Ballistics by the inch

Get a grip. Or make one.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about finishing a Liegi Derringer kit, then doing the laser work to customize the grips. It turned out well enough, so I decided to finish and laser a second kit, to use as a door prize for a black powder workshop I’m doing at the annual meeting of the Liberal Gun Club this fall in Las Vegas.

All went well until the time came to mount the grip to the receiver. The top mounting screw went in fine, after drilling a pilot hole. But the bottom one broke loose as I was tightening it. I took the top screw back out so I could see what the problem was. This is what I saw:

Almost looks like a tiny wooden shoe from this angle, doesn’t it?

See right there in the center? That’s where the screw broke loose, knocking out the adjacent piece of wood. Just a fluke of the grain on this piece of wood.

There are several ways you can repair a problem like this. You can use a longer screw. You can fill in the broken material with a good wood epoxy, then remount the screw. You can change the hardware to relocate the screw. There are probably other good, simple solutions, but I’m not a wood-worker.

So of course I figured that I’d do the most difficult thing: carve a replacement grip out of another piece of walnut.

See, we had to take down a big walnut in our yard some years back. Most of the big pieces of good wood went to friends who are skilled wood-workers. The rest became firewood. We still have some of the firewood, so I picked out a piece and chopped it roughly to size:

That’s a funny-lookin’ grip.

Next, I spent a couple of hours with a drill, a heavy wood rasp, and a Dremel, and got the new grip down to an approximate form:

Roughed out.

Then it was a matter of more detailed carving, to get closer to the shape of the original grip, and to make room for the hardware of the receiver:

Still a little bulky …

I had decided to make this grip a little more robust than the original, since I didn’t trust my skills to not over-do it and make a fragile grip. But I didn’t want it TOO big:

Pleased to meet you.

Once I was satisfied with the shape of the grip, it was time to laser the design into the sides. To get the designs positioned properly, I used some reference tape:

I did the laser work, then stained the grip and polished it slightly. Assembly went just fine, and the mounting screws set without a problem. Here’s the finished product:

I’m pretty happy with the finished product, and hope whomever wins it will enjoy shooting it.

Jim Downey

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Anecdotes, black powder | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

That takes balls.

I recently picked up a little Pedersoli Liegi Derriger kit. One of the other BBTI guys has one of these things, and I’ve always considered it a cool little piece of firearms history. Cap & ball firearms technology came along in the early part of the 1800s, supplanting flintlocks and earlier ignition systems. The Liegi design was very popular as a basic pocket/boot/muff small handgun, because it was relatively easy to load and carry, and lethal at close range.

The interesting thing about the Liegi is the loading system: you unscrew the barrel, load the powder charge in the chamber, place a round bullet on top of the powder, then screw the barrel back into place. It’s simple and fairly foolproof, and doesn’t even require a powder measure — you just fill the chamber with black powder and it’s the correct amount. Once the gun is loaded and the barrel is in place, you draw the hammer to half-cock, place a cap on the nipple, and the gun is ready. Here’s a short video showing all the steps:

In addition to doing the minor prep work on the walnut stock of the gun, I wanted to add some laser engraving on the side panels. Because it amused me, I decided to use the same basic pattern as I had used for the grips of a very modern handgun, my Customized Timberwolf G21. Here’s a pic of the finished product, and on the next page are pics of the process and comparisons to other small handguns I have:

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July 17, 2022 Posted by | .22, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, black powder, Boberg Arms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Boxed sets

Remember the post about the various large cartridges?

Well, I made a display box. Actually, I made three — one for each of the BBTI team members. And now that I’ve given the other two guys theirs, I can share pics:

20200811_154649

That’s all three boxes. They’re simple plywood exterior, with the interior of acrylic. All of it cut using my Glowforge laser. Here’s a detail shot:

detail

The boxes were designed so that the cartridges can be easily removed so that people can actually handle them.

open mostly full

And they close up for safe storage.

clasp

Just thought I would share these.

 

Jim Downey

 

 

August 24, 2020 Posted by | .44 Magnum, Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment