Thursday, April 20, 2006


I spent this evening working on another of Judge Mint Day's guns. I installed the "Whisper Springs" that we picked up at the last main match into his '66. I went ahead and tore the gun compltely down and did an more thorough deburring and slicking up of the gun, though to be honest, these guns don't need as much work as a '92 or Marlin 94. The main way you improve a '66 or '73 is to lighten the springs on them. So the Whisper Springs are part of that equation, they replace the factory lifter and lever springs which are inordently heavy. The Smith Shop invented the Whisper Springs and they replace the stock heavy springs with some piano wire.Judge%20%2766 For $35 they're probably worth it because if you grind too much off the factory springs, you have to throw them away and do over.

The only other spring that can affect the cycling of the '66 is the hammer spring and they are heavy as well. I pulled this one out and had to shake my head as the milling marks on one side of it were so rough you could probably cut wood with it like a saw blade. I clamped it down and smoothed up the sides with a file, then took a drum sander to the concave part of it to elliminate the milling marks there. Milling marks btw will cause a spring to fail, so its important to get rid of them. I then cleaned up the hook on the end so that the yolk on the hammer would run smoother. Upon reassembly, I shimmed a couple of thin washers under the spring to further lighten it.

The deburring and slicking up consisted of me cleaning each part thoroughly, running my hands over it to feel where the burs were and removing them and then stoning the contact surfaces where needed. Then I reassembled the rifle. All told, it took me a little under 3 hours, I doubt that I'll strike any fear into the hearts of the good gunsmiths, but I think the rifle is a major improvement now. I probably should have taken photos, but I don't like pausing to do something totally unrelated while I'm working, so maybe next time.

BTW Judge, you WILL want to check out this rifle before the KY State match since I changed the hammer spring strength. I'm 90% sure it'll fire, but you want to be 100% sure. Oh, and you owe me a beer at the least for this job :)

No comments: