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Morgan Cooper

Effed up my wheelgun

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Hi y'all. If I'm posting in the wrong place I am sorry. I have an issue and I need feedback and recommendations.

 

I have an 1873 SAA, Cap and Ball, made by Uberti. While shooting, the trigger spring broke. When I tried to break it down to repair the spring, a couple screws stripped on me, including the right screw in the back strap under the hammer. I bought an EZ out, and while drilling the right back strap screw, it walked and drilled off center, and the screw didnt all come out. When I tried using the extractor, it broke off in the hole. I used a dremel and was able to remove the extractor, but as a result, there are no more threads in the hole and it has a little groove from drilling off center. I dont really wanna buy a new gun, so is there something that I could do at home that would allow me to fill in the hole and drill a new hole and retap it? Can I use a retapper for that hole? I've been reading online that I can use JB QUIKWELD or JB WELD STEELSTIK, spray the screw with pam cooking spray, then fill in the hole with either epoxy and then screw the screw in. When it cures, the pam will allow the screw to be removed since the epoxy can't stick to cooking spray. Will that work for this purpose? Will it withstand the shooting psi pressure? What should I do yall??

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Edited by Morgan Cooper

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The right gunsmith can fill the hole with metal and re-drill and tap it. But that might be pricey. 

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You may have reached the point that repairing will cost more than replacing.

 

There are many reasons we pay gunsmiths to work on our guns.

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Those guns are not worth a lot of money.  Here's what I would do.  Put it back together and leave out that screw.  I will bet that you find the grip frame is pretty solidly attached to the frame, with no flexing.   It is a BP only gun, so no high pressure loads and not much recoil to worry about.  

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7 minutes ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Those guns are not worth a lot of money.  Here's what I would do.  Put it back together and leave out that screw.  I will bet that you find the grip frame is pretty solidly attached to the frame, with no flexing.   It is a BP only gun, so no high pressure loads and not much recoil to worry about.  

I also considered doing that. Do you think the gun will stay together?

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Just now, Morgan Cooper said:

I also considered doing that. Do you think the gun will stay together?

Yes I do.  A lot of single actions have screws come loose when shooting.  More than once I've gone to tighten up screws and one of the backstrap screws was tight, the other loose, but it still worked fine.  If one screw is tight, the other side missing is no worse than just a loose screw there.

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1 minute ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Yes I do.  A lot of single actions have screws come loose when shooting.  More than once I've gone to tighten up screws and one of the backstrap screws was tight, the other loose, but it still worked fine.  If one screw is tight, the other side missing is no worse than just a loose screw there.

Okay. Cool. Before I got the extractor out, I considered just leaving it in there and not even messing with it. Also, if you see anyone posting about a broken extractor, tell them to get a dremel, with diamond tips and it will get it out. Took me 7 hours of constant drilling with the dremel, but it removed the extractor.

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You would certainly want to make sure the other grip frame screws are tight.  Consider blue loctite, especially on the left backstrap screw.

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Hard part (i guess I should say one of the hard parts) will be drilling a larger hole centered where it is supposed to be with the obrounded hole you have .  You really can't drill it and expect the new drill to track straight, it will tend to follow the crooked hole, probably need to fixture it into a bridgeport and use an endmill rather than a drill bit.  I dont know offhand what screw thread those screws are.  to use a helicoil, you would need to clean that hole to be centered and proper, and the proper sized hole to tap to the helicoil requirements.  I dont know if there is enough meat there to accomplish that.  Here is the mcmaster carr site page for the helicoils, just so you can see the cost and the cost of the taps required. helicoils

 

Or if you have any friends who are handy with a welder to fill it and re-drill and tap it.

 

 

 

 

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Reckon what a new frame would run? As this is not considered a firearm under fedaral law I would think that perhaps you could order direct. I don't see the part available on the VTI website, but a phone call couldn't hurt. They also show a flat rate for labor to fix any gun of $175. But I think I would lean Abilene's way if a repacement frame was more that $100 or so.

 

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5 minutes ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

Reckon what a new frame would run? As this is not considered a firearm under fedaral law I would think that perhaps you could order direct. I don't see the part available on the VTI website, but a phone call couldn't hurt. They also show a flat rate for labor to fix any gun of $175. But I think I would lean Abilene's way if a repacement frame was more that $100 or so.

 

As far as I know, no one sells just frames for the percussion cap version of the SAA. I've tried looking. 

Edited by Morgan Cooper

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1 hour ago, Morgan Cooper said:

And will blue loctite allow the screw to be removed without damaging it in the future?

Blue is temporary.  Don't use red!

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4 hours ago, Morgan Cooper said:

I also considered doing that. Do you think the gun will stay together?

You are responsible for the safety of your timer operator and spotters.  You should not shoot a gun that is not as safe and secure as possible.

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Might want to consider pulling the parts and selling it as a kit. Put the proceeds towards a new revolver.

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Before you do anydangthing, get replacement screws.

BTW, the frame is the 'gun' and would have to be sold as such.

Where are you in Mo?

OLG 

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11 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Before you do anydangthing, get replacement screws.

BTW, the frame is the 'gun' and would have to be sold as such.

Where are you in Mo?

OLG 

 This is NOT a cartridge firing gun. Not a firearm at all by federal definition.

