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Thread: what is a gunsmith?

  1. #41
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Ideally that would be true. Reality is most people are not very mechanically inclined. It's truly amazing how much damage these people can do anytime they try to do their own repairs or modifications.
    I've come into some real bargains because they'd been "repaired" by some Parkenfarker. It's very satisfying to get one and put it right.
    Cognitive Dissident

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    Must get it from my father too. He did everything from biochemistry to rebuilding carburators to building houses and now making fine furniture. Also an engineer, i built several 1911s, ars and precision rifles, fixed a bunch of problems with my smith and wesson 500. And did a few things on my saaThe one thing i will not do is mess around inside my 84 colt python.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    I count myself a pretty good mechanic and engineer, probably got it from my father. Built and rebuilt machine tools for 30 years, ranging from 10EE Monarchs to aerospace machines bigger than a boxcar. Built race bikes for a hobby for 20+ years, and won a few races with 'em. Engineered automation and fixtures for a first tier supplier to Ford and GM. In my retirement I've rebarreled and relined and restored quite a few old Stevens, H&A and Ballard rifles. making parts as needed including springs..

    But I won't touch the innards of my Colt and S&W revolvers. I may be the owner and user, but that work will go to a specialist

    Speaking of which - can anybody recommend a smith who's good on Colts? One of mine needs the hand stretched.
    I do all my own work so this is just word of mouth from others. Bobby Tyler has a very very good reputation.

    https://revolverguy.com/revolver-gun...undup-part-ii/

    https://www.tylergunworks.com/about
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 01-25-2022 at 05:07 AM.
    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."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Reading some of the above reminds me of an old timer that I worked with and taught me many things. He used to say.....it’s more important to know what you don’t know, than to talk about what you do know. It also reminds me of Inspector Harry Callahan....a man’s got to know his limitations !

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Never thought of trying a file for a spring but I have made several springs from old car springs and new annealed stock. Last one I made was for an 1840 East Indian musket. Also use old car springs for firing pins, machine as is with no heat treat. Seems modern files are not hard all the way through like the old ones. I have made flint and steel fire starters from old files and a few special cutters.
    You are correct that a lot of the current files a case hardened.

    Currently the claim is the Nicholson files are still made of 1095 same as a lot of the automotive leaf springs. 1095 has been the mainstay for spring steel and or files forever. For files the heat treatment is full hard.

    At one time Nicholson also used W1 steel. I only owned a couple of files that I believed to be made W1. They are the best files I have owned. For springs making 1095 or 1075 is a better choice.

    Not sure when Nicholson went exclusively to 1095 but I do know with both Nicholson and Simonds files the quality of the material has been going downhill since the 80's. I still have and use files from that era and before. They seem to last almost forever with proper care. Today's premium files not so much. There is a significant difference in performance with both Nicholson and Simonds since they moved production offshore. It may still be 1095 but it's not the same quality as the older product. That is not uncommon with foreign steels. Newer post 2010 Nicholsons are made in Mexico or Brazil and are not close to the quality of the older US made Nicholsons.

    Currently a lot of the cheaper files are case hardened and not suitable for making things like springs, knives or much else. Even on the more premium files likes Simonds they switched to case hardened steels at least for some of their files. For me that moves them out of the premium category.

    On a side note, there are numerous companies that resharpen files. Most use an acid etch but some use an abrasive blast. You can do the acid etch at home using vinegar with a 24-hour soak. Vinegar soaks work well to restore dull files but once chipped or worn to the point you see flats on the crest of the teeth not so much. Proper use of chalk or soapstone and a file card greatly increase a files useful lifespan.

    Currently Grobets brand files seems to be the best available. I have heard good things about Pferd brand, but I have never used them.

    The last Nicholsons that I purchased were NOS US made long angle lathe files. I prefer them for draw filing.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 01-24-2022 at 09:33 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."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  6. #46
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    You are correct that a lot of the current files a case hardened.

    Currently the claim is the Nicholson files are still made of 1095 same as a lot of the automotive leaf springs. 1095 has been the mainstay for spring steel and or files forever. For files the heat treatment is full hard.

    At one time Nicholson also used W1 steel. I only owned a couple of files that I believed to be made W1. They are the best files I have owned. For springs making 1095 or 1075 is a better choice.

    Not sure when Nicholson went exclusively to 1095 but I do know with both Nicholson and Simonds files the quality of the material has been going downhill since the 80's. I still have and use files from that era and before. They seem to last almost forever with proper care. Today's premium files not so much. There is a significant difference in performance with both Nicholson and Simonds since they moved production offshore. It may still be 1095 but it's not the same quality as the older product. That is not uncommon with foreign steels Newer post 2010 Nicholsons are made in Mexico or Brazil and are not close to the quality of the older US made Nicholsons.

    Currently a lot of the cheaper files are case hardened and not suitable for making things like springs, knives or much else. Even on the more premium files likes Simonds they switched to case hardened steels at least for some of their files. For me that moves them out of the premium category.

    On a side note, there are numerous companies that resharpen files. Most use an acid etch but some use an abrasive blast. You can do the acid etch at home using vinegar with a 24-hour soak. Vinegar soaks work well to restore dull files but once chipped or worn to the point you see flats on the crest of the teeth not so much. Proper use of chalk or soapstone and a file card greatly increase a files useful lifespan.

    Currently Grobets brand files seems to be the best available. I have heard good things about Pferd brand, but I have never used them.

    The last Nicholsons that I purchased were NOS US made long angle lathe files. I prefer them for draw filing.
    Thanks for the info. I have several boxes of used files that came from a saw mill. Have not bought a file in the last 20 years. Did notice that if a file is used on steel it does not want to cut brass. I probably wear out most of the ones I have by using them on the lathe.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master


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    Her's the one they need

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  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy todd9.3x57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer in nh View Post
    her's the one they need

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    thats what i need!!!!!!!!!!!
    I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

    Thor Heyerdahl

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  9. #49
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    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    Her's the one they need

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    I'd be more impressed if I ever saw old Wile E. actually avoid the falling anvil.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check