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Old 10-10-2017, 10:42 PM
tennexplorer tennexplorer is offline
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Default Somewhat Homemade McGivern Target

About six years ago I bought a .38-44 pre-war Heavy Duty that had been "fitted" with adjustable sights. It had also been nickle plated (as in dipped) and heavily polished. The Patridge front sight had been rounded on one side, and the channel for the rear side had been been machined too wide. The rear sight would move horizontally, and groups were about 1" high and about 4" wide.

In the vain hope that it was a real McGivern Target that had been horribly mistreated, I lettered it and found that it was a Heavy Duty that had been shipped to Shapleigh in 1930.

Here are a few prior photos for your enjoyment.




Notice the overhang of the front sight. Why that wasn't fixed before the nickeling?



You can see the rounding from over-polishing at the left rear of the Patridge sight.


The installation of the rear sight was not well done. The channel was too wide and the vertical adjustment was not properly machined.

So after six years, it's almost done. There has been a lot of "life" that has gone on in that time. It would get pulled out and worked on for a few days and then put away for a long time. The hammer and the trigger were also nickled, and those are off being re-case hardened. I was fortunate enough to be able to fit a hammer and trigger to it in the meantime. Also, I am going to get a set of John Culina's magnas that are for the longer frame of the pre-war guns.

Here are a few pictures of it as it stands now. I know they are large, but it makes it easier to see detail.




Lots and lots of hand filing and shaping to square off edges that had been rounded off when it was over polished. A lot of edges could not be made perfect but were made better.






The rear sight was the hardest. It took forever to find an end mill that would cut the slot for the tiny elevation foot of the rear sight in the same manner as the factory. It really helps to have a machinist friend who has suddenly developed a love of S&W's.

Looking forward to shooting it and enjoying it.

One addendum: I want to thank Muley Gil who went on a small parts hunt for me at this year's S&WCA meeting that I could not attend. I should have mentioned this last night and was derelict in not doing so. GIL, THANKS!!!!!
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Last edited by tennexplorer; 10-11-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:35 AM
rct269 rct269 is offline
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Well, now THAT has been sure enough resurrected!!

I hate to see guns as that one was---and love to see them as that one is---a nice piece of work!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:55 AM
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Terrific save! Congratulations. I would look forward to shooting and enjoying that too.

That looks like a U-notch rear sight now; is there a Call bead in the front sight? In the lower of the two new front sight profile photos, it looks as though there might be, but I can't tell for sure.
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Old 10-11-2017, 01:42 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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That is a very nice resurrection! Great save!

Who did you have blue it?
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:12 AM
S&WsRsweet S&WsRsweet is offline
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Wow you truly did some very exceptional work on that gun ,beautiful.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:38 AM
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Ed McGivern sent me a message through an Ouija board telling me he's proud of you and your work!

Now go put 6 shots in a playing card in 1.6 seconds.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:50 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Old buddy, you done good!
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:35 AM
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tennexplorer, I admire your patience and perseverance. Great job.

Stu
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:08 AM
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Now that right there is the definition of a "labor of love"...

Thanks for sharing,
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:26 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKmesa View Post
Now that right there is the definition of a "labor of love"...

Thanks for sharing,
Working on guns keeps him outta the BBQ joints. Well, some of the time.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:29 PM
tennexplorer tennexplorer is offline
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To DCWilson - Yes, that is a Call Gold front sight and a U notch. It started out with a McGivern Gold Bead, but about 1/4 of the bead had been polished off. It was lopsided and the top left part of the sight blade itself was rounded off. It was milled flat and turned into a Call Gold bead to salvage it. The sight picture is now like an Express sight on a rifle. So far I can pick it up fairly quickly.

To Hondo44 - Keith Warner at Keith Warner Gunsmith, Inc in Germantown were the bluers. He advised a medium polish to hide some of the flaws that I could not get out without too much metal removal. It is very well done.

To Tom S. - Can I tape the playing card to the muzzle?

To Muley Gil - Mmmmm, BBQ. Lunch is calling. Also, I got three more in the "planning stages". At the rate I am going, Sarah will have to finish them off.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennexplorer View Post

To Tom S. - Can I tape the playing card to the muzzle?
I asked Ed, he says no.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:51 PM
mikepriwer mikepriwer is offline
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Did you get the rear part of the sight-leaf slot welded up, or did you use some other technique?

Regards, Mike Priwer
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:03 PM
S&W ucla S&W ucla is offline
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Nice Work!! Ya made ole' Ed smile!!
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:55 PM
tennexplorer tennexplorer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepriwer View Post
Did you get the rear part of the sight-leaf slot welded up, or did you use some other technique?

Regards, Mike Priwer
Yes, it was TIG'd up. Very, very carefully. The frame had been excessively cut away when the adjustable sight was first installed. That and finding the right end mill to make the cut for the little elevation foot on the rear sight were two of the big hold ups to the project.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:00 AM
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You know I'm really liken that one for sure!!!!!!!!

.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:10 PM
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Burt does real good work and every now and then he shares it with us.
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Old 10-13-2017, 05:15 PM
Lt JL Lt JL is offline
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You oughta call that revolver "Lazarus", because you brought it back from the dead.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:07 AM
delta-419 delta-419 is offline
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Talking 38/44

Super work!!! Don't you love it when a plan comes together. No matter how long it takes, its worth the feeling of satisfaction when a project is completed. This beauty the passion!!!
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:42 AM
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That baby cleaned up real nice!
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