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clearance. This is sometimes done when the rifle is to be carried in a saddle scabbard. After bending, let the handle cool for several minutes before dipping in water to cool it completely—but keep the rags wet constantly, to prevent the balance of bolt from heating up.

The heating has left the bolt handle soft, so the knob may be file checked or stippled if desired. Often the underside (particularly if it has been ground flat) is checkcd, and the round side left smooth. All this is purely a matter of choice—personally I prefer a full round smooth bolt knob which rolls easily in the hand.

Do not make any attempt to re-harden the bolt handle, or your efforts may result in cracking the bolt. Leave it soft—there's no wear on it anyhow. Just dress it up smooth with a file, polish and blue it. Blue the entire bolt if you like, or blue the handle only, using the No. 1 Hot bluing solution given in Chapter 20. Some of the solution will run onto the body of bolt and make spots, but these are easily polished off afterward. ^ .

Some gunsmiths, particularly those who go in for light weight "de luxe" Springfields, are given to filing down the bolt handle to about half its original size. I would most emphatically advise against this. In the first place, the heating naturally removes 6ome of the stiffness of the handle. The thin, skinny handle may look a litde better on a very light rifle—but what if a shell sticks sometime, and you have to use your shoe-heel or a stick of stovewood to open the bolt? I have had to do this very thing more than once. Leave that bolt handle as nearly its original size as you possibly can.

Figure 187 shows a bolt handle with a round notch ground in it to clear the large eyepiece of a Hensoldt Zial Dialyt scope. This

Pig. 187

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