nccessary is the thorough polishing of contact surfaces of the full-cock notch and of the sear. This is done with the fine carborundum and the white Arkansas hand stones. If the double-action pull of a revolver is too hard, examine all parts, including the cylinder ratchet and the hand which engages it, for burrs. These, when found, are polished off with the white Arkansas stone.
A dragging cylinder lock will also cause a heavy double-action pull. This is easily discovered by examining the surface of the cylinder between the locking notches, as scratches will show here if the lock drags. The remedy is to dress enough off the top of the lock with a small hand stone, so that it clears the cylinder.
The .22 revolvers sometimes tighten-up in the cylinder so that it becomes almost impossible to turn it. This may be caused by a high spot on the front end of the cylinder, so that a little fouling on this end of the cylinder and the rear end of the barrel will make the cylinder drag and sometimes stick completely. This is remedied by locating the high spot and filing it off with a fine flat pillar file. A second cause may be lead flakes from the bullets piling up between the top of the barrel extension and the top strap of the frame, until they build out far enough to press against the top edge of the cylinder. Remove the lead, point it out to the owner and tell him to keep that place clean. I also had one case, in a medium-priced .22 revolver, where the case heads of fired cartridges dragged on one spot on the breech face. Filing this high spot down corrected the trouble. In center-fire revolvers the recoil plate, through which the firing-pin strikes, sometimes becomes loose and dirt gets behind it and holds it forward, so that it drags on the head of the cases. To correct this, remove the plate and clean the hole and the plate itself thoroughly, after which either get a new plate or tin the edge of the old plate with solder and press or drive it back into place with a brass rod passed down the barrel from the muzzle.
Misfires in revolvers are often caused by the owner's misdirected efforts to lighten the trigger-pull by filing the main-spring thinner. A new main-spring will correct the fault. A badly worn firing-pin, shortened by much use, will cause misfires, so check its length. Where the firing-pin is separate from the hammer and is located in the frame, both the hole in the frame and the pin may become so worn that misfires occur. Fit a new pin, made oversize in the body so that it fits the enlarged hole more closely. Be careful not to fit it too closely, or a trifle of dirt may cause it to bind in the hole and make the gun misfire. In hammerless autoloading pistols where the firing-pin is driven forward with a coil-spring, misfires may occur from the weakening of this spring, caused by the gun being left at full-cock for long periods of time. The correction for this is a new spring or the stretching and retemper-ing of the old spring.
Misfires may also be caused by shortening the hammer-fall too much in speeding-up the action, or by lightening the hammer too much. A new hammer is the best correction in cither case.
If, when a revolver is slowly brought to full-cock by drawing back the hammer by hand, the cylinder can then be turned slightly by hand and you hear the cylinder lock click into place, it denotes wear on the cylinder ratchet or on the hand which turns the cylinder. This is not serious, unless it still occurs when the hammer is drawn back rapidly, as in natural use, in which case the hand must either be heated and drawn out slightly longer with a hammer and then re-hardened or it must be replaced with a new one, so that the cylinder lines up properly with the barrel. A replacement hand is left a little longer than is neces sary so that it will take up wear in the ratchet on the cylinder, so it usually has to be ground slightly to make it fit.
If, when the hammer is at full-cock and the cylinder lock is in place in its notch in the cylinder, the cylinder can be rotated a little back and forth by hand, either the lock or the notches in the cylinder are worn. A new lock will usually fit up closely and remedy the trouble. The notches for the lock, in the cylinder, should be cleaned out, as dirt in those notches will prevent the lock seating fully, so that it sometimes appears to be worn badly when it is not in bad enough shape to require replacement.
Some revolvers have too great a trigger movement to the rear after the hammer is released in firing. This is liable to allow the sights to wobble off the target. It may be corrected by tapping a hole through the rear of the guard for a small headless scrcw, that is screwed in flush and is long enough so that its point stops further travel of the trigger after the hammer is released. A x 56 thread screw is a good size to use at this point.
