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Old April 15, 2005, 08:14 AM   #1
novus collectus
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cutting down the barrel of replica rem 1858(1862)

I bought the cheap Filli-pietta blackpowder rem 1858 (what they call it) BP revolver and put in the conversion cylinder a while back. The front sight is so off that I have to aim about 8" down and 8" to the right at 15 yds.
Has anyone cut down the barrel before (for other reasons?) on their BP revoler.

Who knows how hard it is to cut off the last 3/4" off of my barrel and install a new sight? If someone is a gunsmith then I was wondering how much a job like this should cost.

I don't want to pay more than the gun is worth unless I have to. (the drop in cyinder 180% more than the gun alone). I anyone has an idea how I could do this myself without proper smithing tools then that would be nice.

If I should have posted this in the smithy section then I will learn to do that next time if this gets moved.
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Old April 15, 2005, 09:47 AM   #2
fal308
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An easy way to cut down a barrel is to put tape (masking tape works well) around the barrel where you want to cut. Draw a line for the cut all the way around the barrel on the tape. MAKE SURE THE CUT IS PERPENDICULAR TO THE BARREL! The new cut end should be square off the end. Clean up the cut carefully with files.
The sight can just be a post or half-moon sight soldered on after carefully figuring out where it should be. Make the sight purposefully tall so that you can file it down to where it shoots to. POI=POA.
Or if you're feeling froggy, file in a dovetail so that a dovetailed sight is a tight pressfit (using a brass drift).
Reblue or refinish as necessary.
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Old April 15, 2005, 11:41 AM   #3
novus collectus
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Thanks but how do I make sure it is "square" to the rear sight? I have an octagonal barrel but the top side is not "square" with the top of the gun.
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Old April 16, 2005, 03:05 AM   #4
arcticap
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The gun will be worth even less if you ruin the barrel or otherwise botch it up.
Maybe you can have an adjustable rear sight installed or a dovetail milled into the barrel. A smith might be able to adapt something used he already has, you never know. You need to seek a face to face opinion or two on how best to proceed based on cost, etc... Maybe it'll only cost you $35-$50 or so based on who you can find. If you don't like the price, keep looking until you get sick & tired, then decide.
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Old April 16, 2005, 07:58 AM   #5
fal308
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The octagonal barrel flats not lining up horizontally could possibly be the problem that you are having with the gun not shooting to POA. Usually the barrels are clocked so that a flat is horizontal. Perhaps someone removed the barrel in the past and put it back on. It that is the case, then it sounds like the barrel may be bent where it exits the frame. Perhaps someone was using it as a hammer or a prybar or...?
To reclock it requires some machining or very patient and fine filing skills. The barrel must be removed and the breech end milled (filed) down so that one of the flats lies horizontally. But now you're getting into headspacing issues also. It gets more involved but I hope you get the idea. This is usually a 'smith job.
If it's a cheap gun that holds no overly great value to you, it may be worth it to you to try as practice is the best way to learn something I've found.
If you're not sure....farm out the job to a gunsmith. You and others could be seriously hurt or worse if you don't do the job correctly. If you decide to go ahead and do it yourself, fire the gun remotely when you test it. Rig it up to a Ransom Rest, an old wheel or something and run a length of string to the trigger.....just in case of a KaBoom.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old April 16, 2005, 08:29 AM   #6
4V50 Gary
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Have a smith dovetail a slot in the barrel and press in another sight. Perhaps this would be cheaper than chopping.

BTW, flintlock riflesmiths didn't have milling machines. They hacksawed and filed the dovetail in. It's done by marking the narrowest part and hacksawing within the lines close to the depth. When you have the front & back cuts, you cross cut between them and do further cuts that are parallel to the front & back cuts. Then you use a triangular file that has been ground down on one side so as to create a "safe" edge. The rest of the material is filed away and the dovetail made with the triangular file. When the dovetail is cut, the front sight is tapped in (use a brass punch). The above is cheaper than a gunsmith because you do it yourself.
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Old April 16, 2005, 12:14 PM   #7
novus collectus
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Thanks to all. The gun is cheap so it sounds like a good way to learn how to dovetail (which I never thought of, thanks). The out of level side for the octagonal barrel is, I'm sure, the way it came out of the box. The reason I think this is that when I got around to trying to figure out why it was shooting so far off, I looked closely at the front sight (which is a post). I think the person who made it drilled the post at an angle to make up for the out of level side. He couldn't make up the difference and the top of the sight is still off center.

Once again, thanks for the ideas.
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Old April 16, 2005, 07:32 PM   #8
Leftoverdj
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Fix the barrel first.

Barrel has zip to do with headspace. 9 times out of 10, the problem is that the barrel is not turned in far enough and the solution is to pull the barrel, deburr the shoulder of the barrel and the face of the frame and reinstall. Gets a bit more difficult when the barrel was turned in too far.

Boys over on the Smithy can walk you through it, or I will if you run into snags. Very little gunsmithing requires much past basic tools and a lot of patience.
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