Young Man Afraid Of His Horses

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing | Firearm Assembly | Troubleshooting' started by Sharps4050, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Its the last day of gun season here in Central NC. Rain it tapering off and I'll be on stand by 1500 or so....I always sit the last day. Sometimes it produces!

    But, had to while a way the rainy morning so.....time to finish up getting the sixth screw into the grip frame and a good clean up preparatory to getting some range time now that everything is at least in place and approaching 90% fitted.

    With that in mind....

    The one of six holes in the 1860 army grip frame that didn't line up with the ruger frame is the front screw hole in the trigger guard. So, plugged it with a fitted brass 10x32 screw....tinned all the parts and screwed it together with flux. Gentle heat from the propane torch and after a bit of filing and an initial polish......the solder line is nearly invisible.

    Exterior face in front of the trigger guard after counterboring a new screw head seat for the 8x40 screw I drilled and tapped the frame for 8x40 (Ruger original screw is 6x40 I believe. I like to use the factory hole to spot the new one then drill the trigger guard off frame. Reassemble and use the trigger guard as a guide to drill and tap the frame to 8x40. Gives me the feeling that I get better alignment, that plus I only have a counterbore for 8x40 screws! one day i'll have to get one for size 6)

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    Rear face of the trigger guard. The colt hole is always about 1/2 to 2/3 of a screw forward of the ruger hole.

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    Everything laid out for a good cleaning. She was getting rather gritty feeling with all the years of original dirt and the dirt from all the hand work I've been doing. Quite messy inside and out. So, before a range trip.....

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    Two piece frame is lots easier to assemble to the revolver....and the grip pin serves double duty to capture the main spring assembly.

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    I've not done any trigger work. Won't be. Dirty it was breaking about 4.5 lbs but gritty. Clean and lightly lubed, I have just about 3 lbs 10 oz clean break and just a touch of take up. Should be a fairly precise trigger and easy to use. Its firm till it breaks then it go's clean. I'm pleased with it....best trigger job is years of use I suppose.

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    I think it actually looks pretty good this way. But, I think I'll rust blue it anyway.

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  2. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Registered Member

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    Neat project. Always nice to revolver projects.
     
  3. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Went off to the range today to test fire both the 9mm and the 38/357 cylinder. No problems at all with the gun. Sights need lots of adjustment as all three calibers are very low and left. I'll likely have to adjust the front sight left and perhaps down. Its for sure I'll have to get at least a hunter rear blade or perhaps a touch taller to bring this one into alignment. But, that's a productive trip, and the adjustments can be made and checked before the finish work. Overall, I'm pleased with the function and the available accuracy with both 9mm and the 38/357. It appears the 9mm is slightly less accurate but that was expected and I couldn't be happier with its performance for cheep practice on steel and rolling cans and golf balls.

    And....I really like the extra length grip. 1860 Army + length is for sure the way to go!

    And even though the 9mm cylinder throats measure a generous .359ish inches, they fit the cases snug and provide more than adequate accuracy at 25 ft (distance of a long room or hall) for practical practice shooting.

    The 9mm target (147g FMJ handloads) with a thumb for size reference.

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    The target with a combination of 38s (130g FMJ) and 357's (125g LFN) and a thumb for size reference.

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  4. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Got the front sight moved left. Should be closer to center. Waitin on a high v-notch rear blade and I'll get back on the range to see if the zero is more useable.
     
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  5. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    New rear sight blade from GP100. Much taller. Have to get to the range for finalizing the alignment. Then this one is off to final fitting and rebluing.

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  6. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Time for another range check,,,,make sure the sight is right and if so, the final part came in today and was fitted. A more colt like ejector rod button.

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  7. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Back out to the range this morning. No dice. Still too low and very far left even with the front sight bent way over to the left. So....when some time allows I'll have to pull the front sight and start over. Not sure why the gun is so far left. I do recall that the rear sight was superglued all the way over to one side. Barrel is straight but who knows, it must be in the front or rear sight assemblies. Just means it'll be a good bit longer before I can get to some of the cosmetics I wanted to do on this one. But. No sense going on until it shoots to point of aim.
     
