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Early postwar Model 70 Supergrade, rebarreled by H. H. Nagel to 22-250 - need some advice from Model 70 Gurus
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September 16, 2023 - 3:28 am
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“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” — and I have just started on what may be a long, muddy road.  What just followed me home is Winchester Model 70 serial number 782XX (according to Rule, the receiver was serialized in late November or early December of 1947), a Supergrade [Probably not] standard weight rifle very nice in all respects but with a 26″ non-original barrel, clean of sights and without sight bolster, chambered for some version of the 22-250 cartridge by Homer H. Nagel, a respected former gunsmith and dealer of San Antonio, Texas, and the late grandfather of the current Mr. Nagel now operating Nagel’s Gun Store in that city.  Because the gun had been consigned to local dealer in North Texas from whom I bought it, by people representing a decedent’s estate who had no knowledge of the gun’s history, provenance or worth, the dealer cannot provide useful information. Because I don’t have even an approximate date on which Mr. Nagel performed the work, Nagel’s cannot provide any information. So, perhaps my fellow members can help me sort this rifle out. 

Description:  The receiver is a transitional Type II with a cloverleaf tang and the later side-swinging safety mounted on the bolt shroud. The stock [which is a genuine Super Grade stock of post-51 vintage] is the Monte Carlo stock introduced about 1951, with the cheekpiece correct for that stock. The pistol grip cap is the blued steel version introduced the same year. 

Anomalies: The bolt is not marked with the rifle’s serial number, as far as I can see, and has the hollow knob not introduced until 1952. The steel floorplate is not marked ” Super Grade.”   The receiver and floorplate are a bright blue to match the barrel, which I assume were tank blued at the same time by Mr. Nagle.  Because the barrel has no provision for a barrel tension screw assembly, the countersunk hole in the forearm contains neither the screw or escutcheon. 

ISSUE #1  What component parts would have needed to be replaced to accomodate the barrel change chambered for a shorter cartridge?  If the rifle came out of New Haven chambered for 30/06 (statistically most likely), I have been told that, in addition to the 22-250 barrel itself, these parts would require replacement: floorplate, magazine box, follower, follower spring, spring base, and bolt stop.  If so, that would explain the replacement floorplate but I’m not sure why the floorplate itself would need to be changed out.  Anybody?

ISSUE #2  Could a Supergrade come out of the factory box with a late 1947 receiver, a 1951 steel pistol grip, a 1952 bolt, and a 1951 Monte Carlo stock? I think maybe but what do you think? I’m more inclined to think the bolt was replaced for some reason, particularly since it doesn’t wear a serial number. The other Model 70 bolts I’ve seen all wore serials applied with an electric pencil.  

ISSUE #3  There is certainly a Cerrosafe chamber cast in this rifle’s future. Remington didn’t standardize the “22-250 Remington” until 1965 and, when it did, the SAAMI specification is for a 28 degree shoulder angle.  I haven’t yet found a drawing of the most common version of the wildcat 22 Varminter but have read that Wotkins, J. B. Smith, and Sweany wrote up their final version of the cartridge with a 26.5 degree shoulder angle, which is the same shoulder angle designed for the 250-3000 parent case.  [Later learned this wasn’t true.] I don’t think modern factory 22-250 ammo is going to chamber in this rifle, although I haven’t tested that yet (with a dummy round, of course.)  Does anyone have more exacting knowledge concerning the Varminter? 

In the end, I suspect I’m going to either (a) pay through the nose for a 26.5 degree shoulder custom resizing die; or (b) pay a gunsmith to pull the barrel and face off enough of the breech-end to allow a SAAMI spec reamer to recut the chamber.  The barrel is 26″ so the World wouldn’t end if it had to be shortened to 25″.   Even granted that a Serious Winchester Collector wouldn’t rescue this piece from the gutter, where else can you find a lovely ’47-52′ Supergrade in a serious varmint caliber with medium contour pseudo-Gopher Special barrel — for less than seven hundred bucks? And a virtually new Leupold VXII 3X-9X  in Leupold rings and bases came with the gun. I rest my case.  Lets see if I can upload some photos. 20230913_180611.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180618.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180704.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180736.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180751.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180826.jpgImage Enlarger20230913_180927.jpgImage Enlarger

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 16, 2023 - 1:53 pm
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I know it’s going to be disappointing to hear this, but the lack of a SG floorplate implies that the stock is not original to the rcvr, because while SG stocks could be purchased from the factory, SG floorplates could not; or at least not without special “pull.”  No idea why the bolt would have been replaced, but it’s not impossible that when the other parts were refinished, the bolt was polished enough to erase the ser. no.  Nothing you do to the Nagel brl will detract from the gun’s value; in fact, if it’s going to have to be re-chambered, I’d give some thought to replacing it with an original factory brl.

