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M40 - by the guy that built #1 -- and -- whose son built the USMC M40 Reproductions

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  • #31
    I don’t know what was done but if you treat first, it’s harder to machine. Then there’s that stress relieving that causes warpage during machining ... I’m curious but it may be a multi-step process if it’s not treated last.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Son of Smiley View Post
      40X rifles use the same basic configuration, they come from the production area and were sent to the Custom Shop to be lapped, trued and then inspected. They are the best of the best after the Custom Shop did their magic to them. That's whats makes them 40 X .
      Thank you. So, are you saying, in the case of the M40, that the receivers were referred to as 40X due to the special treatment, even though they were roll marked "Model 700"?
      You can take a Marine out of the Corps, but you can't take the Corps out of a Marine.

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      • #33
        Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	2 Size:	2.43 MB ID:	33242 Exactly! The receivers used for 40X, and M40 were made on production machines, then sent to the custom shop for operations to tune them and make them into precision rifles.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Son of Smiley; 01-03-2018, 05:03 PM.

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        • smiley
          smiley commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe this photo was taken sometime prior to early 1964, looking from where we entered the R&D shop looking toward the back. Someone is inspecting a truckload of 40x's that are on the way to the gallery for testing, while my father is drilling 40x barrels. . I'm most sure that the barrels stacked in front of him are drilled barrels ready to go to the rifling machine that's just out of site. After rifling they would be put in a truck like the one half in the picture on the right behind my father. From there they'd be taken to the last machine on the left that you can only see the open doors up in the air. That was a Monarch profile lathe that rapidly turned them to whatever profile was required. Then they would be lapped, threaded, chambered and assembled in the machine group behind my father and out of sight to the right. They were them sent for grinding, polishing, sandblasting or whatever finishing was required, then back to us for final fitting and assembly. Thje 40x's were done out of view about 20 ft to the right of the drill in the photo. Later the early 700 C, M40 and experimental barrels were also built on these same machines by the same guys
          The wall on the left was the room where Mike Walker and the engineers offices were. At the end of that wall to the left is another room where a few more machines and Leon and my benches were, where we built the Custom 700 C grades and the first M40's. The door you see behind the machines was a small room set up with bullet making machinery.
          And that gentlemen is where the first M40's came from.
          Smiley

        • SemperFi
          SemperFi commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the information! Smaller shop than I had envisioned.

        • J!m
          J!m commented
          Editing a comment
          cool. looks like the "model shop" in the company I used to work at.

      • #34
        Thats an awesome picture! I was going to ask if you guys had any pictures from inside the shop thanks for sharing it

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        • #35
          SemperFi commented
          01-03-2018, 09:07 PM
          Thanks for the information! Smaller shop than I had envisioned.

          There was about 20 ft behind the photographer that on the hallway (left) side, contained a stairway and 4 ft lift WATER powered elevator, a loading room directly behind the photographer (all test ammo was hand loaded) and finally the 40x assembly benches against the other wall. Total size including the bullet making/storage area, I would guess at about 30 x 70 ft.
          The part where I worked is to the left past and behind the office partition wall and was around 20 x 30 ft where the 700C's, first M40's and experimental's were built. There were several benches on 2 walls and Bridgeport's, lathe, grinders, polishing jacks etc in the remaining area. The extra benches were where a few of the engineers would come out to play with their ideas. A couple were actually mechanically and gunsmith inclined. Most just had degrees from MIT, Stanford, or Ivy League schools etc..

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          • #36
            Smiley, and son of Smiley,, thank you so much for fielding all our questions. I do have one not specific to the M40. For my clone I acquired a minty condition model 700 serial # 168,7xx. The original barrel markings indicated it was manufactured in Nov 1965. (Senich SN list shows 3 original M40s in that 168,000-169,000 range). The stock had a nice gloss finish on it. When I went to strip that finish, is was a real B---- to remove. I used all sorts of harsh strippers and it took many coats to finally remove down to bare wood.
            My question is, do you know by chance exactly what that product was??

