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M40 clone on GB, closing in 13 hours, over $5K!

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An admitted clone, scope (may) be original, or re anodized Gen 1. Early receiver, pre contract. Stock doesnt look right, especially the forward end of it.

Barrel is perhaps correct, dated '66 he says.
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The new ad makes no mention of it being a clone. It clearly is. The stock is an early Remington PSS stock. These were surplussed years ago. I had one. You had to reshape the fore ends to clone a "correct" USMC contract rifle. This person did not do that. The receiver will come factory cut for a clip slot since it is an early one. The receiver isn't even marked U.S.

Scope appears to be a commercial accurage that was re annodized. Looks like one of Tokiwartooth jobs. I was one of Toki's first scopes he had done and it was fantastic. A two tone green that was more olive and bronze.

Redfield mount is incorrect for a 'Nam rifle. Should have squared ends. Rounded was post war.

To me, it's a parts rifle. Not worth the price.
 

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Another observation is the butt plate. It doesn't even fit. Here is one detail cloners get wrong. Everyone loves that bright shiny raw aluminum edge on the buttplate. They didn't come that way. The plate was all black. The ring, through time and wear would expose the "raw" edge. This is to uniform and perfect. Again, my two cents.
 

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Reportedly a real barrel, but rest is not. A nice replica, including clip slotted action on a very early rifle. I prefer a newer barrel for accuracy though…
I think the thing that's bothering me the most is the seller makes no mention of it being a clone. It's trying to be passed off as the real deal. I read and re-read the ad to make sure I didn't miss anything. Caveat Emptor.
 

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BTW..the barrel may be from the '60's. Doesn't mean it was USMC contract. You could buy the medium weight barrel from their custom shop at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
His receiver is an early one like mine, ( mine is in the 67K range) though it has had the relief cut made on the right rear, which an early commercial 700 did not have. My early 700 is clip slotted but there is no relief cut, that didnt happen until the M40 program if I am not mistaken.
His barrel seems to have the proper crown as well, though that of course can be done as well.
It is interesting that he changed his listing as you note.
 

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His receiver is an early one like mine, ( mine is in the 67K range) though it has had the relief cut made on the right rear, which an early commercial 700 did not have. My early 700 is clip slotted but there is no relief cut, that didnt happen until the M40 program if I am not mistaken.
His barrel seems to have the proper crown as well, though that of course can be done as well.
It is interesting that he changed his listing as you note.
And like the barrel, the relief cut could've been added too. The 700 receiver blueprints can be found. I have a copy that is located in the "Death from Afar" series.
 

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I think the thing that's bothering me the most is the seller makes no mention of it being a clone. It's trying to be passed off as the real deal. I read and re-read the ad to make sure I didn't miss anything. Caveat Emptor.
You are correct the new listing does not mention clone like the original listing did. :(
 

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The new ad makes no mention of it being a clone. It clearly is. The stock is an early Remington PSS stock. These were surplussed years ago. I had one. You had to reshape the fore ends to clone a "correct" USMC contract rifle. This person did not do that. The receiver will come factory cut for a clip slot since it is an early one. The receiver isn't even marked U.S.

Scope appears to be a commercial accurage that was re annodized. Looks like one of Tokiwartooth jobs. I was one of Toki's first scopes he had done and it was fantastic. A two tone green that was more olive and bronze.

Redfield mount is incorrect for a 'Nam rifle. Should have squared ends. Rounded was post war.

To me, it's a parts rifle. Not worth the price.
You're correct about the PSS stock and the forend profile. Another thing people usual miss when looking at the stocks is the brass pin that's visible on the side of the stock. On real M40 stocks this pin can only be seen on the left side of the stock, it doesn't go all the way through the stock. If you look at the pics of the auction rifle, you can clearly see the brass pin on the right side of the stock. This is a dead giveaway that it's not an M40 stock.