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September 16, 2023 - 4:55 pm
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Thanks for the early response.  The thought that the stock might not be original to the receiver had crossed my mind and that may indeed be so.  Homer Nagel began his gunsmithing career in his garage about 1942 but very quickly became prominent in Bexar County because of his skill and the post-war boom in sporterizing Springfields and Mausers.  He was able to open a retail store and it became one of the Big Three gun stores in South Texas.  He might well have upgraded the ’47 receiver by ordering a replacement stock or using one that had been replaced by a custom stock for another customer.  I haven’t had the stock off yet so I don’t know what indications I might find.  

There are a couple of reasons I don’t intend to replace the barrel. Firstly, at least in Texas, the name “H. H. Nagel” still means something and is an indicator of quality work, which the rifle exhibits. The new barrel is tapered somewhat but it is definitely of a larger diameter than that of a typical sporter weight Winchester barrel. I haven’t photographed the re-inletting of the new barrel to the forearm, but he did a very nice, tight job of it.  He did leave the slots in the forearm into which the original barrel’s rear sight bolster would have been fitted, but the more I look at the work, the less I mind that flaw.  If I were to replace the present barrel with an original Winchester barrel or an accurate replica, the gaposis would be considerable and the rifle would lose its aura of nostalgia (to me, at least) for the old postwar wildcat varminting craze.  There is one small, disquieting possibility — considering that Nagel’s customer was likely a varmint shooter. There was a lot of that in San Antone in the late Forties and Fifties. Still is.  What if this rifle was originally a factory Hornet, which would have explained the change of bolt – remember the wierd case pusher on Model 70 Hornet bolts?  Probably not, but the notiion would turn my Serious Collector friends’ blood cold.  

You raise a perfectly good possible explanation for the uninscribed floorplate.  As I wrote, I’ve read replaciing an ’06 magazine box with the one Winchester manufactured for shorter cartridges, along with shorter follower assembly, required replacement of the floorplate – although I don’t know why that would be required. The magazine box is definitely shorter than the one on my 1950 ’06 Supergrade and the bolt throw as well, indicating a replacement bollt stop. But why the floorplate would need to be replaced escapes me so far.  Surely someone on this site will know, one way or the other.  If it wasn’t necessary, I’d say your answer is likely the right one. 

Thanks for taking time to help!  Bill 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 16, 2023 - 6:20 pm
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Hi William-

Thank you for the detailed description and photos. While the photos don’t show quite everything, I believe that what you have is a custom rifle build using mis-matched Model 70 parts. 

At 78XXX, the receiver would be a type II (transition) type, with cloverleaf tang, smooth bridge that was factory D&T for scope bases.  The hollow bolt knobs were introduced with the Featherweight in 1952, and while they became standard on all M70s, they didn’t become commonplace (even on Featherweights) until 1953.  The safety itself would not be an issue, since they were compatible with transition bolts, but the hollow knob and lack of a bolt serial number are convincing.  The stock is a genuine Monte Carlo comb Super Grade stock.  The MC comb was also introduced in 1952, and many (but not all) of the early ones still used the hard rubber grip cap, with the steel variety taking over circa 1953.  If that stock is unmodified (not glass bedded or free floated), it alone is worth considerably more than you have invested in the rifle…

Thing is that Winchester stopped making cloverleaf tang receivers in 1948, so the Monte Carlo comb stocks (Standard and Super Grade) were inlet for the type III oval tang.  It appears from your fourth picture that this is the case on your rifle (tang inletting doesn’t look right).  Of course there would also be inletting in the barrel channel for the rear sight boss of the original barrel, unless this has been filled.  The floor plate may or may not be the original to the gun, but it came off a Standard rifle, not a Super Grade.  The action has been reblued (it’s polished, not matte), presumably to match the new custom barrel.

