Broken Guns - Anyone Have them Laying Around?


February 12, 2004, 10:27 AM
At almost every show you go to, you find dealers selling Iver Johnson / H & R / "Owl Heads" etc. 5- and 6-shot .38 and .32 revolvers in varying states of disrepair.

We've all seen them - free-spinning cylinders, broken trigger springs, peeling nickle finish, etc.

Anyone have a broken gun somewhere in the safe/basement/etc?

Why haven't you had it/them fixed? (Availability of parts, $ spent elsewhere, don't care about it, parts too expensive)

Wondering for the purposes of a potential business venture. Thanks for the input.


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February 12, 2004, 11:10 AM
Yes I have one. It's a Pietta 1858 Remington copy, that has cylinder indexing problems due to bad machining and hardening on the hand (it's soft,as are most of the springs in the revolver). For some reason it indexes on some chambers, but not on others. I tried buying spare parts from Pietta for $20,but that actually created worse problems. The entire gun is worth about $130 new,so actually having it fixed would be a joke. I use it as a hobby gun to learn more about revolver tuning.
Just as an aside, it doesn't seem to me that gunsmithing is a very profitable business unless: A. you deal in volume and B. your work is customization as opposed to repair.

February 12, 2004, 11:19 AM
Much thanks for the feedback. squibload

February 12, 2004, 11:23 AM
I have a horrible old Remington 522[0] Viper that won't fire...

I didn't pay attention to the instruction manual, and I shot a few hundred .22 hyper-velocity rounds through it, and some of the fire-control parts got all peened to hell and gone. I'm assuming that this is because it's a straight blowback semi-auto, and the hyper-velocity rounds blew back a bit harder than was proper.

So anyway, the thing won't fire any more, and can't be fixed without a part from Remington, and I can't be bothered, because it's one of the "restricted" parts that they won't sell to anyone who isn't a gunsmith, and it's not worth my time and effort to take bloody thing to a 'smith, because it's such a cheap gun it should be sold in disposable six-packs.

I learned my lesson: RTFM. I learned my other lesson: If it's that cheap at a high-profile sporting-goods store, there's a reason for that.

I've moved up, and I've no need for an undersized plastic plinker any more. So it languishes in obscurity in the gun vault, until I can find a gun buy-back program that's offering more than it's worth, NQA. Then, I'll take the money I get from the buyback and put it toward ammo for my other toys.


[0] Be gentle. I was young, I didn't know any better.

February 12, 2004, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the info, BrokenPaw.

February 12, 2004, 12:13 PM
I have an 870 that needs an extractor, but have had a hard time finding one. One place pretty far away claims to have one but I don't go that way often and I never found a good place online to buy one.

BTW it is "LYING"

February 12, 2004, 12:33 PM
I actually have 4: A Springfield .22 auto, a JC Higgins 16 ga pump, a Brazillian 12 ga S x S and a HS .22 magnum revolver. The springfield needs a firing pin, the JC Higgins needs a whole lot, the S x S needs tuning (it went off when I moved the safety to fire) and the pistol needs a trigger. Why do I have them? Because they were all free, or I traded some ammo for them.


February 12, 2004, 12:34 PM
I have an old H&R nickel-plated break-open revolver that has been lying about my loading room for many years.

I've never tried to shoot it. Maybe it's because the barrel is .38 caliber and the cylinder is .32. I have no idea where it came from or why I still have it.

February 12, 2004, 12:34 PM
BTW it is "LYING"

That's correct. I edited my bad grammer ;) in the first post after I realized the mistake, but couldn't figure out how to correct it in the thread title.

Thanks for the info on the 870. squibload

Greg L
February 12, 2004, 12:40 PM

Don't worry you aren't alone. I've got a Viper sitting in the back of the safe waiting for the same thing :D .

Anyone need 3 Viper mags?


February 12, 2004, 12:47 PM
the barrel is .38 caliber and the cylinder is .32.
Then you may be in the market for the new Acme ".38 - to - .32 Tactical Shoehorn". Lets you shoot big cartridges from little barrels.:D :D

February 12, 2004, 12:47 PM
Anyone need 3 Viper mags?The thing that makes me feel the most bad is that I have a bunchload of high- and hyper-velocity .22lr rounds in my vault, with nothing that will eat them...

Why won't .22WMR guns eat .22lr? I have a lovely Savage bolt gun in .22WMR...


February 12, 2004, 12:52 PM
I bought an old H&R model 4 blued 6 inch with an octagonal barrel.

Shot it once but one chamber will not index.

I'm turning it into a shadowbox wall hanger.

I have taken some old guns to my local smith and asked him about fixing them. Some he fixes.

He has also said he won't work on anything that is not worth

When I pressed the matter and asked him:
"what if money wasn't an issue?"

My gunsmith said if something has value as a shooter or as a collectors item he would be happy to work on it. If it is just a piece of junk, he doesn't want to mess with it no matter what.

February 12, 2004, 12:56 PM
I have a 22 auto nine. Been sent back for replacement of the extractor about ten times. Each time I take it out to test fire it again, it blows the extractor out within the first mag. I probably have close to the cost of the gun in postage. My postage money would be better spent on a 12 pack, and I don't drink!

On the Viper issue...My friends got one that don't shoot so well...I've been encouraging hm to try some Mini Mags or Stingers in it...I guess I'll let him in on the bad news while it's still fireable. Good thing he's cheap or it'd be broken by now.

February 12, 2004, 12:59 PM
marlin model 26 .22 bolt action with a snapped firing pin. too lazy to go spend the 45 bux to get a new one

February 12, 2004, 01:06 PM
Why won't .22WMR guns eat .22lr? I have a lovely Savage bolt gun in .22WMR...

