The Undecided Project

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Sharps40, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    In so far as it'll either be brought up to running condition or taken further. But for now that's undecided.

    Waiting on a hammer and a new Ruger Stainless cylinder pin. It looks rougher in the photos than it really is. Bore is perfect and like all 1974 manufacture Ruger 45 Colts, it has cylinder bores suited for .454" bullets with a smaller diameter bore.

    Here is what I am working with. Finish on steel is 80+% with light freckling on the frame and cylinder. Barrel is better and the finish on the aluminum N series grip frame is well over 90%.

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  2. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    So, I have 6 45 Colt cases. They are about as rare as can be right now. I pulled out the .452" 260g lead round noses and recharged them with a sane amount of Bullseye and a sized LEE REAL muzzleloading bullet. A 256g lead wadcutter sized to .454" diameter.

    Alloy is my any mix (3500 lbs of lead battery terminal clamps I bought from DRMO 20 odd years back for $150....been castin with it ever since and no problems with handgun or rifle.) Its not a super hard alloy....but not pure lead either. Softer than wheelweights.

    The lube is my homemade brown goop. Suitable for rifle and handgun and muzzleloader slugs its Lee Liquid Alox, Beeswax, Olive oil, paraffin wax, RCBS resizing lube and Vasoline....pretty much what I had in the house when I made up a big batch. Its provided wonderful lead free shooting in handguns and rifles and muzzleloaders with slug up to 1900 fps for many years. I still have a large, 2qt or more tub left to go thru. As Linebaugh says, if its hard as a Crayon, use it for coloring. Sticky is right for bullet lube. I'm a believer....sticky it is.

    Three bullets, L to R, as cast, sized .454" and lubed.

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    Loaded as full wadcutters should be....near to the mouth and a light crimp into the top driving band.

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    The cases mike .476" diameter with the bullets seated and crimped. .480" is the max spec. Chamber check and they fall in and out.

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    Plenty of room in the long New Model cylinder for very long and heavy bullets. These will have a jump, just like regular wadcutters in a 38 Special. I am expecting similar results to the 38 Special....good to great accuracy and no leading. But with 6 rounds it'll take more than a few trips to the range to work out the details.

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  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    subscribed to this thread! looking forward to seeing what happens to this old Ruger.
     
  4. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    You can pick up some nice grips for under $40. I would get a set of grips that fit your hand and shoot the rust off it. There is nothing wrong with a little patina on a revolver.
     
  5. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    If its a shooter I'll probably make the grips for use on the Ron Power 2 piece stainless Colt grip frame I picked up New in Box on GB for $100. A good value for such a grip frame.

    If I make grips it'll likely be from Bloodwood on this one too. None of the factory or after market grips strike me, at least not in the photos.

    Patina might be good. Havn't decided yet though. Maybe blue the barrel and cylinder and leave the frame but that means black and purple and red and silver. I dunno......startin to sound like it'll look bruised.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  6. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    In the last photo of your 2nd post there are characters etched on the cylinder face, what do those stand for?
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    They look like numbers.
    An old practice with a SA is to number the cylinders.
    Then as the handgun was shot, if there is one cylinder that did not do that well, then that was the one skipped in reloading and kept under the hammer.
     
  8. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Ruger, just about every older blackhawk I've ever seen....is in the habit of numbering cylinders with a vibrating pen. Both faces. Tracking for marriage of components and/or QC I suspect. Additionally, convertable cylinders on older 'hawks are often vibro marked with SN or other markings linking it to a particular weapon since the mating of the cylinder is to a specific frame.
     
  9. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Didn't get all the parts today and no sights to rezero the 1860 Blackhawk but enough to do some assembly on the Undecided Project and see if there is a direction available after getting to the range.

    Figured I'd set up the RP SS grip frame. Driving the trigger return spring out of the NXR3-RED Ruger frame was easy, but it was a very snug drive fit into the steel frame. We won't need to worry bout it fallin out.

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    I see why RP replaced the Old Model Colt frame for Ruger with a New Model....worst part of the job is compressin that mean mainspring and getting it captured. But here, the trigger guard totally assembled.

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    Right side of the RP frame is a very close fit to the Ruger frame.

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    Left side of the RP frame is where all the fitting has to be done, some file work would be needed if this gun is a shooter.

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    The differences between the Colt grip and the Ruger grip are subtle and mostly up at the top. A forward curve that is smoother and brings the entire grip a bit closer to the trigger. A smaller neck up top and a back strap that is a touch further forward than the Ruger. Overall a slightly more tapered grip and closer to the trigger.

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    Well, the backside looks pretty good. The barrel is way too long but.....