As for your first question… It’s hard to say what the rifle was chambered for originally.  It would be worth knowing what internal parts are in it now.  Since you have Roger’s book, all the magazine boxes, ejectors, bolt stop extensions, etc. are pictured.  I’d be curious… 

For example, Winchester was making M70s in 250-3000 Savage until 1949.  While they didn’t make many (less than 3000), it’s possible (???) that your rifle was originally a 250-3000 Savage and all the internal parts are original to the gun.  If, however, one were going to convert a standard length cartridge action, one would need a new magazine box, short follower, short magazine spring, new extractor collar with bolt stop extension, and new ejector to work with the shorter bolt throw.  The standard bolt face recess (0.485″), extractor, and floor plate would be fine (all 70s except the 22 Hornet used the same floor plate), so that doesn’t readily explain why the bolt (and possibly floor plate) was replaced.  I would think that for a 22-250 wildcat, the internal parts for 250-3000 Savage (#7 magazine, #5 ejector, “S” stamped extractor collar) would be optimal, but those parts can be hard to find.  I suspect that the parts from a 220 Swift (#6 magazine, #4 ejector, and short cartridge extractor collar) could be made to work (however I am NOT a gunsmith)…

Finally, I do not have any knowledge of the early 22-250 wildcats…  A chamber cast is certainly the way to go…

Hope this helps!!!

Lou

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September 16, 2023 - 8:26 pm
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Lou, thanks much.  I’ve just finished cleaning the bore and used a  little J.B. compound to see what’s what.  I haven’t hooked up my bore scope yet but as soon as I get the scope and stock off later this week, so it can go in for a chamber cast, I’ll get some bore images. It looks o.k. to the naked eye but that doesn’t tell us much.  Cross; your fingers.  I am comforted that whoever put this piece away used a fair whack of good old R.I.G. – I’ve had a time getting it out of the chamber but that’s o.k.  I didn’t measure the twist rate because my cleaning rods are too short for this barrel! I’m hoping for 1-12 but expect 1-14, given the era of the Varminter.  Old German gunsmiths in San Antone had their own ideas.  Topperwein’s was a contemporary competitor to Nagel’s, by the way. 

I agree with you about the rifle”s provenance.  While I had it on the bench in good light, I took some more photos and, sure as a cap shootin’ gun, the inletting for the tang is obviously for the tapered version, whereas the receiver is a cloverleaf.  That’s pretty convincing all by itself.  WRA was cranking out Model 70s in the postwar years as fast as it ever could to meet demand. It was pretty hard to believe a 47 type II receiver would have remained in the bin until 1952. The tang inletting nails it.  See the photos below.  

I’ve bought replacement barrel tension screw, escutcheon, and base/nut, which I’m going to slightly modify and install in the forearm hole for cosmetic reasons only.  I’ll need to shorten the screw and countersink the base plate so nothing bears on the barrel.  See the photo. cloverleaf-tang-in-tapered-inletting.jpgImage Enlarger20230916_143428.jpgImage Enlarger

When I pull the stock, I’ll see what the barrel inletting looks like.  This rifle was obviously built for a shooter and it would not amaze me to see the barrel had been floated. I don’t see any traces of bedding expoxy in the space between the barrel and the forearm, but that’s certainly not definitive.  The inletting is pretty close as the forearm runs out but near the receiver the taper of the barrel shows a little more space. Homer didn’t fill the sight bolster inletting slots.  I realize now I should have photographed the barrel/forearm from top dead center! I’ll do so next session.  

I’ll take your suggestion and see if I can identify some of the small parts, although I’ll have to study up first.  It”s going to take a bit before I get this thing to the range but that’s why I bought it. It hasn’t been a safe queen in its past and it won’t be one in my hands. 

Thanks for all your help. I’ll post as events warrant.  

Bill 

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 16, 2023 - 9:55 pm
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Hi Bill-

FWIW… The highest serial numbers I’ve run across (in the survey) on standard length cloverleaf tang (transition) receivers are in the 100,3XX range.  Oddly, they were mostly turned into 257 ROBERTS standard rifles…  The highest S/Ns on cloverleaf tang H&H receivers I’ve found are in the 122,000 – 123,000 S/N range.  Interesting enough in that the change from cloverleaf to oval tang happened around S/N 88,000.  I can’t imagine that, after changing the tooling to make oval tangs they went back and made more cloverleaf tang receivers. Confused

The “story” is that the factory still had a goodly number of rough milled but unfinished cloverleaf tang receivers that eventually got run through the Polishing Room (and serialized) well after the changeover to oval tang.  Probably true… Winchester seems to have never thrown anything away that they could turn into product, and they likely had an inventory of cloverleaf tang inlet stocks to get rid of too… Laugh

You’ve got a neat gun with some interesting history/provenance… Certainly worth what you have invested in it.  

