Walther G22 charging handles

This was one of those jobs that annoy me. Not the job itself, certainly not the little G22 either. It was the history behind the job that annoyed me.

A customer called to say they had a Walther G22 and the charging handle was falling off every time it was used, OK well not so bad however the history was they had gone to a fairly local shop and purchased the rifle, headed to the range and the charging handle fell off after a few shots. So back to the shop who announced it was not their problem as the gun was second hand so no warranty and by the sound of it, no interest. They dug their heels in a bit so the shop person disappeared off and came back a couple of minutes and announced it was fixed.

So they took it to the range and it fell apart again so it came to me for some care and attention.

The issues were two fold, firstly the thread on the M3 cap-head retaining the charging handle to the bolt was stripped so was never going to hold and had been loctited in place by the shop and secondly the handle should have had a shoulder that recessed into a register to prevent the weight being exclusively against the M3 screw when the charging handle was operated. This shoulder had snapped off so no amount of Loctite was ever going to hold things in place.

First job was machine a bush to suit, I opted for 316 stainless and machined a length to 4,75mm outer diameter with a 3,0mm hole through the middle. This was cut to 5,0mm overall length. The charging handle went into a 4 jaw chuck and a hole bored to accept the new bushing with a tight fit. This was an interesting job as the hole had to be 4,80mm and the charging handle is hard, very hard in fact which explains why the shoulder had snapped off. I used a solid carbide micro boring bar once the handle was clocked into place.


Once done the bush was glued into the charging handle, I wish I had added something for scale with this picture. I used the Colchester Chipmaster for this job as it is pleasantly sized lathe and I do not have to lug 40kgs of 4 jaw chuck around if I need to use it! I always enjoy operating a manual lathe and this machine dating back to 1974 is an absolute delight to use (Unless you want to cut metric threads!)

Once glued it was time for a quick cup of coffee, then it was just a matter of re-assembling everything and the job was complete.

The G22 always comes apart remarkably easily however it is full of linkages and springs and clips and really does need some attention if you intend to put it all back together.

Ah yes, I bet you are wondering why I didn’t just order a new handle from the importers? Mostly because they only imported the rifles and omitted to bring any spares in with them…

On the subject of machining hard things, the next job requires the use of some of these things.

Cubic boron nitride (CBN)Inserts for a boring job.

No, boring as in holes not boring as I really cannot be bothered, in fact I know it is going to be an interesting job and I am really looking forward to it 🙂

Work In Progress (WIP)

I needed somewhere to place round bits whilst in-between machining operations and had come to the conclusion a piece of corrugated plastic roofing might be suitable so I mentioned it to my son who volunteered to make something out of a bit of tree instead. Sounds like a plan I thought as he likes working with wood and I needed something to put my part turned parts in.

He called in Saturday and gave me this tray, room for WIP and space for a couple of measuring things on the end. All nicely made from hand oiled Walnut and Maple with soft rubber inserts. Arghhh! I have at long last plucked up the courage to use it and it does work very well although I do wonder what it will look like in a couple of years time

Thank you son.

Actually, writing this reminded me of the Eddie Izzard Death Star sketch so here it is (Not safe for work) If you are not sure who Eddie Izzard is it is probably not for you.

OAL Gauges

We have been making OAL (Over All Length) Gauges for a while now and the design has pretty much remained unchanged however I was always slightly unhappy with the central body tube as it was machined from 6082 Aluminium and was a pain to polish and would mark very easily so it was time for a change.

The central body tube is now seamless 316 Stainless tube and the lock screw is now all stainless instead of the plastic/stainless I used before.

Will it perform any better, probably not however it will be slightly more robust albeit a tad heavier and I suspect you could probably use them as tent pegs as they really are rigid and solid when used. This is the first batch awaiting the M5 drill and tap operation in the rear section, they can then be polished and shipped to their new owners. As ever, they are guaranteed for my life.

Finally, yes I know there are three different types of handle as I still cannot decide which style I prefer, right now grooves are looking to be favourite although the Viking prefers the plain narrow handles.

I must admit I like grooves and they have been a signature of ours for many years with our earlier OAL gauges plus 99% of the bore guides/cleaning rod guides we produce have a grooved handle section so I suspect these are going to end up with grooves in the handles 🙂

The Hushpower Mossberg 410 Pump Action

Being a bit of a fan of the Mossberg and sound moderators, I have been meaning to post a picture of one of these for a while so, when this one arrived this afternoon out came the camera, or more accurately the iFone and here you go:

This is a Mossberg 500 Pump that comes fitted with a 14″ sound moderator which when used in conjunction with .410 subsonic cartridges makes for a remarkably quiet shotgun which means it is ideal for discreet vermin bashing.  Chambered for anything up to 3″ means it can be used for more meaningful applications if required and about the only thing I can say against it is it is quite long however this is as much down to it being a Pump Action as anything as the sound moderator only adds around 4″ to the overall length and it starts off with a 24″ barrel so truth be known it is probably not much longer that the modern 30″ barrel .410 offerings.

Plus side is .410 + Pump Action+ Sound Moderator + All weather stock so what is there not to like, in fact I really should get myself one of these very soon 🙂

About the only thing I do to these is copper slip the rear threaded section to aid future removal of the outer sleeve, the baffle section is located at the front of the tube and cannot be removed however periodic removal of the outer sleeve and a good blast of WD40 or similar plus a shake to remove any loose debris is about all that is needed.

Although not usually held in stock we can normally get these in within 48 hours if needed.

Destruction testing lathe tools

I am sure we have all read something somewhere about not driving when tired and this does apply to machinery as well and I learnt this the hard way a couple of days ago with the latest machine.

I use 5C collets and to enable the part to be set the same depth every time I use a collet stop which is a thing which screws into the rear of the collet and the part is then pushed up against it so assuming the part is always tjhe same length the cutter Z axis zero is always maintained.

OK so far?

Now I do have a few operations with the same collet so to save taking the stop out and adjusting it every time I simply pop a small undersized spacer into the collet which moves the stop datum out by 10,0mm which is simplicity itself until you set a 225,0mm cut on a piece of material which is now only sticking out by 220,0mm because the 10,0mm spacer has been omitted and the resulting crash when the brand new tool and insert crashes into the brand new micro adjust 5C collet chuck looks something like this.

The replacement profiling tool has arrived and the spare should be here in the morning and I slackened the chuck from its backing plate and dialled everything back in this morning and everything is running correctly with TIR (Total Indicated Runout) being0,005mm ish so pretty good actually. I checked the tail stock alignment at the same time and it was spot-on so apart from having a now rather second hand nose to my collet chuck and being one tool down everything is good.

Another lesson learned, pay attention to what you are doing late at night, or better still pack in for the day, after all the jobs and machine will still be there in the morning…