1912 BSA truck gun
Got this BSA recently. Improved Model D Sporting Pattern. I think I have 5 Sportings now. This one needs help.It's going to be a carry around gun. Truck gun. I can take it with me and let people shoot it no worries. I especially enjoy letting young people shoot airguns. So many of our 3 son's friends have nobody to introduce them to shooting sports anymore.
I got it in pieces and several are missing. Some parts I have. Others I have to make. The compression tube was seperated from the Stock and trigger block when I got it. The spring is missing. Ok, I have some springs for it. The piston was a little stuck(100 year old gunk) so I had to pull it out by the piston rod. Carefully so I didn't damage the bent. "Bent" is what Brits call the sear notch in the piston rod. Something was rattling in the chamber so when the piston came out look at all the round lead shot that fell out! The pile on the left of the crosman .22 pellet. To the right of the pellet is the shot that was pounded into the bottom of the chamber. Had to be scraped out. Packed/pounded in there so tight. The piston washer screw survived! I've had to make so many of those. Not this time.
The problem with guns with loading taps is that people sometimes load the tap before cocking the spring. Anything in the tap gets sucked into the chamber. And sometimes it's not even a pellet! Then gets pounded by the poor seal and/or screw. Very often it's a steel BB and it wrecks the screw and brass washer, then gets imbedded in the leather seal. Any time I get a new prewar BSA I open it up to see what's inside. Over half have ruined seals and screws.
I'll post each time I make a part. Rebuilding this gun. I can't wait to shoot it.
My next post regarding this gun will be making the missing cocking lever screw. Thank you for looking
Making the cocking lever screw. The screw diameter is .280. Looks like a metric, right? 6mm right? Nope, it is 26 tpi pitch. They say BSA used their proprietary bicycle threads when making guns. Odd diameters and Imperial pitches. That's ok with me. I don't have to use metric transposing gears in the end gear train. Just select the pitch from the chart on the quick change gearbox.
The first pass turning the screw is about .060 metal removal. Then .040 and I'm down to about .300 diameter. .010 more give or take and I'm at finish diameter. Cut a step to .400 for the screw head. About .040 something first pass and the remainder in the second cut. Time to run the threads. Zipped through a few threading passes and I'm trying it in the rifle. I go pretty quick as I don't use back gears for finer thread pitches. About 220 rpm. Don't blink! Gotta be quick with the halfnuts. Pretty good reflexes at 60 years old? The thread was too snug. One more pass. Now it gets just a little snug when the screw head bottoms in it's counterbore. Perfect. Cut off the screw with a hacksaw. Turn it around in the chuck an face to the desired head thickness. Used the same 29.5 degrees compound slide setting to start shaping the screw head dome. Filed the rest of the dome profile. Polished it some to remove file marks. Cut the slot with aa hacksaw. Done! Took about 35 minutes. Done for now.... I still have to cut a little crescent for the keeper screw. Next time. Then I'll make the grip screw. Brits sometimes call the trigger a "grip". The trigger is also missing but fortunately I have a spare one. Thank you for looking
Last night I milled the place on the cocking lever screw for the keeper screw. I just clamped the barrel in the vise with a Vee block. Wasn't worried about scratching the rust. LOL! Not a real rigid set up but ok for what i'm doing here. The existing hole for the keeper screw was about 9/32. So who would have a 9/32 end mill handy? Looked around a little and guess what? I found a 2 flute 9/32. Hey, this is going pretty good. Would have preferred a 4 flute for this but it worked ok. Plunging down on the edge of the new screw with a 2 flute on this setup was a little sketchy. Using the quill to feed down I was tentative. It didn't feel "happy". Import mills like this Enco don't have a precisely fitted quill like a Bridgeport has. They're really just a big drill press quill. You could certainly never be able to bore an accurate hole with a boring attachment this way. Best you can do there is raise and lower the knee for an operation like that. So, slowly, carefully plunged the quill down and could see I was close. I hadn't set the depth stop so I was looking for the end mill to just scrape the keeper screw existing counterbore. Got it. It's done. Next will be that missing trigger screw.
Would someone like to suggest a plum brown formula for these parts?
