Monday, August 24, 2015

The Colt New Service Project: part 3

I know this is way overdue....

This is the 3rd installment of this project to restore a Colt New Service revolver.
See parts One and Two 

When we last left this project we were working on getting the ejector rod bushing removed from the crane.
 A friend of mine made me a spanner tool from a 1/2" bolt.

 So I put the crane into the vice between two pieces of pine and heated it slightly with a torch, then added wax to the part to help break loose the bushing

The attempt was fruitless, the spanner kept slipping out of the notches. Time for plan B.

Here is plan B. I will pull the ejector rod out enough that I can cut the end off, when it retracts it will be lower than the bushing and I will be able to get a flat head screw driver on the tabs and unscrew the bushing from the crane
 The plan worked, now I will unscrew the bushing


Before going further I needed to get the old barrel off and attach the replacement. You can see in the picture below the jaw marks from my bench vise, the barrel just spins in the vice and will not unscrew.
 The proper way to do this is with a barrel vise, like this one from Midway USA
The barrel was going to be junked anyway, so I ground some flats into the side of the barrel

 I then attached my home-built action wrench to the frame and but the barrel in the vice, this time we had success

See my write up here on how I swapped barrels on another gun using this tool/technique.

I installed the new barrel, but could not get it clocked all the way to top-center. I am ordering that barrel vise from Midway just happen to be on sale....

While waiting for the barrel vise to show up, I decided to fix the damaged area in front of the crane. When the previous "gunsmith" removed the barrel last time they forgot to remove the ejector rod and snapped it right off, in the process they also nicked the frame a bit
 I tapped the metal back down with a hammer and then filed it flat again

The new Wheeler Engineering barrel vise arrived and I promptly mounted it to my work bench.
I put the frame back in the home-made wrench and installed the barrel in the vise using the small oak bushings that came with it.

The barrel was spun to a perfect 12 o'clock position.

Now we can strip the old bluing and begin the polishing of the metal. This should go quick as there are no large pits to contend with, just some patina.

Stay tuned for part 4.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Colorful LCP

Ruger was not the first to introduce the .380 pocket pistol, but their LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol) lit a fire under consumers. These guns started flying off the shelves and the other manufacturers raced to get their own .380 micro pistol to market.

See my blog post on the .380 Pocket Pistols.....That post has become one of my most visited pages.
Further evidence of the popularity of these little guns is the quick shortage of .380 ACP ammunition. Although things seem to be improving, 380 ammo was mighty scarce for a time.

I was looking at some LCPs at my local gun store a few days back and it dawned on my that this little gun has come in quite a few flavors since its introduction. I thought I would investigate them for fun...

A version with a Stainless slide was an option early on
I think the 1st color option was this Raspberry one
 Followed by a purple one
Ruger offered a special NRA edition pistol with a camo finish
The Zombie rage was not missed by Ruger and they offered the "LCPz - Zombie Slayer edition"
OD Green 
Flat Dark Earth
Ruger revisited the pink color and came up with this color, more of a pastel pink
Carbon fiber

A special pistol was issued for Arizona's Centennial

 Muddy girl Camo, a Davidson's exclusive
A Custom Gold plated edition
A limited edition factory engraved model
 Davidson's commissioned this pair for the Army & Navy using their respective digital camo colors

 Recently this pair of limited run of Purple & Blue pistols were offered

How about a Coyote Special?
Currently offered is this LCP custom with select upgrades

Last month Talo introduced this special edition LCP, it has the molded Flat Dark Earth frame with a cerakoted slide in flat sage.
Recently Davidsons added two Krytek Camo versions

The Pontus

and The Neptune

Supposedly a white framed version was produced, but for the life of me all I could find was this youtube video

Some personalized LCPs

Gun Coat Northwest