Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rebuilding a Ludwig Barovnik BLE

This gun had been sleeved in the past and the frame and forend iron had been rehardened at some time as well.  Whoever did the sleeving did a very nice job of mating the tubes to the stubs as the seams are barely visible.  When I received it, it was off the face and the forend was loose when installed, causing ejector malfunction and the action to rattle when open, and the toplever was left of center when closed.  The trigger pulls were each in excess of 10 pounds and the safety did not detent positively.  With the needed repairs done, it's now in Bristol fashion and ready for many more seasons of bird hunting.  Here's what was done.

After disassembling and cleaning, the old, worn hinge pin was removed.  There seems to be a persistent myth in the gun world that since the pin is case hardened, it is the barrel hook that always wears.  This is not always the case.

The hinge pin hole would be reamed in the lathe using the opposite side as a center.  The hinge pin cover-screw holes are concentric to the pin hole (or should be) but the taper of the frame precludes using the existing hole as a center.  So, a centering button was machined to fit the frame and bottom squarely against the cocking lever tunnel's inner wall.  This insured that the reamer would run perfectly square and concentric to the original hole.

The lathe setup.

The finished hole.

Next is to machine a new hinge pin from 1020.

After cutting the new pin to length and radiusing the edges, it's case hardened. 

Before installation, the pin is put in the freezer for about a half-hour and the action knuckle area is warmed with a heat gun.  Then the pin is pressed into the action knuckle.  At that point it's time to verify full contact with the hook and adjust as needed.  Then the barrels are blacked down.  After the forend iron is refit, the under bolt is refit and finally, the top bolt is fit.  The top bolt in this gun was also worn, so a new one was fabricated from O1 and heat-treated after fitting to actually engage the rib extension.

With the jointing, bolting and forend fit taken care of, I then corrected the ejector timing (Southgate type ejectors are used) and the trigger pulls.  I also annealed the safety detent spring and heat-treated it since it looked fine and was apparently over tempered, leaving it soft.  The screw slots throughout the gun were in good condition except for the extractor segment retaining screw.  Its slot was quite damaged.  I fabricated a new one from O1 and heat-treated it after slotting and engraving the head.
Typically, action screws are made from the same material as the frame and case hardened but the ejector retainer takes quite a beating and needs to be of a tougher material.

There was a modern swivel stud in the butt (but not on the barrels) so, rather than plug the hole with a walnut plug, I made a "filler" screw and engraved and finished it to match the triggerplate screws.

The finished job.

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