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10 hours ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

 This is NOT a cartridge firing gun. Not a firearm at all by federal 

10 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Before you do anydangthing, get replacement screws.

BTW, the frame is the 'gun' and would have to be sold as such.

Where are you in Mo?

OLG 

Hannibal. I already have replacement screws coming in

 

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Since there isnt a lot of pressure on the back strap. 

Fill it with J.B, Weld. Before it completely dries , put Back Strap on drill your hole.

Run screw in soft J.B. Weld . Back out screw.

When it dries should have threads where you need them .

It may work .

Anyway that is what i would try.

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In my opinion you'd be better off to take the parts to a qualified gunsmith and get their opinion/estimate on repairing your problem. A gunsmith's answer will also tell you if they are willing to accept the responsibility/liability of you using the firearm after it has been repaired. Comes a time when you might be better off walking away rather than digging in deeper. You can buy a new revolver, new body parts are kinda scarce.

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Before you take it to a smith, check out the smith to be sure they are full service or merely a parts changer and slightly fixer-upper.

 

This is beyond basic smithing.

 

 

When in doubt, try bailing wire and duct tape.  :D:D:D

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lots of good advice already. If it were mine i'd do one of 2 things. either run without that screw. honestly I dont see it being a big deal as i've had screws fall out during shooting and kept going on bp guns. or if you cant bear the thought of a missing screw get a helix coil thread repair tap it in and fill in around it with epoxy or jb weld. I'd think a local welding shop could fill in the oblong part by tig welding for little cost. I wouldnt have them fill in the entire hole just the oblong part. use a drill bit to round it out and then thread that. drilling out a perfect hole isnt going to happen with a hand drill.  but the helix coil is going to be under $10 maybe $20 if you dont have anywhere local to get one and you have to pay shipping. 

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This guy specialize in metal work on single actions.   

 

https://springcreekarmory.com/

 

But you'd think any of the smiths that can cut and lower hammers, etc should be able to do this kind of job. 

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First off.. it's doubtful that the gun merits spending a lot of money on. I wouldn't do it for anyone else's gun, but if I were stuck with this situation on my own gun I would fill the hole with JB Wield and LET IT DRY COMPLETELY for a few days minimum. THEN I would put the backstrap on and use the hole as a guide to drill the new hole into the JB Wield. Then I would very carefully tap that hole. I would be careful to not tighten the screw too much. The other screw will do most of the holding, and this is just a little added help only.

Snakebite

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On 10/14/2020 at 10:48 AM, Bailey Creek,5759 said:

Since there isnt a lot of pressure on the back strap. 

Fill it with J.B, Weld. Before it completely dries , put Back Strap on drill your hole.

Run screw in soft J.B. Weld . Back out screw.

When it dries should have threads where you need them .

It may work .

Anyway that is what i would 

It eases my mind that most of you are suggesting what I was asking about, which is using JB Weld to fill in the hole. My first thought was honestly to just leave that screw out. I'll definately come back and update the thread on what I chose to do and whether it works or not.

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Acraglass dries harder and stronger than JB weld. I've seen it hold parts togther pretty darn well.  Still, if I were to make the repair it would be with a welder, but absent that fill  the hole with brazing rod and redrill and tap would be my second choice.

 

I may be hard to drill a perfect hole freehand, but the frame can be mounted in a vice and a drill press, it just takes time to set it up properly.

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Alumalloy . Uses a propane torch to fill with aluminum alloy. Multiple you tubes videos available.

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Think I wood first cut the head offen the screw (from here out this will be referred to as the screw plug, and clean it up real well with rubbing alcohol.  When this first  step is complete you then feel the hole up with super glue, the best priced version can be found at Dollar General pretty reasonable, usually around a doller.  while it is still wet in the hole I would lay the screw plug in the hole with the slot facing up on top of the super glue and use some masking tape to hold it in place while it dries.  If after this is finished I would promise the Lord that I would never ever work on another gun in my lifetime.   Just as information, I have made that promise several times through the years. 

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15 hours ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

Alumalloy . Uses a propane torch to fill with aluminum alloy. Multiple you tubes videos available.

I have never heard of that product. Thanks for the information. I'll look it up. Is it expensive?

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18 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

Acraglass dries harder and stronger than JB weld. I've seen it hold parts togther pretty darn well.  Still, if I were to make the repair it would be with a welder, but absent that fill  the hole with brazing rod and redrill and tap would be my second choice.

 

I may be hard to drill a perfect hole freehand, but the frame can be mounted in a vice and a drill press, it just takes time to set it up properly.

I have never heard of acraglass. Is it expensive? Has it been used on gun repairs before? Are there youtube videos available?

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Looking at the butt end of that pistol it looks like a '73 SAA (i.e., "Cattleman" etc.) and not a cap and ball pistol. The hole can be more easily silver soldered, drilled and then threaded than "welded." If it is indeed a cartridge gun, I suggest you don't shoot it without fixing that screw.

RR

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Morgan Cooper... Another pretty easy thing you can do is drill that hole further, retap it, and make a new/longer screw for it. Don't even mess with existing threads. If that is a Cattleman or similar SAA, the hole will clear the hammer screw hole. Those screws are 8-34 threads but if you are re-threading it and making a custom screw you might as well just tap it with and 8-32 thread since finding an 8-34 tap will be difficult. A pretty simple fix and a lot easier and cleaner than welding or filling the hole.

RR

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