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Dan K. Evans

C and R Safety Issues

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I have several C and R rifles and handguns. A short list includes Schmidt Rubin, 3 Mosin Nagants, K98 Mauser, 24/97 Mauser, MAS (bolt and auto-load), 3 Enfield, and several revolvers and semi-auto pistols. All look good, tight, no abvious mechanical problems, matching numbers on most all, and are clean of cosmoline. I have purchased ammo for all of them but have not fired any of them. I want to fire them all. Most came with the suggestion that the gun be checked by a qualified gunsmith before firing. How safe are they to fire without the check by a smith? Your thoughts and experiences with C and R weapons relative to safety will be appreciated. Dan

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i have severial C$R weapins, only one of witch i asked a gun smith to look over (lots of pittign on the surfice). as long as i could not find anything that worried me (cracks, bulges, deep rust in the pressure baering areas), i have shot them all. only one did i shoot left (my off hand) handed for the first round.

only other noet is that if you have a springfield 1903 rifle, you should verifie the seraial number aganst a list of the known ones with bad heat treating

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As a huge fan of military rifles, I own and have fired hundreds to thousands of rounds from every rifle that you mentioned. "Have the rifle checked by a qualified gunsmith before shooting" is a CYA(cover your ass) statement. While it's not bad advice, it's probably a little bit of overkill. Whenever I've purchased an older rifle, I do a close examination and cleaning prior to the first shooting. If everything looks good, I just go with it. While I have never had a problem, I can't say nothing bad will ever happen. But if you use common sense, I think you'll be fine. I shoot all of my C&R rifles with the exception of the 2 Jap Arisakas. These make me a little nervous as the heat treating of late-WW2 rifles by the Japs was often not to standard.

One side note, I assume your autoloading MAS is a 49/56. While they are great rifles, they do have the tendency to slam-fire so be prepared. Easy enough to correct. Just replace the firing pin with a titanium one or do a very small amount of filing to the firing pin that you have. Hopefully you got one in 7.5 French and not .308 Win. I've found the .308 to be very problematic due to the conversion process.

Good luck and have fun!

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The only issues I would look for are things like a mismatched bolt (not numbers matching), cracks.. obvious issues.

Its easy to check for the barrel bulge.. run a cleaning rod with a tight patch (oversized patch.. two or three smaller patches) thru the bore, slowly... and feel for an area where the patch is easier to push thru. It'd be obvious. Look thru the bore with a good light.. if you see a black ring.. thats the bulge.

Mismatched bolts need to have the head space checked. A "go/no go" guage can be bought relatively cheap on many of the gunsmith sights like brownells, midway, ect..

Cleaning the rifle well, and looking for cracks, damage, ect.. is a good idea.

Otherwise, as stated above, all used milsurp guns come with the blanket CYA of "have it checked by a gunsmith". Unless you are buying extremely cheap parts guns from some of the wholesalers, you should be just fine.

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