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Building a falling block (Read 8192 times)
Arden Gun
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Colville, WA 99114, Washington, USA
Building a falling block
Nov 8th, 2009 at 1:08am
 
This is my first post, please be patient.
I am going to build, from scratch, a falling block rifle. Right now I'm thinking of starting with the Muller #1. I'd like to build a Ruger #1, I really like the action, but I can't find a measured drawing or print of the parts. Does anyone know where I can find/buy one?
I'd also like to find a good book on falling and rolling block rifles. Any suggestions?

David
Arden Gun
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David
Arden Gun
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
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harry_eales
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #1 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 2:45am
 
Arden Gun wrote on Nov 8th, 2009 at 1:08am:
This is my first post, please be patient.
I am going to build, from scratch, a falling block rifle. Right now I'm thinking of starting with the Muller #1. I'd like to build a Ruger #1, I really like the action, but I can't find a measured drawing or print of the parts. Does anyone know where I can find/buy one?
I'd also like to find a good book on falling and rolling block rifles. Any suggestions?

David
Arden Gun



Hello David,

You won't find detailed drawings of any single shot rifle that is still currently in production, factories don't like competition. You could obtain an action then back engineer it, but that's a lot of work.

Plans of several US single shot actions are available from the ASSRA Archive at $10.00 per set. See :-

http://www.assra.com/Archivelibrary.htm

They are listed in the first paragraph under 'Other Services'

These are A4 size and will need enlarging, full size drawings of the same are available from Buffalo Arms at between $89 and $110 a set. Much cheaper to buy the small drawings and have them enlarged.

There are a number of books on single shot falling block actions especially the 6 book series on the British Single Shot Falling Blocks by Wal Winfer. These are expensive but very good value for money. None give dimensions in detail and I know of no book that does. American single shot rifle books exist but I have no names. Another Forum reader will be able to help you out here.

I presume you have access to a lathe, milling machine, shaper and some good hand tools. You can't do much without any of them. Rolling your own (excuse the pun) is great fun but it can cause you blood, sweat and tears at times.

Go for it,

Harry
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merle
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #2 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 12:23pm
 
The home shop machinist mag produced a complete series on building your own single shot rifle.  Complete plans/dimensions and machining instructions were given.
I believe it was so popular that it was reprinted as a book.

Midway has it.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=947189

Merle
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Chuckster
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #3 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 9:48pm
 
David,
Welcome, Nobody has mentioned the de Haas books which are very useful although not dimensioned drawings. Would second the vote on the ASSRA drawings which are excellent, although I have found it useful to re-draw them to understand the dimensions and their relationships. Saves time and errors when building. Used them for tang sights and a Hepburn. Harry is a great source of inspiration in his photo gallery.
Chuck
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Arden Gun
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #4 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 10:07pm
 
  Thanks a million for the replies. I have the "Home Shop Machinist" book, This is the plan for the Muller #1 action I mentioned. It's a very detailed book and I highly recommend it to any one planing a project like mine. There is even detailed plans for a shaper attachment for a mill. Shapers are hard to come by anymore.
  I do have access to all the machinery I need, I'm a machinist by day training to be a gunsmith. Currently I have a part time business in hot tank bluing.
  I'm looking forward to being a part of this forum I've already picked up a lot of information and appreciate the friendly atmosphere as well as the advice and knowledge of those more experienced.
  My apology to the moderator for multiple posts, that was an accident perpetrated by a newbie.
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David
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When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
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Arden Gun
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #5 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 10:24pm
 
Chuckster,
    How do I get to Harry's photo gallery? I haven't learned the subtleties of navigating the forum yet.
    I have thought about the De Haas books, a little spendy but thinking about it.
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David
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When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
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jfeldman
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #6 - Nov 8th, 2009 at 10:54pm
 
Here's a link to Harry's photobucket site.  It's great!
Welcome to the forum!
http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/Rifleman_01/?start=0
Regards, Joe
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harry_eales
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #7 - Nov 9th, 2009 at 4:56am
 
David,

And indeed everyone else, most of the photographs in my Photobucket album were put up when I had another computer. The majority of the pictures are far to bright due to a faulty or worn out screen, although they looked all right to me at the time.

As soon as I get some spare time, I'll run the whole lot through my Photoshop programme and adjust them to look better.

Sadly, when it comes to photography I rate just one place above the guy who forgot to press the shutter button.  Grin   Sorry about that. lol.

