- April 9, 2016 at 7:13 am #26882
Inspired by some of the single shot rifles I have seen constructed by others, and in the interest of furthering my own knowledge, I have begun to construct a single shot rifle of my own. I make no claims to it being a design breaking any new ground for anyone other than myself, as it is straight out of the Mr. Single Shot’s book by Frank and Mark de Haas. I decided to build the Chicopee center fire design, and I decided I wanted a reloadable .22 caliber. As the .22 Hornet is one of the, if not the most common of the relatively small cased cartridges, I decided this would be the cartridge I would use. Here are a few pictures of the humble beginnings.
It’s not much to look at yet, however, if things go as planned there will be a couple of surprises along the way. I have only a lathe, drill press and hand tools to work with at this point, so progress is limited to what I can stand per day.
If nothing else, I guess I have learned how to deal with PhotoBucket. Meh.
- April 9, 2016 at 8:32 am #26884
- April 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm #26901
I found that thread with a search before, but hadn’t read past the second page. I still haven’t finished it all, I’m up to the stock fitting process now. That is amazing documentation, and very well executed. I hope I will not have as many fitment headaches as I have no plans for major alterations, but hand fitting is hand fitting, I suppose. The wooden fitting jig is an excellent idea. Thanks for pointing that thread out, it will indeed be helpful.
- April 10, 2016 at 9:07 pm #26908
I hope you find the thread useful . If you require any more information, descriptions or pictures I am happy to either post in your thread or PM you . Coincidentally a guy at my Gun Club gave me two boxes of 30-30 ammo last Friday and I had intended taking the Chicopee out today and playing with it .
- April 10, 2016 at 9:55 pm #26909
That is a very generous offer, thank you. I’m certain I will be taking you up on that in the future.
- April 10, 2016 at 11:19 pm #26910
Looking good !!!! Glad to see you are posting a few pictures. If you are at the point where you are putting the sides together, deHaas on at least one of his builds braised or silver soldered them together. Number one son on his build heli-arced everything together and it turned out nice when hot blued. You could not see any join lines. Have also seen where they gas welded the plates on and it too looked good. As far as appearances go think I would go with either of the actual steel welding processes and not with the silver solder. Just a thought.
Waiting for more pics !!!
- April 11, 2016 at 12:25 am #26913
Worked my tail off without much to show for it. I did not have a piece of tool steel to use for the breech face, so I decided to use a small slab cut from a 1 1/2″ bar of 4140 I had lying around. It was going to cost nearly $50 to have an 18″ piece of tool steel sent to me. Stuck in my craw. Got impatient and just used what I had on hand. I’m not scared of a file. Soooooo . . . . that round disk you see in the last photo is now the breech face on the firing pin block. A little drilling and tapping and the 2 are now 1. I haven’t trimmed the height yet, hence the round outline of the bar stock on the top of the breech face.
I am one of those unfortunate souls who still works a full time job thru the week, so don’t expect to see a lot of activity M-F. But sometimes I manage to get something done.
- April 11, 2016 at 12:33 am #26914
I believe Heathydee used a flux core wire welder for his 30-30 build? My only alternatives are that or gas welding, and I really don’t want to do the gas welding due to the heat required. Anyhow, the flux core wire welder is what I’m thinking of using. If I’m fixin’ to screw the pooch with that idea, feel free to chime in, but it’s where I’m headed right now.
Once this project is finished, I plan to slow rust blue it. I do not have dipping tanks, and the whole purpose of this is to do the entire thing myself. I have a bottle of Andy’s Slow Rust Blue on the shelf, so that’s likely the solution I will use.
- April 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm #26925
I have followed Heathydee on several other forums and believe me he is one experienced builder and turns out superb work. Am glad to see him here as I know he will add greatly to the forum. I hope he will post some examples of his work. It’s outstanding !!
Different people have luck with different things. I welded for the best part of 40 years, everything from precision aircraft to oil patch and one thing I learned out of all of it is that there is still a bunch to be learned. That being said my experience with flux core wire welders is that for the most part they are fine for the small home welder looking for a 110 buzz box but there are better processes out there. We had a Miller “suit case ” in the shop and used it a lot for tacking ornamental iron in place on site. If strength was desired we still tacked with the flux core then followed up with a regular stick welder. You want to consider the desired finished results both for strength and appearance, this can be expressed in your case as PSI Yield and porosity. In other words when pressure ( application ) is applied how much will the base and filler metal stretch before failing. All metal under sever pressure will stretch or expand, this is how we obtain readings in a pressure gun. Also will the filler metal match the base metal close enough that it will blend when blueing and will it not contain even microscopic voids or pits.
