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Winchester Model 100 .308 safety question?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by arizonaguide, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. arizonaguide

    arizonaguide Member

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    I just purchased a Winchester Model 100 .308 circa about 1961.
    It appears to be in excellent condition.

    Should I be worried about firing today's modern .308 rounds in a rifle dated from the 1960's?

    It's just so pretty I couldn't pass it up...I don't have a picture yet, but will try to get one posted in the next couple days.
    Anyone have one of these? I didn't buy it to be a collector's item, and plan to shoot it!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chestnut ridge

    chestnut ridge Member

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    This is the only safety issue I am aware of concerning the Winchester 100.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WINCHESTER MODEL 100 FIRING PIN RECALL - A notice dated 7-1990 relates the following

    “PRODUCT SAFETY WARNING AND REPLACEMENT NOTICE. Attention owners of Winchester model 100 rifles and carbines please read this notice. In July of 1990 the following product safety warning was issued by Winchester. It has come to our attention that the firing pin in the Winchester Model 100 Rifle or Carbine may break due to use and metal fatigue and become lodged in the breech bolt face. If this occurs, the firearm may fire before the action is locked causing severe damage to the firearm and possibly injury or death to the shooter and bystander.

    WARNING DO NOT SHOOT YOUR WINCHESTER MODEL 100 RIFLE OR CARBINE. Repair and replacement. A new firing pin has been designed to replace the firing pin originally made for the Winchester Model 100 Rifle and Carbine. The new firing pins will be available in April 1991. If you own a Winchester Model 100 Rifle or Carbine, please send your firearm to one of the authorized Winchester Model 100 Firing Pin Replacement Centers indicated below. Your Winchester Model 100 firearm will be inspected, the firing pin replaced and tested and the firearm returned to you. The inspection, replacement/testing and return postage will be accomplished at no cost to you. If other repair or maintenance work is authorized by you to be performed on the firearm when the firing pin is replaced, such work shall be at your cost.”

    W. R. Long Gunsmiths
    2007 Brook Road North
    Cobourg, Ontario K9A4W4
    Canada

    Frank LeFever & Sons
    RD 2 Box 31
    Lee Center, NY 13363
    USA

    Bolsa Gunsmithing
    7404 Bolsa Avenue
    Westminister, CA 92683
    USA

    Nu Line Guns
    1053 Caulks Hill Road
    Harvester, MO 63303
    USA

    If you have any questions concerning this notice, call Winchester Product Service 1-800-852-5734 or write to Winchester Firing Pin replacement Notice, PO Box 10 Cottage Hills Illinois 62018 Attention Product Service Dept.

    -------------------------
    The difference in the old firing pin and the new one is as follows. The old replaced style, was totally lathe tuned (round). While the new recall style is similar in lathe turning on the front and back, but in the front midsection it has two flats milled, one on each side. This makes the center section stronger. Also replaced is the bolt sleeve lock pin (firing pin guide) which was made to accommodate this different shaped firing pin

    Part number for the new parts are, firing pin =1391ND, bolt sleeve locking pin =1491ND

    The word was at the time this recall was in process was that if the firing pin would break at the mid section and still remain in the gun as two pieces, the possibility of a premature discharge before the bolt was locked was possible. This apparently was caused by the firing pin tip (now not having a retracting spring) to be stuck forward, and thereby slam-firing upon chambering.

    The responsibility for the recall apparently was on Olin, as they were the parent company at time of manufacture. Olin set up regional recall centers at three established US gunshops. There was a manufacturing delay in the replacement firing pins, and a backlog occurred, also some collectors did not like the idea of shipping their guns long distances. Olin then also authorized other gunshops to make the required alterations. Upon completion of the recall, the shops were to test fire the firearm and to stamp an assigned letter on the inside top of the receiver as seen thru the magazine well with the bolt retracted. The letter “B” represented Bolsa Gunsmithing, “L” was Lefever, and “N” was for Nu-line Guns. The letter “X” apparently was for all the other independent shops. However this identification information did not get communicated to some of the smaller shops at the start of the project. The only way to tell if the gun as been modified, if the ”letter” is not present, is to take the barrel & action out of the stock, remove the trigger guard assembly and the try to rotate the firing pin by twisting it. If it does NOT rotate, then the firing pin recall HAS been performed.
     
  3. arizonaguide

    arizonaguide Member

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    Thanks Chestnut! I appreciate that, especially detailing being able to check if that work has been completed.

    Anyone have any opinions about any reasons not to be able to shoot modern 7.62 or .308 ammo in this type of 1961 era rifle?

    I also have read where it's fairly simple to adapt M14 or M1A magazines to the Model100. Anyone ever done such?
     
  4. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I used to own one of these rifles; killed (oops, harvested) my first whitetail with one back in 1964 in Michigan. You should have no problem shooting any factory .308 or 7.62 round out of it. The Model 100 doesn't have the strongest leverage around when it comes to extraction so I recommend that you full-length resize if you reload. I learned to keep the chamber of my 100 bone-dry to prevent any extraction problems.

