Blackhawk Lightning
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Blackhawk Lightning


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Old 03-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Blackhawk Lightning

Current Project.

For starters ita 3 screw (1967). Don't wanna hear it. Gave lotsa folks a chance to get it and didn't roll in. So. Perfect bore. Tight. Converted to Transfer bar but w/o original parts. Poorly refinished and undersized grips. Some cosmetic wear. No box. No papers.
The plan

1. New front sight. Windage adjustable brass or white bead.

2. 5" or shorter barrel with Sight relocated. 3. Looking at Brass Birds Head or Colt lightning grip.

4. Polish and blue.

5. Increase ejector stroke to push out 357 mags fully...if I keep the ejector.

6. Possible Springs and/or trigger work if the condition of the guts calls for it.
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Last edited by Sharps40; 03-13-2014 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #2
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Got busy tonight, was gonna finish the rockymountain sight to see how it looked and wound up changing directions completely. Found a nifty lyman sight in the box that I just loved the old school shape on. Too short but I decided to try it out since the Rocky Mountain just wasn't doing it for me once I found the Lyman sight in the box..... So.....with the lyman having the traditional shape and available in many sizes including white and gold dots.....

I measured the barrel where I wanted to place the new front sight. With some shims to cut a slightly shallower dovetail I could leave nearly half the wall thickness in place, over 90 thousands. Should be plenty strong...the screw hole midway back the barrel is just over .1" deep. So....I shimmed up the top of the barrel 8 thousands or so and installed the dovetail cutter and proceeded to cut and file a neat dovetail placing the rear sight about 3/8" back from where the new muzzle would be....

Got the jig level and in the same plane as the top strap....

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Filed in the dovetail, and used the jig to establish a fairly square cut off point for the stub of the muzzle. Barrel is about 5 1/10" long now....I may tweak it back to an even five in the future or perhaps 3 3/4" to 4 1/2"...... I havn't decided so moving forward in small steps and thinking about the changes as I go.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

An old try sight in the junk box, this one about the right height, .440" but ugly as a post. Try sights are deliberately ground down so they slip in and out of the dovetail....lets me look over the sights and make sure all is true and the sight really is upright at 12 oclock....it is.....levels don't lie...but it takes a few trys to get the jig referenced to the topstrap.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

A piloted cutter to square up the barrel true with the bore. I'll use this to shorten to closer to 5" if I decide to stay that length. We'll see when the grip comes, not sure how it will look pared with a 5" barrel.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Smooth and well cut...it does not need polish as it does not snag a q-tip....

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

The 11 degree cutter makes the temporary crown....till I decide how long to leave the tube......then I'll square it and crown it again one final time.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects


The recessed crown and the somewhat short lyman sight in place for ta see how it looks.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:42 PM   #3
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I think I'm going to like this better, just have to get one .440" tall above the barrel. Good practice sculpting the front sight base and sight. I'll save em for something else....might look better back on a rifle. So not wasted effort since it lead me to something I like better...now if I could just decide on bbl length....5" for hunting, shorter might look better. Will have to wait for the grip to see.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Yeah, a better look. Oh well, the other sight was fun but kinda busy up front now that I see this one.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:43 PM   #4
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Woops, Sorry, That there is a Marbles front sight, not a Lyman....Lymans aint grooved inna front.

Lookie what came in the mail....so sexy, Colt Lightning Double Action Style Grip......Wow I love it....its even startin to scream 3" barrel with no ejector!!!!!! Pure belly gun and with the transfer bar conversion 6 shots carried safe!!!!

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Oh baby baby so excited and this is exactly how far I got.....seems This baby, though it fits the XR3-Red frame guns needs to have the Vaquro or New Model trigger return spring, the one that fits the grip and bends down behind the trigger.....or I gotta drill the new frame for a coil and plunger like the old model has......So....I put it back together, packed up the grip and sent an email to NC Ordinance to see what I need to do!

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:44 PM   #5
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Okay....no response from the grip supplier....moving out and drawing fire on my own...as usual. Ordered two ruger springs from mid-toodayumhighpriced-wayusa.com. Decided on two as one will likely become a try spring, second is for back up or better design. Here's the ticket....while the product is sourced for the XR3-RED frames, it appears there is no support to cover differences in trigger/frame/springing between the Old Model and New Model/Vaq (this new grip being set up primarily like a New Model/Vaq as reguards sear spring, trigger return spring.)

So. With two springs on the way, I have an idea for spring mod to ensure trigger return and if so, it would leave the weapon fully capable of wearing either of the grips, Brass or Factory Plowshare handle.

If not, I think a slight mod to the factory trigger, a reversible mod, will work fine though likely somewhat less convenient to switch between Brass or Factory Plowshare handles.

Shot it today. 4" high wif 130g 38s an 8" high wif 125g 357 mags. Rear sight fully down. Good news is taller front sight is inbound. Oh yeah...shoots great. Gonna be wonnerful with either grip or both.

I think I have this figured out....just waitin on the NMBH trigger return spring. If its long enough, I'll reverse its function from pushing down on the the tail of the NM trigger spur to pushing forward on the old model trigger. If not, I can wind one from straight stock to do that.

Or, after looking at the New Model and Old Model frame, I can insert a spacer in the new model grip frame, where the NM trigger spring would go. Center drill this spacer and install the Old Model trigger plunger and spring, effectively converting the New Model Frame to Old Model configuration.

I'll try the New Model Spring first. If not happy with that, I'll convert the brass frame, in a reversible manner so its useable on both new and old model blackhawks to use the old model spring and plunger.

Meantime I cleaned up and tweaked the front sight dovetail with the try sight in preparation for arrival of a spanky new and taller front sight.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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Lifted from another site, here is what the filler block for conversion of a NM Single Six Frame to Old Model looks like.....NMBH to OMBH could be quite the same.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #7
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More to follow. Springs should arrive in a day or so. I'll fit and decide how to proceed with the conversion of NMBH grip frame to OMBH receiver.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:39 PM   #8
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While I wait for the springs...some final fitting of the tang on the front of the grip frame that fits into the recess in the action. Just clearance the sides and lowering the height with a bit of hand filing.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

And a tour around. The fit in my medium size hands if great....I can wrap the ring and little fingers around the base of the grip, unlike the plowshare grip. I'm liking it.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

A little gap up front, will investigate that later. Screws may need to be shortened a whisker, feels like they bottom out just before grabbing with the brass grip.....

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Vertical tangs of the brass grip are just a bit taller than the back of the frame....room for fitting.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

The grips are a checkered cast composite.....simulating hard rubber and checkered.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Not bad with a 5" barrel.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects

Just need that spring and the taller front sight to see how its really going to look.

Blackhawk Lightning - DIY Projects
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:52 PM   #9
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sweet project man, can't wait to see it finished.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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Just tryin to decide whether to rust blue or boil it in drain cleaner.
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