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Old 09-29-2018, 10:30 PM
raljr1 raljr1 is offline
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Default Converting 32 HE to a snub

I have a 32 HE sn 103673 that I bought to steal some parts off of for my 32 Target. After that, I put the HE back together with some left over parts and all works as it should. The finish on the barrel has some minor issues, so got the idea to convert it to a snub.

I bought a 2" barrel that looks to be off of a model 30, and an extractor star and extractor rod for the 2". The HE has a right hand threaded extractor rod and the replacement is left handed.

In disassembling the extractor and extractor rod I noticed that the old rod has a flange on it and the new one does not. I know I will have to shorten the center pin, but will the newer extractor parts work with the old cylinder?

It's not that I need to do this, I could just sell the piece, but I thought it might be fun to put this together.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:29 PM
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Robert,

Sounds like a fun project. Your .32 #103673 is a .32 Hand Ejector Model of 1903-5th Change made from 1910 to 1917. And The extractor parts were not changed until the end of WWII when the RH thread was changed to LH. So parts can be readily found.

This is a simple project but there's a lot of little details to consider:

1. I frame extractor rods didn't change to LH thread until soon after the WWII ~ 1948-49 (whenever pre war RH threaded parts inventory was exhausted.)
So RH Ext rods are numerous.

2. If you want to use the LH Rod replacement you already have, you'll have to change the star extractor. You'll run into little issues like the LH star needing fitting to your cyl. Also matching alignment pins in cyl with holes in the star. So simpler to start with RH ext rod parts.

3. The 'flange on the rod is called a collar. It's sometimes integral to the rod but most times it's a separate piece. So it's simpler to use a rod of similar vintage to your gun to get the same collar style and location as your gun. In that case, all you'd have to do is cut the front ends ctr pin and rod to proper length for the snubby barrel, and re-knurl the tip of the new rod.

4. Also to use the later vintage LH rod, you'll have to match the collar placement of the new rod to your old rod for the large diameter spring to work properly and not bind. You may have to trim the rear threaded end of rod and threaded front end of star shaft to locate the collar to match the original rod/collar location. Then cut the front end of the ctr pin and rod and for proper overall length. And re-knurl the tip.

5. As you can see, it's much easier to start with a matching vintage rod with RH thread. So just get another rod that matches yours or cut down your original rod, but you likely want to keep the original to convert back to longer barrel if you ever want to.

I hope this helps, any questions just ask,
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:46 PM
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Hey, Robert...this would be a great project to document with pictures!! I love these sorts of projects, and it is fascinating to follow them. Hondo is a great mentor, as well. I'll be following this thread!!

Good luck!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:02 AM
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Unless the extractor rod has a large barrel or mushroom knob on the end the simple solution is to use the orginal rod and center pin, just shorten close to correct length , then use a fine file to get just right. Then take the rod to a machinist and have him chuck it up in a small lathe and reknurl the tip. I have done it on 4" to 2 1/2" conversion and even fixed up the end of a rod some idjit had smeared up with pliers or something. If I wanted to shorten a rod with a mushroom end and keep the mushroom I would cut off the mushroom shorten the rod, drill the mushrom to fit the rod, then silver solder it on.

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Old 10-04-2018, 08:33 AM
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This will be a very interesting project and you have a couple of the very best experts weighing in .Pleaes keep us updated as you move along.Also as les.b said please document with pictures.

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Old 10-04-2018, 12:41 PM
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Unless the extractor rod has a large barrel or mushroom knob on the end the simple solution is to use the orginal rod and center pin, just shorten close to correct length , then use a fine file to get just right. Then take the rod to a machinist and have him chuck it up in a small lathe and reknurl the tip. I have done it on 4" to 2 1/2" conversion and even fixed up the end of a rod some idjit had smeared up with pliers or something. If I wanted to shorten a rod with a mushroom end and keep the mushroom I would cut off the mushroom shorten the rod, drill the mushrom to fit the rod, then silver solder it on.
Based on Hondo's advice I bought a spare rod and center pin so i can modify them and still have the original. Plus it gives me two chances to get it right. I can use a small lathe at the plant i run, and since i spent years running a lathe, i plan to try this all on my own. The extractor rod has the large knob, and i thought to turn it down and knurl it rather than mill a flat on the barrel for clearance. The silver solder idea will be easier than rethreading the rod.

Question, is the barrel pin straight and can it be pushed out from either side?

I will post pictures along the way, but be patient with me....i tend to procrastinate.

Robert
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:16 PM
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Ok, i started....got the barrel off, measured the recoil shield to the old barrel before i removed it. New barrel will need trimmed to get it to top dead center....It is about .015" shy of the dimension of the other barrel to shield space....if i cut .015, i think the barrel will be off the other way, so I'll trim the barrel to get it centered and see if the cylinder gap is acceptable...if not, i will have to cut more from the barrel shoulder and trim the forcing cone to get the proper cylinder gap... .i removed the barrel by clamping the barrel in a vice between two boards and turning the frame by hand.

The grips are off of a j frame so i filed them to fit....i will get a checkering tool and recut the checkering and finish them. The original plastic grips get put away....
Slow progress, but i advised that it would take time...


\


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Old 11-11-2018, 12:37 AM
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The extractor rod has the large knob, and i thought to turn it down and knurl it rather than mill a flat on the barrel for clearance. The silver solder idea will be easier than rethreading the rod.

Robert
You picked the right option! If you kept the large knob on the rod it wouldn't move far enough back to eject shells. The straight rod with knurled tip came about on snubby barrels so the total length of the rod including the knurled tip will fit in the yoke hole flush for the rod to extract cases.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:18 AM
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Ok, i started....got the barrel off, measured the recoil shield to the old barrel before i removed it. New barrel will need trimmed to get it to top dead center....It is about .015" shy of the dimension of the other barrel to shield space....if i cut .015, i think the barrel will be off the other way, so I'll trim the barrel to get it centered and see if the cylinder gap is acceptable...if not, i will have to cut more from the barrel shoulder and trim the forcing cone to get the proper cylinder gap... .i removed the barrel by clamping the barrel in a vice between two boards and turning the frame by hand.



Robert
Good progress so far!

What was the old bar/cyl gap, was it a tight gap?

The barrel in bottom photo (if tight) looks like it has an 1/8 of a turn to go. The barrel threads are 20 TPI so one turn is .050" and an 1/8 turn will need .0063" removed from the shoulder. That still leaves you .0087" short to have the same bar/cyl gap you had before. If the original gap was only .004", that plus .0087 = .0127". It's large but it'll work.

But the barrel may not tighten sufficiently w/o turning past top dead ctr. So the trick is; when you turn back the barrel shoulder .0063", only turn the diameter of the bar shank down to .003" larger than the inside diameter of the hole in the frame. This will create an interference fit to assure the barrel tightens before it goes past top dead ctr!

Worst scenario if it still doesn't tighten straight up, or it spits lead at the gap, you can always go around another full turn as you suggested by turning off a little less than another full turn (< .050") off of the shoulder.

Good luck and have fun!
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Last edited by Hondo44; 11-22-2018 at 05:20 PM. Reason: .32 I/J frame barrel threads are actually 36 TPI, thx to raljr1 for correction.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:26 AM
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Good progress so far!

What was the old bar/cyl gap, was it a tight gap?

The barrel in bottom photo (if tight) looks like it has an 1/8 of a turn to go. The barrel threads are 20 TPI so one turn is .050" and an 1/8 turn will need .0063" removed from the shoulder. That still leaves you .0087" short to have the same bar/cyl gap you had before. If the original gap was only .004", that plus .0087 = .0127". It's large but it'll work.

