Saturday, June 28, 2008

Covering Up The Front Sight Grooves

The Original (Diana) 45 has stamped grooves for the front sight, both on top and below (why?) at the front of the barrel.

I didn't want to remove them on the off chance I ever get a set of the original, Original, sights. But left as is they are ugly and not entirely comfortable to grasp while cocking.

So I drill.

And then drill deeper.

And bore to clear the grooves.

Boring picture of a bored tube.

Deburring the hole with a large countersink.

Turning down the OD.

And parted off the rod.

Flipped around it gets a rather large countersunk bore.

I thought I'd go for a minimalist tube look, but I didn't like it.

So I set the compound to about 3 degrees.

And turned a taper on it.

I took passes until the thinnest part of the tube was about .03"

Flipped and tapered in the front to about 60 degrees.

Making shims for the barrel.

Reaming to the diameter of the barrel.

Parting off two bushings.

Slitting the bushings.

Drilling for two #4-40 tapped holes. Using a ruler in between the bit and a round workpiece will show whether the drill bit is centered.

The shims on the barrel. These center the brake and protect the barrel from the setscrews.

The finished brake (really a barrel protector and cocking handle). It's a bit big, but sort of has to be due to the front sight grooves. So while I don't like it on aesthetic grounds, I have to admit it is comfortable to use when cocking the rifle.

If I was really cool I'd send it out for anodizing, but instead I'm hitting it with some semi-gloss black paint. It seems durable on the Diana 6 pistol frame, and will be more easily touched up.


wraith said...

Great write up and photo gallery. That ruler trick is genius, I can't wait to use it.

Anonymous said...

The only suggestion I would make is to use zinc chromate primer on the aluminum cocking handle to give better adhesion to the paint.
I agree that black anodized would look good, and that paint is easier to touch up. I need to make a cocking handle for my HW85. It was missing the sights when I bought it and I want to cover up those ugly grooves. Like you, I want to protect the barrel in case I get some original sights.
I thought about making one from sycamore since it looks a lot like the beech that my stock is made of. Plus, I have a HUGE sycamore tree that fell near my house during a severe storm this spring. I've been waiting for the kudzu to die off for the winter so I can get to it to cut it up and have it milled for lumber. I don't like to cut down live trees. I'd rather use one that has already run it's course. Waste not, want not.