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Old 11-15-2016, 09:18 AM
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Default K32 build....

SO I'm starting a new K-frame .32 build....

My question is, will a '57 K22 cylinder handle the pressures of a .327 Federal Magnum!?!?!?

Is there any reason not to make this a .32 Mag, or .327??

I'm building this to be a target gun, but am leaning towards a magnum caliber just for versatility.


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Old 11-15-2016, 09:48 AM
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I had mine built by Andy Horvath using a K22 cylinder. I don't load my .327 Federal rounds really hot but the gun is extremely accurate and functions like the hand tuned precision revolver that it is. I'm a happy camper with mine.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:43 PM
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series guy,

Would you happen to know the vintage of your cylinder??

And do you experience any difficulty in extraction with the .327 loads?

Thanks

Nice revolver!!
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Old 11-16-2016, 12:47 AM
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The .22 cyl should be OK. Had Andy Horvath build me 2 .32's but went with the .32 long. Could have used the 327 but he thought the gun would be more accurate done in ..32 long. Don't need the power of 327 since I shoot mostly target indoors. Doin it yourself will save money. Who is reboring the bbl for you? Larry

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Old 11-16-2016, 01:20 AM
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No idea on the vintage of the cylinder. I would have no problems using the 1957 cylinder. Reaming for .32 still leaves a lot of wall thickness. Extraction has never been a problem but as I mentioned I don't load my rounds very hot. I can't imagine the gun being any more accurate.
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:32 AM
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I don't have any maximum pressure figures right in front of me, but just reading your post on what you want to build, IMHO, I wouldn't go any hotter than the 32 H&R Magnum cartridge. I would hazard an educated guess that with the right barrel the 32 H&R Mag is going to be potentially more accurate and a much more pleasant cartridge to shoot a lot. ....
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:24 AM
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The K32s produced in 32 H&R have been reamed out for 327 as well as the K22 cylinders. Both are the same diameter cylinders and have very acceptable safety margins according to the custom smiths that perform this work.

Metallurgy has not changed for those cylinders since 1945 when S&W substituted improved steel for their old heat treating process begun in 1920.
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:59 AM
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Thank you for the input everyone!!

Jebus35745,
I'm building this on a 10-8 and am probably going slabside barrel...

We'll see, its still a blank canvas at this point.
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:42 AM
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I went with a model 15 that I found on Gun Broker for cheap that was re-blued once. Always ask abt the timing before I bid, it was one of a bunch of ex-security guns the shop had. Went with the 15 so I could use the sights with no rib. Andy milled the bbl for a Weigand interchangeable front sight base. Saved money not buying a rib and I like the looks of not having a rib on it. He cut the bbl from 6" to 5" and slab-sided it. He used a 22 cyl to convert to .32. Really had no use for a .327 in a revolver but have brass for it. I'll eventually find a T/C contender bbl for it, hopefully a short rifle BBL.

Here are some pics, the other gun is a 25-2 he cut for me to 31/2". Andy"s crown looks factory. Larry
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:13 PM
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Jebus35745,
Definitely like the look of the slabside!!!


I got almost 3' of barrel blank in the mail yesterday!!!!

PLENTY of blank to play around with, I'm considering turning it off center so more of the "meat" is under the bore, THEN slabsiding it..... I need to consider sight options before I start turning though.

Cylinder is all fit up, waiting on an extractor rod to show, I did'nt have a RH thread rod laying around.

Reamer for .327 is on its way, I'm also researching different methods for opening the cylinder up. If anyone has a method they use I'd like to hear about it!! (I'll probably start a thread just for that)


I'll try to remember to take pictures and update this thread as I progress....
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Old 11-18-2016, 02:03 AM
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What size pilot bushing does the reamer have? Floating or fixed?

Reaming a 'charge hole' is easier than a cyl chamber because it's already a consistent diameter all the way thru the cylinder. The 22 LR is about the only remaining cartridge with a heeled bullet and therefore uses a charge hole which makes an excellent pilot hole for a proper sized reamer bushing.