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    Fit on the ears is pretty darn good too. Very close around the hammer without dragging.

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    If this winds up being the set up (i.e. is shoots well enough) then the only decision left is barrel length....4 5/8 or 5+ inches.
     
  10. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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    Don't cut it. Leave it. It is really cool as it is. My two cents worth.


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  11. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Nah, too long. Can't sit with it on. Besides, with it that long it looks like a South of the Border Pimp Cannon or the 88 Magnum out of Johnnie Dangerously. If its a shooter, it'll be 3.5" to 5 or so inches when done I think.
     
  12. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Kind folks have sent a few cases here and there and additional offers for Buffler Nickles for a front sight and even loaded ammo offers is waiting in the wings. Just gotta get this dude running.

    But for now, 15 cases on hand and loaded very light, medium and unspecified medium+. We'll see how it goes from low and moving up as the dial calibers, extraction and primers dictate. Using Bullseye and taking up the cavernous space with the long shank of these 255g bullets. First trip to the range will be to put it on paper at 10m while function testing. 15 rounds all on the same bull should tell me a bit about the possibilities.

    But at least I got done in the garage a bit early. An unspecified intermittent start failure (+ dead headlights/gages/radio but on a full charged battery) has had me scratchin my head for the source of the short. Near as I can tell from 3 hrs dinkin around with the ohmmeter, the 50 year old ignition switch is bad. Rattled it around and voila, headlights, dash lights, radio and started fine. But, I ordered the switch at Oreillies and its $15, be here tomorrow so....hopefully no more occasional head scratchin while I try to get the ol boy started.

    For now, the range line up....

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  13. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Didn't get to the range with the 1860 Army Blackhawk yet but since the neighbors was all outside this morning plunkin away with their pistols, figgered I'd join em.

    We benched the Pimp Cannon (official name for this gun till the barrel shortens up) at 10 meters and starting with the 255g full wadcutter loaded with 5.6g Bullseye, let fly with 5 touching. Its a very light load, cases are sooted for half their length but drop out fine. No indications of high pressure on the primer but light hits.

    From there I went to the 4 rounds loaded with same bullet and 6.1g Bullseye......misfire. Light strike as the nose of the incompletely fitted Bisley hammer is a bit too long. A quick application of two layers of electrical tape in the secondary step on the hammer restored full function and all 4 went off without further hitches and all dropped free. Better indentation on the primers but still less than it should be for total reliability. Fitting the hammer nose will cure this light strike problem.

    Finally I moved up the the top load. Again the 255g WadCutter (A Lee 45 caliber REAL sized .454" and lubed sticky with a light roll crimp on the top band) and all six rounds were sent down range without a hitch. Even as the top load, these six cases simply fall out of the cylinders, the case exteriors are clean, indicating they seal well and the recoil is mild, just barely enough to roll the muzzle up. Looks like there is room for more load development and velocity testing. Should make a fine deer load at this level or above. Given the old lyman data for the 237g LWC and comparing top loads for the 260g LSWC, this top load should be approaching 900 to 1000 fps. I'll get the gun done and then perhaps work up loads in 1/10g increments and see how it vets out.

    Here is the composite 10 meter target, 15 rounds, 3 different charges from the bench. I believe the Pimp Cannon is going to make a worthy project.

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  14. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Clearance between cylinder and firing pin bushing is a very tight 65 thousands. Polishing the nose of the hammer back (the factory replacement bisley hammers are a bit long in the nose for the Older New Model Blackhawks/need fitting) makes for a fuller squeeze of the transfer bar between the second hammer step and the firing pin. I shaved the nose of the hammer back until I have about 28 thousands of firing pin protrusion. This is enough for now. I'll square up the nose and probably finish out around 30 thousands protrusion. It should give me plenty reliable ignition without pierced primers and without transfer bar pinch.

    The smoothed up and somewhat shortened Bisley Hammer nose. (Guess I gotta make grips for the RP grip frame next.) Them old ugly ruger rubber grips can go away far away with the factory NXR3-RED frame.

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  15. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    4 5/8" barrel is selected and I'm gonna experiment with a Barrel Band and Nickle (coin) front sight.
     
  16. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Coin front sight. A neat idea if I can make it work. But, what I'm seeing around the web, and that ain't much....well, its ugly. Half a coin stuck on the end of the barrel and no thought of style, no real character.....barely utility.

    Indian Head/Buffalo Nickles. So old the dates are worn off of them so no real collector value. Donated against a hope that one could be made to work as a front sight. I'll give it a good try starting here.

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    Initial trimming on a fiberglass wheel, slowed down about half.

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    Feathers, hair and back of the neck roughed in.

