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Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Jul 11th, 2017 at 1:27pm
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I just got a Stevens 44 1/2 in 22LR with double set triggers
My problem is that there are no springs left in the trigger and I need to make some but have no idea what they look like or where they go. Just by looking I can see maybe where they go but it is a crap shoot any help would be great maybe some pics.
Another thing that is a little baffling to me is that the front of the receiver is stamped 50. This action was engraved but most of it is rusted off. I have the action all disassembled and cleaned, but it will never be a nice looking rifle just a shooter. Just a shame to see any of the old stuff being thrown away. Fairly low 4 digit serial # 3469. Barrel is 25" round and has a slight taper rear of barrel is .970.
Thanks for any help
  
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frnkeore
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #1 - Jul 11th, 2017 at 1:34pm
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Will have the springs you need and most anything else.

Any pictures you could post would be helpfull to us.

Frank
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #2 - Jul 15th, 2017 at 10:14pm
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Hope this gun wasn't in a fire hot enough to burn the wood off? Metal will be way too soft if it was.
  

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QuestionableMaynard8130
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #3 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 9:15am
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out of ignorant curiosity; It the action was "dis-tempered" in a structure fire could it be re heat treated?    Or is it a matter of uncontrolled draw-down in a chemically contaminated fire and possible warpage?

 I have heard that engravers have to draw down hard actions to engrave them then re-harden them after the engraving is done.  how do they control warpage in that process?
  

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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #4 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 9:24am
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What is the effect on a heavy barrel in a structure fire? And can they be rebored to a larger caliber?
  
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John Taylor
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #5 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 10:05am
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In a fire the metal will become soft or annealed as long as it has not been hit with water from a fire hose or other source.  The annealing will take some of the carbon out of the case so it needs to be added back in to do a case hardening. Anytime something is heated for case hardening it has a chance to warp.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #6 - Jul 16th, 2017 at 10:42am
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Annealing in preparation for engraving or working the metal is not only more controlled than a house fire, but also cooled in a controlled environment. I personally wouldn't ever use an action that had gone through a fire as there's no way to know what it's been through, or how hot it has gotten.
But if the wood was scorched, and mostly there still, I'd consider rebuilding it, as it obviously never got too hot.
  

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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #7 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 8:33am
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thanks guy this is something I have seen occasionally referred to (fire damaged guns); but never quite understood the why and how of it.

My very first single shot was a very basic low-wall in 32-20 with a stock that was badly scorched on the off-side--almost blackened toward the buttplate but not charred and no wood was missing.  Harry McGowen re rifled and rechambered it for me to 357mag------thats one rifle I REALLY wish I had kept.
  

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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #8 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 7:45pm
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I certainly have a different opinion on this gun.  Even if it is dead soft, it's a .22 lr.  If it were mine, I would buy new pins, screws and springs from CPA.  I would then use Kasenit to re harden the link, triggers, knockoff and hammer.  Once it is relined or re barreled and the head space is right you will be good to go.  It might be ugly with the pitting but should be a fun project and not to difficult.
P.S.  The screws from CPA will need to be shortened as their action is thicker. Wink
  

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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #9 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:04pm
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And my question to the metallurgists out there is what in general would be the impact of a house fire on a heavy barrel alone? Lets say it was hot enough to burn the stocks off the rifle.
I ask only because I have such a barrel of false muzzle, cross patch design.
Any help would be appreciated
  
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #10 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:24pm
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830singleshot wrote on Jul 17th, 2017 at 7:45pm:
I certainly have a different opinion on this gun.  Even if it is dead soft, it's a .22 lr.  If it were mine, I would buy new pins, screws and springs from CPA.  I would then use Kasenit to re harden the link, triggers, knockoff and hammer.  Once it is relined or re barreled and the head space is right you will be good to go.  It might be ugly with the pitting but should be a fun project and not to difficult.
P.S.  The screws from CPA will need to be shortened as their action is thicker. Wink


What do you do about the dead soft frame? New pins and screws only fix half of the issue? And what if the fire was put out with water, and the gun isn't dead soft, but instead brittle?
The issue in my mind is there's no way to know what the metal is now? It was an uncontrolled environment, so it could be soft, or very brittle? Not many guns are worth the chance, and I know my appendages aren't worth the chance.
  

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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #11 - Jul 17th, 2017 at 9:31pm
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I don't think that the thread pitch that CPA uses on their rifle is the same as Stevens rifles. Stevens used a lot of 30TPI screws and a few other odd pitches I would have to get my prints out to see. I have some screw for the 044 1/2 and the 44 1/2 on hand. Ken
  
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #12 - Jul 21st, 2017 at 10:34pm
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When I got the rifle it had no wood all I know is that the guy that gave it to me said it was in a fire. So maybe the charred wood was removed.
The barrel was bent I straightened it on a press and then in a lathe got it within .005 the rifling is not shiny but still a lot remains. I have the action rebuilt, made my own screws and springs, boy the main spring was a challenge did it 3 times till I got it right. I did not live fire it but did pop off a few brass with the bullets and powder removed just to see if it would fire.
Now it is on to fitting the wood.
Just a fun project do not intend to shoot it that much.
As for the metal condition I don't see any difference in the hardness over the other 44's I have, I tested the metal in a place where you can't see the mark with a bullet hardness tester.
  
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #13 - Jul 22nd, 2017 at 11:21am
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Most of the gun forgings of that time were done with what was called "machinery steel," which was equivalent to the low-carbon, hot-rolled article of today.  The casehardening done was for looks, of course, and also to keep the parts from getting dinged in handling or scratched from rubbing together in use.

You could have your action parts annealed, by putting them in a metal box full of pulverized charcoal and heating the box in a furnace, soaking for a few hours, and allowing the furnace to cool to room temperature overnight.  Unless they are cracked or melted, this process would bring your parts back to the starting point.

Afterwards, the parts can be polished, heated in the same box with a mixture of bone and wood charcoal, and quenched in ice water, agitated by air bubbles.  The surface will be hardened again, and colored, although the classic Stevens ripple will probably not be there.

There should be outfits that will do this for you, especially if you do the preliminary polishing yourself.  Check with Turnbull, and other such heat-treating shops.  CPA should be able to do your parts in the Stevens ripple pattern.  Or, you could go to Lassen College and take their Color Case-Hardening course, and learn to do it yourself.

We are fortunate, in a way, when we deal with the original parts.  Old gun frames had steel of a simple analysis, and case hardening was the way to go.  Internal parts, if of tool steel, were advertised as such in catalogs, so the heat treating of these parts would be done in a different, though still straightforward manner.  All that changed as the factories did their research on guns for high-intensity cartridges.  Once these new alloys started showing their superiority, their use spread, edging out the older alloys.

It's the modern replicas that the instructors at Lassen warned us about, that are made of proprietary alloys that could go through the old-time case-hardening processes and wind up anywhere from the same as before to brittle hand grenade material.

I can't seem to find my Lassen course notebook that has all the temperatures in it.  I know I put it in a "safe place," though Embarrassed.

  
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Re: Fire restoration project Stevens 44 1/2 22 LR
Reply #14 - Jul 23rd, 2017 at 8:18am
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How do you get connected for this Lassen college course.
Lee
  
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