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Author Topic: Whitney screw source  (Read 277 times)
Travis Morse
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« on: August 15, 2017, 02:22:30 PM »

Hello all.  I'm new to this forum as of about 1 minute ago and would be curious if anyone knows of a source for tang screws, forend screws,hammer screws and lifter/carrier block springs.  I tried the website for HMS Gun Parts and it is no longer active and also tried calling their number, 408 266-2568 and it to is no longer in service.   I'm trying to get shooting two old parts guns I bought on Gunbroker a couple months ago that are missing a few parts.  Bores are serviceable and they are pretty neat guns but pretty well used with some rough back yard gunsmithing I've been trying to reverse and needing some small parts.  I had some larger parts reproduced as I'm told carrier blocks and tangs are tough to come by so if anyone is needing one of those let me know as the machinist who made copies for me has it in his computer program should more be needed. They were made in Tuscon by a machinist/ gunsmith who used wire edm to replicate the carrier blocks.  The guns are in 44-40.   Also had triggers made if anyone needs a new one of those.  Thanks in advance,
Travis
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Rich N
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2017, 08:36:45 AM »

 Hello Travis, and welcome to the forum. I applaud your efforts in keeping your two old rifles together, and getting them back to working condition. As far as sources for parts for them are concerned, the best bet is probably ebay or gunbroker, although it'll likely take a while before something shows up. A few years ago I was in need of a W.K. buttplate and after several months had almost given up on finding one when I located one on ebay. Just have to be patient.
 There is also a gentleman on the Marlin collectors forum who does a nice job reproducing screws for old Marlin rifles. You might want to try contacting him and see if he is able to make some Whitney Kennedy screws. I think his name is Larry Osbourne.
 I almost forgot to mention that Dixie Gun Works does have some parts available, but they're not listed on the website. You have to give them a call.
 Keep us posted on your progress, and don't be discouraged if you don't get a reply here for a few days. It seems the Whitney Kennedy fraternity is kind of thin, but there are some very knowledgeable people at this site. 
 Best Regards
 Rich
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 05:22:12 PM »

For the moment...back on the site.  Thanks Rich.  Just got back on today after a week of not being able to log on.  So, still no luck with the two phone numbers I found on this site for Whitney parts.  Tomorrow I get my lifters, trigger and lower tangs though so I'm pretty excited about that.  I took my 8 year old daughter to her first gun show yesterday in Rutland Vt.  Small show and had intended to sell a Yugo sks and Underwood M1 to fund my Whitney projects but ended up trading that Underwood for a M94 Swede Mauser Carbine.  Funny.  Now I'm cleaning up a new old gun.  Got some cash in the trade but still need a hammer screw and a pair of forend screws for the Whitneys so if anyone knows of where to find these bits I'd sure like to know.  Thanks in advance and thank you Steve for whatever you did to get my username and password working again.  Cheers all,
Travis
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Rich N
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 12:46:50 PM »

Travis
 How are your project rifles coming along? Did the newly made parts work out good?
 Rich
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 03:22:37 PM »

Received the repro parts (lower tang, trigger and carrier block/carrier block clamp.  They are beautifully machined and have taken some adjusting to get the carrier block to lift when the lever is shucked but I would think that would be required and the gunsmith said as much.  Got about 3 days of tinkering into one of two 44-40 rifles I'm bringing back from the grave.  I had access to an original hammer spring for the testing/fitting and got it to work with solid clicks on half and full cock.  Trigger pull must be 15 or 20 pounds and I think I've got it figured out how to get that down.  The trigger didn't have room to come all the way back it seems.  The big kick in the pants happened when I sent the fellow who donated the original parts back.  Without an original hammer spring and using the closest I could find, a Whitney Rolling Block spring from Dixie, I ran into trouble.  The original and Dixie springs are the same length but the rolling block, without the roller so far is a no go.  It came with a half moon shaped "button" on the tip which went nowhere so I rounded it out to as good of a perfect rounded end that I could and although better still a no-go.  If anyone has an extra spring with the roller tip I would more than greatly appreciate it.  Aside from that, I'm in the polish and more polish mode on the machined surfaces of the new parts trying to smooth out the action.  It's pretty gritty right now but with a factory spring would function and fire I believe.  That is exciting.  It's a beautiful rifle that I will hunt with this deer season.  It seems the lever, an earlier S lever ( receiver, barrel and everything except carrier assy., lower tang and trigger are all matching, number 2867).   The lever has a good bit of side to side play that my other rifle, number D378 doesn't have.  Anyone tighten one of these up?  My thought is to make an oversize pin that holds the breech block together with the lever.  To cycle the rifle I need to hold the lever just right but I've gotten the hang of it.  I still want it as smooth as these are said to be so I'll keep working at it.  I have a picture of it I'd like to attach but it says the file is too large at 800 or so kb.  Anyone know how to shrink the file size to get it to post?  Thanks,
Travis
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 04:45:18 PM »

