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Detecting A Repaired Demilled M1 Carbine

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quanjito View Drop Down

Joined: Nov 12 2021
Location: Gastonia
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    Posted: Nov 15 2021 at 7:45pm
Depending on the damage to the Carbine itself, there are two main parts that will have to be repaired, the rest are easy to replace, (Or at least they were) when this practice of recommissioning these weapons was common. The first is the receiver. Most receivers where decommissioned using large blow torched that cut stacks of M1 carbines, usually in a pile that was stacked around 50 Ft Long up to 2 feet high in some cases, depending on the torches at the disposal of the armory, or scrapper at the time of decommission. Obviously the ones on top always were destroyed to the point that few parts were reusable while the middle to the bottom had a chance. Many times the stacks were so high that the bottom ones were not cut at all, or had only slight nicks. So, depending on the damage, one could possibly have and easy time rewelding them. One method that was common was that if the nick was on the "Spring Tube" Side was to drill the sl*g out of the hole and insert a carbon rod. This rod would not bend to the intense heat and someone could use a gas welder to simply "Patch" the hole. This hole was then ground down and milled to match the rest of the receiver. These were simple repairs that fool many people depending on how good the welder / machinist was. If the rods were made of metal from other receivers from the same manufacturer, and a good heat treat was used to reharden the steel, then they can be almost impossible to tell from the naked eye, even when they are reblued and reparked. The best way to tell is to look for the ring on the inside of the Spring Tube to see what is called a ring from the welding process. These are the easiest repairs to detect. Receivers that are cut heavily on the left side of the sight as you are looking from rear to front  were generally repaired either by just milling the area flat, just to make it look aesthetically pleasing. These to the Novice look like they are just regularly machined, or if there was extensive damage to that side, the a build up method was utilized using weld to recreate the area destroyed. Because this was the rear of the receiver and if the welder was careful, he did not have to worry necessarily about heat treating as the trunnion would not be affected so it would retain the strength to handle the cartridge pressures. You can tell these because when they are relbued or parked, they have an M14 look as the rear is darker that the front trunion because of uneven heat treat and temper. and the final cut the the receiver is when the receiver is completely destroy except for the front trunnion. In this case what they would do is take two or three receivers that have "Good areas and piece them together. First, the front half of one and the rear half of another that had survived the flame would be cut to size.  while locking down the receiver in the jig. The extra was for the inevitable contraction that will occur as a result of the heating expansion and retraction. . although this is not the complete walkthrough, it is just to illustrate the process so that you can identify the rewelded receivers. Obviously these are more easily observed based on discoloration patterns.

Another thing that came along that made this work so much easier was the advent of TIG Welding. A Competent TIG Welder can weld these more efficiantly with far less warpage than the older gas welding. But the problem with tig is that it will ALWAYS Show when the receiver is stripped or reblued, parked, etc. That is why so many made after TIG Became Popular have Duracoat / Ceracoat Finishes. They can look almost new with these particluar finished..

The other "Reworked" Part is the barrel. Because barrels were either cut in the trunnion area or the front, what they would do is measure the barrel ends, front and back, then the rear half would be turned down on a lathe, and the front half would be drilled out, then they would be press fit with. Some would then be tack welded and the the whole barrel turned on the lathe, but most I saw were Pinned so that the pin would lock the two ends together, the turned down on the lathe to recreate the groove pattern . If using the pinned method and the barrel heat treated, you cannot tell from the outside with the naked eye that anything is amok, you have to look at the inside of the barrel fro misaligned grooves, or if the machinist was very good at his job just the RING that you will be able to make out from the joining.

So in the end, the way to tell if you gun may have been rewelded is to strip the weapon first, Look for uneven coloration, Look for machining where areas may have been removed to look aesthticaaly pleasing, then look at the finish to determine If Duracoat or Ceracoat were used instead of Traditional Bluing or Parkerisation. The look down the Barrel and the Spring tube for a Distinctive Rings from rewelding or joining.

I hope this helps those who may be wondering as this does affect the value of a firearm. By the way, these methodes were used on Garands, Springfield 1903's, and P.17's too!!!
I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees,

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