    Finally, with enough money and time I suppose about anything is possible. You'll need plenty of both if you plan on turning M14 and/or M1A magazines into ones that work with the Model 100.
     
  5. arizonaguide

    arizonaguide Member

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    Thanks SW,
    That's good to hear about modern ammo being okay. I do not reaload so it will be all factory. Also interesting to hear about the extraction. I wonder if a spring change could be done for a situation like that.

    It would be nice to have the additional capacity of an M1A magazine(of course), but the main concern is just having extra magazines (at all), if I can't find normal model100 magazines.
     
  6. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Well, arizonaguide, I don't mean to say that the Model 100 has a weak extraction system per se; that is, no more so than any other semi-auto hunting rifle. It just doesn't offer the "leverage" in extracting brass that a typical bolt-action rifle has.

    I personally believe that the Model 100 is the nicest semi-auto hunting rifle ever made, even more so than my idea of the "runner-up"-the Browning BAR. I always thought it would have been the perfect match chambered in .358 Winchester but, of course, that never happened.

    In terms of spare magazines, I suggest that you start your search now and buy any reasonably priced ones in good condition you find. They are hard to come by and very pricey when you do find one. I'm not aware of any "after-market" magazines being made for the Model 100. Maybe somebody else does.
     
  7. arizonaguide

    arizonaguide Member

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    Yup! Thanks SW! I'm currently on the hunt!
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The President of my gunclub has or had a Win 100.

    He wrote an article in the newsletter. His Win 100 slamfired. He sent it off for the modification and the thing still slamfired.

    I don't see how removing material makes anything "stronger". It would however make it lighter. Which would reduce impact momentum on the primer.

    Maybe this explanation is a way of providing rationale and incentive to the owner, (makes it better, faster, stronger!) without admitting to a design fault.
     
  9. cal74

    cal74 Member

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    I inherited one from my grandfather and it's taken it's fair share of Northern, MN white tails in all the years he had it.

    Very very accurate gun and I've never had any problems shooting modern day factory ammo. The trigger on mine sucks to say the least, but I have no complaints on its accuracy.
     
  10. woof

    woof Member

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    I had a model 88 .308 and they are very strong actions. The 88 is basically a lever-operated bolt. The extraction issue aside, you can fire any .308 ammo that you could fire in any current bolt action .308.
     
  11. thebaldguy

    thebaldguy Member

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    I had one years ago that belonged to my grandfather. My uncle had given it to me. He had broken the pin back in the 70's, and had it welded and machined back together to get him through the season while waiting for a factory pin. I had the pin replaced in the early 90's, no big deal. Later, the rifle began to experiece fail to eject issues; The extractor had cracked and the chamber had needed some cleaning. After repairs, it worked great. I ended up giving the rifle back to my uncle as younger family members needed a deer rifle.

    You can shoot any .308 Win. ammo you want. I could only get 3-4 inch groups at 100 yds. with Federal Classic ammo. Maybe try some different ammo for better accuracy. I have never heard of adapting other magazines to fit, and I don't know where you could find new factory magazines.

    found one:

    http://www.gunclips.net/wimo1004rdgu.html
     
  12. Bhigley

    Bhigley Member

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    winchester model 100 to arizona guide

    I own and shoot a model 100 I was having some problems with it and I found out some things that might help and answer your questions...
    you can buy magazines for your model 100 thru NU-line guns they bought out winchester as well as their machinery and can either fabricate new parts or have existing parts to fix your problem, they also have a firing pin kit 3rd style you can purchase.. I was shooting mine and I was having extraction problems about every third or fourth round was not extracting I ordered a new extractor kit from Nu line and yesterday I fired about 100 rounds thru it no function problems just insure you get the correct kit their are two one I believe above ser# 119,000 and one for below. your next question about ammunition I have fired about 100 rounds of lake city ball 7.62 thru it as well and have had no problems as 7.62mm Nato is the military .308 equivalent. just dont try to fire 7.62x39 as the case is much smaller.. they also have manuals availble on how to breake this rifle down its not hard but you will want to insure that you are very carefull if you do it yourself and do not bend the magazine box. one last note i was also having a problem with my groups this could be caused by several things,
    1) the front swivel nut can come loose(holds the front of the sling and also the barrel to the reciver so every time you fire the weapon the barrel will jump easy fix is just a little lock tite on this bolt.
    2) youre scope mount also has 4 holes that hold it in place do the same thing here as well.
    3) your barrel may be worn an easy check is the bullet test take a live cartridge and set the tip of the bullet into the muzzle of the weapon if the entire bullet fits all the way to the casing you have a worn out barrel, However this is highly unlikley unless you have put about 60 thousand rounds thru the gun.
    4) ammo could be the cause I am reloading and I prefer to shoot 150 gr bullet, at 50 yards my group could be covered by a quarter. just for general info the .308 round is what is used at camp perry by sharpshooters however they prefer the 168 match grain bullet as ballistically it is the most accurate.. I hope this all helps and I have not bored anyone....
     
