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Thread: Revolver cylinder gap fix and advice needed!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Revolver cylinder gap fix and advice needed!

    So I got an 1858 .36 cal original revolver, the previous owner grinded down the cylinder for some reason... causing crazy pressure drops. Balls get stuck in the barrel.

    I tried to rebuild it with a mig welder. I set it on the lowest setting, not to melt the cylinder or harm it in any way. I have alot of polishing and alittle fitting along with some crack repairs to do. IM NOT A WELDER. JUST A GUY WITH A MIG WELDER.

    *I dont care about collector value and such....

    Il probably get a new .38 special cylinder one day but im in no rush. Do you guys think it will hold?

    Before:


    After:



  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    you wouldnt catch me pulling the trigger on it after you buzzed it with a mig.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    Looks pretty good. A proper size reamer to even up the chamber mouths and it ought to work. One hopes there are no seams under the weld that might accumulate fouling and start to rust.

    I have an ASM Walker that had too much cylinder gap. I left the cylinder alone, but shortened the arbor and shaved off the breech end of the barrel lug, deepened the locating pin holes and did a little filing on the cutout next to the rammer so conical boolits would fit.

    Desperate times, desperate measures. It shoots fine now.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty o View Post
    you wouldnt catch me pulling the trigger on it after you buzzed it with a mig.
    Why? It heated up the steel?

    If it got hot i cooled it down in water. It never got red hot or anything.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev18 View Post
    Why? It heated up the steel?

    If it got hot i cooled it down in water. It never got red hot or anything.
    and you cooled it in water, that's worse. it is now potentially brittle.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    The cylinder will be brittle now that you cooled it with water and will shatter easier. Better retire that one.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub Ajohns's Avatar
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    Boy I don't know about that. Ditto on the water quench especially on old steel. If collector value means nothing, you shoulda tried getting the barrel off, lathe turn the shoulder back (you or someone) and get the barrel set closer that way to get the gap to spec. Or hang it on the wall, buy a clone and bang away.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Another vote for wall hanger.

    But, miracles do happen, and a patient, diligent, continuing search might turn up another original cylinder from one of the parts vendors. That cylinder is toast.

    DG

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    I guess it was water cooled, but the water wasn't cold or anything. It's been sitting in the garage and it's 30c outside. And after taking it out it wasn't cool. Still pretty warm.
    I want to attempt to shoot it, i guess il strap it down somehow.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
    1911sw45's Avatar
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    You just made that cylinder unsafe mig welding it and made it brittle by water quenching it. You just made a grenade might not be the first time you pull the trigger but it’s coming.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
    1911sw45's Avatar
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    It don’t have to be cold water to make the metal brittle.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Alright well il see what happens I guess! If everything goes good il just keep it, and wait for a repro cylinder

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sw45 View Post
    You just made that cylinder unsafe mig welding it and made it brittle by water quenching it. You just made a grenade might not be the first time you pull the trigger but it’s coming.
    amen! a person shouldnt go randomly adding heat and quenching items that need to contain pressure. of course unless they dont like their fingers or eyes.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Not wanting to hijack the thread but I have an old Forehand Arms 38 S&W solid frame with .012" end shake. Was planning on soldering a .010" shim to tighten up the cylinder. Just planned to use 50/50 solder. That shouldn't weaken the steel should it?

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master



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    1. Reaming is not a good option since the reamer will follow where it starts. It would need to be bored on a milling machine.

    2. Generally it's a very poor idea to weld repair this type of damage. That being said chances are good that the cylinder is nothing more that mild steel so the quench MAY not be an issue if the mig wire was mild steel also. If the mig wire was an alloy it becomes a much bigger issue. Welding requires the base metal to melt so parts of the cylinder was way more than red hot.

    3. Even in that condition you should be able to sell it for 2X to 4X the cost of a modern replica.

    4. Finding a original matching cylinder would be restoring a piece of history.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 08-07-2019 at 10:58 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy OldBearHair's Avatar
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    Get the welder back out and fill all the holes on both ends. Maybe leave one open for tying on. It would make a good fishing weight.
    Soldering would sort of be like one who sticks a quality hunting knife in the fire and wonder why it turned purple. (650 degrees)

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Kev18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    1. Reaming is not a good option since the reamer will follow where it starts. It would need to be bored on a milling machine.

    2. Generally it's a very poor idea to weld repair this type of damage. That being said chances are good that the cylinder is nothing more that mild steel so the quench MAY not be an issue if the mig wire was mild steel also. If the mig wire was an alloy it becomes a much bigger issue. Welding requires the base metal to metal so parts of the cylinder was way more than red hot.

    3. Even in that condition you should be able to sell it for 2X to 4X the cost of a modern replica.

    4. Finding a original matching cylinder would be restoring a piece of history.
    It's definitely mild steel, i feel like it really won't be that bad. Especially how I weld... Im not good so I don't leave the welder on for a long amount of time. So it really doesn't heat up alot.
    And if you can find a cylinder, il buy it... Il keep an eye out at gun shows.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Last edited by M-Tecs; 08-07-2019 at 10:36 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Weld it up solid, then throw it in a deep lake. It should never come near powder of any kind again.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Had an old 1858 Remy come in several years back that had about .025" cylinder gap. Customer wanted to shoot it so I gave it a test fire, ball bounced off a 2x4 and left a small dent. I don't think I would have tried welding up the cylinder but setting the barrel back would probably work fine. Would have to move the loading lever catch if the barrel is set back. One of the Italian cylinders may fit with out too much work, probably better metal than an original.

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