Owners of the single-action Colt revolver often want the hammer spur lowered, or both lowered and widened. To lower the spur, remove the hammer from the action and place it between vise jaws sheathed with copper, then draw the vise up tightly on the hammer with only the spur showing above the jaws of the vise. Heat the spur with the acetylene torch until it is red-hot, then place a brass or copper rod upon the spur and bend it down. If necessary, tap the rod with a hammer to bend it. After the spur has cooled, the checking may be repaired with a three-square needle file if it has been damaged, and if the hammer has bulged a little where the spur joins the body dress this off with a file.
If the owner of the single-action wants a Bisley-type hammer spur, remove the firing-pin from the hammer, heat the spur to soften it and then cut it off, or else grind it off while still hardened. A piece of steel for the new, wide, low spur is then welded onto the hammer and ground and filed to shape. The spur is checked with a three-square needle file and the hammer is then case-hardened.
The type of sights for a target revolver or pistol do not matter, just so they suit the owner but sights on the ordinary hand-gun are sometimes a poor type for use in hunting, either due to poor visibility against certain backgrounds or due to the fact that they are not well adapted for holster use. As a usual thing, the gold bead sights are better adapted for hand-guns carried in a holster than are the ivory bead type, because of the greater strength of the gold bead and also due to the fact that it does not absorb oil. The shape of the gold bead sights however, is no better than that of the ivories when it comes to getting a gun out of a holster quickly. The fully-rounded steel front sights supplied on revolvers and pistols other than the target guns comes out of a holster the easiest but they soon wear shiny so that there is a glare when the light strikes them. The Lyman Gunsight Corp. makes a rifle sight with dovetail base, called a semi-jack sight, which is rounded like a steel revolver .sight mentioned but on the rear side there is a notch cut and in this notch a hole is drilled from the top down toward the bottom but sloping back at an angle to the vertical. In this hole they set a small shaft of ivory, so that the rounded side of the shaft is to the rear and the ivory stands up above the bottom of the notch to the top of the rounded blade. While this sight itself is not adapted to revolvers or pistols, the principle used can be applied and the same type of sight made out of the rounded steel sight supplied on revolvers and pistols. To the man who prefers ivory sights this shows up well, al though red may be used in place of white, and the sight is well protected from breakage and the rounded top prevents it'from catching on the holster.
A rather long, high ramp, with just the bead of the sight appearing above the top of the ramp, is better than the type of sights usually furnished, which stick up like a lighthouse on a rock, to be caught in the holster when the gun is drawn. Ribs for revolvers and pistols are becoming popular of late years and these are even better looking than ramps, but have the rib run-up in height to just below the sight bead, to prevent that bead digging its way in the holster and catching there.
The wide steel front sights may be slotted with a y$2" thick slitting saw, filed down in height, and fitted with any standard blade-type bead sight by thinning down the blade below the bead, setting it in the slot and using a flush pin through both the old sight and the blade of the bead to hold it in place.
It is hard to do much with rear sights except to keep them as low as possible, so that the front sight may be low on the barrel. The shape of the notch may be changed by cutting out a vee-notch to a round or square shape or sweating a thin piece of steel to the back of a square-notch type to change it to the round-notch type, to match a bead front sight. The sharp vee-notch is almost worthless under most light conditions. Peep sights on hand-guns are not much good in calibers larger than .22, as to be of any use the peep must be held fairly close to the eye and this may result in a bruised eye with large-caliber guns.
Most of the troubles of autoloading pistols, such as jams or failure to load while firing, are caused by the ammunition lacking power, with the exception that jams are sometimes caused by the weakening of the magazine spring, brought about by leaving the magazine fully loaded and thereby compressing the magazine spring over long periods of time. A new magazine spring will remedy the trouble.
Autoloading pistols have extraction troubles at times caused, in the .22 caliber, by wear of the extractor hook or by an excessive amount of grease or dirt on the breech face. A new extractor corrects the wear and cleaning the breech face regularly prevents the dirt and grease accumulating there. Barrels should be cleaned regularly or the chamber may corrode, causing cases to stick so that the extractor pulls over the rim.
The larger autoloading hand-guns sometimes get to throwing the fired cases back in the shooter's face. A new extractor is the best way to correct this trouble, but stoning the hook on a slight bevel at the end will sometimes fix it, as this will cause the case to release quicker at the top, but it may be overdone so that the hook releases the case too quickly, so be careful.
