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Re-arming a blank firing pistol
Weaponeer Forums : Other Handguns Builds

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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 09 2017 at 8:29am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

I was going through the vault last night and I found a baggie of parts.
It's for an H&R .22 caliber blank firing revolver.

9 shot, solid steel rod for a "barrel", but the cylinder moves and the action spins.
There's a plastic bojanger in the grip that is broken. As a result the hammer doesn't full cock 100% of the time. If you jiggle it and attempt to full cock it will work.

I must've gotten the thing when I was under the age of 21. I had 3 cases of .25 caliber blanks for a nail gun that I got from doing a construction job. I reamed the cylinders out to .251 and had a good old time firing off blanks.
Kids are dumb.

Anyway, I'm wondering now if I could press the rod out, press AND pin a real barrel, replace the cylinder (or buy .25 caliber ammo), and have a functional revolver.

It can't be that easy, can it?
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 09 2017 at 11:23am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/threads/h-r-starter-pistol-2 2-nine-shot.77438/

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/627102624

Jeez.
Wish I didn't butcher it. For what it's worth now, I could've sold it and bought a real gun.
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  weaponeer

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Posted: March 13 2017 at 8:29pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

that's typically how it go's.

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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 16 2017 at 8:20am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

Since it was manufactured in 1907, I have no reason to believe H&R would've made a specific "blank only" receiver.

I ordered a 6" barrel with a sight on it ($24.99, free shipping on eBay)

My motivation here is that I could always turn it into a 4" barrel if necessary and install my own front sight.

Already received the barrel and it was threaded and pinned. No guarantee I can time it again, but I have ways to align it. I have to see how tight it is once the pin is removed.

Are the threads to align the barrel and the pin holds it in place? Is the barrel supposed to be bottomed out and then pinned? I have no idea yet.

I, apparently, share interchangeability with the 922, 970, and 929.
The cylinder is the expensive part for each model.
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 16 2017 at 10:30am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Is the reason hardly anyone builds their own revolvers from scratch complexity?  Just the sheer amount of machining needed?
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 16 2017 at 11:22am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

Over a hundred years old and I wouldn't want to make it, even with modern conveniences.
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 16 2017 at 7:37pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

S&W makes an ambidextrous revolver, & Charter makes a left-handed, both snubbies, both aluminum framed.  Would really like to someday cut him a steel frame that can take a longer bbl.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 17 2017 at 9:25am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

Well, turns out H&R did consider it.

I bent a 1/16 punch knocking out a .086" diameter solid pin. The pin made it halfway out of the receiver and then sheered itself somehow. Whatever, I was probably going to have to ream it out to 3/32 anyway.

I was able to take some measurements:
The barrel is turned down to .434" and fine threaded. Probably 7/16-20 assuming standard sizes but I didn't check the thread.

The blank only receiver has been bored to .445 and the blank only barrel has been straight knurled. Otherwise the pin appears to be the same diameter and location. The shoulder on the barrel is the same length as the shoulder on the blank only barrel. The barrel appears to have a taper to the ID, and I'm wondering how a .22 caliber projectile synchronizes between the cylinder and barrel... probably how I ended up with that taper.
6" is WAYYY too long to carry anyway, but if I learned anything from my Charter Arms it's that 2" is too small.

I just so happen to have a straight knurler. I'm going to face the threads off and turn the barrel down, knurl it, press and pin it. I ordered a .22 LR 9 shot cylinder for 40 bucks with ejector and rod.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 20 2017 at 7:12am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

The barrel is counter bored .250 diameter and 3/32" deep. That must be to take up any slack or slop in the cylinder. The rifling is not tapered after the counter bore. It's a square, hard stop.

I am thinking of profiling it with a slight taper. I can do .250 diameter, still .093 deep, but taper at, say, 20 degrees. I still have at least 5 inches to stabilize the bullet, unless I trim the end of it down too.

The more I wave this big 6 inches around, the more appealing a 4 inch barrel is. Double entendre implied.

I'm going to skip the straight knurl. That's silly and redundant. I'm just going to make it a nice press fit. Once it's aligned I'm going to ream that .086 pin to .093 and press a dowel pin in.

The plastic bo-janger I mentioned being broken is part of the mainspring that rests against the hammer. It was 26 bucks, shipped, on eBay. Parts are interchangeable between the High Standard Sentinel.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 20 2017 at 10:39am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

I took the receiver apart. I was trying to avoid it, but I'm glad I did.
The trigger pin was bent. Because the trigger pin was bent, the trigger rocked, because the trigger rocked the alignment cam (my own verbiage) that centers the cylinder is mutilated and the lifter started to wear paper thin on one side. Sear looks great though.

