Author Topic: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!  (Read 2334 times)

Offline PJ Hardtack

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"Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« on: February 16, 2019, 04:45:59 pm »
This will probably not surprise some of of you, but it shocked the hell out of me.  :o

I was cycling some dummy rds through my new Chiappa Spencer when something didn't feel quite right ....  :-\

The front sight was no longer top dead centre after I ejected the last round! I was able to unscrew and remove the barrel with no effort at all. I wonder if this accounts for the occasional jam when cycling dummy rds, the barrel torquing as I operated the lever.

I have some old blue LocTite on hand. Should I replace it or get some of the red ?

Another minor annoyance is the loose front barrel band. I think perhaps an email to Chiappa is in order ....  >:(
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 04:47:55 pm by PJ Hardtack »
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Offline Drydock

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2019, 05:50:02 pm »
Both my Chiappa'a, indeed, most of my military arms, have a playing card shim beneath the barrel band.  Wood shrinks and swells, I suspect the humidity of the far north is rather lower now than in the Mediterranean.

As for the barrel!  That's not something I've had to deal with, though yours is not the first I've heard of.  I think Blue locktite would be fine, at least to try.  I would also fire a note off the Chiappa USA and see what sort of response you get.  Maybe ask your local smith what he uses to secure barrels?
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 05:58:46 pm »
I've emailed Chiappa and the Canadian warranty dealer regarding the matter.

The Canadian warranty shop is well known here as the S&W warranty shop as well. They do excellent work.

I'm willing to bet that they tell me to go ahead and Loc Tite the barrel in place.

What I would do is thoroughly degrease the threads, coat the chamber with a smear of grease as well and insert a dummy rd to ensure things are lined up.

Thanks for the tip re: the barrel band.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline El Supremo

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2019, 07:21:38 pm »
Hello:

Don't get upset.  Shouldn't be that way, but can easily be corrected.

I'd ask Chiappa what TORQUE they use. HAHA.  Clearly they didn't!
For most custom threaded modern rifle barrels, it is 90ft#'s.

Skip BLUE and use Red, but will need a PARTICULAR one, not just "any" RED.

I have seen this repair method used ON SPENCERS to avoid "moving metal" since bbl must index to the correct spot. It works and holds!

The person I saw make the Spencer barrel thread "repair" would not indicate the RED "number".
I have another source for the RED NUMBER.  
Called him.  He lines many barrels and has fine results with ONLY LOCTITE RED #635, which takes over night to set.
Other "reds" can set up so fast you have no fiddle time!

RED in ANY formulation takes both heat and mechanical force to break the bond.  

Please signal CHIAPPA's reaction, torque and repair guidance.  

Just my two-cent opinion:  
DON'T return it.  They might sledge-hammer something to "move metal".
RED LOCTITE WILL OUTLAST YOU AND DO NO HARM!
And you can remove it if later choose to return the gun.

Thanks.

Kevin
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 07:59:57 pm by El Supremo »
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Offline Herbert

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 07:54:23 pm »
I agree with the blue locktight method,as for the loose barrel band I would put a carrbord shim between the barrel and the stock until the bans is very firm then take apart and bed the forend,remebering to coat barrel and action+screw with release agent ,vaciline  works well for this when bedding compound sets take stock of remove shim and fill in gap with bedding compound let set take off and tidy up,seems the long way to go about it but this is the best way.I would not use RED locktight on barrel as you may want to have the barrel relined if it can not to be made to shoot as well as you would want,this is very common

Offline Abilene

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 08:14:19 pm »
PJ, I don't have much experience with Spencers but have handled some Chiappas in the past at Cimarron.  Seems like loose forend band was common, and I personally noticed one with a loose barrel.  That was several years back and I recall reading a thread somewhere that mentioned it as not being that unusual, and that it wasn't a problem.  Good luck.

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 12:23:33 am »
I once used red Loc Tite to secure the scope mounts on a SS Mini 14. Took gentle heating with a propane torch to remove them!

I swore never again, but in this case, I don't want that sucker to move even after getting hot with BP on a hot summer day.

After my anxiety over what my Spencer would look like and what issues it might have, I can cope with this problem without tearing my hair out.

After you've dealt with the 'Big C', it takes a lot to upset you ....  ;)   That's one of the gifts of being in remission. Every day is a bonus.
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I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline El Supremo

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 04:30:13 am »
Hi:

Like Herbert, I prefer not to use Red to avoid the heat aspect, but two very respected gunsmiths that have at least 100 years of using their ingenuity prefer Red, not blue for this sort of fix..

For what it's worth, one of them used that fix when one of HIS very expensive rifles was returned with a noticeably loose barrel.  
I saw it loose and later tightened.  In fairness, it was approximately 15 years old and had been through several owners.  
It may originally have been a "switch-barrel" rifle. A few were made that way.

We were surprised the 'smith that made it fixed it over night while at a gun show away from his shop and tools.
He wouldn't say how he did it, but it was soooo tight the next morning. He had it less than 18 hours.  
A few months later an unrelated second 'smith shared his use of Red for liners, etc and I made a note of its product number.  
I then politely asked the other 'smith if he had used Red #xxx.  He smiled and said " that will work".
That was almost two years ago. Owner remains very pleased and no charge.