The Luger autoloading pistol is a hand-gun that seems to be misunderstood in this country from the way it has been panned by various writers in sporting magazines. The truth of the matter is that it is a very superior type of pistol, with the best designed grip that has ever been placed on any hand-gun. You may think this matter of grip-shape is my own opinion, if so you are correct, it is, but this opinion has been confirmed for the past twenty years by seeing any number of men who have never fired one before pick up these Lugers and have no trouble hitting an object at a reasonable distance. Out here, these Lugers are a favorite gun with men in the hills and they use them to kill deer, elk, sheep, goat and antelope with. The 7.65 m/m or .30 caliber is the preferred size.
There is only one brand of ammunition loaded in this country that has been consistently successful in the Luger pistol and that is the Winchester ammunition. The only reason for this is that it is loaded to sufficient breech pressure, which for the Luger is a minimum of 25,000 pounds per square inch. Nearly all malfunctions with the Luger can be traced to ammunition of insufficient power.
The Luger carbine, which is the standard Luger pistol action with a weaker action spring and a 12" barrel, handles regularly the German black cartridge which, according to Kings Powder Company of Kings Mills, Ohio, gives a velocity of 2,030 foot seconds in the 12" barrel and a breech pressure of 40,000 to 50,-000 pounds per square inch. This test was run for R. W. Goodman of Boise, Idaho, who has used this load in these carbines since 1923 to kill big game. Mr. Goodman holds his Luger in both hands but does not use a shoulder stock.
These Luger actions of the best type which perform so well are the DWM actions with the coil action spring. The initials DWM appear in a monogram on top of the action. These actions made since the war are well fitted and are of excellent material, well hardened. Trust no other Luger actions than these or those put out lately by the Mauser works and stamped Mauser on top of the action. Mauser bought the Luger outfit a few years ago.
These DWM actions were sometimes sold to other manufacturers who made up the barrels for them, so examine Lugers to be used with high-power loads to see that the extractor cut in the top of the barrel does not extend forward of the end of the extractor farther than is necessary to give it clearance, or a case may blow out at this point, either breaking the extractor or breaking it out of the top of the breech-block which makes a new breech-block necessary.
Various ammunition manufacturers seem to use different head-space standards in making Luger ammunition, caused, I expect, by getting hold of barrels chambered by various companies, but I have seen Lugers handle ammunition giving excessive head-space meas urements up to .015" which apparently caused no trouble, still it is better to find one ammunition for your Luger that fits it well and use only that.
The Luger is not a blow-back action in which the breech-block is held against the breech of the barrel only by a recoil spring. When the Luger action is closed, the pins in the links are in a straight line, locking the breech to the barrel. Upon firing, the barrel and receiver complete with the breech-block and links all recoil together, still locked, until the finger pieces, by which you open the action by hand, strike against the slope of the ramp at the rear of the frame, which breaks the straight line of the link joints. At the same time the lug on the under side of the receiver strikes its stop in the frame at the front end, stopping further movement to the rear of the barrel and receiver. After the straight line of the link joints is broken and the receiver stopped, the breech-block continues its movement to the rear, due to the energy stored in it by its first travel to the rear with the receiver, opening the breech and extracting the fired cartridge. There is no remaining pressure in the barrel at all when the breech opens. You may prove this by firing the gun with the extractor removed from it. When the breech opens the fired case remains in the chamber, although it may be picked out easily with the finger nail or shaken out of the chamber. The recoil spring, running down inside the butt behind the magazine, returns the breech-block to its forward position, picking up a new cartridge from the magazine on the way forward.
These recoil springs are balanced with the barrel weight, the long heavy barrels having the lightest spring and the short light barrels the heaviest spring. In changing to barrels of different length, the action should be carefully checked for correct working afterwards, as the long spring in connection with a long heavy barrel does not work well, often failing to allow the action to open far enough to pick a new cartridge from the magazine. If the short spring designed for the long barrels is used with a short barrel, the recoil of the action will be too violent, often picking a new cartridge from the magazine and throwing it entirely out of the gun, or the violent recoil action may cause the link between the rear action link and the recoil spring to unhook from the recoil spring.