But the barrel may not tighten sufficiently w/o turning past top dead ctr. So the trick is; when you turn back the barrel shoulder .0063", only turn the diameter of the bar shank down to .003" larger than the inside diameter of the hole in the frame. This will create an interference fit to assure the barrel tightens before it goes past top dead ctr!

Worst scenario if it still doesn't tighten straight up, or it spits lead at the gap, you can always go around another full turn as you suggested by turning off a little less than another full turn (< .050") off of the shoulder.

Good luck and have fun!

Jim. I checked the barrel treads with a thread gauge and the barrel is threaded 36 threads per inch. If that is so, 1/8 turn would only get me .0035, So I'll likely need to go a full turn plus and then trim the back end to get my gap. So is the max recommended gap 0.012"?
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:29 PM
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Jim. I checked the barrel treads with a thread gauge and the barrel is threaded 36 threads per inch. If that is so, 1/8 turn would only get me .0035, So I'll likely need to go a full turn plus and then trim the back end to get my gap. So is the max recommended gap 0.012"?
Sorry about that, I don't know what I was thinking (Ruger I guess).

No, as I said .012" would likely work ok, but when I can make it what I prefer; a gap of .004" to .007".
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:36 PM
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Sorry about that, I don't know what I was thinking (Ruger I guess).

No, as I said .012" would likely work ok, but when I can make it what I prefer; a gap of .004" to .007".
I appreciate your help and guidance...and all the time you put in helping anyone and everyone who has a question.

Robert
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:33 AM
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Update, Finally got some time in the shop now that they plant isn't working OT. Can't bring firearms into the plant, you know....So Friday afternoon, no one was working I cut the barrel to fit correctly, modified the ejector rod and fiddled a while.....the cylinder gap is .010", a little on the large side, but not much different thatn the original barrel. Need to do something about bluing, and I think I'm just going to linseed oil the grips as they are. I don't think it's worth the effort to checker them. Also did not have the proper tools to knurl the ejector rod. All is functioning, and I'll drop by the range tomorrow and see how it shoots. I have determined thru this process that I am not a gunsmith. Maybe not quite Bubba, but no gunsmith for sure.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:09 AM
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Robert,

Looks mighty fine for a non-gunsmith. Bravo!
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:04 AM
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It looks good so far.
Maybe consider rust bluing if you want to do it yourself. I like the “softer” look of rust blue. It looks old school classy to me.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:45 AM
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You may not be a certified gunsmith , but you are a craftsman . This is one of the things I like about this Forum . Someone posts about what he's doing or trying to do , and at least one (usually more) jumps in to help . For the most part we don't know each other , wouldn't know each other if we met in the street , but when someone needs help , it's there . You can't buy this type of comradeship .
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Old 06-16-2019, 11:50 AM
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Here are a few "before" pictures

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Old 06-16-2019, 06:11 PM
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So range report, the little rascal has a heavy trigger whic doesn't help accuracy, and it shoots left about 2-1/2 inches left with 32 longs and 3 or 4 inches with 32 s&w, at 20 feet.....and a few inches low....i can file the front site down a bit to raise the POI, but not too sure what i can do about the righty-lefty thing..

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Old 06-16-2019, 07:06 PM
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The barrel is just a few degrees off. Needs slight tightening.

First make an ink mark on top of the barrel where it meets the frame and extend it onto the front of the frame.

Then loosen the barrel and re-tighten it to just a tiny bit past where the lines line up.
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:19 PM
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What a great job and I appreciate you posting the steps. Makes me want to find a project pistol to try something along those lines as well. Thanks for sharing all the information everyone!!
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:10 PM
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Interesting project. Canonsburg?
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:30 PM
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Interesting project. Canonsburg?

Ok, took me a minute to figure that question out. The targets....South Hills of Pittsburgh. I shoot at Library Sportsmen's
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:10 PM
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Ok, this took a little over a year to get completed because, as I said, I procrastinate. Final pictures after cold blue touch ups and putting some tru oil on the stocks. All in all I'm pretty happy with the result. Before pics are a post or two back.

