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Old 04-28-2011, 12:31 AM   #1
NYECOGunsmith
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Default Air Gun Smithing, The Birth of FrankenAirRifle

So recently my brother shows up here for a visit, and to help me run a station for the Baker To Vegas Relay Race.

He hasn’t been here 30 seconds when he announces “Got something for ya”,,,,,,,,,, which translates into English as “ I want you to do something for ME so I’m going to bribe you in advance”. Short version of that translation is “BOHICA”.

About then he hands me a box that weighs a good 20 pounds. Inside I find a bunch of brand new, high quality, still in the original wrappers, unblemished, Swiss and English made files, of a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and cuts.

Plus a dozen or so high quality Beech wood handles with the metal ferule inserts in them, and about 30 or so high quality, brand new single and double ended end mills of various sizes and flute configurations.

First thought was “Wow, this is at least a grand’s worth of tools, and all top quality! NICE!”

Then I remembered who was giving it to me, and the second, less pleasant thought was:
“This #$#%#$# is gonna want something HUGE in return!”

Seems he scored the tooling at an estate sale, all in one box, bought the box for $5 sight unseen based on its weight (and knowing that the estate sale was that of a former machinist) he figured he might just get lucky. He did.

So after thanking him, I immediately asked, “OK, WHAT do you want me to do for you?”

He fakes this hurt look for all of a micro second, starts grinning at me and then reaches back in his car and comes out with a padded rifle case.

Opens it up and inside is this cheap Chinese side lever cocking .177 air rifle, a clone of the RWS Diana, or so it looks to my eyes.

“A buddy gave this to me , found it in a house he was renovating," he says.

“I took it to a gunsmith in town to see if he could find or make the missing parts, he said no to both of those ideas, so naturally I though of my little brother .”

“Great, too bad I’m not an only child” I think about now. Too bad I gave him my address when I retired and moved to Nevada is the next thought that crossed my mind.

But I’m stuck now, gotta return the favor/gift I suppose.

Looking it over I see that it is a pretty close copy of the RWS Diana, just a real rough copy is all.

And all its missing as far as I can see is the adjustable cocking rod, the end block that goes on it and pivots inside the cocking lever, and the cocking lever itself. Along with of course the pivot pins, the “C” clips that hold them in, and the nylon spacer washers that they ride on. Not too much missing.

A quick look online showed that I could get the parts that were missing from it, not actually for this Chinese clone, no idea who made it, but the same parts for a RWS Diana that is, for roughly $200.

That much I don’t love my brudder.

Told him so in unkind words. Didn't faze him a bit, the farging bastiche.

He agreed that $200 was waaaaay more than he was willing to spend to get it working, particularly since he intended to give it to someone else as a gift. Cheap sumanabeach.

Told him to leave it with me and I would get to it, sooner or later. Probably later, like after his funeral decades from now. Don't hold your breath I told him.

So yesterday and today, I got to it. No, he's not dead, I just like a challenge is all.

Took some measurements and figured out how long the adjustable rod ought to be, and the pivoting end block for it, and the cocking arm. Then figured out where the pivot points where going to have to be, and how deep the groove in the cocking are was going to have to be to contain the rod and end block.

The biggest pain was figuring out how to build a latch into the cocking arm to keep it in the closed position.

Next I scrounged around in the junk metal box and found some scraps that looked promising, fired up the lathe and the mill and started making chips.
A mere 10 hours or so later, it was finished. I didn’t, however, refinish the stock. Big brudder is pretty good at stock refinishing, he can do that for himself, the lazy icehole.

These first pictures are of the gun as I received it, with the missing parts.





Here are pictures of the roughed out cocking arm, adjustable cocking rod, pivot block, and the pivot pins I made for it.





And lastly here's how it all went together after finishing the parts, polishing them and bluing what could be blued. The cocking arm I made out of a chunk of stainless steel I had in the scrap bin, so it got a coating of Brownell's Black Baking Lacquer paint.





I figure with the 10 hours or so I put into this, and the materials cost (well, they were scrap, but I'm not telling him that!) and my usual shop labor rate of $100 an hour, I figure we're about even for the tools he gave me.
It now shoots, and after a minor bit of work on the rear sight to get it to hold its windage and elevation adjustments, it even shoots straight.

Hope the lump is happy with it. If he's not, too bad!

Oh, and the FrankenAirRifle name, that's just because I pieced it together with parts made from unknown scraps, and because its now half Chinese and half American at the very least.
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Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean someone ISN'T OUT TO GET YOU!
Just because a complaint was never filed doesn't mean a defective parachute was never made.
I've been to three world's fairs, two rodeos and a goat roping contest, but I've never seen the likes of the stuff that goes on around here before!
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:45 AM   #2
mad_spaniard
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So disappointed Steve, I was waiting for ' ... and while I was there I did a .50 cal upgrade ...'

Great job (as usual), congrats on the files ... need to stop more often at estate sales ...
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:53 AM   #3
NYECOGunsmith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_spaniard View Post
So disappointed Steve, I was waiting for ' ... and while I was there I did a .50 cal upgrade ...'

Great job (as usual), congrats on the files ... need to stop more often at estate sales ...
Thanks.

Brudder lives in the Pimples Repugnant of Kalifornica, and as much as he would love to have a .50 cal. the idjits that run that state have deemed them too dangerous for mortal humans to posses.

Even though its an air rifle, I suspect they would hang, draw and quarter him for possessing it. Shucks, they might do so just for wanting one, you know how those folks over the line are.

Otherwise he would have demanded that I bore and stroke it to a larger displacement, put a high lift cam in it, and make it shoot bowling balls at 8,000 FPS muzzle velocity. That's the way he thinks, MORE POWER!

Gotta get back to work on his "other" project.

It's a belt fed 20mm shotgun, since he can't hit the broad side of the barn when he's locked inside, not when it comes to skeet anyway, he's demanding I help him out. Not sure the rules allow for shooting skeet from a swivel chair mounted on a motorized gun platform, but that's his concern, not mine.

I think its going to break him up in business loading for it, since each shell throws around 3 pounds of #9 shot, he's going to go through a lot of lead and powder. The wads ain't cheap either!
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Steve


Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean someone ISN'T OUT TO GET YOU!
Just because a complaint was never filed doesn't mean a defective parachute was never made.
I've been to three world's fairs, two rodeos and a goat roping contest, but I've never seen the likes of the stuff that goes on around here before!
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:15 AM   #4
mad_spaniard
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I'll be happy with this one http://www.break.com/index/home-made...d-shotgun.html
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:34 AM   #5
NYECOGunsmith
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Hmm, that might be a fun project.......Hey Geo, wanna build a belt fed, full auto 12 Gauge?
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Steve


Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean someone ISN'T OUT TO GET YOU!
Just because a complaint was never filed doesn't mean a defective parachute was never made.
I've been to three world's fairs, two rodeos and a goat roping contest, but I've never seen the likes of the stuff that goes on around here before!
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