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  #1  
Old 04-14-2008, 05:11 PM
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I have made some headway on the 1917 project with a lot of help from some great folks. A special thanks to Burt, George Roghaar and others.
Heres where it is. 1917 Brazilian in poor shape. I've replaced the cylinder with a new 625 cylinder, all the internal high wear parts came from Numrich; springs, rebound slide, cylinder block and more.
Burt did a great job on a late model ejector rod with a replacement knurled end (left hand threads)for the 625 cylinder. George did the case color hardening on the hammer and trigger and they look like new or better!
Now the decision. Chop or not. The original barrel is bulged behind the front sight. Since the barrel is totally screwed anyway, why not chop it and refinish the whole thing? I probably made up my mind on it, I just hate to think about polishing out the original patent rollmarks, what would you do? I did a photo edit to see what it would look like chopped. What do ya think? The photo really makes the metal look worse than it is, it is pitted but not too bad to buff out. Thanks again for the contributors to the project. Best Regards, Chef
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:11 PM
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I have made some headway on the 1917 project with a lot of help from some great folks. A special thanks to Burt, George Roghaar and others.
Heres where it is. 1917 Brazilian in poor shape. I've replaced the cylinder with a new 625 cylinder, all the internal high wear parts came from Numrich; springs, rebound slide, cylinder block and more.
Burt did a great job on a late model ejector rod with a replacement knurled end (left hand threads)for the 625 cylinder. George did the case color hardening on the hammer and trigger and they look like new or better!
Now the decision. Chop or not. The original barrel is bulged behind the front sight. Since the barrel is totally screwed anyway, why not chop it and refinish the whole thing? I probably made up my mind on it, I just hate to think about polishing out the original patent rollmarks, what would you do? I did a photo edit to see what it would look like chopped. What do ya think? The photo really makes the metal look worse than it is, it is pitted but not too bad to buff out. Thanks again for the contributors to the project. Best Regards, Chef
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:29 PM
john traveler john traveler is offline
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Chef,

I've had some limited sucess at restoring bulged revolver barrels. In your example of the bulge appearing just behind the rear sight, I think it is fixable. This works on the S&W low carbon steel pre-WWII barrels.

The technique is to insert an oiled, tightly fitted drill rod mandrel into the bore, heat to a dull red, and using a bronze or brass hammer, forge the bulge out. Drive the mandrel out using another smaller mandrel. The bore will be tighter than before, and lapping with a cast lead abrasive plug will remove the tightness. After polishing and rebluing, the worked on area is almost invisible! The before-and-after difference in accuracy can be amazing. Before "group" of 12"-14" tightened up to acceptable 3"-4" groups at 25 yards.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:43 PM
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I really like the look of the chopped barrel. If she was mine that's what I would do. Plenty of long barrels around, but that short barrel look is few and far between, go for it.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:47 PM
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Cool project. Was the 625 cylinder pretty much a drop-in with minor fitting? The "photoshopped" revolver looks great, I would go for it. That style grip looks better on a short barrel, too.
I would love to see pics of the finished project.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:57 PM
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Still some fitting to do. Since its turned into Frankenrevolver I think thats what I'm gonna do. I don't think its worth trying to save the bulge. The 625 cylinder fits fine and locks up tight with the new internals. It looked awful without the knurled rod but Burt did some clever engineering on that using a new style rod and an old style knurled end machined on. As far as dropping in, the 625 cylinder and rod fit fine without mods, just didn't look right with the straight rod and the relieved cutout. I'll post more when the project continues.... Regards, Chef
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:39 PM
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Given the changes you have already made - I would go ahead and chop the barrel - similar to your mock-up photo. I would also lose the goodyears and find some interesting wood. Good luck & keep us posted.

Thanks, Jerry
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:19 PM
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I know exactly what I would do. I would cut the barrel to 3", round butt the grip frame, refinish and add wood combat grips to the round frame. You'd have an excellent, packable gun. I have a Lew Horton 3" 629 and love the ergonomics, balance, and size. A .45acp in that configuration would be very neat.

Nice job on mating that mushroom head. That is one of my favorite features of the older guns. Also, before bluing you'll need to reshape the front sight slightly to get it to hit POA at your desired distance. You can choose your preferred load, shape it to the right height, then have it totally dialed in.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:30 PM
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I hadn't thought about rounding the grip, that would be cool! I would love to snub it but I don't want to lose the lug. I think 3 and a 1/4 would be about right? ~Chef
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chef:
I hadn't thought about rounding the grip, that would be cool! I would love to snub it but I don't want to lose the lug. I think 3 and a 1/4 would be about right? ~Chef
I have contemplated this on a 4" N frame, and yes, 3.25" was about the minimum I figured you could cut to not mess up the locking lug underneath. This was for a 28 - if your ejector rod and lug are the same then that would be your length.

