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Old 04-04-2012, 07:20 PM
rhm0351 rhm0351 is offline
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Default Picked Up a Project Gun: .32 Safety Hammerless 2nd Model

I just picked this up for the princely sum of $52. I believe it to be a .32 Safety Hammerless 2nd Model (#972XX). My trusty SCSW says this model was made 1902-1909. Cylinder and breach are frozen. I bought this, and another project gun to test out some firearms restoration processes. If it works, then I may gain a cool woods-carry gun (even if I can't save the bore and have to line it). If it doesn't work, then I have an interesting test sample. Any additional information from y'all would be appreciated.




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Old 04-04-2012, 07:44 PM
TACC1 TACC1 is offline
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I'm a fan of the old Safety Hammerless guns. I'll enjoy
following your progress. Too bad the .32S&W is so anemic.
I have a shortened 2nd model, that is almost the perfect
BUG. TACC1
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:01 PM
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I'm going to try to run this project concurrently with the restoration of a parts gun 1898 Marlin 12ga., but I'm sure I'll take pictures along the way. First step is probably going to be a couple weeks soaking in penetrating oil, though. If I can get the breach and cylinder unstuck by soaking, it's a good start. After that, it goes into the electrolysis tank. In theory, I know what I'm working with by that point and whether to keep working towards mechanical function or if it is only ever going to be a shelf sitter. 90% of the time, where I hike in the woods, the only problems are snakes and poachers, as the hogs and big cats aren't likely to be a bother, so I figure the .32 S&W would be right at home. I've never considered owning one of these models, so I know relatively little about them, but am trying to read every post here mentioning them.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:46 PM
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Obviously it will need to be soaked.
Not to long ago I read test results of a very comprehensive comparison of rust penetrants. Of the Commercially available products, WD-40 won over all the others but came in third. Two other 'shade tree gunsmith' brews that were also tested were auto trans fluid (ATF) and the other was 1/2 & 1/2 ATF and acetone.

Plain ATF beat the WD-40 by a wide margin but the ATF w/acetone won hands down! I use nothing else and it truly works the best!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:55 PM
rhm0351 rhm0351 is offline
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Thank you for the suggestion of the ATF and acetone. I did some reading on it and it looks very promising. I have been using ATF for lubricating non-load-bearing parts of firearms, anyhow. After all the reading today based on your suggestion, I think I am going to use ATF and mineral spirits, though. The ATF/ms combo will mix a little better, be easier to work with, evaporate slower in a soaking bucket, and use spirits I already am well stocked up on. As the purpose of the additive to the ATF seems to just be for thinning it to get it to penetrate deeper, then to evaporate, I will get a slightly slower evaporation, but since I am going to soak for an extended period of time, it shouldn't be a problem. I am going to try the electrolysis tank first, since the ATF may prevent the reaction I need with the rust if I were to soak it first. If anyone can narrow down the likely date of manufacture a bit more than just the model years, I would appreciate it. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:01 PM
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Has anyone here used Kano's Kroil? Many people swear by it. I have some, but have not put it to the test on a major project.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM
rhm0351 rhm0351 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roundsworth View Post
Has anyone here used Kano's Kroil? Many people swear by it. I have some, but have not put it to the test on a major project.
Yes, I am one who swears by it. I may decide I like the ATF/mineral spirits mix, but doubt I will ever fully get rid of my Kroil, despite the large price difference. Kroil is great for many things; I use it on all of my stones for gunsmithing when they get loaded up with debris, it just raises the debris up so I can wipe it off clean, again. I have used it for a number of years for really stuck parts. I use it in the form of Witches Brew for barrel break in, and am about to start using plain Kroil for post-bore cleaning protection on all my firearms.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:04 PM
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Figuring they will need replacing, I ordered a Cylinder Hook Spring, Extractor Spring, Mainspring, and replacement grips from Numrich. I hope they send me what I actually ordered, the past couple experiences have been bad.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:41 PM
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The pistol arrived this week and is actually in better shape than it looks in those photos. I'll try and get some new, better ones in the next few days. The bore looks pretty bad, but I haven't gotten a look with a light, yet. Anything that should move is seized up, so it should be a good project. I finished the electrolysis tank tonight and need to mix up my sodium carbonate solution tomorrow after I degrease the pistol.

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Old 04-15-2012, 10:19 PM
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That looks pretty elaborate. I suspect that it may remove the remains of the nickel as well which may not be a bad thing. Keep us posted.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:26 PM
rhm0351 rhm0351 is offline
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From what I have read, it likely won't affect the nickel, unless rust has penetrated underneath it. This is a learning experience, so we'll see what happens. I'm hoping it does remove the nickel. I have it in a mineral spirit bath now after I gave it a good scrubbing with dish soap. The electrolysis process won't work as thoroughly if there is oil on the surface.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:41 AM
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I'm interested to follow your process and progress.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:55 PM
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Got distracted with the kids after work and didn't get the pistol from the mineral spirits to the electrolysis tank. But, the mineral spirits definitely seem to be loosening some of the rust; I can see a lot of the particles standing perpendicular to the steel where they are attached.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default Out of the mineral spirits, into the electrolysis tank





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Old 04-18-2012, 03:38 PM
rhm0351 rhm0351 is offline
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Default 12 hours in the electrolysis tank at 6V

The broken mainspring now swings freely from the hammer and the grip safety is no longer frozen. I did a light scrub with dish soap and a sponge, which removed some of the black, but it began corroding very quickly as I snapped the photos. I put it back in the tank on 12V. When I take it out for the final time I will be spraying it with oil as it comes out of the tank to prevent corrosion.

