Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Magazine for a Crosman 118--Part 1

A quick post on a project I started well over a week ago.

I've got an old (c. 1954) Crosman 118 rifle. Got it from my grandfather many years ago. The 118 is pretty interesting as it's a 10-shot, bolt action, bulk-fill .22 cal air rifle--Hey! Just like my Marauder. Nothing new under the sun as they say? Anyway, the 118 utilizes a linear feed, spring loaded magazine. I've only got one magazine and if it ever fails, the gun will fall silent for a very long time as the mags are notoriously hard to find. Operating on the principle, "one is none and two is one", I decided I'd better have a backup--or two.

Was frustrated a couple weeks ago at not finding a readily available tube for the body of the magazine. And I didn't want to drill a 5+" hole in a piece of solid steel rod. Not fun. Finally elected to go through the (s)crap barrels and simply open them up a bit. The two best candidates were the Crosman SA6 barrel (middle) and one from a Crosman 357 (bottom).

Starting with the SA6 barrel. It's almost the exact diameter and length as the 118 magazine. Drilled out the rifling so .22 cal pellets slide through.

Used a 3/32" center-cutting end mill and slotted the side of the tube.

A pin (in the still-to-be-created-follower) will ride in the slot and act as a stop to prevent the follower from shooting right out the end under spring pressure.

A corresponding slot in the 118's receiver allows you to align the slot in the magazine to see the pellets remaining in the gun with a glance.

SA6 barrel version is gonna be the "prototype". Of course, I'm hoping that it works and I can call it good, but the extra length of that 357 barrel will potentially hold a few more pellets. Length does become an issue at some point, though, as the magazine sticks straight out the rear of the receiver towards your face.

Current issues: I can't find a long enough spring--at least locally. I can potentially stretch one out, hit the internets, or make one. Leaning towards making one, but that's gonna be a drag, as I only have manual feed on the lathe. I've got an idea kicking around.

More to come in a couple days.

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