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Thread: Parker-Hale receiver ?

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Calling all gunsmiths- - - - - -

    Is anyone familiar with the Parker-Hale unfinished receivers that are available from various online vendors? They need finish machining and heat treating, so no FFL is involved in purchasing one. One style is a 98 Mauser design, but made to take an '03 Springfield bolt, while another is 98 Mauser all the way. At an average price of 30 bucks each, I think it's worth a try to finish out one or more of them. Doing the basic machining won't be much of a challenge for anyone who can run a lathe and a milling machine, but I'm wondering what the alloy is. That will influence the heat treat procedure that's going to be necessary once the machining is done. I'm bidding on a heat treat oven on E-bay right now, BTW. Anybody got a SWAG about the type of steel they're made of?
    Jerry
    Last edited by Teach; 01-25-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Not knowing what the steel type is in those actions has kept me from buying some of those actions. I have an electric heat treat furnace, but without knowing what the steel is, wouldn't chance trying it on those actions.
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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Update- - - - -I just got an email from Old Western Scrounger, one of the people who are selling the receivers. It's EN9 steel, which is pretty easy to heat treat, according to some research I've done on the web. Now, all I've gotta do is win the auction for a furnace/kiln that Redstone Arsenal has up for auction!

    Edit: Gun Parts Co. has the receivers that take the 03 Springfield bolts, and OWS has the straight Mauser receivers, both about the same price. I've ordered one of each.
    Jerry
    Last edited by Teach; 01-25-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Sure about that steel analysis?

    According to this EN-9 is SAE-1055 , a plain medium carbon steel. http://www.steelexpress.co.uk/engineeringsteel/EN9.html

    Might be easy to machine and heat treat , but I'd want a bit more of a modern stronger alloy.

    BTW , I have a new (1yr.old) controlled atmosphere Grieve heat treating oven at work I can use anytime.
    Last edited by mkk41; 01-25-2012 at 10:22 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    That's the beauty of the Mauser design- - - -it doesn't need a super-strength steel alloy to handle normal bolt lug thrust loads. The only real necessity for heat treating is to minimize wear as the bolt is cycled. The average depth of hardened metal on the bolt camming surfaces of the receiver are about .005"- - - -under that it's just plain steel.
    Jerry
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Jerry, here's some info. hope this helps,
    C-.5 -.6, MN .5 - .8, SI .05 - .35, S .04 max, P .04 max
    Annealing 700*C soak, slow cool in oven
    Hardening 820 - 840*C Quench in oil or water
    Tempering 550 _ 660*C 1hr per 1" of thickness
    Hardness range 180 - 230 HB
    finishing.com/514/70shtml

    JAY

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Thanks, Jay!
    Jerry
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    Senior Member DoctorWho's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Is it better to just case harden it ???

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    Senior Member SirGeorgeKillian's Avatar
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    So no FFL required because it isnt finished, but would sending it to someone to finish it then make it then a firearm? Would the person finishing the last step then be the manufacturer? Just curious.
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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Colt, I'm guessing it's like the other "80% receivers"

    If it is....
    As long and Jerry does the work himself, he can build as many as he wants, but without being a licensed builder (is that a class II FFL????) he won't be able to sale the finished receiver or rifle.

    At least that's what I remember from a friend who bought and built a couple of the "80%" 10/22 type receivers and built them for his kids.
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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    As I understand it, the thing doesn't become a "firearm" until a serial number is applied. Since it's unlikely I'd ever try to sell one of these, it's sort of a moot point. There are a lot of custom black powder guns floating around that have been made from scratch, but that's a whole different can of worms. Front-stuffers have their own unique category, even though they can be just as deadly as a cartridge arm.