I have been looking for a cheap/trashed 27, 28, 25, or '37, or '17 for this project myself for a few months. Since I'm not a machinist, it will get a bit expensive on the barrel and sight relocation. But as soon as I find an el-cheapo donor gun, then I am going to go at it. I can round the grips myself, but cutting a barrel, re-crowning it, re-sighting it etc., is something that really needs to be professionally done. Guys here have shown me their home work on refinishing and with some careful, slow work, you can do your own nice rust blue job that will be credible. Not easy - lots of metal prep, careful application, building an impromptu humidor for "sweating", etc. - but entirely doable. So with a cheap gun and just the barrel work, I could have the desirable RB N frame snubbie in .45acp in blue that I want to go with my 629 3", and not be out a huge fortune.

If you do this right, it could be very cool, in my opinion.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:07 AM
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I would cut too but but don't forget to chamfer the front edge of the cylinder first.
That "squareness" just doesn't look right on this gun.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:09 AM
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I think I would chop it also. Custom revolvers are always neat.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:23 AM
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I would chop it, but no more than I had to do in order to eliminate the bulge.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:34 AM
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Chef go and chop it. The problem with my Brazilian was a poor crown and end of barrel from setting in a holster with water and not being cared for. You'll notice that the front sight on mine is the old half moon cut to a ramp.Gunsmith first silver soldered it on.It came off after 18 rounds I was luckly I found it and had him braze it on the barrel end. Ordered a Tyler T-Grip for it as the rubber grips catch on the clothing during normal activties and are a distraction.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:01 AM
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I'd chop it also, and 3 1/4" would look great and have a great balance. I have one of the 3" 24's RB from Lew Horton and it has a great balance. Now you have me thinking seriously about the Brazalian I have.
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:25 AM
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Chop it
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  #17  
Old 04-15-2008, 07:53 AM
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Can you give us a "Ball Park Figure" on just how much you have got into the particular "Project" not including the price of the gun???
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:26 AM
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I have a Brazilian 1937 in a little better condition and I have shortened the barrel. I had a bit of a mishap and the original front sight is no longer an option. I am going to install a Weigand front sight system.

Dave
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:45 AM
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My vote: go ahead and cut. I don't think you need feel any guilt about wrecking a collectable treasure.

The idea of rounding the butt is appealing, but I don't believe it can be done without effacing the serial number, which could mean a trip to the stoney lonesome.

The condition of my 1937 is between yours and pristine. Part of me longs to make it a 'semi-Fitz' but I'm hanging back for now.

If anyone who has had such work done could post their smith recommendations?
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:58 PM
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I'd chop it in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:23 PM
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:31 PM
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Hi KKG,
The most expensive part of the project was the model 25 cylinder and ejector rod at 150. The misc small parts from Numrich were probably another 50 or so. I haven't discussed the barrel chop with my gunsmith yet but I'm figuring on around another 50 for that. I got the gun pretty cheap so when its all done if I get it refinished it will be around 600 when finished. I probably could have found a shooter in much better shape but its been fun working on this project and I will have a unique piece when its complete. Regards, Chef
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:10 PM
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Chef;

Thanks for the information.
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:58 PM
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I've posted this before. It had a bulged and split barrel as I got it. I got 3 3/8" of good barrel after removing the damaged portion.

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Old 04-15-2008, 05:22 PM
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Hi wlmccann, That is a great looking piece! Who did the grips? I like the length you did for the barrel. Sweet!
Regards, Chef
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:01 AM
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Hi Chef,
Neat project! I found one already cut. Here's a 3 1/4 inch barrel for ya. I need to take another photo, the pearls are real now.



