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Old October 4, 2009, 01:26 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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1863 Remington Pocket..With regards to Smokin Gun

I got this 1863 a couple months ago. The acquisition included only the parts shown. It is a CVA import manufactured by ASM. ASM parts are hard to come by. I went to VTI, DGW, and Deer Creek. Most of the ASM parts came from Deer Creek. The rest came from VTI (limited to screws) and I had to settle for Pietta parts from DGW for the rest of the project. Most notably, I was unable to find an ASM hammer, so the DGW Pietta hammer had to work.

The main spring and hand came from Deer Creek. These were ASM parts and they were the last he had. The first challenge was to get the ASM hand to fit the Pietta hammer. That hammer was sent without a dog to mount the hand onto. Rather than a dog, there is an unthreaded hole. I will post a second thread, to which I will attach (or attempt to attach) the ASM parts breakdown from VTI. The missing dog is part number 52. Alas, no one had the hammer or the dog. It is as though a Pietta hand has an integral dog, like a Colt hand because the Pietta hammer is not threaded. The ASM hand has a hole rather than a dog. I overcame this problem by threading a hole in the hammer, making a dog which resembles a headless screw and turning the fabricated dog into the hammer after the hand is in place.

The hammer and hand thus work properly and can be disassembled with ease which is not the case in existing designs of this pistol using original parts.

I began the work of smoothing up the action as follows:

1) The bolt did not engage the cylinder at full cock nor did it engage the cylinder with the hammer all the way forward. This was corrected by significant filing on the left leg of the bolt. I am a bolt filer, not a bolt bender. I am terrified I will break the bolt leg if I try to reposition it.

2) The hand in its front to back dimension was too large. This caused the hand to drag the cylinder counterclockwise our of battery when the hammer was gently permitted to fall. This situation would probably not have been a problem when the pistol was fired because the rapid movement of the hammer and hand would have been too quick to pull the cylinder. Nevertheless, I decided that the correction was easy enough to undertake. I corrected this problem by reducing the size of the hand using a fast wheel.

3) The bolt appears to be dragging the cylinder. I believe I can correct this by putting a chamfer to the left on the bolt. This is a future action.

An additional modification I made to this pistol was to install a screw in the grip to hold the mainspring in place, similar to the 1858 Remington. I drilled the hole and tapped it for the same size as the trigger guard screw. I then relieved (counterbored) the hole so that the head of the screw would be flush with the backstrap. I installed this set screw in the back of the backstrap rather than in the front as it is on an 1858. I find the location of the screw on the 1858 to be distracting since the third finger always comes to rest on the spring screw. With the screw in the back of the backstrap no part of my hand ever contacts the screw. I may find a different situation on recoil, but I am wiling to take the chance. I like this modification because it makes the pistol as easy to work on as the 1858.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Original pistol.jpg (254.5 KB, 241 views)
File Type: jpg DGWparts.jpg (249.7 KB, 195 views)
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Old October 4, 2009, 02:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
I find the location of the screw on the 1858 to be distracting since the third finger always comes to rest on the spring screw
If I need to back the screw out to lessen spring pressure I grind the end of the screw down where it contacts the spring so it fits flush on the grip frame.
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Old October 4, 2009, 03:16 PM   #3
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More on the project

As I descibed in the previous post, The missing dog is part number 52 on the diagram.

The parts I got from VTI included a Pietta cylinder pin which was too large. I bought it because it was significantly cheaper than the ASM pin from Deer Creek. I also got the mainspring a bunch of screws. I bought the bolt and trigger for a Pietta, also because no one else had these parts from ASM. Deer Creek later got some ASM parts which I substituted for these.

Once I get the pistol finished, I will be putting the extra parts up on eBay and hope to get three or four times what I paid for them. (There are a lot of fools on eBay.)

The second photo is of the counterbore operation on the hilt of the grip. The third is the screw holding the mainspring in place.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg counterbore grip.jpg (241.3 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Spring Screw.jpg (237.3 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg ASM_Remington_1863_Pocket.jpg (63.5 KB, 134 views)
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Old October 4, 2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Hawg,

Every Remington I own, could stand your modification. They are all very tight. Do you find that to be the case?