I have seen rosin used as a sealant on Kar 98 barrel threads, especially G33/40's.  
When that "joint" FINALLY SNAPS loose, it does so with a loud, sharp "crack" and often a puff of smoke.
So I guess "thread SEALER", like most things is not new.  Germans smmaaarrrtt.

Maybe you should call LOCTITE first, just to get their help on temperature.  
Most Epoxy seriously degrades at as little as 150F and is useless at 400F.
But that applies to two-part stuff, which RED is NOT.

See ya, Kevin
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 06:32:35 am by El Supremo »
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Offline Drydock

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2019, 08:46:23 am »
FWIW I use blue on my AR-15 gas block screws, with no problems.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline mgmradio

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 10:51:10 am »
As a longtime mechanic that has used locktite for many years , here is my two cents worth.

 First you need to ask yourself, will I ever need to take this apart again ? If the answer to this is yes, then stay away from any of the perminant oar simiperminant grades , such as you would use to lock a barrel liner in place.

 Second, what are the forces that will be applied to the part. Torque , vibration. And temperature.

  Having owned and fired many Spencer's and taking the above into consideration, I would select a medium strength Blue Locktite. It will withstand temperatures up to 300deg f ,medium torque and vibration. Also it will be fairly easy to disassemble.
  With Red locktite it takes a minimum of 500 deg f of applied heat to make it possible to remove and that's on the simiperminat grades.

  Over the years I have cussed many a mechanic that lazy and used the wrong application and turned an easy job into a nightmare.

 Also remember that normally the barrel should not need a threadlocker if properly torqued.

 

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 11:12:47 am »
In the end, it's going to boil down to what is available locally at Can Tire or other local sources. I'll get the best available.

I doubt I'll be rebarrelling or sleeving this carbine in my lifetime as I'm getting the accuracy I expected. Granted I've only fired it at 20m so far and have done no load development.

Beats the hell out of me how and why makers in this day and age can produce firearms with this kind of flaw. I guess I'm expecting too much.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 11:48:27 am by PJ Hardtack »
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Offline treebeard

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 11:54:55 am »
It seems I have seen a number of posts about the various repro’s having to drift the rear sights an excessive amount to correct POA problems. I have even read posts where owners dovetailed in front sights to keep the rear sight more centered. Maybe the loose barrels have something to do with this. This involves both Winchester and Spencer types as I recall.

Offline Drydock

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 01:13:13 pm »
The Italians largely produce "Kit" guns, and we accept them for the price point they provide.  Such is life in the replica arms market.
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline El Supremo

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2019, 01:32:50 pm »
Hello, PJ:

If you don't mind:

Is the barrel so loose that it wiggles?
The one I saw that was fixed would wiggle if forend removed.
Would be curious to see a photo of the barrel partially unscrewed.

I am not sure IF the barrel was fitted and THEN the receiver was color cased.
Maybe color-casing enlarges the receiver opening?
I will call Turnbull tomorrow and report.

Perhaps you could contact Loctite for the Blue they recommend and let us know.
If not avail in kanukistan, I will get some to you.

I will call another expert tomorrow on blue vs red and post here if useful info.

Also, will be interested to see Chiappa's response.  
It might turn out that THEY have a sealant history to share.

Thanks,
Kevin
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 01:40:50 pm by El Supremo »
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Offline Blair

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2019, 03:25:57 pm »
PJ,

How did you discover the Barrel was Loose?
Were you able to turn the barrel with forearm and barrel band still attached?
This could even be done on the originals (both Rifles and carbines) if they were not torqued down properly.
This sort of thing wont happen with a Sharps, because of the leaver spring mounting placement.
Please make sure the barel is indexed with the reciever. What ever you chose to do, this will be an important factor in getting everthing (sights, ect) lined back up.
The Factory needs to know of this issue. Could it be due to the cold temps you were testing it in? I don't know. But the Factory should be able to correct it, if not for you, but for the future.
My best,
 Blair
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Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2019, 04:54:48 pm »
I had just ejected the last of three dummy rds, operating the lever 'forcefully' as per the instruction manual. In bringing down the lever, things felt strange and a quick look explained why. The barrel turned with forearm attached.

I'll handle it myself as returning it to Chiappa entails going through a Customs broker whose fee will be in the $150 range.

To aid indexing, I will insert a greased dummy into the chamber to ensure alignment.

I went to town and the local hardware store had blue, red and high temperature red LocTite. The red liquifies at 300*F, the high temp at 450*F. I opted for the red at 300*F. Cures fully in 24 hours. If that doesn't work, I still have the option of the high temp or ....