Keep us posted… If the 22-250 wildcats (pre-Remington) are anything like the “improved” 22 Hornets, there were several “flavors” and it’ll be interesting to figure out which one Mr. Nagel was chambering…

Best,

Lou

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September 16, 2023 - 11:42 pm
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Lou, that’s the second time I’ve heard Winchester never threw anything away that could be used.  The late Herb Houze once told me the same thing, concerning a particular very late production 52C Sporting I was trying to descipher.  

I need to borrow my wife’s steam iron when she’s not looking and find my little bottle of TrueOil, because the various accumulated field marks on the stock are a distraction from its overall feel and appearance of superior quality. They should not be difficult to heal; small dents and rub marks. In my hands it’s really quite handsome and Nagel’s trigger job – on the factory trigger – breaks clean with no creep or overtravel at a hair over two pounds. 

At least for the present, it’s hard to know when the work was done, assuming it was done all at once, although we should be able to say the restocking must have been done no earlier than 1952. 

A chamber cast might give some indication of the other end of the time window: The SAAMI “22-250 Remington” case has a 28 degree shoulder, whereas the most common and popular version of its wildcat predecessors, the Gebby/Wotkins/Smith/Sweany “22 Varminter”, called for the same 26.5 degree shoulder as the parent 250-3000 case, something Phil Sharpe once pointed out in his Complete Guide to Reloading, well before Remington standardized the cartridge in 1965.  If the chamber cast should indicate a 28 degree shoulder and consequent neck length, chances are this rifle was built in or after 1965 when factory ammunition was available. In 1965 Homer Nagel was only 58 years old and could well have still been an active gunsmith. His obituary indicates he died much later, in 1986 “after a brief illness.” 

If the chamber cast indicates a shoulder angle different than 28 degrees (the various wildcats varied from 26 to 30), it is likely the work was done before 1965.  Homer’s caliber inscription is just “22-250” — Gebby had copyrighted the “Varminter” name so its absence is unsurprising. Because Homer was meticulous, if factory ammunition had been available at the time he marked this barrel, perhaps he would have added “Rem” to indicate the chamber was for the factory stuff?  Unfortunately, I just don’t know enough about his other work to say.  

My time would be better spent removing the stock from the barreled action, instead of speculating….

- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 19, 2023 - 6:25 pm
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Lou:  Oh, well……

 

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- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 21, 2023 - 2:00 am
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This topic has gotten lengthy and, as the loading and shooting of this rifle progresses, I’ll start a new topic in the appropriate area of our forum.  However, while researching the pre-Remington wildcat version(s) of the 22-250 cartridge, for one of which this rifle is presently chambered, I’ve learned there is not complete agreement among present day gunwriters about the Gebby 22-250 Varminter, the most common and prolific version of the 22-250, before it became a SAAMI-recognized factory cartridge in 1965. For the benefit of anyone sufficiently OCD to be interested, I thought I’d add what I’ve found so far to this thread:

J. E. Gebby drew up the Varminter, with the assistance of J. Bushnell Smith and maybe others, around 1937. Gebby applied for and got a U. S. Trademark for the name, “22 Varminter”.  All agree the parent case is the Savage 250-3000. The disagreement is whether the Varminter had the same shoulder angle as its parent case – 26 degrees 30 minutes – or was altered to 28 degrees by Gebby as part of his quest to protect his design.  Of course, when Remington submitted the “22-250 Remington” cartridge to SAAMI circa 1965, the Remington case wore a 28 degree shoulder angle.  Some say this was new; some say Remington adoped Gebby’s specs. 

The late Philip B. Sharpe has been quoted, accurately or otherwise, as having written in some edition of his Complete Guide to Handloading that Gebby was wise to have retained the 26.5 degree shoulder angle of the parent 250-3000 case.  The original 1937 edition of Sharpe’s book contains no such quote I can find, likely because the book was published in advance of Gebby’s marketing the Varminter. I’ve ordered a couple of used copies of later editions to see, which won’t be here for a couple of weeks.  

Contrarywise, in the 1950 edition of Roy Dunlap’s masterwork, Gunsmithing, on page 62, there is a detailed schematic of the “22-250” cartridge, which very clearly shows a 28 degree shoulder angle.  Roy did not fall off a turnip truck. By most accounts, his book was The Word for gunsmiths for many years.  I’ve attached images of page 62 from my personal, reprinted copy of the 1950 edition.  If Roy illustrated it in 1950 – 15 years before the SAAMI factory cartridge was a gleam in Remington’s eye, I’m inclined to doubt the assertion the Gebby Varminter was designed with a 26.5 degree shoulder. 

