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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been after this M14 receiver/barrel fixture for some time and finally got it. It was shipped to Ft. Ord here in Monterey from Aberdeen in the 1960's. I'm not sure how much use it got as it shows almost no wear.
It's government engineering (over-engineering?) at it's finest. It weighs
over 300 lbs and is machined from incredibly hard tool steel.
More photos as I have time, so far I've just checked my M1A on it and found the barrel timing off from Springfield so corrected it on this beast. Very simple with the way this thing works.
Many questions to be answered, it seems to be a cross between an M1 Garand fixture and an M14 device. The way it was delivered the barrel indexing piece is for a Garand only, too long for the barrel on an M14.
I'll try to post some photos and comment more on how it works later...



Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, it is a nice toy, right up to the point when you have to move it.
I built the bench for it with casters, turned out ok... 3/4 inch plywood which
generally makes for good strength and work surfaces. Slid it onto the
bench and split the plywood base. Try fixing that without moving this monster again.
Here's how it's marked
 

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Betcha Ted Brown would love to see that. Carmel huh??? Nice. -Lloyd BEERCHUG1
 

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Interesting piece! Looks to me like the barrel is torqued by collar with a roller working on a tapered ramp, with the ramp being pulled by the lever. It seems to me like it would be capable of being fairly easy to make fine adjustments to barrel index. It would be really interesting to see a video of it in use.
 

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It is very nice to see one of these machines still in existence in the wild so to speak. Kind of funny earlier today before this post was made I was looking at an old M1 service manual and it had a schematic of this particular machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
YouTube has a Springfield Armory documentary. If memory serves, about 26 minutes into it there is a brief view of one of the workers assembling an M1 Garand barrel to the receiver. He hand turns the barrel in and then slips it into this fixture, or the earlier Garand version, and tightens the barrel up to spec So it was used in the factory as well. The whole procedure takes about 30 seconds. Pretty amazing.

This is a barrel placement device, it's design is purely to index the barrel to the receiver correctly. As I get a few minutes I'll post more photos of that indexing mark and how it works.

There should be a way to adjust it to remove barrels as well, without damage to the basic features of the fixture. It would make the device much more useful. For now, it's a great way to accurately index a barrel to an M1A receiver and it works equally well with an M1 Garand.
 

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Thank you for posting the photos. The M14 barreling machines are thought to have been M1 tools modified to use with the M14. There are some differences compared to the M1 tool. M1 barreling fixtures are fairly rare and the M14 fixtures are very rare.

Using one of these tools takes a little experience to get alignment just right. The index markings are close, but too wide for precision work. Both the M1 and M14 have ordnance gages used to check alignment which require the use of a surface block and dial indicator. You kind of get a feel for when the alignment marks are close enough and there are adjustments on the indicator to calibrate the machine. I know from using my M1 machine that barrels can be installed in a minute. The only problem is that the machine will not back off the barrel if it's over drawn. That's where the operators feel comes into play. Removing barrels was done in a special vise using a receiver wrench.

Anyway, it's a cool find. Call me if you ever want to sell it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Ted, I appreciate your info and comments. I have been working with a friend who has a Garand fixture and am documenting the differences.
As you said, they are similar but have some small but interesting differences. I will post some photos of exactly how they differ, things I'm sure you know about but may interest others.
This one has a machined tab that can be removed to allow the Garand receiver to slide in. With it in place only the M14 receiver will fit. It does a nice job of leveling the receiver in place using a very cool cam device.
I'm sure this fixture just gets you in the ball park and may have been good enough for quick turn-arounds but to get the barrel spot on would require the tools for leveling the receiver to the barrel using the correct gauges.

I did notice that the ones I have checked that were leveled using those gauges does check out to be spot on with the fixture pointers which I thought was a good sign.
Thanks again for the help, I plan on using this thing for some time but
I will not be working or doing projects forever, so it will become available at some point, will certainly be in touch through the forum.
Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's a view of the receiver end of the fixture. There are three adjustments, the screw on the right simply applies pressure to help lock the receiver in place. The screw below it is a eccentric cam device, very well designed and machined, which allow that block to move and helps to level the receiver. You can place a level on the receiver stipper clip block and adjust that piece until level. Amazing design. Then on the left
is another cam eccentric adjuster which basically moves parallel to the long axis of the rifle. Once the receiver/barrel are in place you finish by tightening that adjustment to get a good lock on the receiver. Once those three are adjusted the receiver will not move. Hopefully this photo makes sense.


One of the modifications to this fixture for use with the M14 is an insert, machined into the existing plate, that fits up under the shorter receiver height on the M14. With this piece in place the Garand receiver will not slide in. It can be removed with the two allen head bolts, but with it out that feature of leveling is not there for the Garand. A Garand specific fixture has a different plate there. It adjusts just the same way as this one but is shorter, allowing for the Garand receiver to go in all the way. I have not yet come up with a good reason to have a piece machined to match the Garand piece but may do so later. I've tried to outline the piece with red in this photo. It's a small detail but one of the ways this fixture differs from the pure Garand fixture. It makes sense that the military would design a device that would serve both rifles...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So here's a better way to see the receiver fit I was describing in the post above. First the Garand receiver being held up by that block designed for the M14. With it removed there is a no problem seating the receiver home into the fixture. The M14 receiver slides in nicely with that block in place and allows for easy leveling using the screw adjuster.
This is an amazing piece of design and machine work. I can't imagine the costs that would be involved in making one today. Prohibitive would cover it...
First the Garand receiver fit, blocked from full seating. The forward legs will go into place when the block is out.

Then the (well greased) M1A receiver in place ready to be leveled and tightened down...
 

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The plate in the lower clamp is removable so it can be replaced as it is a wear / consumable part. Not so you can switch between M1/M14. If you ever get the chance to evaluate a garand fixture with LOTS of use, there may be a dip worn into the lower clamp. As you mentioned the Garand fixtures did not have the replaceable plate, and thus required the entire lower clamp to be replaced when worn. I do not know what the acceptable limit was.

The lower clamp slides to the left as it elevates to secure the receiver. Since receivers do vary somewhat in size, the lower plate does not always stop in the same place when it becomes tight. A heavily worn plate (with a dip) may allow the reciever to tilt slightly under torque which makes it difficult to consistently index barrels.
 

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This is so awesome!!!

I have a mint M1 Garand rebarreling fixture covered in cosmoline. I had actually searched for the same machine set up for the M14 but I was under the impression that these do not exist or it was a modified M1 barreling fixture.

Are you willing to part with it? :-D
 
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