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Winchester, Not for Purists

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JW6789 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Sep 09 2020 at 11:34pm
Backstory - My dad was in the Navy in the late stages of WWII. He sailed on the Landing Ship Dock USS Casa Grande on its last excursion, Sept. '45 to April '46. He was a Carpenter's Mate, worked in the wood shop. The Casa Grande had seen combat, but on its last voyage of WWII was behind the action, gathering up damaged landing craft and PT boats in the dry dock after the battles and ferrying them to the next port. It was a well stocked vessel and carried a lot of supplies, and a lot of time just sailing.

The wood shop did numerous projects - teak shower clogs, a box to slice up gun camera film into sizes to run in the cameras they weren't allowed to have (I have a lot of those pics - they could develop but not enlarge so all the prints are the same size as the negatives), fishing lures, etc.

But dad was into stock customizing. He did a bunch of M1 carbines, traded them to junior officers for favors. The war was basically over, everybody was glad, and they could shoot anything on the boat with no problems - use it up! By the time they were heading to San Francisco for the end of their tour, he had several M1 carbines customized. Just cleaning up the stocks and doing inlays of lighter colored wood, in '46 nobody was thinking of the collector value decades away. 

But he couldn't get them off the boat. So he bribed the guy in charge of the mail boat -  a boat met them in the harbor to offload stuff that was shipping off - to take his crates. He had 4 crates, loaded with M1s, ammo, tools from the wood shop (my grandfather, his dad, was a carpenter, too), you name it. I still have one of the crates and many of the tools, too.

The crates were loaded on a train and shipped home to my grandparent's house, beat my dad home. I don't know how many M1s were in there, but I know he gave a few away after he got home. He said he gave one to granddad but I never saw that one. I saw the one he gave my great uncle who lived in AZ - he died when I was maybe 12 and I don't know what happened to that one, either. But he had enough ammo to plink through the last of the 40's, the 50's, and I shot it up until the 80's. Still have some.

I know that real "bring home" M1 stories are rare, but I don't think dad was BSing me - he wasn't that way- and he would have had to get my granddad and great uncle in on the lie if it weren't true. No paper - face it, he stole the stuff.

That brings us to the lone M1 left that I have now. I doubt that he replaced any parts on it, he was proud of the story but the gun was just a gun and he was...frugal. The stock has no markings left on it that I can find, but the action appears to be mostly what a late Winchester would be except a couple of things that don't add up.

Serial Number on the receiver is 65742XX, clear Winchester stamp with TM above - both partially obscured by the adjustable peep sight (H in shield). Barrel has the PW stamp on it, flaming bomb on the gas port area. W stamps on hammer (type III), has a 7161843 slide - late production? But it has the little hole in the trigger housing by the mag release - late production? OK, but the mag well doesn't have the full length slots, just short slots that line up with the mag release, and that seems to be an earlier version design.  

Anybody ever seen a trigger group with short mag well slots and the little hole in the side? I guess it wouldn't be unheard of for him to have shot the life out of the original and stuffed another action in the stock, or maybe just replaced the trigger group with a re-pop short groove/hole added. The trigger housing has CWA stamped in it on the right rear side, the letters aren't aligned - the C and A aren't aligned with each other or the W.

It's late tonight, I'll get pics of the parts tomorrow. I don't really care about the verdict, I'll never sell it, but it's a mystery to be unraveled regardless. 

It's a great shooting gun. I remember shooting over a frozen reserve pit next to a drilling rig I was working on, guys were slinging bottles across the ice and I was picking them off one after another.

Thanks for any thoughts and I'll get some pics up shortly.