It's so quiet on this board I need to reply to myself. Ha.  Anyhow, I should have titled this post Whitney screw and spring source or just Whitney parts source.  I have just ordered a magazine spring and follower from Numrich for an 1889 Marlin in 44-40.   Anyone try this already?  Also, still looking for anyone with a lead on an original hammer spring.  Thanks.........(the sound of crickets)
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Rich N
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 07:06:40 PM »

 It sure is quiet here. Hopefully everyone is just temporarily away enjoying their summer vacation.
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 05:57:48 PM »

Quiet is ok if you are out hunting.  Spent the day fiddling with my Whitney, number 2867.  In my purchase of two partially parted out rifles one of them had it's hammer messed with.  Thankfully I've acquired one without buggering just a broken tip which allowed me to get the angles right again as best as my eyes allowed.  My new-made trigger got a case hardening today and is breaking around 6 or 7 pounds so that's nice.  Carrier block and clamp are working as they should just need a magazine follower now.  Ordered one from numrich with a new spring (Marlin 1889) but Numrich forgot the follower so I'll have to check with them Tuesday.  I ordered 100 rounds Winchester lead flat nose that should be here Wednesday for a test fire.  I spent a several hours carefully polishing my new made carrier and clamp and the rifle is getting pretty smooth.  Smoother than my model 71 and surely less effort to cycle it.  I think I spent half the day however on just the mainspring.  I used a Whitney rolling block mainspring from Dixie gun parts.  I had to round that semi-circle tip and today I had to make it even rounder and a tad shorter as well as thin the overall spring going slow to not heat it up.  Eventually it began to work fine and even  though I'd prefer an original with roller, the rolling block with mirror polish and red axle grease makes a pretty smooth substitute.  Anyhow, when that follower gets here I'll be test firing it. 
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WK
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 07:03:17 PM »

Travis,  Happy to hear you are about ready on one of your projects.  I have not been on the forum for a while and was having trouble logging in!  Finally had to the moderator cancel and re-establish my account.  I have seen a Whitney Kennedy or two with hand made or remade main springs.  Others apparently also tried making them with a rounded polished end on the spring and from what I have seen they do work.  They don't function as well as the roller end, but will fill the bill if necessary.  Good luck with the project!
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 08:40:25 AM »

The reshaped Whitney rolling block mainspring repro does indeed work.  I swapped ejectors from the other rifle I bought and it is kicking shells out just still not allowing shells into the carrier.  From what I can tell a follower and magazine spring from a Marlin 1889 in 44-40 seem to work.  Just need to fit that new carrier a bit more to allow the magazine gate to open a bit further and I think I'll have a repeater.  I fired it single shot last week with the factory Winchester 225 grain lead flat tips and they grouped terribly.  It was fun to be shooting a gun after who knows how many decades it has been sitting who knows where.   However, it will need bigger slugs as despite having clear and useable rifling it will need a larger bullet.  Hopefully my next post will be something about how nice it is to have this old clunker back to being a 13 shot repeater.
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2017, 04:43:24 PM »

Have you slugged the bore?
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 04:26:13 PM »

Soon on the slugging, ordering dies and proper bullets.
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2017, 07:21:30 AM »

Ok, slugged my bore this morning.  Slugged my second Whitney as a reference as it has much less wear than the one I'm working on now.  Grooves are .432 with .425 lands.  I plan to order cast bullets if they are available in .433 or .434.  Groups now are terrible so I'm trying to save the Winchester factory ammo for the better barreled Whitney I havn't done too much with yet.  I look forward to shooting that one.  The gun's parts don't match so it will be a shooter only but the barrel is only marked Kennedy and the 44 CAL.C.F  and has much original bluing where the forearm and rear site was covered. Bore isn't perfect on this gun but it is pretty nice and grooves measure .432 with pretty sharp .428 lands. 
As for the Marlin 1889 magspring follower I am trying as a substitute it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.  Bullets are difficult to load as they are getting hung up at the diamond boss on the loading gate spring.  Not sure if a follower for an 1881 Marlin or another model could work.  Anyone cracked this code yet?  As fun as it is in single shot mode my gun needs a working magazine.  I've had my Whitneys gathering dust for the last week or two as chores were calling.  Still are but this weekend I wanted to at least get the lead and dies ordered and have a solution to the repeater mystery on follower choice.  Thanks for any and all help on getting these old guns running again.  Suspect these will be like my Vetterli's in that each gun needs it own brass and lead.
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WK
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 08:53:01 AM »

If you can get access to an original follower and a lathe a functional follower can be made fairly easily.  I have done this in the past and find that it works pretty well.  It is not a hard part to make that any machinist should be  able to crank out pretty quickly.
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Travis Morse
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2017, 04:42:31 AM »

I do have access to a lathe just would need the dimensions of the original if you have them.  That would be great if just the spring follower turned my single shot into an assault rifle from 1881. 
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