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A Stage Coach Project


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Old 09-29-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default A Stage Coach Project

This is a good teaching project. Unless I am mistaken and its truely a dog, all the repairs will be home amateur handwork somewhat as follows

Shorten barrels and fill gap

Long forcing cone

Polish bores, chambers

Fix safety

Put barrels back on face

Fix trigger guard

Replace springs

Fix small crack in tang

Fix crack in forend

Refinish forend

Replace buttstock

Refinish buttstock as needed to match forend finish

Add bead and fiberoptic sight

Brown or blacken barrels

Brown or blacken action

Add sling swivel mounts

Shoot

A rattle trap of a Stevens 5100 12g. Literally, rattles!

It comes disassembled for a reason.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A very early gun, the forend wood should be repairable, one small crack.....the buttstock has old putty repairs, missing wood and a long central crack, likely from some one falling across or using the gun as a pry bar.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Action was long ago reblued purple. We'll fix that, rust black. The safety detent is missing in action. The top snap spring is long gone. The right firing pin is so dirty it sticks. But, the essential functions are there and I believe it'll be a fully functional action with new springs, inspection and cleaning.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A small crack in the action.....not worth welding. Probably caused by the trauma that broke the buttstock. I'll stop drill it and silver solder the remainder....should be right as rain....its a non critical area and less than one third of the width of the lower tang is penetrated by the crack.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The bores are sewer pipe dirty. (But upon cleaning, lovely and essentially pit free. They'll need polish inside but no dents, no rust and came out bright and excellent with a bore snake only)

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

After the old reblued, someone tried to drive out the hinge pin since this one is loosie goosie. It didn't work, not because they punched the wrong side. but because these guns have a pin to be drilled out before you drive out the hinge pin. I'll fix it, tight like new.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Barrels shortened to 18.5" before final finishing to length. A snap on light pipe sight will sit behind a traditional brass bead later.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Should be slick when done. New buttstock will be needed. Springs and bead are in bound. I'll make the hinge pin and we'll fix anything in the action that's worn out. Barrels will be browned. Action Rust Blackened.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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Seeing what we have to work with.

A double thickness of paper shim removes all the slop joining the barrels to action. Will probably install a new hinge pin.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Once joined, the bite needs work, the top snap is at 7 oclock, 5 or 6 will be better.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The locking lug has been badly abused in the past in an attempt to tighten the action without replacing the very loose hinge pin (rejoining the barrels) first. With luck, its repairable.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

This one needs a bit of everything so might as well see if the barrels can be rejoined and the bite tightened before spending any more money or effort.

For starters, the pin in the knee may touch the hinge pin or may pin the hinge pin. Kind of like the firing pin bushing cross pin on the ruger blackhawks, it ain't always pinned cause it ain't always drilled right or even all the way..... But since this one has marks on the hinge pin, I'll drill it out in case its actually holding the hinge pin in place.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Usually, the hinge pins come out left to right, this one moved better and easier right to left. It is not a tapered hinge pin, in this instance and mikes about .310" diameter.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Two sheets of paper shim removed most of the looseness, that's about 7 to 10 thou of shim.....I slowly spin a spud by hand in the hinge pin hole. The spud is tapered. (Don't use power, if the lap sticks, it'll break or ye'll get yer hands caught in flying parts.....) Take your time, lap the hole smooth and my taper is about 10 thousands.....I made the lap on the drill press. The grit is 220 in oil. I am opening up one side just enough to take a 21/64" drill.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Just to be sure, I turned out a .318 hinge pin from a grade 5 bolt, (great hinge material, bolts.) and it took out much of the side to side play but not enough. So, I ground the point off the 21/64 drill, jigged up the action and at 250 rpm and durn carefully, drilled the hinge pin hole in the action to 21/64. (The barrels were NOT installed during the drilling. I'll lap them and the forend in later.)

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

With the drill bit reversed in the hinge hole, the barrel is tried.....snug. They rejoin nicely and firmly with no side to side play. However, I'll still have to try to fix the bite of the top snap. Joining the barrels won't always tighten the bite, specially as bad as this one is worn.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

At this point, the action has to be tapped shut with the handle of a screwdriver....but it does close. Also, as you can see, the forend does not fully snap to the barrel. But better tight than loose and so, I'll be making up a 21/64" hinge pin for the action and then doing some disassembly to see if I need to repair the lug on the barrels, the top snap or both in order to get a good bite and a 5 or 6 oclock position of the top snap. So far, so good and its not a parts gun yet.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:03 PM   #3
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Now that the barrels are notionally joined to the action without slop, its time to work on the bite of the top snap in the barrel lug.

