Springfield/Savage 187R Restoration

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by imajarhed, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. imajarhed

    imajarhed New Member

    Ok... Please go easy on my as this is my first restoration.

    The back story...

    My step-dad gave me his old Springfield/Savage 187R .22 s-l-lr several years ago that his dad gave him. The rifle had seen plenty of use/abuse but was still in fair condition for what it is. I had plenty of long rifle rds so I thought I would plink a little with it but I was not aware of the feed/extract problems (among others) 187R's have with lr's and the right extractor broke so I put it up to look at on occasion.

    I worked in the armory in the Marines for several years and have recently renewed my passion for light gun work, so, I decided to make the 187R my first complete restoration to offer back to him as a father's day gift.

    Completely disassembled and cleaned the years of gunk that led to the malfunction.
    Replaced the extractors and should be ready for s-l but no lr's
    Stripped the stock, restained, hand rubbed a mixture of vinegar-turpentine-BLO (still have several coats to go).
    Reblued the barrel and mag tube and misc parts.

    I'm not finished with it but I wanted to see what it will look like so I put it together and took a couple of pics. Have before shot from my inventory log.

    Attached Files:

  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    I have one of these that my grandmother passeddown to me. She used it to kill of armadillos, skunks, and other critters that raided her garden. She said it never fed right. I've gone through it and still can't seem to get it to properly get the next round to kick back and get elevated properly for the next shot. I can hand cycle rounds through it, which it wouldn't do before.

    If you have any tips or tricks I'd be happy to learn more and get this family gun back in running order.

  3. srtolly1

    srtolly1 New Member

    I have a Stevens 987 that had some similar problems along with chainfires that would empty the tube. I wound up doing a total tear down and found some grit in the bolt assembly. My feed problems turned out to be some washers installed backward and a spring that had broken. Numrich had the parts. Works pretty well now and very accurate. Needs to be kept clean though.
  4. Commocarl

    Commocarl New Member

    I bought one of these from a pawnshop as a project gun. There are many versions of this rifle, it had roughly 30 years of production, If memory serves '39 to '69.

    "I've gone through it and still can't seem to get it to properly get the next round to kick back and get elevated properly for the next shot. I can hand cycle rounds through it, which it wouldn't do before.

    If you have any tips or tricks I'd be happy to learn more and get this family gun back in running order. "

    Some of the earlier models had feeding problems, depending on the feeding mechanism, The mounting screws may be a bit too tight or the loading spring reversed.

    There is a community of people that are collecting and restoring these.

    If you are interested in all the changes over the years of manufacture.

    Hope it helps.
  5. imajarhed

    imajarhed New Member

    I am so sorry, I didn't mean to orphan my own thread.

    The majority of the problems I had seemed to be in the lifter spacers being gunk'd up and the feed ramp and chamber being fouled with carbon/lead. Well actually the whole dang thing being gunk'd up but those 2 areas in particular. Hoppe's #9 (or your favorite lead solvent) @ chamber is a must!!! The fouling will make the extraction more difficult and I believe caused excess fatigue on my extractors leading to the failure of the part.

    There was a combination of carbon, dirt, oil and rust that all seemed to add it's own hindrance to the feeding. In most cases when oiling, less is more. I have to remind myself that I'm not @ Edson range, Camp Pendleton with my old M16 dripping in CLP from a spray bottle.

    From all the info I could find on these, they are very picky eaters and this one in particular does not like LR's of any flavor, so experimenting with different ammo is a must.

    This one is more than likely a wall hanger from now on but it did cycle with longs. I trust it to dispatch any empty cans that happen to be on a fence post and look at me wrong ever again.
  6. Commocarl

    Commocarl New Member

    These things are called "click-clack rifles", or "gill guns" the gill gun should be evident by all the slots on the sides of the receiver. The click-clack is from how it acts in relation to the trigger.

    If you press and hold the trigger after the round is fired the bolt stays back. When you slowly release the trigger, just far enough to reset the sear, the bolt will go forward and chamber the next round. While you cycle it like this you hear the click (trigger) clack (bolt).

    My rifle is a "Savage Revelation" Model 135. It was made by Savage for Western Auto. It is actually a Savage 187A. It was made between '61 and '64. There were three different bumpers used in these rifles. The bumper is located at the top part of the receiver imediately behind the bore, this helps guide the bullet into the barrel. Mine is a "Hairpin Bumper", it clips into the bore with no fasteners. I bought and installed a new one but after cycling the action several times it bent infront of the bore and was an obstruction. I haven't given up on it yet, but it is still left off.

    Without the Bumper to guide the bullets it will still cycle reliably, but only by using the click-clack operation. It jams quite a bit if I try to fire it normally, press the trigger till it fires and let go. I have only fed it federal bulk.

    It is a fun little rifle, for what it is. You should try to shoot it by using the click-clack method and see if it acts better with .22 LR.

    I have all the polishing and blueing done on mine, about to get into the stock refinish. Since it isn't really going to be worth anything anyway, I am going to stain my stock black.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  7. elhalcon

    elhalcon New Member

    Springfield 187J

    Where were you able to find disassembly instructions for the Springfield 187J, I have been looking for them for almost a year?