Milling out 1860 Pietta inserts for a Ransom Rest

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M. De Land

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I finally got around to getting out to the range today and borrowed a set of Ruger inserts to copy and mill out for the 60 grip frame. I'm using half inch thick polycarbonate for the Ransom Insert body and will mold the grip frame into the milled out insert cavity with auto windshield Urethane rubber. It's pretty much an experiment and if successful I want to find out if a short arbor is as accurate as the same gun with end fitted arbor. I'll test with the gun as is and then end fit the arbor tight and see if accuracy is improved , denigrated or unchanged.
Should be an interesting project if successful and will post results of group shooting . I will use all six cylinders not just the most accurate one.
I also may do some bench group shooting over sand bags for comparison.
 

Ed C.

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I'm looking forward to your findings. I would also suggest that when testing the short arbor gun you may get different results within that group all depending on the wedge position.
 

M. De Land

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I'm looking forward to your findings. I would also suggest that when testing the short arbor gun you may get different results within that group all depending on the wedge position.
When I end fit the arbor I will use shim stock disks to get it precise to the same wedge depth than remove the shims and lathe turn a retrievable solid steel plug to drop in the well for the final job. This of course will only be a one gun test but it should give a pretty good idea of accuracy change or lack there of. Most arbor well bottoms are tapered not flat so the plug needs to be a close slip fit to the well diameter and still retrievable. I don't care for machine screw or Allen plugs for adjustable arbor end fitting especially when tapped into the end of the arbor.
 

M. De Land

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I finally got around to getting out to the range today and borrowed a set of Ruger inserts to copy and mill out for the 60 grip frame. I'm using half inch thick polycarbonate for the Ransom Insert body and will mold the grip frame into the milled out insert cavity with auto windshield Urethane rubber. It's pretty much an experiment and if successful I want to find out if a short arbor is as accurate as the same gun with end fitted arbor. I'll test with the gun as is and then end fit the arbor tight and see if accuracy is improved , denigrated or unchanged.
Should be an interesting project if successful and will post results of group shooting . I will use all six cylinders not just the most accurate one.
I also may do some bench group shooting over sand bags for comparison.
This is what the Ransom Rest inserts look like and the ones being milled for the 60 Pietta. I secured both half inch thick polycarbonate blanks to a half inch steel plate that will go into the mill vice. I will use a 3/16s end mill to cut about .215 depth just short of half the grip width following the pattern outline. Then once one side is done reverse position the two, re-clamp and follow the previously cut cavity perimeter looking through the clear poly carbonate. The cavity will be cut slightly bigger than the grip profile to allow for the molding fit of the urethane. The only thing I worry about is if the urethane will adhere to the polycarbonate. I will use gun wax for the release agent of the urethane rubber on the grip frame. Click on picture to enlarge.
 

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Ed C.

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When I end fit the arbor I will use shim stock disks to get it precise to the same wedge depth than remove the shims and lathe turn a retrievable solid steel plug to drop in the well for the final job. This of course will only be a one gun test but it should give a pretty good idea of accuracy change or lack there of. Most arbor well bottoms are tapered not flat so the plug needs to be a close slip fit to the well diameter and still retrievable. I don't care for machine screw or Allen plugs for adjustable arbor end fitting especially when tapped into the end of the arbor.
Nice, I like the idea of retrievable spacers.
 

M. De Land

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Guessing you mean six chambers, or are you testing six different cylinders?
Thank you, yes, 6 chambers! Can you imagine multi group testing six cylinders ( Yikes) !
I just finished milling out half of the insert cavity and it fits well with a margin around the profile perimeter for the urethane mold. It's not perfect but about as good as I can do being out of practice on cross axis mill feed by hand.
It took about 45 minutes to mill half of the cavity with the 3/16s end mill that is small enough to cut the rather sharp butt corner radius.
I was going to use oak for the inserts but then the polycarbonate idea came to mind when trying to figure out how to perfectly position and cut out the reverse side. With the see through polycarbonate one simply flips it over, trace with a Sharpy and follow the lines again. The two cavities cut on the outside of each panel will switch position , attach on the opposite side of the grip and form the interior grip cavity to secure the gun in the Ransom Rest.
The three bolt holes are what secure the whole shebang to the Ransom Rest.
The cool thing about the Ransom Rest is that it clamps the gun in rubber lined inserts to approximate a hand hold that is repeatable without stressing the grip frame. Good idea, wish I had thought of it!:D
 

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M. De Land

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I truly envy you folks with the mills, lathes, etc and knowledge/skills to work them. Some day when I retire.......