You're also correct about the scope being replica, it's a vintage scope with a new anodized finish. The giveaway on it is the color (like you already mentioned), the lack of patina that developed over the decades, a more defined brushed finish and finally the serial number range. All 4 of these issues must be analyzed when looking at a scope like this. I would also include a proper rangefinder in the reticle, but the seller doesn't mention the yards marks on the rangefinder tombstone (there were different ones, so you need the correct rangefinder yardage).

Setting most of those features aside, the only piece of information you need to start with it the serial number. The M40 in gunbroker has a "P" prefix serial number, so that automatically rules it out as a genuine M40 scope. Almost all of the M40 scopes are in the F57xxx range, with 3 outliers (probably replacement scopes). 2 are in the F7xxxx range and 1 is in the F8xxxx range (this is the highest known USMC Redfield greenie serial number). All of the M40 scopes have this "F" prefix, almost every single one of them was in the F57xxx serial number range. I have seen around 40 original USMC M40 Redfield greenies and I've personally owned at least a dozen of them, which is probably more than anyone else.

You're also correct about the missing "US" rollmark, all of the USMC M40's had this rollmark. And it's 100% a rollmark, not a stamp, one of my friends actually has the original rollmark from Remington that was used to mark all of the USMC M40's. If the clip slot is original to the receiver and was done by Remington, then should be correct and it will also have the bullet nose cut in the front of the receiver port. The receiver also has the thumb cut on the right side and the left rail cut on the left side. Every single USMC M40 had all 4 of these specific receiver cuts.

The only part I disagree with in your post is the Redfield mount having squared corners. Even though the majority of the Redfield 40X bases (the M40's used 40X bases, not 700SA bases) had squared corners, there were indeed 40X bases with rounded corners. The 700SA bases which were used on the transitional M40A1 rifles mainly had rounded corners, but some also had squared corners. So, both squared AND rounded corners (and sometimes a mix of both on 1 base!) are correct for USMC M40's. The important piece is the 40X on the bottom of the base.

I have dozens of original USMC M40 Redfield 40X bases, so I have seen all of these variations. However, for most people the squared corners look the best on an M40 build and I actually agree with them. That way I can have a few different pieces in my collection instead of the same one a few times. Use a squared base on the M40, use a rounded base on the transitional M40A1. Or vise versa for having fun and confusing people, lol.

Another observation is the butt plate. It doesn't even fit. Here is one detail cloners get wrong. Everyone loves that bright shiny raw aluminum edge on the buttplate. They didn't come that way. The plate was all black. The ring, through time and wear would expose the "raw" edge. This is to uniform and perfect. Again, my two cents.
I agree with you here as well, the butt plate isn't original to the stock and the original M40 butt plates were completely anodized black (no silver sides). When the M40 stocks were being made, they had an aluminum butt plate attached to it. The Remington gunsmith who was working on the stocks would use a file and seamlessly blend the edges of the stock and butt plate together.

Since each stock had a uunique custom fit butt plate, Remington needed to find a way to match them back up after the stock was finished (sanding and oil finish) and the butt plate was anodized black (the sides were raw aluminum after filing, can't have shiny sides). So, Remington stamped the butt plate area of the stock with a control number and then stamped the backside of the butt plate with the same control number. This made it much easier to match up each stock with it's correct butt plate. Original M40 stocks still have these control numbers stamped on both of these pieces.

I've owned about a dozen of original USMC M40 stocks and all of them have this characteristic. Some of the stocks have mismatched butt plates, which can be expected for rifles that were worn out, broken or otherwise unserviceable. The rifles were cannibalized for functional parts in order to build serviceable rifles. Many of the original M40 stocks you see in collections will have mismatched butt plates and almost all of them will be a genuine M40 butt plate with a different control number, as opposed to having an original stock with a silver side "civilian" butt plate.

