Craft Gunmaking, No compromises, No corners cut, EVER

Monday, September 18, 2023

Un-!@#$%^^-ing a Greener F45

 Here's an interesting gun and one that proves "best quality" is defined by craftsmanship, not features.  it's a Greener F45 in 12 gauge that was apparently ordered as a waterfowl gun, as evidenced by its massive size, factory 3 inch chambers, full and full chokes and factory stock reinforcement straps.  Sadly, one or more failed-plumbers-turned-"gunsmiths" had visited their incompetence upon the gun over the years.  Things like the damaged screws and the engraved ends of the hammer and sear pivots being beaten smooth are fairly typical but someone with much more ambition than ability, and no semblance of a clue,  had made an attempt at "adjusting" the trigger pulls.  The result was that, with the gun cocked and the barrels open, the chambers were so far below the top of the frame that they could not be loaded without first pushing the barrels further open.  This is because both sear noses had been shortened during the attempted trigger pull improvement.  This necessitated making new left and right sears.  "Why not just weld 'em up and refit?", you ask?  Because you can't, for reasons that I will not go into here, because I've covered them elsewhere on this blog.

Generally, boxlock sears are fairly simple parts, but not so in this case, because this gun is also equipped with interceptors and the curvature of the sear tails, both horizontal and vertical, is "built-in", not done after the fact by heating and bending.  The pivot areas also have raised contact pads (to minimize friction) on both their inboard and outboard sides and, the factory inletting for the sear tails is extremely close, allowing just enough clearance for function and no more.  All of this, combined with the shape of the parts and the fact that they are finished better than the outside of some guns, meant quite a bit of work lay ahead.

The new sears are made from O1. 

Every screw slot in this photo was damaged.  Luckily, our hero used a screwdriver that was too thick, which meant that the damage was limited to the topmost edges of the slots, and could be cleaned up by shortening the heads slightly, thus exposing the undamaged portion of the slots.  Sometimes it's the little things for which I'm most thankful.

Here are the new sears in place.  Note the interceptor sears, which are operated by the forward end of the trigger blades.  If you look carefully, you can see the engraved ends of the new hammer and sear pivot pins.

Here is a shot of the inletting with the new sears installed, after fitting, heat treating and polishing.  Like I said earlier, it's pretty tight.  Proper craftsmanship demands that a new part be made to fit and function without altering anything else.  That means making the sears fit the inletting, NOT taking a Dremel to the inletting to clear a sloppily made part.  Got it Jim Bob?

With the lockwork sorted out, it's on to the barrels to replace the worn cocking dog (which was causing late cocking and thus hard opening after firing) and its mangled retaining screw.

The new dog is made from O1, heat treated and polished before installation, while the retaining screw is made from 1018 and case hardened.  The new dog is fitted with .0005" (half a thousandth) clearance to the hammer "toes" when in the fired position. This is so that the hammers will begin rotation immediately when the barrels do, thus retracting the hammer noses from the primers and allowing smooth opening after firing.

Finally, I made and engraved replacements for the screws that attach the reinforcement straps to the frame, as well as the triggerguard screw, because the originals were so mangled that there was no way they were going to be used.