You can Google reaming and get more information than you ever wanted. But basically you want precise positioning and clamping of the cyl, slow speed in a vertical mill or stout drill press, and lubrication, lubrication, lubrication. Align your pilot on the reamer in the charge hole to position the cyl then clamp squarely in your worktable vise. Follow the original S&W chamber alignment. The less times you make a pass thru the chamber, the less chance you have of messing up the alignment.

To go from .22 to .32 doesn't require a great deal of material removal. So you can ream in one step with a finishing reamer. Therefore a relatively easy one pass ream job.

Have fun,
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:22 AM
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I haven't received the reamer yet, but it is a floating pilot.

Coincidentally, I have a set of .22 pilots from barreling a 22-250. I'll have to get them out and see if there's one there that's big enough!!

Thanks, I hadn't considered reaming it in one pass.

I did do some googling, but sometimes there is just too much info to get it narrowed down to something specific.
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:35 PM
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Here is something to consider on the barrel. First turn a length of blank down to .540 and thread the end with 36 to the inch threads, so it will go into the frame and slightly past where the cylinder will be. Then take a K frame 38 barrel the length you want (available on Ebay if you don't have one from original donor frame). Drill it and ream it to .500. Then mark the new barrel piece where it goes into the frame. Then turn it down to .5005-.501 on the forward portion with a square shoulder where it goes from .5005 to .540. Then the barrel goes into a solution of kerosene and dry ice. This will shrink it. The frame goes into the oven at say 350f. It expands. Using heavy gloves quickly shove the 2 together. Have a extra length of barrel "liner" that is slightly tapered to guide the start. Should get a shrink fit that will stay forever. The shank that goes into the frame will be full sized and it will all be plenty strong and thick enough for a .312 bore. Way better than just putting a thin liner in a barrel IMHO. Basically just the exposed portion of the old barrel into a shroud to cover the new blank. I thought long and hard about making a K32 before I broke down and bought a 16-4

Reason I suggest this is because fitting the front lug is a real pain. I did the one on my 45 cal revolving carbine by machining one from an old barrel so that it went into a dovetail machined into the new barrel. Took some measuring and figuring to get it exactly the right height and location and blend into the barrel right.

I have never done this with a barrel, but it should work well. Have done it with some other things and it worked well. Common for fitting things on shafts.

If you need a tap to clean up the threads in frame or a die to clean up the threads cut on the shank let me know. I also have the tool to face of the shank for BC clearance and to cut the new forcing cone. I bought a tap for N and K frames and used them to make a chase die from A2 and hardened them.

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Old 11-18-2016, 07:20 PM
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I have done some similar things in motorcycle shaft repairs as opposed to splitting cases and have had good luck with it.

The donor gun is a 4" heavy barrel, no adjustable sights. I'm considering machining for adjustables, I just haven't made my mind up yet. I might machine the barrel with Picatiny, or Bomar cut at the very rear (not sure if that would look attractive though).... DECISIONS DECISIONS!!!!

If I decide to go with stock adjustables, the barrel sleeve is definitely an excellent option!!

I'll let you know how the threads turn out, last revolver I barreled from a blank I had no problems with the threads on either half, but there is always that chance...
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:59 AM
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So...

For now, I'm going to play with putting heavy slabside barrel on it. Not quite a bull barrel, but substantially thicker than stock.

I'm at .916", that lines the barrel up with two spots on the frame....

Chips were coming off a little warm.



And final diameter, brought to a nice polish....

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Old 12-11-2016, 12:10 AM
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Had a little time today....

One end of the barrel is done.

I forgot to get a picture during threading.










