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I had my first foray into gunsmithing this past weekend.

A friend of mine promised to find a responsible owner for a tiny WWII-era, French-made .22 semi-auto pistol belonging to the recently-deceased father (he was a jeweler in Oakland in the Bad Old Days) of a friend of my friend. Turns out I'm responsible... who knew?

Long story short, I took possession of the pistol last weekend, and quickly discovered that it was in need of some loving. The bluing was worn off in numerous places, the clip was both not feeding all the way to the top, and sticking in the grip, and most of all, it was missing the extractor.

The clip was pretty easy to fix: it badly needed cleaning and a little autobody work. The follower was hanging up on one of the cutouts in the body - this was just a matter of tucking some flanges on the follower a little further under. The clip body had some dents that needed to be removed, and I found a correctly-sized mandrel in my junk box and tapped them out with a tiny ball peen hammer.

I did a little research on the pistol and found just a single site offering spare parts, but none for this particular pistol. Perusing their exploded views, I saw a similar model which showed the general arrangement of the extractor. It rocks on a pin, and has a tiny spring which allows the the extractor to ride over the rim before snapping into place between the rim and barrel.

Regarding the spring, I couldn't find any springs small enough on McMaster or Small Parts, so I bought a roll of .016" music wire and will have a go at winding tiny springs. I've done some larger springs, and find it a very interesting process. BTW, if anyone needs .016" music wire, I have enough for 10 lifetimes. 366 feet, and I probably only need 2 feet, including experiments.

So, I made a couple of 16-gauge sheet metal patterns and verified that they worked before moving to O1 steel. There were only two machining ops: reducing the 1/8" thickness to 2.75mm, and drilling a 2.5 mm hole for the rocker pin. The rest was done entirely by hand with files. O1 sure files nice. The resulting part is less than 1" long, and about 1/4" wide.

For some reason, it took quite a bit of tinkering with the full-width extractor to make it work correctly, but triumphed in the end. Next step was heat treatment. I tried twice to use a stainless foil packet to protect the part from scale during heating, but quickly discovered that an Oxy/Acetylene flame burnt right through the foil, and that a MAPP gas torch wouldn't get the part inside hot enough. Perhaps two MAPP gas torches would do the trick. Anyway, it was a small part, so I just dangled it in front of the MAPP gas torch nekid and got'r dunn. The resulting scale polished off easily enough on a diamond lap. I carefully annealed it over a very low torch flame.

A totally new technology in my shop is cold bluing. I bought some Birchwood Casey Super Blue off Amazon. I have to say, not much in the way of instructions with that package. I'm not sure what I've done wrong with this product, but it's not producing a very deep blue, despite 5 or 6 treatments. And, despite cleaning the blued part at the end with both alcohol and acetone, and wiping it down liberally with WD40, it has a light coating of rust on it after just a day. I think my next step will be heating the parts to increase the reactivity of the chemistry.

Perhaps today I'll look at taking some pix.
Congrats Al. Smiley-eatdrink004

What model? 823? 2000? Escort? Corsair? Bcf66?

I might suggest you do one thing in the future for your own sake. Remove the word "clip" from your vocabulary and replace it with "magazine". Thanks to the news media, the nomenclature Nazis all across the net just LOVE to jump all over that one. In essence, clips feed ammunition into magazines. Magazines feed ammunition into firearms.

To them, calling a magazine a "clip" is like saying something bad about their momma.... Rotfl
Unless of course you are talking about the venerable M1 Grand. It truly does use a clip (en bloc), to clip together eight rounds. Does that make it an assault rifle? Big Grin

(07-19-2016, 04:48 PM)TomG Wrote: [ -> ]Does that make it an assault rifle? Big Grin


Of course it does. Or a Glock. That's an assault rifle too according to the talking heads on the news. I watched them show a picture on the news this evening of the bull pup rifle used by the latest sniper/terrorist/ambush nut-case. That of course was an "AR style" rifle! Say WHAAAAAA!!!!????

And Tom is right. The US rifle, cal .30 M1 uses an en-block clip to hold it's ammunition inside of the rifles magazine, which consists of the receiver walls and feed mechanism which is part of the trigger housing. The en-bloc clip, alone and of itself cannot feed ammunition to the guns chamber. The defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine, typically a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks. And the Garand rifle is not the only rifle that uses this system.

A little remark to Roadracer_Al.  Your cold bluing  problems may stem from the fact you are applying cold rust blue then applying rust remover to the surface.  Use a fine instrument oil after a soft carding of the cold blue surface (rubbing with a very fine steel wool) or even something along the lines of Rem Oil.  Far, far better then WD-40, which is a water displacement-penetrant type product not intended to protect firearm bluing regardless of what other people do.  Show me advertising to the contrary.  Fishing gear, yes, shooting, no. Best cold blue I have found comes from Brownels and called Oxopho or something. Two or three coats applied with a cotton swab and carded down, then oiled. Bingo what a score. Even blues through light oil and dirt, I can not explain that one!

I now turn my soap box over to the next honorable well informed shooter/handloader Smiley-dancenana
Heating the part slightly - uncomfortable to hold in a bare hand, but not hot enough to burn you - will help the bluing process along. Make sure the part is squeaky clean before bluing. Scrub the bluing solution onto the part using gun cleaning patches or very fine steel wool. Let sit for about a minute, and do it again. Repeat one more time, then use fine oil (watchmaker's oil is perfect) to rub the part and stop the reaction. That's the method I use to blue parts for my model engines, and it holds up quite well.
OK, magazine.

Thanks for the bluing tips. I'll report back on my upcoming success/failure to achieve a darker blue.
(07-19-2016, 11:45 PM)rdhem2 Wrote: [ -> ]Best cold blue I have found comes from Brownels and called Oxopho or something.

Amazon carries it as well.

Also available in a cream formula:
I have to say, I'm impressed with the difference heating made. Puts a significantly darker finish on. I only had time to do one coat, but I look forward to doing a couple more today.

I just don't understand this "New Economy"... I looked at McMaster, and couldn't find the spring so I looked at music wire. They sold it by spool and by 1' sections in a 10-pack. The spool was about $25, plus shipping. The short rod package of 10 was about $12, plus shipping.

So I looked on Amazon, and the spool (which in .016", contains 366 feet) was $14 with free shipping and arrived yesterday.

In other news, since we discussed heat treatment, my wife has expressed an interest in making enameled pins for our athletic club, so an electric furnace and a gas foundry may be in my near future!
I spent a lot of time on the Unique today. I managed to get the spring made on just the second try. I used less than 6" of wire. 365.5 feet left over. :) The extractor works great now!

Having conquered one issue, I loaded up the magazine to see how it would feed. Bam. Feed jam. So I spent the afternoon tinkering with the magazine, trying to get the bullets to point upwards more, and managed to break a part of the pusher block, which was an odd assembly of hardened steel and phosphor bronze soft soldered to the steel.

So I measured the feed block and made one out of aluminum. I loaded that up and BAM another feed jam.

This prompts me to start looking very carefully at the feed ramp, and there it is, I know what the problem is. The barrel didn't come with this gun, and feed ramp is more than 1/16" behind the feed ramp in the frame!

That's got me stalled for now. I think I'll make a shim in brass or bronze and JB weld it to the frame. I don't feel much like soft-soldering since I'd probably have to re-blue the frame, and there are a few features which I'm not entirely sure how to break down. A number of them appear to be permanently installed with pins in blind holes.
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