The Luger action is easily dismounted for cleaning, or for barrel inspection, with the fingers only. These actions should be kept very well oiled with a good light-bodied gun oil, except in the coldest weather, when Gunslick or some like lubricant should be well worked into the slides of the action and then all excess thoroughly wiped off.
Lugers are easily made into single-shot .22 rim-fire pistols by substituting a .22 barrel, chambered for the short or long-rifle cartridge, for the regular Luger barrel. The center-fire firing-pin can be cut off flush with the face of the breech-block and the body of the pin drilled at one side for the insertion of a new firing-pin nose and the breech-block drilled for the new nose. Both the firing-pin and the breech-block are hardened and must be annealed by bringing them to a red-heat and burying them in slaked lime to cool, which will leave them soft so that they can be drilled. They are afterwards rehardened and the breech-block reblued. An extension is welded onto the nose of the extractor, so that the fired .22 case may be extracted.
I have had a hunch for some time that the Luger could be made to operate on the autoloading principle with the .22 long-rifle cartridge of the high-speed variety, using a recoil spring balanced to handle it, but I have never had the time to experiment with it. The magazine could be narrowed inside with pieces soldered in at each side and the cartridge platform narrowed down. A new magazine spring might have to be made.
Some time ago I made up a special .22 Hi-Power Luger for Mr. Goodman of Boise. I obtained a .22 six-groove target barrel from W. A. Sukalle, barrel maker of Phoenix, Arizona, and made from this an 8" barrel, chambered with a special chambering reamer for the Luger cartridge necked down to .22 caliber. I used the Remington 45 grain Hornet bullet and put in the cartridge case 9-grains of #1204 Dupont powder, all the case would hold and allow the bullet to be seated to a'depth so that the cartridges would work through the magazine. The magazine spring was cut off a very little at a time until it balanced the action. This gun has a rather sharp report but excellent accuracy, giving 134" ten-shot groups at 50 yards, when fired by Mr. Goodman, holding the gun in both hands but without rest. We have never tested this load on a chronograph for velocity yet it shows much higher speed than the heaviest pistol load of 7.65 m/m caliber in an 8" barrel but less speed than the black, carbine cartridge gives in a 12" barrel, so we estimated it at between 1700 and 1800 foot-seconds velocity. Mr. Goodman has made many excellent kills on our small chucks at over 100 yards with this .22 Luger.
The Luger is subject to the same troubles as other autoloading hand-guns in regard to damaged lips on the magazine causing the gun to fail to load, so examine these periodically to see that they do not become bent or broken. Also from time to time, if the gun is left with the magazine loaded for long periods, a new magazine spring will be necessary, as this weakens the spring. The recoil springs will stand a great deal of use but will weaken in time and will need to be replaced. This Luger action will not handle as much dirt as some of the looser-fitted actions, so keep it well cleaned and above all do not fail to keep it well lubricated, for the closely fitting parts will develop a roughness, causing the action to bind if you do not keep it well oiled. Another point is to be careful about getting the receiver arms bent while the gun is taken apart, for if these arms are too close together they will bind on the breech-block, and if too far apart they will bind on the inside of the frame at the rear.
I have heard many complaints about the trigger-pull of the Luger pistol, but a Luger trigger-pull can be made very smooth, with a sharp let-off. This is merely a case of stoning the notch in the side of the firing-pin and the end of the sear until the proper smoothness is
Luger trigger mechanism, with scar and firing-pin.
obtained. In some Lugers the engagement of the sear is too deep in its notch and this may be corrected by grinding down the back of the notch, as it would be done in any gun. There is a take-up in the Luger trigger action that is objected to by many shooters but this may be largely eliminated by a screw through the frame bearing against the front extension of the trigger, so that much of this take-up is taken out of the trigger action. Mr. Goodman (who, by the way, has more than twenty Lugers) welded Haynes Stellite into the notch in the firing-pins of some of his favorite long-barreled Lugers and then cut the trigger-pull down very fine, so that it is as good as any high-grade target pistol with plain trigger. This Stellite is obtained from the Haynes Stellite Co. of Kokomo, Indiana.
