The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 3, 2014, 11:02 AM   #1
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Update on my Jack O'Connor Custom Tribute rifle

Just in case anyone is interested and would like an update on the issues with my JOC Custom Tribute rifle, here it is: Just got off the phone with Winchester and talked to "Dave". He said it is likely that the stock has changed shape and possibly shrank from the time it was produced and the time I purchased it. He said the stock should be able to be corrected but woodwork is normally very labor intensive and I can expect to wait about 2 months for the stock to be finished. Although I do hate the 2 month wait, this does give me hope that I will be able to keep the stock I paid for and it will arrive back in the condition befitting a Custom Tribute rifle, particularly one with Jack O'Connor's name on it, literally. I'll call back in a month and try to get an update. He also said that Winchester will be mailing me a service number and some particulars regarding the work they are doing and the schedule expected for delivery. I told him that I was a little more than uncomfortable having to send a stock via UPS and all I had for any receipt was the UPS pick up label they emailed me. He assured me that this is perfectly normal and that is why I will be receiving the service number, etc. Updates to follow......
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 11:51 AM   #2
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,203
If it shrank, the wood was not dry enough for use. They should know better. Could be that the stock blank tested dry enough, but that as wood was removed, they got to a level that was still too high in moisture content. Most moisture reading tools don't read more than about an inch deep.
603Country is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 01:02 PM   #3
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Makes sense to me

Good info, I don't know much about wood and moisture content other than you need to know more than I do about curing wood properly. I had a black walnut tree cut down and I saved some of the wood when I cut it up into logs, hoping to use some of the nicer grain wood for some pistol grips but most of the wood just warped and split. The pieces that didn't just seemed to dry rot so out went that project. Didn't cost me anything but it did let me know that wood is a tricky thing to pick out, cut, and cure properly for use with a firearm. Not sure if its cheaper but I do know its easier for me just to order some new handles for my revolvers should I decide to re-grip them. I didn't even know there was a moisture gauge for wood, but your theory sounds very plausible.
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 03:33 PM   #4
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Found out something new.

The JOC Custom Tribute was my first purchase of a Winchester M70 with the MOA trigger and I just learned something I did not know. The barreled action will not fit a New Haven stock without relief to the trigger guard, at least it didn't fit 3 of the synthetics and one wood stock from the early 70's or any of the XTR stocks I have. I knew the bottom metal was different but had no idea that the stocks were not interchangeable. I could have sworn that I saw some simple conversion metal spacers for the bottom metal to allow post New Haven stocks to fit earlier M70's to the new stocks from SC. It would almost fit in the stock but work has to be done on the trigger slot for it to bed correctly. I don't plan to use any other stock but I wanted to get the optics mounted and felt better about having the action stocked than trying to vice the action and mount the scope. I did get it close to mounted in an old synthetic but couldn't use action bolts so I just improvised, adapted, and overcame. The optics look good and I think the VX III 2.5X8X36 is just about perfect and about the closest thing I could find to Mr. O'Connor's original Leupold 4X Mountaineer. I did find some Weaver reproductions of the old steel tube variety but I opted for the Leupold compact scope, as Mr. O'Connor did with his rifle.
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 04:39 PM   #5
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Did Winchester say anything about the lousy checkering job you reported having on the stock of your JOC Model 70? That would bother me a lot.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 06:29 PM   #6
WIN1886
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 25, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 564
Too much oil finish can make checkering mushy...I've checkered my own rifle stock before and left the checkering pretty much dry while finishing the stock and then very lightly brushed a little amount of finish in the checkering until it was completely dry looking !
WIN1886 is offline  
Old February 3, 2014, 06:30 PM   #7
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Response to djludwig

I was only able to talk to a service rep and not to anyone in the service shop. If the stock shrank then the checkering would have drawn up as well and instead of well defined cut checkering the result would be smoother, if it shrank, per the rep, but he said he couldn't be sure. No confirmation on exactly what happened yet or how the stock ended up as it did, just speculation from the service rep at this point. He has not seen the stock and he likely never will. He just handles the routing and paperwork with the customer as a rep for Winchester but he left me confident that they could handle whatever the problem was and get it corrected. Hopefully so......
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 8, 2014, 05:09 AM   #8
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
It just keeps getting better