BTW..the barrel may be from the '60's. Doesn't mean it was USMC contract. You could buy the medium weight barrel from their custom shop at the time.
The barrel might be a real M40 barrel or it might be a new barrel that was made in the past few years. Any gunsmith can make the proper barrel contour and some barrel makers already provide the original M40 contour (Bartlein). Some gunsmiths like Mark Williams at Raven Rifles have had the correct M40 barrel stamps made as well. So, without having the barrel in hand, it can be difficult to tell if it's genuine or not.

What I can tell you is that the barrel was parkerized with the receiver, bolt and recoil lug. They're all a nice, uniform finish. If it were an original barrel with an original finish, there would be a lot of wear and the parkerizing would have a nice old patina to it. Just like all the other original USMC M40 parts, I've owned a lot of these original M40 barrels, probably 15 or more. Some of my original barrels have their original finish and some of them have been reparkerized. I personally don't like the original barrels when they're refinished. Originally means a lot to me and an original barrel with an original finish (no matter how worn or beat up) will always be worth more to me than an original barrel with new parkerizing.

I disagree that this could be a civilian Remington barrel from the custom shop or elsewhere for a few reasons. The first reason is that this civilian purchased Remington 700's with this barrel contour at this point in time had a lot more information marked on the barrel. It was like the billboard markings that are seen on most mass produced firearms with a large rollmark with a ton of writing. The barrel on the auction rifle appears to only have the stamps near the receiver, the same way the original M40 barrels had them.

Additionally, civilians weren't able to purchase this barrel contour in the 7.62/.308 caliber until about 1975 (or 76? I need to check my notes, everything in this post has been completely from memory). It was about 10 years after the first M40's were produced that civilians could get the exact same barrel the Marine Corps got, but with a huge rollmark of information in the middle of the barrel.

Going off everything else I've seen with this rifle, I'd be more inclined to say that this is a reproduction barrel and not a refinished original M40 barrel.
 

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I have an email from the seller saying some have told him the rifle MAY be a real M40 that just wasnt marked US. But if his SN is correct as in the 66K range, then its too early.
Correct. It should be a 6 digit number. Not 5.
 

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You're correct about the PSS stock and the forend profile. Another thing people usual miss when looking at the stocks is the brass pin that's visible on the side of the stock. On real M40 stocks this pin can only be seen on the left side of the stock, it doesn't go all the way through the stock. If you look at the pics of the auction rifle, you can clearly see the brass pin on the right side of the stock. This is a dead giveaway that it's not an M40 stock.

You're also correct about the scope being replica, it's a vintage scope with a new anodized finish. The giveaway on it is the color (like you already mentioned), the lack of patina that developed over the decades, a more defined brushed finish and finally the serial number range. All 4 of these issues must be analyzed when looking at a scope like this. I would also include a proper rangefinder in the reticle, but the seller doesn't mention the yards marks on the rangefinder tombstone (there were different ones, so you need the correct rangefinder yardage).

Setting most of those features aside, the only piece of information you need to start with it the serial number. The M40 in gunbroker has a "P" prefix serial number, so that automatically rules it out as a genuine M40 scope. Almost all of the M40 scopes are in the F57xxx range, with 2 outliers (probably replacement scopes) in the F7xxxx range. All of the M40 scopes have this "F" prefix, almost every single one of them was in the F57xxx serial number range. I have seen around 40 original USMC M40 Redfield greenies and I've personally owned at least a dozen of them, which is probably more than anyone else.

You're also correct about the missing "US" rollmark, all of the USMC M40's had this rollmark. And it's 100% a rollmark, not a stamp, one of my friends actually has the original rollmark from Remington that was used to mark all of the USMC M40's. If the clip slot is original to the receiver and was done by Remington, then should be correct and it will also have the bullet nose cut in the front of the receiver port. The receiver also has the thumb cut on the right side and the left rail cut on the left side. Every single USMC M40 had all 4 of these specific receiver cuts.

