Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northwest Indiana
Worked some more on this last after work.
After dinner last night and just before losing light I decided it was put or shut up time. Live fire test with assorted ammo to test headspace. I first loaded Fiocchi 357 mag factory. This is still single shot mode. In fact I only had the buttstock on and was keeping both hands holding the lever down for my initial shots for each type tested. I wanted to keep my digits clear of the chamber area just in case. Needless to say they all went bang, had no protruding primers, and no signs of case mouth compression which would indicate a short chamber or tight throat. So I can return the reamer now. I tested all the way up to my deer hunting rounds using 200 gr Hornady RN. Confidence is now high.
I decided to do the mag tube reconfiguration.
I measured the 357 mag tube length and added in the existing 30-30 tube plug to get total length. I used a plumbers pipe cutter to score the line and then I got the hack saw out and made a rough cut on the 30-30 mag tube. Now I have it down to a managble length I chuck it up in my Harbor Freight mini lathe and squared up the cut and clean up the end. Used a file to chamfer the outside and inside diameter to get rid of burs and sharp edges. Then I set up cast off piece and the end cut piece in my drill press. I used the old end as my drill guide to get a top dead center screw hole for the end plug. But I goofed...
Can anyone guess where I goofed up yet... I know I missed it. Anyway that part worked great. The hole required a #3 drill bit by the way and no I did not drill all the way through the reconfigured tube.
So I inserted the end plug and screwed it down. Then I inserted the 357 mag tube right up to the plug. Perfect. Now time to assemble the rifle. And here is where I found my goof. There is a furrow notch in the barrel and mag tube. They must line up in order for the forearm band screw to pass through and secure the forearm. The half moon cut must be 180 degrees out from the end plug screw hole... It all becomes so apparent when you actually put it together, duh. I had drilled the end plug screw hole with no consideration to the furrow cut position. I was not even close. The end plug screw hole when I assembled it was like at the 3 o'clock position when staring down the business end of rifle. Ooops... Ok, Hmmmm. So out the mag tube came and I chucked it up in my bench vice. This time making sure my end plug screw hole was facing directly down, measured and marked the new furrow location and with a combo of a mini file and diamond shaping bit put a new furrow in to properly locate the end plug screw when the rifle was fully assembled.
So I got it back together. I now have confidence in the safety of the firearm. Now it is time to work on the feeding. I still need to order a 357 mag follower and spring. I am going to borrow one from a Rossi M92 for now to do the initial work. Once I am happy with the feeding I will order the parts. I am still going to convert the forearm to an end cap style, but for now this works.
Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!