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Old April 2, 2014, 09:48 AM   #1
nanewt02
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Destroying an antique revolver

Moderators please close my previous thread now that i have identified this old gun.
Thats right folks!, i will be destroying the value of this antique firearm.
Several courteous members have helped me to determine that this revolver was made by Norwich arms. Making this a highly sought after collector piece. I don't like its condition and want to shoot it. Over the next week or so i will be restoring it.
The barrel is approaching the safety of a pipe bomb and will be replaced. I'm not dealing with the original 9mm pinfire caliber. I will be converting it to centerfire using trimmed 38 special shells to reload with. the cylinder dimensions are withing spec of the 38 shell already.

here are some pictures of the gun disassembled and the barrel broken free.
i ordered a used one off ebay and hopefully the threads already match.






Last edited by nanewt02; April 2, 2014 at 11:22 AM.
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Old April 2, 2014, 02:34 PM   #2
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First, it was never pinfire; it was .38 rimfire. Whether the barrel is a potential bomb or not, it is probably made from the same material (cast iron) as the cylinder, so replacing the barrel won't mean the gun is safe at any pressure over that of the original .38 rimfire and, given its age, possibly not even that.

Converting to center fire is tricky, but not difficult, requiring reworking the firing pin and drilling the frame. Some thought should be given as to whether when you are done, the gun will be capable of firing .38 Special, .38 Super, or .357 Magnum. You would not fire any of those rounds, but if someone else got hold of the gun and was injured, you could be liable.

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Old April 2, 2014, 03:31 PM   #3
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Frame it and call it a day. To much risk at steak. Shooting it back when it was new likely sucked!
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:09 PM   #4
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I am not sure that gun is a collectible or is worth $100. My feeling is that nanewt02 will have some fun and learn a few things, maybe that modifying an old gun is more of a PITA than the gun could ever be worth. I wish him luck!

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Old April 2, 2014, 04:50 PM   #5
nanewt02
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38 rimfire that's what I meant. james is right, this is a fun project to tinker with. spending alittle time and 10 bucks for a barrel. I have a bluing setup and with less than 10 hrs worth of labor I will have this done. when I say that I am using .38 special shells, I mean I will trim them to a short length , and put such little blackpowder in them that the shell itself could take the pressure. so If I were to shoot someone, they might get a bruise. its a gun for amusement really.


yes, I will never get my money and time back, but I will never sell it.
such as the case with most restorations anyway.

So, if someone has additional safety stuff that I have missed. please chime in.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; April 2, 2014 at 06:54 PM. Reason: response to deleted posts
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:57 PM   #6
nanewt02
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james, the cylinder is too short to chamber any of those cartridges. its a shame when we live in a world where we have to worry about lawsuits like that
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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Blueing might be interesting. Allowing that photographs can be deceiving, the gun appears to be nickel plated. You'll have to strip that if it's there. GW
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:08 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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I can imagine a well equipped DIYer lining the barrel and sleeving the cylinder to .22. About all it is strong enough for anyhow.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:08 PM   #9
Dragline45
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Quote:
when I say that I am using .38 special shells, I mean I will trim them to a short length , and put such little blackpowder in them that the shell itself could take the pressure. so If I were to shoot someone, they might get a bruise. its a gun for amusement really.
Since the gun is solely for amusement and the strength of it is questionable you could look into using these wax bullets in .38 caliber.

http://www.cowboyfastdraw.com/secure...ategory_id=167

These are actually meant to be used with just a large pistol primer with no powder and will launch the wax bullets at around 600fps. You can either buy their pre-drilled shells or do it yourself, which allow you to just snap in the primers with no problem. The large pistol primers are actually about as loud as a .22 so even though recoil will be minimal and you are shooting wax bullets you still get the effect of shooting a gun.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:50 PM   #10
nanewt02
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SEE? thank you, that's exactly what im talking about, something just for fun. just finished modifying the frame for centerfire. it had a slot for the firing pin extension on the hammer, all I had to do was file it about an 1/8 inch deeper. will post pictures later, as soon as I finish the hammer

Last edited by nanewt02; April 2, 2014 at 09:14 PM.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:23 PM   #11
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jim, i did consider lining the barrel, but i cannot reload a 22 lr, and i wouldnt want to risk the 22 denting the trust plate. i seem to recall somebody putting a 22 barrel on an h&r shotgun frame and that was the result. besides, itd be easier to find 38 rimfire than 22 another issue is the lack of a loading gate. the opening appears to be positioned where the shells can only fall out if the gun is at half cock when the cylinder can spin freely. when the cylinder is in one of the 5 positions to fire, the rim of whatever shell is there is just shy of clearing the opening. Neat little idea i suppose. those wax slugs look more and more appealing and they would be easy to cast!
bluing will be used simply because thats all im set up for. bead blasting is the quickest route, its not worth it to me to sand and polish. this will remove the nickel and serve as the guns finalled textured surface, at the same time, hiding any remaining pits.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:24 PM   #12
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For wax bullets all you need is the primer to shoot them.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:45 PM   #13
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now i just have to see which is cheaper, the shotgun primers or a the .38 special primers and a dash of fffg. looks like i dont need to trim the cases since the wax slugs seat all the way
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Old April 3, 2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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Interesting project, and your time and money, but IMHO all you'll end with is a zip gun.
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Old April 3, 2014, 11:16 PM   #15
nanewt02
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maybe a zip gun, hows that old saying go, there are many like it but this one is mine. I love working on them, everybody needs a hobby.
Just finished the centerfire conversion. primer impact is dead center and firing pin tip just needs alittle cleanup. threw a grade 8 bolt in the drill press to make it. the large retaining pin needs to be cut to size and the hammer cleaned up a bit, but that's about it. I'm really surprised the hammer was color case hardened and not just case hardened. It was fairly deep and chewed up my 1/16 cobalt pilot trying to break through it.