Thank you for looking
BTW look close. I found a loading tap in my spare parts. See it in the barrel? I bought it on UK eBag last year for about $2.00!! I forgot I had it. It's from a post 1919 Standard a guy parted last year. I got several parts he had listed and added them to my stash. Shipping for all the parts was about $10. Royal Mail Standard Post International(Always ask for this). NOT eBag Global Shipping Program. Too expensive! It's a little different than the Improved Model D tap so I have to use a later tap retaining plate too. And I know where to get one in UK for 20 pounds. But I really want to make that.
Give thanks for all you receive
Thanks for taking the time to upload all these pics. That's an impressive haul out of the chamber!
The browned finish looks great.
I never can remember to take pics DURING work, before then straight to after, always forgetting to document the process!
Greatwhitehunter. I want to thank YOU! You are the true diehard here in Metal Shop. This was such a great place where the guys shared what they do in their shops. Recently I found I can show what's up in my shop without that terrible blunder, Photobunkit. It was such a hassle to use and now you can't view any of THEIR pictures without joining anyway. They ruined so much. So many forums. Information. Similar to what Yuckhoo has done to their forums. Sad. They can go Yuckhoo themselves! LOL!
Anyhow, I would really like to see this section revived some so I've decided to do my crusty BSA rebuild for all to see. Maybe inspire some others to do the same again. Teach/inspire/share with each other things. Show off. I'm sure there are some guys tinkering in the shop these ''two weeks''. So c'mon let's see!
Can't tell if sarcasm or...
I'm usually trying to post stuff that people AREN'T doing, trying to show them something they haven't seen, or at least, something they aren't talking about. In this way, we can turn each other onto probable common interests.
I'm not a good enough machinist to be posting a bunch of that stuff, haven't cultivated a steady flow of business yet.
Fantastic work! Wonderful to save this old girl for future generations. Really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting. 👍
Hi KWK, Greetings from Wales UK. That was a fantastic article. I'm a vintage pre WW1 Bsa enthusiast myself. Its a pleasure to see our cousins over the ocean enjoying and valuing these fine old rifles, as much as we do. Your skills and craftsmanship are awesome - those 45" Improved Model D's are in very safe hands.
Not sure if its the good climate, but you sure seem to find some lovely examples in the States. Glad to see the rave review your famous gun writer J.B Townsend wrote all those years ago paid off. Have you seen the Collectables section of the AirgunBBS forum ?
All the best Morgan
<snip> This one needs help.It's going to be a carry around gun. Truck gun. <snip>
The way this is going, you apparently have a pretty nice truck.
Hi KWK, looks like your having fun with the old BSA. Thanks for posting the picture of your work. Is that the one being parted out on usa ebay couple weeks ago? I tried to work out a deal on those parts but i had no tap. Knew that would be a issue. I'm up to 4 so your 1 up on me. I have 2 1913 models and 2 1919 models. Last one I picked up was a 1913 improved model D. 22cal. Couldn't tell from the pics the guy posted but was really disappointed when it arrived. The bluing was real nice from what I could see but when I saw the gun in person someone had shortened the barrel 6" and mill the top of the receiver flat. It did seem to shoot ok. When i stop being made at it I will post pictures going thru it. Here is article I wrote on the yellow years back. Shows all of mine except the latest one. What state are you in? I'm in NKY/cincinnati area. Thanks chris
Yeah Chris, That's the gun. Thought I might have to make a tap for it but I found one in my parts from a post war Standard Long Tom that fits really well. I know where to get a tap retaining plate but I'll make one. Right now I'm working on the cocking lever catch. I'll cut the dovetail on my metal shaper. Folks will get to see what that is and what it can do. I think I like machine tools as much as guns. A "Sporting" is a 45 inch .22 Improved Model D. That became the .22 Standard (Long Tom, S prefix) after WW1. "Standard" actually describes several of the prewar BSA's. Not just the S,T, CS, A and L prefix post 1919 guns.(S prefix pre 1919 means it has a "Safety Sear". Agh!) It can all get confusing! The 43 inch .177 Improved Model D is also called a Standard as well as the later Improved Model D's with no metal buttplate and have light etching on top the cylinder. Be careful, you might get bitten and end up with a vast collection!
