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Old April 3, 2011, 07:53 PM   #1
Jim March
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Pics of the most hilarious SA conversion ever :)

Here it is. The world's only gas-operated single action revolver with automatic ejection of empties .

Yes, it works. I *had* video but the damn camera card crumpled on me grrrrSONY!grrr. I'll be able to get to a range tomorrow.

The loading gate is "two stage" - open the top half and auto-ejection by gas pressure works shockingly well. Even the range-use-only brass catcher works nearly 100% of the time .

I'm calling this version of the gas-eject system the "Mk3". It's the first one that really works with full-power 357 ammo. The big steel tube is the top section of a motorcycle fork tube - and the original aluminum "cap" is still present, drilled out for the bullet of course. The final opening plate at the muzzle is a thick piece of copper and it's massively over-bored for the .357 caliber, to reduce total pressure that caused problems with the Mk1 and Mk2 .

The best part is the ability to shoot one, cock it, open the top half of the loading gate, shoot another (emptying the auto-eject chamber) and then sticking another round into that spot just before cocking it for the next shot. I can do that in about a second while holding six rounds in my left hand. Once I stop feeding those I've got four more shots left in the gun. So I can shoot 12 rounds very easily without reloading! And yes, a video of THAT is coming soon.

What's not working out near as well right now is speedloading via a tube. To get that working right, I really need a second cylinder in either 9mmPara or 9x23Winchester. Rimless ammo will feed straight out of a tube better plus I can have a very radical chamfer done as the back 3/16ths or so of the shells don't need support. In other words, I can set up a very radical "funnel effect". A Bowen cylinder blank would run me $250 and then I'd need a gunsmith's help to chamber and fit it . I may go there but it'll be a while.

The blacked-out area is the Goshdarn Hacksite Mk5 - because I don't own the design and Tim Sheehan hasn't released it yet, I can't show pics. Which kills me because it came out great.

The holster is still kinda "prototype" - I'm going to rebuild it better sometime soon. It has a weird detachable "display plate" so I can show off the full horror of this sucker without drawing - just undo two screws. That part came out great, but the overall design could be cleaned up some. I've got more leather coming soon, I'll re-do it cleaner.

You'll also see the "plate of stuff" I put together some time ago and have been using very successfully. The backsite contains a pouch for an extra pair of CR123 batteries and enough extra paracord for practical use in a pinch.

I also ended up making my own cellphone holder of unusual design .

Anyways. Pics in a minute.
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Old April 3, 2011, 07:59 PM   #2
Jim March
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YES, I'm trying to find a longer set-screw for the bolt that holds the gas tube tight. It's ugly at the moment (well...OK, uglier than even the rest of this critter):









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Old April 3, 2011, 08:09 PM   #3
publius
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Well, when you first posted about wanting to do this, I thought it was impossible. Hats off to making it work. Maybe run the gas tube through the ejector housing to make it a little easier on the eyes?
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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Wow, I would like to understand more about how it works. Neat project.
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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Viva la Steampunk!
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:28 PM   #6
Jim March
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It's pretty simple. There's a two-stage loading gate, currently manually operated. Here's the earlier version - I revised it to use a much thicker piece of bent stainless steel fork <grin!>:

Fully closed:



Top half of the loading gate open - the gun can still fire like this! Also note the very mild frame clearancing for the 357 rims - had I done this with a 9mmPara or 9x23Winchester cylinder, that wouldn't have been needed:



Loading gate fully open, cylinder now freewheels and the action is locked in typical Ruger fashion:



About 75% of the original loading gate is just gone .

The new upper half serves to keep a round in the holster - note what it looks like when holstered, in the first pics I posted. That "extension point" on the upper loading gate goes under the holster's leather edge and stays closed. Once drawn, it STILL stays closed during the firing of round one, which means what will be round six is held in despite the gas pressure trying to spit it out.

After shooting shot #1 I open the upper loading gate and allow auto-ejection of rounds one through five, manually ejecting round six only (no more shots, no more gas pressure).

Empties are power-ejected with gas pressure sprayed into the ejection chamber from the front. There's no "gas blast" to the face at all, and because I know exactly where it's going to eject, the brass-catcher works perfectly.

Still to come: a bolt-onto-the-hammer brass deflector for normal carry. Right now, without the brass catcher my goatee finds a new use as a brass deflector .

Here's an early design draft from before any work started:

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Old April 3, 2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Where do you get all of your ideas,Jim?

