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The Undecided Project


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Old 12-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #61
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Ruger Blackhawk trigger on the left, stainless Bisley on the right. Like the Bisley hammer, the Bisley trigger will require some metal removal (at the red line) to fit up in the RP grip frame.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Stainless button head cylinder pin finally arrived to replace the tired old blue one that was in there.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Ruger Super Blackhawk 7.5" Hunter rear sight on top.....see how much taller the rear blade is than the original? This will most likely get me nicely regulated with the entire rear sight exhibiting less pivot. Better look. When regulating sights, keep this in mind and you don't have to buy the entire sight (I needed a new/pretty one though), just the rear blade....there are several heights. Gives ya lots of options on selection of fronts, loads, bullet weights, velocities, etc.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

The Super Blackhawk Hunter 7.5" rear sight installed. Neatly, it sits a bit above the line of the flat top. A neat look. And I think it'll be the berries for regulation and use. Plus, it adds the ruger squashed chicken back to the gun. The original sight base doesn't have it and since I changed to Bloodwood grips, its missing there too. Good to have the squashed chicken back on this one again.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

And finally, the source of drag with some of the factory ammo....a sharp transition on the left side of the recoil shield and the firing pin bushing was a hangnail higher than the shield. Initial smoothing with swiss files to blend the transition from bottom to top and to flush down the firing pin bushing. I'll finish it up with stones later and test again.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:06 PM   #62
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Buncha work on the Bisley Trigger. Sacraficed it to see if it could be made to work rather than fit the frame to it. (had to remove rather more metal than I'd have liked to fit the trigger to the RP Frame.....) The trigger at under $15 is the cheep part to experiment on. I like the feel and will press forward with final finish and bluing but go ahead and fit the RP frame to a new Bisley Trigger later. The feel is worth a bit of final work opening up the trigger slot in the RP frame. BTW, Polishing up the engagement surfaces of that test Bisley trigger reduced pull from 4.4 lbs to 3.8 lbs. So, probably clean up the blue trigger for now and get this gun closer to done and come back to Bisleyfication later.....

Stock Trigger on top/Modified Bisley on the bottom.....Hammers Down.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Stock trigger on tip/Modified Bisley on the bottom....Hammers Back.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:39 PM   #63
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Well, I've pretty well decided. The Gentleman's Workhorse has enough changes to it to make it a good Workhorse. Form and function, I'm happy with the changes. Time to final fit the grips and grip frame and get started makin rust.

The parts I'll be bluing.....shaped and then wire brushed to remove the old blue and produce a matted final finish. No gloss needed on this one. Barrel and flattened top strap are hand sanded 120g for a nonreflective finish.

Clean the metal before bluing however you desire. Boil in brownells cleaner, swarf it with brake cleaner or other solvent or what I do....simple wipe down with alcohol saturated lens cleaners. I typically have them pretty clean before starting all the work so grease doesn't get pushed into the pores anyway. Maybe not what a pro would do but it works for me and the finishes come out pretty fine.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

10 minutes in and the humidity is coming up along with the temperature and rust. As always the first coat of pilkingtons is very wet and the first rust is one hour. (No boil....at one hour a second dry wipe of pilkingtons and back into the damp box for 2 or so more hours of rusting....then the first boil.)

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Final shaping of the high quality Ron Power two piece grip frame is completed.....love it! Two pieces make a new model so easy to assemble. Makes me wonder if a ruger alloy grip frame could be modded to a two piece configuration. But, fitted, shaped, sanded then polished bright and finally, knocked back to satin by hand with 220g aluminum oxide paper. The grips were also final sanded and awaiting the drying of about the umpteenth coat of urethane.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

The muzzle was straightened and the crown received its final wipe with the 11 degree cutter on a pilot that barely slip fit into the bore so they should be dead square. Couple three days and this one should be ready to zero with 230g Hydra Shoks and start riding and bumping around in that nifty cross draw De Santis holster.