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Old 12-11-2016, 06:05 PM
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Default Thanks for all the great ideas

Since Smith & Wesson seems to have decided to not produce a "K" frame .327 Magnum I'll ask you if you think that a pre. M-18 is a good candidate for the .327 Magnum? Would love to have a "M-616" but do not have a proper stainless revolver so I am asking if the old K-22 with the 4" barrel is a suitable candidate? I'll ask also if there is a competent Gunsmith in my area who can and will perform the alterations with expertise and pride in his work?
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:25 AM
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The Model 18 is a .22 LR, a rimfire cartridge. The .32 family are centerfires. It may take some good welder and a machinist to convert the M-18 to centerfire. I would look for a Model 15 to convert.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:24 PM
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Default Pre, M-18 Scrached

Wasn't thinking straight, thanks BUFF.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:21 AM
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About 3 years ago I gave Andy Horvath a 6" K-22 and abt 9 months later I got a 5" .32 S&W long revolver back. He bushed the firing pin area and moved it to a centerfire position, even retained the rimfire floating firing pin. The hang up was re-boring the bbl to .32 cal. Well, the guy at Clearwater reboring died and not sure who does reboring now. The gun shoots great. It is possible to use a rimfire gun, Larry


Looks like the project .32 is coming along great. I'm jealous, your saving a lot of money doing this by yourself.

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Old 12-13-2016, 12:40 AM
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Bowen used to use Clearwater exclusively for reboring. I understand that he now uses:

BARREL RE-BORING
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:13 AM
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Barrel is getting closer..

Setup and using the surface plate to get my dimensions here took almost as long as the machining itself.



This chunk of barrel blank is going to be my locking bolt housing. And I'll probably use whats left to make my front sight out of.


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Old 12-16-2016, 10:27 AM
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Does anyone know how S&W cuts the grooves down the center/top of the barrel. The fine, threadlike finish that continues on the rear sight??

Also, I'm in need of an oversize hand... Neither Midway or Brownells has them in stock?!?!?
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:20 AM
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I don't know how S&W does it, but I would use either a double angle cutter or a thread mill with the appropriate pitch. Threads per inch and lines per inch are the same thing. My barrels have 40 lines per inch. If you are using a single point cutting tool, (double angle cutter) the lines are .025 apart, center to center.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:22 AM
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Check with Power Custom. Welcome to Power Custom
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:32 PM
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Default Measurement?

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Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
Does anyone know how S&W cuts the grooves down the center/top of the barrel. The fine, threadlike finish that continues on the rear sight??

Also, I'm in need of an oversize hand... Neither Midway or Brownells has them in stock?!?!?
How wide are you looking for? PM me a picture of your undersided hand. I have a bunch of them. ....
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:43 PM
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Thanks Tool guy, I'll check them out, I was hoping it was a horizontal mill cutter!! LOL

Big Cholla,
One chamber is just ever so slightly lazy, slow double action and it won't carry up.... I would think anything wider/longer than stock should work.

I'll get a picture when I get home!!

Thanks!!
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Old 12-16-2016, 04:53 PM
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The "stock" ones are not all the same thickness.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:14 PM
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Default Need the Measurement

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Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
The "stock" ones are not all the same thickness.
Yes, this! Measure your hand to the nearest one thousands. That way I have a starting point. But. If only one chamber is not carrying up properly there are other ways to fix that. .....
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
Thanks Tool guy, I'll check them out, I was hoping it was a horizontal mill cutter!! LOL

Big Cholla,
One chamber is just ever so slightly lazy, slow double action and it won't carry up.... I would think anything wider/longer than stock should work.

I'll get a picture when I get home!!

Thanks!!
A new or oversize hand is seldom needed for poor carry up on just one chamber. At least this is free and takes 5 minutes. You might want to do this first.

Your gun parts are certainly not worn out with only one tooth needing attention and as tight as you describe.

Frankly, based on your assessment and comments, I believe Pat Sweeney's "Gunsmithing Pistols & Revolvers", 2nd Ed.(2004), pp.219-220 is the most sensible, a perfectly good solution, AND what I would do, what I have done many times, what S&W factory trained smiths have done in similar situations, and also what members on this forum have done successfully after reading this, which is:

Peening the ratchet tooth (or teeth) to correct timing/cyl ‘carry up’ and is so simple, but you're the only one to decide if you can manage it.

