Really?! That's pretty interesting Pete. Why is that? Yes, my rifle is Very smooth and clean when I work the bolt. It's as if the follower, extractor, receiver, rails, cocking piece cam and other bearing surfaces have been polished. Which they appear to be, but in a way that suggests the action has been worked multiple times. Everything really is silky smooth in operation. even the safety engages smoothly and without binding. Thanks Pete.
I have several of the old handguards with the machined notch. Cracking is common and very difficult, if not without risk, to repair.
The wood was oiled, so glue doesn't always take well and the same stresses of the barrel cause the split to re-open. My 1918 rifle
does not have the neat initial block. The eagle is stamped in front of the trigger guard. I haven't had it out for awhile, so need to drag
it out this weekend and check the stock wood. We have "temporary" sunlight here in the NW, so I will look at the wood then. Good
natural light should give me a real color check. Fred, do you have an eagle stamp forward of the trigger guard? It may be difficult
to discern, but it would be in the same position as a M1917 rifle. Ferris mentions that the ordnance dept. set up a new division for
WWI inspections. All these manufacturers (including the National Armory) were within travel distance of each other (Colt, Winchester,
Remington, Eddystone-------any others?), so (conjecture, only) perhaps the government of that era had inspectors for all arms going
directly to troops ONLY? Thoughts.