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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) .22 Low Wall head space issue (Read 1096 times)
bpjack
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.22 Low Wall head space issue
Aug 29th, 2017 at 7:53pm
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I have an old Low Wall that has a fairly heavy .22 barrel that came off a High wall (small shank) that I had built quite a few years ago.  There is a gap of about .040 between the end of the barrel and the face of the breech block and a gap of about .020 between the case and the breech block.  This results in a slight bulge at the base of a fired case.  I had one case split yesterday as well.  Here are a few shots.  The second picture shows the extractor fully forward.   cont.....

  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #1 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 7:57pm
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A couple of more photos.

  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #2 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 7:59pm
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The rifle showed some promise yesterday buy tended to throw the odd flyer.
« Last Edit: Aug 29th, 2017 at 8:08pm by bpjack »  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #3 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 8:07pm
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the bore is as good as I have seen with sharp rifling yet is does not usually shoot like I would like it.  The best I can do art 100 yds is 1.5 to 2 inches with all sorts of match grade ammo.  I am considering a couple of options. Sell the rifle as is and pick another low wall action to have rebarrelled.  I do have a newer scalloped low wall breech block that has butts up tight to the end of this barrel (without the extractor in place) so another option would be to have the extractor cut deepened and a new chamber cut to have everything flush with the end of the barrel.  I would probably sell it at that point with fewer reservations.  The nuclear option is to have the rifle rebarrelled with the new block.  I assume the excessive headspace may be contributing to the accuracy problems but how unsafe is it to keep shooting it that way?

Thanks

jack
  

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n.r.davis
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #4 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 8:14pm
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Because I don't know anything I get to ask questions.  Why is the extractor Proud of the end of the barrel?  Does the Breach Block lock up on the Extractor?  I would think the barrel could be set back, extractor cut deeper and then the Breach Block would lock up even on both.  But I wish my little Stevens could shoot groups like that.
  
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #5 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 9:28pm
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You don't give the barrel length but if it were mine I would just clean the whole thing up and set the barrel back if the accuracy is acceptable to you.  The replacement barrel negates the collector value so no worries there. As far as being safe to shoot I wouldn't shoot it a lot if it is splitting cases till I had it fixed. A new clean chamber and headspace will definitely help in the accuracy department. Still a good looking early Lo Wall. (Or you could sell it to me)Just kidding......Kinda

JMH
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #6 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 10:33pm
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Set bad with a match chamber is the first thing I would try. 

I have had .22s rupture.  I hate it when that happens  Cry  I would not shoot it like that.
  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #7 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 10:49pm
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It does lock up on the extractor.  Setting the barrel back would open up a host of other issues with regard to the flat spring and forend dovetails and the rear sight block holes. 

BUT, Based on N. r. Davis' question,  I decided to install the other breech block without the extractor and it did not fit right.  It sat too high and did not look right.  So much for that option.  Besides setting the barrel back or having the breech face built up, re-barreling would be the best choice.  My next task is to see if the block, hammer and set trigger parts from a .22 High Wall I have fit properly in this action.  More than likely, I am going to put this up for sale. 

Thanks

Jack
  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #8 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 10:54pm
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Bob,

i have shot it quite a bit.  Recently about 150 rds.  10+ years ago I must have shot 1000 rds through it of all types.  I only had one rupture.  If I were to keep it, rebarriling with a RKS barrel would be my choice.  I would only consider that if I can get a set trigger to work in it.  Based on what Low Walls are listed on Gun Broker, I figure I can get my $800 investment back eventually.

Back to the drawing board.

  

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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #9 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 11:59pm
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Too bad Chuck didn't set it back when he was setting back.  Cost was attractive.

I would definitely be attracted to a set trigger or a BSA.
  

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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #10 - Aug 30th, 2017 at 8:22am
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Another possibility would be to solder a half-circle disc of steel of the proper thickness to the top half of the breech end of your barrel and recut the rim seat in that.

I have a relined Ballard that had the thin metal rim around the chamber fatigue and come off.  The block was then pressing only on the rear of the shell, with no support around the rim, and bursts and cracks would occur.  I made a tiny ring of metal with a hole in the center just large enough for the rim of a .22 shell to fit, thinned it down to fit the headspace between barrel breech and block, and cut a slot for the extractor.

I degreased barrel end and disc, greased up block, extractor and a fired .22 shell, glued disc to breech face with JB Weld, and chambered the empty shell and closed the breech, leaving it closed for a weekend.

I opened the breech (it wasn't glued together Cheesy) removed shell and grease, and took it to the range.  No more burst rims, and it's held together ever since.  (Knock on wood.)  I only very rarely clean the bore, and am careful with cleaning solvents, but as there are no side thrusts or pressures, simply having the disc in place for rim support seems to do the trick.

The Ballard was a shot out .22 which had been rebored to .25 RF by the Stevens Co. and shot out again.  The rim seat was oversized, and the tiny circle fits in there.  The block headspaces on the rest of the barrel just fine.

Desperate times, desperate measures.
  
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uscra112
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #11 - Sep 3rd, 2017 at 9:47am
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Could you add metal to the face of the breechblock, maybe by doing a Mann-Niedner firing pin mod., and leaving the bushing on the breechblock face proud by the necessary distance?   This would involve thinning the extractor so it is flush with the barrel face.
  

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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #12 - Sep 3rd, 2017 at 12:26pm
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Since the extractor sits proud of the end of the barrel, it is flush with the block face.  This would prevent any buildup of the block face unless the extractor cut is deepened.  The rifle is kind of growing on me. Reading Campbell's book it looks to be an early panel side low wall which was the first iteration.   I am leaning towards having John King install a RKS .22 barrel on it.  Then if it doesn't shoot the way I like, I will only have myself to blame.  This model with the high block will take High Wall hammers so I could swap out some set trigger parts from another High Wall i have.

Jack
  

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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #13 - Sep 3rd, 2017 at 5:17pm
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I would definitely go with Bentramrod's approach.
That was my thought till he beat me to it.
  
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bpjack
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Re: .22 Low Wall head space issue
Reply #14 - Sep 3rd, 2017 at 5:47pm
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That option of adding to the barrel would probably work.  It is beyond my abilities but there is a local smith/machinist who I have been wanting to try out.  If he can demonstrate to me that he can safely remove the stuck barrel, I may give it a shot.

Jack
  

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