods with...

Sorry for the soapbox lecture, it's your gun and I have no right to tell you what to do. Only years of experience and wanted to share what I know.

Either way, you have a family heirloom and I want you to enjoy it and pass it on with the same beauty that you received it.

Additionally, I want to THANK YOU for your service to our country and protecting my family, and wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

Ciao
Dalv

josiewales
January 24, 2014, 08:28 PM
Wow! What a legacy!

back40
January 24, 2014, 08:43 PM
fantastic rifle ans history! i, too, wuld leave it as is and only oil the stock. no need for repair as it's an heirloom and not a daily user or hunting arm.

Steel Horse Rider
January 24, 2014, 09:58 PM
daly and others: If you look at the second picture you will see a pretty big split in the forearm piece, which is a common failure point on these old Winchester self-loaders. If it is not addressed in some manner it will continue forward until the whole portion breaks off. The previous owner of my 07 had a row of very decorative silver studs pressed into the forearm and the buttstock to hold them together. Having an heirloom piece and not preserving it is a bigger sacrilege than making prudent repairs and a bit of refinishing, but, to each his own. I am confident my great-grandkids will be able to shoot all of the 19th and 20th Century firearms I intend to pass on to them.

AethelstanAegen
January 24, 2014, 10:01 PM
You can repair it. In this case it seems prudent to try to stop any further damage by repairing the split. You can see it as a way of adding your thread to the story of the family gun (maybe your grandkids will say, "and here's where grandpa fixed the stock"). Great story and enjoy the gun. I had several newer guns but it really is the older stuff that gave become my favorites.

daly and others: If you look at the second picture you will see a pretty big split in the forearm piece, which is a common failure point on these old Winchester self-loaders. If it is not addressed in some manner it will continue forward until the whole portion breaks off. The previous owner of my 07 had a row of very decorative silver studs pressed into the forearm and the buttstock to hold them together. Having an heirloom piece and not preserving it is a bigger sacrilege than making prudent repairs and a bit of refinishing, but, to each his own. I am confident my great-grandkids will be able to shoot all of the 19th and 20th Century firearms I intend to pass on to them.

I 100% agree here. The repair would be advisable.

jon86
January 24, 2014, 10:37 PM
Thanks for sharing! Awesome story!

sansone
January 25, 2014, 06:28 AM
thanks for the pics and the story ;)

Salmoneye
January 25, 2014, 08:05 AM
Nice...

aHFo3
January 25, 2014, 10:56 AM
What a great story! I am very happy for you. It's neat to see the thought and foresight of ancestors blessing us today. That makes me want to live my life in a way that will bless my family down the line!

I'd fix the gun. I'm sure the original owner would fix it, and if it were mine, I would too!

BCRider
January 25, 2014, 03:11 PM
I'll also echo that this is a great story. It's sweet when things like this make time seem like less of a barrier.

A couple of suggestions based on my years of wood working. Acraglass resin is great stuff but it can still only do so much. So it's wise to let it do the work with the least effort. This means you want to do a couple of things.

First off epoxys and other hardening resins work best when there's a thin but still easily seen glue line. So don't try to totally close up any splits. Leave a joint which is roughly the thickness of a business card.

It's not good when closing the crack to apply more than moderate pressure. If you need more pressure than you can easily provide with your hand then chances are the wood will split again at the crack either through joint bond failure or by cracking the wood just right beside the joint. So squeeze it together with moderate hand pressure, something short of your maximum "death grip", and take note of how far the crack closes. If it closes to nothing with that much then great. If it is still bigger than the thickness of a business card then it is what it is.

If it closes up to nothing with very little pressure then simple wood glue becomes a viable and desirable option. Wood glues allow the joint to be closed to essentially nothing. And these glues provide the strongest joint with no visible gap. The trick is getting the glue into the crack. Fortunately that's not hard.

Clean the wood of any oils as suggested already with something like the camp stove gas or use automotive brake cleaner. When fully dry (test by sniffing for signs of solvent odor. No odor means ready to glue) mask off to the sides of the crack to avoid glue marking the outside finish. Spread the crack with LIGHT force to widen it a trifle. Apply a bead of glue and use a slip of printer paper to work the glue down into the crack. Another trick used by some is to use a vacuum from the other side to pull the glue down into the crack. But I always found that the slip of paper worked well for me. Change the slip of paper frequently when it gets too soggy. When you're happy that a decent amount of glue has gotten into the crack "pump" the glue around by closing the crack and letting it spring back open. A few times is all it takes. Then bind or clamp lightly to close the crack and wipe away the squeeze out. Leave it for a day to fully dry. Remove the binding or clamps and clean up the joint by lightly scraping away any further dry squeeze out or any slight bumps that could sliver away.

For any sort of crack that doesn't want to close with moderate hand pressure then the Acraglass or even any other good clear epoxy is the way to go. With these you can close the joint with moderate pressure to at least minimize the width of the crack and the glue will bond and stabilize it.

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