    I won the auction on the heat-treat oven, BTW. It's at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama, and I'm waiting on a callback from their shipping coordinator to schedule a pickup appointment. It appears to be new and unused in the ebay pics, at about 10% of the price the manufacturer shows for a similar item. Our tax dollars at work, I guess!
    Jerry
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    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    As I understand it, the thing doesn't become a "firearm" until a serial number is applied.
    Jerry
    I believe that's incorrect, but as you said, if you're making them for yourself or as a gift, it IS a moot point

    Congrats on winning your auction
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    Senior Member SirGeorgeKillian's Avatar
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    Interesting....
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post

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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Glad you won the bid on the heat treat oven! That will be a good addition to your shop. Sure will come in handy for some of the stuff you do, and will be able to do easier.
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Jerry, congrats on getting the oven. Is it a plain oven or an atmosphere controlled oven ? I did a lot of heat treating at the airlines, here's a trick we used that reduced the amount of scaling on steel and stainless parts in a plain oven.
    We would drill a 3/8 hole thru the door, insert a 3/8 stainless tube connected to a Argon tank with a flow meter, put the part in the oven, flood the chamber with Argon and set the temp. leave the argon flowing untill the part comes out to be quenched. At the start turn the flowmeter up high after 4 - 5 min. turn it down just enough to keep a constant flow.
    Some parts were wrapped in s/s foil, some parts due to there shape couldnt be wrapped tight enough, we used the Argon weather the parts were wrapped or not.

    JAY

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    It's actually a ceramic kiln, but the temp control goes up to 2300 degrees F. which should be plenty hot for just about any metal treating I need to do. Here's a similar item from the Paragon website:



    On the ebay site the thing looks brand new. I'm headed down to Huntsville to pick it up this afternoon. Good idea about the Argon, Jay. We used to do a similar trick when TIG welding stainless steel wine pipe ar Gallo- - - -filled the pipe with Nitrogen to prevent scale from forming on the inside of the pipe as we welded the fittings in place.
    Jerry
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    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Whatever you do you might want to keep in mind that argon, like Nitrogen will not support life and if it blankets a room and you're in it that's not good. Asphyxiation. So make sure wherever you are doing this has good ventilation. We had one guy die from Nitrogen blanketing the area and he was just leaning into an open ended pipe. It gets you before you know it. It doesn't take much.
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    So Im just curious, do you ream the reciever and machine it before or after the heat treating? I know that heat treated steel is harder to machine, but Im wondering if the heat treating changes the machined tolerances if the maching was done prior to heat treating.

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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostsniper1 View Post
    So Im just curious, do you ream the reciever and machine it before or after the heat treating? I know that heat treated steel is harder to machine, but Im wondering if the heat treating changes the machined tolerances if the maching was done prior to heat treating.
    Machine first; heat treat after is, or used to be, most common practice. The only thing you have to worry about is getting uneven heating and warping of the finished part. That doesn't happen if you pay attention, though.
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Ah gotcha. I was just curious because I know that heat can do some serious warping to steel and I wondered if that might change the machined specs.

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    It's a pretty common practice to wrap the part in foil-thin stainless steel to minimize the scale that forms during heat treating. That keeps critical tolerances from changing much, also. Of course, it's necessary to do a final polish if a shiny bluing job is going to be applied. Parkerizing or ceramic coating doesn't require a high polish.
    Jerry
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Is the scaling that you speak of, that bluish, ashy carbon that seems to flake on the surface before being oil quenched???

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    Senior Member tennmike's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Yes. The surface of the steel will oxidize and form thin scale and flakes if it is in an oxygen atmosphere. Low oxygen atmosphere will produce a black iron scale due to the lack of oxygen. Wrapping in the SS foil helps prevent that, as does an inert gas atmosphere in the oven. I use nitrogen because it's cheap and easy to obtain.

    There's also a process that packs the parts in an air tight box of charcoal or graphite powder, and then heated in the oven. The parts are heated and then the lid is removed from the box and the parts dropped in the quench oil. It's a variation of the method used to do color case hardening of steel.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Yes. It's also evident when heating metal in a forge during blacksmithing operations. The oldtime method of heat-treating involved heating parts red hot with a torch, and burying them in burning charcoal for several hours before oil or water quenching. Heated and quenched metal is brittle, not useful as gun steel. Then the scale would be polished off, and the metal would be "drawn" by reheating to a specific color. That toughened the metal and relieved some of the tendency to fracture. That's how the low serial number 03 Springfields got brittle- - -some of the receivers weren't re-heated to the right color and ended up brittle, not just hardened. Custom knife blades get a similar treatment to make them tough and flexible, not glass-hard.
    Jerry

    Edit: Color casehardening involves oven-heating to approximately the same temperatures as tempering, but with the parts surrounded by pieces of bone, chunks of leather, etc. which burns to carbon and gives the parts a thin coat of high-carbon alloy and the characteristic rainbow colors. A cast iron receiver or one made of low-carbon steel can be color casehardened more successfully than the more conventional methods of heat treating.
    Jerry
    Last edited by Teach; 01-30-2012 at 03:26 AM.
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    I have very little knowledge of the procedure in hardening but did something along the lines at work. I had some old worn phillips head screwdrivers which were ready for the trash, but figured I could convert them into 90degree picks for seperating heater hoses and such. I first sharpened the phillips tip to a nice sharp point via the bench grinder. I then heated the shaft of the screwdriver where I wanted the 90 degree bend with the oxy acetalyne torch and bent it in my vice. I grabbed a nice sized bucket of new motor oil and set it on my workbench before proceeding to heat the old screwdriver to a nice cherry red glow from the tip and back beyond the bend until it started to flake. I maintained it redhot as long as possible without it actually melting and then hurridly quenched it in the oil until it was cool to the touch. The scale came off nicely with the wirewheel on the benchgrinder and the pick has held up solid as a rock so far. I have been using it for over a year now without a single bend or break. Not quite what I would call proper, but it worked lol.

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    You did half the procedure, which ended up with a glass-hard end on the tool. If you'll buff it nice and smooth with the wire wheel and re-heat it to a light blue color for a few minutes, it will be much less likely to shatter if you get some serious pry force on it.
    Jerry
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    I'll have to do that. Is the oxy acetylene to much or just enough?

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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    Update- - - - -I just got an email from Old Western Scrounger, one of the people who are selling the receivers. It's EN9 steel, which is pretty easy to heat treat, according to some research I've done on the web. Now, all I've gotta do is win the auction for a furnace/kiln that Redstone Arsenal has up for auction!

    Edit: Gun Parts Co. has the receivers that take the 03 Springfield bolts, and OWS has the straight Mauser receivers, both about the same price. I've ordered one of each.
    Jerry
    Did I imagine this or didn't somebody come out with some new 03 actions a few years back? This is something different right?
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostsniper1 View Post
    I'll have to do that. Is the oxy acetylene to much or just enough?
    Oxy-acetyline is good, with a slightly "carburizing" flame (just a little acetyline-rich, slightly yellow instead of bright blue). That adds a little surface carbon to the metal from the incomplete combustion of the acetyline. Don't let the metal get red, or it will anneal itself and end up soft again.
    Jerry
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    Re: Parker-Hale receiver ?

    Quote Originally Posted by snake284 View Post
    Did I imagine this or didn't somebody come out with some new 03 actions a few years back? This is something different right?
    These are new investment-cast receivers, similar to the way Ruger makes their rifle actions, with features of both 98 Mauser and 03 Springfield on some versions. They're surplus from the Parker-Hale factory when it went belly-up. I got one from Gun Parts Co. that's shaped to take an 03 bolt and a Mauser magazine, and another from Old Western Scrounger that's 98 Mauser all the way. They take a LOT of machine work and hand-fitting of parts. I've got the 98 Mauser receiver fitted with a bolt so far- - - -still have to thread it for a barrel and trigger guard screws, and do some other tweaking to make the magazine fit right. Then it needs to be heat-treated. I've got enough Mauser bits & pieces in the junk bin to build up most of both of them, but I had to buy a complete 03 bolt on ebay.
    Jerry
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