Its finally finished.

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coyote nose
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Its finally finished.

Post by coyote nose »

Always wanted a custom firearm but the price never seemed justifable. As I aged and watched loved ones health decline I realized how short life is, and that you cant take it with you. Time for some of the finer things in life....By doing most of the work myself, the cost was within reach.....so here it goes....

Started with an 1886 extra light 33 WCF Winchester, all original but boy was the finish on the metal worn and discolored. Still, if it shot good I would keep it as is. Well, groups were not good enough for me (with a lever and a tang sight my criteria has always been 3 shots average 3" or less at 100 yards from a bench). Usually can reach that with fiddling, but trying different powders did no use in this 33 WCF, the best average I got was around 4 or 5". Decided to build my dream gun on this action. I know some of you are cringing. Sorry, I do understand how you feel about the loss of an original Winchester, but believe me, if this one had any prettiness to her I would have left it alone. In fact, it was purchased with a rebuild possibly in mind...I purposely passed by many nicer 86's because I knew I wouldnt want to mess with a better condition one.

So, ordered a barrel off of Montana rifleworks and had a firm in Utah octagon her. I can do this work myself on my brothers mill but my time could be better spent.
This photo is the first metal work done on my lathe downstairs...turning the barrel shank. Had to modify the lathe as I didnt have enought bed length to do threading and chambering as it was setup:Image


Here is the barrel threaded, and I am cutting the chamber. Had to modify the reamer, as it came from the manufacturer it was about 0.040" too short! I contacted them and was told that there are no real specs for the 33 WCF, and that their reamer is how all the manufacturers cut their chambers. Long story here I will basically skip, but I have original ammo from the 1920's, Factory new cases from the 1950's and some from the 1970's, and new Jamison cases from the 2000's. In every case the reamer didnt allow the case to seat by about 0.040". Being a tool and die maker I was able to set up a cutter grinder and recut the reamer to the correct dimensions. so here is the chamber being cut:Image

Here is first test of the barrel on the receiver.
Image

Bought some wood on ebay about 10 years ago for just such a use. Here is the forend wood being fitted:
Image


Now the buttstock is being fitted to the receiver and the buttplate
Image


Coming along Image


Fitting it all together
Image


Decided on a full length magazine tube. This receiver has a threaded hole for the mag tube, so here are threads being cut on the lathe on the magazine tube.
Image


With the wood done, I started polishing the metal...this took awhile. Turnbull wanted $300 to do the polishing of the receiver, but since I had to polish the barrel anyway I figured I could save money by carefully doing it myself. It sure took awhile!!! Eventually it was done allowing final tweaking of the stock, then staining and finishing of the wood. The parts were sent off to Turnbull and within 3 weeks I had them back with a beautiful case hardening on them! In the meantime had the barrel on my brothers mill where more dovetails and the lettering was cut. Just got it all together and have done some limited shooting of it...shows potential!!
Image
Image
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Hobie »

It IS pretty!
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Rimfire McNutjob
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Rimfire McNutjob »

Outstanding work. If by "show's potential" you meant "stunning" then I think you've nailed it.
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2ndovc
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by 2ndovc »

I'd say that is something to be really proud of.

Nice work!


jb 8)
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Pete44ru »

Damnfine work, and something you should be VERY proud of, fer sure !

Simply elegant............. :P :P :P

.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Pitchy »

She`s a beauty 8) great pictures thanks for sharing. :D
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by KirkD »

That is a pleasure to behold! Well done!
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RIHMFIRE
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by RIHMFIRE »

outstanding work!
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Borregos
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Borregos »

Nice work, looks like a beauty :D
Will eagerly await the range report.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by jdad »

I always have high regards, for anyone that has metal working skills. Nice job.
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Old Savage
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Old Savage »

Wow, that seems phenomenal to me. What a great outcome.
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Blaine
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Blaine »

Truly wonderful work! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Ben_Rumson »

Man that looks great!... Hope she shoots as good as she looks!
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Sixgun »

Coyote Nose,
I am very much impressed! :D Thats a great idea. That configuration is my favorite and I bet....................drum roll please..............................that is the only 1886 rifle in the world with an octagon barrel chambered in the 33 WCF :D

If you get the correct lettering on the barrel, you could make a lot of money betting at the better gunshows as there has never been a documented 1886 in .33 with an octagon barrel.

