Mr. Belly Gun

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Sharps40, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Sore leg. Can't walk or sit or lay down or get back up.....so....stuck in the house and figgered I'd see what I could do during short sessions sitting at the bench with a cosmetically worn but mechanically fine three screw.

    I like the Sheriff style for carry but with ejection system rather than a bare barrel. Thought I'd give a whirl to modifying the Ruger factory parts for functional ejection with a 3.5" barrel rather than spend and wait for Cimarron parts to come in. Sort of an I got it here and am board just chewin antiinflamatories and prednisone and watchin videos kinda deal.....

    For starters......

    Shorten and crown the barrel with a recontour of the sharp edge at the muzzle left after the cut and squaring. This action got me a 3.5"ish barrel, just enough for ejector function and got rid of some rather heavy pitting on the exterior of the muzzle.

    [​IMG]

    Lopped off one bump on the cylinder pin to get a longer ejector stroke. Again, it gives just enough to lift the cases out so they can be dropped or plucked clear of the chambers. Also recut the grooves in the cylinder rod so the edges are sharp for a better grab when withdrawing the pin.

    [​IMG]

    A factory length ejector rod housing next to the newly shortened original. All hand work with file and saw. Scribing and cutting in guide lines to make it too long to begin with and hand filing the shoulders to the final fit. The newly shortened alloy EHR is slightly shorter than the barrel with is slightly longer than 3.5" The factory spring and the ejector rod is shortened a commensurate amount to fit the new housing length.

    [​IMG]

    Just have to drill and tap for the retention screw and we'll have all the original but now somewhat shorter parts back in place and functional. Nice thing is....2 hours work, no cost, no waiting for parts and its all back on there an the proper length for a belly gun.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh yeah, this one is a Clickety Clack....no conversion guts. A true 5 shot 6 Shooter that spells Colt when you draw the hammer back thru its 4 distinct clicks.
     
  2. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    A hole is drilled and tapped 8x40 for the EHR housing retention screw. Its depth is the same as factory, just shy of 3 threads deep.

    [​IMG]

    Assembled, and checked for function....the cylinder pin can not be withdrawn quite enough to release the cylinder.

    [​IMG]

    So, the head of the ejector button is thinned and the face of the cylinder pin ground down just a touch more. And now on reassembly, the cylinder pin remains captive by the ejector rod assembly but the cylinder can be easily removed. So now, like the New Model, the EHR housing must be removed to fully withdraw the cylinder pin for thorough cleaning and maintenance but that's not much of a draw back for a short barrel and functional ejection.

    [​IMG]

    In order to achieve the fullest possible ejection stroke, the undercut of the ejector rod must be extended about 1/4 to 3/8 inch toward the ejector rod head. Roughed in file work and we'll finish and polish the rod later. The shorter modified rod compared to a factory rod.

    [​IMG]

    A touch more stroke is available thru finishing the ejector rod undercut. At this point, spring stack is not a problem either.

    [​IMG]

    As currently modified, and I'd consider the ejection system 80% completed now, there is more than adequate lift of fired cases to allow them to drop out or be plucked from the cylinder bores.

    [​IMG]

    And here, the cylinder pin fully withdrawn, captive against loss but the cylinder easily installed and removed. So, overall, success. No parts to buy. Just some time and effort for a Sheriff with full function ejection.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    A cool belly gun needs a cool front sight and anyway, this gives me some practice for makin up a sight for the Pimp Cannon/Gentlemans Workhorse. Sort of preproduction sperimentation as the PC/GW will probably morph into a sort barreled 45 ACP revolver for +P and Ruger Only ACP handloads.

    But....to the experiment.

    A Rocky Mountain front sight, from an ancient Boys Rifle w/ German Silver blade, about 100ish years old and .470" wide.....

    [​IMG]

    German silver blade desoldered, base thinned to standard .375 groove and an Indian Head Nickle cut out and prepped to serve as the Front Sight Blade. .560" high finished height for some adjustability in elevation and against heavy bullet loadings in this revolver. (Rear sight has the low blade in it now and I can switch to a high blade if that will regulate w/o having to cut or trim the front sight.....trimming the front will require following the countours of the headdress to keep it looking good.)

    [​IMG]

    Clamped, fluxed and silver soldered into place. Should be as strong or stronger as the soft soldered original. That plus this coin blade is about twice or more as thick as the original German Silver blade that was in the base.

