Teenager's Type 1 project

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by RGH, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. RGH

    RGH New Member

    Greetings, Gentlemen,

    Let me tell you a story of my youth that may bring back memories to the old codgers of this forum.

    In the year 1952, I was 16 at the time, I went to visit my Dad. There was a junk barrel in his shop. Discarded in this barrel was a Japanese Type 1 receiver, partial bolt, and magazine floor plate assembly. I asked if I might have it. Dad said he didn't know what I would want it for, but I was welcome to it.

    In those days, we didn't have the internet to scrounge for parts. So it took me about a year to find all the parts I would need to complete my little rifle project. Rest of small parts for action. Johnson featherweight (Timkin Alloy) barrel. Lyman Alaskan 2 1/2 power scope. Litschert 6 power Varmint Master scope attachment. Echo side mount for Carcano. Trigger guard from old 10 gage shotgun(lots of room for gloves).

    I had a dear friend and mentor back then that helped guide me in my machining skills as well as my social skills. His name was Charles Brown, an extraordinary watch maker and gunsmith. I think of him often.

    I used Charlie's lathe to machine the barrel. Shortened to 20". Crowned muzzle. Threaded and fitted to receiver. Chambered to .257 Roberts.

    Bent bolt handle to clear scope. Drilled and tapped receiver for Echo side mount. Designed and made adjustable trigger. At this time I made whatever modifications were neccessary for flawless cartridge feeding. Blued in my own tanks using my Fathers blueing formula, which I can no longer remember.

    I got the maple plank from a lumber company just up the street from where I lived. It was hard maple and measured 3" x 12" x 48". I got it when I was 15 years old and used part of it on my 45/70 that was mentioned in another thread. The piece that was left went under my bed for future use.

    Future use was the Type 1. Band sawed to shape, the spent months inletting it. The wood fits the steel like it grew there. Finished shaping, sanding, installed grip cap, forend tip, and inlays. Birch Wood Casey Tru-oil finish. 10 # pressure at 6 o'clock between barrel and fore end tip.

    I had a 200 yard range set up for my private use. This is where I would fine tune my new rifle. The bullet used was Jordan soft swaged 87 grain.
    Bring back memories, fellas? Back then we were somewhat limited to powders available. I used IMR 4320 @ 43.5 grains. After getting it on the paper I was disappointed at the results. 10 shot groups at about 3". I dropped the powder charge .5 grains at a time for 2 times. No improvement.

    The range was quite far from my home and took a while to get there. This screwing around took about a week. Went to talk to Charlie about it and tell him of my frustration. He only had words of encouragement. He told me not to give up, but keep trying, as I had to be close.

    Dropped the charge to 42 grains and tried again. The air was still that day.10 shots @ 200 yards. A quarter covered all the holes with nothing showing. The barrel got hotter than hell firing that string. Melted my car seat in a long spot. Couldn't wait to tell Charlie and thank him for his faith in me. Done...1954.

    About 5 years ago, my wife and I were discussing this rifle. I said, let's see if it still shoots. Loaded some fresh cartridges. Had to use Sierra 75 grain bullets. Didn't have any IMR 4320, so used 40 grains 4064. Only range we could use was limited to 100 Yards. Fired 2 rounds. Left a figure 8 hole approximately 3/16" center to center. I turned to Wifey with a grin, and exclaimed " it still shoots!"

    I used the Type 1 for woodchucks untill I made one of the first 300 Weatherby's in my area the following year. But that is another story.

  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    BEAUTIFUL rifle- and not hard to tell- a labor of love!

  3. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

    That is really nice. Really nice. Outstanding job.
  4. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    That's a great story and a beautiful rifle. Thank you for sharing it with us.
  5. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    Awesome story and a wonderful rifle!
  6. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    That warms my heart. Thanks for it!
  7. M14sRock

    M14sRock Active Member

    Wow. Simply beautiful.

    Can we have the .300 Weatherby story? Please?
  8. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    Great looking/shooting rifle! Great skill building it at such an early age too!
  9. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    A very nice rifle and what a story!
    I only know one guy that even has a 257 Roberts anymore. It was his grandfathers. I am praying that he don't sell it but he has squired demons that don't lend themselves well to keeping nice things around the house.

    Anyway, you should be proud of the work you have done. I love hearing stories like this.
  10. RGH

    RGH New Member

    Greetings, Gentlemen,

    I honestly appreciate the flowers. Thank you.