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Has anyone attempted to made revolver cylinders.?

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swampdoctor

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#1
Let me clarify that I do not claim to be a Machinist! On my first attempt of making a revolver cylinder I thought that after drilling the center hole and turning the cylinder to the proper diameter that the cylinder bores was the next most obvious step. But a Master Machinist of 27 years told me to cut the Bolt Notches first, then to punch each Chamber Center through the firing pin hole. That works perfectly with a modern revolver because it does have a firing pin hole, but what do you do on a cap and ball revolver? You locate the Center of Bore from through the barrel. The Timing Cuts seemed like they were going to be a nightmare but they were not as critical as I thought that they were. What has been your own First Experience Of Making A Cylinder? I surely do need a lot more information than I currently possess on this subject.
 

JPigg55

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#2
Are you trying to make one for a cap & ball revolver that you currently have ?
If so, it might me possible to align the two cylinders on a straight rod or some sort of jig and then use the cap nipple holes to center punch the new cylinder.
I'm getting ready to purchase a repro Colt Army so I'll be following your progress since extra cylinders are rather pricey.
Please post pictures if you can.
PS
I'd be curious what revolver you're trying to make a cylinder for and what metal you're making it from as well.
 
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Cactus Farmer

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#3
I converted a Remington 44 C&B to 45 Colt with 5 chambers. Drill the holes and then cut the cylinder ratchets using the one you have as a guide. The material was 41L40 and it shoots like a dream. 6 chambers are too thin for fixed ammo. Yours should be easier. 5 divisions is a lot harder than 6. Nipple location is not as critical as you'd think either. Timing the chambers is the key to a good shooter. Build a "range rod" to aid in your alinement quest. I use pin gauges,soften one end and drill-tap for a long set screw to match to threads in a pistol cleaning rod.
I have a set for wheel gun use(.22,32,38,44,45)No 41 yet,........I used my pin set to find the sizes I needed and ordered the spares to match those and I am very happy with my homemade tools. I have pictures,just can't find 'em right now. PM me with questions and I'll do my best.
 

george wilson

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#4
If I wanted to build a black powder cylinder,first I'd machine the ratchet. Then,I'd remove the bolt and trigger guard,etc.,and scribe through the open bolt hole where to cut the bolt notches by carefully indexing the cylinder with the ratchet. With the bolt assembly back in place,I could index the cylinder to bring the prospective chambers into place. Then,if on an open top gun,I'd make a transfer punch that fit the barrel with a sliding fit. I'd punch the chambers in situ. Then,I'd center each chamber with my Blake co-ax indicator one at a time,and drill each cylinder with a new drill,then ream the chamber to size,and do the next. I'd be holding the cylinder in the Kurt vise with a big V block to assure verticality. The cutaways for the nipples and the nipples would be the last of the operations. They are the least critical. I would probably make a half round slightly tapered reamer to use on the chambers. Originals had tapered chambers. You'd have to be sure to get the chambers the correct diameter where the bullets seat.

If on a Remington,I'd use the fake smooth bore barrel method as described in the sticky.
 
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Ibboatin28

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#5
There is a very good thread on the Ruger forum on it. I read it a few weeks ago but am unable to find it tonight to link it...
 

swampdoctor

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#6
I assumed that since Sam Colt made his cylinders from soft wrought iron and oil quenched them, then if I used a mild grade of modern steel that I would at the very least have triple the strength of an original Colt cylinder. I dearly love the Pietta made Colt Dragoon and the Pietta made 1851 Navy in 44/45 caliber more than any other C&B revolvers. I do also own Brass Framed Remingtons with 12 inch barrels because I like how they look and how well they can be made to shoot. If a Brass framed Colt begins to shoot loose then unscrew the mandrel, gently file the small shoulder, and screw it back in. Thats all there is to it. If you are really handy, you can drill out the old threads and install a larger bolt but it will need to be turned to the same size as the original for the cylinder to fit it. Aside from installing a spring washer between the cylinder and the barrel of a brass framed Remington... I don't know what else to do. As for making cylinders, I am only just beginning to get started. After several faillures and advice from guys like you, I am beginning to figure out that I really don't know what i'm doing...But I can learn.
 

george wilson

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#7
Oil quenching wrought iron? That would do absolutely no good towards hardening wrought iron as it has nearly no measurable amount of carbon in it. Where did you hear about doing that?