I like your thinking,and enjoy all the stuff you come up with!
It sure beats all the 1911 "improvements".
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:32 PM   #8
Newton24b
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design input

theres three big issues with your design. two are dealing with the arrangement of your gas tube. The way you have it now, you are loosing at least a third of your gas power. if you wanted i can redesign it in maybe 5 minutes, 10 at the most.

the second comes with your gas collector rig up, the way you have it, it SHOULD be increasing muzzle flip, no idea if it is or not.

if you have ejection trouble you can try the 38 super case and see if it helps ejection.
also get a mirror polish in them.
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:36 PM   #9
Jim March
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Right now I'm trying to figure out if it's more "Steampunk" or "Rat Rod" .

Cosmetic help IS on the way for this poor thing . The sight actually looks very good. The gas tube can't go through the ejector housing because I still need the ejector (and yeah, it still works fine) for round number 6.

I can use a 90deg grease nipple bored out some at the muzzle end gas port, so that the brass tube would run STRAIGHT back instead of that funky curve . That would at least help some.

I'll tell you what, this crazy thing has taught me more about muzzle blast and the harnessing of same than anything else I could have done. Ye Gods and little fishies! I had no idea how much pressure a 357 can really generate!
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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Somebody has entirely too much time on his hands ...
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Old April 3, 2011, 08:42 PM   #11
Jim March
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Newton: believe me, I know a couple of ways to increase the gas pressure! I was running more pressure with the Mk2 - but I was also bending the stainless steel bolts that are tying the big steel tube to the sight base.

Here's my original sight base:



Basically, I've had to back off the pressure (bigger muzzle end cap hole) to deal with full-power 357 ammo. I'm considering making another cap with a much smaller hole for use with 38Spl ammo only. I'd have to swap caps before swapping calibers. The setup you see pictured here is a 357-only rig. The Mk1 used a much smaller (barely big enough for the bullet) muzzle cap and in 38 it worked great. Three rounds of 357 blew it downrange . Which is why there's that massive steel tube with a screw-in aluminum cap now...and even then I need a massive final bullet hole to keep the pressure under control.

With better tooling I'd do things a lot differently - but everything you see here involved one power tool ONLY - a friggin' Dremel .
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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Do you hum "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" when you shoot?
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:03 PM   #13
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So im guessing you keep that chamber empty so it doesnt eject a live round?
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:04 PM   #14
Jim March
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I don't need to hum anything. I've got a cowboy gun that never runs out of ammo.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:06 PM   #15
Jim March
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SPUSCG: no, I actually can shoot it with a live round in the ejection slot - as long as the upper loading gate is closed, as it is by default as I clear leather.

I went to a thicker piece of metal for the upper gate to keep it from popping off under recoil. And it actually works. Once shot one is fired, only then do I open it to allow auto-ejection.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:13 PM   #16
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Certainly is an ingenious design. How does all of that effect the handling characteristics ? Still shoot to POA as accurately as it did before the modifications ?
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:20 PM   #17
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I've got to give you big points for making something that sounds so silly work. Tell the average person your designing a gas operated, auto-ejecting SAA and they would probably think you are crazy. It may look like a prop from a low budget SciFi movie, but I sort of like it. It gives the gun a very Steampunk look.

I'd sure love to see the reaction of the BG that it gets pointed at.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:25 PM   #18
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I've been around the world twice, been to two county fairs and watched a buzzard fly upside down, but I ain't never seen nothing like that before
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:41 PM   #19
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Uhhh . . . my guess is that this modification would probably "void" any warranty Ruger offered on the pistol, huh? Very interesting!
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:41 PM   #20
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Very impressive. Makes me want to go play in the garage.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:46 PM   #21
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i cant wait to see video.
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Old April 3, 2011, 09:59 PM   #22
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Big points for imagination and "can do" spirit. It does remind me of something out of those old Mad Max movies.

Question: Should this go in the revolver or semi-auto forum?
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Old April 3, 2011, 10:08 PM   #23
Jim March
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>>Certainly is an ingenious design. How does all of that effect the handling characteristics ? Still shoot to POA as accurately as it did before the modifications ?<<

It's still very accurate. Dunno if it's lost any accuracy but if any, it's minor.

The POI did change! Basically, I've been forced to add significant muzzle weight . So that required elevating the rear sight some! I used stacked washers to dial in the necessary elevation, and once I knew how tall the rear needed to be fabricated that fancy-looking brass "stack" to match. But yeah, it's absolute proof that muzzle weight changed the POI. Nothing I couldn't easily correct for though, and have.
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Old April 3, 2011, 10:58 PM   #24
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Am I the only one wondering what was blacked out in the pics?
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Old April 3, 2011, 11:05 PM   #25
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Now make it semi auto
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