The 6" and 8" barrels are the best length to use on the Luger .30 pistol, the 8" barrels giving almost 1500 foot seconds velocity with the latest-type pistol ammunition. Paul Jaeger of 4655 Fernhill Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, supplies good 8" Luger barrels at a price of about $15.00 each.
The Colt .22 Woodsman pistol is also in a class by itself and deserves some special mention. The accuracy of its barrel is very good, the only complaint being their light weight, which has been somewhat corrected in the new model released in August, 1938. This however does not help the older models as the new barrel, due to its shape at the rear, does not fit up to the older frames. For the older models a heavy barrel, slabbed off slightly on the sides to frame width, as has been done with the new Hi-Standard heavy-barrel pistols, will give the necessary weight, as the barrel can be made as heavy as the width of the frame, at the front, from top to bottom. King of San Francisco makes ventilated ribs for the Woodsman barrel which will also increase the barrel weight.
The trigger-pull on the Woodsman may be stoned down to a low-weight pull with safety, provided the shape of the notch in the hammer and of the sear nose is not changed. This means the use of a good magnifying glass to align the hammer and the sear between two pieces of square-edged steel, in the vise, with the surfaces of the steel pieces. Use a straight edge and the magnifying glass in making this set-up and be sure the surface of the notch or sear nose being stoned is parallel to the top surfaces of the steel pieces and not inclined at an angle. Usually these hammer and sear nose contact surfaces are good enough as they come from the factory, so that a hard white Arkansas stone is all that need be used, but if one is out of square or extremely rough the work may be started with a fine carborundum stone, then completed with the white Arkansas stone.
The older model Woodsman has one serious fault in the trigger-pull and that is the excessive travel of the trigger to the rear after the sear is withdrawn from the hammer notch. This can be corrected with a small screw set into the trigger guard, or rather into the frame, in the rear of the trigger and so adjusted for length that it stops ail travel of the trigger after the sear is released from the hammer notch. This one thing will make a great improvement in the scores you can make with the Woodsman.
Watch the face of the breech-block and the rear end of the barrel for grease and dirt in the Woodsman, as they may cause misfires or hang-fires, due to cushioning the firing-pin blow.
Also keep dirt cleaned from the extractor, for while the Woodsman is a blow-back action and will usually extract fired cases, even with no extractor on the gun, the fired case may be dropped into the action instead of clearing the gun entirely if too much dirt gets under the hook of the extractor. Extractor points will wear with use and while they may be sharpened slightly and given more hook as they wear, by using a fine Swiss type three-square file, yet these extractors will need replacement from time to time as they are not always good for the life of the pistol.
Greased or wax-coated ammunition, never the dry type, is what should be used in these pistols and regardless of what the manufacturer may say, clean your barrels, for lead will accumulate in the barrel and dirt in the chamber. This dirt in the chamber can very easily absorb moisture and cause a light rusting of the chamber which, while not always visible to the eye, will lead to extraction troubles.
The Woodsman, just as other autoloading pistols, is prone to magazine troubles caused by bending of the thin lips at the top of the magazine. Cartridges should never be forced into the magazine. If they do not enter easily you are either trying to force the head of the cartridge into the magazine at the wrong point or else the lips of the magazine are bent out of shape.
While this Colt .22 autoloading pistol is called "The Woodsman" its sighting equipment does not live up to its name. Worse sights with which to equip a woodsman's hand-gun do not exist than those which are usually found on these pistols in the average dealer's stock. It is true that bead sights are optional, but most of the pistols are equipped with the Patridge sight, which is an excellent target sight, as has been proven many times. The bead sights supplied however are not much better than the Patridge sights for the average plinker's and woodsman's use. A colored-bead front sight should be chosen for these purposes, either a gold, ivory or red bead. King makes an excellent set of sights for the outdoorsman's use, a rear sight with U-notch outlined in white and a red-bead front sight. He also supplies these sets of sights with the square rear-notch outlined in white and a square post-type front sight, in various widths, in red, white or gold to match it, a-la-Patridge style, which will suit the target shooter, who is used to this shape sights, for outdoors use against various backgrounds where the Patridge-type iron sights in the black fail to register well.