Can’t wait to see the results.
Well they fit pretty good but will need a bit of chisel work to get them just right before the molding starts with the urethane .
 

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45D

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I don't care for machine screw or Allen plugs for adjustable arbor end fitting especially when tapped into the end of the arbor.
I don't even know anybody that does that. A correct arbor length doesn't need to be "adjusted".

Anyway, I'm assuming this is an older Pietta your " testing"?

Mike
 

45D

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You could always drill and tap the 1 piece spacer 6x32 to be able to help retrieve just in case it hangs up.
Yep, you never know when you'll want to go back to "broken" after you fix it . . .

Mike
 
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Subscribed… this is going to be better than the global warming debate! Maybe even better than the effectiveness of Ivermectin in treating the symptoms of Covid-1! Just remember fellas, science is never settled… :horseback: yeehah!
 
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And … in a related thread, this notable quote from our own @No second place … to whit.

"The America of the 1870’s was the heyday of the Robber Barons and it was the zeitgeist of the times to EXceed." Sounds like Euro-trash commie talk...The men who made the USA the greatest economic power in the world had no titles and many had very poor starts in life. What they had was real freedom that the world had never seen before and they made the best use of it...To the envy of the world even today...They can shoot for second at best...c
 

M. De Land

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You could always drill and tap the 1 piece spacer 6x32 to be able to help retrieve just in case it hangs up.
Good idea Rich, I was just going to use a circular magnet but your idea will be much better and a more assured retrieval. I'll cone the threaded hole a bit as well to make it easier to align threading up. Thanks for the helpful tip.
 

M. De Land

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I don't even know anybody that does that. A correct arbor length doesn't need to be "adjusted".

Anyway, I'm assuming this is an older Pietta your " testing"?

Mike
I've read of people describing how to do this and instantly did not like the idea. Yes, my Pietta 60 was purchased in the mid 80s if I remember correctly and the dang gun shot like a house a fire from the get go (sand bag shooting over a bench). It was as good or better than my target Pietta 58 which is were I got the notion that a short arbor did not equate to in accuracy. I never have had either in a Ransom rest so the whole deal is an experiment as I don't know if open frame guns will even respond positively to a Ransom Rest .
If I can get the inserts to work properly it should be an interesting experiment to see if I need to change my thinking on the importance or lack there of in arbor end fit.
This is also the reason I want to verify with sand bag over a bench shooting.
 
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M. De Land

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I'm thinking I may have to add some stiffening steel or aluminum plates to the outside of each half of the inserts to get the same rigidness and overall thickness that the regular Ransom inserts have. "Ain't" nothing worth doing ever easy I guess ! 😄 I'll chew on it some and see if it is necessary.
 

M. De Land

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Yep, you never know when you'll want to go back to "broken" after you fix it . . .

Mike
Truth is I could both make and fit a brand new arbor from tool steel if I wanted just as I have the wedge and trigger but it would be a lot of unnecessary work most likely. This experiment has been an itch I've been wanting to scratch any way for some time. I just thought it would be fun to find out about the supposed short arbor deficit ( if I can) and bring the rest of you folks that may have interest along for the ride.
 
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M. De Land

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When I “fixed a couple of my old uberti’s I used washers which were retrievable.
Yeah, that would work too! I always prefer simple if it works best. I think I will still go with the shim and machined solid plug idea as washers seldom are precise in their thickness and for this experiment I think I need as much precision as I can muster to weed out variables.
I also think a machined steel plug will be a better solid stop than would be a machine screw threaded into the end of the arbor well.
 
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