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Old December 18, 2011, 03:15 PM   #1
jsflagstad
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30 Carbine Debacle...thoughts??

So it all started with my grandfather who was a barber by trade and a part-time gunsmith in his spare time. He built several "special" custom rifles that were to be handed down to each of his grandsons in memory of him. The rifle that I received was this nicely done 30 carbine that he had necked down to .257 cal. and custom mannlicher stock. My grandfather died in 1971 when I was just 6 weeks old so he really never had the pleasure of "giving" me the gun. It was given to my parents by my now widowed grandmother noting that it was built for me and was to be mine as soon as I passed firearms safety class. It sure was cool to get this custom gun as a 12 year old even though it was from my grandfather that I had only met as an infant and only had seen in photos. Problem was that it never really shot that well and tended to jam up from time to time, not profusely but pretty temperamental to the necessary handloads. My dad said my grandfather never really got the chance to debug and refine the build before his untimely death.

Anyway, for the fun of shooting my dad figured he would purchase a surplus 30 carbine barrel and have it fitted to the gun and keep the .257 barrel on the shelf so we have grampa's memory preserved. So he ordered the barrel and removed the .257 barrel and quickly realized that the install of the new barrel was beyond his abilities so he set out to find a competent smith to do it. He ended up finding a guy that he said was a bit pompous but my dad figured he could do a good job because this guy told him that he was the very best and the ONLY one who worked on 30 carbines in the world and was the best known 30 carbine smith in the country...seemed like one of those guys that needs to tell you how smart he is from what my dad was telling me.

So he sends this custom gun to this "expert" who had it for 9 months before completing it. When all was said and done the bill was $325 to have the 30 cal barrel fitted and my dad had already paid him $250 for the barrel alone (so now $575 total). Take a look at the fit this "expert" did to the mannlicher stock pictured below. The purchased barrel was plenty long to have been fitted correctly to the stock.

So, $575 into this project and a VERY poor fit to the stock from a guy that touts himself as being the best and definitely screwed my dad on the price. I think my dad feels pretty bad about the whole deal as he was trying to surprise me and it all pretty much blew up on him.

What are your thoughts? Are these guys prices and workmanship out of line?

Kind of frustrating...


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Last edited by jsflagstad; December 20, 2011 at 07:24 PM.
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Old December 22, 2011, 09:15 AM   #2
flintshooter
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Wow, so many thoughts about this, don't know where to start. Did he actually cut off the front of the barrel? If he knew it was going to come up short he should have called you before he did it and explained the situation?
Do not shoot it like that as at the very least it will destroy the stock. If I were you I would certainly take issue with him as to why he completed it that way and lastly, find a different gunsmith. He's not the only person in the country that works on .30 carbines. This is fixable and that is why I ask if he actually cut the barrel off at the front. If he did, a new barrel could be fitted properly if he didn't, the stock can be reworked to fit the barrel. Find someone who really knows what they are doing and this can be saved. Good luck to you.
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Old December 22, 2011, 10:27 AM   #3
7.62 Nato
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Wow !
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Old December 22, 2011, 11:01 AM   #4
amd6547
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I suspect the .257 barrel was longer than a standard GI carbine barrel.
That having been said, the best thing would be to shorten the stock slightly.
No excuse for losing your old barrel....and I would think he ows you some $ for that...I wonder who made that barrel?..could be worth some money, and that is why he "lost" it.
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Old December 22, 2011, 11:14 AM   #5
jsflagstad
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We have the .257 barrel. As far as I know, my grandfather made it from a .257 stub...?

Yeah, the stock is a bummer. My dad is absolutely positive that the barrel that is now installed is NOT the new barrel that he purchased and sent in with the gun unless the guy did cut and re-crown it. He said the barrel he sent in was a good 1.5" longer than the stock.

Yes, probably the best would be to rework the stock to fit this new barrel, the only downside would be if we ever switched back to the .257 barrel it would no longer fit.

Live and learn...
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Old December 22, 2011, 11:22 AM   #6
flintshooter
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You could also just get a replacement .30 carbine stock for use with that barrel. At least you would be able to shoot it.
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Old December 22, 2011, 12:49 PM   #7
James K
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Did the .30 barrel your father bought have a front sight? That barrel looks like a new GI replacement barrel (they were issued without the front sight) and does not look like it ever had a sight put on it. I don't think it was cut down as the keyway seems to be in the right place.

(A .30 Carbine barrel cannot be shortened from the back end because of the complexities of fitting the piston and slide.)

So, I think the problem probably came about because the .257 commercial barrel was a bit longer than the GI barrel* and the stock was fitted to it. The new barrel is shorter and the stock is too long for it.

If you want to keep the .30 carbine chambering, you will need to shorten the stock a bit.

Now to the "greatest" gunsmith. He overcharged and sounds like an idiot. Did he do the rebarreling job correctly? Probably, but he should have consulted with the customer when he realized the problem with the shorter barrel, not just left the job half done.

*Many .30 Carbine GI barrels were under the (then) legal length of 18", so commercial makers made their barrels a bit over that so there would be no legal questions.

Jim
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