  8. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    nope....ain't forgot. A bit frustrated with the sight, busy with the 37 Dodge Trim, playin with the 50 GI (Named it Thumper!), corresponding with the Owner of Guncrafter and RimRock about the 50GI loads and what I'm seeing across the chrono screens and between the jaws of the micrometer, trying to keep the house top show sale condition as folks romp though it pretty darn regular with this here Heavenly Weather in Central NC that ya'll owe me a big wet kiss for cause I got a special line with the Warmth Gods and got all my flowers up early for the home sale so yer bennefittin from it too......but.....back to the frustration with the front sight....spuds crooked on the casting, ment to be cut off, not used as a solder base.....sight leans, hits too far over, bend is severe to get it on track....so......Put a new horse head on a new slimmer trimmer purtier ramp like bit and soon I'll swap it onto the barrel in place of the chunkerie ruger ramp base thingie and we'll see If it shoots straight without bending the horses head way the hell over to the left.

    But for now, time to go blast something with the 50!
     
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  9. soreshoulder

    soreshoulder Staff Member Staff Member

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    thanks for the update, interesting thread
     
  10. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Sorry this one is taking so long. Functionally, everything but the left and low POI is fine. Working the POI now. Its been a long haul so far, hunting season always gets the priority. Now that's over, the job comes on strong and its travel season and I'm out of office quite a bit. Add to it there were a number of cosmetic and quality issues with this project to over come....most notably, the grips. Nice, look good, but, kind of soft and cast urethane smells like wet dog poop, I think I about got that licked too. (yeah, poop, lick, pun intended) Finally, I gotta get to the eye doctor, cause I just cant see fine work anymore without taking a photo and blowing it up. And, now I've made up my mind, the main one won't call back and the rest don't work on Fridays, Saturdays, sundays or Mondays. Bass-turds. Their business will sink with those hours. (yeah, bass-turds, business sink, pun intended, see, creativity is returning, this project will be fine soon enough)

    But, to the project. Don't like the ruger ramp. Even carved on its too big and now that its carved on, ugly. And the front sight issue, left and low. So, I decided to go with a lower, thinner, somewhat shorter ramp in screw on configuration.

    To that end....a new horse head soldered into place on a ramp that has been carved by hand down to a daintier size.

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  11. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Front sight off and playing with a new ramped horse and might make up a dovetail horse yet.

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  12. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Not sure, the ramped horse might be better on a rifle or muzzleloader. Experimenting some more....this one might be good for the handgun, but I havn't decided for sure yet.

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  13. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Better.

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  14. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Been a while. Massive amounts of travel for work but a short lull in April and I'm wanting to go back to work on Young Man. Had it out to the range with the final version of the front sight. Pretty well shooting where I was pointing it at 10 to 15 yards. Lots of bullets touching. Definitely could use a longer elevation screw on the rear sight to get the fullest range of adjustment, but the screw that's on there is just long enough. I'll root around and see what comes up, I don't think the screw in the rear sight is original or if it is, its been ground off short.

    So, the first big step. Pulled the Urethane grip panels. I'd previously sealed the outer borders with tuff as nails super glue. The center panels were stained with coffee grounds and a bit of mahogany stain. The oil stain has had weeks to dry on top of the somewhat porous urethane inner panels and so, after taping off the outer borders, I hit the inner panel with a double shot of clear acrylic enamel to lock in the stain on the carving. With some sweat and some more dirt ground into the nooks of the carving, it'll look super.

    The grips are put away and the short list of things to accomplish before bluing is somewhat like, final fit the colt 1860 Army Grip. Final fit and tune the main spring mount in the grip. Final fit the Story ERH and its brass band to the loop on the right side of the frame. Polish the barrel a bit more to try to rid it of the pitting that still shows with out loosing the markings on the left side of the barrel. Clean and sand the entire gun evenly and rust blue and the 38/357 cylinder. (The NOS 9mm cylinder is fitted. Its factory blue is perfect, so it'll be left alone, since I suspect it'll only be installed as a plinker rather than for regular use/carry.) Polish and clean the sides of the hammer so they are bright again.

    And then, after all that.....it should be done!
     
  15. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Determined the rear sight elevation screw is standard gun thread, 6x48 TPI....in case I want to make up a new elevation screw.

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    Spent time this evening final fitting the trigger guard to the frame. Shortening screws, counter sinking the frame where the factory unthreaded screw shank is longer than the shoulder in the Colt brass frame, etc. Got it laying on the frame, cinched tight and in a position where the screws are not stressed/bound inside the holes in the colt brass frame.

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    Colt brass trigger guard is a bit different than the ruger frame as they are not intended to be mated......here the left side....

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    And here, on the right.....

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    And finally, the backstrap, installed in its unstressed position, before and after a bit of straightening.