The barrel lug was previously peened (see midwayusa two excellent videos on british doubles - joining barrels and adjusting the bite).....unfortunately, the hinge pin was not reworked and most of the peening moved metal down instead of up. There are two places to tighten the bite, moving the lug up and then filing it flat for full contact and then shimming or replacing the top snap if its heavily worn. This may take up well with just lug work but on disassembly I'll see if the top snap needs work or replacement too.

For now, I have to clearance the bottom of the lug for free movement of the extractor. So much metal was moved down in the last peening that the extractors jam and can't be removed.

Here the bottom of the lug is clearance, where metal was displaced, to free up the movement of the extractor.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Now the extractor is free to move in and out and to be removed.....the bottom of the lug needs no more work than a bootstrap polish with sand paper to smooth up its contours, very little metal was removed.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Here I have gently peened the upper level of the lug at the end and both sides with a hammer and cold steel chisel. Enough metal must be moved to raise not only the edges but the center of the top (engagement) face of the lug. I may be able to move it all, I may not and then have to look over repairs or replacement of the top snap. Either way, I move forward slowly with displacement of metal upward and eventually, (after looking over the underside of the top snap for wear) filing the top of the lug flat for full mating against the underside of the top snap.

For now, 4 strikes with the hammer and chisel across the length of the end and both sides of the upper portion of the barrel lug, very light clean up with files and a test fit to the action. At this time, I have yet to move metal up in the center of the bearing portion of the lug.....almost but not quite.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A quick test fit, enough for now......I'll finish fitting the hinge pin and forend iron and then check the other half of the bite for wear, the underside of the top snap. But, I have a fair 5 oclock position on the top snap for now and I think if I am careful, the bite can be restored to a good 5 or 6 oclock position with full engagement.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

So far so good.

Fitting the forend iron. The new fatter pin pushes the barrel back some, pushes the forend iron forward some.......

It should sit down fully on the barrel lug like this.....

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

It didn't before....been moved forward a few thousands and the rear of the notch needed a bit of relief to restore its proper seating.

The rear edge of the notch that fits around the barrel lug is slightly relieved with a small file....

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Forend back on and sitting proper and snug against the barrels. A good snap on, snap off fit.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A bolt was spun in the drill press, checking often with the mic and final polished in place with sand paper. A grade 5 bolt is more than tuff enough and inexpensive enough to make it worth the 20 minutes or so it takes to get a hinge pin made up. Check and fit as you go, approach slowly and you'll have a fine hinge pin when all is said and done. Here its test fit.....after which its bashed in with a medium Smasher Whacker for a final and snug fit in the action.....action supported on a steel block, naturally. I finished with a .324 pin and I had also thought perhaps a .326" pin would be needed but I'll proceed with the smaller pin for now and see what I come up with for final fit.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The extra ends are cut off close with a hacksaw and the process of filing and sanding them into the contours is begun.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The final product. Looks fine after some initial sanding. The pin ends will finish up with the final polish......next will be spotting in the face to see if it needs a bit of adjustment at the breech to action area, it was moved a good bit backwards and likely is not totally on face yet. But, so far so good.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:04 PM   #4
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Placed a small parts order. On the way is the left side trigger return spring, a pair of NOS firing pins (the originals were previously "Improved" to a rather pointy shaped tip, I assume to get gooder ignition with all the forward and aft slop in the assembly) and what appears to be a very fine condition top snap lever.....with luck it'll be much less worn than the one thats installed now and perhaps save having to shim one or the other of the barrel lug or original top snap lever.

I'll still need a trigger guard but I believe there is some workable stuff in the junk box, one rather like the original stamped sheet metal guard and another nicely cast model, much more like what would be found on a Fox Model B or similar upgraded shotgun.

The original and worn out safety button is somewhere on the shop floor. Not sure that I'll look for it.....a nice bit of hand work might be to make up an aluminum, brass or steel safety slide from scratch.

Looking over my forend and stock.... I have a split hardwood forend and a broken and puttied walnut stock. I am leaning towards a set from Boyds in nice straight grain walnut. But those decisions will be later.

For now, I have a Lil Hunter to take to the Taxidermest to choose her first Deer Mount and perhaps find time tonight and tomorrow to final spot the barrel breeches to the action.

Look carefully at the photo below. With the new larger hinge pin in place, the top of the barrels is above the top of the recoil shield. This is good. The new larger pin has moved the barrels back and the action does not quite close. I checked the bearing of breech to action and only the bottom 1/3 of the barrel diameters is making contact with the action face. Room for final fitting.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Again, look carefully at the photo below. There is a gap between the bottom of the barrels and the top of the water table. There must always be a gap, this one is a bit large because the barrels are not fully fitted to the action yet. Once fitted at the loop to hinge pin and as needed, at the breech face to action, the gap should close a bit but not completly. A properly joined set of barrels touches breech to face and has a slight gap bottom of barrels to water table.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Briefly, So far I am rejoining the barrels to the action using the following 3 steps.

