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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Building your own fallling block action (Read 3329 times)
sakoman
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Building your own fallling block action
Apr 13th, 2006 at 10:37am
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Is anyone out there building a single shot falling block action either from scratch or from castings?
  
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Bent_Ramrod
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2006 at 10:06pm
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I'm sort of stalled in the process.

I bought the casting set for the DST Ballard action with the 4-finger loop lever from Bison Mfg. of Shawnee OK.  I think Bison later became Tools International and then burned down.  Storie's castings look pretty close to the ones Bison offered.

I was then taking Machine Tool Technology classes at the local Junior College and had a really good instructor who fully supported my hobby aims.  He was a huge help with the machining of the castings.  Some of those setups were pretty hard for me to do , but he would loosen a bolt, tap the side of the setup, and the runout would drop to 0-0-0.  It took a big lathe with face and angle plates to hold that receiver for boring.

Once set up, I was able to bore and thread the barrel hole (best indicator pickup on the cast hole in front) and also do the same to the tang hole in the back.  Threading the tang outside required making a holder, as it is tapered.

Once the barrel hole was threaded, I made mandrels to lock the receiver front and rear and a block and bolts to keep it from rotating.  Then I was able to set it up in a dividing head on a horizontal mill.  By offsetting the same distances from the center line of the barrel, I could flatten the outside of the receiver, cut that neat step near the top, octagon the top, and, by moving the setup to a vertical mill and tilting the mandrel, was even able to make those facets that are on some of the Ballard A-1's.  I could be reasonably sure that it was all symmetrical around the center of the barrel.

I drilled and tapped the receiver for the lever screw, fitted the breechblock halves together by hand and drilled and tapped them for the various screws and pins.  I put the holes in the lever, extractor, hammer and triggers but, except for the trigger springs, haven't hand-fitted the rest of the parts into the breechblock yet.  I surface-ground the breechblock even and fairly flat, but haven't completely fitted it into the receiver yet.  I took the Shop course over and over for 6 years and made myself enough miscellaneous bench and finish work to last through my retirement.  The Ballard is in line there somewhere Smiley.

There was enough metal on the outside of the receiver to pare off to the shape I wanted without thinning it unduly.  The breechblock casting was slightly slumped in the center, so the surface grinder left a kind of depression there, but it shouldn't show inside the receiver.  I asked the Bison guy (forgot his name) whether he x-rayed his castings and he said he didn't; any pores in the metal generally came up to the sprue areas in the mold.  I didn't run into any in the machining, so I guess he was right.  The breechblock mortise is a little on the small size but should clean up with a file.  A friend got a casting set for a High Wall from Tools Intl. later on and the breechblock mortise on that receiver was very small.  He had to set-up the receiver on the shaper in the shop class and open it up.  He could have pared the block casting down, but it might have thinned the sides too much; in any case, it wouldn't have looked right.

It took over a semester, as I recall, three nights a week, from right after dinner (or no dinner) till the teacher threw me out at 10:00 or so, to get as far as I got, but I found the work kind of fascinating.  You can really see how marvelous a factory must be to produce those complex shapes by unskilled labor and still have them fit together.  I still have to fit the internal parts and get the thing heat-treated, but I think the castings were worth the money and the experience was priceless.  On the other hand, it's not something to expect to get done in time for the big match at the end of the month.
  
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #2 - Apr 14th, 2006 at 9:11pm
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very nice.
  
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FITZ
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REGARDS

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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #3 - Apr 19th, 2006 at 9:47pm
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Allen, I have responded to your email. Let me know if you don't get it and I will do it again. Regards, FITZ.
  

FITZ
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #4 - Mar 9th, 2013 at 10:37pm
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Hi Guys...I'm about 75% done with a DST PG Ballard from Rod Storie castings...started about a year ago, strictly a spare time project.Many holes, and small imperfections had to be cut out and welded up, but as hard as it is to get a PG Ballard action to work from these days, I feel lucky to have it.

I've been taking lots of pictures as I go along, will post some of them soon.Spent about 4 hours today hand sanding the butt-plate casting...I have the barrel fitted, and now must get back to the breech block and firing pin.It's been quite the adventure!

i honestly think Chuckster is better off...mill one from solid plate and have less problems, and a far stronger frame.

Bluesman
  
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bluesman
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #5 - Mar 9th, 2013 at 10:38pm
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Hi Guys...I'm about 75% done with a DST PG Ballard from Rod Storie castings...started about a year ago, strictly a spare time project.Many holes, and small imperfections had to be cut out and welded up, but as hard as it is to get a PG Ballard action to work from these days, I feel lucky to have it.