The only part I disagree with in your post is the Redfield mount having squared corners. Even though the majority of the Redfield 40X bases (the M40's used 40X bases, not 700SA bases) had squared corners, there were indeed 40X bases with rounded corners. The 700SA bases which were used on the transitional M40A1 rifles mainly had rounded corners, but some also had squared corners. So, both squared AND rounded corners (and sometimes a mix of both on 1 base!) are correct for USMC M40's. The important piece is the 40X on the bottom of the base.

I have dozens of original USMC M40 Redfield 40X bases, so I have seen all of these variations. However, for most people the squared corners look the best on an M40 build and I actually agree with them. That way I can have a few different pieces in my collection instead of the same one a few times. Use a squared base on the M40, use a rounded base on the transitional M40A1. Or vise versa for having fun and confusing people, lol.



I agree with you here as well, the butt plate isn't original to the stock and the original M40 butt plates were completely anodized black (no silver sides). When the M40 stocks were being made, they had an aluminum butt plate attached to it. The Remington gunsmith who was working on the stocks would use a file and seamlessly blend the edges of the stock and butt plate together.

Since each stock had a uunique custom fit butt plate, Remington needed to find a way to match them back up after the stock was finished (sanding and oil finish) and the butt plate was anodized black (the sides were raw aluminum after filing, can't have shiny sides). So, Remington stamped the butt plate area of the stock with a control number and then stamped the backside of the butt plate with the same control number. This made it much easier to match up each stock with it's correct butt plate. Original M40 stocks still have these control numbers stamped on both of these pieces.

I've owned about a dozen of original USMC M40 stocks and all of them have this characteristic. Some of the stocks have mismatched butt plates, which can be expected for rifles that were worn out, broken or otherwise unserviceable. The rifles were cannibalized for functional parts in order to build serviceable rifles. Many of the original M40 stocks you see in collections will have mismatched butt plates and almost all of them will be a genuine M40 butt plate with a different control number, as opposed to having an original stock with a silver side "civilian" butt plate.



The barrel might be a real M40 barrel or it might be a new barrel that was made in the past few years. Any gunsmith can make the proper barrel contour and some barrel makers already provide the original M40 contour (Bartlein). Some gunsmiths like Mark Williams at Raven Rifles have had the correct M40 barrel stamp made as well. So, without having the barrel in hand, it can be difficult to tell if it's genuine or not.

What I can tell you is that the barrel was finished with the receiver, bolt and recoil lug. They're all a nice, uniform finish. If it were an original barrel with an original finish, there would be a lot of wear and the parkerizing would have a nice old patina to it. Just like all the other original USMC M40 parts, I've owned a lot of these original M40 barrels, probably 15 or more.

I disagree that this could be a civilian Remington barrel from the custom shop or elsewhere for a few reasons. The first reason is that this civilian purchased Remington 700's with this barrel contour at this point in time had a lot more information marked on the barrel. It was like the billboard markings that are seen on most mass produced firearms with a large rollmark with a ton of writing. Additionally, civilians weren't able to purchase this barrel contour in the 7.62/.308 caliber until about 1975 (or 76? I need to check my notes, everything in this post has been completely from memory). It was about 10 years after the first M40's were produced that civilians could get the exact same barrel the Marine Corps got, but with a huge rollmark of information in the middle of the barrel.
I agree with what you wrote. However, you missed my info regarding 'NAM era mounts. To be correct 'Nam era it must be square and marked 40x. You are right about the mount transitioning to rounded corners. ESPECIALLY during the M40A1 development process. So in that regard I do agree with you.

On the barrel. It is possible to be legit. I own two of the civvie barrels myself and yes, they do have the massive roll mark. The civilian offering of the "M40" was released to the public in 1967. But yes, the caliber wan't released till '75-76.
 
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Also, a follow up. Yes you are right about the brass pin too. It should only appear on the left side.
 

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There's also other parts of the rifle that are wrong. As others have mentioned it's a 5 digit serial number, instead of a 6 digit serial number. The largest serial number ranges are 221xxx, 224xxx and 322xxx.