I'm anxious. It'll be wonderful to have a 45 caliber daily rig that I can carry and never worry if the safety is on or off or the grip thingie is stuck up or down or the mag is clicked in or out or the ...... well, ya get the ider.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:38 PM   #64
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Second rust. A 12 hour sit in the Under Bar damp box....looking good and I think it'll be done sooner than later. Summertime is nicer though. In the garage and in the heat/humidity you can get to a boil every 3 to 6 hours, several iterations per day. At the lower temps and humidity in my makeshift damp box, subsequent rustings take longer and longer as the color builds up....not so in a warm humid garage. Perhaps I'll have to build me a real damp box with controls for heat and humidity.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:26 PM   #65
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Bout done, all but the final sight in and already checked the fit in the DeSantis cross draw rig. List of customizing is somewhat as follows: Bisley hammer and trigger, trigger shim, Ron Power old style two piece SS Colt Grip frame ground to Birdshead, Bloodwood grips, topstrap flattened and nosed, 45 ACP cylinder fitted, Cimarron Cammed Ejector Rod Housing in steel, ERH screw converted to stud and nut, Reshaped ruger ejector rod and rod button, SS Ruger Birdshead Cylinder pin, recoil shield scalloped, loading gate scalloped and undercut, light trigger smoothing, Barrel shortened to a true 3.5" and squared and beveled and recrowned, Front sight replaced with a trimmed buffalo nickel, Ruger Superblackhawk Hunter 7.5" rear sight with white outline fill, wirebrushed finish with slow rust blue of action and barrel + Small parts. I think that's it. It was a long trip.

The bluing is done and looks great. A slight amount of speckeling on the frame but the barrel was clean and smooth. Fine for a working gun and I'm pleased with the look. Always ungentle with my firearms, they get used instead of rested in a dark safe I look forward to the final zeroing so I can fill the holster with its heft in the near future. For now, the assembly.

EHR Stud cinched in with medium locktite. Front sight ramp screw also in medium locktite with a smear of Black Max under the ramp to add some additional strength. Naturally, the metal and holes were cleaned and degreased first. Warming to ouch temp will allow release of the screw and adhesive should I ever want them off.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Ejection system installed. It clears the Cylinder pin so, it'll never have to come off again for any cleaning or maintenance of the overall gun. A big improvement from Rugers factory style captive cylinder pin which requires removal of the entire EHR system to clean the pin and oil its holes in the frame.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

The Bisley Trigger is installed for now. I have the original trigger held back should I decide I like it better. Shooting time will tell me which way I want to go. Even with a spanky new trigger, the shim previously installed is still a good fit and helps insure the cylinder locks exactly when the sear hits the hammer notch...i.e. the hammer does not have to be drawn past the notch to proper lock the cylinder. As you can see, I could use and even thicker shim and I will be going back to replace the shim and thereby tighten up the mechanism just a scooch more.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Fitted and Matted Ron Power Trigger Guard is installed and the screws snugged in tight.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Fitted and Matted backstrap installed and the gun run thru all function checks, passing with flying colors. The trigger a smooth 3.75 lbs with a bit of take up and no gritty feel.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

The Super Blackhawk Hunter 7.5" Rear Sight comes with outline grooves. Fast dry white out is a perfect and reversible filler to use here.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Bloodwood grip panels got a final sanding and rounding and finished in urethane, rubbed out smooth. The final finish is low gloss and the new rounder feel is even better in my hands. Anxious to try it out at the range!

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

For occasional assembly/disassembly, the Cimarron Camed EHR assembly can "Capture" the cylinder pin....and with a gently tug, the cylinder pin will slide right out from under the EHR button for more thorough maintenance and cleaning. For now, I drop in the cylinder and run thru the function checks one final time.

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects
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Old 12-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #66
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Raining hard all night and day so no good outdoor light photos. But, by the window and good enough for now.

Loading Side:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Top Side:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Business End:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Off Side:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Quartering Away:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects

Working Combo:

The Undecided Project - DIY Projects
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:45 PM   #67
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Excellent work,, now it is time to create your custom belt/holster and knife sheath to compliment the gun work,, very nice combo.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:21 PM   #68
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Sheath is done. Hand made leather and quite plain, simple snap top and belt loop....though I wouldn't mind having a spare sheath for the outside of the right ankle! As for the holster, standard DeSantis Cross Draw lined leather with hammer thong only. Also, set up for a 1.5" pants belt. Both simple and rugged and reliable.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:37 AM   #69
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Did the final zero today, put it dead on at 10m with 230g hardball and 230g Fed Hydrashoks.

Factory ammo works great. Drops in and out.

My reloads, originally made up and reliable in a 1911 are a bit sticky going into the very tight chambers of this revolver. Came home and put on a taper crimp and Hoo Ahh!,,,,reloads drop in, drop out and fire, no cylinder binding when taper crimped.

So....looks like I have several thousand taper crimps to do! But it'll be worth it. I need to make up some shot shells for spring copperheads too. Rule around here is if it ain't got legs it gets shot at!

Initial thoughts....the Colt Lightning style grip is a better pointer, but this modified colt grip ain't bad at all. I think I can live with it and be quite happy. The grip panels are shaped differently than the rugers and I fitted em to my hand so maybe that makes the difference. In any event, its spent its first full day in the crossdraw De Santis and its quite comfortable. Now to get over to Mr. Belly Gun and start makin some progress!
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