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Solicit small gun repairs.

Solicit Small Gun Repairs

Gunsmiths working on a constant flow of small jobs probably net more than many of the fellows building custom rifles, stocks, and doing precision re-barreling. There is a lot of knowhow and skill required to track down, pin-point and correct small malfunctions that cause big troubles and render your customer's weapons inoperative.

When a single barrel M-37A Winchester shotgun fails to extract-eject either live rounds or fired cases over 50% of the time, its an easy one. Common sense tells us that something is not consistently making sufficient contact to trip the extractor sear. This indicates wear or an out-of-position trip pin. Look for shiny worn areas.

Knowing the nature of this mechanism, I tested the extractor-ejector's cocking sear manually after taking the forestock and barrel off the action. It worked perfectly. This indicated the sear was doing its job and that the extractor spring and plunger were not damaged and bound up to cause excessive friction. In this case, the ends of the 1/8" diameter by 5/8" long extractor pin appeared dubbed off, peened, rivet-faced, worn and too short. The problem was obvious.

The pin's peened face made it impossible to drive it all the way out with a drift punch. We managed to drive it part way out, exposing it sufficiently to file off its rivet-face with a medium sized safe-faced pillar file. Deburring and trimming off this end of the pin made it possible to then drive it toward the opposite side and out. While a limited pin damage situation would permit welding up the ends, lathe turning them off and facing to correct length, this pin was damaged so badly that I decided to make a new one. This was then diameter-ground for a tight fit and left as long as possible.

Cleaning In Order

While working on this job, all pins, extractor-ejector springs and parts were removed, cleaned and lightly lubed as they were re-installed. Had this extractor/ejector been properly lubed and some high viscosity grease applied to the crosspin ends, it would have lasted much longer.

Luger Magazines Available

When a German Luger handgun magazine follower spring binds or "jams" making it impossible to depress the follower for cartridge acceptance, don't get excited and attempt to force it. Straightening live springs to precise original shape is difficult and you can easily wreck this no longer available (as a new part) magazine. Furthermore, used ones in working order are far and few between. Custom magazine makers such as Triple K do make replacement magazines. Their No. 49 is for the Luger, and is available from Jack First, Gun Parts distributors, Inc., 44633 Sierra Hwy., Lancaster, CA 93534.

Cup Your Starter Punches

Many repairmen don't bother to face off or "cup" the ends of starter punches. If punch ends become rounded they have a tendency to glance or slide off the pins, sometimes marring gun surfaces. For ultra-precision punch facing, it can be done in a lathe using a small tool-post grinder. Using a small emery point in the grinder you can centrally dish the punch face slightly. Such a contour guides itself onto the pin you are driving out.

Extra Aerosol Spray Nozzles

Aerosol can sprayers are used increasingly for applying stock finishes, gun cleaners and light types of lubricant. Most of you have experienced nozzle clog-ups in spite of the up-side-down nozzle cleaning efforts as per instructions. Our shop has started a practice of never discarding a workable spray-head, even though the can is empty and no longer usable.

We found that pulling the little plastic spray tips off the can stem and placing them in a small capped container with paint thinner, will do a lot to keep them clean and open. When spray cans do plug up beyond rejuvenation, I've anchored them into a wood-pile, or merely piled sand or soil up around the bottom half. Don't shake up the remaining contents.

Load your spring piston or other good air rifle with a pointed pellet and carefully shoot a hole into the top part of the can. This allows the propellent to escape without draining much of the contents. After the pressure is off, pour the left-overs into a glass container and cap it. In the case of stock finishes, I find filling the new small containers to the top and storing them with the lids in place works best. (You may first want to check to see if the can has CFCs or air as a propellant prior to releasing the gas.)

To stop drying up and scumming, a couple turns of electrician's tape can be wrapped around the bottle-to-cap junction. Remove and replace with new tape after each use. It would be helpful if manufacturers of spray can products would provide an extra sprayhead with each can, as tips from various sources do not always interchange.

Sponsor A Shooter

A tremendous help to gunsmithing and sporting goods businesses and our right to keep and bear arms is to promote shooting by joining your local rifle & pistol, skeet and trap or silhouette clubs. Attend matches and functions, participate and solicit new members. Financially and coach-wise, sponsor one or more interested young shooters. Most young people do not have the proper firearms to participate. Many older more experienced shooters have extra guns that can be made available on a borrow/loan basis, or sold once their interest becomes sufficiently intense.

Parents and friends appreciate this and often become customers of your business during the process of helping new shooters to be safer, more proficient shooters and sportsmen. Under proper instructors, shooting is educational and valuable training in discipline and self defense. It dispels unfounded fears some people unfamiliar with firearms have.

54,604,000 Shooters,

More Wanted

National Shooting Sports Foundation figures show 54,604,000 people participating in trap and skeet shooting, shotgun hunting, target shooting and hunting rifle use. Additionally, there is a tremendous hand gun fraternity. If we would all write or phone our congressmen and senators, and our state legislators, we would indeed be making a tremendous contribution toward our rights to keep and bear firearms.
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Author:Schumaker, William
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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