There is 3 on Ebay right now but I'm resisting right now. My 45" 22 cal from 1919 had a box of pellets with it. There is picture in link I posted I think
Yes, That's a real nice 1919 Standard. I have 2 mint 1919 Standard Lights and 1 mint 1919 Standard Long Tom like yours. Also a mint 1924 Club Standard. Oddly (or unfortunately?) it's a .22 and not a .177. Your Standard is a low number. 622nd gun assembled after the war. I have a .22 Standard in the 500's. Also a nice 1919 light pattern L373.
L373 is marked Improved Model D. The first light patterns post WW1 were assembled from leftover prewar parts. No other post war1 BSA's came with straight hand stocks or stamped "Improved Model D". Post war parts are the 2 hole trigger block and cast guard and taller sights. Only a few hundred of these exist, If that. All other post WW1 are front button cocking lever catch.
The majority of these guns that came here are 1912 and 1919/20 manufacture. From what I've seen in the last 25 years anyway. Those are two of their highest production years as well.
L373 Cocking link is not installed
This my 1906 Lincoln Jeffries second batch #2412 . George Lincoln Jeffries made it all happen. If not for him you most likely wouldn't own any BSA air rifles! None. Only Enfields.
Working with my Logan metal shaper. First i squared up a piece of scrap steel. See the nice finish it leaves compared to the little circles left by an end mill? I'm making a cocking lever catch. It's held in place by a dovetail. So the part went on the mill for some work before it went back to the shaper to have the dovetails cut. One side is finished. I have to set up for the other. The tool slide on the end of the ram has to be set at 15 degrees. Width will be .435". As you can see it's far from finished. Dovetails have to be made very accurately. They are held by a slight interference fit. Final fitting is probably going to require some very careful file work. Shaper owners generally enjoy working with their machine. It's a shaper thing!
Thank you for looking. Give thanks for all we have
Operating the Logan shaper. Thank you for watching
I made some roughing cuts on the shaper. Then some filing and belt sanding. Dovetail doesn't go all the way without using a brass drift. Perfect. Next I will part it with a hacksaw and do some final shaping and polishing.
Cocking lever catch finished. I might polish out more tool marks. Maybe.
Still in the white. Probably shouldn't blue the new parts. Anybody recommend a Browning solution? Thank you for looking!
Enjoying this thread immensely. Thanks for taking us along as you progress. 👍 👍
Enjoying this thread immensely. Thanks for taking us along as you progress. 👍 👍
Agree! My dad had a machine shop in his basement as well as he worked as a machinist for his career. I regret not learning to use his equipment. All this is such a memory flashback to see the use again.
Made the trigger screw. Used my other South Bend 9. Just finished rebuilding this one recently. These are the first threads ever cut on this lathe. I am the first to ever even cut metal on it as well. The lathe came special order to a factory that had South Bend custom build a thread bobbin winding apparatus for it. That's all it ever did. And it wasn't apparently ever used much. It just sat in storage unused. I'll do a thread on it some time. Lucky Stars! It even has a hardened bed! Rare for a SB9.
I was going to make a video about how to put your tool bit on center quickly with a lantern tool post. But I'm too fast. It all happened in one frame. See the 6 inch scale in the picture(#3)? Boom finished. What's all the jibber jabber about taking too long fiddling with rockers? It took longer to square the threading tool (that took 5 minutes to grind from a blank and hone)with my fishtail gauge.
The screw shank diameter is .165 . The thread pitch is 36. That's pretty fine so I don't use back gear. Too slow and jingley. You wouldn't believe how quiet my SB9 lathes are. You set up the end gear train right and they're pretty quiet at mid to lower speeds. The trigger block I used to check the thread is from my spares box. Came from a 4th batch BSA Air Rifle 1906. #10068. Once again I cut the screw slot with a mini hacksaw. One day I'm going to set up my neat little Burke#4 horizontal mill with a slitting saw for that. I dislike trying to do it sideways in a vertical mill. That's what my horizontal is for. And it doesn't get used enough........
Good job on the screw. Its amazing how long it take for those little parts. I have really enjoyed my sb10L. I pasted up a sb9 years ago i should have bought. Looked li t was never used and had every possible accessory with it.
