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  #51  
Old 03-12-2017, 05:51 PM
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Looks great. With that horse head a dove tail will probably be the only thing to get it to sight in. That back sight stands out like a sore thumb anyway. Did you shoot it one handed? How'd the grips grip?
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  #52  
Old 03-13-2017, 05:41 AM
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The grips are good. Long for a big hand and easy reach to trigger than factory. As for the rear sight, nature of the beast. And the ears on the frames of the OMs and NMs don't help the look any. Flat tops are better but the sight still sticks out. But, a small price for being able to fine tune for about any load of 9mm, 38 Special and 357 Mag.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:42 PM
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Been a while. Massive amounts of travel for work but a short lull in April and I'm wanting to go back to work on Young Man. Had it out to the range with the final version of the front sight. Pretty well shooting where I was pointing it at 10 to 15 yards. Lots of bullets touching. Definitely could use a longer elevation screw on the rear sight to get the fullest range of adjustment, but the screw that's on there is just long enough. I'll root around and see what comes up, I don't think the screw in the rear sight is original or if it is, its been ground off short.

So, the first big step. Pulled the Urethane grip panels. I'd previously sealed the outer borders with tuff as nails super glue. The center panels were stained with coffee grounds and a bit of mahogany stain. The oil stain has had weeks to dry on top of the somewhat porous urethane inner panels and so, after taping off the outer borders, I hit the inner panel with a double shot of clear acrylic enamel to lock in the stain on the carving. With some sweat and some more dirt ground into the nooks of the carving, it'll look super.

The grips are put away and the short list of things to accomplish before bluing is somewhat like, final fit the colt 1860 Army Grip. Final fit and tune the main spring mount in the grip. Final fit the Story ERH and its brass band to the loop on the right side of the frame. Polish the barrel a bit more to try to rid it of the pitting that still shows with out loosing the markings on the left side of the barrel. Clean and sand the entire gun evenly and rust blue and the 38/357 cylinder. (The NOS 9mm cylinder is fitted. Its factory blue is perfect, so it'll be left alone, since I suspect it'll only be installed as a plinker rather than for regular use/carry.) Polish and clean the sides of the hammer so they are bright again.

And then, after all that.....it should be done!
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  #54  
Old 04-12-2017, 08:26 PM
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Determined the rear sight elevation screw is standard gun thread, 6x48 TPI....in case I want to make up a new elevation screw.



Spent time this evening final fitting the trigger guard to the frame. Shortening screws, counter sinking the frame where the factory unthreaded screw shank is longer than the shoulder in the Colt brass frame, etc. Got it laying on the frame, cinched tight and in a position where the screws are not stressed/bound inside the holes in the colt brass frame.



Colt brass trigger guard is a bit different than the ruger frame as they are not intended to be mated......here the left side....




And here, on the right.....



And finally, the backstrap, installed in its unstressed position, before and after a bit of straightening.





And then, to add to the list of stuff to do....I have a Hammerli Dakota SAA 357 inbound. Only made 69-72, top quality and close close close to the original Colt......
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  #55  
Old 04-15-2017, 01:03 PM
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Got some finishing done on the grips today. Fitted to the frame at the front of the trigger guard. Clearance the trigger guard slot to ensure the trigger moves freely through its complete stroke. Clipped the top of the backstrap ears slightly and polished them into the frame ears for a smooth transition.n Gave the backstrap and trigger guard an overall polish.



Smoothed up the mainspring mount so there are no sharp edges.



Started working the ERH Loop down to a level where the outer circumference better meets and blends with the story steel ERH.

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  #56  
Old 04-16-2017, 08:25 AM
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Shined up....



Antiqued.









Assembly packed away for later.

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  #57  
Old 04-16-2017, 10:15 AM
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Time to start rust bluing those parts that I'm sure will be blackened.

A good pit of fine pitting on the outside of the cylinder. Most of it just a touch too deep to remove so, a 100g finish and a rust blue, it'll mostly be hidden then. The forward trigger guard screw has had its head thinned and contoured and will be rust blued as well as its the only one that shows on the grip frame.

In the foreground is a short cammed ERH for another project. Its a Uberti part for a 3.5" barrel SAA. When received, I noted it was plumb....which means it was not blued properly by the factory. A light rubbing with a microfiber terry cloth and all the blue came right off. Well, so much for Uberti quality control. But the steel is good and I've used them before on short barreled SAAs so, this one may well get installed on a Hammerli. (Yep. Hammerli made SAA revolvers. Durn fine ones too.)

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  #58  
Old 04-16-2017, 11:40 AM
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A bit closer to the line I wanted to establish between ER Loop and ERH. About 90% done. And an air bubble in my solder line that I'll have to fill.





Meantime, hammer was wire brushed and then polished. Left side and top is a bit pitted and rather deep....so the wire brush to clean it all out and a light polish to satin.

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  #59  
Old 04-16-2017, 05:05 PM
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Cylinder, with its worn 120g finish after filing out some of the pits in the circumference, is darkening up quickly. The much finer polished Uberti ERH is slower to color up, but still coming along. Two or so more days of rusting should see both parts completed.