You say you have the ability to gas weld. I think this is the way I would go. If you are using a mild steel such as 1018/1020 or as it is mostly called, A36 for your side plates then I would use a good ( no rusty bob wire !! ) low carbon gas rod as a filler rod. I would make up a spacer block to go between the two side plates to hold the internal dimension of width, clamp carefully and tack weld to hold everything in place. Leave the filler block in place and lightly clamped throughout the whole welding process and only remove it when the whole unit is cool and I would cool it as slowly as possible. You could cover it with sand after the final weld. The only place you should have any distortion should be in the extension threading for the barrel and this can be trued up with the careful use of a tap. Should it expand a bit, no problem as you will thread the barrel extension to the correct fit as you fit the barrel.
Watch your welding temperature and do not over cook the steel. The old idea of “cooken it it good and hot ” is a fallacy, you only want to get things to the temperature that allow proper fusion and flow of the filler metal, over heating will not only blister the steel but break it down chemically and greatly reduce its strength.
Please keep in mind, the above is only my opinion and we all know what that is worth !!
I have seen several Chicopee’s put together with a both flux core and a gas ( C-25) Mig welder. I must say the gas process produced a very homogeneous weld where the flux core showed some minor porosity. Both are still shooting and neither have ever shown any signs of failure whatever. The minor porosity I speak of could possibly have been due to the operator.
You could make a fast mock up of the extension block and side plates , it doesn’t have to be perfect, and give it a try. What are you more comfortable with?
Make two and try each process. Grind your weld flat. Any gas bubbles ???
On the rust blueing, just bend up any simple kind of tank using a 16 ga. black or cold rolled steel, what ever is laying around or cheap. No galvanized, no aluminum. Weld the corners well, you want no leaks. Don’t scrimp on depth, you lose a lot of water due to evaporation , I would go at least 6 inches deep , long enough to clear by a good two or three inches on each end and do allow for the hardwood plugs that will be sticking out. Five or six inches is a good working width.
Don’t get in a hurry, things don’t happen real fast. They say you can get color with the Herters blue in 4 or 5 coats but it took me 9 or 10 to get the depth of color I wanted and I never did totally get rid of the slight mottling effect on the heat treated 4130 receiver.
Will try to post the few pics I took when doing the Flea.
- April 11, 2016 at 9:19 pm #26935
Did a quick write up on rust blueing in the gunsmithing section.
- April 12, 2016 at 2:15 am #26944
I believe Heathydee used a flux core wire welder for his 30-30 build?
No .I used a MIG welder with shielding gas . I don’t like flux core welding . It is the only welding process where the weld metal is weaker than the parent metal .
- April 12, 2016 at 6:48 am #26952
Heathydee and Reg,
Thank you both for your replies. I have no idea how to calculate the forces involved, but would either of you say that a flux core welder produces a weaker weld than silver solder? I am quite comfortable running my wire welder. I have much less experience with gas welding, and do not have the means to purchase a MIG upgrade for my wire feed at this time. (It’s a Lincoln Weld Pak – 100).
I will defer to the experience of you fellows here. Sounds like you are telling me the wire feed is a bad idea. Good enough. I will see if perhaps I have overlooked an option.
- April 12, 2016 at 3:20 pm #26955
I don’t have the figures at this time myself but if I were to weld up a frame like you need to I think I would prefer the silver solder myself even though it will show in the joint. This is considering that your options are silver solder or flux core wire. Properly done silver solder is one tough critter where as flux core wire has it’s place and from actual experience I can say it is a very brittle weld. It might work well holding together under 40,000 or so pounds pressure or not, but am not going to find out under my nose.
deHaas silver soldered his and they worked just fine.
Heathydee’s shielding gas MIG especially followed up with a packing to let the heat slowly release will produce a very good weld with a good degree of ductility.
Also the shielding gas process tends to produce very solid welds with little if any pitting or voids.