Whats the weight on the barrel? (or should I say, dimensions) muzzle and breech?

Nice job with plenty of attention to pre-war details.-------------Sixgun
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.45colt
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by .45colt »

Every once in a while something really awesome shows up Here. what a fine job You have done. Congradulations. :) .
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gamekeeper
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by gamekeeper »

Absolutely brilliant work, congratulations on making such a fine rifle.

I only wish I just had half your talent!
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olyinaz
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by olyinaz »

Simply stunning! I sure hope she shoots as good as she looks but in any case it's just a beautiful piece of work!!

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damienph
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by damienph »

That is an absolutely beautiful rifle! My hat is off to you guys that can do this kind of work. Well done, wow.
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Griff
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Griff »

Stunning! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Rube Burrows
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Rube Burrows »

Man that sure is a beautiful rifle. What did you use to stain the stock?
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Cimarron »

Very nice work. I especially liked your use of the brass shim stock to keep from marring the magazine tube while threading it. I have a friend who is a machinest/tool & die maker and it never ceases to amaze me what he can do with a lathe and a milling machine. I hope your rifle is a tack driver!
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by 2X22 »

My wife and I both agree.

GORGEOUS! :shock:

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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by gak »

Absolutely gorgeous! You should be very proud indeed!
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by AJMD429 »

It isn't "defacing a collector piece" when you go from THIS:

Image

to THIS:

Image

Cool...!
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coyote nose
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by coyote nose »

Thanks everyone. The project took about 16 months, but there were lags when lifes pressing duties intervened. Sixgun, I did cut lettering on the barrel, mostly correct lettering but there are some deviations since the program on my brothers CNC mill couldnt duplicate Winchesters font at all, also there is some discrepancy in the published literature as to what markings are correct for which serial range.
I should also add that I had it lettered from Cody before I put the end mills to it...would not want to cut up a rifle that once belonged to some famous character! Also, I do not want to deceive anyone in the future so whenever I make a barrel (ie: thread/chamber/dovetail, etc) I cut the barrel riflers company name and my name on the bottom or side of the barrel under the wood (this work is still ahead of me). Actually, not being a gunsmith there are plenty of mistakes on this rifle in execution as well as style, and any Winchester collector will spot them upon handling the piece and frankly no one would be fooled with it. I learn by doing and while I have rebuilt an 1892, a few 1873s and a couple of 1890's, this is my first 1886. The end result was what I wanted, but not exactly what or how Winchester would have done it. As an example, I epoxy bedded the tangs, buttplate, and forearm cap. I am not a woodworker and had no choice in the matter...the guys that can gently stroke a chisel and get a perfect wood to metal fit are artists which I am not. If i didnt bed it, there would be unsightly gaps. I could get it close, but not like a true stockmaker. Since price was a concern I did the woodwork myself and accepted the fact that it would not be perfect. Same with the metal work. I figure I saved maybe $1000 with the metal and wood work that I did do.
The bluing is Herters Belgian Blue. I just love this blue as it gives a soft gloss finish, not quite satin and not quite gloss. Best of all it is a hot blue but only requires one tank (and as always a bit of time). The screws were flame blued...the camera didnt quite pick up the color, the bolt, extractor, loading gate was Belgian Blued
Someone asked about barrel dimensions. I knew what I wanted (and have it written down somewhere) but when I got the barrel back from the company that octagoned it they were a bit off. I draw filed a bit to get it closer to my dimensions (didnt mill it down...I dreaded the setup and also have spent too much of my life already draw filing and polishing out milling marks on gun barrels!). I think right now it is .920 at the breech and .820 at the muzzle. I wanted a bit more taper to keep the total weight under 9 pounds. It turned out slightly over at 9 pounds 2 ounces. The stain is Tapaderas Red. This appears to be the same stuff as Pilkingtons Red at 1/3 the price.
Considered half round half octagon with a half magazine, but decided to go the route I did. Did consider a 50 cal, but frankly after about 20 years of shooting blackpowder (actually I use pyrodex) rifles, I REALLY respect the advantages of smokeless and since I have a Chaparral in 45-75 that I absolutely love for my big bore BP rifle, decided a smokeless 1886 was in the works for me.
Did some preliminary shooting at the range today mainly to check functioning and sight adjustments...a few groups shot at the target seemed to be right around 2 1/2" (3 shot, bench, 100 yards), some were 4", one was 2". Wont really know her potential until I do some serious loading and testing but that wont happen for a few weeks yet.
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claybob86
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by claybob86 »