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  #60  
Old 04-17-2017, 06:09 PM
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38/357 Cylinder is done. Front trigger guard screw is also done. Rust blue on both is a good deep grey black. The short camed ERH for possible use on another project is almost done. It'll have to be fit and then I can go back and finish the bluing after.








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  #61  
Old 04-20-2017, 05:34 PM
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Time to blacken some small parts.

A wet coat of pilkingtons. 1 hour rust in the damp box at 80% humidity and warm and then a light coat followed by 2 more hours in the damp box. Boil. Card (with 0000 steel wool and no, I never degrease the steel wool nor do I do much with degreasing my hands nor do I use special super clean space comet pure water.....and I really never have problems with the finish.....over all its easy. Wipe it....wait....boil, scrub, wipe....wait....etc.....No magic....just clean hands and clean steel and good acid and good humidity and you'll get very good rust.). Recoat lightly with pilkintons and let it all in the damp box for 12 hours. Boil. Card. and ... repeat about 3 to 6 12 hour rust cycles and it'll be nicely grey black and very durable.


The parts.



The Damp Box.



Humidity and warmth provided via small crock pot of water with low, med and high settings as needed.

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  #62  
Old 04-20-2017, 06:19 PM
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Rust blue is a satin finish. Not quite black. Not quite grey. But always, not shiny. Over the years I've found it a serious waste of time to polish beyond 220g for rust blue. And, as on this gun where there is just fine pitting, and mostly at the corners and edges where removing it would change the shape on one side but not the other, spoiling the lines.....a 100g finish applied with a random orbit sander is very effective at hiding the small damages accumulated over the years as the random pattern seemingly blends out the pits in the final finish. I've filed and sanded out what I can without changing shapes, lines or removing letters or dishing out screw holes, the rest will be blended as much as possible into the final satin finish.

Here, the first kiss with the jitter bug. I'll hit it once more after the small parts are blackened which allows me to pay full attention to blackening and boiling and carding this one large piece.











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  #63  
Old 04-20-2017, 07:53 PM
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The first pass, 3 hours rusting. All subsequent passes between boiling will be 12 hours. Carding with 0000 steel wool will remove 95% of this first bloom of black color, leaving only the tightest bonded oxides in place to color the steel.



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  #64  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:33 AM
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The rust on the small parts is very fine grained and coming along nicely.

Here, parts in the damp box....



And here, the parts in the iron pan just before boiling in tap water.

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  #65  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:28 AM
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Small parts are done including the heads and tails of the screws. I hate rust bluing screw heads. But, they's done. Now to mull on it and decide if the main body and barrel will be black or brown.

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  #66  
Old 05-02-2017, 06:09 PM
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Go rust Young Man.

We'll be back when its done. Many 12 hour waits with boiling and carding and rusting again. Maybe done by this week or weekend and ready for final assembly.

Swirrlygigged for blue removal and to hide some of the pitting...



3 minutes into the rusting process....

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  #67  
Old 05-02-2017, 09:00 PM
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Good red rust turns black when you boil it....ions and all that. Then all but the strongest black oxide cards off under the steel wool.

Good rust right after the boil. It'll card up nicely.

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  #68  
Old 05-03-2017, 04:36 AM
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430 AM wake up. And, its hard to be unhappy with this level of rust.

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Old 05-03-2017, 05:04 AM
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Heat, water and ion exchange.....brown to black.

Ready for carding off the fluff



Second rust looks fantastic, sauce it up with pilkingtons and back in the damp box till 5 PM.

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Old 05-03-2017, 08:44 PM
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A quick look. Finishing up a brass pinch nut for the ejector rod housing and need to shorten the brass grip screw a touch. The black got as black as it could in 4 passes, just wouldn't rust more, especially the barrel, so rather than keep building and knocking off the same for no additional color, I stopped the rust and went to oil and assembly. Still fiddling with the grips. If I were to do anything different with this project, it'd be to put on wood grips. I'd loose some of the theme but the urethane is so funky to work with and soft. It was a compromise getting this pattern grip to fit what with moving the grip screw hole as much as I could but not outside the hub of the wheel....etc. We'll see how it holds up. The grips kind of tell me a story with their carving but also irritate me with their fit and finish. Both adding and detracting from the project.

More pics later with some better light and after final tweaking of brass, etc. (9mm cylinder is already fitted and ready....its not rust blued though as the original ruger blue was just perfect and not purple, so I left it as is.)





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  #71  
Old 05-03-2017, 08:51 PM
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Looks good......nya nya nya to the dillybar who thought a horse head was wrong on a gun barrel!
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:56 PM
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Here we go. Grip screw is right length and looks like it'll stay tight....ERH screw shortened and polished and its all in a light coat of RIG. Ready for some sweaty palms and holster wear on all the high spots. Seems like I should have it loaded with shot and go out lookin for legless lizards in the back yard.













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Old 05-04-2017, 07:00 PM
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