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Old 04-19-2012, 05:11 PM
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Default 24 more hours in the tank, about five at 12V, then 6V

I washed it with dish soap and a soft sponge, again. I can really see nickel where there used to be orange rust. I sprayed it down with WD-40 until I can go pick up some transmission fluid for a 50/50 mix with mineral spirits to penetrate for a couple weeks.


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Old 05-13-2012, 12:40 PM
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All of the screws came out with no trouble. The sideplate came off easily, the trigger and hammer now move, but the cylinder and t-latch are still frozen. I haven't done any cleaning to take the crud off, but it is all loose on the inside and wipes off with a finger.

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Old 04-13-2013, 08:21 PM
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Pulled it out of the penetrating oil...11 months to the day. It's still STUCK! The hammer moves much more freely, and the hand wants to, until it stops from the frozen cylinder. I'm going to try and degrease it tomorrow and get it in to some Evapo-Rust. If that doesn't do it, I'll have to shelve this project, most likely. I'll try and get some photos tomorrow, though it doesn't look like much change.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:56 AM
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Did you try tapping it numerous times with a plastic hammer or wood handle?
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:59 AM
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No, I haven't, yet. I will have to give that a try after a good scrubbing. It looks like there is solid corrosion between the top of the cylinder and topstrap, though. I was thinking about knocking out what looks like a cross-bolt at the pivot point in the frame. I have already taken the screw out, but it looks like it can be further disassembled.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:23 AM
TACC1 TACC1 is offline
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You still get points in my book for attempting this project.
I sincerely hope everything frees up. Although underpowered
by today's standards, your pistol represents fine
craftsmanship. Good luck on this project,
TACC1
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:55 PM
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I tapped the pivot screw out easily, and the pistol came apart. The trigger, hammer, hand, and grip safety work just fine together, but that cylinder is still stuck. Some of the color case hardening on the hammer is visible now. Here is a photo of it in Evapo-Rust; lets hope for more improvement and no significant damage to the remaining finish! The rifling looks good and strong, too, though very dark.

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Old 04-15-2013, 04:46 PM
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No more finish on the trigger or hammer, unfortunately, but, using a couple wooden dowels cut to about 3", I was able to un-stick the cylinder and remove it. The only hurdle now seems to be the extractor.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:02 PM
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I went a little beyond the point of diminishing returns; the nickel is now a bit gold tinted (don't soak beyond 12-24 hours in Evapo-Rust). The upside is, everything functions. The ejector works, all five cylinders time properly on the DA pull, and it locks up solid. After a scrubbing with dish soap, hitting it with hot air, some Kroil, and photos, I dropped it back in the ATF/mineral spirits solution until I have more time to work on it. I left the sideplate in the Evapo-Rust since I added it yesterday evening and it had not turned colors like the rest of the revolver. I'm going to knock out the pins holding the trigger guard and the firing pin so that I can completely clean every piece before I decide on whether to refinish it or not. Part of me wants to just put some Mother's Mag Polish on it and leave it, gold tinge and all, part wants a factory re-nickel just to add to a historical letter if I were to ever order one on this, and part of me just wants to media blast it and hit it with some cerakote to look like hard chrome where the nickel was and a dark blue where it had originally been blued. I'm pretty traditional when it comes to revolvers, so a fancy modern finish is the least appealing option, initially. I may cold blue the trigger, trigger guard, and hammer, again, though, just for protection. Surprisingly, the t-latch retained most of its nearly black finish.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:24 PM
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Default WAY TO GO!!

So, basically, you have saved this pistol from almost
certain destruction. No matter what you do with it now, it
has a new life ahead of it. I have a project gun of my own
in 32S&W. Much better starting condition, but same
great S&W craftsmanship. You deserve still more points.
TACC1
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:28 PM
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"I'm going to knock out the pins holding the trigger guard.. " The trigger guard is a big spring. No pins hold it in place. Front and rear of the guard 'snap' into recesses in the frame. Rap the rear of the guard with a leather mallet to loosen it from the frame. The pins are for the trigger and return spring as I recall. Mike #283
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:42 PM
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Thank you both for the support and guidance. I heard the Gunsmithing Guns of the Old West book might cover this, or a similar pistol, but need to dig out my copy and take a look before I get too much farther into it.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:30 AM
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Any pics of finished prodject?
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