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serial number 197 sold in Sept 2019 for $28750.00

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    serial number 197 sold in Sept 2019 for $28750.00

    Rock Island Auction sold serial number 197 last September for over 28K. This is an interesting rifle that has been around quite awhile and was known to collectors on the east coast. The interesting feature is that the guide ribs were welded to correct the seventh round problem yet this rifle still retained the gas trap barrel, original follower rod marked C-46014, keystone & comp springs. Both front and rear hand guards had the drawing numbers too. The rear sight was very early with the numbered pinion. This rifle was sold in 2001 as a incomplete rifle for $2700.00 as the following parts were missing: stock & butt plate, trigger housing, front hand guard spacer, bolt and front sight. Obviously, the missing parts were replaced.

    The interesting question, could a gas trap rifle have had the low guide rib correction and remain in the original configuration _ i think the selling price is a excellent indicator

    #2
    Is it possible a gas trap was rebuilt back into a gas trap in 1939 or early 1940 ,.... most definitely as there were no other type parts being used to replace them. Was any gas traps rebuilt into gas traps after June/July 1940 ? My guess is , very unlikely or extremely few if the gas cylinder was reusable. The new barrel and gas cylinder design was much more easily serviceable than the older design. Any gas trap barrels and cylinders after June were being used up and no old parts were being put into rebuild inventory as the new redesigned gas port parts were being implemented into service. There was never any recall on gas trap systems. They were used until unserviceable.

    Is it possible 197 was rebuilt into a gas trap with it's guide ribs built up ? It is possible BUT, that is in much debate as the guide ribs were being repaired during gas port use. If the rifle was still serviceable why take it out of service only to repair the ribs . If the rifle needed rebuilding , and if old parts were in inventory , then it wouldbe possible but highly unlikely any survived, but possible. Remember that up until 1941 there doesn't seem to be a large rebuild program and it isn't known, by me as of yet ... still doing research, as to how they stocked inventory for rebuilding rifles or did they pull stock from the assembly line for repairs ? Most all of the rebuild rifles from 1938 and early into 1941 retains most of their original parts, that we've seen or encountered as originals , not restorations. I'm not doubting 197 but I'm cautious as to believing it as an original rebuild to gas trap specs with built up guide ribs only because of the time frame in which it would have been rebuilt and my observations of production and possible rebuild procedures at that time.

    BTW, the op rod on 197 has been restored . It had the postwar war modification repaired. 338 was thought to be a gas trap to gas trap rebuild for a long time but was found to be a complete restoration based on what a gas trap rebuild with built up guide ribs could have been.

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      #3
      Thanks Paul, serial number 197 was always suspicious to the east coast collectors while 338 was thought to be rebuilt by collectors. I would have used an original receiver with low guide ribs and change the parts. Besides s/n 197 and s/n 338 I do not know of any gas trap rifles that have been represented as gas trap rebuilds.

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        #4
        I'm diligently researching prewar and early production. There's alot of information not published as of yet. I haven't found anything definitive to explain the early rebuild process , 1938-1941 , as of yet but still looking.

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