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Old 04-09-2007, 04:12 PM   #1
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Glenn Nelson - Rest In Peace

M14 fans, M14 armorer extraordinaire Glenn Nelson passed away on February 17, 2007. He is buried at Park Hill Cemetery in Columbus GA.

From the 04/08/07 draft of the Third Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development:

"Wayne Young was a U. S. Army armorer of eighteen years experience in 1973 when he was stationed at the Fort Benning AMTU. He had a Federal Firearms License and his own work shop off base. He built match grade M1 Garand, M1A and Mark IV rifles for civilian competitors. His gunsmithing work was highly regarded by the shooting community. Glenn Nelson, another AMTU armorer, built match grade M1A rifles in the same shop alongside Wayne Young for Elmer Ballance (see Springfield Armory, Inc. and Glenn Nelson)."

and

"There were approximately 120 such bare and barreled receivers built into complete rifles by Wayne Young and Glenn Nelson for Elmer Ballance."

and

"Glenn Nelson joined the U. S. Army in 1954 and became a member of its shooting team in 1961. He earned Distinguished Rifleman status in 1962 as well. He remained on the Army shooting team until late 1965 when he accepted an offer to become a match armorer. He completed the U. S. Army match armorer school at Rock Island Arsenal then began building M14 rifles for competition as part of the USAMTU at Fort Benning. Mr. Nelson went on to serve in Viet Nam and the Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge of the AMU Custom Gun Shop. He retired from the U. S. Army in 1975. As soon as Reese Surplus, Inc. purchased Springfield Armory, Inc. in 1974, Bob Reese hired Glenn Nelson to establish a shop that could build competition grade M1A rifles.

Mr. Nelson began building Ultra Match M1 Garand and National Match and Super Match M1A rifles from his home. However, by 1987 the business had grown such that the custom rifle shop occupied 5,000 square feet of building space. Over the years he put together a first rate staff of former AMTU match armorers and former Army team shooters. Mr. Nelson and his staff kept up with and implemented the latest accurizing techniques used by the AMTU as time went on. Mr. Nelson no longer builds competition rifles for Springfield Armory, Inc. but did so until 2004. Mr. Nelsonís FFL Book had logged over 41,200 (forty-one thousand two hundred) entries for rifles received for his gifted touch. When Mr Nelson retired, his machine tools and shop equipment were sold to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ken Corcoran, U. S. Army (Retired) of North Pole, AK. Chief Warrant Officer Corcoran was an AMU armorer himself.

The custom Super Match M1A rifles were fitted with either Douglas or Hart heavyweight barrels. These heavyweight barrels were available in 1:10, 1:11, or 1:12 twist rates. Mr. Nelson required the air-gauged and stress-relieved barrel blanks supplied to him have a bore diameter between 0.2999 " and 0.3004 " and a groove diameter between 0.3079 " and 0.3084 ". The heavyweight barrel blanks were supplied with rifling obviously, but the rest of the machining was done by Mr. Nelson or his employees. National Match medium weight barrels were supplied by Springfield Armory, Inc. to Mr. Nelson already for installation by other suppliers. The operating rod guides were soldered on to the barrels. For individual customers, Mr. Nelson machined hand picked medium weight and heavyweight Douglas Premium barrel blanks and installed them in rifle builds unless the customer specified otherwise.

To give the reader an idea of what is possible with the M14 rifle and a talented armorer, the following will illustrate the point. In April 1986, Glenn Nelson built a Super Match M1A rifle from stripped receiver serial number 033187. The build included all TRW parts and a National Match rear sight. After final assembly, this rifle was tested on a machine rest. It grouped fourteen shots under the size of a nickel at 200 yards with 168 grain Sierra bullets. The test target was presented to the buyer, a member of the Second Army Shooting Team.

Mr. Nelson and his staff used the same Springfield Armory, Inc. M1A receivers used on standard models to create state-of-the-art competition rifles. They performed the match conditioning work and 90 % of the assembly on the receivers sent to the Nelson shop in Columbus, GA by Springfield Armory, Inc. Mr. Nelson purchased TRW bolts for building all the National Match and Super Match M1A rifles in his shop. Headspace on these rifles was kept between 1.631 " and 1.632 ". The M1A rifles dressed in wood stocks were coated several times with raw linseed oil. The almost-complete rifles were shipped back to Springfield Armory, Inc. for final assembly, test firing, packaging and shipping. Final assembly in Geneseo, IL included installation of the front and rear sights, operating rods, hand guards and slings."
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:30 PM   #2
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From the Columbus, GA Ledger-Enquirer:

"Glenn Eugene Nelson March 19, 1935 - February 17, 2007 COLUMBUS, GA - MSG (Ret) Glenn Eugene Nelson, 71, of Columbus, GA died Saturday, February 17, 2007 at the Columbus Hospice House. Cryptside funeral services with Military Honors will be held at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 21, 2007 in the Chapel of the Pines Mausoleum in Parkhill Cemetery according to Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, Columbus. MSG Nelson was born in Dexter, OH, on March 19, 1935, son of the late Ernest Elwood Nelson and Mary E. Strong Nelson. He has lived in Columbus for the past 50 years. He retired from the U.S. Army with 22 years of service having served in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Era Conflict. After his military career, he was President and Owner of Nelson's Custom Gun Shop for 30 years. He was preceded in death by three half sisters, Hester Adams, Pauline Davis and Marvel Washington and a half brother, Eugene Oscar Washington. Survivors include his wife Shirley A. Nelson of Columbus, a son, Glenn Eugene Nelson, Jr. of Columbus, two sisters Betty Jacks, Charlotte Good and a brother, Lloyd Nelson, all of Ohio, four grandchildren, Paul Nelson, Amy Nelson, Alisa Nelson and Allen Nelson."
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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Did his cancer return?
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:18 PM   #4
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Gene, sorry, I don't know.
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:25 AM   #5
JR
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A lot of history is passing every day. We're all getting older. Many of the men and women who served this country and it's armament developments are unassuming and quiet. They were, and are, of the Greatest Generation.

People like Lee (Different) do us a service beyond compare by chronicling those men and women amongst us who, unlike today's "stars", go about their business without comment.

Thanks, Lee. Rest in Peace Glenn.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:11 AM   #6
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I had not heard that. Sorry to get the news, but thanks for letting us know.
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