Replacing and fitting a new hand may fix your problem but the hand is not likely needed or at fault; it’s the harder part.

The flat surfaces of the teeth facing you are where to peen. The tooth at about 3 o'clock is the next to be engaged by the hand (when cyl is closed) to advance the chamber at the right of the one at 12 o’clock into firing position. The cylinder turns counterclockwise so the hand will engage the 'bottom side' of that tooth. The flat surface facing you is where to peen, on the edge right above the bottom side of the tooth. No need to take the gun apart at all. I lay the gun on a padded surface on its right side, muzzle pointing to the left (I’m right handed) with cyl propped open with a rolled up shop cloth.

If you're worried about force to the yoke and frame, I'm afraid that you're envisioning TOO HARD of a tap. Just a very light peen with a small hammer and punch is all that's needed. The ratchet teeth are not hardened! This takes finesse, not force.

And by laying the gun on a padded surface without restraint as I described, it's allowed to move when the punch is tapped with the hammer mitigating any force to the yoke and frame.

Here's a photo of the cylinder & star:


You may not even see the metal deform and it can be enough to solve the problem. One light tap with a small light hammer and flat face punch then close the cylinder and try it. If the cylinder doesn't ‘carry up’ or even if it does C/U but still has too much 'looseness' when fully cocked, give the tooth another tap. You can do all six teeth, or just others where there's looseness with the chamber in firing position when the hammer is cocked. Rough handling/constant double action rapid fire can accelerate the teeth wear but it did not happen overnight, and now you have another 10 years of shooting before it'll need anything more, depending of course on how much you shoot the gun. If you peen too much and the cylinder carries up too far that puts cocking the hammer in a bind or the bolt 'jumps' out of the cyl notch, not a problem, peen the surface that the hand contacts and push it back.

Also for side-to-side cylinder play, make sure the edges of the cylinder notches are not burred out or the cyl bolt can pop out of the notch. Gentle peening of the notch edges can fix that as well. “Tight lock up” is fine, but can be over emphasized. Recognize the cyl needs some play for the bullet to align the chamber to the forcing cone.

If you got have a new part and are comfortable fitting it, that's fine. But I would not spend money on new parts, because one can easily handle doing the following very minor repair.

The hand is made of harder steel than the teeth since it has six times the contacts of each tooth, and this is a typical result after many rounds of shooting. That's why I would not install a new hand, it already has the advantage.

When the cylinder is a few thousandths short of advancing completely to lock up, known as "carry up", just do the following:

With the cylinder open in a vertical position, use a flat tipped punch to very gently peen each of the 6 ratchet teeth on the rear surface of the edge contacted by the hand. One tap on each tooth will usually do it and the gun will function perfectly for another 20 years. I've fixed so many that way I can't count them.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:55 PM
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Hondo, Thank You!!

I understand peening the ratchet, and fixed ONE revolver doing that!! (940)

In this case.. The ratchet itself is like new, as is the entire cylinder eBay nearly gave me

While this is an inexpensive adventure(relatively), my last .32 build was the test subject, this one I want near perfect. I'd rather have something timed a little advanced, and work my way back.

After seeing the wear spot on the current hand, I think a replacement and re-fit are in order?? (throw me your opinions)

Its .095" wide..





I absolutely want to here your guys thoughts!!

While I understand how everything works together, by no means do I have the experience..... I can take measurements, and make chips. HOPEFULLY the tolerance stacking gods are kind to me!!! LOL


On a side note.... I have to punch the hole for the pin that will retain my locking bolt, and locking bolt "housing". Then finish the muzzle/crown and the barrel is done except for attaching a front sight and addressing the sight rib/flat/grooves(terminology??)!!

