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Funny how life repeats itself....UPDATE 11/17

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Rapidrob
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Funny how life repeats itself....UPDATE 11/17

#1 Post by Rapidrob » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:23 pm

It is funny how life repeats itself. In 1964 I was a young teenager who was into anything outdoors. I had just gotten into trapping. A very good friend of mine and well known today in the shooting world was in High School and was about to go into the Army. I was telling him what a chore it was carrying all the traps,anchors,tools and my rifle to dispatch the trapped animal if need be.
He gave me an H&R Young America .32 S&W revolver. It had seen decades of use,but hey, it was free. I shot the crap out of the little pistol and still have it today,though it no longer functions.
Two weeks ago another friend gave me a non-working National Arms company .32 S&W. ( some call it the "short" which is wrong) It turned out that the trigger return spring was broken which is so common I almost expected to find that. I made one from a piece of spring steel and now its back to normal. I bought some reloading dies and brass and started to reload for this little cartridge. Using a cast 71 grain bullet and the massive charge of 1.5 grains of Unique, the little pistol is quite accurate and very fun to shoot. Yes it is very under powdered and the bullet will not go through a 2x4 at 6 feet, but you can shoot it all day long for pennies. It goes bang ( you need hearing protection for sure) and recoil is almost nil. The revolver is hammerless but the double action is very smooth to pull. The sights are about as basic as you can find and the revolver does shoot to the point of aim. You can "blast" off five shots very fast out of its four inch barrel.Being a top-brake revolver you want to keep the chamber pressure to under 19,000PSI.
There is just something about going back to my roots of shooting a revolver in .32 S&W. As a kid it was a needed tool. Now it is just a piece of firearm history that can be fun to shoot that was part of my early life that brings back fond memories.
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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....

#2 Post by shoot4fun » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:40 am

How fun!!

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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....

#3 Post by Rapidrob » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:33 pm

I loaded up 50 rounds and went to the range.The pistol shot very well placing all 50 shots into the target set to 25 yards with most going into a silver dollar size group.
I forgot how much fun this cartridge is to shoot.
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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....

#4 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:35 pm

It is.
I was at a gunshow a couple of years back & was offered a Webly air pistol.
This was my Coup De gras weapon for water rats back in my youth. My primary was a .22 Haenel air rifle.
Yeah I snagged it!
My original was a "Webly Premiere" This is an Indian made Webly "Hurricane" No blued steel, just paint over alloy, but its a fun shooter!
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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....

#5 Post by Rapidrob » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:36 am

Nice! I still have my Benjamin Franklin .22 pump-up all bronze pistol.
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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....

#6 Post by Rapidrob » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:07 pm

Well, it's taken 50 years to get it going again....that is my 3 dollar H&R Young America Revolver in .32 S&W.
I used it for trapping in the early 60's and somewhere along the line I managed to break it. Back then gun parts were only available via a catalog or mimeograph flyer from Nurmrich or Dixie Gun Works. Perhaps word of mouth may lead you to other sources if you were lucky.
The little pistol stayed disassembled in an old coffee can for five decades until today. It took several months, a lot of bickering on prices and several sellers in order to find the parts I needed. Many of the parts were rusty and the nickle plating was in poor shape. I needed three internal parts that have not been for sale. Since mine were broken ( two major springs) and the primary sear ( pawl broken off) I had nothing to go by as I had removed the broken parts and "Placed them somewhere safe" until I ran across parts that might work. Needless to say these broken parts did not survive the many moves over the last 50 years.
Today I compiled all the parts I have been able to cobble together. These old pistols were mass produced but the really important parts like the hammer,sear,indexing pawl & catch were hand fitted. While the parts would fit, you had to mate them together in order for the pistol to function and be safe.
Several times I had to walk away and get another cup of coffee. To say mating the parts together was frustrating would be an understatement.
That being said, I was finely able to align a set of parts and the revolver functioned in double-action and single-action. How the sear and indexing pawl functions in both modes of firing is a little different to one another. Then there is 1/2 cock which frees up the cylinder to allow you to load it or remove the fired cases.
With over 100 years of use and abuse, it was a passion of love to get it going safely back together.
Whiled the .32 S&W is no anti-tank round,in this little pocket pistol it still has a pretty good recoil when fired.
My pistol has original wooden grips serial numbered to the frame. They are about 30% wider than the original Bakelite grips. Still, the grip is very small and needs to be held well in order to be fired accurately.
I fired the revolver 15 times at 10 feet from the bullet trap and targets. Five shots were fired just to find the sight ( only the front blade sight) zero. The pistol with my loads is shooting 3" high at ten feet. And that is with my newly made front sight blade. The original having been lost in the marshes of Maryland in 1964.
It was nice to have this old revolver working again. It has been a part of my youth and in my life for over 50 years now. It doesn't look like much, darn sure not worth a whole lot, but you know, it means something to me. It is if an old friend and I have reunited.
Here is one of the donor revolvers. It is in very rough shape, but had two of the internal parts I needed.
H&R32A.jpg
As you can see, it was a rusty mess. Two of the springs can be seen. I needed the leaf spring.
H&R32B.jpg
The little dog-leg looking part is the sear. This was the other broken part. I tried to make one in the 70's but with hand tools it was just too difficult to get the hammer and the sear to mate safely.The sear has to be as hard as a diamond in order to be safe and not slip out of the hammer.
H&R32C.jpg
I realized my indexing pawl spring was broken in half when these parts were removed from the donor revolver. I would have been at a loss not knowing this fact.
H&R32D.jpg
I has several parts to play with and mate up. It was a good thing too. Some of the parts could not be made to work no matter what you did.
H&R32G.jpg
Here is the H&R Young America Revolver ( it may be a Model 1904,not sure) in .32 S&W. Original finish and optional wood grips. I Think the original price was 7 dollars. It had the "Safety Top Strap" to allow the new smokeless powder Powerful loads to be used.
H&R32H.jpg
H&R32J.jpg
Here is my first target at 10 feet to see where the zero is.
H&R32F.jpg
2ND target with the only sight held at 6 o'clock to the bull.
H&R32E.jpg
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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....UPDATE 11/17

#7 Post by PennsylvaniaRifleman » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:48 pm

Congrats on getting your old friend back into action. I recall you mentioning that revolver when I posted about a Young American I obtained from a friend a few years ago. I had a very frustrating but ultimately satisfying project of taking it completely apart and reassembling it. I was amazed at how many tiny mating parts were tucked up inside the thing! Mine had the cylinder pin rusted in place and the internals locked up from decades of neglect. It was quite a thrill to fire the little thing. Here's mine:
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H&R Young American  (20).JPG
H&R Young American  (1).JPG

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Re: Funny how life repeats itself....UPDATE 11/17

#8 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:55 pm

That's absolutely awesome! Great job.

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