A Good BP Revolver Kit?


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cooltouch
February 17, 2013, 11:40 AM
Some years ago -- back in the 90s -- a neighbor of mine had an 1847 Walker Dragoon replica that he had assembled from a kit. It was very rough looking. The frame's steel was rough, with a sand cast surface, and the grips were just a couple of blocks of wood. I asked him if I could borrow it so I could "clean it up some." Well, I kinda went overboard. I sanded all the sand casting surfaces smooth with crocus cloth, then blued the steel, and then carved the grips until they had a smooth contour, fitting flush with the grip frame. When I gave it back to him, he was amazed, not even recognizing his own revolver.

I tell ya what, finishing off that kit was a lot of fun. Recently, I've been thinking about doing another one -- for me this time -- and I'd like it to be a '47 Walker Dragoon, but I haven't had any luck finding one. Dixie Gun Works has a "Texas or Buffalo Revolver & Kit" that actually looks quite interesting. Not familiar with this model, but it comes in .44 caliber and has a 12" barrel! Priced reasonably at about $220 too.

So far, after scouring the 'net using a variety of search strings, the above is the only BP revolver kit I have been able to find. Not a bad looking kit, I think, but I always prefer having a selection to choose from. So, if you know of anyone else who offers a revolver kit -- especially if it's a '47 Walker Dragoon -- I'd sure like to hear from you.

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IROCZ
February 18, 2013, 04:58 AM
I think those have pretty much dried up.

jldee55
February 18, 2013, 07:50 AM
I got mine last year from the Possible Shop..I think they still have some in stock..

AlexanderA
February 18, 2013, 09:13 AM
The reason the kits dried up was that they weren't cost effective. That is, the difference in price between the kit and the finished revolver wasn't great enough to justify all the work involved in finishing the kit. And it is a lot of work draw fling and polishing the rough castings, and applying the finish. Besides that, the case hardening applied to the frame, hammer, etc., is beyond the capability of most amateurs (to say nothing of putting a proper bluing on the rest of the gun).

cooltouch
February 18, 2013, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I was kinda figuring the kits had been discontinued or else they would have been showing up in my search strings. But then I looked a little closer at Dixie Gun Works' website, and I found it. Not cheap, but it is definitely a kit. Made by Uberti, which is giving me momentary pause, especially after reading Alexander's note regarding case hardening -- or the lack thereof. Of course, now the question becomes, do I buy the kit with its non-case hardened frame, or do I buy the assembled revolver for another $65 and get one with a color-case hardened frame?

When it comes to those old revolver reproductions, I wonder about the case hardening anyway. I have a Uberti Cattleman -- basically a Colt SAA clone -- that supposedly has a color-case-hardened frame, and it had a problem when I bought it in "slightly used" condition. The cartridges would jam up in the cylinder once they were fired and it turned out to be the hole in the receiver that the firing pin passes through. Somebody had dry fired it and caused the hole to pucker out some when the firing pin struck the hole. This pucker was enough to bind against the fired cases and keep the cylinder from rotating, which eventually led to breaking the revolver's hand spring. I took a smooth stone to it to level the surface. I found out after I'd discovered this problem that all it took was dry firing the pistol a couple of times and the pucker was back. So this seems to indicate to me that if this Uberti's receiver has been case-hardened, it sure isn't by much, and it has likely been filed through anyway because of the pucker factor. So if the kits are not case-hardened, I wonder really just how much case-hardening the finished guns get.

Which of course led me to google "diy case hardening" and read up on the process. It looks like this is a process that, with a bit of work perhaps, can be done at home. One of the necessary steps is having a means to get the steel cherry-red hot. Well, I have an oxy-acetylene kit that'll get me there. Now I guess I need to ask myself, in light of all this added hassle, how badly do I want to build that kit.

Patocazador
February 18, 2013, 12:01 PM
I got mine last year from the Possible Shop..I think they still have some in stock..
Thanks for the heads up on the Possible Shop. I never was aware of it before. Great selection of neat stuff at reasonable cost .. much better than TOTW.

cooltouch
February 18, 2013, 04:54 PM
+1 Definitely some interesting gunsmithing projects.

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