f> Revolver action shims - Material? (Iowegan?) - Ruger Forum

Ruger Forum

Revolver action shims - Material? (Iowegan?)

This is a discussion on Revolver action shims - Material? (Iowegan?) within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Random thought tonight, after making a few endshake bushings today... What's the consensus on material of preference for trigger, hammer, endshake shims (or any other ...


Go Back   Ruger Forum > Firearm Forum > Gunsmithing

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes

Old April 5th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,167
Varminterror will become famous soon enoughVarminterror will become famous soon enough
Revolver action shims - Material? (Iowegan?)

Random thought tonight, after making a few endshake bushings today...

What's the consensus on material of preference for trigger, hammer, endshake shims (or any other action pin for that matter)? Most you see 'commercially' produced these days are SS, but I do remember a day when brass was common even for "bought shims" - of course making your own out of spent brass would dictate those DIY shims would be brass

My revolvers have a mixed bag, I buy fairly big packs of SS shims when I need a few, but when I only needed one or two, I made them myself from brass.

So... if memory serves, brass has a higher lubricity than SS, and it would act as a sacrificial piece - in other words, if any galling would occur, it would be the frame galling the shim, not the shim abrading the frame as a SS shim might a carbon steel frame, or both being mutually destructive in the case of SS on SS. It'd also be less brittle (in most forms) than SS, so less prone to shatter. Of course, SS would be harder, less prone to galling, and stronger, less prone to deformation than brass would be. So the SS would stay true to size longer, potentially (I've had brass bushings on a few guns for over 2k rounds and haven't found a measurable deformation). SS would be less prone to corrosion than brass as well, and would avoid the potential (not 100%, but close) for creation of galvanic cell, but personally, I don't let my gun's guts stay wet long enough to worry about that. For what it's worth, I'd almost be in favor of Teflon bushings/shims for all but the cylinder bushing, but I'm not certain a Teflon shim that fine would survive long under heat and impact, let alone snapping it accidentally while handling to install or reinstall, and not 100% sure that Teflon would behave under gun oil either.

So is it really six of one, half dozen of the other when it comes to brass vs SS, or is there something I'm missing that puts one material ahead of the other?



Varminterror is offline  
Advertisements
Old April 6th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: visalia ca
Posts: 449
mbshop is on a distinguished road
I have no idea which would be better in the long run. But if I could make my own shims then thats the way I would go. So if you can make yer own and they do the job, stick with the brass. Infact you got me thinking.
mbshop is offline  
Old April 6th, 2014, 07:24 AM   #3
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,641
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

Varminterror, Brass is one of those metals that doesn't play well with others. Do a Google search for "galvanic action". Brass also doesn't like most powder solvents and will develop a slimy green surface that can make moving parts gag.

I always use stainless steel shims. Stainless gets along well with just about every metal and does not react to solvents.
Iowegan is offline  
 
Old April 6th, 2014, 07:50 AM   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,167
Varminterror will become famous soon enoughVarminterror will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbshop View Post
I have no idea which would be better in the long run. But if I could make my own shims then thats the way I would go. So if you can make yer own and they do the job, stick with the brass. In fact you got me thinking.
They're pretty labor intensive for all the more a guy like triggershims.com sells them for, but with a little experimenting, they're pretty easy to cut from brass. I've made a few from case walls hammered flat (when pin diameters are super small, but the easiest way, for pins larger than a primer, or at least larger than a flash hole, is to cut them from the rim or web.

For a hint on the method that works for me: If I'm using the case web as the shim, then I'll use a scrap forstner bit as a facing mill in my drill press, or use a dremel tool to eliminate the case rim. If I'm making a shim from the case rim, i.e. for a pin larger dia than a primer, I simply deprime and go at it. Either case: I start with boring out the center diameter, then turning the outside diameter down to within a few thousandths of what I want the finished diameter to be by inserting a properly fit shaft through the center of the "shim-to-be" and spinning. This is done by either chucking it in a drill and spinning it against a file, or turning it in my woodworking lathe. Then I'll cut the case rim (or case web) from the body, and that's when the elbow grease comes into play. I strop the shims against a variety of files, stones, and polishing strops to bring down the thickness, and polish the surfaces. The abrasive tool is either held on the edge of my work bench, or clamped in a vice.