After all the trouble I have had with my new Winchester Jack O’Connor Custom Tribute rifle I thought things were turning around yesterday with two items found in the mail on the doorstep. First in the mail bundle was an info card on my rifle and its progress at the service center. Unfortunately the service card lists my gun as a Springfield 30-06, that must make Jack roll over in his grave, and when logging on to check the status is appears that mid-April is the earliest I will see the gun stock again as it will be re-checkered, refinished, and the metal parts re-fit. I tried to call Browning (the actual name on the card) and they were all gone for the day so I'll have to clear up my card/account errors lest I get back a 30-06 of some variety(yuck). The second glimmer of hope rested in a box from Clewiston Idaho which I knew contained my complimentary rifle case from the Jack O'Connor Hunting Heritage & Education Center. Much to my surprise I opened the box and found the custom embroidery spelling Lewiston as "LEWISION". Who knows, maybe Mr. O'Connor moved from Lewiston at some point to a township known as Lewision but I doubt it. Anyway, the rifle matches the case perfectly right now. Designed well, well thought out, but executed very poorly in the production phase. I enclosed a picture of the spelling error on the case and I doubt I'll return it because it probably isn't worth all the hassle anyway. I had planned to use it as a travel case in the vehicle when I went to a hunt club or back home when the gun needed a "Grand Entrance", you know what I mean. Anytime I needed to high hat it just a bit and show off my Winchester. For now, I'll just set back and wonder if this ordeal will ever end and now I can't help but have serious concerns about the rifle function, accuracy, and performance when I get the stock back and get it together. I know manufacturing isn't always a process of perfection but I hate being the guy that apparently got "that gun" but at least I have the case to match! I'll enclose a picture of the case. Kind of funny huh, I guess no one checked the work at any point in the process of these cases and they are named for a writer that was a meticulous wordsmith and editor of the highest quality. I bet he would have caught the spelling error .......... but it is likely that no one would have handed him the rifle I received or the case that I received either. Well, the gun has a history and a story to go with it and it has never had a round chambered, not bad huh?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JOC Case LEWISION.jpg (185.0 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg JOC Case with work.jpg (136.0 KB, 65 views)
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 8, 2014, 09:56 AM   #9
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,366
Quote:
Did Winchester say anything about the lousy checkering job you reported having on the stock of your JOC Model 70? That would bother me a lot.
Well since the checkering is impressed instead of cut by hand, and impressed checkering is always hit or miss IMO. If you go back and look at the close up pictures that ColColt and Mystro posted in other threads, you can clearly see the checkering was impressed into the wood and not cut by hand. If NavyChief gets the same stock back I wouldn't expect the checkering to improve much.

I know the stocks are supposed to be hand fitted, but the majority of the work on them is going to be done on a machine. You wouldn't be able to touch these rifles if the stock work was all done by hand for the prices they currently retail for. Making a wood stock by hand even if using a Duplicator is labor intensive for a gunsmith. Any wood stock of a quality grade of wood, fitted to your barreled action, shaped, finished, and checkered will cost in the neighborhood of $3,000+ these days. That is why the synthetic market has really taken off as you can get a fully custom rifle built for around $2,000 instead of starting at $4-5,000.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns

Last edited by taylorce1; February 8, 2014 at 10:02 AM.
taylorce1 is offline  
Old February 8, 2014, 03:02 PM   #10
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
There is a big difference between "impressed" checkering and "machine-cut" checkering. Most manufacturers haven't used impressed checkering (or hand checkering, for that matter) for many years now.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 8, 2014, 03:06 PM   #11
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
I enclosed a picture of the spelling error on the case and I doubt I'll return it because it probably isn't worth all the hassle anyway.
I'd keep it. Your case (with the misspelling) might be worth more to a collector some day down the line, not that it necessarily matters to you.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 8, 2014, 10:42 PM   #12
AllenJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,246
NavyChief you are way more patient than I, and I’m considered very patient by those who know me! When you call them Monday to explain what caliber your rifle is, you might mention that so far their customer service leaves more than a little to be desired.
AllenJ is online now  
Old February 9, 2014, 01:00 AM   #13
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
The Mystro and ColColt stock flaws

