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Thread: .32 RF Leader Pistol to .22LR

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    .32 RF Leader Pistol to .22LR

    I bought this Leader years ago in non functioning condition.
    Got it working by making some new Springs.
    I bought a box of Navy Arms .32 RF but have never fired it.
    I decided to make some chamber Adapters out of some .22 barrel Liner material.
    I also turned down a section of the barrel liner to slip into the barrel without reaming out what rifling was left.
    The liners and chamber Adapters are being Epoxies in place.
    So far the pistol does fire off primed cases.
    Once the epoxy has fully cured I will test fire it off a test stand I am making.
    I did a .32 S&W Top Break the same way before and redid the firing pin for the .22 RF

    Now my phone won't allow me to download the pictures.
    But I will try again later

  2. #2
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Or I can take care of it. This is nifty!






  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you Armoredman.
    Like I say, I am not a Gunsmith.
    I am a Firearms Recycler.
    I think it is fun to get these old guns shooting again, no mater what it takes.
    But sometimes , economics come into play.
    That box of ammo goes for $175.00 now
    The gun in Perfect condition would Maybe fetch $75.00.
    But now I can shoot it economocly, and actually not hurt the limited collectors value.
    The adapters and the barrel liner can be removed and it restored to the original .32 RF with a heat gun.
    But in time, I think the new box of ammo will fetch a bigger profit.
    I bought this pistol, because it reminded me of my Great Grandfather. ( that I never Knew )
    He was a Gambler on the ships crossing the Atlantic in the early 1900's.
    He came over from Europe around the turn of the century and dropped his daughter ( My Grandmother ) off with his sister.
    Then sailed back to Europe.
    But when the boat docked in Amsterdam, he was not on board.
    Either he won big, and someone robbed him and threw him overboard.
    Or he lost Big, and Jumped overboard.
    Or just got drunk and Fell overboard.
    We will never know.
    But it looks like a pistol of the time that a Professional Gambler would have carried in their Gambling Kit.
    Cheap, but functional

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I have been looking at a Swiss Vetterli on Gunbroker that has a similar situation. It comes with a full box of ammo. (41 Swiss Rim Fire) If the ammo were sold the gun is almost free. And it is a shooter though the barrel has been shortened.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Those are guns that I seek out, and many times people give them to me for Free because they do not work.
    If they have been modified, the collectors value is non existant.
    But they can be fixed and shot in one form or the other.
    Maybe not the same caliber, but the fun is in the shooting, and knowing you brought something back to life out of a scrap pile or someones wall.
    Plus it helps me hone my skills, so they are ready to restore that once in a lifetime Real Collectors Piece.
    But if I had to take them to a gunsmith just to get them functioning, I would be upside down financally in a big hurry.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAGS View Post
    Those are guns that I seek out, and many times people give them to me for Free because they do not work.
    If they have been modified, the collectors value is non existant.
    But they can be fixed and shot in one form or the other.
    Maybe not the same caliber, but the fun is in the shooting, and knowing you brought something back to life out of a scrap pile or someones wall.
    Plus it helps me hone my skills, so they are ready to restore that once in a lifetime Real Collectors Piece.
    But if I had to take them to a gunsmith just to get them functioning, I would be upside down financally in a big hurry.
    I agree. I wish I had some old guns like that. Been looking on GunBroker. Way too expensive. Which leads me to a question. They have a lot of revolver "parts kits" on GunBroker. They consist of all the parts of the gun except the frame has been cut. Why do they do that? Why do people pay quite a lot for them?
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I find a lot of the old broken guns at Yard Sales.
    A friend of mine found a .38 RF Prescott pistol at a Yard sale for $5.
    And I found 6 pistols in a plastic tub at a gun show a few years back that were either Welded so they wouldnt function, Totally rusted and froze up or missing parts so they couldnt be fired.
    The woman said her friends had a Bar, and they were the wall decorations and would never shoot again.
    Well 4 out of the six, are currently in shooting condition.
    The other two, I will get around to some day.
    And one of them is another .38 RF Prescott like the one my friend found.
    It has some of the parts needed to restore his pistol, or at least I can see what the parts look like to make new parts.
    Both those will end up as either .32 S&W's or .22 RL since the barrels are so bad, and the brass frames have a crack on the left side in the same spot.
    Armoredman has seen and shot many of the pistols that I have recycled.
    He calls them my " Suicide Special Collection "
    Last edited by LAGS; 08-12-2017 at 10:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    You asked about those parts kits with cut frames.
    They can be sold with no FFL as a Non Gun.
    But if you sold all the other parts individually you could make some money.
    Plus it is a cheaper way to buy parts that you intend on customizing or modifying like Target hammers or triggers for guns that never came with that option.
    Very rarely will someone go to the trouble of welding the frame back together.
    But I have heard of some , making their own Custom Frame like for a Revolving Carbine or such