To that evidence of a de facto standard from the time of Gebby’s introduction of the Varminter until 1965, I would add the fact Browning was confident enough in 1963 to chamber its High Power sporting rifle (in this case, the one built by Fabrique Nationale on a SAKO medium action) for a “22-250” cartridge, well before any SAAMI recognized, factory ammunition had even been announced, much less produced. 

Finally, a comparison of the design dimensions of the “22-250” illustrated by Dunlap in 1950, with the SAAMI dimensions of the “22-250 Remington” cartridge (image attached), compel the conclusion that Remington saw no reason to alter Gebby’s design and did not do so in any material respect. 

I still have to get a chamber cast, of course, but since the re-barreling of this Model 70 most likely occurred no earlier than 1952 (per the style of the post-1951, oval tang Super Grade stock fitted to its 1947 cloverleaf tang actionRemington-specs.jpgImage Enlarger), I’m now more hopeful the chamber will accomodate current factory ammunition.  Which would do much to stop the bleeding….schematic-from-Page-62-Illustration.jpgImage EnlargerPage-62.jpgImage Enlarger 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 21, 2023 - 2:28 pm
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Zebulon said
The late Philip B. Sharpe has been quoted, accurately or otherwise, as having written in some edition of his Complete Guide to Handloading that Gebby was wise to have retained the 26.5 degree shoulder angle of the parent 250-3000 case.  The original 1937 edition of Sharpe’s book contains no such quote I can find, likely because the book was published in advance of Gebby’s marketing the Varminter. I’ve ordered a couple of used copies of later editions to see, which won’t be here for a couple of weeks.  

His comments appear in the appendix of the ’41 ed, & specify clearly that 28 deg is the original Varminter design, to which he attributes some of its outstanding performance; calls it best new cartridge design in last decade.

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September 21, 2023 - 3:35 pm
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Clarence,  Thank you once again for helping me through the swamp.  That confirms my suspicion Sharpe was misquoted in the particular Shooting Times article I’d turned up, dated August 20, 2018, written by one Allan Jones, titled .22-250 Remington: One of the Best for Varmint Hunting:

“The history of this cartridge in its wildcat days is cluttered with conflicting information. Many experimenters in those days were working with the .250 Savage case. Some of the best information I found is almost contemporaneous to the cartridge. Phillip B. Sharpe’s classic Complete Guide to Handloading
was first printed in 1937, and Sharpe later added supplemental sections. J.E. Gebby developed the version he called the “22 Varminter.” Other references suggest Gebby’s final version appeared close to Sharpe’s first printing.”

“Sharpe is very complimentary of Gebby’s diligent attention to detail in the development of the cartridge. He says Gebby retained the .250 Savage’s 26 degrees, 30 minutes shoulder angle, considered fairly steep in that era. However, what drove me to drag out my well-worn copy of Sharpe’s treatise was velocity….”

Being a devotee of Abe Books, I ordered good copies of the ’41 and ’52 editions of Sharpe’s book to go with a free digital copy of the ’37 edition I’d downloaded. They are coming on the low and slow so I wouldn’t have seen them until well into October.  I’ll be happy to have them in my library anyway but many thanks for taking time to read my post and definitively resolving the question. 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 21, 2023 - 7:32 pm
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In my copy of Sharpe’s book, Third Edition Second Revision about 1953, on page 192 he says “Gebby tells me that the 28 degree shoulder slope contributes to the all around performance of the Varmiter more than any other single item in it’s design”.

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September 21, 2023 - 10:17 pm
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Chuck,  Thanks much for the additional information; it really helps me keep this project moving along.  

After you and Clarence gave me the lowdown on Sharpe, I was moved (finally) to pull Wolfe’s reprint of Townsend Whelen’s 19340 book, The Hunting Rifle, and O’Connor’s 1970 Outdoor Life book of the same title. Both discuss Gebby’s 22-250 Varminter and mention the difference in shoulder angle between the Varminter and its parent case.  I should have looked on my own bookshelf. 

You guys are better than a library!  If a cast of this Model 70’s barrel chamber matches Gebby’s and Remington’s design — and I now think the odds are good that it will — I’ll be able to avoid the considerable pain of a custom die set. Miller time. 

- Bill 

 

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September 21, 2023 - 11:45 pm
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After you and Clarence gave me the lowdown on Sharpe, I was moved (finally) to pull Wolfe’s reprint of Townsend Whelen’s 19340 book, The Hunting RifleZebulon said 

If you’re seriously interested in this subject, I suggest “Practical Dope on the .22,” bu F.C. Ness, who took over the Dope Bag column after Whelen gave it up.