Last edited by nanewt02; April 3, 2014 at 11:22 PM.
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Old April 3, 2014, 11:19 PM   #16
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Enjoying reading this! Good luck and I can't wait to see how it turns out!
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Old April 5, 2014, 04:02 PM   #17
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An interesting project, much better than doing a "Fitz" mutilation on a previously sound Smith & Wesson.

Did you scrape your knuckle getting it apart?

Note that a wax bullet should be shot only with a primer, not even a pinch of powder. Drill the flash hole out so the primer will not set back and lock up the cylinder rotation.
You might could find some of the Speer plastic primer powered ammo, case and bullet both. Or the X-ring rubber bullet for use in regular brass (but with the flash hole drilled.)
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSe...=rubber+bullet

The old gallery load was about 5 grains of black powder in the bottom of the case and a round ball all the way down on it.
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Old April 5, 2014, 04:10 PM   #18
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You would not fire any of those rounds, but if someone else got hold of the gun and was injured, you could be liable.
C'mon, now. Unless he FURNISHED the gun to them in some manner and perhaps even suggested that they load it with modern, high-pressure stuff, how would he ever be liable?

Or, shall we say, any more liable than anyone/everyone already is, any day of the week, for anything? We know that anyone can sue someone for any reason they choose, but good luck. It's not like he's digging a 12-foot hole in front of his mailbox and covering it with leaves and hiding behind a bush, snickering here.
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Old April 5, 2014, 09:54 PM   #19
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Far fetched, maybe. But I seem to recall a case where a man was restoring an antique car when he passed away. His widow, who knew nothing about cars, sold the partially finished car and was sued when the new owner found out the hard way that the brake work had not been finished. We always have idiots among us, and lawyers who want to make themselves richer.

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Old April 5, 2014, 10:53 PM   #20
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If you can sue someone { and win the lawsuit } because the hot coffee you ordered was hot, well then, anything is possible.
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Old April 6, 2014, 12:35 AM   #21
nanewt02
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I cut my thumb working with a large tap when it snapped. It broke sharp. One of the damaged tendons or whatever still won't allow full motion. And there's some tingling in it from the nerves. It ain't worth the cash to have it repaired, il give it awhile to see what it does . I've been to two doctors already. As far as the lawsuits are concerned, I would be worried .The system is so messed up.
I got the barrel today, the threads don't match . I have it turned down to size within .003 inches of the other barrels shank diameter. The only reason it's any smaller is because I had to get rid of the old threads. Should still be fine. This gun isn't worth a trip to the machine shop so I will be modifying a 1/2-28 die to thread the barrel and putting a custom plug In the bore to keep that on center. I will have to grind off final thread of it so it won't remove any extra material since the barrel OD is.5175 and not .5000 . It's not the "proper way to do it " but it's
shooting with just primers, so il live with it. Just waiting on the die .Enlarged the sloppy cylinder pin bore to 7/32 and am making a new one to eliminate as much play as I can.
Put a new shoulder on the barrel and changed it's profile. Will post pics tomorrow. For all the purists on revolver barrels I will be doing it by the book except for thread cutting on a die and homemade jig.

the new barrel sticks too far into the frame to allow the cylinder to fit. By a good 3/16. rather than turn it down to length, I will be shaving the cylinder length down for 2 reasons. 1st and foremost I can keep the existing Forcing cone and not have to recut it. 2nd, with the case trimmed, the primer may provide more velocity since there is less case volume. And now, it will be absolutely impossible to put any commercial case in if.

Last edited by nanewt02; April 6, 2014 at 01:09 AM.
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Old April 6, 2014, 04:35 PM   #22
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Whew. I have come up with some wild restorations and modifications, but I usually go with changing to a very common round. I'm with Jim Watson. 22lr or I wouldn't bother.
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Old April 6, 2014, 08:13 PM   #23
nanewt02
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38 shell may still fit, havent measured. as previously stated, the .38 rim size is required for the shells not to fall out,
it has no loading gate
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Old April 8, 2014, 01:01 PM   #24
nanewt02
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Update.
barrel die should be into tomorrow. the barrel came from an old colt off ebay.
left an extra 1/2 inch so I can secure it without risking any scratches. the contour is different with a much thicker profile and the shoulder is enlarged so it is flush with the receiver. the barrel will be about 9/16 shorter than the original. a small notch will have to be cut to allow the cylinder axle/pin to go through. will post pics tomorrow if the die comes in.



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Old April 8, 2014, 11:27 PM   #25
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Minus the grooves and locking indentation in the cylinder pin, it is about done. it steps down from .250 to .2165 where it runs through the cylinder. with alittle lubrication the cylinder now turns smoothly. besides fitting the barrel and setting the cylinder gap, the revolver is about ready for bluing. you can see the file marks where the dents on the sideplate were removed and the sideplate seam is virtually gone. The cylinder axle/pin will be flush with the front of the barrel and will also serve as a handy cleaning rod.
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