The flaws exposed are correct and they also suffer from the same obvious deep gaps in the wood grain and unfilled cracks throughout the wood. I know its not a laminated stock but the stock should be smooth enough for a BB to roll of the buttstock and not get stuck in any gaps or holes, right? My stock just didn't look finished at all. It looked like someone was teaching someone how to make a gunstock and then set it aside after a coat or two of finish, wiped it off and sent it out. ALL of my New Haven stocks were of superior workmanship to this stock and none of that wood was over grade 1. This stock was a AAA French Walnut. By the way, I have had a few gentlemen PM me about their Jack O'Connor series rifles as well. Mostly poor stock workmanship and they have been told everything from "the butt plate is supposed to be a lot bigger in case the stock ever swells" to "just send it back and we'll see what we can do" by the service shop. turnaround is normally quoted at 4 months. Another guy has a bad barrel that fouls repeatedly during and after the break in process. He went over the barrel break in process and everything he did was by the book but still after 36 shots the barrel fouls very badly after each shot. You can imagine the groups. Again, Winchester just said to send it back and they'll get to it. How much work do they have? Are more people repairing guns than producing them? All I know is this whole thing started out bad and has gone to worse. As for keeping the rifle case with a misspelled "Leision" Idaho, I can't imagine it ever having any collector value at allunless it was a one of one and it certainly isn't that, just ask the other JOC Custom Tribute Owners. The Edsel and a Saddam Hussein portrait may be a collectors item as well but who really wants one? I'll call the JOC center Monday and see if they are aware of the situation because this casts a shadow of incompetence on them as well, and Jack O'Connor deserved a lot better than that from Winchester. He personally made the .270 Winchester as popular as it is today and likely sold more Model 70's for Winchester than anybody else ever sold of any rifle in any generation except maybe Chuck Connors and the Model 94.Thought maybe it was just me but the count is up to about 11 if I count correctly with those who have contacted me with either the same or even worse problems with this particular rifle. Please keep in mind I am not talking about the cheaper version of the O'Connor gun. Apparently that wood is OK but it is a much lower grade wood anyway and probably turned out with the regular Sporter blanks and finished/checkered as they are. They have a rubber recoil pad so it is a lot easier to just use cnc duplication and machine sanding and then finish the stock. Maybe I should have bought the cheaper version, it was about a thousand dollars less 1500$ vs, 2400$ but it just didn't seem like Jacks rifle with a 1 inch rubber recoil pad and low grade stock. I really thought I would get something close to his old #2 and the pictures n the Winchester site, in the magazines, and the guns at the SHOT show sure made me think I would to. Who knows, I may end up with a masterpiece but I am beginning to doubt it....Stay tuned, more to follow and man do I hope that I get to go on every board and say how much I love and trust Winchester to eventually get it right no matter what they have to do....we'll see.....
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 9, 2014, 05:04 PM   #14
dgludwig
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 5,182
Quote:
To my untrained eye that checkering looks impressed to me.
Whereas I certainly agree that the checkering "job" done on NavyChief's Model 70 stock leaves a lot to be desired, it is cut (likely by machine) but not "impressed". Impressed "checkering" was introduced sometime in the early sixties as a cost-cutting measure as compared to the labor intensive hand-cut checkering and this process was popular for a period of ten years or so before the advent of machine-cut checkering on factory rifles. Impressed checkering is really not "checkering" at all; it is a reverse checkering process and is achieved by "stamping" a checkering design into the wood. The "diamonds" aren't raised but rather are recessed, offering no purchase to the grip. Impressed checkering is mostly a decorative effort and offers little in terms of functionality.
I haven't seen impressed checkering done on a factory firearm since the 1970s.
__________________
ONLY AN ARMED PEOPLE CAN BE TRULY FREE ; ONLY AN UNARMED PEOPLE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED
...Aristotle
NRA Benefactor Life Member
dgludwig is offline  
Old February 9, 2014, 05:47 PM   #15
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,366
I understand it isn't impressed checkering like that used on the old M70 & 700's of the 60's. However, in ColColt's rifle it looks like a pattern was impressed into the wood for the cutters to follow. The uncut checkering in the curve I highlighted, looks to have been left by some other tool than a CNC or mechanical cutter.
__________________
NRA Life Member
The Truth About Guns
taylorce1 is offline  
Old February 9, 2014, 06:03 PM   #16
FiveInADime
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 25, 2012
Posts: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgludwig
I haven't seen impressed checkering done on a factory firearm since the 1970s.
You haven't seen my Marlin 25N from the early nineties then.
FiveInADime is offline  
Old February 21, 2014, 11:59 PM   #17
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Update on my joc rifle from winchester

