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Heat Treating & Tempering Flat Springs
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Great Basin
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April 10, 2021 - 3:03 am
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The heavy barrel 1876 project is turning out to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.  Thankfully, I’ve been getting lots of help from 1873man and TR as I sort out a plan of attack.  In the meantime, I needed to recontour a couple of set trigger springs while I have the rifle apart.  I’ll be getting back to the 76 shortly with some pretty interesting episodes. Mark

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April 10, 2021 - 6:30 am
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Morning mark 

Another interesting video, nice to see useful information .

Your presentation and format is absolutely spot on.

BASC member

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April 10, 2021 - 1:13 pm
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Mark, a very enjoyable and informative video.  Well done!

Tim

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April 10, 2021 - 9:41 pm
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I love these type of videos!!!!

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April 11, 2021 - 2:35 pm
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Thanks guys!  There’s probably a pretty narrow audience for this one, but I hope it’s useful information for anybody who needs to do some work on flat springs.  Mark

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April 11, 2021 - 5:30 pm
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Mark, have you ever thought of doing a video on pouring some lead bullets?  I have never attempted this but I am surely thinking about it.   I have a ladle.

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April 11, 2021 - 7:19 pm
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Yes, I have an episode in the works where I’ll be casting some 38 caliber bullets and loading them for the 1895 in 38-72 that I used in the episode showing how to slug a bore.  I have an automated system, so I don’t hand cast.  The principles are basically the same though.  There are many videos out there on YouTube showing how to hand cast lead bullets.  Mark

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April 13, 2021 - 2:05 am
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Thanks for showing the process of making springs. I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity or the skill to do this myself but in this day and age when anyone who can assemble an “M4 platform” calls himself a gunsmith it’s good to see a craftsman with old-school skills. 

 

Mike

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April 13, 2021 - 4:49 am
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 Fantastic video Mark, I can’t wait for the next one. It’s great to see the work of a GUNSMITH as opposed to a “parts changer” calling himself one.

  Mike

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April 13, 2021 - 1:12 pm
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  Thanks Mark, you’ve pulled back the curtain again and I’ve learned something. T/R

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September 24, 2021 - 8:40 pm
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Howdy, Mark!

Great video!

I once made a couple of flat springs for a farm implement, using more rustic methods, but they came out perfectly.

My question is this:

More than once now, I have had problems with post-’64 Winchester model 94 lever action rifles. The result of the problem is a round feeding up under the cartridge carrier and jamming up the action with live rounds.

The cause had been determined to be wearing of the little rectangular cartridge stop ‘nub’ at the front of the lower front levering mechanism arm (I’m sorry, but I forget it’s proper name right now). The nub rounds over with wear, and allows the next cartridge in the magazine tube to pass rearward under the carrier at a moment when it should not.

The next ‘natural’ working of the action ends up bending the two front “forks”,  or lips, of the cartridge carrier, or lift.

Now, after the rounds have been removed:

Once the carrier has been bent (upward), cartridges miss the chamber entrance too high, and will not feed in, jamming the action in a different, but easily clear-able manner.

I think that the carrier steel was never properly tempered in these models to ‘spring back’ to the original shape in these instances. (Older versions have slightly different carriers, and do not exhibit this problem). I base this on the fact that I have been able to ‘cold-bend’ them back to shape, only to have the problem return again later.  I should not have been able to change them ‘cold’ with them snapping back to original.

[Of course, the original problem of the cartridge stop ‘nub’ being worn needs to be addressed, too.  That needs material welded (probably TIG) on, then filed back to the original dimensions. What type of welding rod would be appropriate for that repair?]

I am not a gunsmith, but I thoroughly enjoy finding, diagnosing, and resolving mechanical problem.  

Thank you for reading this.

R2rr

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September 24, 2021 - 8:44 pm
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Correction to third to last paragraph of my reply:

Reads: “…with…”

Should read: “…without….”

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September 26, 2021 - 1:34 pm
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R2rr said
Howdy, Mark!

Great video!

I once made a couple of flat springs for a farm implement, using more rustic methods, but they came out perfectly.

My question is this:

More than once now, I have had problems with post-’64 Winchester model 94 lever action rifles. The result of the problem is a round feeding up under the cartridge carrier and jamming up the action with live rounds.

The cause had been determined to be wearing of the little rectangular cartridge stop ‘nub’ at the front of the lower front levering mechanism arm (I’m sorry, but I forget it’s proper name right now). The nub rounds over with wear, and allows the next cartridge in the magazine tube to pass rearward under the carrier at a moment when it should not.

The next ‘natural’ working of the action ends up bending the two front “forks”,  or lips, of the cartridge carrier, or lift.

Now, after the rounds have been removed:

Once the carrier has been bent (upward), cartridges miss the chamber entrance too high, and will not feed in, jamming the action in a different, but easily clear-able manner.

I think that the carrier steel was never properly tempered in these models to ‘spring back’ to the original shape in these instances. (Older versions have slightly different carriers, and do not exhibit this problem). I base this on the fact that I have been able to ‘cold-bend’ them back to shape, only to have the problem return again later.  I should not have been able to change them ‘cold’ with them snapping back to original.

[Of course, the original problem of the cartridge stop ‘nub’ being worn needs to be addressed, too.  That needs material welded (probably TIG) on, then filed back to the original dimensions. What type of welding rod would be appropriate for that repair?]

I am not a gunsmith, but I thoroughly enjoy finding, diagnosing, and resolving mechanical problem.  

Thank you for reading this.

R2rr  

Metallurgy is a fascinating and complex subject.  For brevity, my answer will be a bit of an oversimplification.

Guns from the era that we collect are typically made of two types of steel: 1) High carbon steel, which can be hardened and tempered and 2) Low carbon or mild steel, which can’t be hardened and tempered but can be surface or case hardened.  We’ll ignore the subject of stainless steels.

Knowing which parts are hardened steel or mild steel or surface hardened mild steel can be tricky.  It would be wonderful if someone would write a book with that information for all the different firearms. 

Springs are easy to identify, because they have to be made of high carbon steel so that they can deform and return to their original form.  If the carriers on the post-64 94’s bend and don’t return to their original form, they likely are made of mild steel and weren’t intended to be hardened and tempered because, under normal operation, they wouldn’t need to be hardened to function properly.

To solve the issue of wear on the cartridge stop “nub”, I would tig weld it with mild steel rod (ER70s-2), then shape it and case harden it.  The hardened outer shell is only a few thousandths deep, but is much more wear resistant than the underlying mild steel.  Case hardening compound is available from Brownells.  I think I showed that process in the heavy barreled 1876 series when I welded up the hammer and surface hardened it.  If not, I’m sure there are plenty of videos that show the process in detail.  It’s a quick and simple process that takes very little in the way of tools and equipment, unlike the old color case hardening process.

I hope I was able to explain that clearly rather than confusing the issue.  Good luck with the repair if you choose to take it on.  Mark

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