Sunday, June 15, 2014

New project

Several years back I picked up a EMF clone of a Model 92 Winchester in .357 Mag.  Slick little rifle, holds ten rounds of Mag.

Over time, I decided I wanted to do two things: find a large-loop lever*, and shorten it.

Problem one: you tried to find one of those levers the last few years?  Lucked out on that one, friend located one for me.  Had to turn a new pin, the one that locks the lever to the bolt, as the hole in the new lever was a bit smaller; no big deal, and works perfectly.

Shortening the barrel isn't that big a deal, the part that was a problem was cutting a new dovetail to mount the front sight.  Know a guy with access to a mill, and we finally got around to ordering the mill cutter needed for that size dovetail, so I needed to get started on the rest.

Whole mess includes
Strip the rifle.
Mark the new barrel length.
Cut and crown the barrel.
Cut the magazine tube to match.

Here's the rifle stripped to barrel and receiver

It's a 20" barrel, I'm cutting it to 16.25" so I've got a little extra over the legal minimum.  First, run a jag and tight patch in from the rear, stop it about an inch below the cutting point, then unscrew the rod and leave the jag and patch to keep saw and sanding residue from going all the way down the barrel(I also wrapped a plastic bag around the receiver and taped it closed).  Measure it about three times, mark the barrel, measure it again, then clamp it in a padded vise, take a new 32-tooth hacksaw blade and some cutting oil, and saw.

Then to the disc sander.  Use a machinist square to make sure the table and square are actually square, lay a suitable piece of thin stuff on to protect the finish, and work the muzzle lightly into the disk, rotating back and forth and around, checking frequently to see if it's cleaned up all the saw marks.

When they're gone(using a 120-grit disk), you're done here.

I pushed the jag & patch on out to get rid of the crud in the bore, then put a new patch in. 

Next step, clamp the barrel vertically in a vise and use emery cloth to break the sharp corner on the outside of the muzzle and round it off nicely, also polish the face a bit more.

 I started with 180-grit, then went to 240.

When it looks good, change patches again, and move on to crowning.  I described the method used here, and it works.  Yes, a lathe would have definite advantages for both cutting and crowning.  I don't have or have access to a lathe that size, so by hand it is.

After crowning, push out the patch, then run a couple of lubed patches through to get all the stuff out, then a dry, and that part of the barrel work is done.

The magazine tube is a simpler version: measure, mark, cut, and square off the cut end, then de-burr it.  I cut the back end, since the front has the holes for the plug screw and such.

Then clean both cut surfaces and hit them with Van's Cold Blue, oil, and let sit overnight.

Here's the shortened rifle and mag tube with the cut-off portions.

Two more things to do:
You have to drill a short blind hole in the barrel for the end of the mag tube plug screw to go into, and
file a notch in the bottom of the barrel for the barrel band screw to slip through.  There's one on the mag tube(another reason to cut the back end), too. 
Very carefully mark where the hole for the screw goes, and use a center-finder jig to mark the exact center, then drill just deep enough, in this case ~1/10  inch.

When that's done, install the band and tube, match the hole in the barrel band to the notch in the mag tube, and mark the barrel , then use a small round file to cut the notch.

And here's what that looks like
Some little scratches from putting the band on & off; after the dovetail is cut, I'll wash everything free of oil and hit it with the blue to clean that up.

That's it for the part I can do.  When the cutter comes in I'll get the barrel to friend and get the dovetail cut.

Here's how it looks now, just fitted together for a picture

Couple of notes:
The barrel is slightly larger diameter where the new cut goes, so I'll likely have to shorten the sight a bit.
The inside of the barrel band had to be enlarged a bit to fit the larger diameter.  Did that with a dremel and sanding drum.

Hope that cutter gets in soon, I really want to try this thing out.

*Why?  Because John Wayne, you communist, what's wrong with you?  Go watch Rio Bravo and get your head straight.


Phil said...


Because John Wayne, Dammit!
The minute I saw what you were up to I knew where the idea came from.

Ralph said...

The next project should be a folding stock for it. I've been ruminating over how to do that on a lever rifle for a while. Bubblehead Les did it recently on a Mosin, and I think his process will work, but I want to procure a damaged stock to 'speriment on first.