Shotgun Repairs

Looseness sometimes developes between barrels and action of a double or single-barrel gun of the break-open type. To repair this correctly requires quite a bit of work, as it usually means a new hinge-pin or new bolt, sometimes both. On cheap guns, peening parts to tighten the action is permissible if a low-priced repair job is necessary but it is, of course, a short-lived repair.

First, make sure that the barrels bed evenly upon the frame and see that the barrel lug does not bind in its cut in the action, if the barrels will not bed down evenly. If the barrels bear evenly on the frame (which

Homemade M16a1

Punch markings show where an underlug is peened around the hinge pin and bolt notch, in order to tighten up a cheap shotgun.

can be determined by coating the bottom of the barrels with prussian-blue and closing the action) well and good but if high spots appear on the frame or barrel bottoms, dress these off with a very fine-cut pillar file until the fit between barrels and frame is even.

If the hinge joint is loose and a cheap job is necessary, peen the sides of the semicircular notch in the barrel

Showing how the undcrlug should be supported by being laid upon a smooth steel block while being pcened.

lump which bears against the hinge-pin. Do not peen around the edge of this notch, but peen the metal around the notch a short distance back from the edge until the joint is tight. Dress off the sides with a fine pillar file so that it fits the cut in the frame.

For an example of peening shotgun lugs to take out play and retighten the action of a cheap double or single gun, we can take any gun of this type in which the barrels have play both up-and-down and forwards-and-backwards when the gun is closed.

The first part of the play to take out is the forward-and-backward movement, as this occurs on the hinge-pin and taking this out will often take out much of the up-and-down play of the barrels.

Beretta Rafaello 121

Lay the barrels upon their side with the lug containing the semicircular cut for the hinge-pin upon a perfectly flat block of steel, and see that the lug lays fiat upon this block, or you may bend it or loosen it from the barrels in the peening operation. It may be necessary to block up the barrels with pieces of wood to get the lug to lie flat upon the block. Use the ball end of the hammer head for the peening and do not strike too close to the edges of the cut for the hinge-pin, as you do not want to batter these edges but want to draw the lug out slightly longer toward the front end. Peen the lug some on one side, then turn the barrels over and peen the lug the same amount on the opposite side. If you have trouble in striking with the hammer around the hinge-pin cut near the top back of the cut, on account of the barrel being in the way, use a punch with a rounded end to place on the lug. striking the punch with the hammer. Try the fitting of the barrels on the action after a little peening, as there is no use in overdoing it. When you have all the forward-and-back-ward play taken out of the action by this method and there still remains up-and-down play with the action locked and the lock bolt is in good condition, peen around the locking notch in the rear end of the barrel lug, doing the peening on the lug below the notch and just around the lower, inner corner of the notch. Keep back from the edges of the notch as before, so that the lug is drawn out but the edges of the notch are not battered. Smooth up the sides of the lug each time, after the peening, with a fine flat file so that the lug does not bind in the frame slot.

If this peening operation does not take the up-and-down play out of the locking bolt notch, squeezing the notch together in the vise jaws with steel plugs in the chambers, as elsewhere described, should do the trick unless the lock bolt is badly worn, in which case it will have to be replaced.

If a new hinge-pin is to be fitted, examine the old pin to see whether it is screwed into the frame or pressed in. A screwed-in pin of course has a screwdriver slot in it, usually but not always. Small screws are often used to lock the hinge-pin in place, especially if it is a screwed-in pin. These may either be put in from the front of the action or from the flats on top. After these small screws are removed, if the hinge-pin is a screwed-in type with screw-driver slot, put the action in a vise and, using a brace screw-drivcr, remove the old hinge-pin. If it cannot be loosened with the brace screw-driver, try heating the frame, but not to the color changing point, and if it still cannot be removed it will have to be drilled out. To do this, center-punch each end of the pin carefully in the exact center

Shotgun Action

IIow the hinge pin is drilled out of a shotgun action in the lathe.

and, using a high-speed steel center-drill in the lathe chuck, place the tail center in the center-punch mark in the opposite end of the pin and drill into the pin with the center-drill. Take a high-speed steel drill about y1H" smaller than the pin, replace the center-drill in the lathe chuck with this and drill through the pin from end to end and then, using reamers, ream out the remains of the old pin from the head end, but do not ream out the threads at the opposite end. At this threaded end, when the pin is reamed to the top of the threads in the action, the remains of this end of the pin must be removed with the point of a heavy, steel scriber or with small, pointed chisels, being careful not to damage the threads in the action.

If the pin is of the pressed-in type, examine the action for small screws holding the pin in place and remove them if there are any used. A steel support block must be placed between the two sides of the frame to prevent springing it together and a steel block must often be fitted to the frame, so that the hinge-pin is vertical in the press. Heat the frame to just below the color changing temperature and apply pressure to the pin. If the pin will not start, have someone set a heavy brass block upon the top of the press-ram, then strike it a heavy blow with a heavy hammer, as this will often start a tight pin. Keep pressure on the press-ram while the brass block is struck. If this fails to move the pin, it must be drilled out.