    [​IMG]

    After a bit of clean up.

    [​IMG]

    Quick check, yep, its pretty much straight up and down.

    [​IMG]

    Profile shots....now that's what I call a Coin Front Sight with some character.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. stag556

    stag556 New Member

    591
    0
    0
    Man that's really cool. I would love to own something like that some day. Major congrats.
     
  5. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Grip arrived. SS. New model. Will have to adapt it to the old model frame and trigger but that's easy. Some thin grips too....stabilized amboyna burl if I can find a chunk big enough. But, for $73 on clearance from midwayusa, I couldn't pass it up. No rust and no peeled paint down the road neither. I wonder how it would look and fit slightly rounded in the butt and toe?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Round butt now. Might need a pinkie groove too.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    A few thousands extra metal don't seem like much till ya gotta take it off, even and by hand.

    Discounting the grip frame was out of spec on the upper screw holes (fixed it....will finish reboring the countersinks for the screw heads later) it was quite a few thousands proud on both sides. Good and bad. Good cause you can fit it to the frame. Bad cause its a lot of work, stainless is stringy and clogs files quickly and its a lot of work.

    Here is an example of the extra metal in the grip frame for fitting to the receiver.

    [​IMG]

    And here, the bulk of the roughin in done on the left side.

    [​IMG]

    I'll block sand this side in the rest of the way later. Gotta finish the other side first and finish up the grip frame....then root around for the last of the spalted curly maple and see if there is enough to make grip panels with.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Side two is roughed in. SN is preserved.

    Off to make the trigger return spring assembly next. NM Frame on OM receiver and the return springs are different/not interchangeable without some work.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Fun with files.

    Measurements indicated just enough roof on the topstrap to go to a true flat top.....so, mark that task done.

    [​IMG]

    A slight trim of the headdress to provide better reflection and now I'll have to reshape just a scooch and trim in the feathers. But, with a slight angle cut I have a tip that reflects light to my eye much better. Better even than the hump on the buffalo's shoulder of the Gentlemans Workhorse front sight.

    [​IMG]

    Some initial polishing in of the Stainless Ruger Plowshare Frame (reground to birdshead) so that it fits the action perfectly and removes the bulk of the file marks from initial fitting. Both sides now done to 100g finish. I do want to increase the size and depth of the trigger finger undercut on the right side of the grip.....just a touch more room and a smooth rounded edge against the finger in recoil.

    [​IMG]

    The arch of the ruger backstrap is high and thick. With smaller hands the bore does not become an extension of the arm bones, rather pointing to the right with a too large grip. The beginning of a divot, still a bit flat but coming along, and I already notice, the arm bones and barrel are now in line. No more grinding for now....gotta put wood on there first and finalize the shape of both together.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Putting the OM Trigger return back into the NM grip frame.

    Start with an old bolt. 5/16" dia is about right. Drill, slot, taper, shorten, flatten and its done and in there and works perfect. Current trigger pull is a smooth weniewocker shy of 2 lbs.....

    [​IMG]

    Once the bolt is drilled for the trigger return pin and spring, the bottom is flattened as needed and the entire rig is cut to length.

    [​IMG]

    If you like, cross drill for the retention pin. I find it as effective to simply slot the housing as porkhair shallow so the cross pin will firmly hold the housing down into the return spring trough of the grip frame. File a concavity in the tail of the new housing as needed to clearance the hammer spring strut.

    [​IMG]

    Install the new housing, trigger plunger and spring, cross pin it and then put the gun together for fit and function checks.

    [​IMG]

    Neatly done. Full function....New Model Grip adapted to Old Model Action and you retain the familiar trigger pull of the old model and don't have to buy the expensive conversion trigger.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Biohazard2

    Biohazard2 Member

    685
    19
    18
    Great job!
    Thanks for the pics.
     
  12. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    More fun with files and some of the first work from the near completed understairs rust bluing maintenance cleaning and customizing room.

    After the long edges of the topstrap are beveled 45 degrees, the first cuts with a rat tail file to establish a S&W style nose on this old 3 screw.

    [​IMG]

    About half done with the nosing.

    [​IMG]

    Nose polished 100g and starting to bootstrap the beveled edges of the topstrap into a rounder smoother shape.

    [​IMG]

    As long as I'm in the metal removal mood.....might as well disappear the ruger barrel banner with a combination of cross and draw filing and then cross and draw polishing.

