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Old November 25, 2020, 11:35 AM   #1
laurencen
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Belgium Bulldog revolver repair

good day all, have a belgium bulldog revolver needing a couple parts, first is the trigger return spring, its been modified by previous owned and does nothing, I think making one is doable the biggest issue is its missing the part that pivots on the screw below the hammer pivot, its function I believe is to hold the hammer back off the primer when reloading or ejecting fired rounds. likely triangular in shape

by chance anyone have a picture of this part? looked on line and not able to find one, again I will hand file one but need something to reference the profile and function

many thanks, not sure how to post a picture of what I have
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Old November 25, 2020, 02:49 PM   #2
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Lotta questions come to mind. Starting with how much money do you want to spend on fixing what is considered to be a "Saturday Night Special"? That's probably not safe to shoot.
Anyway, what calibre is it? Got any idea of when it was made?
Belgian Bulldogs are also known a British Bulldogs. They came in .32 and .44 calibre primarily. Some of 'em are pin fire so there's no ammo or parts readily available.
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Old November 25, 2020, 04:08 PM   #3
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its 44 cal center fire, it is noted as a 44 Henry, came with ammo I pulled the lead to load soft rounds, it fires but hammer sits fully forward, the spring was cut short by last owner, I have extended it brazing a piece of spring steel to it, not tried it yet, guessing late 1800s its stamped on top constabulary bulldog

been making a lever on the CNC to see what works, close but not right as yet, as for money, cnc is a hobby and not much else to do these days
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Old November 25, 2020, 04:34 PM   #4
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You really can't braze a spring and have it work properly. It ruins the heat treatment.
If you do get it patterned correctly, I can make a duplicate spring for you, or tell you how to make it.
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Old November 25, 2020, 04:57 PM   #5
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thanks Bill, its more getting something to fit and function, I did braze a short piece of spring plate to the original, lapped it, heated the whole spring and let it cool slowly, it does function for my needs, not perfect by far but at least it returns the trigger now

would be interested in getting one or how to make one though

version 4 of the lever functions, it holds the hammer back, needs to lengthen as it will rotate past the hammer face 1 out of 10 cycles.
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Old November 25, 2020, 05:57 PM   #6
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If you heated the steel and let it cool slowly, that's how you anneal steel to soften it, not how you harden it, though, if the temperature wasn't too high, it may simply do partial stress-relief. If it is brazed, you won't be able to get it hot enough for quenching for tempering.
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Old November 25, 2020, 07:25 PM   #7
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its not annealed by the way it functions, I did a pretty good job heat sinking the spring other than the 1/8 lap joint area, the material added was a strip from a drywall scraper blade, the area never got excessively hot, wish now I added the extra on the top of spring instead of inside, would have looked neater

if it needs reheating to harden up I would make a C clamp to crimp over it and use the furnace to heat it to temperature for quenching
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Old November 25, 2020, 08:21 PM   #8
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Biggest problem with a Belgian Bulldog or British Bulldog is that there is no standard pattern for the gun, and the name came to be used rather loosely. So you could, in theory, own two similar Bulldog revolvers and not be able to use parts from one for the other. Kind of like the Eibar "Ruby" pistols, on the outside they looked pretty close to one another, but on the inside it was a whole different story.

And the cartridge should be 44 Bulldog, which has very little in common with the 44 Henry Flat except caliber.
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Old November 25, 2020, 10:14 PM   #9
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from the parts inside they are crude in fit and Finish but seem to work, on this one I admire the hammer spring with the short toggle setup, the pivot screws defiantly were not turned on a lathe but some of the cuts such as the hand pocket would be a challenge for people today by hand.

as for cartridge this is the info the previous owner supplied with a couple dozen rounds, once I get it functioning I can address if its indeed a 44 bulldog, from reading no mention of the henry round anywhere, best way to determine the cartridge?

what would be the logic using such a short cartridge and having the cylinder easily holding one twice as long? im just curious

Last edited by laurencen; November 25, 2020 at 10:37 PM.
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Old November 25, 2020, 10:41 PM   #10
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I thought .44 Henry was a rimfire ... ???

