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Old August 18, 2011, 11:54 PM   #1
the rifleer
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Join Date: March 5, 2008
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 1,273
.32 rimfire conversion

So i posted this in the rifle forum, but shortly after I remembered that there is the "smithy" forum and i figure this is more applicable.

I will soon have a .32 rimfire Flobert single shot Belgium rifle. .32 rimfire is almost impossible to find and certainly not a practical round too shoot frequently.

I have two basic options here,

Convert the gun to .32 Short Center fire or have a gun smith reline the barrel to .22 long rifle.

I need help here because i have never done either one. First, how do I relocate the firing pin? it needs to move down about 1/16th of an inch. The hammer hits the pin, just like how it works in a shotgun or automatic rifle. Obviously I need to drill a hole, but how do I make the pin stay in there? Ive heard people use part of a drill bit to make the pin itself?

Second, if this is not feasible, how much does it cost to have a good gunsmith convert it to .22 long rifle? How much is it to have a gunsmith relocate the pin?

Thank you.
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Old August 19, 2011, 12:26 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
I would consult a gunsmith or at least a knowledgable person who can actually look at the gun. A true Flobert has no breechblock at all, just the mass and momentum of the hammer to contain the pressure of firing; I have never seen one in .32. Assuming the gun has a breechblock, moving the firing pin could be simple or difficult, depending on the design.

While some of those guns are reasonably strong, others are so weak that IMHO they should not be fired at all, let alone with a smokeless powder cartridge. After you get the gun, post some good pictures of the breech and maybe we can help, or take it to a gunsmith for advice.

I consider those guns as collectors items and (I know this is not what you want to hear) highly recommend buying a modern .22 for shooting.

Jim K
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Old August 21, 2011, 12:30 AM   #3
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.32 rimfire

I have two floberts in the shop now, both .22 rimfire. I think these were used in the mid to late 1800's as parlor guns. they would shoot a black powder short or maybe a CB cap type in the parlor for giggles. After examining these two I red tagged them as unsafe to shoot with modern ammunition. the breech block is kinda thin and the metal old and who knows what or if it was heat treated. going to a 32 center fire would mean a whole new breaching system. don't think it would be economically feasable. I kow if asked I would not take the job on. too much liability
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