Each part is available for 10 bucks each, but this sucks.
40 + 26 + 25 + 10 + 10... I've exceeded the cost of just buying a completed revolver. I could've purchased one made this century.

The lifter has a spring that's been dimpled into the steel. I wouldn't want to risk my safety with a cam. So I'll pay the price. The receiver pins came out with great ease. Much easier than the hammer or barrel pin. Now that it is completely disassembled I'm considering a quick sand blast and a blue. I've never done home blue. At my old job I could slip parts into the lot for black oxide but here we typically run exotics or stainless alloys.

Sigh.
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 20 2017 at 1:35pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

And now you understand why we enjoy tweaking gun buy backs.  Everything made in the 20th Century, & most of what was made in the 19th, can be restored with enough time, effort, and money - mostly for machining.  That doesn't mean it's worth it, however.

You do know for sure the bore will line up w/ the cylinder?
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 20 2017 at 1:52pm | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

No.
It was a thought that came to me two nights ago, actually... that I should wait until I have the cylinder in my hands so I can measure center line to center line of the chamber and the bore.
Another potential deterrent could have been to use a different swing point for the blanks versus the real deal. I haven't cut the barrel yet. If I need to move it eccentrically I can. The cylinder was supposed to be here last week but according to the tracking number it made it to my local post office, went out for delivery, and vanished.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 21 2017 at 1:11pm | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

The real cylinder is a nice tight fit, except I purchased a swing-out version so the ejector rod is too long.

Exact length, exact diameter, same center lines all around.

I made a repro-rubber mold of the barrel... funnel? I thought it was a counter bore but the repro-rubber shows that it's a .250 diameter for .093 deep then a 6.5 degree (on the side) taper to the .214 rifling.

I'm this far into it. May as well finish the job. The 4" barrel has grown on me. I'll turn that and pin it before the week is over. Because I don't want to drill out the trigger, I'll turn down a dowel pin to suit the bent pin diameter.
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 21 2017 at 3:51pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Well, that's a relief.  Pity you can't just drill out the blank bbl & leave it as a smoothbore for rat shot.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 22 2017 at 8:09am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

That thought considered my mind as well but they made it a screw driver tip. I keep taking pictures and just not uploading them. You'll see eventually.

My girlfriend is a scientist and is interested in learning black oxide. My grandfather used to run a plating shop back in the day so it's old hat for me, but I have a lot of parts I need blacked.

And a receiver I need anodized. Not sure about home anodize. I've heard it can be done in a 5 gallon bucket...
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 23 2017 at 6:55am | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Type 2 is done by the AR 80% folks.  Not as hard as commercial Type 3, but good enough - though gov't work requires Type 3.
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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 27 2017 at 8:01am | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

The external barrel profile is 7/16-24, 1/2" deep with a .010 corner radius.
I have turned mine to .443, which should give me a .001 press fit at the loosest point. My receiver is tapered .438 to .442 over 1/2". With a little filing I'll make it a nice press fit.

Going to try to squeeze in the barrel ID taper tonight.
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  weaponeer

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Posted: March 29 2017 at 5:44pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I always used to place the barrels in the freezer at night and then press then in the morning. they always slide right in

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  Paraquat

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Posted: March 30 2017 at 1:55pm | IP Logged Quote Paraquat

I put an exact taper in. I used the repro rubber mold as a gage. I didn't like it so I thinned out the angle. It's only .040" longer but it the angle went from 6.5 degrees on the side to, I think, 4 ish. I figure a bit more lead in can't hurt.



Here are the internals. More for my own benefit so I remember how to put it back together. The knife blade looking thing is the "lever" that rotates the cylinder. The wire spring sticking out is dimpled in place. It was 10 bucks for a new one. Much easier than making it.


Here you can see the "screw driver tip" from the blank barrel versus the threads on the real deal barrel.


Here is the barrel. I first had to drag a file over the stamping to make smooth, then polish to make round, then I put a gage pin in the ID, indicated the ID, and cut the OD. It has a nice fit to this point.
From here on it will be a press with a cross pin which, as previously mentioned, I will drill out from .086 to .093 and install a new dowel pin.

Everything has cleaned up real nice in the sandblaster. There's a bit of pitting on the top and it's improved but also harmed the finish texture. I mean, that's expected. I'm using 80 grit media.
Before it felt smooth, like it had been polished before coating. Now I can feel the texture, if that makes sense. Like I said, it's to be expected. I actually prefer a bit of grip on a utility firearm. Nothing I hack becomes a safe queen or goes on display.

You can also see the threaded end of my bent arrow. I've heard I can use a pipe cutter to excise the damaged portion and glue the tip holder back in place. I'm going to convert this 30" arrow into a 27" arrow.
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  backbencher

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Posted: March 30 2017 at 9:19pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

You are a persistent SOB.  Good on ya.
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