I've been taking lots of pictures as I go along, will post some of them soon.Spent about 4 hours today hand sanding the butt-plate casting...I have the barrel fitted, and now must get back to the breech block and firing pin.It's been quite the adventure!

i honestly think Chuckster is better off...mill one from solid plate and have less problems, and a far stronger frame.

Bluesman
  
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harry_eales
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #6 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 5:55am
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Hello Sakoman,
You may have seen my efforts before, It's a Borchardt from solid steel stock. All major parts are machined, springs made etc and surprise, surprise they work. It's just the action body needs contouring final polishing but I can't hold a file with my Arthrits at the moment. When Spring arrives it may warm up this year, (it didn't last year) and I'll get it finished.
See:-

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Ignore the first shots of a Sabre-tooth Squirrel and my local grouse moors, scroll through to the springs and start there.

I wish I had started years ago when I was younger and fitter. Try making one yourself it is great fun. Plans for several single shots are available from the ASSRA  Archive at $10.00 per set. They will need enlarging, but even then they're cheaper than buying them from the large businesses who also sell them.

Harry

  
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #7 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 8:51am
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Myself I kinda like the pictures of the grouse moors.  Wife and her mother are from down south-Bedford.
  
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #8 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 4:38pm
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Bluesman,
I love that perch belly stock. Very well done.

Frank
  

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bluesman
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #9 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 7:12pm
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Thank you sir!
I am working from a tiny Schoyen & Petersen catalog picture in an old paper-bound book, "The Golden Age of Single Shot Rifles" I've had for 30 years. Used an overhead projector to blow up the picture on the shop wall and made a template , the butt plate  is a much modified Remington Swiss  casting from the Rifle Shop, it's the only one I've found that could be altered to look right with that deep stock.Fits me very well, too!I hope to have this one shootable  soon.

Back to working on it,

Bluesman
  
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #10 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 8:11pm
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Harry,

Did you do all that milling with that bench top milling machine?

Very impressive indeed!

Can't wait to see the finished product.
  

Roy B
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #11 - Mar 10th, 2013 at 8:58pm
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Harry, The pictures after the sabre tooth squirrel IS the finished rifle, correct, or did I miss something? I ran out of memory, so couldn't watch the entire build, but was impressed with what I saw & to think I thought my Borchardt was a PITA to build.           Bluesman, Beautiful stockwork, I was really impressed. Nice to see somebody that knows what he's doing.      ...MIKE...
  
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harry_eales
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #12 - Mar 11th, 2013 at 3:09am
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RoyB wrote on Mar 10th, 2013 at 8:11pm:
Harry,
Did you do all that milling with that bench top milling machine? Very impressive indeed!
Can't wait to see the finished product.

Hello RoyB,
All the milling was done on that little X2 Mill which has been significantly modified, the turned parts were done on a small 7"x12" bench lathe. A couple of items were EDM'd  otherwise it's all my own work.

Mad Mike,
The completed Borchardt is the property of an ASSRA Forum member who purchased an action that had at one time been in the hands of that well known 'Smith' Bubba. It was missing the setting screw on the Borchardt DST's, and he contacted me for a little help and advice. I put him in touch with an American friend who was at one time a gunsmith by trade. He fixed up the trigger and internal parts and then started to do additional work, he fitted a customised Badger barrel and worked over the internal parts, the action was engraved by Bill Gamradt, CC Bone hardening was done by Shiloh Sharps (lovely colours) A new stock and forearm was made and then it was sent to be checkered by another member of this forum. The uncase hardened metalwork was rust blued and all the pins and screws were nitre blued. A beautiful rifle, but sadly not mine.  Cry It's what I aspire too though.  Smiley

Harry.

  
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westerner
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #13 - Mar 11th, 2013 at 7:18am
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hello
  

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westerner
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Re: Building your own fallling block action
Reply #14 - Mar 11th, 2013 at 7:23am
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westerner wrote on Mar 11th, 2013 at 7:18am:
hello


What happened to the modify and delete features?

They put it back...........broken.   Angry

That's a nice looking Ballard. Love to grain and how it flows with the stock shape. Want to see it when ithe finsh brings out the grain. And it's checkered with old style long diamonds.  Like Otto Bremmer did.  Bremmer? Bremer? The smith from Frisco.

         Joe.  Smiley
  

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