So, what should I do?
I mentioned in another thread that I have an old beat up gun on which I'm going to try to learn gunsmithing.
The gun: Colt Army Special model, DOB 1912. 38 special, 6 inch barrel. Paid less than $100 including tax and background check fee
The gun is not in working order, and was not loved in its previous life. It's in rough enough shape in and out, that I'm not worried about forever altering a collectors piece or anything.
So, my choice. I had envisioned simply refurbishing it. I've already taken it apart and put it back together a few times. It doesn't need a ton of work internally. Needs a new hand, and bolt as well as some of the parts and springs that pull the bolt down. Probably need to fill then re-cut the bolt stops as they are worn on the edges to where the combination with the worn bolt causes the cylinder to be able to be pushed out of the frame without pulling the latch. A lot of the springs seem in good order, but due to the age, if I can find some I'll probably replace them as well. The spring that provides tension to the cylinder latch is weak though. There's also something preventing the firing pin from making it into the frame window, haven't quite figured that out yet. Then send it away for a re-blue, as it has almost no finish left on it and find stocks for it.
The other option. Was browsing through one of my many many gun magazines the other day, and I came across a story on the Fitz special. Now I wouldn't carry a Fitz special, as while neat, I am not a fan of the open trigger guard unless I was wearing heavy gloves or something. But it would be neat to have in my collection (yeah yeah, I know it's technically the wrong model). I'm not at all proficient in metal working, so after I fix the interior, I'd have to send it away for the Fitz modification and the re-blue, so the cost would go up.
Any suggestions? This project will be getting off the ground slowly. In all honesty, the final blueing/shaping will probably be years down the road, as that will be the most expensive part. But it should be worth the wait either way.
First off..... :worthless:
Second. I am A simpleton so I would prefer it returned to stock if possible.
I would replace all the innards; refinish the exterior and replace the stocks with something usable but pretty.
While I respect the idea of setting it up like the Fitz (BTW I got the same magazine), I think bringing it back to something you could really use is a neat idea.
For springs try Wolff Gunsprings, they are on the wb Wolff Gunsprings - Firearm Springs for Semi-Auto Pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, & Shotguns
Brownells offers DIY refinishing suppliies. World's Largest Supplier of Gun Parts, Gunsmith Tools & Shooting Accessories - Brownells
I like their manganese-phosphate parkerizing kit. or you can do your own re-blue, too. I prefer the parkerize process as it is less complrx, lower heat, and safer to use. The manganese-phosphate gives you a dark gray to black finish. The alloy of the underlying steel may cause a variance with the shade of gray, very common with sideplates. Post-64 Winchester model 94 lever guns with the cast receivers that age into plum color do not re-blue well. The parkerize matches well when you do the whole rifle.
If the Colio School of Trades is still there, they had a fomal program for general gunsmithing.
I have an old Colt New Service 44-40 and it needs a re-barrel, have the new barrel, just looking for a gunsmith around the NW to fit it.
I like the idea of keeping the butt of the gun as is. It's a square butt gun, and it'd need a lot of reshaping to get the Fitz profile.
The stocks that are on there appear to be cheap mother of pearl added sometime in the past century, so I'm wide open as to what to put on the gun.
As requested, here are a couple pics. The second gun is a S&W L frame for size comparison.