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I believe at least some of the parts kits are from Police Departments making them "safe" (on orders from the politicians) so they can dispose of them & clear out their evidence room.

    Regards

    Russ

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I built the Evidence Room and Crime Lab for the police department where I live.
    Any of the guns that are siezed or abandoned, and are not considered Evedience in a ongoing chrime investigation are seperated.
    The guns deemed not to be worth $100.00 are distroyed, and anything worth more than that are Auctioned off to FFL holders in Lots, not individualy. so they are about $10,000,00 min bid for each lot.
    The police Firearms are sometimes thrown in the lots when they sell off the firearms that they have to buy replacements.
    But another police depatrment I worked on in another state, they like you said, dismantled the guns, distroyed the frames and sold off the parts , so they could recoup some of the money to buy New Replacements, and not have the politicians, fearing that a Police Gun could eventually end up being used in a crime in a few years.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I got the chamber adapters epoxied into the cylinder and the notches cut in the rim area to clear the fixed firing pin.
    The barrel liner was turned down and Epoxied into the original barrel without removing the original rifling.
    Took it out and test fired it in my Test Firing chamber.
    Everything went fine with both .22 Shorts and standard .22 LR ammo.
    The chambers were a little oversized because I reamed the adapters twice because I originally reamed them with a Barrel Chambering reamer instead of a Cylinder Chambering Reamer.
    The cases were expanded a little but no harm.
    The pistol with that short barrel is LOUD.
    The nice thing about these Pull Pin revolvers is, you do not have to mess with any Extractor Star.
    You just drop out the cylinder and use the cylinder pin to push out the empties.
    Or you can put it on Half Cock, and use a seperate rod to extract the cases without pulling out the cylinder.

    BTW
    Does anyone know what the chamber pressure is on a .22LR in comparisson to the .32 RF Long ?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    So far so good with test firing the Leader.
    I have fired over 50 rounds thru it in my test firing chamber.
    Liners are still tight as is the Epoxied in Barrel liner.
    Now it is time to take it to the range and check it for accuracy.
    I really dont expect it to be really accurate.
    But it is firing again without sending me to the Poor House firing .32 RF ammo.
    It is just a cheap Novality, that is better in some kind of firing condition, than hanging on the wall in a Shadow Box as a display or decoration.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    It's just fun, and that's all it needs to be.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    @ Armoredman.
    You didnt tell them that you saw it fire off the test stand.
    Then I did fire it in my hand.
    It shot good, but the tiny sights suck.
    I was hitting 4 feet high at 80 Yards but pretty much on right to left.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    No, I didn't say that, did I. I did handle it, and that is a lot smaller than I thought it was. Nifty little gun, and you did say it seemed to better with the 22 Shorts. I didn't fire it, but that would make a pretty neat conversation starter.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    The 22 shorts were a lot less recoil out of that little gun, and more pleasurable to shoot.
    They also were easier to eject, because the 22 LR's seemed to hang up in the chamber a little bit
    Probably right at the chamber pressure limits for this old Black Powder Rimfire Revolver.
    Which it is not marked if it is a .32 RF short or .32 RF Long.
    But there is no ridge in the chamber since the bullet is the same diameter as the casing.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Probably the same ballistics, too!

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