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    Forhead, face, lips, chin and neck. Harder to do. Lots of contours for the brow, curve of the nose/lips and chin.

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    After final filing and a bit of polish on the cloth wheel and a good medium cutting polish.

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    Be a bit of a trick to get this one down to .550" height. But might be doable and with Chief facing forward toward the target, notch in the headdress is like a tiny Patridge blade and the details of the Chiefs face are on the show (right) side of the gun.

    Time to go cut a Buffalo. You fellas with better eyes and no arthritis in the hands could help out.
     
  17. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    First Buffler is ready. To keep the Buffler side to the right (show side of the gun) he'll have to face the shooter. I suppose if that's the one chosen, it'd only be appropriate to load heavy with a high flash powder. This one will be much easier to get into the range of .5" (factory front sight height) up to about .6". Would have to run the calculations from the bore to see but I'm thinkin .53 to .57 inches high is about right for the adjustable rear sight and expected bullet weights/speeds.

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    I think I need to shave just a bit more of the rim off the head of the buff to have it just right.
     
  18. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Back home from KY and in the shop. Finally found some v belts to get the drill press up and running again and with the extra Blood Wood in the shop from the last set of grips, started in on roughin out a pair of grip panels for the Pimp Cannon.

    A bit different this time. Rather than taper from the inside, I tapered the outside. Lets me look at the wood under the surface and no suprizes like cracks or knots or flaws that get uncovered after the fit up to the frame is completed. If there was a flaw, I could cut another blank from the remaining board. Looks like there is enough Blood Wood left to do one more set of grips for a Colt or Blackhawk or if resawn, two sets for a 1911.

    Rough positioned. Oversize and I have yet to fully fit the RP Grip frame to the Blackhawk. So, it'll move around later an I should be able to mate the wood to the frame gap free.

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    I worked the inside and outside surfaces of each grip panel on the belts until they are dead flat in every direction using a straight edge to check. Thickness are very close to the same with a touch extra wood on the palm side for fitting later. I'll most likely make these panels dead flat on the bottom rather than beveled up. The bottom thickness is just at or a bit under 1/2" and will likely finish up between 3/8 and 1/2 thickness at the bottom. But, wood to grip frame fit is about perfect for this stage of the project. No gaps and this dense hard wood shouldn't warp as it ages.

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    Some of the light dark light dark striping that will come out better with polishing and final urethane finish.

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    Inside the frame is traced onto the panels, just a guideline for now. A bit extra so I can move it around a bit and come up against the Blackhawk frame later. Up top a pair of divots drilled in the wood. Seems the Ruger Trigger Spring pin is a bit longer than the RP backstrap is wide. Rather than grind off the pin, miss and booger the backstrap, a divot does the job and a bit oversize to allow me to move the wood panels just a hair forward later to touch the frame.

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    I guess I oughta be lookin around for a stainless steel screw for this set of panels but then, maybe a blued/blackened set of hardware would look nice too. No brass I think. Too many colors.
     
  19. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    Before the grip panels can be more closely fitted and drilled for pins and screws, the trigger guard and back strap has to be better fitted to the frame.

    So, the rear of the strap is filed to meet the rear of the frame and make a straight line for the front edge of the grip panel. Here the left side lower is done and ready to start on the right side lower. A safe sided file is used to keep from undercutting the forward loop of the grip.

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    As indicated earlier, the right side of the grip frame is a pretty good match to the frame so only light filing was needed to bring it very close to the frame in preparation for final polishing to a finer fit.

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    All the excess metal in the RP grip frame was on the left side. And you can see the waviness of the bottom edge of the Ruger frame. Probably this represents cuts in by the buffing wheel all those many years ago when the factory polished it for bluing. But, 98% fitted and ready for final polish to a fine fit and all the lettering and numbers on both sides both preserved and remaining crisp and clear. At this time, all the work is done with hand files. Final work will be sand paper backed by a file and then some buffing with all the parts assembled, if needed. But that buffin is a ways off yet.

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    Between mating the lower trigger guard loop to the frame and some spotting in and carefully filing the front of the grip panel to fit, I came up with this initial fit. Can't get it much better until there are screws and pins installed and we'll see then if I did good.

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    I retraced the reference lines and you see, a tiny change at the top makes for a big change at the bottom....good I left some extra wood on there for now. Once its installed, the lines will be almost academic.....the grips will be securely installed and sanded into place.

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    Don't worry about the pins. They are way too long and will get shortened and domed and blued before all is said and done.
     
  20. Sharps40

    Sharps40 New Member

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    It don't look like much but this here hunk of old rolling block 45-70 chamber has front sight band/mount writtin all over it. Maybe times two if it works out. And, its already center drilled almost to size....well, its center drilled!

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