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Old September 6, 2018, 06:40 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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SAA Blueprints?

There are numerous sources on the Internet for blueprints of the M1911 ... both prints of originals, and reproductions of more modern, CADD-drawn versions.

Is there any such set of blueprints available for the 1873 Single Action Army?
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Old September 7, 2018, 09:37 AM   #2
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy

The short answer is no.

First off, let's get our terms straight. I have not seen a real blueprint in probably 30 years or so. A blueprint was the process where an original line drawing, drawn with pencil on white vellum, was reproduced as a negative, with the lines showing up as white on a blue background. Since the development of pen plotters and modern laser and ink jet printers, nobody has used the blueprint process for years.

Anyhoo............

What you want are measured drawings, or technical drawings. These will be complete mechanical drawings with all necessary dimensions and tolerances included to manufacture the parts.

You can do an easy google search by entering Colt Measured Drawings or Colt Technical Drawings, and clicking on images. You will get lots of hits. Unfortunately, none of them are complete measured drawings with enough dimensions to actually make any parts.

You will also get hits on patent drawings, which will not help at all, patent drawings only show how a part or assembly functions, not how it is made.

Is this related to the question you asked about a year ago relating to fitting an unfinished cylinder to a frame?

The very best reference you will find anywhere about this is by buying this book:

http://www.gunbooks.com/colt_sa.html

Yes, it is expensive, but it is absolutely the best book on the market. Unfortunately, even this book does not have complete measured drawings for building parts for a SAA from scratch, but it is chock full of many measured drawings that will help, plus all the repair hints for making parts fit.

You can also find this book on amazon.
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Old September 7, 2018, 10:26 AM   #3
Bob Wright
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Driftwood Johnson:

You been there, done that?

Quote:
First off, let's get our terms straight. I have not seen a real blueprint in probably 30 years or so. A blueprint was the process where an original line drawing, drawn with pencil on white vellum, was reproduced as a negative, with the lines showing up as white on a blue background. Since the development of pen plotters and modern laser and ink jet printers, nobody has used the blueprint process for years.

I have. Brings back memories!


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Old September 7, 2018, 11:06 AM   #4
Driftwood Johnson
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Yeah

Remember the smell of mimeographs?

I would always take a sniff when passing them back.
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Old September 7, 2018, 11:41 AM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwood Johnson
First off, let's get our terms straight. I have not seen a real blueprint in probably 30 years or so. A blueprint was the process where an original line drawing, drawn with pencil on white vellum, was reproduced as a negative, with the lines showing up as white on a blue background. Since the development of pen plotters and modern laser and ink jet printers, nobody has used the blueprint process for years.
True. I'm a senior citizen, [semi-] retired architect. I remember when blueprints were white lines on blue paper, and your point is correct. The prints we use today are properly called "blackline" prints (except the dweeps who do their plans in full color, which IMHO are unusable for any real-world application).

We were still using mimeographs to generate orders (at least on the company level) when I was in the Army back in the late 1960s.

Quote:
Is this related to the question you asked about a year ago relating to fitting an unfinished cylinder to a frame?
No, I got that project done ... finally. It went in a slightly different direction than originally intended, but the different direction brought me into first-hand contact with an historical cartridge I didn't even know existed when I started the project, so it was worthwhile from that perspective alone.

The new idea that's rattling around the cranial cage is to investigate the possibility of taking a full-size Uberti Cattleman revolver in .22LR (and/or .22WMR) and boring out the chamber to accept the centerfire .22 TCM cartridge. Does it make sense? Probably not, but what's the fun in only doing things that make sense.

