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mm1ut1
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Peabody rimfire conversion
Aug 19th, 2014 at 2:39pm
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Last spring I obtained a Peabody carbine in "50 rimfire". It was in excellent condition inside and out with a like new bore. Doing a bit of research online I learned that there were several methods to shoot a large bore rimfire.
Easiest would be to buy cases from Dixie Gunworks that use off center 22 blanks as primers . Second method is to modify the existing block and firing pin to centerfire. Didn't want the first as 22 anything is hard to find. I wanted to keep the carbine in "As issued" so no mods to the block. I decided to go a third route and have a centerfire block made and fitted by Providence Tool Company, conveniently located about twenty miles from me.
Providence makes new Peabodys and the parts are interchangeable with the originals. Frank at Providence told me that they took laser measurements of original Peabody parts to make the molds and jigs and that with minor fitting should drop right in.
Because I live close and have a flexible work schedule I was able to watch Frank do the conversion and take a few photos of the process.
First thing done was the barrel was removed to take accurate measurements of the chamber. First surprise was that the carbine was chambered in 56/50 (Or one of the equivalents ), not the 50/60 Peabody I assumed it was. I had already ordered 50/70 brass to cut down to about 1.45". Chamber was 1.16" deep so 56/50 Spencer would have saved the trouble of cutting the brass to size.
Next the original block was replaced with a raw block. The new block dropped right in as predicted. The block was then machined to set the proper headspace and timing. The fit of the block and lever is critical to get the timing right. Frank had the proper jigs and machinery to make it look easy (as well as 40 plus years experience as a machinist ). The block was then polished and heat treated.
Surprise number two was the existing hammer was too thick to hit the firing pin, impacting on the block. Rather than grind the block or hammer we just replaced i
« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2014 at 2:56pm by mm1ut1 »  

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mm1ut1
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #1 - Aug 19th, 2014 at 2:53pm
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We replaced the hammer.
Yesterday we got the bullet molds, dropped a couple dozen, and made up a few BP rounds. Shooting from around 80 yards we got some pretty good groups despite the heavy trigger and not too good sights. All in all I'm very happy with the conversion. Not the cheapest way to go, but I now have a carbine I can shoot and reload ammo for and in a few minutes swap in the parts for a 100% original firearm.
« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2014 at 2:58pm by mm1ut1 »  

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mm1ut1
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #2 - Aug 19th, 2014 at 3:13pm
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Last photo shows the 56/50 Spencer rounds next to a 45 LC. We used a Lyman 340 gr bullet over 30 gr of 2F Swiss. We could probably go to 35 grains or a heavier bullet. Next up is to lighten the trigger which should by itself shrink the groups significantly .
  

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ron
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #3 - Aug 19th, 2014 at 3:32pm
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It is nice to see that you have brought back to life an old dog. Please send pictures of the next target after you work in the trigger.

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mm1ut1
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #4 - Aug 19th, 2014 at 3:59pm
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Will do!
I had limited time to get the ammo ready and test fire before I had to leave for work. Here is a test fire video
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Because it's a single shot I have a bit more options on bullet types. Most .515 bullet molds are flat nose for the Spencer. I'll see how tight I can get with this one, then try something else. Long winter ahead, plenty of time to work on it !
  

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fwierus
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #5 - Aug 20th, 2014 at 4:40pm
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Just completed the finishing touches to the carbine.My own lock parts fit perfect to the original lock set.I needed to reduce hammer pressure because the original was to heavy to help penetrate the rim fire cartridge.Also the trigger pull was 12 lbs. worked over one of my springs to get a 3 lb. pull. Next week we will test it.By the way,I am not out of business,just getting on my feet and well.Getting good orders.Lots of scuttlebutt on this web site,but it goes with the group. Smiley Smiley
  
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spdalcher
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Re: Peabody rimfire conversion
Reply #6 - Aug 25th, 2014 at 7:59pm
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Well now you've done it! I don't have a Peabody in the collection and that will be changed very soon!
  
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