With the barrels tightly against the standing breech and clamped down tightly on the top flats of the action, the hinge-pin hole is lapped to a larger size if the wear is slight. Use an expanding cast-iron lap for this job. The arbor for this lap is a length of steel rod turned to the same taper as a taper-pin, to the foot, with a straight portion about long turned on the small end. This straight portion is threaded with a fine thread and fitted with a nut. The cast-iron lap is a piece of cast-iron, turned to a size that will just enter the old hinge-pin hole nicely, and reamed with a taper-pin reamer to fit the arbor. This lap is then sawed lengthwise, with a thin slitting saw, in three equidistant places, starting at one end but stopping about short of the opposite end. The lap is then sawed with three slots from the opposite end, between the first three, the slots again ending short of the opposite end from which they are started.

An oil or water-mix grinding compound can be used on the lap to enlarge the hole, the nut being screwed up on the end of the arbor to enlarge the lap as the work progresses.

Benelli Raffaello 123

How the hinge pin is pressed out of a shotgun action. Note supporting blocks in slot around hinge pin and around the front end of the action. Two possible screw positions are shown for the locking screw in hinge pin, as this screw may be in either location.

Hinge-pins should be made of chrome-vanadium steel for best strength. In case the pin is of the press-fit type and not the threaded type, after the hole has been lapped measure it carefully for size and turn up a pin .001" oversize. The surface finish of the pin should be as smooth as you can make it, with a mirror polish.

Pack the pin in dry-ice and warm the frame thoroughly, but not hot enough to make it change color. Thirty minutes in the dry-icc will shrink the pin sufficiently and, placing the steel block between the two sides of the frame, press the pin into place,

In case the wear at the hinge-pin joint is more than .005" or .006" the lapping process had better be replaced with a reaming process, therefore it will be necessary to soften the case-hardening of the action. To do this, pack the action, stripped of all parts, in slacked lime or powdered charcoal in an iron box, heat it in the furnace to a chcrry-red and then allow it to cool in the box. Clamp the barrels in place on the action and ream the hinge-pin hole to the necessary size to clean it up of all wear, then case-harden the action again and fit a new pin as previously directed.

If the hinge-pin is of the threaded type, lap or ream the hole only as far as the threads, measure the hole carefully, and turn up a threaded pin to a very tight fit in the hole. Using a lathe dog on the unthreaded end of the pin, which should be left long, screw it into the hole, setting it up very tightly against the shoulder. When screwing the pin into the hole, oil it with a very thin oil. While it is screwed up tightly, measure the pin lengthwise of the action and mark it for length so that it may be cut off and a screw-slot sawed in the end, so that the slot sets lengthwise of the action when the pin is screwed home. Unscrew the pin, cut it off, slot it, finish up the ends properly and screw it into place, using a screw-driver in a bit-brace.

If the bolt is loose in the underlug, check the bolt carefully to see if it is loose in the frame. If it is loose at this point, a new bolt must be fitted tightly in the frame. If however, the bolt is tight in the frame and is loose in the underlug, a low-cost job can be done by peening around the back and under the bottom near the back of the bolt-notch in the lug. Do the peening well back from the notch, so as not to merely upset the edge of the notch. If this will not tighten the bolt in the underlug, fit steel plugs closely in the chambers of the barrels, then catch the ends of the barrels and the outer end of the underlug between the jaws of a vise,

Ardesa Cutout

against top of barrels has a notch cut out over the rib. Be sure to place close-fitting steel plugs in the barrels.

with the jaws faced with brass or copper, and screw up on the vise to close up the notch in the underlug enough to make the bolt fit tightly in its notch. In case the barrels have an extension rib, set a heavy piece of brass across them at the rear end, with a notch cut out of its under side to clear the rib, so that when the vise is screwed up the rib will not be distorted.

The proper way to take up wear in the bolt notch of the underlug is to fill up the old notch by gas welding and recut the notch, or to cut away the notch deeper at the bottom and fit in a piece of hardened steel with a tongue on it extending down into the lower part of the lug and held in place with a small transverse pin through lug and tongue. This is the system used on Parker shotguns.

A common trouble of lower priced double and single-barrel guns is the loosening of the forearm. These usually snap into place on the barrels, being held there with a curved, flat-type spring. The shortening of the curve of this spring, or wear upon the end of it where it goes against a lug on the underside of the barrel, is the cause of the loosening of it, It is usually soft enough so that it can be drawn out by peening, starting back half an inch from the point and working down to

Method of fitting a piece of steel into the holt notch of the underlug in ordei to tighten it up. This is a very good method.

the end. If it is too hard to do this, heat it to a cherry-red, allow it to cool and then draw it out longer by peening it cold, reharden and temper it and then refit it by filing the end, trying it for length until it is correct length to fit tightly. If a loose fore-end of the above type shows very little wear on the end of the spring, the spring is probably too soft and has developed too great a curve. Straighten it out a little bit, going slowly and carefully, by placing it in the jaws of a vise and tightening the vise a little at a time, and checking the spring to see that it is straightening out. If it does straighten out, continue the short pressure treatments until it is

Parker Shotgun Hammer ScrewsHinge Action Rifles

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

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.

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  • julia
    How to tighten the action on hing gun?
    8 years ago
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