Quantcast

Lefever Nitro Special Cocking

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Johnm1, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I was able to function test the lower fever makes her special yesterday. It is the subject of another post titled Lefever Embellishments. I find that the first barrel does not always cut when the shotgun is opened. Below is the best diagram of the action that I can find on the Internet. It appears that the cocking rod can be removed without removing the main spring. Removing and reinstalling the main spring is a major project. Actually three major projects. There is a special tool to remove the springs and a special tool to install them. So I would prefer not to disassemble this shotgun

    Do you agree that the cocking rod can be removed without impact of the main spring?

    Also, the diagram doesn’t indicate that there are set screws on the pin holding the cam in place. But my fox has them and I just wonder if there might be a set screw. Does anyone know one way or the other?

    I realize this is a relatively unique firearm and there may not be much history in this group. But any help is appreciated. I suspect I could get a specific answer over on one of the shotgun forums. But, I hate to join a forum just to ask a single question.

    2C8F8B04-A7BC-4118-A096-BB7173F21510.jpeg B6B7D09A-BC01-42AF-969D-0DE632B4F835.jpeg
     
  2. gunsmither

    gunsmither Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Washington State
    The cocking rod should come out by removing the pin that goes thru the cams. I would suspect a weak sear spring with lot's of crud is keeping the sear from engaging the hammer notch. Or the hammer notch sear surfaces are worn. I would suggest removing all the innards and thoroughly cleaning and inspecting all the parts. Here is a link to a fairly simple way to get the hammer springs out and in again. -

    https://smg.photobucket.com/user/gunsmither/library/Ithaca Lefever?page=1

    Lot's of photo's showing a couple of simple to make items to compress the
    springs using a drill press. Hope it helps you! Joe
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Johnm1 likes this.
  3. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Thank you Gunsmither,

    I had seen that tool before in several different versions. I had hoped that I wouldn’t need to take the mainsprings out but I think you are correct. To know what the issue is I should see all of the parts.

    In the end, if your going to have/use this shotgun, one should probably have the tool. I suspect I can make the tool from aluminum. Unfortunately I don’t have a mill so all the machining/shaping will be by hand. I suspect that’s how gunsmiths did it before machinery.
     
  4. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    First off, I should learn to proofread better when I use voice recognition to type in a forum post. After reading my original post I'm not sure how anybody understood what my question was.

    I have not had time to create the tools to remove and replace the main Springs. At 95 years old I figured the receiver needed a good cleaning. It was disassembled with the main Springs remaining in place. The cocking rod on the subject Barrel was relatively easy to remove. But the cocking rod on the barrel that worked okay could not be removed. The Sonic cleaner worked well. It does not clean well inside of the receiver. But I was able to clean that conventionally.

    The actual cocking surfaces on the cocking cams had several manufacturing flaws but I did nothing with them other than clean. The flaws tended to draw dried grease to them. After cleaning and oiling I reassembled the actions back together and the cocking action seems somewhat tighter and More in line with what I would expect. Current testing indicates that both barrels cock each time. It may well have been that the action just needed to be cleaned. Time will tell. It may well be that cleaning/reinstalling the sear Springs corrected the issue. I could see a dirty/misaligned sear spring preventing the sear from engaging the trigger.

    I still need to wrap my head around how to create and use the tools to remove the main Springs. I believe it is a useful tool to have even if I don't need it right now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
    entropy likes this.
  5. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I tested the operation today after cleaning. I learned, accidentally, that I could extract an empty and not open the action enough to cock the hammers. I now suspect that the cocking cams are worn.

    Now to see if I can find cocking cams in better condition. Maybe the defects on the cocking surfaces I saw weren't from manufacture.
     
  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Although I have submitted for entry to the Ithaca Forum, it might be a couple of days before I can post this question. There is more to the question but in the pursuit of brevity I'll just post the question without the back story. I'm hoping one of you has experience with the Nitro Special or the Ithaca NID. Using the diagram above, can someone explain the sequence of firing for the NS? Specifically the position of the firing pins after firing? I would assume the released hammer would be pushing on the back of the firing pin pushing the firing pin out of the breach until the action is started to be cocked pushing the hammer back allowing the firing pin to be pushed back into the breach by the expanded shell.

    I realize this is very model specific and the Lefever forum on the Ithaca site has more people familiar with this model. But maybe someone here is familiar.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Gunsmither,

    It took a bit of staring at the pictures but I basically figured out the way the main spring retaining tool is used to remove the hammers. But does the retainer just hold the main Springs in place or does it compress the springs at all?

    I'm not sure if you just cock the hammers, install the retainer and then trip the hammers to release the hammers from the force of the main springs. Or if the screws on the retainer actually compress the springs.
     
  8. gunsmither

    gunsmither Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Washington State
    The Aluminum retainer with the two angled screws holds the mainsprings under compression while you remove the hammer cross pin and hammers. The long rod fits in a drill press to compress the mainspring slightly, to allow the angled screws on the Al plate to hold the springs in place. The notch on the rod fits the end of the mainspring plunger. Compress one spring, lock it down with the angled screw onto the spring plunger, then do the other spring same way. Remove hammers, then re-compress springs one at a time, while releasing the angled screw to remove spring, then back off drill press to release spring all the way. All the retainer does is hold the springs in place to allow removal of the hammers. Reverse the procedure to install the springs and hammers.
     
  9. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Thank you Gunsmither.
     
