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Early Winchester rifles with keystone & comp springs

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    Early Winchester rifles with keystone & comp springs

    I saw this morning, a post on the CMP forum that there were five known Winchester rifles with keystone & comp springs. Anyone know the serial numbers ?

    #2
    Here ya go Robert,

    100,001
    102,016
    104,419
    104,805
    105,845

    105,618 had the follower rod and spring changed

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      #3
      There used to be only 4 until quite recently, ...

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        #4
        I don't understand the significance of this. What am I missing, please?

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          #5
          Winchester used type 1 follower rods and keystone springs until around 10k range ( note, Winchester serial numbers started at 100,001. So 10k serial number is 110,000 . FYI ) So few original early Winchesters exist. They have all been upgraded to some extent , such as field modifications (ie. changing flushnut/short pinion to type 2 or 3 lockbars/long pinions , another example is changing type 1 follower rods and keystone springs to later milled follower rods and round wire springs, etc.) , rebuilt/rebarreled from basic maintenance to full on overhaul, or they were just worn out past service or damaged beyond repair in the field or lost. I believe Winchester made roughly 500k rifles where Springfield made over 3 million during WWII , so their likelihood of survival is a lot less than Springfield. So finding one in it's original or mostly original early state , with the keystones still in it , is quite rare. As of right now, these are the five known rifles. One of them just surfaced. More may be out there.......

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            #6
            Just curious, how can you tell a Keystone spring and follower from the standard issue items? How do you mark a spring?

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              #7
              The Keystone spring is made of square wire. "Keystone" system uses a small comp spring and the longer spring. Both springs were made of square wire. The Keystone spring was replaced with a one piece round wire spring.

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                #8
                I presume you already know what a round wire looks like. This is an early SA, but this is what a keystone spring and comp look like;



                Here is a bit closer;



                It is estimated that Winchester may have only used these keystone springs for as few as 5 or 6 thousand rifles. While there are several early Winchester restorations (like the one pictured below) and many early Springfeild rifles that still retain their keystones, to date only 5 original or substantially original Winchester rifles have surfaced that still have their original keystone springs and type 1 rod. It is truly quite something, but even more exciting for us who study such things is that one of those 5 just surfaced in Florida just this year!

                It really is all still out there, ... fewer and further between, but still there.

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                  #9
                  Pucci had Winchester 105845 for sale years ago (only $6995.00) also with keystone & comp spring and field modified WRA RS stock to used the trap door butt plate.

                  The Winchester follower rod has a different pattern (one larger serration) than the Springfield follower rod for the comp spring, these are very difficult to find and sometimes faked from the later Winchester follower rod. Some collectors who restore these early Winchester rifle will tell you that Winchester used Springfield follower rods which I doubt very much. Photos show the Winchester follower rods for the comp spring

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                    #10
                    Keystone springs were not made with square wire.

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                      #11
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37s2EAvTyS0
                       

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                        #12
                        Bodyman
                        I have an about 3" section of an original broken keystone spring. I have had it for about 30 years. There is a very funny story that goes with it, but I better not tell it on this forum. Some people that know me well may remember the story. No I did not break the spring. Some day I am going to give the spring to Brian along with the story.

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                        • Jersey Devil
                          Jersey Devil commented
                          Editing a comment
                          What!! I cannot wait to hear this!!!

                        #13
                        I seem to remember something about a story like that, ... its all supposed to be for fun anyway.

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                          #14
                          At the time it was very funny and solved a problem.

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                            #15
                            Originally posted by Pederson View Post
                            Keystone springs were not made with square wire.
                            Please forgive my ignorance as I am an M14 guy but what is it made of then? Every time I have heard or read about them they are described only as square wire, even on Orion 7's website, and by other M1 Garand knowledgeable people.
                            m14brian

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