Also I know there are a few ( very few ) who can weld with the flux core and not get a certain degree of porosity and really if you are spending that much time making a action then really you don’t want gas or pin holes, even a few, showing up on the receiver sides.
Going to Mr. Single Shot’s Book of Rifle Plans, page 68 figure 5-C note the joining of the side plates to the extension ring. It was this rifle or one like it that I had the opportunity to view a few years back. The workmanship was outstanding both wood and metal but the silver solder joint or the amount of silver that was exposed simply totally detracted from the overall quality of the rifle. A few other views of the same rifle seem to show this same thing.
I think this is why I would be concerned to how the side plates were attached. I for one would not be happy with the exposed gobs of silver solder . Actually the way he shows how to assemble them,I don’t understand where the exposed silver solder came from. Remember now, I have yet to do one but I am thinking that if it were properly done the way deHaas shows in the book there should only be a fine silver line at the junction of the parts. This wouldn’t look bad– might even set off the receiver sides in appearance !!
Also this is where I would not want any open pin holes or small voids from any welding process showing up so another reason, for me at least, I would not flux core wire weld it even discounting the PSI yield ( brittleness ) .
Please keep in mind, this is only my opinion. If there are others out there with a idea, please speak up . Could be some learning going on here.
- April 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm #26960
I agree that the silver solder method is one I wish to avoid. I’m already past the point of properly fitting the receiver sides to the receiver anyway, so unless I start those processes over, silver soldering is no longer an option.
And I suppose it is just as well I am temporarily blocked, as I realized I can not progress further anyway. I’m waiting on a range rod from PTG, so until it arrives, I can not thread my barrel blank or face the back of the receiver off, anyway. About all I can do is some parts prep in the way of cleaning things up for now.
- April 13, 2016 at 2:43 am #26981
Is there any chance of farming the welding out ? Often a case of beer plus a qualified welder will give outstanding results .
As an aside . On the now extinct GarageGunsmithing site a member with the handle of Zebdeming built a Chicopee receiver up out of mild steel and threaded it for a 223 barrel . He made the swinging breech and breech face but no trigger/hammer assembly . He was letting it off with a dropped weight . the process of the exercise was to test the action to destruction after running some tests on the action ..
There was much talk about the stress on the locking lever . Zeb fired the action with no locking lever in place .The action was held shut with adhesive tape and it proved strong enough . It seems that most of the force on the action is rearward.
More speculation on how much stress is on the pivot pin .It was removed and the action again fired with no negative result .
My thoughts are that the stress of firing is taken up by the matching curved shoulders in the breechblock/receiver with friction preventing any downward movement or at least limiting it to negligible levels .
On to the blowup .Zeb tried overloaded cartridges with no result . Brass cases were expanded and ruined . Case head expansion . Leaky primers falling out etc but the action held .
In the end he filled the barrel with molten lead , let it cool and placed a cartridge in behind it .Aimed it at the ground and stood back behind something solid .
Upon discharge the pressure was such that it blew all of the lead out of the barrel . The action stretched and allowed the case to flow back and out . Upon removal the 223 case looked like a rimmed case because of the brass flow . The action was effectively destroyed but it did not detonate . Chicopees are a strong action when welded .
Link to one of Zeb’s tests
- April 13, 2016 at 6:49 am #26987
The only thing that gives me pause to farming out the welding is that I will no longer be able to say I did all of the build myself. Granted, I did not make the barrel blank myself either, so IF I can find no other remedy, I may have to accept this solution.
On the subject of the curved shoulders in the breechblock/receiver sides. How much effect do you fellows think the slow rust bluing process would have upon the fitment of the breechblocks/receiver side blocks? I was planning to hand lap these pieces in as well as I could, and once again, I do not have the experience context to know if the process will effect the established clearance enough to be a concern, or if this is simply another example of much ado about nothing? Seems a pity to spend the time to hand lap the fitment, only to open things back up again . . . .
- April 13, 2016 at 3:17 pm #26997
Wow, I never would have thought a Chicopee would ever have been that strong but the video certainly proves it is, I don’t think a High Wall would take that.
I like your process for forming that radius on the action walls and the breech block. Much better than deHaas’s using the grinding wheels. I think with yours, shapes would be more precise with no distortion and fitting would be reduced to a minimum because you would actually have measurable control of dimensions.
