Blackhawk Lightning

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Sharps40, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  2. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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....

    [​IMG]

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    [​IMG]
     

  3. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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!!!!

    [​IMG]

    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!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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.
     
  6. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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.
     
  8. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.....

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

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

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    Not bad with a 5" barrel.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
     
  9. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    sweet project man, can't wait to see it finished.
     
  10. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Just tryin to decide whether to rust blue or boil it in drain cleaner.
     
  11. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I was gonna go the drain cleaner route. I believe Texaswoodworker is rust blueing a gun of his right this moment. I'm sure he'll post up a report on it when he's done.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    very interesting project. looking forward to seeing it finished too!

    looks good so far and some impressive work so far.
     
  13. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    I mostly do the rust bluing with pilkingtons. Use LMF for brown or black on muzzleloaders. Been wantin to get back to caustic bluing but balking at the expense but with the amount of work rust bluing a revolver entails....caustic is better for revolvers.

    This Ruger might be the experiment for small batch caustic bluing. Revolvers are difficult to rust blue with all the contours, making carding so much more work than rifle actions and barrels. And I have another S&W Jframe flat latch to shim and reblue.....so, methinks home hot blue is in the near future.
     
  14. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    The new model trigger return springs are in. So far I'm not happy with them, Rugers replacement springs are poorly wound and bendable. Shoulda bought wolf.

    At this point I'm out tomorrow for some fuel line for the truck so I'll stop and see if I can get a chunk of 5/16" key stock for making a plunger well, old model style and mull over whether I want to add a bowen style mod to the old model trigger to use the new model trigger return spring.

    But at least I have two trigger return options, both good. I'm kinda leanin toward makin up the old model spring and plunger set up since its much more tuneable and I have excellent quality spring stock I can put in to adjust the pull.

    Boy, big difference between 1967 good springs and what I got from the ruger parts house today. Ouch....no wonder folks swap out springs on new rugers....If all new ruger springs are like one of the two I pulled outta the package, then rugers have become the turd in the punch bowl for springin!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  15. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Got some work to do this weekend.

    Shorten grip to frame screws slightly.....brass frame has more deeply recessed screw head counter bores and the screws bottom in the receiver.

    Finalize the trigger return spring mechanism. I will very likely install the filler block and set up a spring and plunger ala OMBH....this seems the best and most tunable trigger assembly.

    Finalize fit of the brass grip frame to the receiver, at the rear tangs.

    Check the ejector and decide if I want to shorten it and the barrel or roll with 5" of barrel as is. I thinking the gun might look a bet better balanced at 3.5 to 4" of barrel.
     
  16. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Well, there's no brass key stock within a million miles of North Carolina......guess I'll haveta mail order. But I had some left over aluminum callin out like a helper lookin for a project so, sawed off a chunk a bit over 5/16" square and about 1 1/4" long. Center drilled it......cross drilled it....thinned and tapered it and ...... it fits in as the filler blank to house a spring and plunger to keep the trigger under control.

    [​IMG]

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    The center hole I drilled is .190" diameter and the spring I chose is somewhat smaller than that in diameter. Still too long but I'll trim it later after makin up a plunger for the end of it.

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    For now, the cross pin is undersized. I'll pin it with a fitting piece of drill rod later.

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    Looking down from above, I tapered the rear down and short. There has to be clearance for the hammer spring and strut and no need to have this hunk of metal in the way. Might be some light fitting later....for now, just the basic install.

    [​IMG]

    Once a plunger is made up, the new trigger filler block will hold it all in place providing the same type of trigger return capability as you can see on the 3 Screw.

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    And just in case I get real energetic....this here maple is supereyebunger curly.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Go with the maple! Go with the maple!
     
  18. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    We'll see.....that's a long way off...
     
  19. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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  20. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    At this time we have a fully functional grip installation. No interference in the fire position, all components lay where they should be in battery.

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    Half notch for loading/unloading, no interference, all components locked in the proper position.

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    Full notch for firing...no interference, all components locked in the proper position.

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    Ruger OMBH trigger return spring and plunger installed in the filler block. Perfect function and tucked in tighter/less visible on this grip than it was in the original OMBH. So, time to loose the XR3-Red frame all together and finalize the Ligntning Style grip.

    [​IMG]