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            • smiley
              smiley commented
              Editing a comment
              It was Remington RKW. a Dupont product. Dupont owned Remington at the time and I sprayed a lot of it on the custom 700's. I always thought it was some type of polyurethane but don''t really know. I've seen a lot of questions about repairing it and did quite a few repairs. It was no problem to just sand down the bad area spray it, then scuff sand the whole stock and respray the whole thing. BUT, remember I was using the original product. It was definitely not a catalyst 2 part product as some suggested. I would just take a truckload of stocks up to custom repair, pour RKW into the gun and shoot them. We did dry them in steam heated cabinets directly behind the spray booth. -
              We had quite a problem and repairs in the beginning , with the finish lifting in the grip and forend areas. I got thinking about it and figured that these areas got the most handling it was oils from our hands. When going to spray, I had to walk by large parts cleaning tanks of vaporized trichlorethylene in the heat treat area. I researched it and found it (and acetone) was considered suitable for cleaning metal or wood before finishing. The next time I went to spray I dipped one of the stocks (and some test blocks) in the vapor not knowing whether it would raise the grain or what. It dried almost instantly and no raised grain. I sprayed them and couldn't see any ill effects and kept them around for several weeks to see if anything bad happened and nothing did. I did several more stocks and eventually all my stocks that way, with no lifting problems. I didn't dare turn it in as a suggestion as changing process without orders was a major no-no (I found out the hard way). After a few months of study, the engineers finally decided skin oil was the problem and we shouldn't handle the stocks without a cloth or gloves.. They never did find out what I was doing. tee-hee!!

              I did develop a system of repairing a small spot on returns where it had been banged and the finish lifted leaving a white spot. I just went down to the first aid office and got a hypodermic syringe, loaded it with a little RKW and shot it under the lifted finish. Problem solved. Again remember I was working with the real RKW and don't know if it would work with a polyurethane. It would probably be worth a try with nothing to lose.
              -- Just as a side note, I got the job in R&D after only a year in production not only because I liked and fooled around with guns, but primarily because I was a pretty good auto body painter.

            • pmclaine
              pmclaine commented
              Editing a comment
              Interesting...

              I have a 1968 varmint stock I've promised to a friend if he ever gets around to buying a Dicks special and wants to stock it in some classic wood.

              It has a few bruises and I thought I'd strip it bare, steam some dents and give it an oil finish.

              If RKW is that durable will chemicals likely to remove it have any effect on the fore end tip or pistol grip faux ebony accents?

          • #37
            Would you happen to recall who did the original contract M40 barrels, which were marked on the barrels (next to the date code N) with apparently that person's number, "41" ? Or did the "41" stamp next to the date code on the left side of the barrels mean something else rather than just one person?
            jack1911

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            • smiley
              smiley commented
              Editing a comment
              As mentioned before, ALL the original barrels were manufactured on the machines shown in the photo. As for the "41" I can't help you. We did stamp the underside of the 700 C grades with our initials but can't remember if we did that on the m4'0's

          • #38
            Thank you Sir!!!

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            • #39
              I know for a fact that it's a real bear to remove RKW finish from first hand experience! RK finishes from DuPont were used on bowling pins because of it's durability. I found something more in depth on the Remington society site dealing with personal experience from a DuPont employee:

              http://www.remingtonsociety.org/foru...ic.php?t=24991


              Actually "RK" was a prefix used by the DuPont Industrial Finishes Department for a series of coatings. It was simply a prefix code used to identify a particular formula, in this case RKW was not the real formula, it was probably more like RK-1706, and as I recall we submitted several versions to Remington for evaluation. Remington picked one and for whatever reason added the "W" for advertising purposes.

              By the end of the 60's, the only plant Dupont had that was producing the somewhat nasty wood finish products was on Elston Avenue in Chicago, it has been closed for some time, and was in the end a "superfund" site. That particular plant had the last kettles & equipment capable of making these type finishes. It has been a good while since I was involved so my recollection of exact code numbers is foggy but the above should give you the basics.