Thank You. The heavy ten is a great machine. I saw the nice job you did on it.
Takes less than an hour to make a screw. The cocking lever catch? I lost track of that one. It went from the mill to the shaper several times. Then some final hand shaping and polish. I went back and polished the remaining tool marks out. All for a rusty old gun. I'm crazy!
I'm beginning to approach the task of making the missing loading tap retaining plate. Not sure of the process yet. It's a challenging part. What step first? What methods? How will I hold it for machining? It's all in my head somewhere........
Thanks for looking!
I started on the loading tap retaining plate. Cut off a slice of 1 1/2" steel bar. I chose round stock because it's easy to mount in the rotary table chuck. Squared it up in the metal shaper. Most things are slower on the shaper than the mill but if you run the shaper at appropriate speeds, take a good cut, and set your automatic advance properly it's not too bad. For the finish cut you can work on something else while it cuts unattended. So I set up the rotary table on the 1985 Enco milling machine meantime. Did some calculations while the second side finished. The mill was ready and waiting when I mounted the part in the rotary table chuck. I don't have a center cutting 7/32" 4 flute so I had to rotate the table as I introduced feed depth. I would have used a 2 flute if I didn't intend to remove a little more material from both sides of the slot. A 2 flute cuts a straighter slot. I rotated the table counterclockwise giving me climb milling on the inner radius and conventional milling on the outer radius. That's important when using your rotary table. Avoids the tendency to "hog in". Especially with this tallish setup. And a so so Taiwanese rotary table (Grizzly). OK?
So far so good. Thank you for stopping by! Remember to give thanks
The loading tap retaining plate.
A little more progress. As you can see it's in there. All I have to do now is mill away anything that doesn't look like a retaining plate LOL! And drill two holes. See the layout punch marks in the first picture. And the scribe lines.
Thank you for looking!
Wow! this is the coolest Post ever.
Wow! this is the coolest Post ever.
Thank you kindly. I seek to inspire
I'm blessed. You be too
How I laid out the holes accurately.
I made a bushing to put on the "centering pin" of the retaining plate. Then used that to hold the part in alignment for center punching and scribing. Used a transfer punch. The punch was loose in the hole so I wrapped paper around it to take up the slack.
Next I used a pointed wiggler to set up over the punch marks. You put the point in the hole and lift it out with the mill running. If you are off center the wiggler wiggles slightly when retracting the quill. A sharp eye gets it (with my strongest reading glasses).The wiggler stays true. Now zero the X and Y dials. Move over to the other punch mark and repeat the process. Center drilled that hole and then drilled #16 (.168). Now went back to Zero X and Y axis to drill the other.
Checked it with the close fitting screws afterwards with the "layout bushing" in place. Perfect fit!
I finally got a chance to post. I made two close fitting pins to be used for setup. Used them to hold the part level in the shaper vise when I machined the flat. Then used them with a little parallel to setup the shaper vise to hold the part for cutting the dovetail shape. The shaper was handy making those cuts because the angle is 40 degrees. I could have done the job easier in the vertical mill but who has a 40 degree milling cutter handy? Not me. I do have lots of toolbits to grind and make my own profiles though. One of the last operations was parting my piece on the mill using an endmill. ?? Unorthodox for sure and I worried about it flying out of the vise scrapped. Used two small steel blocks to help clamp in the mill vise.
Cutting the 40 degree dovetail.
The billet was .080 too thick so I carefully milled away until there was only practically steel foil left holding. Made me sweat! Only a few thousandths the last little cut to free it. SEE ? It worked.
Still have to counterbore the screw holes 1/4" x .100 deep. Almost finished!
Thank you for hanging in there. This was a challenging part.
Hope all are safe and well
Loading tap retaining plate.
It fits perfectly on the gun. Only some slight final adjustment regarding loading tap alignment needed. Then break the sharp corners and polish it up. I did the counterbores for the screw holes. Used those alignment pins to set it up. The screw heads fit the holes very accurately. I will be repairing the buggered screws before I clean up and assemble the gun. This gun is old and crusty but it's not going to have ugly screws. I'm thinking about making the missing rear sight adjustment thumb screw next. I've made one before. It's not that hard.
Thank you very much for checking in.