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    And then, to add to the list of stuff to do....I have a Hammerli Dakota SAA 357 inbound. Only made 69-72, top quality and close close close to the original Colt......
     
  16. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Got some finishing done on the grips today. Fitted to the frame at the front of the trigger guard. Clearance the trigger guard slot to ensure the trigger moves freely through its complete stroke. Clipped the top of the backstrap ears slightly and polished them into the frame ears for a smooth transition.n Gave the backstrap and trigger guard an overall polish.

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    Smoothed up the mainspring mount so there are no sharp edges.

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    Started working the ERH Loop down to a level where the outer circumference better meets and blends with the story steel ERH.

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  17. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Shined up....

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    Antiqued.

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    Assembly packed away for later.

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  18. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Time to start rust bluing those parts that I'm sure will be blackened.

    A good pit of fine pitting on the outside of the cylinder. Most of it just a touch too deep to remove so, a 100g finish and a rust blue, it'll mostly be hidden then. The forward trigger guard screw has had its head thinned and contoured and will be rust blued as well as its the only one that shows on the grip frame.

    In the foreground is a short cammed ERH for another project. Its a Uberti part for a 3.5" barrel SAA. When received, I noted it was plumb....which means it was not blued properly by the factory. A light rubbing with a microfiber terry cloth and all the blue came right off. Well, so much for Uberti quality control. But the steel is good and I've used them before on short barreled SAAs so, this one may well get installed on a Hammerli. (Yep. Hammerli made SAA revolvers. Durn fine ones too.)

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  19. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    A bit closer to the line I wanted to establish between ER Loop and ERH. About 90% done. And an air bubble in my solder line that I'll have to fill.

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    Meantime, hammer was wire brushed and then polished. Left side and top is a bit pitted and rather deep....so the wire brush to clean it all out and a light polish to satin.

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  20. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Cylinder, with its worn 120g finish after filing out some of the pits in the circumference, is darkening up quickly. The much finer polished Uberti ERH is slower to color up, but still coming along. Two or so more days of rusting should see both parts completed.

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  21. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    38/357 Cylinder is done. Front trigger guard screw is also done. Rust blue on both is a good deep grey black. The short camed ERH for possible use on another project is almost done. It'll have to be fit and then I can go back and finish the bluing after.


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  22. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Time to blacken some small parts.

    A wet coat of pilkingtons. 1 hour rust in the damp box at 80% humidity and warm and then a light coat followed by 2 more hours in the damp box. Boil. Card (with 0000 steel wool and no, I never degrease the steel wool nor do I do much with degreasing my hands nor do I use special super clean space comet pure water.....and I really never have problems with the finish.....over all its easy. Wipe it....wait....boil, scrub, wipe....wait....etc.....No magic....just clean hands and clean steel and good acid and good humidity and you'll get very good rust.). Recoat lightly with pilkintons and let it all in the damp box for 12 hours. Boil. Card. and ... repeat about 3 to 6 12 hour rust cycles and it'll be nicely grey black and very durable.


    The parts.

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    The Damp Box.

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    Humidity and warmth provided via small crock pot of water with low, med and high settings as needed.

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  23. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Rust blue is a satin finish. Not quite black. Not quite grey. But always, not shiny. Over the years I've found it a serious waste of time to polish beyond 220g for rust blue. And, as on this gun where there is just fine pitting, and mostly at the corners and edges where removing it would change the shape on one side but not the other, spoiling the lines.....a 100g finish applied with a random orbit sander is very effective at hiding the small damages accumulated over the years as the random pattern seemingly blends out the pits in the final finish. I've filed and sanded out what I can without changing shapes, lines or removing letters or dishing out screw holes, the rest will be blended as much as possible into the final satin finish.

    Here, the first kiss with the jitter bug. I'll hit it once more after the small parts are blackened which allows me to pay full attention to blackening and boiling and carding this one large piece.

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  24. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Betcha never thought this dayum thinged get blued.....didja?

    The first pass, 3 hours rusting. All subsequent passes between boiling will be 12 hours. Carding with 0000 steel wool will remove 95% of this first bloom of black color, leaving only the tightest bonded oxides in place to color the steel.

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  25. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    The rust on the small parts is very fine grained and coming along nicely.

    Here, parts in the damp box....

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    And here, the parts in the iron pan just before boiling in tap water.

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  26. Sharps4050

    Sharps4050 Registered Member

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    Small parts are done including the heads and tails of the screws. I hate rust bluing screw heads. But, they's done. Now to mull on it and decide if the main body and barrel will be black or brown.

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