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Early Underwood Sears

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hunterman View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 5:58pm
Several years ago I got very lucky and acquired what I think is an exceptional 1.359 million Underwood.  The gun was carried by one of MacArthur’s supply officers and had been in the family since the war.   These photos will give you some idea about the condition of the carbine.

 

 

 

Imagine my disappointment when I found the sear had been hand etched with a *U*.  The family was not aware of anyone ever taking the gun apart.   I posted pictures on another forum and was told that since early Underwoods are known to have unmarked sears, there was no purpose in hand-etching and “someone was trying to make the gun into something it isn’t”.   OK…   I never changed the sear.


 

This weekend I picked up the parts from an early Underwood in the same serial number range.  With the exception of the stock and Type 2 rear sight, the carbine looked to be original.  However, the receiver and barrel were damaged, and the gun was being parted out.  When I disassembled the trigger group, I found another hand-etched sear.  If you look closely, the finish has been buffed off both sears in the area where the *U* is hand-etched.   In the picture of the just-acquired sear, the left * is a punch mark.

 

 


I’ve seen some LT-Q hammers with hand-etched “R”.  I’m curious as to whether anyone has seen hand-etched sears on early Underwoods.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 8:07pm
you see on some early--have dogleg hand etched--just do not remember but think was QHMC from memory
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 8:07pm
nice looking gun--what was stock markings??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 8:59pm
Originally posted by welbytwo welbytwo wrote:

nice looking gun--what was stock markings??


No cross cannons.  Here's the sling cut:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote welbytwo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 9:47pm
any sign of GHD/UEF in bog box--seen several orig guns without cross cannons but all had the boxed letters
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 23 2021 at 9:50pm
Nothing obvious on the right side.  Circle P on the bottom of the pistol grip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 24 2021 at 8:15am
G, have you ever posted about this issue before over on the CMP site? I have a reason for asking that based on an old thread over there I remember.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 24 2021 at 10:06am
Originally posted by Why Carbines? Why Carbines? wrote:

G, have you ever posted about this issue before over on the CMP site? I have a reason for asking that based on an old thread over there I remember.


You have a good memory.  The post was when I first acquired the 1.359 Underwood, and the sear was dismissed on CMP as bubba trying to improve the carbine.  That made no sense to me then and makes less sense now with this almost identical sear from the same serial number range.  Maybe it was a worker on break or killing time for some reason, but I don't think it was bubba.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 24 2021 at 10:24am
Just my WAG, the sears were made, stamped ·U· and then either found to be out of spec or they were looking to improve trigger pull.

They both look  a little more than polished, a slight grind maybe. Look at them from the side.
So evidently they touched up their markings.

Somewhere in the newsletters of WB on the topic of parts interchangeability was that all parts would not need any fitting. However it was found that some sears had some tip polishing.

The R/LT-Q hammers with etch were transfers. Hammers are hard and it is easier to etch then stamp.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Why Carbines? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 24 2021 at 10:45am
Originally posted by hunterman hunterman wrote:

Originally posted by Why Carbines? Why Carbines? wrote:

G, have you ever posted about this issue before over on the CMP site? I have a reason for asking that based on an old thread over there I remember.


You have a good memory.  The post was when I first acquired the 1.359 Underwood, and the sear was dismissed on CMP as bubba trying to improve the carbine.  That made no sense to me then and makes less sense now with this almost identical sear from the same serial number range.  Maybe it was a worker on break or killing time for some reason, but I don't think it was bubba.
 


Lol, I tend to remember unusual things like this, but can't remember where I parked my car at Wally World, go figure! I do remember the bubba comments, although it's odd they went through trouble to etch .U. on it at a time when there was such a rush to get things up and started. Of course Underwood clearly cared about what kind of work they did so the etching could be perfectly legit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 24 2021 at 2:02pm
Originally posted by New2brass New2brass wrote:

Just my WAG, the sears were made, stamped ·U· and then either found to be out of spec or they were looking to improve trigger pull.