  13. peyton

    peyton Member

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    I had one for some time, foolishly traded it for a revolver. The thing I did not like is the bolt would not stay open when the last shot was fired, nor was their any bolt locking mechanism for it. I was reduced to using a piece of tire inner tube to hold the cocking piece to the rear and the other end was around the stock. Wish I had it back, it did its duty in the deer stand.
     
  14. Bhigley

    Bhigley Member

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    308

    Peyton
    I understand, just to let you know the magazine is what locks the bolt to the rear on the final shot so if you had a weak magazine spring the elevator may not have come up far enough to lock the bolt to the rear however when you drop the mag the bolt will go forward on this weapon in this case pull the trigger and slowly pull the bolt about halfway back until you hear it click and it will stay open. this is the model 100
     
  15. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    I have a 1961 vintage model 100 with lots of rounds thru it....................I think you should be able to shoot it with confidence if it appears to be in good shape.

    The 1 thing I would advise is to shoot it like a M1A (M14) - because it's mechanics is VERY similiar to that firearm. Shoot bullets up to 175gr - preferably in the 150 & 168gr range. No hot or "magnum" loads, and if you handload, follow the powder advice for the M1A as well.

    One other thing...........keep the gas system clean - it will help cycling SO much. So no spray foaming cleaners and clean it with the rifle upside down so the solvents don't drip into the pressure bleed hole.
     
  16. arizonaguide

    arizonaguide Member

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    Great stuff folks! Thanks!

    AZG
     
  17. peyton

    peyton Member

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    Thanks for that info Bhigley, damn why did the internet take so long to exist!! I never suspected the magazine was the hold open mechanism. I bought the model 100 used and never took the time to track down a user manual either. Live and learn. Oh, I did have mine sent in for the recall.
     
  18. Bhigley

    Bhigley Member

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    model 100

    LOL
    any time I can help and am able to read these threads let me know I am by no means a world renown expert but uncle sam spent a lot of time and money making me an expert on weapons systems and firing them plus what I have learned thru the years being foolish... I just received my new firing pin from winchester and and when I took my rifle apart to send them the old one the firing pin spring was broke, if anyone out there replaces the firing pin I suggest you also replace the spring after 40 years they are probably a little weak....hope to hear about your rifles soon..
     
  19. coolcloo1019

    coolcloo1019 Member

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    Hey guys. Sorry to bring up an old thread but I finally got my grandfather's model 100 in my possession. He passed away several years ago and this rifle was handed down to me. How do I tell what year it is from? Also, are there any special ways to clean this older rifle? From what I remember, I don't think it got cleaned too much. It sure did take it's fair share of deer though! I've got several new rifles but nothing that is older. I've been searching the net trying to find as much information as I can about this gun. Seems to be a great firearm. Thanks!!
     
  20. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    here is a site to run your serial number thru:
    http://oldguns.net/sn_php/windateslookup.php?file=winx100.dat

    Like I wrote below - clean the barrel with the gun upside down so that the solvent doesn't run down into the gas cylinder and foul it. It would also be in your best interest to break it down out of the stock and clean out that gas system with some solvent and an appropriate sized bore brush. Also scrub down the pistion inside and out. Put the gas system back together completely dry - no lube, as that will gum up with use.

    Treat this baby like it's your daughter, because there are precious few parts available for it anymore.........and the arms that the bolt fits in are subject to stress and breaking (and no replacements for it on the planet), so look it over good for stress fractures when you have it out of the stock.

    Here is a schematic of the rifle to help you with disassembly:
    http://www.wisnersinc.com/exploded_views/Winc-100.htm
     
  21. coolcloo1019

    coolcloo1019 Member

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    Awesome Mark. I appreciate it. I found out that it was manufactured in 1965.

    I definitely need to check on the recall because I'm going to assume my Grandfather probably had no idea about the recall. He never had any problems with it but that's not saying that one can't arise.

    Is the firing pin something I could do myself? I don't know any good gunsmiths and hate to take this to someone I don't know or trust.

    I'm itching to get out and shoot with this rifle.
     
  22. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    That is part of the problem with this rifle...........................even if that bolt wasn't "repaired" on the recall.........................you'll never find the parts to fix it....................unless you can find a whole bolt somebody is getting rid of on E-Bay or something like that.
    I have absolutely no clue if the recall was performd on my rifle or not............but it is still doing just fine.
     
  23. coolcloo1019

    coolcloo1019 Member

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    Well heck, no body has ever had problems with it yet so I think I'll just get out and shoot it and be extra careful incase of any slamfire's or anything. I think once I get home today I'll give her a GOOD cleaning.
     
  24. bgilfam

    bgilfam Member

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    These companies address have changed:

    W. R. Long Gunsmiths
    4992 Rice Lake Dr
    Bewdley, Ontario KOL1E0
    Canada
    905-372-5955

    Frank LeFever & Sons
    NO LONGER IN BUSINESS

    Bolsa Gunsmithing
    7404 Bolsa Avenue
    Westminister, CA 92683
    USA
    (714) 894-9100

    Nu Line Guns
    8150 County Rd 4055
    Rhineland, MO 65069
    USA
    573-676-5500
     
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