Checked online and the new estimated date of repair is the first week of May. Winchester/Browning has a nice little site where you can go and check the status of the repairs, According to the site, the buttplate has been reshaped, fitted and replaced, the irregularities removed, the forend fitted and shaped and now awaits final checkering and refinishing. This gives me confidence because at least they acknowledged the need for repairs and are attempting to do what they can to make it right. I hate having to wait almost 5 months but if it comes back the way I hope it does, it will be worth the wait. Good on Winchester for making it easy for us to track our repairs online and not having to stay on hold to wait to talk to someone. I'll keep you guys posted!
NavyChief is offline  
Old February 22, 2014, 08:00 PM   #18
Hawg Haggen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,643
Hope it works out for you.
Hawg Haggen is offline  
Old February 23, 2014, 03:04 PM   #19
Sierra280
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2013
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Posts: 569
You have the patience of a saint. I am all for giving the manufacturer a chance to fix their mistakes, but given all the flaws; the misspelled case would be the last straw for me. I would just ask for a refund since, they have demonstrated a complete lack of quality control at every turn. It's disappointing, but how can you reasonably support a company that would even bring such a product to market?
Sierra280 is offline  
Old February 23, 2014, 08:29 PM   #20
WIN71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2005
Posts: 639
Ditto

Quote:
You have the patience of a saint. I am all for giving the manufacturer a chance to fix their mistakes, but given all the flaws; the misspelled case would be the last straw for me.
Two impressions on this whole mess.
First, somebody at Winchester should be taken out behind the woodshed for allowing this example of a rifle out of the factory in the first place.

Second, somebody at Winchester should get a pat on the back for doing everything possible to fix it.

Given the cost, the man this rifle represented and the limited number produced I would have thought each and every person working on this rifle would have noticed junk and sent it immediately for correction.

I recently purchased a Cabelas sponsored Winchester FN made as close to the Win pre 64 as could be reasonably done. It does have the new trigger and there is no stock to barrel front screw. Mine is in .264, grade lll wood, has a 26 "barrel including the bulged rear site location and has iron sights. Everything is great. Wood to metal, checkering, and it is starting to really shoot 140 gr. hand loads.
I'm almost glad I didn't read this thread before I ordered it sight unseen.
__________________
Air goes in and out. Blood goes 'round and 'round.
Any variation on this is a very bad thing.
개인 정보를 보호하십시요
WIN71 is offline  
Old March 22, 2014, 12:56 PM   #21
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Update on JOC Custom Tribute

I checked on the Browning/Winchester website today and apparently the gun has been re-checkered, the ebony cap fixed, the buttplate refitted and is now being refinished. Estimated repair date is still 08 May, 2014.
NavyChief is offline  
Old March 22, 2014, 04:35 PM   #22
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,970
Thanks for the update, I have been wondering and did not track the thread.


Sadly this kind of lack of quality is somewhat pervasive.

We got what supposed to be the top of A/C units for computer rooms (Liebert) a while back (50k or so for a 5 ton unit I believe)

We had ordered a high output fan for it.

When we got it the fan cover was severely bulged out, the motor base adjustment bolt stuck out (fan was supposed to move back for that model to stop just that problem).

They though it was fine. Hmm, stripped out bolt on the cover because of the excess pressure, a large dent int he cover where they forced it over the bolt head. As it was not fully formed you still had to bend the cover to get it to close and bolt down. Someone in the factory did not notice that and do something about it.

Yes they noticed it and they did nothing (let alone the people who did it). Amazing.
RC20 is online now  
Old June 12, 2014, 11:17 AM   #23
NavyChief
Member
 
Join Date: January 29, 2014
Location: West Tennessee
Posts: 33
Still no gun

Repairs were scheduled to be finished on my Jack O'Connor Custom Tribute by the 8th of May. Still no gun and the status has not changed. A phone call yielded nothing other than "it should be finished any day now". Worst experience I have ever had with ANY firearm in my life. Too many well built and well serviced guns for me to do this again. I only did it because I am a ridiculously over zealous Jack O'Connor fan but I admit I have the problem and I have since my youth. I'll never spend thousands on a tribute gun from Winchester, ever again. I wish I was the only one with problems but I do thank those who have messaged me and told me their issues with the same gun as well as those with other tribute guns as well. My recommendation is to just get a good model 70 like a Kimber or Montana and get some custom work done. You pay about the same and my results have sure been different. If I get it back I'll post pictures and let everyone know the ending. Too late for a happy one, now I am just hoping for an ending.
NavyChief is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12715 seconds with 8 queries