Chamber dimensions.

.22 WMR bullets are inside lubricated while a .22 LR bullet is outside lubricated. This makes the WMR case fatter than the .22 LR case.

The WMR case is also longer than the LR case.

All this was done deliberately to prevent some idiot from loading a .22WMR round into a 100 year old antique.

February 12, 2004, 01:09 PM
I have 2 guns that my dad gave me, and neither "work". One is a 1940's vintage American Bulldog .38 revolver, I think it just needs some springs. The other is a 1860's Sharps 4-barrell derringer. I wouldn't shoot that one anyway, but I can't move the barrell at all. I believe the barrell pulls out to load the 4 rounds in.

February 12, 2004, 01:12 PM
I've got a H&R 949 .22lr revolver that doesn't work very well. The mainspring rod is broken in half. :(

February 12, 2004, 01:21 PM
Two. I have a NAA Guardian in 32 with a broken extractor. Too lazy to send it back to the factory, but it’s covered. I’ll get around to it someday.

The other is an auto-ordinance 1911 model in 45. I bought it broken; the top end a victim of a self tune job gone wrong. The frame and feed ramp were in decent shape, so I bought it to sit underneath my Mech-Tech Carbine top end. I paid under $100, so I really didn’t care about the slide.


February 12, 2004, 02:16 PM
I've got a Colt Police positive circa 1917 that has a really,really heavy trigger pull (maybe 30lbs) and no grips some rust pitting. Also needs to be polished and re-blued.

I guess, I'm waiting for more money than brains and I'll fix it up. I thought about a gun buy back program but I can't do that to a Colt.

February 12, 2004, 02:59 PM
Why won't .22WMR guns eat .22lr? I have a lovely Savage bolt gun in .22WMR

I don't know the exact answer on this one, but it has to do with case/chamber sizes. I think that the .22Mag is .001 or .002 larger in diameter than the 22 Short/Long/Long Rifle. I don't have it in front of me right now, but the manual from my Ruger Single-Six plainly states NOT to shoot .22S/L/LR in the .22Mag cylinder, because the case WILL split, and may cause injury to shooter and bystanders.

February 12, 2004, 03:30 PM
I got a Whitney Wolverine 22lr given to me by my father when I was little.It has sat in the safe forever as the cocking piece was broken on one side and either the hammer or sear was severly worn as the hammer would just fall whenever it wanted to.I finally found a place that listed parts available for I took it completely apart(Dont' know if I can put this one back together or not???:confused: )and it still sits in the safe in about 50 pieces and still haven't ordered the parts.

February 12, 2004, 03:38 PM
I've got a Delta Elite with (probably) a bad disconnector and a Glock 17 that needs its extended slide release tweaked/eliminated so it doesn't lock back with rounds in the mag.

February 12, 2004, 04:50 PM
Have an FIE Titan .25 that looks seriously broken. I can get replacement parts from GunParts Corp. but they will cost more than its worth.

Doesn't seem to be a point in fixing it.

February 12, 2004, 07:24 PM
I've only got one that could be considered "broken". It's a FN Browning 1906 pocket pistol. Actually it's a frame and slide for said pocket pistol. It was in a box of gun stuff I inherited, but all of the other parts are missing. I'd sort of like to put it back together, but I'm not sure it would be worth it, money-wise.


s&w 24
February 12, 2004, 07:35 PM
most of the time when I get a "new" gun it's someone elses problem that I either fix or trade off for some other broken down gun. Right now I have 3 kits that need building and 5 other guns that need a tune up or worse.

February 12, 2004, 11:07 PM
I have (somewhere) a S&W Victory model that a neighbor gave me in the hopes I would fix it. It appears someone decided to make it safe by using it as a hammer. In other words, the frame is bent. Yes, I said bent. I have weighed the pros and cons of straightening the deal, to get the cylinder lined back up with the barrel. It remains....bent.

February 13, 2004, 11:23 AM
Thanks for the input, guys...anyone else out there? I know there are:D

February 13, 2004, 11:30 AM
I have an old belgian S&W clone.... This thing is pobably close to 100 years old. I forget I own it most of the time.

Don't even know what caliber it is.

I tried to give it to the gun range I go to in exchange for a box of ammo and range fees.... He said no :)

February 17, 2004, 08:10 AM
Belgian S&W clone? Interesting....

February 17, 2004, 08:36 AM
I have a savage bolt action .22 that was inherited from my father. The trigger recently broke and wobbles all over the place. Im looking in to getting the trigger redone and maybe even the wood and steel refinished. Ill probally just do the trigger though, and leave the rest as is, like it is in my memories of childhood.

February 17, 2004, 10:21 AM
I have a 12 gauge Iver Johnson single shot shotgun with out a stock or forearm. I found it in an old home I was helping to renovate.

February 18, 2004, 06:08 PM
It sounds like a lot of these are "junker" guns that are easier to ignore or hold on to until a gun buyback program comes around.

Any others?

February 19, 2004, 07:12 PM
The only weapon I have that fits in that category is a cheap Grendel .380 I bought 15 years ago. The company is long out of existence, the weapon is broken, and I stopped taking it out of the safe 10 years ago except as a prop for training ( the weapon is usually taped off these days ).

February 19, 2004, 07:59 PM
My Winchester 1911SL. I havent tried firing it in the six months I've had it, due to horror stories. :uhoh: Everything seems to work, and it looks like it was used quite a lot, but...

I guess some things shouldn't be tried.

February 20, 2004, 11:58 AM
I've had iffy magazines. I disassemble them and store them separately to be safe.

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