Is Pietta the factory that sold Colt Root repros,and now has gone out of business? Or was that Palmetto?
 

swampdoctor

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#8
Waaay back in the seventies there were some Olde Time gunsmiths in North Florida who were trying to restore lots of old guns using parts that were made using antique methods which were claimed to have worked. The only thing I learned from them was how to harden frizzens by wrapping them in powdered bone and wrapped in thick leather and placed in a fire until the leather and the bone had burned away. I do not know what happened to their oil hardened wrought iron though. Maybe it was just something they were only experimenting with. But i do know one man who somehow makes axes from wrought iron. I once saw him gently heating each axehead slowly and dipping them in sulphur, then burning the sulphur off in a fire. So I really do not know....
 

TOOLNUT

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Waaay back in the seventies there were some Olde Time gunsmiths in North Florida who were trying to restore lots of old guns using parts that were made using antique methods which were claimed to have worked. The only thing I learned from them was how to harden frizzens by wrapping them in powdered bone and wrapped in thick leather and placed in a fire until the leather and the bone had burned away. I do not know what happened to their oil hardened wrought iron though. Maybe it was just something they were only experimenting with. But i do know one man who somehow makes axes from wrought iron. I once saw him gently heating each axehead slowly and dipping them in sulphur, then burning the sulphur off in a fire. So I really do not know....

Swampdoctor,
Way back in the seventies..ha ha It has been a long time for me but I remember a compound that was used for case hardening cold rolled steel and might be something like you are referring to in the post. Case hardening is just what it sounds like...a hard case around the edge of a tool like a punch or a chisel etc. As I remember the process, we had to heat (red), the article and then dip or roll it in the powder and eventually heat and quench in a regular heat treat process.
I think one powder was "Caseneit". The spelling may not be right but I think it is close enough that you might do a computer search and find something to work with.
A pretty good process for cheap homemade tools.
Jerry
 

george wilson

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#10
excuse the no caps.1 hand typing here.

it sounds like those gunsmiths did not now much about metals. you need to put the carbonizing materials in a lidded crucible. preferably use aquarium charcoal.it has millions of holes in it and will put out gas better to penetrate the metal. I am personally certain that a heavy lid crucible allows just a slight increase in gas pressure to drive the CO2 into the metal better. It is even better to LUTE the lid on with furnace luting cement.

The hardening compound is KASENITE,but it is no longer made. There is a product called Cherry Red,but I haven't used it. Aquarium charcoal will penetrate better anyway. Kasenite was only for a superficial case,though I did harden a hammer real well by keeping it in a furnace for hours in a crucible. I hardened some parts 1/32" deep using bone meal in a lidded crucible. I put some long common nails into the crucible with the parts to harden. Every now and then I took out a nail and broke it to see the depth. 1/32" was quite sufficient. I think it took 2 hours on an out door forge.

Quenching wrought iron in sulfur will accomplish nothing. Sulfur is exactly what you don't want in iron. To make a wrought iron axe blade,you must forge weld a tool steel bit on it,and properly harden and temper it. We do that all the time in Williamsburg,just like they did in the 18th. C..
 

stojan

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#11
Yes, I did (more than twenty years ago) a drum for my homemade revolver 357 magnum, the material was a tool steel O1 , (the whole revolver I made of O1 tool steel) although but the guns generally made of chrome-molybdenum steel
 

wrmiller

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#13
Nice. May have to try that if I can find some prints. Also on my todo list is a falling block rifle like a (Ruger #1?)
 

Rick Leslie

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#14
Luna's work is fantastic!! We've traded emails over the years and she's a very well rounded young lady. She goes from machining to home remodeling, but she's an exceptional machinist.

My work is a little more on the 'rough and tumble' side, but here's a couple of very long build threads. The Ruger is still not finished, but it's come a long way from the little .357 Maggie. One day I'll polish it all up but for now it goes bang. Or should I say 'BANG'.

http://www.weaponsguild.com/forum/index.php?topic=14352.0
http://www.weaponsguild.com/forum/index.php?topic=49287.0
 
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