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Author Topic: 1903 Springfields, M1 Garand destroyed in fire... salvageable?  (Read 1973 times)

Damage4Hire

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So this past Summer I was working a wildfire that swept through a trailer park.  One of the trailers contained several weapons (around 30) to include one 1903 Springfield rifle, one 1903A3 Springfield rifle and one Springfield M1 Garand rifle.  The stocks were, of course, burned completely away and the barrels on both 1903's are badly warped.  The Garand appears to be just fine.  The owner of the trailer is a friend of my Chief and had no interest in the damaged rifles, so we grabbed them up in the hope that they can be saved.  I've had all three in an electrolysis tank and was able to remove most of the rust.  My plan is to disassemble them (they've been soaking in Kroil) and sand blast the rest of the corrosion off.  Soaking in wet ashes for around a week played hell on these beauties, but it all appears to be surface corrosion.  My question is this...  am I wasting my time or do you believe these rifles are able to be salvaged?  The 1903's would need to be re-barreled for sure, but what about the bolts and receivers?  Would the fire have weakened them or are these pieces generally able to withstand such heat?  A trailer fire generally lasts around ten minutes from start to ashes, but these were gutted in around five.  Total fire storm.  I am more than willing to go the extra mile to bring these rifles back from the dead. Any input is appreciated, thanks.     
Utah

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    JesseL

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    Re: 1903 Springfields, M1 Garand destroyed in fire... salvageable?
    « Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 11:29:19 pm »
    The temper of the steel is going to be pretty thoroughly screwed up and it would take a metallurgist with knowledge of the alloy they were made from to retreat them.

    It's going to be hard to get that done at a price that makes sense, and without it those rifles are potential grenades.

    You might try contracting the guys at Old Western Scrounger since they've been refurbishing a lot of former drill rifles lately and would have to know something about the correct process for handling the heat treatment, but how much they'll be willing or able to apply that to your case is anyone's guess.
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    mwcoleburn

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    Re: 1903 Springfields, M1 Garand destroyed in fire... salvageable?
    « Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 11:38:56 pm »
    The temper of the steel is going to be pretty thoroughly screwed up and it would take a metallurgist with knowledge of the alloy they were made from to retreat them.

    It's going to be hard to get that done at a price that makes sense, and without it those rifles are potential grenades.

    You might try contracting the guys at Old Western Scrounger since they've been refurbishing a lot of former drill rifles lately and would have to know something about the correct process for handling the heat treatment, but how much they'll be willing or able to apply that to your case is anyone's guess.

    This is right on, one of the things about heat treating is that the different parts will be treated differently. so you may find that you will have to treat the parts individually and there is another added cost.
    Coleburn Armory
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    ksuguy

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    Re: 1903 Springfields, M1 Garand destroyed in fire... salvageable?
    « Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 11:43:25 pm »
    You might be able to salvage some of the parts like the sight assemblies.  I'd be hesitant to try anything that is subject to stress when firing.     

    If you look on the CMP forums,  I recall a thread about a similar situation a few years ago.    M1 that was badly burned in a fire and a guy used electrolysis like you are doing.  The thread was pretty extensive with a lot of detailed info,  might give you some help.   

    http://forums.thecmp.org/
    Kansas

    Damage4Hire

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    Re: 1903 Springfields, M1 Garand destroyed in fire... salvageable?
    « Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 09:47:50 pm »
    Thanks for that info, Gents.  I'm looking into heat treating now.
    Utah

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