What everyone also missed is that the surface of the original USMC M40 receivers were shot peened. Remington did this for a few reasons. The first reason is because shot peening strengthens the surface of the receiver while also relieving stress from the manufacturing process. A secondary effect of this shot peening is that it creates a matte non-reflective surface, which I guess is pretty important for super sneaky snipers (but what about the shiny blued Redfield base and rings? Lol, ridiculous USMC stuff). This rough textured surface also holds onto paint better when the sniper rattle cans his M40. Although, during the Vietnam War snipers only painted the M40's stock, they didn't paint the barreled action or scope. However, later snipers did use this to their advantage when they painted their entire rifles.

The bolt on the auction rifle is parkerized, which is wrong. The bolt on the USMC M40's was blued. It's not a very shiny blue, like the Redfield base and rings, and it's not completely matte. It's just a dull blued finish.

Everything about the base/rings is wrong, except for the shiny blued finish and the Redfield logo (the corners don't matter). The seller only says that the base is marked with an "R", which is stamped on the front right of the base. This is the Redfield "R" in cross hairs, which is the correct manufacturer marking, but the seller fails to say which marking is on the underside. My guess would be a 700SA marking on the underside of the mount, because the base has rounded corners and that's typically a feature of the 700SA bases (even though some 40X bases did have rounded corners, but those are very rare). The correct Redfield base for an M40 would be marked with 40X on the underside of the base. Since it's a very dubious listing, I'm sure the seller knows the marking is there and is purposely not saying that it's a 700SA mark.

The Redfield rings are just flat out wrong in every which way possible. The rings on this rifle are medium height, which is wrong. The M40 used low height rings and the transitional M40A1's used medium height rings. The low rings used on the M40 had 4 top screws per scope ring, the medium rings on the transitional M40A1's had 2 under-screws per scope ring. So, for a set of medium rings on this rifle, it's the wrong screw type.

Just so everyone is clear with ring markings, the low Redfield rings are the only ones that are marked on the bottom with a 1-64 or 1-66. I probably have a dozen original M40A1 transitional welded mounts with medium rings on them. Since they're welded together, the rings are original from the mid to late 1970's, they can't be switched out with any other rings. If you flip the welded mounts upside-down, you can clearly see the bottom of the front scope ring, since you had to push it through the base and turn it to the correct location.

All of these medium rings on these original USMC M40A1 transitional welded mounts are sterile on the bottom. There is no deviation from this, there are no markings. The seller just assumed there were markings on the medium rings, because the low rings had markings. This is an incorrect assumption. Some bad ebay sellers also list their medium rings with markings on the bottom as M40 rings, again this is incorrect.

So, to recap the base and rings: The base is probably a 700SA and it's supposed to be a 40X. They are medium rings when they should be low rings. If you use medium-heavy rings for a transitional A1 build, they need to have 2 under-screws per scope ring, not 4 top screws. The 4 top screws were only used with the M40 low rings. The A1 transitional rings never had markings on the bottom of them, only the M40 low rings had the 1-64 and 1-66 markings.
 

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Another thing he mentioned in the add but no pics of it is the stripper clip guide cut. My donor rifle sn falls between the 2nd and 3rd sns of real M40s per Senich's list. 168,73X. The rifle was minty when purchased. It had the standard "square" shape cut, nothing like what the USMC did to them.. So his statement in the add saying it has the cut doesn't mean much. Most likely just the factory square cut if I was a betting man, but mentioned to add "authenticity".
Regardless, someone did the buy now at $6k. Makes me wonder what mine would sell for having had the US added, the MC style clip guide cut, thumb relief, and "eyebrow" cuts all done. And an original barrel.
I also agree with something usmchistorian mentioned above, the green on that scope looks a lot like tokiewarthooths early efforts at anodizing.
 

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I’d be curious to examine the trigger guard too. Also, if the magazine follower had the appropriate modification.
 
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