Went up to Camp Perry to meet my friend Tom and help him pick out his surplus M1 on Saturday. I got to say, I love that place. The racks are still pretty full, mostly of the same Greek lot that I picked through a couple of years ago , although the throats gauged a bit larger than last time I was there and there are not as many non M1 firearms for purchase like last time. The M1 carbines have dried up and the 1917 Eddystones are almost gone. There were a handful of Krag's there and some pellet guns as well. They are out of the 192 round cans of Greek .30-06 ammo on clips in bandoleers and instead are offering 200 round cans of loose ammo for $90 (got 2 of them, spitting the cost of one with Tom).
We picked out a fairly decent HRA for Tom from 1954. It gauged a "2" and "3" on the muzzle and throat respectively. This means that the end of the barrel at the muzzle had approximately 2/1000th of an inch of wear and the begging of the barrel at the chamber had approximately 3/1000th of an inch there. How does this wear happen and why is it important? Well the wear happens over time with use as hot gasses and bits of microscopic metal are forced into and out of the barrel at both ends under tremendous pressure of the ammunition firing. Also, careless use of metallic or otherwise abrasive items like cleaning rods and such can accelerate the process over time. Why is it important? One word: accuracy. The more wear at either end, the more you accuracy will suffer. In the chamber the erosion and wear produce a gap that the bullet must "jump" in order to reach the rifling in the barrel. The bigger this gap the more pressure that is lost behind the round and more vibration in the barrel as the round "slams" into the grooves of the rifling instead of being "handed to them" by the chamber. At the other end, the muzzle is the last part of the rifle to grip the bullet before it leaves the weapon. Any uneven wear there that is not uniform across the entire crown can cause a wobble to the spin imparted to the bullet by the rifling and make for a unwelcome result at the target. In use, these rifles would be gauged for serviceability. Generally, anything at 5/1000th and under of wear was considered "good enough" and utilized as a working rifle. At CMP, the barrel erosion is used to partially help grade each rifle for sale (rack grade, field grade, service grade, ect).
Anyway, Tom was pretty excited about his purchase and got a surplus leather sling for $5 (guy must of liked us because he pulled a decent one from under the counter when we said we wanted a new cotton one instead when he suggested the leather) and a 10" bayonet as well. Like I said earlier we split a can of ammo so he has 100 rounds for it. I gave him an empty bandoleer and clips from my collection so he'd have a place to put some of his ammo. All in all, he loved his new rifle and I loved getting to share the experience of buying it with him. Now all we got to do is get together and shoot it!
|A couple of old guys with even older rifles!|