One other complaint against the old-model Woodsman pistol is the short grip, which climbs badly in a large hand. There are several different custom made stocks available for this pistol, Walter Roper's being the most noteworthy, as they are fitted individually to the user's hand. Anyone can make grips for himself, fitted to his hand, by dipping the present oiled walnut grips, after removing them from the pistol, into boiling lye-water for a few minutes to remove the oil, then drying them out thoroughly, after which they are replaced on the pistol and coated with plastic wood* While this plastic wood is still in the plastic shape, grip the gun naturally and squeeze it hard in the hand to impress your finger imprints into the plastic wood. Before gripping the plastic wood in your hand, give the hand a coating of light machinc oil to prevent the plastic wood from sticking to your skin. The plastic wood may be made more plastic, and also tougher and more crack-proof, if some duPont cement is worked into it before it is placed upon the grips. After it has dried the exccss plastic wood may be carved off with a sharp knife or cut away with a file and made a slightly better fit to the hand at all points.
If you wish to lengthen the grip on one side or the other, depending upon whether you are right or left-handed, the wood grip on that side may be replaced by a longer slab of wood, extending below the bottom of the grip, before the plastic wood is put onto the grips.
Some people do not like the looks of plastic wood and in this case a new set of grips may be carved out of wood, using the plastic wood-coated grips for a model. If you like metal grips, the plastic wood grips may be shellacked and, after they arc dry, can be pressed into a plaster of Paris mold, then this mold can be used to cast metal grips of aluminum, or bronze.
Another hand-gun deserving special mention is the Colt Single-Action Army, more commonly known as the Colt .45 Single-Action, as this is the caliber in which it has been most widely used. In the West it is best known of any revolver or pistol that has ever been made. This action has its weaknesses, yet it has survived many actions designed and built since its inception that are now almost forgotten. While it could never be called a thing of beauty, it has a hang and fit that has always found favor with men who use it for an everyday tool. One reason for this is the shape and placement of its grip for holster use, for it is almost the only gun that can be rapidly drawn from the holster with the hand on the grip at the proper place.
The grips themselves, of hard rubber, are one of the poorest types to use on a gun but they may be easily replaced with wooden grips, carved from walnut or other woods to suit the user's fancy. Due to the construction of the frame where the grips are attached, the grips may be carved from one piece of wood and held in place by the frame parts themselves, doing away with the screw from side-to-side through the grips. Colt supplies fancy grips of carved ivory or pearl and other firms supply grips of so-called stag, which is horn with grooves burned into it to roughen and beautify it.
In the large calibers, this gun gives some trouble from the loosening of the frame screws. These screws may be locked so that they cannot loosen by using a small lock-screw engaging a groove cut on an arc in the head of each frame screw, as has been done to lock some of the screws in the Remington autoloading shotgun. Another method that will keep these frame screws tight is to heat them to a low red-heat and then put them in place, screwing them up tightly, while still hot. When the screws cool they will shrink and draw very tightly on the threads. It will often be necessary to heat screws to remove them if they have been put in by this method; the heating for removal being done with a fine torch flame.
Action parts in the single-action are not of the best design for long life, and the breakage runs high. The sear and bolt spring is the worst offender, it is closely followed in this tendency to break by the bolt itself which has two thin, spring-tempered legs. The hand spring breaks fairly often and the hand itself is subject to a good deal of wear, due to the deep notches of the cylinder ratchet. The sear nose, which is part of the trigger, is pretty light and often breaks, especially if someone grinds down the front of the full-cock notch in the hammer to shorten the trigger-pull, as this often results in the half-cock notch landing on the sear nose with a crash when the trigger is pulled.