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.44_Henry

Quote:
what would be the logic using such a short cartridge and having the cylinder easily holding one twice as long? im just curious
What leads you to believe the a previous owner who would modify a spring until it doesn't function might have been using the correct ammunition for the gun?
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Old November 25, 2020, 11:30 PM   #11
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since I have started looking at the mechanical issues I defiantly question the ammo choice, agree the 44 Henry is noted as rimfire heeled round, the supplied ammo was centerfire also heeled round, the hammer on the firearm is centerfire, I tend to agree the 44 bulldog is a match
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Old November 26, 2020, 01:03 AM   #12
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[QUOTEwhat would be the logic using such a short cartridge and having the cylinder easily holding one twice as long? im just curious][/QUOTE]

44 bulldog is a really short cartridge. It will work, but you might check out
.442 Webley. I load for mine by shortening 44 Special brass and taking a cut on the front side of the rim to thin it.
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Old November 26, 2020, 06:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencen
its 44 cal center fire, it is noted as a 44 Henry, came with ammo I pulled the lead to load soft rounds
Where was it noted that the gun is ".44 Henry"? On the barrel, on the chamber, or was this just something the previous owner told you verbally? If it's centerfire, it obviously isn't .44 Henry, so then the question becomes: what is it?

Is there a headstamp on the ammo that came with the gun? Can you post a photo of it? What are the dimensions of the cases, and what are the dimensions of the chambers (if you have a way to accurately measure the inside diameter of a hole -- an inside micrometer would be ideal).
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Old November 26, 2020, 10:32 AM   #14
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there is no markings on the firearm, 44 Henry is what the seller said he used, headstamp is midway 44 rem mag, case length 0.75, when pulled lead is 0.44 dia heeled 0.42 dia overall 1.25, the rim is shaved to 0.55 wide

cylinder 1.338, diameter of chamber 0.475 at rear and 0.456 dia at front, transition is a taper thro cylinder

front of barrel 0.43 dia rifling seems to reduce further down no way to measure right now and 0.443 dia off rifling, these I need to better check with bore gauge not here at the time

not sure how to attach pictures
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Old November 26, 2020, 01:45 PM   #15
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You'll have to make your own spring. Unfortunately, you may also have to engineer it.
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Old November 26, 2020, 02:51 PM   #16
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Hi. It look like this but in sort of better shape?
https://ehive.com/collections/3492/o...bulldog-pistol
"...stamped on top Constabulary Bulldog..." That's actually a well known thing. They were made in Belgium(literally hundreds of shops making all kinds of stuff there before W.W.I) and by Webley in England. Lots of 'em carried in the 19th Century American West as they were cheap. A Colt cost a great deal more. So did a Smith. Made between 1872ish and 1900ish.
There was a center fire .44 Bulldog cartridge that had nothing to do with Henry's too. And a .44 Webley(the American name for the .442 Webley.) The rim diameters of the Bulldog and Webley are decidedly different. Enough that they're not interchangeable. The .44 Henry is a rimfire and has a longer case so they're not remotely interchangeable either.
"...the previous owner supplied..." Doesn't mean it was the correct thing. There are people who think anything close will do.
Making a spring requires the right steel as well as the correct dimensions. Plus having the right kit to do it.
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Old November 26, 2020, 04:29 PM   #17
laurencen
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have the right gear and at this point I know the size it needs to be as this one now works, just have to get in the shop and make one, thinking for the steel use a scraper blade, its close to the same thickness, make one and give it a try

seems the caliber is a 44 Bulldog, he was told the Henry is the same so that's what he had, the case is definitely longer and lead is close to the same also, does one stretch the 44 win mag brass to take the 44 standard lead projectile?

the picture is the same, how do you post pictures to the site?

thanks fir the help
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Old November 26, 2020, 04:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencen
there is no markings on the firearm, 44 Henry is what the seller said he used, headstamp is midway 44 rem mag, case length 0.75, when pulled lead is 0.44 dia heeled 0.42 dia overall 1.25, the rim is shaved to 0.55 wide
So he made his own ammo by cutting down .44 Magnum cases. That gun never used .44 Henry ammo.

