I discovered this guns long forgotten resting place in the bowels of my shop. The customer asked me to throw it away once I told him it was a no go. We originally planned on throwing it away then I decided it would make a great trophy mounted on a plaque to be given away as a prize for our first On Target shooting competition. The shooting event has been pushed back, delayed and now in a quasi-limbo ever since then.
After digging it up, I started wondering......"should I challenge to my skills with this gun?" The answer was YES! I am going to make this a personal mission to bring this dead thing back to some sort of half life that it may attain. On Target's gun freind and Forum Manager - Tye wolfe, has named this project gun "THE RESURRECTION!"
When it is finished, I will call the owner and present his long lost pieco O' crap to him as a testament to what we can deliver at On Target! I pulled the RG-38 out of the special sauce I had it soaking in and started to work her over. Not only have I freed the cylinder, I have got it open and rotating and ejecting. Plus I freed the hammer and the trigger and the damn thing fires. The cylinder lock was the most stubborn, but it too bent to my will.
Most of the springs are intact and doing their jobs. The only spring that is shot, is the "hand" spring. It pushes the hand forward so it will push up against the cylinder to rotate it. If you point the gun in a downwards direction, the gun works fine. Point it slightly up and the hand falls back and the cylinder stops turning. The firing pin moves just as good as a new gun. I put my finger over the hole and pulled the trigger while holding the cylinder release in the closed position and the dang thing poked the heck out of my finger.
With just a quick pass through the barrel a couple of times, the barrel looks far better than what you would have expected it to. I think after a better cleaning I'll be able to make up my mind as to if it needs to be replaced or not. Believe it or not, the frame is not as bad as the pictures would lead you to believe. Of course if this gun were to be ever fired, it would get the cryo treatment first to help strengthen it up.
It truly sounds as if this "Saturday Night Special" is in the right hands and is on the road to its "Resurrection". I did a little research about this gun and to find a replacement spring for the hand we are going to have to find out exactly what model this RG is. It appears that there are a few models that look very much alike but there are internal differences that need to be addressed in making sure the right part is obtained. For all we know at this point is that the Hand Spring is not functioning properly. It could be alright once the gun is totally taken down for the cleaning I am sure you will want to do on it. Damn I wish I was closer as I would be more than happy to lend a hand in doing what I could to help take the RG apart and getting it ready. You might think it a joke but a long time ago I took a correspondence course in gunsmithing that I actually found to be rather extensive in what it taught. The one thing it did stressed was to never get involved in something that might be above your level of understanding. I truly took that to heart. But I think I could at least get this under the weather lady ready for a proper go through.
Getting back to the point of this post is that I have found a place that has the parts if you find they need to be replaced. I know you do not feel comfortable dealing with Bob's Gun Shop for parts but at least it shows he has them. We will need to know the exact model of the RG for as I mentioned there are some that look much the same but have internal differences. If the RG is a Model 31 it will only need a spring replacement. But if this RG is a Model 34, 38 or 40 there is a spring and spring plunger that may need replacing. Those parts are listed at $2.00 each regardless of the Model. You also mentioned that you might have to replace the barrel and Bob has replacement barrels for all models listed at $20.00 for the ramped Model 31 and $30.00 for the barrels of the Model's 34, 38 and 40. Bob does not list the barrel length for the Model 31 but the barrel lengths listed for the Model 34, 38 and 40 are three inch and four inch. It may be that the Model 31 has only one barrel length. Again, I know you really have had a bad time with Bob's Gun Shop but if he has what is needed I think he deserves another try. I honestly could not have had a better experience then I had myself.
I know you have it in you and it would be great to see her looking even better than this. I have a feeling what we have is an RG Model 31 like the one below:
wow , John you have out done your self on this one. I have told several people at the Gun Show about this project of yours and that you do restore guns, katrina guns. I told them to check it out on the w . site and every one can see for them selves just what On Target can do for them. Keep up the great work !
Thanks Meredith! Just think about this... you won't have to keep telling people about it for much longer. I'm thinking of finishing it up soon so we can SHOW it to people at the gun shows. How's that sound.
We've been pretty busy in the shop lately and I haven't had much time to get back to giving Project Resurrection the attention it needs. Soon....very soon, I'll get back with it and post some more pics and even videos of it and it's progress!
Thanks for the parts links Robert. We do appreciate you stopping by and hope to see ya' in our forums soon! I recently finished up a full size Arminus .38 revolver in a New Orleans Saints theme. The gun came to us in fantastic shape. It was the best shape I'd ever seen one of the German revolvers in! I was glad to help the customer, but I thought it should have remained factory looking..... it was "sweet!"