**My trick for holding onto the tiny little parts for filing: Duct tape. For the "bulk work", I wrap a file with a small strip of duct tape wrapped sticky side out, this lets the part stick (not perfect, but works) to the file for several strokes and provides a "handle" that will accept a small magnetic level to ensure I'm stroking flat. Once I get near the end, onto a stone, I'll wrap duct tape sticky side out around the tip of my finger. Finishing, of course, is all hand held.

**My trick for getting uniform thickness around my shims is to "clamp" the shim in my calipers at one edge, then try to sort of roll, spin, press it through the calipers. Any high points will hang in the calipers, and need particular attention. I used to fuss around with marking "clocking" on the shim and determining thickness around the "clock," but this technique works really slick for me, and is a lot faster, I don't even have to see the number, just file whichever part of the shim hangs in the caliper.

I have a buddy 'cross country that was wanting to know how I make them (not necessarily the best way to make them, I'm sure of that!), so I'm actually putting together a photonarrative of the process I used making an endshake bearing for a Taurus recently. I could forward you that (once I have the pictures and text all tied together) if you're so interested?
Varminterror is offline  
Old April 6th, 2014, 08:04 AM   #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,167
Varminterror will become famous soon enoughVarminterror will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
Varminterror, Brass is one of those metals that doesn't play well with others. Do a Google search for "galvanic action". Brass also doesn't like most powder solvents and will develop a slimy green surface that can make moving parts gag.

I always use stainless steel shims. Stainless gets along well with just about every metal and does not react to solvents.
That's what I've assumed would be the answer, and I figured that was why I haven't seen brass action shims for sale for many years.

I often worry that I'm the "exception to the rule" for things like this, which is why I asked the question. I have a couple revolvers that have had brass shims in them for 15yrs+ and haven't seen any issues yet.

I'm a chemical engineer by trade, so the galvanic potential isn't any surprise to me, and I guess I've never worried about solvent dissolution since I don't use any copper solvents (major player in brass, of course) anywhere but my bore - and rarely there in revolvers.

I've made a few shims in the past from stainless washers and plate stock (actually usually "strip stock", but same thing, really). For washers I use a step drill then a round file to open the ID, then turn them to proper OD and file/stone/strop to thickness, same as I described above. For plate stock, I've done the OD cut by hand first, then turned VERY CAREFULLY to knock out the high spots - this process definitely lets you know which of your tools has a lot of bearing chatter! Almost always has to happen on my woodworking lathe...

Someday I'll grow up and buy a grizzly... Maybe by the time the kids are in college!!!
Varminterror is offline  
Old April 6th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #6
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,641
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

Varminterror, Sounds like a lot of work ... even with brass. 50+ years ago when I first got into gunsmithing, I bought a die cutter. It looks much like the old "hole punches" used to for paper but has several OD sizes and ID sizes. Simple process ... place a sheet of steel or stainless steel shim stock in the die and pull the handle ... viola ... a perfect shim pops out. Unfortunately, I sold the die cutter with the my shop equipment back in '99 when I retired so I'm back to buying pre-made shims from Power Custom. As a gunsmith, I would never use brass shims because you just don't know what cleaning solvents the owner will use. Even Hoppie's #9 will cause brass to develop a green slime.

There are many different brass alloys ... all have copper and zinc. It's the zinc content that causes brass to corrode. Cartridge brass is one of the worst for corrosion because it has a high content of zinc (70% copper, 30% zinc). Brass shims in motors and other moving parts applications use very low zinc content ... about 5%.