,44 Magnum has a case diameter of .4569" at the base, a slight taper, and a case length of 1.285". .44 Special has a case diameter of .4569", a slight taper, and a case length of 1.160". .44 S&W Russian has a case diameter of .457 at the base, a slight taper, and a case length of .970".

So what he was shooting through that thing was considerably shorter than even .44 Russian. But .44 Henry Rimfire had a case diameter of .441" tapering to .434", and even that cartridge had a case length of .903".

So whatever that gun is, it isn't .44 Henry, and it isn't .44 Special, Russian, or even .44 S&W American. If the cases that you have fit the chambers and work, you can make more by cutting down more .44 Magnum or .44 Special cases. .44 Russian might work without trimming.

But those chamber dimensions are odd. Bigger than the .44 cartridges, but smaller than most of the currently-used .45 cartridges. So it is probably a proprietary cartridge and you just have to make do with whatever you can come up with.
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Old November 26, 2020, 05:12 PM   #19
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I did a bit of web surfing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Bull_Dog_revolver

Quote:
Numerous copies and variants of this design (authorized and unauthorized) were made in Belfast, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Pakistan, France and the United States during the late 19th century. American copies were manufactured by the firms of Forehand & Wadsworth, Iver Johnson and Harrington & Richardson. Belgian and American versions (aka: Frontier Bulldogs) were chambered for the .44 S&W American or .442 Webley cartridges. The .44 Bull Dog was a popular American cartridge that was a shorter and less powerful cartridge that could also be fired from .442 Webley caliber revolvers.
There's a link to the .442 Webley cartridge. The dimensions look close to what might fit your chamber.
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Old November 27, 2020, 10:49 AM   #20
laurencen
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I tend to agree the .442 Webley is a better fit, case length is only 0.05 shorter, this again is likely a hollow lead slug to get the powder volume, looking for the lead profile and likely cut a mold on the CNC to cast a few

again thanks for all the help on this one
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Old November 27, 2020, 02:43 PM   #21
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since I pulled the rounds that came with this firearm and discarded the powder what would be a powder to reload? I have the Hodgsons triple 7 and Pyrodex on hand, called around and black powder is not common at least in my area, thoughts? I reload many handguns and rifles never this vintage of a firearm
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Old November 27, 2020, 02:49 PM   #22
T. O'Heir
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"...a scraper blade..." Don't think that'd be spring steel. Hack saw blades are closer.
"...he was told..." Sounds like a case for, "Buy the gun not the story." snicker.
I think there's a how-to for picture posting somewhere on the main page. The trick is getting the right size. However, there are free picture posting sites where you can up load your pics and post the link.
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Old November 27, 2020, 04:32 PM   #23
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I don't know if it would be strong enough but a blue steel binder clamp is pretty springy.
I think Wolff sells a few V springs for the purpose.
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Old November 27, 2020, 05:28 PM   #24
laurencen
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Scraper blades are good steel, not China made they bend Darn good as for hacksaw blades they are bi metallic so good steel laminated to soft backing. Main thing was making it work then make one correctly
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC_0034.jpg (17.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0037.jpg (10.6 KB, 4 views)

Last edited by laurencen; November 27, 2020 at 08:15 PM.
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Old November 27, 2020, 05:31 PM   #25
laurencen
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Here is the resting lever milled on cnc use lathe to turn the boss and part off
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC_0044.jpg (11.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0042.jpg (756.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_0041.jpg (171.2 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by laurencen; November 27, 2020 at 08:25 PM.
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