The issue is trying to figure out if hogging out the chamber would leave enough material for the rather "hot' .22 TCM cartridge. It's basically the same case diameter is 9mm (it's derived from a shortened .223 Remington case), so I think it should work, but I'm trying to quantify as much as possible on paper.
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Old September 7, 2018, 08:49 PM   #6
Driftwood Johnson
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Howdy Again

Learn something new everyday. I never heard of the .22 TCM cartridge before now. I did a little bit of snooping and found this:

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...-action-rifle/

Standard length of a Colt Single Action Army cylinder is 1.608". Standard length of an Uberti Cattleman cylinder is 1.620". Got that from the Kuhnhausen book. Grabbed the only Cattleman I own anymore and the cylinder is almost right on the money at 1.619.

Just grabbed a couple of 357 Mag rounds and the OD of the cases seems to be right about .375. So it looks like at least physically you could chamber the .22 TCM cartridge in a bored out 22 Cattleman cylinder. Can't help you on overall length of the cartridge, obviously you don't want the bullet noses to protrude out of the cylinder.

As far as pressure is concerned, I have no idea. Colts and Ubertis have been chambered for 357 Magnum for a long time. If I recall correctly SAAMI Max pressure for the 357 Mag is 35,000 psi. I have no idea what pressure the .22 TCM cartridge generates, so I am not going to go out on a limb on that one. Also, I have no idea if the steel used in a 22 Cattleman cylinder is heat treated the same way as a 357 Magnum cylinder is heat treated.

So again, I have no idea if your idea is a safe idea.
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Old September 7, 2018, 11:26 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
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The .22 TCM was designed to shoot out of a 1911, so the absolute maximum length is 1.275". Pressure is 40,000 psi, but by buying components and loading my own I could keep the pressure down a bit and still exceed the ballistics of .22 Magnum by a fair margin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_TCM

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...tcm-cartridge/
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Old September 8, 2018, 09:52 AM   #8
Driftwood Johnson
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Sounds to me like it is physically possible.

It's up to you to keep things safe.

I still suggest you buy the Kuhnhausen book, it is an invaluable reference book regarding all things Single Action Army.

P.S. Be aware that sometimes bottleneck cartridges in revolvers can cause problems with the case backing out as it expands, causing the case head to drag on the breech face. I have not experienced this with 44-40 or 38-40, which are both tapered cartridges, but I understand this was a problem with the S&W revolvers chambered for 22 Jet.
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Old September 8, 2018, 11:48 AM   #9
Aguila Blanca
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I have the Kuhnhausen book. I've head it for many years.
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Old September 8, 2018, 03:07 PM   #10
Driftwood Johnson
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Everything you need to know to do the conversion you want should be in there.

Except the 22 TCM chamber dimensions, but you already have that.
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Old September 8, 2018, 04:02 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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You're right.

It has been so long since I looked at Kuhnhausen, I completely forgot that he has cylinder dimensions in there.

What I'm seeing from drawing this up conceptually in CADD is that apparently Uberti puts the chambers for the .22 on a slant ... probably to allow a standard firing pin to contact the case rim. And that means if the chambers were bored for the .22 TCM centerfire, there would be a section of .22 LR chamber outside of the .22 TCM chamber. That's "not a good thing," especially with a cartridge that runs at 40,000 psi.

So the more straightforward approach would be to buy a spare .44 Special or .45 Colt cylinder and have a set of six chamber converter inserts made up, then fit that cylinder to the .22 Cattleman frame.

The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. The .22 TCM cartridge, I had forgotten, was designed as a handgun cartridge, to generate 2400 fps with a 40-grain bullet out of a 5-inch 1911 barrel. In a revolver, you lose a little due to the barrel-cylinder gap, but there's a longer barrel in front of it, so that might make up the difference. The 40-grain .22 Magnum generates 1875 fps out of a 24-inch rifle barrel, so the .22 TCM is clearly a more potent handgun round. And with the added length of the SAA cylinder, you could load different bullets than what Armscor uses in the .22 TCM. For example, you could load polymer-tipped varmint bullets, or the 55-grain or 62-grain spire-point bullets used in AR-15/m16 ammunition.

I wish I had access to a machine shop ...
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