Scope Base for US 1917 Sporter
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  1. #1
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    Default Scope Base for US 1917 Sporter

    I have a nicely sporterized US 1917 rifle in need of a modern scope mount set up. The rifle was converted to 300 H&H, high polish blue and a handsome sporter stock added. The issue I have is when the rear sight ears were ground off, there was no effort to match the top surface of the rear receiver ring with the front receiver ring. It is about .040" taller. When it was originally reworked, an Echo side mount was installed so this dimension did not matter. I tried to find an Echo mount that will accept a 1" scope but they do not provide enough height for objective bell clearance.
    My current plan is fit a plug in the "well" that exists at the rear of the receiver (an artifact from the original military) sight, TIG weld it in place and then mill the rear receiver ring flat to match the top of the front ring. I have two piece Weaver mounts (#11) and will mill one flat on the bottom to use at the rear. theoretically, this will give two Weaver bases that are on the same plane. Anybody have any thoughts on this or a better idea?

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    I bought a 1917 Enfield that was previously owned by Bubba. He broke off one of the original ears and brazed it back on?!?! I took a hammer to it and broke them both off then put it on a lathe with a sideways cutting tool and planed it round and to the same height as the front. Bubba had also tapped a 10-32 hole just forward of the well. I plotted the position of the 10-32 hole and made a one piece Weaver style mount. With to #8 screws up front and Bubbas 10-32 on the rear it has worked well for close to 30 years. Bubba was a real winner besides grinding off some of the receiver he broke off 3 drills in the stock! Yeah I found them all.
    When I planed it, I used a center in the bolt bore plug for support and just rotated the receiver a little by hand with each pass. Tool was above center so it made a small flat. I did it on a lathe were I worked at the time, so my time was limited. I guess it took a couple of hours. Probably finished a couple of thousands high and filed and sanded to finish. It was a long time ago so details are a little fuzzy.

    dadsenfieldrs.jpg

    The attached photo is my dad's rifle. It was already sporterized with the 2 surfaces the same height. I made a one piece mount for it also. Same situation the mount ends just forward of the "well" in this case a single #8 screw holds it there. If you want I can make a photo of the scrap cut off the end of the mount so you can see the cross section. Bubba did not own this one. When my dad got it was never fired still in the cosmoline. He had a gunsmith buddy that probably did the majority of the sporterizing. The stock is from mine that Bubba broke the drills off in. Maybe it will give you some ideas.
    Last edited by FredC; 08-04-2020 at 04:36 PM.

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    If you want over the top ideas ask Butch Lambert to post pictures of his 1917. His bases were welded on and machined to fit then blued. I was going to link his thread but could not find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    If you want over the top ideas ask Butch Lambert to post pictures of his 1917. His bases were welded on and machined to fit then blued. I was going to link his thread but could not find it.

    Fred, My pictures have timed out or something. I'm also not able to post photos at this time.

    My 1917 Enfield - Topic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Lambert View Post
    Fred, My pictures have timed out or something. I'm also not able to post photos at this time.

    My 1917 Enfield - Topic
    You posted photos on a thread here a couple of years ago, did those photos disappear also?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    You posted photos on a thread here a couple of years ago, did those photos disappear also?

    Fred, I took possession about 16yrs ago.

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    This is actually painful to read.
    I have mounts that require no modifications to the rifle and are totally reversible.
    PM me if interested.

    1917p14enfield.jpg

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    FredC, that's an interesting way to match the rear receiver ring to the the front. I like it except for the amount of time it would take.

    I would not weld and reblue as I would not want to apply that much heat to the front receiver ring and definitely do not want to reblue. I have no problem with a little touch up with cold blue but not what would be required with a welded on one piece mount. I would prefer a one piece base though.

    Kurt, the mount you show (B-Square?) utilizes the original rear sight "ears" which are no longer present on this rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    FredC, that's an interesting way to match the rear receiver ring to the the front. I like it except for the amount of time it would take.

    I would not weld and reblue as I would not want to apply that much heat to the front receiver ring and definitely do not want to reblue. I have no problem with a little touch up with cold blue but not what would be required with a welded on one piece mount. I would prefer a one piece base though.

    Kurt, the mount you show (B-Square?) utilizes the original rear sight "ears" which are no longer present on this rifle.

    My receiver had no ears or duck pond. My receiver was a new unused receiver. It was round and Nick Hughes made the bases for it. I wish that I could recover the photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    FredC, that's an interesting way to match the rear receiver ring to the the front. I like it except for the amount of time it would take.

    I would not weld and reblue as I would not want to apply that much heat to the front receiver ring and definitely do not want to reblue. I have no problem with a little touch up with cold blue but not what would be required with a welded on one piece mount. I would prefer a one piece base though.