Here's a test pic, miserable pic my dad took on a film cam for insurance, the only pic I have right now.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 12:13am
Welcome to the forum. Interesting looking carbine, looking forward to seeing more pictures. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PLN-TAP-7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 4:14am
Welcome on here.
It is a very interesting story as well as Carbine.
I think it has collector value as all the modifications were done at the time. At least I would value it more than one re assorted recently to pass as original. Yours seems original even if some parts may be mismatch: that could have happens at the time when your father was working on 'his' Carbines.
I am not usually a fan of pristine or modified guns but this one is nonetheless valuable because its background and, as far as I can tell from the picture, the craftsmanship displayed.
A very nice souvenir of your father indeed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sling00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 5:48am
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for sharing and like the others look forward to seeing more pics. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Donnie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 6:43am
Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing a very fascinating story. That carbine is very special.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jackp1028 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 10:57am
Hi and welcome to the forum from New Mexico!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beezer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 1:14pm
Welcome.  Just like all the others, all I can say is WOW!  Your dad did a great job and what a story you have with that carbine.  That’s one of those heirlooms that I would consider priceless with the story.  I’m hoping you have as many of your dads memories written down, we are losing more and more WWII vets everyday and most stories go untold.  Thank you for sharing this carbine and a little about your dad!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 2:56pm
Thanks for the welcome, guys. I have other stories about dad and guns - fun stories but heartbreaking knowing what we do about collectible firearms today.

Originally posted by PLN-TAP-7 PLN-TAP-7 wrote:

Yours seems original even if some parts may be mismatch: that could have happens at the time when your father was working on 'his' Carbines.

This seems plausible. The rest of the rifle aside from the trigger group appears to belong together (no idea about the stock - it could be from anything). Trigger group is the baffling part, if the trigger group is post war, then that kinda throws shade over the story as I know it.

I'll start another thread in the main parts identifying forum once I start taking pics and link to it here.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 3:30pm
Trigger housings varied from different manufacturers. One item that was different was the magazine back wall. Some had full length grooves, others had the shorter groves. This was due to different manufacturing processes.

The hole on the trigger housing is expected for your serial range.

The type 5 and type 6 slides were observed throughout 6&7 million range have been observed.

The question is which type slide yours is. Some t5 slides have been observed with 7161843 on the bottom and some type 6 slides have been reported with 7160091 on the bottom. Basically stamping errors.

Stock may be USGI that the inlay hides the sling cut.
Take the action out of the stock and look at the bridge and side walls/ledges. Winchester was known for having stamps in those locations

Is that a rubber butt on the stock? Does it have a manufacturers name on the back?

Nice looking carbine, looking forward to more pics!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 8:27pm
The plot thickens. The slide is definitely a M2/VI style, marked W on the inside of the well (under a bit of soot), 7161843 on the bottom. Has the cut corner where the long portion joins the well portion per the M2 / VI version shown in the Slides page. The mag release is marked W with an underlined M on the end, I saw a comment that the underlined M was used on Winchester M2 variants. But about that trigger housing....

It only has the short slots in the mag well rear, not all the way through, but it has the M2 style relief cut on the right side per the right hand pic in the trigger group photo MAG WELL REAR WALL Top View. And has that little hole in the side. Safety is marked "EW", a Google search for that marking turned up the M1 Family site (I have no idea as to the opinion of a competing site being used as reference here) that indicates "EW" (with the quotation marks) was a Winchester marking.

The trigger is marked W, hammer marked W, bolt marked W.

I think it's a legit Winchester trigger group, one that was re-worked to M2 specs for some reason.

As suspected, I'm pretty sure the stock doesn't go with the mechanicals, and yes the inlays are definitely to cover the sling cut outs. I have the butt plate and as best I can tell, it matches the 1st National Postal Meter pic  on the Butt Plates page. It's pretty beat up, I imagine it was on there for a while before the Pachmayr recoil pad was installed. The rifle has a pretty high serial number, but the stock is an early High Wood version with the bridge in front of the trigger cut out - still can't find any markings in the stock. 

The Barrel Band is the later style that originally had the bayonet mount - you can see where that was cut off and there are slight shadow marks on the barrel where the bayonet mount originally was. Band is stamped C, indicating a Winchester part that went with the rifle, not the stock. He had a bayonet and sheath when I was a kid, haven't seen it in a long time. He also had a "holster" for the rifle where he had it mounted to the forks on one of the old boxer engine military Harleys. All I can find now is a double mag pouch, no idea what happened to all the other accessories. I think I remember a cleaning kit in green canvas same as the mag pouch.