1. Use grease to glue paper shims in place in the loop to estimate the size of the new hinge pin. I used about .007" of shim....so, Shim x 2 + original pin diameter in inches = approximate diameter of new hinge pin. In this case, .007" x 2 + .310" = .324" hinge pin diameter.

2. Make and install new hinge pin.

3. Fit forend iron. (The forend fitted up is necessary for final fitting the loop to hinge pin and as needed, breech face to action.)

The steps to do next are as follows.

4. Fit barrel loop to new hinge pin. (I'll smoke and file/polish it in for better contact of the loop to the new pin. It is likely that only a small portion of the loop is currently bearing on the new larger diameter pin. With fitting, the barrels will move slightly forward and down and more of the breech face should touch the face of the action. It is likely the tops of the barrels will become even with the tops of the recoil shields and the gap between the bottom of the barrels and the watertable will decrease but should not fully disappear.... i.e. the bottom of the barrels should not touch the water table at the rear/breech end.)

5. Once 1-4 is done and only if necessary, I will smoke in and file/polish the breech face and extractor face to the action. (This is potentially the last step in joining the barrels. Last Step.....Last step. Remove too much from the breech or remove it before fitting the loop and you may need either or both of a rechamber to make room for cartridge rims or have to refit a new and larger hinge pin to move the barrels back again.) Remember, #4 may well be the last step and 5 not needed. Do #5 last and only if needed.
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:05 PM   #5
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Fitting the loop can be done without a reamer.

Here, unfitted, the gap at the rear of the barrels to the water table.....021"

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The loop is smoked.....barrel installed, forend installed and the action opened and closed. On removal, the silver (full removal of soot) or brown areas (partial removal of soot) are filed with a fine cut half round file. It is then resooted and reinstalled, worked again and disassembled and filed again.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

After first filing, the barrels have closed up at the rear to .019" gap underneath.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Then .015" gap.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

At a very tight .013" gap at the rear.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Here is the wipe....about 90% contact with the new hinge pin. You can't get much better than that by hand. A light polish with a round and 400g and this will be done. Remember, run light grease or oil on the pivot point and knees.....it keeps the softer lump from wearing out.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #6
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Now, the gap under the barrels is .013" and I have 90% contact between loop and hinge pin.

Time to fit the barrels to the action. The ends of the barrels are battered. We'll see what we can do and they should drop further down as they become more fully on face. Right now, the bottom of the barrels is contacting the action face, still preventing the action from closing fully.

Remove the extractor and the lifting lever pin. Soot the breech faces of the barrels well. Assemble and work the action open and closed, locking it and making sure the forend is installed again with each assembly.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

After repeated tries, smoking the breech, closing the action, opening and filing away only the bright silver sections (full removal of soot) I reach a point where the barrels are smoother at the breech, most of the battered areas removed and as you can see, closure now removes soot evenly all around the ends of the breech. Strive for a close fit. I like to get better than 50% of the circumference of the barrel in contact with the face. Sometimes you can get fuller contact like this. Just depends on the action and barrels. Remember, a gap ain't bad, if the headspace is right and the gun will shoot for long and long, but for best strength, the barrels breeches need to touch the actions face and more touch is better.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

As you can see, with fitting, the gap at the rear of the barrels to the water table closed down to about .006".

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

And the gap between water tables at the front of the water table, closed down to .0025".

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Last step is to make sure the extractor is thinner than the remainder of the breech after facing it to the action, so the extractor won't bind the gun shut. This one is good. Plenty of clearance from face of extractor to end of barrels.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

So, I'll call these barrels fully joined. I checked with snap caps and dummy shells. The gun opens, closes and extracts fine.

Now to wait for the new top snap and see if I can get the bite just a bit better off. I'd like to end up at 5 oclock with the top snap lever, I'll settle for 6 oclock and could force myself to live with 7 oclock since the barrels are nicely rejoined and should shoot for thousands of rounds if the joints are kept clean and lightly lubed. Break action guns wear out not from shooting but from not wiping them clean and putting a drop of oil or grease on the pivot points before use. Its a strong simple action and so simple to clean and lube that we abuse them.

Well, now that half of the hard barrel working is done (rejoining is completed, bite is pending), and while I await the delivery of several action parts, I suppose its time to finish up the front end. (all the work listed is proposed under the assumption that the bite can be brought back to somewhere between acceptable and like new)

Next jobs will be to:

1 Install the bead front sight, a simple brass bead on the tip rib, centering, taping and drilling a hole 6x48 for the bead (also providing a stop for the snap on front sight light pipe to abut.)