I book marked your build back when you were doing it and later printed it all off in the hopes of someday making up a action.
I have the metals on hand all I am lacking is time but this is getting interesting following Wright Arms, get caught up by next fall I might have to see what I can do.
I doubt seriously if bluing would effect the fitting to any degree that would be measurable. The only thing I could think that might be considered is that under a microscope , rust blueing is actually a bit rough in appearance and you might want to polish the contacting faces just a bit only to smooth the contacting surface up. I don’t see where any actual metal removal would be necessary.
Also, I was going to mention it but Heathydee beat me to it but if in doubt don’t be afread to farm out the welding. It’s only a very minor part of the build and a six pack and a hour or so one evening might put a smile on someones face and keep you going.
For those interested in such things you might check out “on the other side ” a fellow named fineredmist 7 has started a thread called My 22 short replacement.
I think this is a fellow named Mathew Bryant out of Delta. Very sharp young guy . It was from him I got the concept of the cylindrical falling block action that I am finishing up now. He has come up with several very innovative actions in the past and looks like now is on to another.
Also noticed another guy, map 55 b was talking about a action he has come up with.
So many actions, so little time !!
- April 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm #26998
It seems the general consensus is that bluing does not effect anything dimensionally, or at least caustic dip bluing. Just wondered if slow rust bluing was any different.
- April 13, 2016 at 11:05 pm #27006WaksupiParticipant
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As for boiling out rust blue, without proper tanks. I came across this on a gunsmith’s website, and it worked great for me.
Get a pvc tube, and cut to length needed.
Get a pot to boil water in. I had an old cast iron pot, about 8″ in diameter.
Then find a flat piece of metal that will cover the pot.
You should find a flange that the PVC will fit into. This was the most expensive part of the project. I used some 4″ pvc since that is what I had laying around. Smaller diameter would be easier to find a flange for. The flange makes it easier to balance the pvc on the pot cover.
Find where the pvc will center on your pot cover, and drill holes.
Once this is done, bring the pot of water with the cover on, to a boil. I did this outside, with a propane burner. Once you have things boiling, set the pvc with the barrel hanging inside over your drilled steam vents. I used a piece of scrap metal, with a hole drilled through, and a wire as a hanger.
Leave your top metal have a bit of venting, to allow the steam to easily circulate in the tube.
Steam for 20 minutes, and you are done.
I simply dropped my smaller parts in the boiling water. You could also make some other smaller pvc container to steam separately if you like.
The steaming would only really need to be for around ten minutes. The extra time I used was for the parts that were actually being boiled, as the temperature was below the steam temperature.
I believe steaming would also eliminate any concern about not having distilled water, as I saw no spots or other problems from steaming, and I have hard water here.
This is the method I used in the Trapdoor Springfield Reborn thread.
PS, you will not have a rough finish, if you do your boil out (steam out) when you have just a very light coat of rust, and use a Brownell’s stainless steel buffing wheel made specifically for bluing.
- April 14, 2016 at 6:35 am #27013
Steaming . . . .Brilliant! Thank you for sharing this ingenious idea!
- April 14, 2016 at 1:11 pm #27014WaksupiParticipant
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You also use a lot less fuel to steam metal, than bringing tanks up to temperature.
- December 23, 2016 at 8:50 am #32259
I have abandoned this thread due to the inane image hosting requirements. Too bad.
- March 21, 2017 at 11:08 am #34195GoodsteelKeymaster
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This needs a bump.
Also, don’t lose heart on posting pictures Darrin. The new sight is mere weeks from going live, and one thing that I have made clear in no uncertain terms is that I want picture and video posting to be as seamless and easy as it is posting to a text message stream. The Design Team has assured me this will be the case. If what they say is true, this will be the easiest forum to post on that I have ever experienced.
- March 23, 2017 at 6:48 am #34230
Well, it’s been nearly a year and this project is nowhere near finished. I work on it when the mood strikes me or a solution to a problem occurs to me. And otherwise, it sits in a special storage box on a shelf in my loading room.
I have several images to post once that becomes less cumbersome, if anybody is interested. I have ignored some advice. You all can determine the results for yourselves.
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