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September 22, 2023 - 12:07 am
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It can’t be more intimidating than the Bankruptcy Code. I’d assume it’s out of print but available in the used market? 

Update: just Googled the title and it looks readily available. I’ll place an order.  Was Ness a contemporary of Dr.  Mann? 

- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 22, 2023 - 12:24 am
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Zebulon said
It can’t be more intimidating than the Bankruptcy Code. I’d assume it’s out of print but available in the used market? 

Update: just Googled the title and it looks readily available. I’ll place an order.  Was Ness a contemporary of Dr.  Mann? 

  

He would have been younger than Mann. Not too much similarity in their interests.

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September 22, 2023 - 2:20 am
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Fascinating discussion, gentlemen. Interesting cartridge. I dabbled with it a bit one hot summer a few decades back. My rifle’s twist was a bit too fast for the new “SX” bullets and now and then one would “disappear” between the Chrony and my target. Another shooter asked how long it took my barrel to cool off, I figured it would only take a few days.

Did Gebby use 4064 in his 22 Varminter?

 

Mike

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September 22, 2023 - 3:49 am
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Hey, Mike.  The rifle that is the underlying subject of this thread is the first 22-250 I’ve owned. I need to make a chamber cast before buying some dies.  However,  there’s a good amount of historic information on the Web and the literature that should be able to tell us what Gebby, Smith, Sweany, et al. were loading in the late Thirties. If memory serves, 4064 was around in the Twenties, if not earlier, so it would have been available to all the wildcatters that were necking down the 250 Savage case and trying to get 4000 fps out of it. 

I’ll see what I can find and post it here.  

I haven’t determined the twist rate of this rifle yet but I’m guessing it will be 1 in 14, the wisdom of that era, which will be a bit slow for the polymer-tipped 60+ grain giant slayer bullets popular today. Several of my partners I shared a deer lease with a decade ago were hot to take a big buck with their 22-250s. My pal took a crack at a really nice 14 point West Texas big body at about 200 yards, wounded it and never found it.  He’d left his .270 back in camp, to his undying regret.  Since then, he’s a fanatic for caliber and bullet weight…. 

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- Bill 

 

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"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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September 22, 2023 - 1:16 pm
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Zebulon said My pal took a crack at a really nice 14 point West Texas big body at about 200 yards, wounded it and never found it. 
  

Incredibly stupid!  Or are 14 pt bucks considered “varmints” in W Tex?  Are .22s of any kind even legal for big game in Tex?

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September 22, 2023 - 4:53 pm
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I’m not current on Texas game laws because I haven’t done any hunting the last couple of years. The last time I looked, 22 centerfires were legal. 

I’ve taken maybe 3 Whitetails with 6mm rifles — my first two deer of my youth with a 6mm remington, then the last one with a 243 late in life, to try out a post 63 M70 I’d acquired to display for comparison. The sum of that experience, for.me, has been the sixes are enough in careful hands for our typical Central Texas deer, which rarely field dress a hundred pounds. They are for experienced hunters who can shoot and exercise mature and humane judgement. I don’t think they are the best first rifle for a kid. A 7-08 or a 6.5 Swede would be better. 

A long way around the park to say I think 22 centerfires are wrong for 99 percent of hunters of even small Texas deer, with a lot of side eye at the 1 percent to make sure they use the long, heavy for caliber, controlled expansion bullets. 

Central Texas has an over population of smallish Whitetails, at one time almost 7 million.  However, they are not to be compared to those in the South Texas brush country, or those of the northern rolling plains at the Western edge of the Cross-Timbers region. Because of better nutrition and healthy herd size, both latter places have produced big bodied trophy bucks, although they rarely weigh out with the Michigan Peninsula and Saskatchewan monsters.  A 300 Weatherby magnum is not considered an embarrassment in South and Northwest Texas deer camps. 

If it means anything, my 3rd buck was taken with a 308 WCF and, years later, my personal best with a .30 Gov’t ’06 and 180 grain Ballistic Silvertip. 

This 22-250 will never be pointed at anything larger than a coyote, in Uvalde-buck.jpgImage Enlargermy hands.

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- Bill 

 

WACA # 65205; Life Member, National Rifle Association; amateur preservationist

"I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both, and I believe they both get paid in the end, but the fools first." -- David Balfour, narrator and protagonist of the novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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