2. Make up a front sling swivel mount between the barrels using the final section of the left over TC muzzleloader under rib as the mount.

3. Checking the muzzles for square cut and as needed truing them up and deburring the inner and outer circumferences.

4. Packing and filling the gap between barrels at the muzzle with epoxy.

5. Ream and polish long forcing cones just ahead of the chambers.

6. Initial polish of the bores interior surfaces.
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:08 PM   #7
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The barrel to water table gap before final fitting of the loop and breech face to the action.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The 99% resting place of the barrels after fitting the loop and breech face to the action. With just a skif of metal removed in the right places on the loop and the breech faces, the rear of the barrels dropped about .015" to full contact with the recoil shields.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

I wonder if the recoil shields should be scalloped?
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:47 PM   #8
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A little work this evening.

Front bead sight.....scissors jig does not fit the barrels or the low rib so counting grooves in the rib to find and tap a spot on center for a #31 hole that gets tapped 6x48 TPI. Naturally, an even number of grooves and the center falls on the top of one instead of in between!

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

After drilling and tapping, the bead is installed and the snap on snap off sight levered into place behind it.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

View from the shoulder end...big bead for old eyes and the snap on light pipe just because it fits.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Like the Classy Coach, a bit of left over TC Muzzleloader Under Rib is drilled and contoured for use as a front sling mount between the barrels.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

A bit more shaping of the mount to do and a sling swivel mount to screw and solder in place but with the screw heads domed here for a bit smoother shape.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

And finally, I finished honing in the loop for the hinge pin. The pin is .324" and just to be sure I'm going to be happy in the long run, I'll make up a .326 or .328" pin and check the fit/closure. I'd rather have it a bit tight and let it work in to perfection than to chance a pin fit that's right on the edge of being too small. Besides, its only a 20 minute job and bolts are cheep, worth some experimentation.

I did smoke the barrel extension and check the fit of the top snap lever in the bite. No Go. No contact what so ever! So, I can't see further abuse of the extension. I'll have to hope a replacement lever or shiming of either of one of the levers or even dovetailing and soldering in a piece of tool steel in the extension will provide me enough metal to establish a good bite to hold the action firmly closed........otherwise......parts gun!
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:45 PM   #9
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Much better. Made up a pin tapered from .326 at the tip to .336 at the fattest end. The bearing point between the water tables measures .328. Polished it out at 400g in oil and it fairly shines. Fit is great and with a drop of oil the gun opens and closes quite smoothly. Fit was so good I gave it a tremendous crunch with the Medium Smasher Wacker to set it in the action. No flop and the breeches still sit pretty darn good for a gun made in the late 30s or mid 40s.

So, for tonight, patient rework, not unexpected and worth a bit of extra effort. Now both the pin and the loop are well polished into place and the bearing is nearly full. Not as perfect as a hinge job done with a reamer but, this ain't no Perazzi or Ljutic neither.

The new polished pin, scavenged from a 1964 C10 front suspension, turned on the drill press with files and polishing paper and the dimensions checked regularly to bring in the size and taper I wanted over the 2"+ length of unthreaded shaft. Don't throw away good grade 5 or grade 8 hardware......they also make fantastic firing pins. Lightly tapped in place to check for looseness in the joining.....it ain't loose!

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

The original pin in the right knee that held the original hinge pin in place was drilled out. I redrilled the hole #29 to about 2/3 through the new hinge pin. Tapped the hole 8x40 and counter sunk the hole to bury the screw head so it don't rub the fore end iron.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

An 8x40 screw head is back cut to fit the tapered shape of the bottom of the drilled recess, the top of the screw domed and thinned a bit and then its run in and snugged down. A touch of blue Loctite later will secure it and later, if someone wants to replace the hinge pin, they will thank me for not installing a blind pin that has to be drilled out again.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

I have a snug .010" gap at the rear of the action to allow for fitting the bite later when the new top snap comes in.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects

Barrels are snug as a bug on their rejoin to the action, whole assembly works smoothly with a drop of oil in the right places, soot transfers where it should and I'm anxiously awaiting the ordered parts, tentatively scheduled to arrive this week.

A Stage Coach Project - DIY Projects
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:54 PM   #10
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Sharps,
Looking great so far! Keep up the good work and keep us informed!

I have my one of my Grandfathers old Hammer Doubles that I need to make a stock for since it is totally missing. I really do not know where to begin! But someday I need to get on it a try!

Looking forward to your project proceeding until completion! Send more pictures!

03
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