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Thread: Winchester M1907: Tip n Trick For Reinstalling Your Recoil Spring

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Northwest BC, Canada
    Posts
    57

    Winchester M1907: Tip n Trick For Reinstalling Your Recoil Spring

    I hope this helps somebody out. I posted this on a Canuck site earlier; at any rate I finally got around to changing the recoil spring & buffer in my M1907. The rifle is practically mint, and there was still a healthy gap between the washer & buffer housing, but the original recoil buffer was solid and brittle with age.

    Taking it apart is easy enough. But getting the thing back together was proving a bit tricky. The best re-install tip seemed to be a YouTube fellow by the name of Logcabinlooms, who had a decent idea about running a cord through the spring and then pulling back. But I found it tough to get it compressed enough without breaking the cord and THEN you were left with the spring being all twisted up inside, and inevitably the da$$ thing would spring out on me as I tried to fight the guide rod back in. Most references I found were just to people cursing, swearing, giving up or generally just using brute force to get it in.

    Well, I'm not a professional mechanic or gunsmith but I do love it all as a hobby and in my wrench turning experience, hobby or not, I've had to compress a lot of springs for different reasons. This to me seemed to be the same thing (?!) - and the problem of the spring being all twisted up seemed to me to be one of just having no way to maintain the spring straight without the guide rod in place.

    Soooo after messing around with the cord method of compressing (which certainly got the spring IN there, but as I say the messing around after that was annoying as all get out), I thought "For Pete's sake this guide rod is basically just a 5/16" rod why can't I just do something to some scrap rod that will catch the spring and let me compress it..."? So I did, and I was able to install the spring AND GUIDE ROD in less than TWO MINUTES (so get ready for a lot of writing that makes it seem like two hours):

    {CAUTION: WEAR EYE PROTECTION and whenever working with springs under pressure, take care that it won't launch anything in a dangerous direction. Also watch for PINCH POINTS there are some doozies in here}

    1) Take a piece of 5/16" rod and drill a blind hole in the end the right size for a spring pin or whatever that is hard and durable (I used 3/32" because I had a scrap 3/32" spring pin right in front of me). Make sure it is far enough in the rod & tight enough fit that it can't pop out.


    2) Install the pin in the rod (in this picture I haven't trimmed it but you will need to cut the pin to sit just slightly above the height of the spring on the rod) and then slip the spring over the rod; then slide that rod through the breech block.


    3) (sorry no pictures of the compression but just pull up and then use vice grips or what have you to lock the rod in place). You will have to fully compress the spring to give your slave "guide rod" enough clearance to get past the buffer. Make sure you have the pin facing UP towards you so you can remove it. Install the breech block with the guide rod in place.


    4a) No pictures of this, but reinstall the buffer plate/washer. DO NOT put your fingers in there. Use a magnet and/or pics etc because if that rod releases, you might lose a finger.

    4b) Keeping forward pressure on the Slave Guide Rod, carefully release the vice grips and then gently assist the rod to move against the buffer plate/washer under spring pressure. In this picture you can see the trimmed pin, mine is maybe 0.02" above the spring. It has to be close to flush in order to allow the Slave Guide Rod to move far enough into the breech block to allow for reinstallation.


    5) Remove the pin. I ground some needle nose pliers flat to make certain that I wouldn't deform it. Do NOT remove the Slave Guide Rod. Here you can see the pin removed and the spring holding correctly against the buffer plate/washer:


    6) Sorry no pictures of this, but it is self explanatory: Fully compress the breechblock (just pull back on it); Keeping the breechblock compressed remove the Slave Guide Rod and then reinstall the Factory Guide Rod, keeping the breechblock compressed until you have threaded it in.

    7) Here she is resintalled. As I say, that above is a LOT of writing for something that took me less than two minutes to install with that tool:


    I hope this helps someone out!

    NCBB
    Last edited by NorthCoastBigBore; 12-09-2017 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Updated the useless Photobucket links in favour of Imugr

  2. #2
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    I fought mine for 1/2 hr to get it back together. Great tip.
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  3. #3

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoastBigBore View Post
    I hope this helps somebody out. I posted this on a Canuck site earlier; at any rate I finally got around to changing the recoil spring & buffer in my M1907. The rifle is practically mint, and there was still a healthy gap between the washer & buffer housing, but the original recoil buffer was solid and brittle with age.

    Taking it apart is easy enough. But getting the thing back together was proving a bit tricky. The best re-install tip seemed to be a YouTube fellow by the name of Logcabinlooms, who had a decent idea about running a cord through the spring and then pulling back. But I found it tough to get it compressed enough without breaking the cord and THEN you were left with the spring being all twisted up inside, and inevitably the da$$ thing would spring out on me as I tried to fight the guide rod back in. Most references I found were just to people cursing, swearing, giving up or generally just using brute force to get it in.

    Well, I'm not a professional mechanic or gunsmith but I do love it all as a hobby and in my wrench turning experience, hobby or not, I've had to compress a lot of springs for different reasons. This to me seemed to be the same thing (?!) - and the problem of the spring being all twisted up seemed to me to be one of just having no way to maintain the spring straight without the guide rod in place.

    Soooo after messing around with the cord method of compressing (which certainly got the spring IN there, but as I say the messing around after that was annoying as all get out), I thought "For Pete's sake this guide rod is basically just a 5/16" rod why can't I just do something to some scrap rod that will catch the spring and let me compress it..."? So I did, and I was able to install the spring AND GUIDE ROD in less than TWO MINUTES (so get ready for a lot of writing that makes it seem like two hours):

    {CAUTION: WEAR EYE PROTECTION and whenever working with springs under pressure, take care that it won't launch anything in a dangerous direction. Also watch for PINCH POINTS there are some doozies in here}

    1) Take a piece of 5/16" rod and drill a blind hole in the end the right size for a spring pin or whatever that is hard and durable (I used 3/32" because I had a scrap 3/32" spring pin right in front of me). Make sure it is far enough in the rod & tight enough fit that it can't pop out.