They both look  a little more than polished, a slight grind maybe. Look at them from the side.
So evidently they touched up their markings.

Somewhere in the newsletters of WB on the topic of parts interchangeability was that all parts would not need any fitting. However it was found that some sears had some tip polishing.

The R/LT-Q hammers with etch were transfers. Hammers are hard and it is easier to etch then stamp.


Dan, your WAG may be right.  You can see the obvious depth of grind on the sear on the right.  The sear on the left is not so deep, and the one in the center is not deep enough to remove the original marking. 



Edited by hunterman - Jan 25 2021 at 12:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SSNPingjockey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 10:00am
Nice carbine!!  I love early Underwoods.

I have a 1357xxx, but I have not taken the sear out to see how it is marked. This is just pure conjecture and a thought, but who would "fake" a UEF marked sear...twice?

NOT an expensive or rare part; though may not have been handily available many years ago via the internet like today.  You have found 2 of them in early carbines...which indicates to me (pure conjecture) that those sears, for whatever reason, likely left the plant that way.  Just doesn't make sense that they were "Bubba" done to me.

Now I feel like I need to take my 1357xxx housing apart to look.  Hmmm...guess I needed to do it eventually.  I hate trying to get the sear and trigger springs back in.  I have a trigger spring tool, but still a pain..lolol.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SSNPingjockey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 1:50pm
Ok....we may be on to something.

My UEF 1357xxx is hand-scribed as well, except it is even fainter than your examples, Glen.  I think Dan's hunch is probably correct.  You can see where the stamped dimple of the left dot is and then the "U" was scribed after a shallow grind.  I wonder if this has ever been previously documented?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SSNPingjockey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 1:53pm
Sorry, could not get 2nd photo to load well.



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THANK YOU!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SSNPingjockey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 2:02pm
So, in the photo of the 3 sears...plus mine as a 4th, what serial number ranges are these out of?

We have a 1357xxx and a 1359xxx, but what serials are the other 2 from?

Anyone else out there able to check their sears in the very early UEFs?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbinekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 7:49pm
On the local gun show circuit (back when this still happened in Michigan) there’s an older gun that sells nothing but parts. He’s got lots of carbine stuff and always a bin of sears. I know I’ve seen the hand etched Underwood sears while digging through. I’ll definitely pick one up next time around now that we have a bit of an idea when they were used and that they aren’t the work of bubba.

Totally makes sense they would polish the sears to improve trigger pull. I’ve seen similar polishing on Winchester and Inland sears from the summer of 1943. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hunterman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 26 2021 at 8:48pm
Originally posted by SSNPingjockey SSNPingjockey wrote:

So, in the photo of the 3 sears...plus mine as a 4th, what serial number ranges are these out of?

We have a 1357xxx and a 1359xxx, but what serials are the other 2 from?

Anyone else out there able to check their sears in the very early UEFs?


The sear on the right in the photograph is from a receiver in the serial number range from 1,350,000 to approximately 1,384,000.
The sear in the center was loose in my parts bin.

I notice some Underwood sears are marked on top.  Perhaps they moved to a top marking to avoid hand-etching after grinding the bottom.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m1a1fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2021 at 7:32am
Funny, I had one that looked similar to the one shown by SSNPingJockey. Thought it was a punch mark and didn't notice the rest of the faint marking. No longer have the carbine to check, but it just goes to show looking at every detail is important.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OAMAAM68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2021 at 9:49am
Glen, I'll check these:
1365631    Underwood 3-43
1372242    Underwood 1-43
1374192    Underwood 2-43
1392496    Underwood 3-43
1422994    Underwood 4-43
1426777    Underwood 4-43
SF,
Bill

Update:
Checked -- 1374192 is only one that appears original.
1.37

The sear on it was not ground. I suspect some early sears were ground on the underside at the factory to bring them into spec and the partially or fully removed .U. was restored with an engraving pen.

sear



Edited by OAMAAM68 - Jan 27 2021 at 2:53pm
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