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Old 12-16-2016, 10:47 PM
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I have addressed a slow timing on one cyl hole a few times like Jim suggests. Works great. I mark the ratchet tooth needing attention with a magic marker so it is easy to find after you close the cyl to see if you fixed the problem. I envy the heck out of you being able to do this yourself. Jim is handy at customizing S&W's also. I look forward to seeing the progress on your gun, very interesting. Larry
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:52 PM
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SW: Your 'hand' looks perfectly normal to me for a handgun of that age and use. And, 0.095" is a normal hand average. Your 'best' fix is to just use the very clear and well written directions you received from Hondo44 and peen the offending extractor star boss just ever so slightly. That will take care of the problem.

Substituting a wider hand very well could cause timing problems with one or more of the other chambers. .....

BTW: My complements, you look to be an above average ability (and results) machinist. That is a skill I don't take lightly. .....
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:43 PM
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[QUOTE=shovelwrench;139374227] Then finish the muzzle/crown and the barrel is done except for attaching a front sight and addressing the sight rib/flat/grooves(terminology??)!!


Congrats on the barrel; beautiful machining!

Most refer to those grooves in the rib as striations or serrations. No doubt the factory has a specialized milling cutter to do them. Likely an expensive custom cutter and not worth the cost for a one time job.

I have never cut new striations except on front sight bases and other small parts. But I have cleaned them up for a re-blue with a 40 LPI checkering file.

On the cyl hand, the old timers would "stretch" a worn hand.
With a guide clamped to the work to keep the file straight, the checkering tool might do a fine job.
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Old 12-17-2016, 10:40 AM
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Great build you have going Shovelwrench!
Revolver smithing is the art of adjusting that which is non adjustable. For the hand, a quick, easy way to advance the timing is to bend the hand a few thousandths to the left, or towards the center pin. The hand is too hard to bend, but the pivot pin will bend. This works best on a gun with all the ratchets worn down the same amount.

What happens is, when the hand is raised by the trigger, it is leaning in as far as the frame will let it. When it turns the ratchet to the stopping point it goes to the right, around the ratchet and up to the end. In some cases, it may be necessary to file the hand window inwards a little to allow the hand to move over some more. This is more of a field fix to get by until you can get an oversize hand and do it right.

For the grooves in the top, you can lay the barrel in a T slot on the mill table with the top facing horizontally, tie it down with a strap clamp or 2 and use one of the cutting tools mentioned above. The T slot will accurately align the barrel with the X axis of the mill.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:09 PM
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Thank You everyone for the advise, kind words, and support!!!!

Spent some of the day in the shop today and yesterday.

I set everything up to drill the hole for the locking bolt Friday night, but had to run into my friends shop for the .043 carbide bit I purchased to use on my last .32s replacement hand (that's a whole nother story, I frame, broken hand)...

Anyway, drilled that hole.... Long story short, hind sight being what it is, should've put a plug in the locking bolt housing and gone all the way through. Wound up with the hole .020 off on the other side.

So today was spent making pins to fill that hole, then re-drilling it all the way through from the other side....

I'll have to open the recess up in the barrel where I relieved for the holes to make it look "right", but all and all, turned out well!!

This is the good side, once I touch things up I'll throw up pics of both sides.


Last edited by shovelwrench; 12-18-2016 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:11 PM
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OH!!

My cylinder gap is a hair tight too..

.002, Problem??? Figure I can always open that up later if need be...

I'm also likely to make a new extractor rod, this one is tweeked a hair and slows a couple more chambers down. I was never really happy with how the threads looked either!!

They're 36tpi, correct!?!?! (this one is right hand)

Last edited by shovelwrench; 12-18-2016 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:29 PM
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You probably want around .003 minimum if you only shoot jacketed bullets. If you shoot lead or a combination, .005 to .006 is the minimum.
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:48 PM
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SOOOOO,

Apparently the proper slot cutter for the rear sight stud is made from unobtanium!!!

Took me while but I found one and its on the way!!

I'm going to pull another revolver apart and copy the rear sight cut dimensions.

