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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: Re-working My Armi Sport Spencer with Photos 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Re-working My Armi Sport Spencer with Photos  (Read 3098 times)
PvtGreg
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« on: July 09, 2011, 11:57:30 pm »


Hello All,

Well after a 6 months wait I got my Spencer rifle back from the ArmiSport repair center in Dayton Ohio.  I originally thought this was an outrageous amount of time to wait, but after reading the archives I discovered others that waited a lot longer and didn't get the weapon back fixed, so now I consider myself fortunate.  I guess all misfortune is relative.

To refresh your memories - I got a 56-50 Spencer rifle in January of this year, but discovered it would not cycle rounds out of the magazine.  It was then sent it to the ArmiSport repair center three days later.

I've been spending the last 11 days or so making all the mods that you kind folks have posted and as accumulated by Two Flints.

So when I got it back it did cycled, but it had the following other issues:

  • The action was really rough and sometimes would get stuck and not complete its downward cycle
  • Cartridges would not smoothly chamber they could be forced, but the brass would show score lines
  • The slot on the magazine tube had burrs that caused the follower to not more freely
  • The trigger pull was 20+ lbs.  The hammer felt sometimes like I would have to use two hands to cock it.

Gratefully the one defect it DOESN'T have is the one where working the lever firmly pushes the action past its stop.

After reading all the posts on Spencer issues experienced by you all I started working on the gun.  I took my time and mostly used 240, 320 and 400 grit sanding paper.  On some pieces I used a Dremel tool with 240 grit sanding drums and finishing abrasive buffs.  90% of the time I hand sanded.

I started on the upper block.  I noticed it fit tightly against the sides of the receiver as well as having too sharp a top edge on the firing pin face.  I had to round over the top of the block as well as some rounding on the sides of the block.  This helped make the action smoother, but it still would get caught up and jam.  After working it free a couple of times and carefully observing the action as well as looking at the scratch marks on the block, I discovered that the front of the trigger bar (where the short screw secures the trigger bar to the frame) was miss-shaped and would drag on the top of the block.  I reshaped the piece and the action got better.  I also took a 400 grit paper to some areas on the top of the block where I could see scratch marks from where the block would drag on the back of the receiver and gently smooth those areas down.  This all took 5 or so days.

I next started on the chamber.  I discovered that it had burrs around where the lane extractor slot interfaces with the chamber.  I rigged a dowel with some sand paper and gently worked the burrs out until rounds would slide in and out with ease.  I took three days (about 2 hours a day) just on this part.  Sadly I have no good picture of this.

I next worked on the magazine tube.  It had burrs on the slot where the follower screw rides that kept the follower from feeding well so I again used sand paper and worked those out until the follower would move smoothly.

Lastly I worked on the trigger/ hammer spring until I had a nice smooth trigger pull of ~ 5lbs.  I mostly hand sanded the spring so I didn't have issues with heating up the metal.

While doing all this I want to stress took my time and carefully worked on each piece, refitting the part I was working on many, many times to make sure all was well and I didn't take too much metal off.  I spend ~ 60 hours working on the gun in total.

I took the gun to the range and after using 15 rounds to sight it in I shot this last 5 round group.    After shooting it I intend to make one more mod as suggested by forum members, which is to rework the back sight's notch for a better sight picture.

Overall I am pleased with the results and am impressed with the accuracy of the weapon.  I was pleased that after 20 rounds of 777 it fed just as smooth on round 21 as round 1 and was a pleasure to shoot.  Although I had to spend a lot of time on it I am very happy with the results.  I like working on guns so all the work wasn't really a hardship.

I've attached pictures of the parts I worked on with annotations along with a pic of my last grouping.  Hope this helps.  My grateful thanks to all of the members of this forum because the issues I've had many of you had already and figured out what to do.  I'd like to single out Two Flints for all his help.

Pvt. Greg








                                          (Photos posted by Two Flints)
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Bead Swinger
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1860R - SN23954


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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 11:33:23 am »

Great Job!  Smiley
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1860 Rifle SN 23954
tommy4toes
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 09:02:52 pm »

Pvt. Greg -

Great job!!!! Apparently yours was quite a bit rougher than mine. In all honesty, my original cycles much better than my repro, and I think much of that is due to the looser tolerances.

tommy4toes
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PvtGreg
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 01:43:20 pm »

You may be right Tommy4toes.  I think when all is said and done with all the polishing and smoothing (NOT including the structural issues I fixed) all I did I simple loosened up the action enough to feed well.  It certainly feeds smoothly and quickly now.
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mtmarfield
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 09:49:51 pm »

   Greetings!

   Tell us about the 50 yard group, and the details of your reloads: powder charge, bullet & alloy, primers, etc.

              Be Well!

                           Matthew T. Marfield:.
                                   10-11-12
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PvtGreg
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 08:36:41 pm »

Hi Mathew,

For that particular load was I was using an 350Gr Flat point Bullet (RCBS-82309) 2% tin over 35 gr of 777 using Starline brass with a medium crimp.  I have since gone to a load using 8.8gr of Trailboss over the same bullet with a heavy crimp for my Cowboy Club's 100 yard lever action competition.  See this post http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,45389.0.html for an example of a 10 round grouping - this is basically a 10 round - 6 in group.

Herbert is the real load expert on this board in my opinion.  He recommends a 450gr bullet for good long range performance, (greater than 100 yards) from Chiappia repro Spencers given that they have a fast twist.  I plan on getting some 450s (RCBS 57921) from Montana Bullet Works (http://www.montanabulletworks.com/BB_50_caliber.html) to try out.

The 350s work well for me at 100 yards.  I just shot the 100 yard lever action match at the TN state SASS match & shot the three stages (inital, semi and final) clean.  I came in third due to the final being both scored and timed.  I did well though and gave those tricked out Winchester repros with the $500 sights a run for their money!

PvtGreg
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mtmarfield
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 07:51:59 pm »

   Greetings!

   With factory sights (& my eyes), your 6" at 100yds doesn't sound bad, although I'd be delighted to see a copy of the Sporter's Receiver Peep-Sight made available.
   As soon as I can set up a reloading space (moved into a SMALL Apt.), I'm going to tinker with a DWM 350gr.FP over a card wad spacer, and 30gr.FFFg, as well as my Lyman #515141, 450gr.FP with like powder charge.
   I resent the idea of reduced charges, or Hardcast Bullets to make a fast twist shoot well, but that's what we've got to deal with; if I really decide that I NEED to shoot "Factory Equivalent" Loads, I could look into having the barrel sleeved to 1 x 48" twist or so...
We'll see...!
         
           Be Well!

                          M.T.Marfield:,

             
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 02:38:45 pm »

Greg, just getting caught up here as I recently had a severe flare-up of Spencer-itis.
 Wink
Wanted to say congratulations for staying with your Spencer until it worked properly. I am just very sorry it all took so long. We pay a pretty penny for these guns; it is reasonable to expect better quality control.
That said, I have had two of these in .56-50, and the only issue I had was with the magazine tube latch on the first one. It was easily fixed. Both guns have been accurate with BP loads and the Dakota Widowmaker modified Lee. Now that I am looking for another one, I will attempt to find one from Taylor's, just in case it makes a difference. Believe Fall Creek Sutlery carries them.
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Oregon Bill
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 02:48:46 pm »

This was the last one I owned by the way. The target is at 25 yards. Load was 40 grains Goex FFg, WLRM primer, Dakota WM bullet, 979 fps.

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