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Platinum Bullet Member with clusters
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Discussion Starter #1
Chip, attached are the photos you requested. I acquired the complete barreled action to serial number 2 with box mag, including screws and buttplate. I had to determine the configuration of the stock, the rear barrel band, and front bayonet housing. The barrel at end does have lugs to prevent rotation of the band.

Three features led to the decision that it had a folding bayonet configuration - lugs on barrel at end, set back of front sight, and curvature of trigger guard. Note that guard curves outward at forward end. That is to help nestle the folded bayonet. I made the stock from a piece of walnut I had. I combined a T44 rear barrel band and a T22 band to get the correct config. I studied the experimental T44 band on page 68 of MROJ and did my best to duplicate that one from an existing first variation front band. That was quite a chore since the barrel diameter on the T22 experimental is significantly larger than the T44 so had to make a new front end on the band and silver solder in place. The rest of the band was modified significantly to follow the wear marks on the barrel, plus groove were machined on the interior of the band to clear the barrel lugs. I then modified a T44 bayonet to fit the band and resulting rifle config. For a novice machinist that was a labor of love, lots of work.

Anyway, I wasn't going to be satisfied 'til I had that carbine restocked so I could play with it. There is at least one T22 experimental rifle with box mag. I've got the photos but do not know where it is. Bud Waite, when he was technical editor of Rifleman, knew of it but didn't feel comfortable telling me who had it. So I continue to dream. They're out there if you keep looking.
 

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That stock looks sanded and refinished! :) :) Kidding of course, but that sure is a cool looking rifle that you did a magnificent job building back up. That mag somewhat resembles the SMLE mags.
 

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Fred,

Thanks for re-posting the photos. This is such a great rifle. Again, can you refresh my memory of whether or not you bought it with any stock remnant at all? It seemed odd to me that you were able to get the buttplate while nothing at all remained of the stock. It's interesting that the method of retaining the bolthead on your example is the same as that used on my T-22 rifle, SN 15.

You did a really nice job of restocking this one.

C/
 

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Nice work, and I'm sure of the many hours you mention.

Thanks for the picts.
 

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T22 Experimental

Of course the magazine looks like an SMLE...It is copied from the Lee-Diss M1884 Chinese Model Remington-Lee Rifle magazine ( which also served as the basis for the Lee-Metford and eventaully Lee-Enfield Rifle designs.....

Anyway, a very good restoration project.

Regards.
Doc AV
AV Ballistics
 

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Platinum Bullet Member with clusters
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Fellows, thanks for the kind comments. Chip, I acquired the barrelled action from another collector. I knew of the set from years ago. A member of the board had picked it up at the auction of a late gunsmith's shop and contents some time ago. The board member traded it to another collector who I also knew, and he offered it to me. Most collectors are not interested in stuff like this. Fast forward a few years. As I was starting the project and planning to use a T22 rifle buttplate I had, the original owner posted a picture of this buttplate on this board, asking what it was. Talking about serendipity, naturally I flipped. He had gotten the buttplate at the same auction in a box of parts. Naturally, I was hoping he had the other parts but no such luck. Anyway we worked out a trade, and I continued on the project. And, no, there was no stock remnant. I used for base measurements, the T22 stock outline and built it from that rough outline on a flat blank. I carved a lot of chips off that blank.
 

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Fred,

Thanks for the chronology of events. I've never heard the complete story until now. You sure put a lot of hours into inletting that stock blank.

C/
 

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And, no, there was no stock remnant....
Not sure if you remembered me mentioning it years ago Fred, but when I picked it up at the auction it had all the signs of having been through a fire. It was a bit odd though, as it did not seem to be enough of a fire to have burned the stock off of the action, as the springs were still intact and had not lost temper. I assume at least that a fire long and hot enough to burn the stock off would have damaged the action far more, plus the layer of baked/burned on crud was almost as if the action had been wrapped in something when burned since it was caked on all over, not just on the stock, or non stocked areas. Maybe a synthetic gun sock or rag or something along those lines had been wrapped around it. This "crud" layer on it seemed to have mostly protected the metal actually. It took a lot of work to get this baked on soot/char off. No thinners I tried would disolve it. In the end the best thing I found was 0000 steel wool soaked in oil working by hand to slowly work it off. Even now what...some 15 years later... it still was the worst "gunked up" weapon I have ever endeavored to clean up. Of course that work was not as much work as the great resto you have done! Glad it has a good home!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Bill, for the wrap-up and kind comments. I'd never tried a project like that and was a little apprehensive, but it did turn out fine. Like my wife keeps telling me, 5,000,000 more, and you've got them all. You know this carbine has found a home if I'll spend 6 months of spare time building it back up.
 

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Fred,
A beautiful job.
What stain and finish did you use?
How did you apply it?
We have much to learn from your restoration.
Best regards,
Q
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Q, that'll take me some time. I've examined a mint T22 carbine and so duplicated the stain from water base stuff if I remember correctly. Man, I did myself in this week, and I refuse to talk about it because it has a tendency to make me look stupid. Anyway, I had food poisoning twice in one week. Back to back episodes. I'm a hurting puppy and am only coming on the computer a few minutes at a time.

Chip, if I remember correctly, your T22 rifle number 15 is a production model. If so, that says early T22s had the friction retained bolt head and also dates my T22 carbine to early development. I received info from Japan that the box mag was deleted from the design from worries about soldiers losing them, etc., especially cavalry. I can't remember who I got it from or where it is, but maybe I can find that later also.
 

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Chip, if I remember correctly, your T22 rifle number 15 is a production model. If so, that says early T22s had the friction retained bolt head and also dates my T22 carbine to early development. I received info from Japan that the box mag was deleted from the design from worries about soldiers losing them, etc., especially cavalry. I can't remember who I got it from or where it is, but maybe I can find that later also.
Yes, I assume my SN 15 is a very early, standard production example. According to the written description for the auction at which I bought it, the rifle was used in the 1892 US Rifle Trials, but I have no other documentation supporting this assertion. As a follow-up, I contacted Ed Drea some years ago asking for a copy of the pages from the final report that detail the rifle used by the Japanese in the trials. He was kind enough to oblige. The accompanying drawings show a bolthead attachment exactly like that found on my SN 15 and your prototype T-22 carbine.

In retrospect, however, I do find it odd that only a single T-22 Murata rifle with this feature apparently survived through the years. Guess it's another one of those mysteries we'll never totally resolve.

C/
 
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