As I mentioned above, I sold most of my shop equipment back in '99. Finally a few years ago, I couldn't stand it any longer and decided to buy a Grizzly Mini-lathe. Since then I have made all sorts of nifty stuff for reloading, guns, and my other hobby, which is restoring old Singer sewing machines. When Singer made their machines back in the day, they wanted only Singer Service shops to do repairs. As such, they use odd thread pitch on all their screws ... ie 13 tpi or 25 tpi that were not available at the local hardware store. To my surprise, the Grizzly lathe came with a complete set of gears that will cut odd or even threads so I was able to make screws that are virtually impossible to find. Mini lathes are way fun ... nothing to compare with my old 1 ton Bridgeport but quite precision. I have made pin gauges with tolerances so tight that I could not detect a difference with a .0001" resolution micrometer. Fun stuff!!
Iowegan is offline  
Old April 7th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,167
Varminterror will become famous soon enoughVarminterror will become famous soon enough
I actually made a few shims on my "popper" several years ago. Mine is a leathersmithing die cutter, not really meant for punching steel, but had plenty of leverage. But... I had to hand cut the dies and never fell in love with sharpening dies for it, so I was faster at making shims than I was at making dies. I suppose if I were aiming at making a bunch, I'd go back to that method. Sure was a lot faster.
Varminterror is offline  
Old April 12th, 2014, 01:42 PM   #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 159
notathome is on a distinguished road
I made some shims for my SS GP on a lathe out of some 1/2 inch round brass bar stock. It worked ok. After reading Iowegen's comment about "galvanic action" I was worried. I just took my GP apart and checked it out. It looks just fine. No green stuff, no galling, nothing. Of course I have the pivot points well oiled.
notathome is offline  
Old December 3rd, 2016, 05:12 AM   #9
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Diego,CA
Posts: 107
zoner is on a distinguished road
i realize this is an old thread but when i decided to go the hammer and trigger shim route on my Speed Six i made em from a cheap machinist feeler guage set i bought at the auto parts store. Drill the pin hole first then roughed out the circumference with tin snips. A little cleanup on the circumference with a small file and a stone and voila.....they are still in the gun
zoner is offline  
Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:23 AM   #10
VMC
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Alabama
Posts: 24
VMC is on a distinguished road
I bought the Brownells steel shim pkg. which has material from .001 to.015 in thickness. I use a Harbor Freight metal hand punch, which has assorted sizes, to punch out a perfect circle around the center hole. I drill the hole first the put the punch over it. You can blue this steel and it does not show on a blue revolver. Used this on several old revolvers and it works great to remove end shake.
VMC is offline  
Old December 7th, 2016, 06:07 AM   #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 396
PriseDeFer is on a distinguished road
Would a Teflon washer work?
PriseDeFer is offline  
Old December 7th, 2016, 07:15 AM   #12
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,641
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

PriseDeFer, Teflon? I doubt if it would work for very long. Keep in mind, the cylinder slams forward with a lot of pressure. If it will peen a steel frame, it will smash a Teflon washer pretty fast.
Iowegan is offline  
Old December 8th, 2016, 05:23 AM   #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 396
PriseDeFer is on a distinguished road
Sorry, I was thinking of shims on the hammer axis pin.
PriseDeFer is offline  
Old December 8th, 2016, 06:08 AM   #14
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
 
Iowegan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CB, IA
Posts: 11,641
Iowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to allIowegan is a name known to all

Awards Showcase

PriseDeFer, Sorry, I misunderstood. Yes, Teflon washers would work OK for hammer or trigger shims because there is almost no pressure on them. I'm not sure how well they would hold up to oil products and cleaning solvents??
Iowegan is offline  
Old December 8th, 2016, 07:54 AM   #15
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 396
PriseDeFer is on a distinguished road
My understanding is Teflon is inert to lots of stuff. If it wears nicely nicely and doesn't shed big pieces into the lockwork...but then I made a vow that my medium frame Vaquero will remain stock so as not to anger William Who Dwells On High and will never be taken apart by me.
Ride the high country.
PriseDeFer is offline  
Reply

  Ruger Forum > Firearm Forum > Gunsmithing


Search tags for this page

gunsmithing brass shim washers

,

gunsmithing shim stock

,

iowegan

,

iowegan, a retired gunsmith,

,

mini lathe

,

revolver shim stock cutters

,

shim stock used on moving parts

Click on a term to search for related topics.

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Ruger Forum Discussions
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Revolver Shims/Excellent Service BirdTRD Ruger Double Action 11 December 17th, 2014 11:55 AM
Want To Buy: Iowegan's Gun Guide, Double action for GP100 Moondog Parts & Accessories 0 March 21st, 2014 05:03 AM
shims in DA revolver? Cary Sindberg Ruger Double Action 4 December 27th, 2013 09:35 AM
For Sale: MGW Revolver Action Frame Wrench w/ Single Action Insert m4scout1 Parts & Accessories 0 April 1st, 2013 05:17 PM
.22 LR Double Action Revolver Ragsdale 30 cal Ruger Double Action 31 November 22nd, 2009 08:58 AM

Top Gun Sites Top Sites List
Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Ruger Forum. All rights reserved.
Ruger Forum is a Ruger Firearms enthusiast's forum, but it is in no way affiliated with, nor does it represent Sturm Ruger & Company Inc. of Southport, CT.