I’ve been watching some firearms auction sites for one of these.
This, True Believers, is the Winchester 100, a slick little semi-auto sporting rifle made from 1961 to 1974 and offered in three Winchester calibers; .308 Winchester, .284 Winchester and .243 Winchester. I’ve been looking for one in .308, and – this is key – one in decent mechanical condition, but the cosmetic condition is unimportant. Worn bluing and a buggered-up stock are not only unimportant, but might even be desirable.
The intent is to use my Model 100 for an experiment, once I’ve been thinking about trying for 20 some years now.
A bullpup rifle, for the uninitiated, is a rifle where the action is located well aft of the trigger guard; the famous Steyr AUG is an example. But most bullpups come in military livery, and I’m interested in building a bullpup hunting rifle, one in a reasonably powered caliber capable of killing deer and (with proper loads) elk. Further, I want to equip my bullpup sporter with a decent-looking walnut or wood laminate stock.
The design of the 100’s action will make a few design features necessary. A bullpup design will mean the buttpad will be right behind the action, so in order to get access to the sorta-flush five-round mag, the stock will have to rise quickly from the toe of the stock to meet the line of the original pattern.
But the real trick will be the trigger. The stock Model 100 has a pretty fair trigger, but the more linkages and twinks you add to a trigger, the harder it is to get a decent pull. There may be a number of ways to do it; a cable linkage, a solid steel rod, even an electronic trigger.
So, how to bring, specifically, the Model 100 trigger to well forward of the action and still maintain a decent, clean, crisp trigger pull? I haven’t worked that part out yet. Once I find the right rifle, I may talk to an actual professional gunsmith (being just an inspired tinkerer myself) to see if that problem can be worked out.
The appeal of a light, short thumper of a hunting rifle is obvious, yes? I may even have a target demographic in mind, should I choose to build a few more of these.