    [​IMG]

    Back together with the shaping work about 80% completed.

    [​IMG]

    Top strap and shapes are initially finished 100g. Topstrap will probably stay 100g while the rest of the gun gets a 150g or so finish. Nice satiny smooth low gloss when blued and holds lots of oil or grease for protection.

    [​IMG]

    A bit closer look. Lovely thing about old eyes with bifocals, ya need good photos to look at on the screen to see if left matches right in shape and size and to see if all the polishing marks from each successive grit are polished away. So far, first hit and the shapes and polish looks good. Not much refining to do from here....just light work.

    [​IMG]

    With the topstrap flattened and the edges rounded, I can finally see...there is plenty lots of metal over the rear sight cross pin. It'll last a longness of time and be plenty plenty durable.

    [​IMG]

    Straight down and the shapes remain symmetrical. All hand work. Machines are not the be all and end all of gunsmithing.

    [​IMG]

    Quartering in....just a whisker more work to do at the 2 oclock spot on the nose above the barrel to match up the scribe line on the face of most ruger frames.

    [​IMG]

    Business end look....yep, a touch more to work on at the 2 oclock spot. But, first good cuts and the shape is pleasing.

    [​IMG]

    Backing out for an overall look.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    For the grip panels, I decided to go with the very rare and gorgeous stabilized Afzelia Xylay. The blanks are 2" x 5" x 3/8" which is going to be close and require very careful fitting. If it works....should be mucho prettyoso. (Grandkids is teachin me Spanish.....I think I gots a ways to go.)

    Looks a bit like this on a gun handle. Mine has some neat black inclusions that ad some interest....don't know if I'll put em top or bottom or if they will cut out as the blank is longer than the grip frame.

    [​IMG]

    and here on a knife

    [​IMG]

    and here in hand....

    [​IMG]

    Gonna be so pretty might have to get rid of that 45 acp revolver cause I won't be carryin it!
     
  14. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Grip panels are in. Nice figure, a bit of spalting and a worm hole. Great character. Hope they are big enough!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    I was fortunate to find these scales in 2" width. Common knife handle width is not more than 1 3/4" and that's just too narrow.

    But.....with a tablet backing template of the newly modified ruger grip frame......I have just enough wood to move around, looking for best figure and least flaws.

    Where possible I'd like to eliminate the worm holes or at least hide them inside. And....I'll choose the best side to face out as well as put the prettier wood slab on the loading gate side, the show side when holstered for right hand draw.

    [​IMG]

    Kinda like GoodWife pickin paint colors or curtains, put it on, take it off, put it on, move it and finally, I trace the left and right panels marking them Left/Outside and Right Outside so I can keep it straight later.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    First cuts to get the grip panels roughly aligned in the upper corners of the grip frame.

    [​IMG]

    Left side panel is sitting just where I want it....good contact in the upper corners.

    [​IMG]

    Right side panel needs some work....

    [​IMG]

    Better after some file work....just a bit further to go and I can drill for the alignment pin in the bottom of the grip frame.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Fitting up the grip panels. Double pinned, bottom as per factory and up top with an extended trigger spring retaining pin. Eustachian's installed and temp stainless screw. Rough shaping done....its all in the final final now....shaping and sanding. Lots of hand work with highly figured wood.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Gungirl21

    Gungirl21 New Member

    14
    0
    0
    Are the grips rough on your hands? The few times I've held a pistol with grips they rubbed my skin a bit raw. The ones I used were metal and had a small diamond pattern on them so your hands wouldn't slip.
     
  19. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Well, they are rough now but that's because they have yet to be shaped, smoothed, finished and polished. When completed they will be smooth. No checkering (diamond patterns) or sharp/blunt edges. Remember, its a single action revolver.....checkering defeats its recoil managing property which is to rotate in the hand rather than slap the crap out of it!
     
  20. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

    608
    0
    0
    Some loss of figure on the rounded portions but still looks great 90% finished.

    Bare wood here....Worm holes top and bottom and spalting add character to the left grip panel...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A touch of urethane to bring out the grain and colors.

    [​IMG]

    Good color and figure on the right panel. The flattened portion of the backstrap needs more shaping but comes in to its own allowing a thicker set of grip panels without increasing pull length. The feel at this point is quite good....just a bit more shaping to do and then to shape up the backstrap and get the lower end finished.

    [​IMG]