    2) Install the pin in the rod (in this picture I haven't trimmed it but you will need to cut the pin to sit just slightly above the height of the spring on the rod) and then slip the spring over the rod; then slide that rod through the breech block.


    3) (sorry no pictures of the compression but just pull up and then use vice grips or what have you to lock the rod in place). You will have to fully compress the spring to give your slave "guide rod" enough clearance to get past the buffer. Make sure you have the pin facing UP towards you so you can remove it. Install the breech block with the guide rod in place.


    4a) No pictures of this, but reinstall the buffer plate/washer. DO NOT put your fingers in there. Use a magnet and/or pics etc because if that rod releases, you might lose a finger.

    4b) Keeping forward pressure on the Slave Guide Rod, carefully release the vice grips and then gently assist the rod to move against the buffer plate/washer under spring pressure. In this picture you can see the trimmed pin, mine is maybe 0.02" above the spring. It has to be close to flush in order to allow the Slave Guide Rod to move far enough into the breech block to allow for reinstallation.


    5) Remove the pin. I ground some needle nose pliers flat to make certain that I wouldn't deform it. Do NOT remove the Slave Guide Rod. Here you can see the pin removed and the spring holding correctly against the buffer plate/washer:


    6) Sorry no pictures of this, but it is self explanatory: Fully compress the breechblock (just pull back on it); Keeping the breechblock compressed remove the Slave Guide Rod and then reinstall the Factory Guide Rod, keeping the breechblock compressed until you have threaded it in.

    7) Here she is resintalled. As I say, that above is a LOT of writing for something that took me less than two minutes to install with that tool:


    I hope this helps someone out!

    NCBB
    I ended up using redi rod as we call it, then a split pin right through both sides, and it does work pretty slick.
    After struggling each time before, this will be my go to way.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,314
    My method is similar. I use a cleaning rod with a narrow nut on one end and a pin inserted through a drilled hole on the other. The rod is inserted through the bolt and pulled back and captured on the other end with the pin. The bolt and buffers are put in place in the gun. Ahead of the buffers is a post with a hole through it. Into this hole I put a thick wire that holds the spring in place after you unscrew and remove the narrow nut. Back the cleaning rod out and push the wire further into the spring. Replace the cleaning rod with the bolt guiding rod and back the spring out as the bolt rod moves forward - the wire will keep the spring in its proper place while you screw the rod in.
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  5. #5
    They are a bugger to do, but these methods are the best ones, I had thought about a nut, but used a pin instead.
    Either way now that I have replace the buffer and have a new spring in I am good to go I hope, have one spare buffer and spring yet, but cant see i would ever wear them out now, mine is 110 years old so should go for a bit now.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    1,314
    The nut on the end of the cleaning rod can be a pain to unscrew. I'll probably switch to a pin if I ever have to do it again, which I hope I never do. The wire through the hole in the post made it easier for me. I'm thinking that we're closing in on the original factory method of installation.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Northwest BC, Canada
    Posts
    57
    Glad it's helping someone out. I've restocked mine since that tutorial, it's a ton of fun to shoot.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoastBigBore View Post
    Glad it's helping someone out. I've restocked mine since that tutorial, it's a ton of fun to shoot.
    This is what makes a site great, the sharing of ideas as we can't know everything.
    I was wondering if a guy could remake the forearm on a 3D machine, wonder if it need be as thin, could it be made a bit thicker?

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Northwest BC, Canada
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by partsman57 View Post
    This is what makes a site great, the sharing of ideas as we can't know everything.
    I was wondering if a guy could remake the forearm on a 3D machine, wonder if it need be as thin, could it be made a bit thicker?
    I was wondering something similar if mine cracked again - but a 3D printer hadn't occurred to me. I'd been thinking of either a sheetmetal shell or even an ABS tube possibly with fibreglass. 3D printer may well be the easiest route.

    They can be thicker; my new forearm is from Macon Gunstocks - it is thicker and will hopefully hold up. Could have sanded it thinner but I preferred to leave it for strength. I followed a tip from another member here (I can't remember his handle on this site) and soaked a bunch of marine epoxy into the inside of the new forearm. Only time will tell, now....

  10. #10
    I just made the rod described here. Use drill rod and a cut down finish nail. Worked like a champ and SO much easier than the string method. Have a new buffer coming. Anyone know what I could make a spare buffer from? I was thinking maybe ABS or ??

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Kansas
    Posts
    4,900
    How does aguy tell if the buffer on a 1907 needs replacing and where do you get a new buffer from?

  12. #12
    There should be a bit of space behind the stepped washer. If not, the recoil buffer needs to be replaced. I ordered my buffer from Numrich. It's shipping today, but I was thinking of making one if I can figure out what material to use.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoastBigBore View Post
    I was wondering something similar if mine cracked again - but a 3D printer hadn't occurred to me. I'd been thinking of either a sheetmetal shell or even an ABS tube possibly with fibreglass. 3D printer may well be the easiest route.

    They can be thicker; my new forearm is from Macon Gunstocks - it is thicker and will hopefully hold up. Could have sanded it thinner but I preferred to leave it for strength. I followed a tip from another member here (I can't remember his handle on this site) and soaked a bunch of marine epoxy into the inside of the new forearm. Only time will tell, now....
    How much did you need to fit the Macon forend? I have a set, but the forend won't slide over the bolt at all.

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