  10. gunsmither

    gunsmither Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Washington State
    Been a long time since I messed with a NS Lefever. I think you could make a retainer block like I did just using straight in screws to hold the plunger instead of angled screws. Not sure, but worth a try perhaps? Can't recall exactly why I angled them.

    Best of luck! Joe
     
  11. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I've seen other versions of this same tool and they also had angled screws. It makes sense to be angled. The plunger is angled to form a wedge and the angled screws would seem to have better purchase on the follower. The drilling on the angle will be the hard part for me. I do have a drill press but I'm going to have to create a vise to hold the aluminum at the proper angle.
     
  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Well, I made the tool and disassembled the Lefevre. It was not too gunked up and all of the surfaces appeared normal except for possibly the cocking cams. One of the cocking rods was difficult to get out. It does not appear to be bent although it would not take much to cause a little bit of a bind. I may purchase another cocking rod although that side always cocks. It is sometimes harder to cock then others. I ended up with a broken firing pin on the right Barrel. I purchased a replacement from gun parts and had to fit it. I had been warned that the retaining pin for the firing pins were staked heavily by the factory. These we're not even finger tight. I'm considering using lock tight after I test fire the new firing pin.

    The tool I made worked well enough, note I didn't say well, for the removal. I miscalculated the angle and the bolts do not hold the spring / follower low enough to replace the hammer. I am considering using the Straight in bolts possibly will a slot and double nuts counter sunk on top and bottom.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  13. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Or, I could just slot the retaining nut hole instead of double nuts and counter sinking the nuts. I've been tinkering all weekend and my inner Rube Goldberg came out.
     
  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I recently replaced a broken firing pin in the Lefever Nitro Special with what looked like a NOS from Gunparts. It had to be fitted to function. To fit I had to sand the part of the pin that strikes the primer for taper and diameter. The amount removed was very little. But I also had to shorten the back end of the pin. This is the part that the hammer actually strikes and that distance was relatively significant. I didn't measure it but it was more than a 32nd of an inch but probably less than a 1/6th of an inch. The length of the replacement firing pin is the same as the broken pin as well as the other side firing pin and had the same amount of protrusion and is free floating like the other side. So I think I got the dimensions right but need to test fire it to make sure it is actually correct.

    Do I need to harden the firing pin? If so, is this something a home tinkerer can do at the house?

    I have not test fired it yet to make sure the fitting is correct. So I have the ability to go back and harden if necessary. Below is a diagram of the arrangement. Note the firing pin is retained by a set screw from below.
    Lefever Firing Pin.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  15. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    635
    You can case harden it with an oxy acetylene torch and Kasenit if necessary.
     
  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Thanks Jackrabbit,

    I was hoping that as small as it is that it would have been hardened throughout.
     
  17. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    635
    It's gonna depend on what kind of steel the pin is made of. If it's mild steel the Kasenit will work, if its tool steel it can be hardened and tempered with the oxy acetylene torch and an oven. I would try it in the gun first before doing any heat treating and see if it looks like its gonna hold up. You should be able to tell fairly quickly.
     
  18. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Thanks Jackrabbit,

    I need to test it for fit anyhow, so I will test it before I Lok-tite the retaining pin in place and inspect for peening of the hammered surface after testing.
    .
    I plan to run it through a thorough test regimen anyhow. I really like the gun and love to shoot it. So it will probably see a couple of boxes of low pressure shells before I take it back apart and finalize the repair.

    I have learned that I'm not a machinist. I'm on my third prototype of the main/hammer spring retaining tool. Poor equipment and not enough general knowledge have hampered me on the tool. I have said before, I'm glad I don't have to make a living on my skills (or lack thereof) as a gunsmith. I'd starve. I am at best a 'tinkerer'.

    The replacement firing pins really do look like NOS pins. They had a blue finish and were only slightly oversized. I don't think they were ever installed in a gun before.

    Thanks again for the help!
     
  19. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    635
    Sure thing, glad to help a fellow Arizonian.
     
  20. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I don't figure we'll ever be able to determine what kind of steel it is. So I hope this works.
     
  21. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Sometimes simple is better. I had a hard time getting the angle right and took gunsmither's suggestion and made the screws straight on. It worked fine for the reinstall.

    IMG_31072019_225842_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     
    earlthegoat2 likes this.
  22. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Unfortunately I have to take the left hammer out. The left side cocking rod is in a bind and i can't cock the shotgun right now.

    But first I need to replace the water heater that crapped out yesterday. Nothing like working in the garage in 100 plus degree heat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  23. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I completed the replacement of the right firing pin today. It does set off a primed only shell. I plan to take it out tomorrow and put at least 50 rounds through it to check reliability. I'll then take it apart to look for battering of the new firing pin. If no battering is apparent I'll lok-tite the retaining pin in place.

    It turns out that the left side cocking rod is bent. But I suspect it has been bent a long time if not since manufacture. The bind I experienced wasn't caused by the bent rod but from installing the follower on the hammer spring upside down.

    The simple tool does work but is too flimsy to reliably hold both springs at the same time. I just worked one spring at a time and it worked fine.
     
  24. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Testing went well and it appears the replaced firing pin is reliable. I only put 25 rounds through it today. Mostly because I was shooting so poorly today and it was approaching 100 degrees. I saw no reason to reinforce poor shooting especially at 100 degrees. But they all went bang.

    I will test some more, possibly tomorrow.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice