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Hahahaha! Thank you Pat. Also, big thanks to all who are helping behind the scenes!
Yeah, and a shout out to all of the guys that send you their very special rifles so you can do what you do. I know many don't want to be ID'd for safety issues when you have collectable gadgets, so just want to thank them publicly for their skin in the game.
 

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Amazing shooting and video. I gotta go through it again, audio is screwy on my computer.

In the first half I noted that the bolt handle could be seen well and appeared in the white. This may be why, among other reasons, that many folks thought that they were looking for a bright bolt on an original rifle. I suspect that the high polish and different metal composition, plus light and angle, made them appear that way. Also, handling/use may lighten the bolt handle itself. Regardless, Steve can enlighten us.

I was proud I recognized Tarawa immediately in the film footage. Guess that comes with watching so many WW2 specials on TV.

Thanks for the great work to Rob and helpers.
 

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In the first half I noted that the bolt handle could be seen well and appeared in the white. This may be why, among other reasons, that many folks thought that they were looking for a bright bolt on an original rifle. I suspect that the high polish and different metal composition, plus light and angle, made them appear that way. Also, handling/use may lighten the bolt handle itself. Regardless, Steve can enlighten us.
The bolts started polished from Springfield armory as National Match rifles, but in 1942, the Marine Corps ordered the bolts of all 1047 National Match and Special Target rifles in inventory to be blued. This process was completed months before the initial order for 150 to be converted into sniper rifles.

The bluing is so unique, it's one of the most definitive traits that can be used in verifying original rifles. At some angles it may look black, blue, polished, and even with hints of purple, red, and yellow. Very unique. Here you can see in one of the most famous photos of a Unertl Sniper rifle, the bolt handle looks polished. It's not.

Air gun Military person Soldier Marines Shotgun
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The bolts started polished from Springfield armory as National Match rifles, but in 1942, the Marine Corps ordered the bolts of all 1047 National Match and Special Target rifles in inventory to be blued. This process was completed months before the initial order for 150 to be converted into sniper rifles.

The bluing is so unique, it's one of the most definitive traits that can be used in verifying original rifles. At some angles it may look black, blue, polished, and even with hints of purple, red, and yellow. Very unique. Here you can see in one of the most famous photos of a Unertl Sniper rifle, the bolt handle looks polished. It's not.

View attachment 4008485
That bluing is something else for sure. You literally will have different pictures of that bolt, just from rotating it under the light...
 

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Jack if you could find that diary, it would be invaluable for us to see. At the very least that segment discussing snipers, if you understandably didn't want to share the whole thing. We have very little information regarding the actual use of USMC snipers in the war, and most of that is from the 2nd Division, which utilized structured scout-sniper platoons. Despite the majority of photos of Marine snipers from WWII coming from Okinawa, we know very little about the men behind those rifles. The fact that your dad talked to one of the snipers and discovered he was an old Team shooter is especially cool to me, being a fourth generation National Match competitor.
Absolutely Jamie. I'll find it and scan a copy for you. He'd be tickled anyone is as interested in this stuff as you are.

Reading through your posts I can see you've uncovered quite a bit about the Unertl Snipers. Used to be very murky waters. A paragraph in a book here or there. Lots of "experts" with no answers when dad and I called asking for questions. The landscape has changed.
 

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Thank you Jack!

I don't deserve any credit for uncovering anything. That credit belongs to Steve Norton, Tim Plowman, and Andrew Stolinski. These are the guys that got into the archive, found a pile of new documents, and then made an internet presence sharing the information they found,. Thus rifles have been uncovered and discovered, and over time a group of us with original rifles have formed a Collector's Association. About a dozen of us are very active, sharing rifles, knowledge, opinions, and new discoveries.

I am significantly invested in research and money in these rifles. I am constantly trying to uncover more information about the rifles themselves and the snipers that carried them. Constantly trying to find more details and traits we may have overlooked in the past, and I recently did notice one trait in the handguard modification that had been missed before. And constantly trying to acquire more. I recently found a third one, that is a heavily sporterized hunting rifle, that when I get the chance to take it apart, I'm very confident we'll see a lot of the traits we look for.

I try to be as active as possible discussing these rifles on the internet. The more we stir the pot, and share information the more discoveries we make. The old guard that wanted to keep this all secret, just so their fake rifles wouldn't get too much scrutiny is being pushed out of the way. Yes we still keep our secrets; we don't want the fakes to get too good. More than one faked rifle has sold for over $40,000. But the core of us are very active and very passionate in stamping out old myths and making new discoveries.
 
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