Boinggg!

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charlesb
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Post by charlesb » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:22 am

I developed an interest in improving the trigger on my Winchester (Miroku) 1885 falling-block rifle, and started doing the basic research, looking for exploded drawings, YouTube videos, and forum posts about working on these firearms.

I found that this information was pretty elusive, and that only three or four gunsmiths around the US are known for working on them. - So I decided to dive in on my own, taking images at each step so maybe I'd be able to figure out how to reassemble the gun later.

The one piece of advice I was able to dig up was to replace the trigger return spring with a ball-point pen spring, cut to the same length.

So I started to disassemble the rifle, discovering that there are two groups of parts in the receiver, the falling block with its lever, plus the hammer - and the trigger housing. I removed both simultaneously, as the hammer/sear parts were hooked into each other, preventing removal of just one group or the other.

Dual hammer springs, located on either side of the hammer and the trigger group, added some difficulty to removing the two groups, each sliding into grooves on the inside of the receiver. The springs provided pressure that made the two parts groups hard to move.

But I finally did get it all apart - and promptly lost one of the hammer spring guides, a nail-like do-dad that the hammer springs on each side are supported by. It flew across the shop and has yet to come to light. The spring was found within a few minutes, but it's guide is still hidden somewhere. - A strategically placed rag would have prevented that loss, I now realize.

I found that the trigger modification was very easy to do, and reduced the pull significantly, without introducing any reliability or safety issues.

Having no luck finding the missing part, I decided to look for a replacement. The Winchester website listed a link to a parts diagram, but the link was no good. In the link though, was the file-name for an exploded parts diagram. A search for that file on the internet turned up a copy of the PDF, so then I had the exploded parts diagram at last. - But it looked like Winchester was trying to get out of the 1885 parts business, so I tried Numrich Arms and found the part there.

A phone call to Winchester might have gotten me the part, but I have worked with Numrich arms for over twenty-five years and know what to expect from them.

Now I'm waiting for delivery of the spring guide, and have made a special tool for removing and installing that part without danger of it going flying across the shop. I've also made a slave pin that will hold the sear back while assembling the gun, so I can release it to engage the hammer after everything is back in the receiver. This will go a long way toward making reassembly quicker and easier.

Now that I have done all of this, I have discovered a way to replace the trigger return spring without disassembling the gun - but I am glad that I did so anyway, as it gave me an opportunity to stone the hammer/sear engagement surfaces, and apply silicone grease to some of the internal surfaces that you can't get to while it is assembled.

The part should be here in a few days, and I'm looking forward to shooting the rifle with a reduced trigger pull.

Also, now I know how to take that kind of firearm apart and reassemble it, and have made up a special tool for dealing with the hammer springs, a good first step to knowing how to work on that model.

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blue68f100
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Post by blue68f100 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:24 pm

Yes, done that a few time before. Springs have a tendency to launch parts to never never land if not contained. Rags and bags are your friend when dealing with them. I'm glad I have a diffuser over my florescent lights, or I would have had glass and hg vapor every where a couple of times. There has only been one time that I lost a part and it was a very common part that the LGS had it.

Glad you were able to locate a part, that can be the hardest part at times. If magnetic may try one of those big magnet floor sweeps. I've cleaned out the shop vac, clean the shop then search through what it picked up. Works for hard to get to places. Running light beams along the floor helps spots items too.
David

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charlesb
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Post by charlesb » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:23 pm

The new part is in the mail, should be here in a few days. - I kind of expect to old part to show up on the same day. I'll probably step on it, or something like that.

I'm looking around for a powerful magnet to put on the end of a stick, that's a great idea.

Tomorrow I'll take the reassembly of the 1885 as far as it will go without the new part, so I'll be ready to put in in as soon as it arrives. I really miss shooting that rifle, and look forward to the lighter trigger pull. It should tighten up already very satisfactory groups.

I have a new rifle build coming up soon, so I want to get the 1885 taken care of as soon as possible. I need to get my workspace cleaned up and organized, get all of the tools back in their places.

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Post by Medicine Hat » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:38 pm

That sounds like a good project. Regarding magnets - If you can find an old vacuum tube type radio somewhere, they usually have tremendously strong magnets on the back side of the speaker.

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blue68f100
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Post by blue68f100 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:26 pm

The strongest magnets I have found lately are the once used to park the heads in Hard Drives. These magnets are super strong and separating them can be chore. I have got in a habit of taking failed HD's apart for the magnets and platters. The platters make good targets. Then most all have fluid dynamic bearings for precision. I've kept a few thinking they would be good for something. Then if you have the positioning magnets used for welding work pretty good too.
David

SS MKIII 6 7/8" Fluted Hunter. Mueller Quick Shot, Bushnell 2x Scope, Hogue Rubber Grips
Custom Built 1911

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ruger22
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Post by ruger22 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:38 pm

blue68f100 wrote:The strongest magnets I have found lately are the once used to park the heads in Hard Drives. These magnets are super strong and separating them can be chore. I have got in a habit of taking failed HD's apart for the magnets and platters. The platters make good targets. Then most all have fluid dynamic bearings for precision. I've kept a few thinking they would be good for something. Then if you have the positioning magnets used for welding work pretty good too.
When my last PC died, I wanted to destroy the hard drive, partly for security and partly for fun! You are right, the magnets are unbelievable for their size. Kidney shaped, about the size of a thumbnail, but I'd guess they can pickup at least five pounds. So far as the platter, .22s just scarred it up, but a couple of FMJ .38s at 20 feet did it in.

I have a magnet from the hardware that's about 1 X 2 inches and a half inch thick. It's plastic coated on all but one side. Ten times the size of a hard drive magnet, but only good for maybe 2 pounds.
*Two Bearcat stainless, w/ EWK ejector housings & Wolff springs
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charlesb
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Post by charlesb » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:22 pm

The little part I lost is about the size of a medium nail, and looks a lot like one.

I'm starting to gather parts for a .223 bolt gun for my next project, to be used exclusively at the range. It'll be heavy.

I've got the heavy barreled 223 that I have now up for sale, it's around eight pounds with the scope. - I'm wanting something in stainless that may go to ten pounds or more.

The only thing that I've picked out so far is the barreled action, a Howa in stainless steel with a 24" bull barrel. - Am still up in the air about the stock and the optics. I'm thinking a Boyd's laminated thumbhole varmint stock in blue might be pretty with the stainless steel.

It will never be used for hunting, so it won't matter if it's kind of garish. - Strictly a target gun.
Last edited by charlesb on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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charlesb
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Post by charlesb » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:49 pm

The part came in today, and about an hour later I had the 1885 reassembled and waxed, ready to shoot. It went together a lot easier than I thought it would.

The trigger pull is down to 2 pounds now, about right for me.

That's the only difference I've noted, I expected the action to be a bit slicker after being lubricated a bit with silicone grease but if it is, I can not detect the difference.

Anyway, now the lost part can safely come out of hiding.

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Bullseye
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Post by Bullseye » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:43 am

I actually have one of those roll around magnetic brooms for lost metal parts to be recovered quickly in the shop.

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