VERY nice! If you're gonna mess up an original Winchester, that's the way to do it! 8) Thanks for the post!
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by M. M. Wright »

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
And like Rube,I was wondering about the stain. What is the finished weight?
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gundownunder
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by gundownunder »

OUTSTANDING
Personally I would have gone with a short magazine to keep pressure off the barrel for accuracy reasons, but hey, you got what you want and it looks great
Wish I had the skill and the time to do work like that.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by kimwcook »

Fantastic. I love the looks of a well taken care of firearm and it's history, but if it's a dog, it's a dog and I wouldn't apologize to anyone for doing what you did. You done good.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by stretch »

"It's finished" - and it's terrific! 8)
Really nice job.....

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jlchucker
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by jlchucker »

That finished rifle is truly a thing of beauty. I've no doubt that given the precise attention you put into this job, it will shoot as good as it looks. As good, but not better because I don't believe they come any better than the job you just did.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by C. Cash »

game keeper wrote:Absolutely brilliant work, congratulations on making such a fine rifle.

I only wish I just had half your talent!
+1!
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hondo1892
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by hondo1892 »

Very nice work. Makes a lever lover weak in the knee's. What kind of finnish did you use on the wood?
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Paladin
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Paladin »

game keeper wrote:Absolutely brilliant work, congratulations on making such a fine rifle.

I only wish I just had half your talent!
+2
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coyote nose
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by coyote nose »

The stain is Tapaderas Red from tapaderas Winchesters. Dont have a link but you can google the name.
The finish...well, about 15 years ago i toured the Dakota Arms Factory in Sturgis SD. I LOVED their finish and was told it was Arm-R-Seal polyurethane. When it came time to finish this stock I bought a can of it (satin). It was nice but I had a lot of trouble with it. If i rubbed it on I got streaks, and if I brushed it on I got drips and runs. After a lot of effort I gave up, took it off, and went back to my old stand by of spray on polyurethane. I put it on thin, let it dry, and sand it back down. Final coat is a bit heavier to allow for buffing. On this gun I will buff it down with Birchwood Casey satin sheen in the summer when it is hot out and I know the finish is fully cured. Did a lot of experimenting over the years with different finishes, and I keep coming back to this. While i like an oil finish, the problem with it for me is that after years of use, I wind up with very high gloss area on the wrist and forearm where I handle it, while the rest of the finish is still satin or low gloss. The polyurethane seems to wear better and again, not being a stockmaker, the application of it is within my ability. (have not given up yet on the Arm-R Seal...may experiment with it on other stocks).
Someone asked the weight of the Rifle, it is 9 pounds 2 ounces.
Again, thanks to everybody for the kind comments. I wont tackle one of these again anytime soon but I knew this audience would be interested in the gun.
We have people on this forum who build from scratch (!) entire rifles ...I cannot imagine the work involved in that!! My hat is off to them and the quality of the work they do. Mine was more a matter of some metal work on the barrel, stock work, and lots and lots of spare time.
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Sixgun »

Coyote,
That barrel of yours is very close to the original specs of a #3 Hi-Wall barrel. Your '86 sure is a rifle to be proud of---NOW, get that in the woods and put some character in it :D -----------Sixgun
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Chuck 100 yd
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

SWEET !!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Ysabel Kid »

Outstanding! 8)
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Tycer
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Tycer »

You can try a Preval for your troublesome finish. Very nice job on the gun. I too am awed by the skill of a toolmaker.

http://www.preval.com/what-is-preval

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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by AmBraCol »

This one was off my radar for 10 years... guys, if you know of other projects worthy of inclusion in the "Members Skills Showcase" topic, please PM me the details. Thanks!
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Its finally finished.

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

That is such a great project and such a great result!
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