12mm 10 shot pinfire, Belgium made, before 1893

Maker: unknown, marked 'PJ'

Caliber: 12mm pinfire / 12mm Lefaucheux

Date: before 1893

Status: Not mine, restored in commission

This is a rare 10-shot pinfire revolver. It's rare because most pinfire revolvers in more than 6 shots are in caliber 7mm or 9mm but this is a 12mm. It is a quite big revolver. Unfortunately parts that are often missing on pinfire revolvers are missing on this one too. The loading gate and ejector rod are missing, some screws are missing and other screws are bad.
The timing and springs are excellent.

In most missing parts situations I would advise to not buy the piece since there are plenty good ones for sale. This revolver is however rare and not mine. The owner would very much like it complete again and asked me to try. If you are adding missing parts try to make it as authentic as possible and as good as you can. In this case a lathe and milling machine are necessary too.

With missing parts
No gate, no screw
Little rust....
New replaces old

First a plan. Screws and ejector rods I have made more often. This ejector rod has no retaining spring on the frame thus it should be in the rod itself like a Lefaucheux 1854 model. I have such revolver thus I will copy that rod.
The loading gate is a two piece model. There is a ring surrounding the recoil shield in order to protect the bullet pins. That is a separate part mounted with blind screws or something like it. Further it needs a locking lever.
The real challenge is to have all rounded forms correct. Since I am a engineer by profession I used solid edge to draw this part. Its a process of measuring, print it out, cut and test fit until it fits well enough to have it laser cut from 6mm steel plate.

Next step is making it fit. I milling the hing in steps until I was satisfied. Needle files and the dremel are needed too of course. When the gate fits it's time to drill the screw hole and make a screw. All screws are made on the lathe from axles from old printers. That is real nice steel to work with. The slot is milled with a 1mm mill and after that the screws are hardened with Kasenit. 

Blank lasercut parts
in the process
Fits but opens not enough

After the screw fits it's time to see if it opens. In this case it needed some extra material removed to open enough. That's that, next is the lock. That requires a slot milled and a threaded hole to secure the lock. I did not see how I could threaded a such undeep hole other than drilling it much deeper and make a first screw that levels with the milled slot. On that the spring lock is fixed with a second screw. When that was done the form of the lock itself is the next challenge. Again I used paper to find the basic form. That I took over on untreated spring steel. (this steel needs to go in a oven on 240 C° for an our and its a spring)
Then I first I milled two chambers so that I have the one bump you need for the lock cam. Then I milled out the basic form and used files to finish it. Bending it in the correct position and making it shut with a click took quite some time. When it was correct it went in the oven.  

Next was the plate surrounding the recoil shield. I made a correct wide and thick plate and dilled two holes in the plate. One I took over in the gate after that the hole in the gate needs to be drilled with a chamber and the hole in the gate needs to be drilled and threaded. First the first screw is placed and after that the second hole in the gate can be determined. The 'blind screws' are secured real tight and filed flat. After that the form of the plate is rounded as on the rest of the revolver. The loading gate is finished.

Slot milled
Paper model
Milling from spring steel
It works

Next was the plate surrounding the recoil shield. I made a correct wide and thick plate and dilled two holes in the plate. One I took over in the gate after that the hole in the gate needs to be drilled with a chamber and the hole in the gate needs to be drilled and threaded. First the first screw is placed and only after that the second hole in the gate plate can be determined. The 'blind screws' are secured real tight and filed flat. After that the form of the plate is rounded as on the rest of the revolver. The loading gate is finished.

First screw
inside
Pinhead
In parts
Finished
The ejector pin. The finished pin needs to be a pin with a screw at the rear witch secures the pin from losing and a spring that holds the pin in place. Thus three parts. I made it in four, the nob at the front is a separate part since on my very small lathe it makes live a bit easier. (so I cheated a bit)  The rounded forms of the nob but also from screws are made with files on the lathe.
The nob is screwed on real tight so that stays there. Milling the 1.5 mm slot really took some time. The spring on that place is made of S355 steel witch is hardened. That is enough for a part like this. The slot has a all the way trough hole at the front by which the spring is secured in place. (the hole is somewhat larger at the outside and the spring hammers flat in that hole)

It really fits and looks nice and when from unloading position is pressed in forward position secures with a click. Satisfied!

Top is an original
Slot and spring
Finished
The spring works fine
End screw
Other small issues are some screws and the grip screw. The grip screw is dilled out and new thread and a new screw are made. Last item was the front right. That was missing a bulb shape on top. That I made on the lathe (also with files) and after that milled two flat sides. Looks much more complete.

At first I was sceptic as how this would turn out. A antique revolver with new part was what I suspected. But the look and feel of the complete revolver was already really different as with missing parts. Next would be making the parts old, adding some dents, losing sharp edges and have it rust etc. But the owner wanted to do that himself and did a good job!
So it can be rewarding to take a gun with a lot of missing parts and recreate them.

And my reward? Of course we agreed some money at front and I leaned and had fun. And what we agreed was changed in this little pepperbox. Not working, missing springs and parts but complete on the outside...almost. So this is a next little project.
 
With thank to John from www.westernarms.nl for having faith in me, for the good contact between us, the little peperbox and for alowing me to show this process on my site.
 
The last diashow are pictures I got from John. He made the parts looking correctly old. The revolver is now how it should be. A rare and fine looking complete antique revolver.   
 
Making the front sight
Some other made screws
Nice
The gate
And the reward