Best luck to ya!
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:36 AM
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Ok, cool, I thought I was being heretical a few posts back about cutting and rounding. Look at those gorgeous guns above and think about how much cooler they would be as round butts. DO IT!
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:34 AM
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Thank you Chef. I did the grips from scrap saved here in the shop. Barrel length was pretty much determined by the damage that was already there. The gun is showing some wear now after year and a half or so of frequent use. I shoot it well enough it's become a frequent carry piece.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:48 PM
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CHOP IT!
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:23 PM
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I'm gonna chop it! I think I'd like to keep the old style half moon front sight though. I think looking at Hoot's did the final damage! That is one fine looking nickel job. I'd like to see it with the real mops when you get a photo!
With that being decided. I've got a new replacement barrel available if anyone needs it. Its not marked exactly like the original but it is a Brazillian contract replacement. I think I've got 75 bucks in it and that's what I'd like to have. Drop me a line if you need one.
Regards, Chef
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:33 AM
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I like Hoot's nickel revolver. The finish on mine is about done. Any ideas on where to get a go nickeling job done? Frank Jr.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:43 AM
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Some very nice examples for you to follow. The 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 inch bbls are very attractive.

Please keep us posted as your project advances, and thank you for posting.

rayb
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:23 PM
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Did the 25 cylinder fit on the org. yoke ? or did you have to do some major work to get a working fit?
(I just cut a 25 barrel down to 4 1/4" and installed a half moon sight on my 1917)


Willy
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:35 PM
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Cut it down.

Here's my Colt.

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Old 04-20-2008, 10:53 PM
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Hi Willy,
The cylinder dropped right in the yoke fine. The cylinder stop still needs to be tuned and I haven't checked the bore/cylinder alignment yet. I have a lot of honey do's but I will post progress as it happens. Regards, Chef
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:18 PM
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tHANKS
Keep us informed.


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Old 04-27-2008, 08:09 AM
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Subscribed.



A couple years ago a guy over on the 1911Forum posted up a pic of his customized 1917. Similar story as here, old booty fab gun smithing combined with years of neglect gave him an ooogly 2-3" .45 ACP carry piece. He had it smoothed and hard chromed with a nice dull grey finish and man oh man was it sexy...can't find the pics I saved unfortunately.
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Old 04-27-2008, 02:51 PM
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I just wanted to be subscribed to see the final product and any others posted along the way.
-R
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Old 05-03-2008, 01:07 PM
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I am bumping in the hope for an update.
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:45 PM
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Here is my chopped 1917:



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Old 05-03-2008, 04:12 PM
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45wg,

I've seen that gun before.... very distinctive.

Have you had it long? If so, there's a doppleganger floating around out there.....

Drew
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sebago Son:
45wg,

I've seen that gun before.... very distinctive.

Have you had it long? If so, there's a doppleganger floating around out there.....

Drew
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I have posted this gun on the forum before, that maybe why you think you have seen it before.

I purchased the gun in 1995 at an OGCA show in Cleveland. At that time it had been chopped and completely modified to how you see it today with the exception of the engraving, stocks and finish.

The gun had almost no finish left and was badly pitted on one side. I had it engraved to cover the pitting. Jeff Flannery did the engraving and the stocks.

The cut down cylinder is my favorite part of this gun. I have seen lots of Jovino's and similar guns, but never one with the cylinder cut like this one.
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:08 PM
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45wg,

Nicely executed. I don't generally jump out of my socks for heavily modified guns, but in this case I'd make an exception.

Good photography I might add. Thanks for putting it up again....

Drew
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:53 AM
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Arrggg...I just got back from searching my library. I was sure I had a copy of Sixguns. I have three other books by Keith, but somehow not that one. Either that or I loaned it out and never got it back. I'll have to come across another copy, seems like an obvious oversight not to have it in the collection.

Thanks for the tip on the picture.

Dave
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:06 PM
tommy F tommy F is offline
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Awesome chopped 45s. I going to post a thread on gunsmithing to identify smiths for reinstalling sight on chop 45s.

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Old 05-12-2008, 08:31 AM
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I'd chop it to 3 1/4". 45wheelgunner, you have me looking at my 1946 Brazilian with Idea's forming.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:09 PM
tommy F tommy F is offline
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I agree to chop, need a smith to reinstall front sight

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Old 05-19-2008, 05:41 PM
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Have you thought about just glass beading it for a matt finish? You may be able to hide the pitting to an extent. BTW there's a package coming your way.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:56 PM
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I purchased this one for the MOP grips; cheap. But the more I look at it, the better it gets. They sort of grow on you.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:28 PM
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Heres pictures of two 1934 Brazilians both done in good taste IMO

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45acp, 629, checkering, colt, ejector, engraved, extractor, fitz, gunsmith, hardening, jovino, lew horton, model 25, model 26, model 625, ogca, rollmarks, round butt, snubnose, wwii

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