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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Ballard and Mecheam high wall (Read 10613 times)
KWK
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Re: Ballard and Mecheam high wall
Reply #15 - May 22nd, 2005 at 9:23pm
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Joe, thanks for all the information; my notebook is now a bit thicker. I had been under the impression the firing pin on the M-N conversions was longer than it's passage through the breech, not a floating or inertia pin. But for this to have worked, the connecting link would have to be modified so it could nudge the hammer back directly, instead of nudging back the lobe on the original firing pin. 

I have four of de Haas's books on singles, including the three principle ones on the actions. It's also fun to rumage through the old filings at the US patent office, which are now all available off the internet for free. There I'd come across an action by an Aston from England. The layout is quite similar to the Ruger No. 1, but the hammer had an integral firing pin.  For this to work reliably, there'd have to be a fair amout of clearance between the firing pin and its passage through the breech block. Other than that, it looked like a nice action for a first try at building one's own -- only 10 parts in the entire action.  I thought a nice low pressure .44-40 might survive in it.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

  Karl
« Last Edit: May 22nd, 2005 at 9:29pm by KWK »  

Karl
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JDSteele
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Re: Ballard and Mecheam high wall
Reply #16 - May 22nd, 2005 at 10:35pm
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Pete, I believe the TD flat spring action info is in one of John Campbell's books, probably the first one.

It's my personal belief that Winchester used more overtravel than necessary in order to ensure that no unsafe rifles left the factory. Although the walls were made 'to gauge', there was/is still enough variation so that I have observed a definite difference in the amount of overtravel in the course of examining a number of rifles over the years. For this reason I believe the factory increased the amount of nominal design overtravel so that the tolerance spread wouldn't cause problems. I can't figure any other reason for such an obvious glitch in a John Browning design.

Karl, Many M-N conversions have the longer safer f/p's, not all are the floating or inertia type. And you're right, the link must be modified to retract the hammer, de Haas shows this very clearly in several of his books. He also describes a very practical and straightforward M-N conversion, for those who prefer it.

The British action you describe sounds like it would be fine for the 44-40. But don't sell their system short, the hammer-with-integral-firing-pin system can be made almost as gas-tight as the separate f/p type. I have a Westley Richards boxlock double with this type f/p system (made in 1883!), and the f/p noses are an extremely close fit in their breechface holes, certainly snug enough for any of the medium-pressure rifle cartridges like the 30-40 or 303 for instance.
Good luck with your project, Joe
  
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KWK
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Re: Ballard and Mecheam high wall
Reply #17 - May 23rd, 2005 at 12:34am
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Joe, I wasn't clear in my description of the Aston, which is a falling block.  With the hammer pivoting on the frame instead of the falling block, a fair amount of clearance would have to be left for the firing pin to ensure easy passage when a bit of grit kept the breech from rising fully.

Also, you mentioned the Borchardt's firing pin retractor.  Does it ever get out of "tune" as the action wears, and if so, where will be the wear that causes it?

  Karl
« Last Edit: May 23rd, 2005 at 8:57am by KWK »  

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