Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Friday, January 20, 2023

Another Dakota Model 10 Gets a Leather Pad

 This rifle also got a few other alterations.  The stock was peppered with dents (mostly from the rear sling swivel, and on the edge of the cheekpiece) and the forend was made by Dakota in what was supposed to be the style of a Frazier rifle.  Unfortunately, their interpretation of a Frazier forend looked more like the business end of the male genitalia.  The solution to that problem, it was decided, would be a spurred, ebony forend tip.  At the other end, the "factory custom" steel buttplate would be replaced with a leather-covered recoil pad, also spurred, and covered in black leather.  The base for the pad is a Silver's #3, with modifications.  Given the rifle's relatively diminutive proportions, a full-thickness Silver's pad would just look too "heavy", so the pad's thickness was reduced by separating the rubber from the rigid base, reducing the thickness of the rubber portion and then reattaching it to the base.  This method, and the reason it must be done this way, has been covered elsewhere on this blog.  Also, the #3 pad has a flat base with no spur, so the spur had to be created as well.  

Other features that the owner didn't care for were, the cross-section of the forend and the stock panels where the wood meets the frame.  The forend was a bit "chunky" and was basically a simple "U" in cross-section.  That cross-section, combined with the barrel's contour, yielded a large and unsightly shelf of wood on either side of the barrel.  He also didn't like the look of the stock panels and the absence of any matching paneling on the forend (the forend sides simply mated directly to the frame).  He wanted something that better "framed" the frame.

Here's a photo of the rifle, as delivered.  Note: this will be a "before and after", not a "step by step" because all of this has been covered elsewhere on this blog.

Here is the finished rifle.

The new forend tip, note the socket head screw.  This is Dakota factory "custom".  No need to worry about slot alignment.  The details of making and fitting the ebony tip are covered elsewhere in the Model 70 posts.

The forend alterations, now a truncated teardrop cross-section:

The new frame panels:

And finally, the pad:

Monday, January 16, 2023

A "Boss-ish" Side Pedal, Rising Bite, Over/Under in... 22LR

 Like it says in the title, this will be a Boss-type over/under with rising bite and a side pedal.  The Boss-inspired bits are the bifurcated lumps and the external styling but that's where the similarities end.  This will be a lever-cocked, triggerplate action with the firing pins inline, rather than being set at the over/under's typical (and mechanically dis-advantageous) oblique angles.  Other departures from Boss orthodoxy are the use of fixed barrel trunnions, rather than the "live" trunnions used in the British gun and, being a rifle, extractors rather than ejectors.

As always, the entire gun is hand-made, from raw materials.

Here is the bar stock (1018), from which the frame and forend iron will come, along with the rifled barrel blanks.

The beginning of the frame:

The barrel pivot locations are machined and recesses (draws) for the lumps are cut.   The draws were "pocketed" in using an end mill, and were finished by hand filing.

Next, the "knuckle" of the frame was filed, using hardened buttons as a file guide.

The next piece is the barrel hook/lump/semi-monobloc.  I say "semi-monobloc" because only the lower barrel is inserted in that manner.  The upper barrel is attached in shoe-lump fashion.  The lumps were rough machined and the draw faces were shaped by hand using chisels, files and scrapers.  Yes, they make full contact for their entire length.

Then, I machined the hooks and their recesses in the frame, as well as the barrel stop shoulders and the clearance in the frame floor for the lower barrel.

Here is a video of the fit.  The barrels are temporarily attached to the lumps.

The frame is machined for the underbolt, the "monobloc" shoulders are machined for the extractor shafts and some more external shaping cuts have been made.

At this point, I was a bit apprehensive about shaping the fences in the Boss style.  So, I figured I'd just "rough-in" one side.  Confident that I was able to create the needed shapes, construction continued.  This included machining the firing pin bores, machining the vertical bolt bore and pocket for the rib extension, and making the vertical and horizontal bolts.  The bolts in this design do not use a "translating link".  The bolts are themselves physically linked together, via a cam and slot arrangement and positively drive each other.  That meaning, movement of either bolt, in either direction, will operate the other bolt.

Here is a video showing the operation of the bolts.

It was now time to permanently mate the barrels.  The breeches are brazed in the usual manner.

The frame was counterbored to accept the barrel pivots, then the barrels assembly was blacked down.  The triggerplate was roughed out and fit to the frame, the top strap is welded in place and shaped, the sidelever "stub" was made and fit to the underbolt, the sidelever itself was made and welded to the stub and the rib extension is fitted.  We now have a jointed action.  Is a rising bite really necessary on a .22?  Or on a Boss action, at all?  No, not at all but I can, so I did.

Now was as good a time as any to shape the right side of the "fences".  The majority of material was removed with chisels, then files and scrapers.  Yeah, it took some time.  Also visible are the barrel "webs" that allow the inside edges of the forend iron to be straight lines.

The forend iron was machined from a single piece of bar stock.  This includes the "hoop" on the underside.  It's all one piece and was probably the single most challenging part of the project so far.

I did mention that it's in .22 long rifle, right?   Here are some photos showing the scale of the action.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Correcting Excess Headspace in a Parker

 The subject is a late Parker VH in 12 gauge, in very good mechanical condition but, for reasons unknown, its rim cuts were excessively deep.  This situation in a shotgun isn't as potentially dangerous as it is in a rifle thanks to the shotgun's much lower operating pressure.  It will, however, cause problems such as misfires because the shell's excess depth in the chamber effectively shortens the firing pins.  Another potential problem is, if the shell were to fire, the primers could partially back out (by the amount of the excess headspace) with gas leakage between the primer cup and the primer pocket.  In a shotgun, this gas leakage around the primer isn't really a danger but it's not going to do the face of the standing breech any favors.  Look at many older doubles and you will, at some point, notice a ring of pitting around the firing pin holes, that just happens to correspond to the diameter of the primer.  This is caused by just such gas leakage.

Here I will detail the method for correcting this situation.

The chambers, as the gun came in, with the rims cut approximately .040" too deep:

 The first operation is to cut the rims even deeper.  The reason for this will become apparent as we go on.


With the rim cuts deepened, the next step is to turn rings to fit snugly into the rim bores.

You'll notice the bevels on each of the rings.  They correspond to the 55 degree angle of the rim cut for 100 percent contact.

The rim bores and the outside of the rings are then tinned and all traces of acidic flux are neutralized and washed away.  The mating surfaces are then painted with rosin before final soldering in place.

I turned a third ring (which was cut in half) to correct the extractor.  These are silver brazed in place.

The new material is carefully filed to the original surfaces before cutting the new rim recesses.  Here, the right chamber is done.

Here is the finished job.