If the barrel will gets hotter than 300*F after a string of 10 rds., so be it. I know my Henry barrel gets bloody hot after 10 rds ...  :o


PJ,

How did you discover the Barrel was Loose?
Were you able to turn the barrel with forearm and barrel band still attached?
This could even be done on the originals (both Rifles and carbines) if they were not torqued down properly.
This sort of thing wont happen with a Sharps, because of the leaver spring mounting placement.
Please make sure the barel is indexed with the reciever. What ever you chose to do, this will be an important factor in getting everthing (sights, ect) lined back up.
The Factory needs to know of this issue. Could it be due to the cold temps you were testing it in? I don't know. But the Factory should be able to correct it, if not for you, but for the future.
My best,
 Blair

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2019, 06:16:56 pm »
Win, lose or draw, it's a done deal now. I just LocTited the barrel in place. I'm satisfied that I got the front sight top dead centre. Dummy rds cycle just fine.

I don't expect that it will move again. Pity it had to happen as it looks so good, but better now than in the middle of an event!

I'm really surprised that there were no witness marks. On my H&R Trapdoor carbine, the front sight was not top dead centre when I got it. Probably why I got it so cheap.

Removing the barre/action from the wood, it was evident that the witness marks were not lined up. It was not difficult to do so and the rifle has gone on to be a favourite.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 11:47:49 am »
I was just referred to a Canadian importer/distributor by Chiappa/Italy re: my Spencer problem as the previous one is no longer in business. From the pic on their web site in a strip warehouse location, it's a very small operation.

I read the customer reviews of this operation and they were ALL negative in the extreme! Not ONE good comment. I'm going to advise Chiappa.

I don't think they offer much in the way of gunsmithing services and could I trust them? It is to laugh .... ::) In any case, I've had it with shipping problem Italian guns across the country at my expense.

My Spencer was spitting out dummy rds just fine as of last night so I suspect that the problem has been cured with a few bucks worth of Loc Tite.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 11:53:38 am by PJ Hardtack »
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline Herbert

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 02:16:30 pm »
The Chippa  Spencer often have issued caused by quality control,My 56-50 rifle had a very loose forend ,the magazine retaining spring was missing and the cartridge cam was wrong(it may have been f0r a 44=40)it would not hit anything past 20 feet,I fixed all these problems and more by copying parts from original Spencers an now have a very reliable and accurate Spencer take down sporting rifle.I enjoyed doing this work but relies not every one has the machinery ,time or skill to do this.I pray for the day that Pedosolie makes a Spencer(unlikely as  I think chippa has given the reproduction Spencers a bad repution for reliability and has poisined the market)if people could only see how well and smooth originals work there minds would change

Offline El Supremo

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2019, 02:34:02 pm »
Hello:

Just to rule-out color case hardening of the receiver as the cause of barrel looseness:

I spoke with an experienced gunsmith that both makes and rebarrels lever action repeaters that either he or Turnbull color-case. 

He was quite sure that color-casing a receiver would not change the dimensions of its threaded barrel area enough to create ANY looseness.  Any looseness of a barrel IN the color cased receiver has to be from poorly mated parts, not the color-case process, regardless of alloy.

He has made upwards of a hundred scratch build lever guns and restored/re-color cased/rebarrelled lots more with no barrel looseness issues.  He HAS encountered exactly ONE of his that did have a slight looseness, traced to several prior owners switching barrels of different lengths over almost twenty years and four owners.  He easily fixed it.

He fits his barrels to the actions BEFORE hardening and has no post hardening fit/tightness issues.

Kevin
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Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2019, 02:57:35 pm »
My Spencer continues to function well with dummy rds. In fact it's getting smoother the more I operate it.

When I hear back from Chiappa/Italy I'll advise.
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2019, 03:20:56 pm »
My Spencer continues to function well with dummy rds. In fact it's getting smoother the more I operate it.

When I hear back from Chiappa/Italy I'll advise.

PJ
I reckon you made a wise choice - sending stuff back for minor repairs after they got your money is usually a huge frustration and you end up with a botch repair you coulda done better yourself.
I am working my way through a Chiappa 1886 I got about a month ago - got it almost NIB but second hand from our local dealer -  he had a story (dont they all) - it was about $350 under RRP - I was too keen to get it in my hot little hands and took it home before I checked it out for function - it would not cycle a round from the magazine - external finish was really nice - it shot good - I figured I best fix it myself - we getting there .

Offline Drydock

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2019, 06:00:46 pm »
My Chiappa .50-70 Sharps Carbine has been very good indeed.  Musta sworn off the Chianti that day. . .
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2019, 07:58:58 pm »
Well, the latest is that now the action is stuck in the open position.

Haven't addressed that as I was just too fed up and had to walk away before reaching for a ball peen hammer .....
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

Offline greyhawk

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Re: "Take-Apart" Spencer !!!
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2019, 08:14:24 pm »
Well, the latest is that now the action is stuck in the open position.

Haven't addressed that as I was just too fed up and had to walk away before reaching for a ball peen hammer .....

yeah I know the feeling - gave myself a pat on the back when I got my 86 to feed first try, three shots I got, then a jam up - several of em - on the plus side I am no longer tentative anout dismantling an 1886.  >:(

You have to wonder about company management - if these guns worked as good as they looked ...............
The Bluing is good, case colours are nice, decent quality wood, fit and finish is fine -
 how much more trouble would it be to make the few internal bits the right size and check that the bl00dy thing actually worked before they put it in a box for shipping?????   

Hope you get it sorted.