Harry
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« Last Edit: Nov 9th, 2009 at 6:42am by harry_eales »  
 
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Arden Gun
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #8 - Nov 11th, 2009 at 12:03am
 
Harry,
What exactly is it your building in your pictures? I like your drill press setup with the milling table. How good does it work?
I finished redrawing most of the Muller #1 action parts, I needed to be sure how everything went together and how the parts interacted. Now I'm pricing materials the bulk of which will be the receiver and breach block. So far the best price is $70.00 + $10.00 shipping. Not nearly as much as I expected for a 1.5" x 3" x 12" block of heat treated and tempered 4140. I'm still waiting for one more price from my employers supplier at the company price. This should be interesting.  Huh

















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David
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When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson
 
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harry_eales
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #9 - Nov 11th, 2009 at 2:28am
 
Arden Gun wrote on Nov 11th, 2009 at 12:03am:
Harry,
What exactly is it your building in your pictures? I like your drill press setup with the milling table. How good does it work?
I finished redrawing most of the Muller #1 action parts, I needed to be sure how everything went together and how the parts interacted. Now I'm pricing materials the bulk of which will be the receiver and breach block. So far the best price is $70.00 + $10.00 shipping. Not nearly as much as I expected for a 1.5" x 3" x 12" block of heat treated and tempered 4140. I'm still waiting for one more price from my employers supplier at the company price. This should be interesting.  Huh


Hello David,

It's a copy of  the 1878 Sharps Borchardt. I've wanted one for nearly 50 years but never came across one for sale over here, so I decided to make my own.

The mill is a Chinese Sieg X2 Mill Drill sold on your side of the pond by Little Machine Shop, Homier, Grizzly, Harbour Freight and a few other outlets. For the money they're good value. You do need to do a bit of tuning up. There is a Yahoo Groups devoted simply to this machine and it's very helpful for newbies to milling. As with all machines its the tooling that cost most money. Buy the very best you can afford, it's cheaper in the long run.

The only problem with the mill is it has plastic gears which can shear under stress from tool impact. I got round that by fitting a variable speed belt drive unit available from the USA. (the gears are now superflous). I would have preferred a Bridgeport, but I haven't the space.

My lathe is a 7 x 12 bench model which will do everything I need but barrel work.

Getting the right specification steel can be expensive if bought in very small amounts. Been there, got the hat and the T shirt.

Good luck with your project, and have fun making it.

Harry















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« Last Edit: Nov 11th, 2009 at 2:36am by harry_eales »  
 
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Hoot_Murray
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #10 - Nov 11th, 2009 at 2:33am
 
I don't know for sure as I have never tried it, but I have heard that one can get (maybe purchase) detailed drawings from the U.S. Patent Office of anything that has been patented.  I assume that this service is so that one can make something without infringing on another patent.

I was talking to a friend of mine who used to teach Machine Tool Technology at Cal Poly.  He has invented some firearms accessories that are pretty good.  I asked him if he patented them.  He said no, because that made his drawings for the patent available to anyone who wanted them.

So, maybe detailed drawings of a Ruger No. 1 could be available.
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harry_eales
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #11 - Nov 11th, 2009 at 2:51am
 
Hello Hoot,

Thousands of patents including hundreds of firearms patents can be found by using this search engine :- http://www.google.com/patents

Patents can be downloaded F.O.C. The major problem is that no patent drawings have dimensions and may often be shown in one drawing rather than a full set of drawings. Ruger rifles are in there if you look for them. The trick is finding the right search words.

The other thing about patent drawings is that they often bear little resemblance to the production item. e.g. The 1878 Sharps Borchardt had a slant breech in the patent and many other differences that did not appear when the rifles were manufactured.

Harry
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #12 - Nov 11th, 2009 at 9:26pm
 
Arden,
FWIW. 4140, heated treated to about Rc 40 will make a fine action, but a little tough to machine with small tools. Annealed 4140 can be machined a little easier and later heat treated with minimal distortion. 4140 cannot be color casehardened, IMO, just blued. 8620 will machine easier and is more than adaquate and will caseharden beautifully with a hard skin for wear. I used annealed 4340 (That is what I had.), heat treated to Rc 40-44. Ended up Rc 41. JMO
Chuck
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Arden Gun
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #13 - Nov 12th, 2009 at 1:18am
 
The steel I'm buying is hardened, heat treated to Brinell 275 and normalized which will save me time in machining. I won't have to rough it out and send out for heat treatment then finish machining, I can go right to finished size then heat treat to Rc 45 or there about which will give a yield strength of over 110,000 lb. I'm very familiar with machining 4140. I would have preferred 41L40 but I can't find it in less than a 10ft piece. Most of the other parts will be made from O-1 tool steel bar and rod then hardened to Rc 60-62. The firing pin is the real trick. It's only 0.750" long with the pin at Rc 62 and the other end at Rc 50ish. I am considering having the receiver EDM'd for the breach block so I won't have to build a shaper attachment for my mill but then I can't say I built the whole thing. I did consider other materials but since I'm going to chamber this for 338 Lapua mag I want it to be as strong as possible. I was planning on bluing it anyway in part to show case my business, hot tank bluing. Thanks for the input, I do appreciate it and will make a note of it for future reference.
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David
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When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
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Chuckster
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Re: Building a falling block
Reply #14 - Nov 12th, 2009 at 10:26pm
 
Arden,
That'll work. Sounds like you know more about it than I do. IMO, Rc 60-62 is a little hard and brittle for gun parts, but you will figure it out.

Look at Harry's pictures for the tool he uses to square up the corners, Sort of like a shaper tool in place of the end mill, push it down with the drill press handle on the mill, advance .003" to .005", push down again. You can square the corners in less time than it takes to set up a shaper or shaper attachment. Works much better than I expected. Best of luck on the project.       Chuck
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