The hammer is quite heavy and has a long fall, which is not the best combination for accuracy, but little can be done about it as the hammer is of such shape that it is not safe to alter it by weight removal in the upper part, for fear of weakening it. Due to the fact that the hand which turns the cylinder is attached to the hammer, the hammer travel cannot be shortened except for slow-fire use. To do this the full-cock notch is ground entirely out and a new notch cut between its location and the half-cock notch and a heavier main-spring is fitted, although this is not always necessary. When cocking a gun altered in this manner, the hammer must be drawn fully to the rear to revolve the cylinder and is then allowed to go forward to the new full-cock notch after drawing it clear to the rear to turn the cylinder. Due to the fact that the hammer operates the hand which turns the cylinder, this is the only revolver which can be fanned by holding the trigger back and striking the hammer spur with the other hand than that in which the gun is held, thus driving the hammer back, turning the cylinder and allowing the hand to slip on back past the hammer, which allows the hammer to go forward and fire the cartridge. All the other revolvers have the hand for turning the cylinder attached to the trigger, so if the trigger is held back the cylinder will not turn and the gun cannot be fanned except for one shot.
The base pin and the base pin bushing should be removed from time to time and thoroughly cleaned and oiled, as should the seat for the base pin bushing in the cylinder, for these parts have a tendency to rust tight if this is not done.
The solid frame of this single-action gives it slightly greater strength than the frames of revolvers with a swing-out cylinder, so there is less chance of springing it in removing or inserting barrels, but as the strength of a revolver in regard to the loads it will handle lies in the cylinder, rather than in the frame, this solid-frame does not mean that it can handle cartridges with a heavier load than can the New Service model.
The sights are non-adjustable, but this matters little as it is not a target gun. However, adjustable sights can be fitted, as the rear of the frame where the top strap joins it is heavy enough to be slotted for a rear sight, adjustable from side to side for windage. The slot and the dovetail base of the sight should have parallel sides, so that, the sight can be moved and a headless set-screw, set into the base of the sight, so that it bears on the, bottom of the slot, can be used to lock the sight in position. The front sight can be removed and a band with a slotted block on top can be fitted to the barrel at the muzzle and the Colt Woodsman elevating front sight can be fitted into the slotted block to give elevation.
Due to the travel of the trigger to the rear, after the hammer is released from the sear, the gun is liable to wobble off of the target, but a small screw fitted into the rear of the trigger guard can be adjusted to stop this excessive travel.
This is the easiest revolver to alter to .22 caliber, rim-fire, by fitting a .22 caliber barrel and bushing the cylinder chambers, for ejection is handled individually for each chamber by the ejector rod beneath the barrel instead of simultaneous ejection by lifting out a section of the cylinder, as is done in other revolvers. The bushings to reduce the cylinder chambers to .22 rim-
fire caliber should be of tool-steel, hardened and temper-drawn at purple color. They should be a press fit into the cylinder chambers, allowing .001" for this press fit. They need not be soldered in place if this is properly done. If they ever loosen up in use, a small hole can be drilled through the side of the cylinder, beyond the chamber, at right-angles to the bushing and a threaded pin screwed tightly in and finished off flush on the outside.
A new recoil plate with the firing-pin hole in a different location to line up with the rim of the .22 rim-fire cartridge must be made. Make this plate of tool-steel and harden it and draw the temper at purple color. A new firing-pin, with the nose in the proper location to line-up with the hole in the recoil plate, must be made and fitted to the hammer. This firing-pin should be of tool-steel, hardened, and tempered at deep blue color. Make the nose of this pin the correct shape for use on the rim-fire case, not the shape of the old center-fire pin for this single-action.
The cylinder is unduly long for the .22 rim-fire cartridge, so if you wish it, this cylinder may be cut off at the front end just long enough to handle the .22 rim-fire cartridge that you use, either short or long-rifle. The cutting off of the cylinder makes a new base pin bushing necessary, one with a longer shoulder on it, to bear against the new front of the cut-off cylinder. The barrel is carried back through the frame far enough to meet the front of the shortened cylinder, with .002" to .003" clearance between the end of the barrel and the cylinder. Examine the rear end of a factory .22 revolver barrel and taper the edge of the lands at the rear of your barrel in the same manner. You will note that this taper is rather short, and tapers out to just slightly greater diameter than the groove diameter of the barrel. The finish of this taper should be very smooth, or the barrel will lead badly and accuracy will suffer.
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There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.