I promise pics are coming, my photography skills are lacking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:22pm
Catch a picture of the C on the band.
Location of it is a tell to WWII or Post WWII.

Looking forward to pics.
I have a some what similar story as to how my Father was able to get his Carbine off ship in San Francisco with the help of 2 Australians.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:38pm
Reread my last post
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:40pm
@JW6789, All of the parts markings that you have mentioned are correct for your serial range. As far as your trigger housing it also sounds like it is correct, Both type V and type VI (m2) trigger housings have been observed throughout the 6 and 7 mil serial blocks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:44pm
OK, trying to get close ups I had a little trouble getting focus but I warned you!

In no particular order, barrel band:



Mag Well rear wall showing short slots, but the M2 style relief on the right.

W on mag release




Left side of trigger, W on hammer "EW" on safety, little hole by mag release slide



Right side, W on the rear side, but a C and an A on either side of that. I've read that Winchester sometimes added another letter and sometimes a number, but I'm not sure what these mean. Underlined M on mag release.




There's a W on the trigger, couldn't get a shot of that.

PW on the barrel




Flaming Bomb, badly out of focus, on side of gas block.



That's it for now, I'll get some stock pics later and anything else somebody wants if I can get a pic of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:51pm
And that's not rust on the barrel, the varnish used - or maybe just old oil turned to varnish - is on there. The recoil plate looks brass from the yellowing effect it had on the metal where it was rubbed bare before varnishing.

I've cleaned it up a lot since the pics, it's a really nice looking gun. The only real wear is the bluing on the bolt is pretty thin/gone in spots.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W5USMC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 10 2020 at 9:57pm
Yep, that is/was a legit Winch type 3 barrel band, too bad it was cut and the swivel is missing. 
As New2brass already mentioned about the rear wall of the trigger housing, some manufactures had grooves the full length of the wall vertically and some did not.See link below for info on trigger housings.
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Very nice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 11 2020 at 3:57pm
Originally posted by W5USMC W5USMC wrote:

Yep, that is/was a legit Winch type 3 barrel band, too bad it was cut and the swivel is missing. 
As New2brass already mentioned about the rear wall of the trigger housing, some manufactures had grooves the full length of the wall vertically and some did not.See link below for info on trigger housings.

What was throwing me was I got it in my head that the partial grooves in the mag well wall were only a feature of early versions, but re-reading that it says just differences in manufacturing. Having the little hole seems to be only a feature of later versions so that threw me. But now it makes sense, especially with the M2 mod to the mag well and the M2 slide, that this was just a late production M1. 

And it also could explain the early high wood National Postal Meter stock (assuming the stock went with the butt plate I have). Carved up a stock that he liked, snagged the newest model M1 guts he could get towards the end of his service and stuffed that into his preferred stock. There was probably an older NPM M1 in a Winchester stock back in the ship's arsenal when they got to port. Wish I had that Winchester stock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 11 2020 at 6:07pm
differences in manufacturing form different manufacturers. The cut type did not change as time went on.

A few tid bits, the t6 Trigger housing is considered the latest version and backward compatiable to all carbine variations.

Many older trigger housings have been updated to the later specifications, so you will see the hole on trigger housings of all types.
Same is true with the 9 spring cut. So though the M2 requires the later parts, they are not specific to the M2 carbine. there are only 7 parts which are considered M2 only.

Look at the bottom of your trigger housing in front of the trigger guard. Any markings? Winchester is known for having markings there.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JW6789 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 11 2020 at 6:55pm
Originally posted by New2brass New2brass wrote:

Look at the bottom of your trigger housing in front of the trigger guard. Any markings? Winchester is known for having markings there.


Yes, an incomplete W just in front of the trigger guard on the bottom.
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