I also set up a grinder in the horizontal mill vise and modified an .045 slitting blade to cut the barrel serrations. I'm going to play around with some scrap before I commit to using this method, but the small amount of testing I did do look promising.

I'm thinking next step is going to be machining for the rear sight and making a front sight. Since I'm thinking of running the barrel serrations part way into/up the sight ramp.

So with a .160 rear sight, does anyone know the approximate front sight height???

Would middle of adjustment on the rear, then measuring height off the bore, and matching the front to that get me in the ballpark?

I'm probably going to make the front tall, then before bluing and final teardown, do some test shooting with the file handy...

I took next week off, so hopefully will have some more progress on this by the new year!!!
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:14 PM
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Your sight measuring plan should work fine. You may want to make the front a bit taller than the numbers, just to be sure you have enough.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:17 PM
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If you can say, where did you get the t slot cutter. Great story line thanks.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drgbike View Post
If you can say, where did you get the t slot cutter. Great story line thanks.

I actually found a few available different places. Hard part was finding a distributer that I didn't need a corporate account and could web order...

Here is the one I got....

Here's the product listing from the manufacturers page

There's also one from MicroCutusa.com available through MSC, but their quote was 109$ before shipping was added.....

Last edited by shovelwrench; 12-25-2016 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:29 AM
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What I use cutting the slots for the rear sight nut is a small HSS 2 flute end mill that I modified with a cutting disk on a dremel tool. I believe it is a 3/16 end mill and I just removed the flutes above the thickness of the nuts flange leaving 2 teeth on the end of the mill. Then I cut the slot the right depth with a regular end mill and follow up with the modified mill only doing the under cut. Works well for me. I have 2 of them out in the shop and it you want could get one and try to take a decent picture of one.

I got tired of searching for the correct cutter online. But, am saving your link thanks.

Last edited by steelslaver; 12-26-2016 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 12-26-2016, 06:51 PM
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PS, I like what you have done with the barrel and how you are doing the rod latch set up. Looks like your going to end up with a very nice 32.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:25 AM
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Again, thank you everyone!!!

So I did get quite a bit done.

I finished the muzzle. And since I did, I couldn't use the giant pliers I had been using to take the barrel on and off. So at that point I also needed barrel blocks.







Made a front sight from the peice of barrel that was also used for the locking bolt housing.







I soldered the front sight on and went to setting the barreled frame up for machining. I used a cutter from the horizontal mill to shape the sight radius. Then used another, identical cutter, that I ground to 60 degrees to cut my striations.

This is the sight after the initial radius cut.



And cutting striations.




I also stepped the front sight. The sight is REALLY tall yet until I get the rear on and get height reference and some rounds through...

Also, I'm at 80 lines per inch on the striations. Let's just say, the plan was 40!! Had a friend stop and distract me in the middle of a knee adjustment... And then it was 80. I'm going to machine the rear sight to match the 80.

If you see there's some minor cutting on the top strap in the front. That is gonna clean up when I machine for the rear sight.









Next is rear sight, and the cylinder!!!!
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:34 AM
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I cant wait until the next episode!
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:25 AM
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I'm really enjoying this thread. I wish I had the skill and equipment to do exactly the kind of things you're accomplishing. I'll just settle for watching it happen. Thanks for sharing your journey!
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:30 AM
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Nice recovery from you groove problem. Things happen especially in one offs. Think its going to look great when your done.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:13 PM
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Great thread and photos, thanks. Was there a reason why you decided to fabricate/use a traditional front locking bolt, instead of installing a detent in the yoke?
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
Nice recovery from you groove problem. Things happen especially in one offs. Think its going to look great when your done.
Thanks!! DEFINITELY learning a lot!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Great thread and photos, thanks. Was there a reason why you decided to fabricate/use a traditional front locking bolt, instead of installing a detent in the yoke?
I never really cared for the aesthetics of a revolver with a barrel that didn't hide the extractor rod inside its radius without a locking bolt. And the challenge/lesson.

I very well might add the detents before I decide I'm done though....
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