Thanks for the support. It makes a nice pocket carry now.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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Old 01-27-2020, 01:53 AM
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Cool. Is the barrel seated tight against the frame, or is it just the barrel rib that makes it look like it's not tight against the frame?

If the barrel will not go around one more complete turn, the usual way to fix is to remove a bit from the barrel shoulder on a lathe and go a full turn around to tighten the barrel against the frame. If you do not ever intend to reinstall the original barrel, there's an easier way: draw file the front face of the frame until the barrel can go around one full revolution and tighten against it.

Even with the barrel pin, if the barrel is not tight, it will turn slightly to the right with shooting because of the rifling twist, and the sight will not be straight up and down.

Which ever way you fix the barrel, you'll have to adjust the barrel to cyl gap by filing the rear end of the barrel and likely shorten the extractor rod just a bit. But both are simple tasks.
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Old 01-27-2020, 02:21 AM
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Nice job. And I see you read the same comic's I do! LOL!
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:15 AM
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Cool. Is the barrel seated tight against the frame, or is it just the barrel rib that makes it look like it's not tight against the frame?

If the barrel will not go around one more complete turn, the usual way to fix is to remove a bit from the barrel shoulder on a lathe and go a full turn around to tighten the barrel against the frame. If you do not ever intend to reinstall the original barrel, there's an easier way: draw file the front face of the frame until the barrel can go around one full revolution and tighten against it.

Even with the barrel pin, if the barrel is not tight, it will turn slightly to the right with shooting because of the rifling twist, and the sight will not be straight up and down.

Which ever way you fix the barrel, you'll have to adjust the barrel to cyl gap by filing the rear end of the barrel and likely shorten the extractor rod just a bit. But both are simple tasks.
Jim, The barrel is tight to the frame. The frame has a radius that matched the contour of the old barrel. The new barrel is squared off where it meets that radius, hence the small appearance of a gap. I thought about trying to do something to adjust the transition between the two, but I no longer have access to the lathe, now that I am retired, so we'll see how things go once I shoot it.

Thanks for the guidance along the way.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by STCM(SW) View Post
Nice job. And I see you read the same comic's I do! LOL!
Grandma always said that reading the comics was a sign of high intelligence. Who am I to disagree.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:42 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
Jim, The barrel is tight to the frame. The frame has a radius that matched the contour of the old barrel. The new barrel is squared off where it meets that radius, hence the small appearance of a gap. I thought about trying to do something to adjust the transition between the two, but I no longer have access to the lathe, now that I am retired, so we'll see how things go once I shoot it.

Thanks for the guidance along the way.
Oh, got 'cha. Yeah I would draw file the front of the frame enough to make one more turn of the barrel. Won't need a lathe. But that's just me.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:47 AM
nbedford nbedford is offline
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So range report, the little rascal has a heavy trigger whic doesn't help accuracy, and it shoots left about 2-1/2 inches left with 32 longs and 3 or 4 inches with 32 s&w, at 20 feet.....and a few inches low....i can file the front site down a bit to raise the POI, but not too sure what i can do about the righty-lefty thing..

Robert
I was not able to tell if you did more adjusting on the barrel fit due to its hitting to the left, but if you have not tried to adjust it; I'd work on the trigger first - as you said "the little rascal has a heavy trigger whic doesn't help accuracy". I have found many times over the years that often with a heavy trigger it will tend to shoot to the left.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:14 PM
raljr1 raljr1 is offline
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Originally Posted by nbedford View Post
I was not able to tell if you did more adjusting on the barrel fit due to its hitting to the left, but if you have not tried to adjust it; I'd work on the trigger first - as you said "the little rascal has a heavy trigger whic doesn't help accuracy". I have found many times over the years that often with a heavy trigger it will tend to shoot to the left.
I realigned the barrel, but have not shot it since doing so.

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