              Jim Peterson
              Charlotte, NC

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              • #40
                Other than the M40 reproductions, I have more experience with the M24 rebuild and the XM2010 and MCR projects.

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                • #41
                  Originally posted by Son of Smiley View Post
                  I know for a fact that it's a real bear to remove RKW finish from first hand experience! RK finishes from DuPont were used on bowling pins because of it's durability. I found something more in depth on the Remington society site dealing with personal experience from a DuPont employee:

                  http://www.remingtonsociety.org/foru...ic.php?t=24991


                  Actually "RK" was a prefix used by the DuPont Industrial Finishes Department for a series of coatings. It was simply a prefix code used to identify a particular formula, in this case RKW was not the real formula, it was probably more like RK-1706, and as I recall we submitted several versions to Remington for evaluation. Remington picked one and for whatever reason added the "W" for advertising purposes.

                  By the end of the 60's, the only plant Dupont had that was producing the somewhat nasty wood finish products was on Elston Avenue in Chicago, it has been closed for some time, and was in the end a "superfund" site. That particular plant had the last kettles & equipment capable of making these type finishes. It has been a good while since I was involved so my recollection of exact code numbers is foggy but the above should give you the basics.

                  Jim Peterson
                  Charlotte, NC
                  Thank you much for that added info.

                  Comment


                  • #42
                    Another question just popped into my head. Did Remmy ever use any kind of pipe dope, thread locker or ??? when screwing in the barrels? When I removed my standard barrel so I could install an original M40 barrel, I used a Wheeler receiver wrench and a good barrel vise. NO GO, barrel just spun in the vise even using rosin, applied some heat, still NO GO. Brought it to an old timer who was a former Army armorer (he's in his 80s now), none of his tricks worked. I finally had to resort to placing the receiver in a 6" vise and using a 3' (foot) pipe wrench on the barrel. Made me cry as I DID want to keep that barrel. There was a whitish product on the threads. Was that common practice to put a thread locker on them?

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                    • smiley
                      smiley commented
                      Editing a comment
                      As for the thread locker, it seems like I remember them wiping something on the threads but really don't know because I never actually assembled a barreled action. They were put together buy the guys that did the machining/chambering operations who horsed them together with a large specially built wrench with about a 2 ft handle on each side. After assembly, they put them in a truck to go for finishing. Finally they came back to us and the 40x guys ready for fitting and final assembly. If I run into him I will ask a friend that worked there a few years after I left, if he remembers thread locker. I do remember seeing some they had to cut apart in a lathe, but that was after destructive testing.
                      Last edited by smiley; 01-10-2018, 03:10 PM.

                  • #43
                    I'm sure my father will be along to comment on the originals, I know for a fact that on the reproductions we did they used Locktite RED, I also know that Remington has used DuCo Cement on the fire control screws to "Seal" them form being tampered with for adjustment since the 60's sometimes this was white in color or clear.

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                    • #44
                      So if I decide to use some harsh chemicals to remove a 60s era finish will it harm the "ebony" accents on the stock, either melt them or detach them?

                      PS - Thank you for your patience and knowledge sharing.
                      "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

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                      • #45
                        The ebony is simply glued on, i'd suggest you keep well away from it, sanding would be my recommendation. I'm sure anything other than acetone wouldn't hurt the grip cap or the front cap, however all bets would be off on the adhesive.

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                        • pmclaine
                          pmclaine commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thank you..

                        • smiley
                          smiley commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The Custom 700's and 375/458 Safari grades we built, had 2 small dowels in the exotic wood grip caps and the forend tips had 2 brass pins and a wooden dowel, with or without white line spacers, glued with a 2 part resorcinol glue. Most of the Safari grades were oil finished. I might even have a couple caps and tips kicking around in the drawer and know I still have the clamp I built for the tips.
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