    Kurt, the mount you show (B-Square?) utilizes the original rear sight "ears" which are no longer present on this rifle.
    Gazz, the traditional way is to grind it off with a grinder mounted on the lathe. I would not do that to an old South Bend much less an HLV-H. Planing did not take very long, I am thinking one or 2 lunch breaks. I do not think they would have let me stay after work in that place.
    Making a one piece mount will take a several hours. The one blank that I bought to machine your self was made from cold rolled 1018 and curled up on the first pass when I tried to finish it. Made several since one out of hex 1137 and another from hot rolled 1020. The last one from a round bar of 2024 aluminum that one I sent out to the anodizer with some other work.

    savbasefrs.jpgsavagebaseradiusrs.jpgsavbase6rs.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails savagemooncutterrs.jpg  
    Last edited by FredC; 08-05-2020 at 06:11 PM.

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    Here is a pic of mine or 5 on James Anderson's website
    Fine Rifles

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    That certainly is fine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazz View Post
    That certainly is fine!
    And that is his squirrel gun, you should see his grizzly gun! :-)
    I did find the thread were Butch posted some of the photos but they have also gone missing it was about 2 years ago. I read some of the text on this rifle in the other thread. Those mounts are not welded on but retained by hidden screws. Still way over the top beautiful.

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    I would fill and re-contour. If there are no holes up front You have options. Fill and put whatever you want in the back. You can profile the rear bridge to match the front or cut it down to cut weight. Can use #11's, 22's, 46's or #61 rear 46 front if you cut the rear down. You can also match them and use a round top savage 110 picatiny rail and shorten it and re-drill the two rear holes to match the action. I have photos, but just easier to look here.
    Apex Custom Rifles LLC - Photos | Facebook

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    My attempt at using the #11 bases did not go so well. When I clamped a base in the mill to flatten the bottom, it bent in half at the notch for the ring cross bolt. I then did what I could with a file and found that there is not much left of the base and doubt it would be up to 300H&H. The Savage base sounds like a good path. I do not have a way to recontour the rear receiver ring and do not want to reblue because I can't do that either.

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    I ended up getting a Conetrol one piece base for this. Not impressed with the overall quality of the base but I'll get into that later but it will solve my problem of having a base that fits. My problem now is drilling and tapping one hole - the one nearest to the bolt lug recess on the receiver. The front hole was easy enough as was the rear hole but this spot the receiver is exceptionally hard. the only way I was able to drill it was with a carbide drill which is undersize for the correct size for 6-48 tapping. I am running out of time so ordering the correct size carbide drill is not an option. So the plan is to open the hole up with a diamond burr until the #31 drill will fit and then attempt to tap. I have tried using a red hot rod to spot anneal the location but that seems to have little effect. Anybody have any tips?

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    Success! After shattering my few near size carbide drills, I found I had an egg shaped carbide burr that measured slight under the required hole size that worked beautifully. It followed the pilot hole perfectly and left a hole of the right size to tap.

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    In the early 80s when UI Lived in Seguin I took a brief tour of Conetrol. I think I was looking for work. The owner did not seem to be a machinist. I think he had the 2 Brownies set up by someone and he only sharpened tools once in a while. The bases were made on some worn out looking Bridgeports. The fellows running them did not seem to me to be machinist either. I later did some work for Kleinguenther and he said he liked the idea of the Conetrol rings and bases but thought the quality was not there. Sounds like they are still around but no clue who is making them now as the owner has to be gone by now, he was fairly old back then.

    You know they say around here if there are no pictures it did not happen. We are waiting. :-)

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    When I ordered the base I was asked if I wanted the matt or high polish finish. I didn't reply to the question and was told when the cc was charged that I was getting the high polish finish. No big deal - I think it was about $5.00 more and the rifle it was going on is nicely polished. When I got it, the part was wrapped in some kind of rust preventive paper at least that is what I thought it was. When I unwrapped it, the part had all the lines from the wrinkled and folded paper on it and was kind of sticky so I thought it must be some kind cosmolene or such. I squirted some brake cleaner and began to wipe it with a rag and the shiny black finish came right off and so did all the wrinkles! So I guess the high polish was glossy paint that hadn't dried thoroughly and had taken on the wrinkles of the wrapping paper as it did dry. One of the counterbores for the mounting screws was kind of a double egg shape like it may have been counterbored without a pilot or the work piece clamped in place so it bounced around a bit. The angled part above the ejection port was sloppy like the cutter had stopped 3/16" from the end of its cut and the part bounced around some. There were various burrs and bumped edges that I had to clean up. But he responded quickly and was helpful and the only place that actually helped me get a base for this. Most sellers didn't even know what the rifle was.

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    Well when you get it cleaned up and installed they do have a very nice look with no screws showing in the rings.
    Last edited by FredC; 03-02-2021 at 09:09 PM.


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