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  • Writer's pictureJames Reynolds Gunsmith

Settling in and regulating.

And so it begins; There is a flurry of activity at the shooting ground today, as with the lifting of lockdown restrictions, the shooting ground is set to re- open its doors after a long covid lockdown, customers are advised strongly to book as I expect there will be many people absolutely thrilled to have something to do,. Here in the UK people can once again come together outdoors, provided they are in no more than groups of 6 or from no more than two households. It was cheerful to see on the news people making the most of the lifting of restrictions including one group going for a very early morning cycle in the middle of the night; grateful that nobody went midnight clay shooting it might have been something of a waste of time.

A few jobs to be getting on with, on the bench I have a Perazzi and a Browning as well as a few pet projects which I almost never get time to pay any attention to. I'm aiming to hit the ground running with this blog ( only a year late ) and attempt to spend a bit of time each day posting to it. With opening day looming there has been much tidying and organising and for me in my little workshop things have been much the same. There are a few ends that need tying up still, to get around the issue with poor phone signal I intend to install a landline, which I hope proves more reliable for my customers when they need to get in touch with me; annoyingly I'm still waiting for that to turn up along with some new signage and workwear. In the mean time I have work to do, levelling and setting up the lathe and milling machine, tidying around the shop, boxing up the tools used to build the place and removing rubbish acquired in the process.

Settling into the workshop there are a few things that I still need to bring over, I started refinishing a stock only to realise my rottenstone has gone walk about in the move, rottenstone is a finely bolted powdered stone which is used when traditionally oil finishing to both fill and burnish the surface of the stock between coats of oil; I'm determined to find my current bag of rottenstone as while not difficult to get hold of, I've found quality between suppliers quite variable.

The stock I'm refinishing belongs to a client, its a Perazzi that's seen a bit of use but isn't in bad shape, the client contacted me about the job last summer but its only now post workshop move that I'm once again taking in work. The gun has a few problems that seem to be typical and unique to perazzi, both issues I shall address while the gun is here with me.

Firstly there is something of poor regulation between the top lever spindle and the hold open cam; when you operate the top lever the bolt disengages allowing the barrels to drop, before the hold open cam locks the top lever in the open position, you must move the top lever another extra push before the top lever stays in the open position. Because of the design of the perazzi bolt this doesn't stop the gun from closing, but my customer finds it annoying, and thought something might be broken inside; fortunately its not, unfortunately its just poor regulation.

In the gunsmithing/ gunmaking world regulation is the process of carefully filing and fitting parts so that they make the desired movements at the right place and time in the mechanism, on hand made guns this is a laborious and technical part of gun making requiring much skill and understanding of the design and various parts interactions with each other, a single file stroke on the wrong place or at the wrong angle can cause issues, particularly on some older trigger mechanisms and ejectors with age related wear regulation can be a fiddly business.

Fortunately the issue at hand is relatively simple, the cam is a little too long, so careful measurements are taken, the gun disassembled and the cam dressed to the correct length, the part is then cleaned of filings and reassembled into the mechanism. The result is perfect; at the moment the bolts clear the barrels allowing them to drop the cam is allowed to drop with a satisfying "click" into its slot. The lever now locks in the "open" position at the very moment the barrels are free of the mechanism.

See you soon!


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