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Sun Feb 18, 2018 19:53

Several years ago, Wayne gave me a barrel off of a .45 caliber S&W Model of 1950, and said, "Here, go do something fun with this." It was missing a fair amount of bluing, and the front sight was a kluged together monstrosity of pieces, parts, bubble gum, bailing wire, and mysteries of the Universe, but the bore, crown and threads were in nice shape. I sat on the project for a while, and then one day I found a good deal on a beat up 5-screw Highway Patrolman, that was period correct for the barrel. I already had a .45 Schofield reamer (from Dave Manson) from a previous project (Ruger Blackhawk .45 Schofield), so I pulled the cylinder out and rechambered it to .45 Schofield. My good friend Dave Ewer fit the barrel to the frame for me (as a birthday present). Then I took it out and shot it. Big disappointment. POI was well above POA. We fixed the buggered up rear sight, but that didn't cure the problem -- POI was still running 6-8" high at 50 feet with the rear sight bottomed out -- the problem was that monstrosity of a front sight. So, I decided to replace the front sight blade. The base had a 1/16" key slot milled in it, and the boogered up front sight blade had a 1/16" foot, with a 1/8" sight blade, pinned into the slot in a fairly sloppy fashion (and the pin hole was also boogered up). I tried to drive the pin out. No go. I tried to drill the pin out, which is when I discovered that they had used a hardened pin, so I ended up damaging the pin hole even further. Long story short, it turns out that because the sight blade was wobbly, even after they pinned it, they epoxied the whole mess in place. It took repeated applications of heat, beat, and hope, and it only gave up ground grudgingly, coming out in pieces, but I got that confounded sight blade out, and the slot was still in good shape. I got a piece of 16 gauge sheet steel (which is very, very close to 1/16" thick), and this morning I sat down and fabricated a new front sight blade that is tall enough to get of POI to jive with POA. I had to drill an oversized hole (.086") to clean up the boogered up pin holes, and use a correspondingly oversized roll-pin, but it all came together rather nicely. I'll take it down to the range later this week and get everything zeroed. After all these years, I am finally going to find out how this gun groups!

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