Another issue: The screw turns into the backstrap, of course. If the backstrap is brass (brass frame) the threads will withstand less stress than if the backstrap is steel.

I absolutely do not mean to get into the brass versus steel discussion for the umteenth time, but have you ever stripped the threads on the screw hole on a brass frame Remington?

As you can see, the frame on this 1863 is brass and I was extremely careful when tightening the spring.
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Old October 4, 2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Every Remington I own, could stand your modification. They are all very tight. Do you find that to be the case?
No. I have a Pietta CCH with checkered grips that has the lightest hammer spring on a Remington I've ever seen. I had a standard model Pietta that was also light enough I didn't feel the need to adjust it. I've had/have older ones that did need adjusting. One I ground down so the screw doesn't touch the spring at all.

Quote:
have you ever stripped the threads on the screw hole on a brass frame Remington?
No but I've only ever had one brass frame revolver. A .36 Remington that was made by PR whoever the heck that was and imported by FIE. It needs a lot of modifying to be right but it works. The spring is very heavy on it and is probably going to have to be thinned down or replaced if I ever get around to trying to make it right.
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Old October 4, 2009, 09:49 PM   #6
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Good job Doc, that '63 was and is an xlint project...you done good huntin' and a trackin' parts...let alone yer kitchen table gunsmithin' techniques have improved... :O)
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Old October 5, 2009, 03:25 AM   #7
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Thanks SG

There is more to come on this pistol.

I am not happy witht the operation of the hammer. It could be a lot smoother.

I am going to have to make some grips

Then there is final finishing.

I am going to post more as the project continues.

Sure am having fun.
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Old October 5, 2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Lookin' forward to your progress on that 1853 Rem Pocket ...
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Old October 5, 2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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Bolt dragging the cylinder

I worked on the bolt late last night and I think I have eliminated the contact with the cylinder when the pistol is at half cock.
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Old October 5, 2009, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Once I get the pistol finished, I will be putting the extra parts up on eBay and hope to get three or four times what I paid for them. (There are a lot of fools on eBay.)
My buddy claims he bought a brass frame 1858 from Cabela's, took it apart, sold the parts on ebay, and doubled his money! Does that sound believable to you?
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Old October 5, 2009, 10:02 PM   #11
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Lotta fools on ebay, yeah it's believable. I've seen parts go for three times what they're worth.
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Old October 5, 2009, 11:37 PM   #12
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As Ronald Reagan alway said, "Well...."

I am probably overcritical of buyers on eBay. I am miffed when I see used stuff go for more than a new item is worth. It happens all too often but really the true value of a specific item is a matter of what the buyer is willing to pay. It does not happen all of the time, but I just hope the people who are paying high prices are doing so because they really want the item and are well aware that they are paying too much.

I saw a situation where a guy had simply taken a used 1851 Colt clone apart. He sold the barrel in one auction for nearly a hundred bucks and sold the rest of it in another auction for over a hundred. I don't know if the same guy got both halves. I swear this is true. Over two hundred plus shipping for a used (unknown condition) brass frame Colt clone.

What really urks me is eBay's crazy rules on firearms or firearm parts. I was once trying to lighten my load and had a set of choke tubes on the eBay for auction. They pulled the auction because these tubes were "integral to the firing of the weapon". No amount of reasoning could make them change their mind. When I pointed out that a shotgun will discharge with or without choke tubes, they came up with a different reason. Then I made them aware that a full scale completely operational civil war artillery piece was for sale, they came up with a reason why that did not fit their definition of a leathal weapon. I realized I was dealing with an idiot, sold the tubes on this forum, and vowed to bad mouth eBay every chance I get. (I still use it though because in some cases it is the best and in others the only venue)

I decide in advance what the item is worth to me. Then I get a low bid on it just to get my foot in the door. (For things that are low is overall value, I just put them on my watch list.) Near the end of the auction I check the price. If it is still below what I am willing to pay, I hang around and snipe the item at the end of the auction. Most of the time, I am unsuccessful because there is generally someone who is willing to pay more than I am. (I am pretty much a tightwad)

This post on this unrelated topic has gotten way too long.
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Old October 6, 2009, 08:04 AM   #13
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robhof

Great job on the Remington. I've got a Pietta pocket, that I'm afraid to shoot, it's one of those gold and nickel limited, got it on an auction that nobody bid on it. I got it for less than the plain ones were selling for used and this one is new. Had a blemish (loose knot) on the grip and couldn't find a replacement so I emailed pietta and they sent me a set of grips and a bill for 15 euro for foux ivory grips, I only asked them where in the US I could find a set. They asked my mailing address and a week later I had my grips.
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Old October 6, 2009, 08:11 AM   #14
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Thanks

Thanks Robhof,

I lived in Italy for about a year but never got to Brescia to visit the factories. There were gun shops which sold BP stuff but I found the prices to be a bit high. Perhaps a tax or perhaps what the Italian Market would pay.

Nice to read of the good service from Pietta. I think they must recognize existence of the outstanding market in the U.S.
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Old October 11, 2009, 06:14 PM   #15
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A little more progress today

Last action on this pistol was to learn that the hammer was a bit sluggish. I incorrectly thought that the pistol would fire. I started the project today by trying to light off some caps. No good.

I tried filing the hand a bit more, thinking there was contact between the very front surface of the hand and the frame. This helped ever so slightly. The more I troubleshot, the more I realized that the problem had a lot to do with the trigger. I went to town on a rise in the trigger which appeared to be a possible interference with smooth operation of the hammer. This also helped. Finally I have realized that this pistol is very finnicky with regard to the tightness of the trigger/bold spring. Too loose and the pistol does not stay in battery, too tight and the hammer binds. I think I have more work to do on the trigger and hammer.

I have also realized that the head on the screw (Pietta) the holds the trigger guard in place is larger than the counterbore in the triggerguard (ASM). Ever try making a jig to hold a Remington trigger guard so you can work it with a milling machine?! I didn't take any photos today because my Rube Goldburg contraptions were too embarassing. I finally wound up holding the piece with my fingers.

I began the final polishing of the pistol. It is going to look okay I think. Nothing like trying to put a finish on a piece of a pistol to make you aware of the shortcomings of the original finish. Some of the blemishes in the original are just not going to come out.

The barrel has gone back onto the pistol, hopefully for the last time. Final assembly and a little more work on the trigger, will be followed by grips.

More later.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Initial Polishing 1.jpg (243.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg Initial polishing 3.jpg (245.7 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg Initial Polishing 4.jpg (246.2 KB, 87 views)
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Old October 11, 2009, 06:44 PM   #16
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Screwdrivers

As I have moved back into this discipline I have formed some opinions about screwdrivers. To Hawg, I read your comment of about two years ago on the "Smithy" forum.

Hollow ground blades are of course essential. I have two sets that I bought at Home depot marketed under the "Task Force" name. They are a bit and handle set. (Two sets are identical. I bought two sets so I would have enough duplicate bits.)

The contour of the blade is good enough to remain firmly in the slot. The metal appears to be a very good quality. I have looked at Brownell's and was turned off by the price. I looked at some Smith and Wesson sets for about $45.00 on the eBay but without examining the real thing I would be reluctant to take the plunge.

The only quarrel I have with these Task Force drivers is that the handle is crap. It is junk. It is a piece of meat. I would rather have a sister working in a brothel than use this handle. The handles work like they were made by two monkeys with machetes. I have seen more workmanship in a Windex bottle. This handle makes Hogan's Goat look like a precision instrument. On top of all that, I don't like them.

But the bits are good.
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Old October 11, 2009, 11:21 PM   #17
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Doc,

The best investment you'll make into a set of screwdriver bits for gunwork is the set sold by Wheeler Engineering. It has between two and four of each bit (in case you break them) and you can reorder the bits that break the most in three packs. Either get the set or just the tips through Midway or Brownells. The part numbers of the bits are even written above each slot in the box!!! Talk about handy.

http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.co...iver-Set-72-pc

This isn't an advertisement, but if you need something, just tell me and I'll drop you one of my handles in the mail for your to try. (I have a small range set with the same handle in it.)

I just wish I was just as handy at doing work on these things as you are. I'm on the edge of my seat watching this thread!
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Old October 12, 2009, 04:44 AM   #18
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Thanks Andy,

You are too kind with your comments.

I will try the websight. Thanks for the Wheeler tip. I read the name once before and determined to check it out. You have made the task that much easier.

In point of fact, I finished smooting up the hammer last night after my early-in-the-evening post. The trigger needed some fairly intensive recontouring near the top. It works very well now except for the fact that at half cock the trigger seats just a little too far forward. THis is because the radius of the hammer (Pietta) is a good bit different from the radius of the original hammer.

I am almost glad that I had to make the Pietta parts work in this pistol. I learned a lot about the hammer to trigger, hammer to bolt, hammer to hand and bolt to cylinder interfaces. Were I able to get the original parts, the pistol would have gone together with a little filing. Not much fun.
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Old October 24, 2009, 04:16 PM   #19
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More Progress

I worked on the grips today.

Started with a chunk of walnut and sawed it into two pieces. I made a back up in case I messed up the first one. (If you know how I operate you would undestand why a back up is a good idea.) Photo 1

I cut a paper template and then cut out the blank on the bandsaw. Photo 2

Then I sliced the blank down the middle to make the two grip halves. Photo 3

Next action is to make the screw inserts. I will be drilling the frame for a dowel to hold the grips in place such as is found on the 1858s.

More later.

Tnx,
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pistol plus blocks.jpg (248.7 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg paper template.jpg (259.4 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg Bandsaw.jpg (236.7 KB, 73 views)
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Old October 24, 2009, 04:19 PM   #20
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Grips part two

With the grips roughed out (Photo 1) I began to smooth the grips for final smoothing (Photos 2 and 3)

Next step is to make the screw inserts. I threaded the screw to number 6 X 32 for simplicity.

More later
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Roughed out.jpg (245.2 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg Smooth 1.jpg (250.1 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg Smooth 2.jpg (251.4 KB, 83 views)
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Old October 25, 2009, 10:29 AM   #21
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Finished the grips

The hard part here was making the screw inserts.

I started out with a 1/4 X 20 brasee toilet tank screw. I turned the threads off (Photo 1) and then drilled pilot hole (Photo 2) for the internal threads. (6 X 32)

Then I counterbored the hole for the head of the screw (Photo 3) and finally drilled the relief hole for the screwshank.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Buttons 2.jpg (240.5 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg button 3.jpg (242.4 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg Counterbore.jpg (251.2 KB, 66 views)
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Old October 25, 2009, 10:35 AM   #22
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Next step on the grips

I had to cut off the inserts one at a time (Photo 1).

With the grips installed the pistol is starting to look pretty good.

(Photos 2 and 3)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg buttom 4.jpg (243.7 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg Right side.jpg (261.0 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg Left side.jpg (270.6 KB, 83 views)
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Old October 25, 2009, 01:07 PM   #23
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Very nice Doc!

My Pocket Remington is pretty well new and the grips aren't bad, but hard to beat makin' yur own. I may have to try it someday.
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Old October 25, 2009, 02:02 PM   #24
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Grym,

Thanks Grym,

I learned an awful lot working on this pistol. As you can see, I still need to put a sight on it.

My next project is an 1851 Colt in Navy Caliber. I got it cycling very well. Line-up and lock-up is solid. It is just cosmetics from here on in on that pistol.

Now I am looking for another clunker to restore.

Thanks again for the kind words.
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Old October 25, 2009, 07:06 PM   #25
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I agree with Grym, that's some fine work, I wouldn't feel confortable doing any more than polishing up the internal parts and frame where things drag. My hat's off to you. The photo's are educational, keep them coming.
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