The Valmet O/U Shotgun

I occasionally mention a shotgun I have worked on if it is something interesting or unusual. It could be an interesting trigger group or maybe an obscure make or even unusual features.

Or all of the above!


Most recently I have been servicing a Valmet model 212 over and under shotgun. Now this is not a particularly common shotgun here in the UK these days, neither is it an expensive shotgun however it does have some interesting features.

This is a single, trigger 12 Bore/12 Gauge shotgun with fixed choke and 26″ barrels and a one piece extractor.

Disassembly is slightly different in that it is not of the normal stock screw type, instead the action is removed by two screws at the bottom in the trigger plate and two screws in the top in the tang behind the safety. The sort of thing you would expect from an older side by side shotgun. Interestingly, barrel selection is via a cross trigger push button affair.

Once apart a few things are different, firstly the strikers/firing pins are retained within a block secured by a single cross pin.  It was certainly in need of a service with a mixture of corrosion and dust showing here on the striker block. Once stripped it was apparent oil had been flooding into the holes of the strikers, I have seen cleaner Landrover defender differentials!

The strikers are removed before the block by pushing out the retaining pin which allows access to everything. They are not handed and although it is always good practice to keep assemblies together it is not a problem if you drop everything on the floor at this stage, as long as you can find them again!

With the striker block removed you can gain access to the top lever and auto safety bar which also serves as a spring guide for the top lever. The striker block has been cleaned in this image and everything is about ready to be put back together.

Incidentally, I use alignment/push pins a lot on jobs such as this and I have made them from 1,5mm to 8,0mm. I used 2,0mm 3,0mm and 4,0mm on this job. I machine them just under size and with rounded noses and they are so much more convenient than using punches or screwdrivers. Materials are usually 316 stainless or brass dependant on application.

Trigger assembly. This is unusual in that it is a single trigger without a conventional inertia block although it does have a sprung plunger assembly and is elegantly complex in a simple way.  Annoyingly, I just went through my pictures and realised I did not take a picture of the trigger fully dissembled.

Here are two hammers on a common pin, with two sears behind with the sear springs and safety lever on a common pin,  hiding behind is the selector lever assembly and this is where things get interesting when you put these things back together. At this point I will point out that the hammer spring plungers are handed so pay attention to orientation.

Here comes the fiddly bit. Because the upper and lower assembles orientation are hidden behind the stock it is very easy to get things wrong and either have a non functioning gun, or worse, break something and spares are not easy to source these days. I have assembled the upper and lowers so you can see how things go together. The top red ring shows how the trigger safety fits into the tang safety and the lower red ring is the relationship between the long leg of the tang safety and the trigger selector lever.

To get everything as in the image cock the hammers by hand, I just push them back with my thumb. Now hold the hammers back and push the selector lever backwards with a small screwdriver or similar. You need to keep pressure on the hammers as you are momentarily dropping the sears, however with some fiddling you end up with everything as per the image below.


Assembly. I leave the trigger safety selector about in the middle and place the trigger plate to one side. Fit the action to the stock and push the front screw into place, this is simply to hold things together and you can disregard if you wish. Make sure the tang safety is on (The rearwards position) Now fit the trigger plate by sliding the tags into the front and hinging it up until it is nearly in place. At this stage push the tang safety forward and it should pick up and locate the trigger safety lever correctly. Do the single screw up and test operation.

Ah, one point to consider, it is a faff to fit the trigger guard once the trigger plate is in position, I guess you could fit it first however I choose to just drop the rear of the trigger plate slightly which enables me to attach the guard. Try not to forget the trigger guard washer at this stage. Oh and check your bench for a 2,0mm pin which is the inertia block plunger retaining pin and has a tendency to fall out sometimes.

A close up of the Inertia block and plunger assembly located at the rear of the trigger plate. The spring and plunger has a tendency to corrode and seize up on these things so keep an eye on it as it is easily over looked during cleaning.


So there you go, a quick overview of the reassembly of the Valmet 212 O/U shotgun.

A 75 MOA Rail for a .22LR

We were asked to make a one-off 75 minute rail for an Anschutz rim-fire rifle for long distance target shooting. (400 yards off the elbows with a ‘scope)

Jobs like this are interesting, albeit time consuming. I had to calculate the cut across the length of the base and make sure the dovetail fit was very precise.

The block itself is locked in place with M8 grub screws from above, with a second screw added to lock things in place.

Finish is rattle can black as I did not have time to get the parts vapour honed and anodised.




Here it is assembled and ready to head off to the customer.

Something slightly different and interesting.



I will add some more words on this project shortly however I thought it would be interesting to get an idea of the job.

Beretta 0/U Triggers

The thing about shotguns is they need cleaning regularly, they also benefit from a complete strip and service from time to time. People ask me two things, how often and how much which is fair enough and I answer thus:

How many cartridges a year are you putting through your gun and what sort of conditions? If is is Clay shooting once a month on sunny days then you can realistically go quite a while between services however this is very dependant on how good a job you do of cleaning your shotgun and equally as importantly where do you store it. If is in a cabinet in your uninsulated loft space with huge extremes of temperature (Probably +50C to -5C swing every year) Your really need to get it checked every 12 months as it will have sweated on more than one occasion and I have seen a few this past season that really were badly rusted internally. Before you say yebbut, they all came from good homes.

Equally a game gun getting a good hammering on several days in variable conditions before being bunged in a slip in the back of the truck before you head for your evening meal is also going to need checking yearly and please do not leave it until a couple of days before the first day of the season as I probably have a half a dozen similar guns sitting in the rack already. Equally if something fails or breaks on a Wednesday shoot, let me know immediately, not on the night  before the next shoot.

Cost, well anything from £90.00 upwards plus parts which I consider to be a modest outlay considering what your days shooting is going to cost.

Anyway, onto triggers. I had a Beretta 687 double trigger and a single trigger EELL out together so I thought it would be nice to post a picture of the two, the 687 being at the bottom. If you forget about the side plate EELL bit they are essentially identical and indeed I could probably swap out the triggers with very little fuss, well other than from the owners who would probably have taken a dim view. The pin holes are identically spaced and for my money, the 687 was the nicer of the two despite being significantly older.

I wish I had counted the parts in each trigger when I had them stripped however I didn’t so no point guessing, however I did take a picture of a dissembled 686 trigger mechanism a bit ago so here it is. They are really quite simple despite all those bits and about the only part to worry about is the levers which are handed in a not particularly obvious way. Something to take care of when assembling them. I notice a few people take pictures of the internals of the 686/687 etc when working on them, however I am not sure I have ever seen a picture of one fully stripped, hence this one in nearly apart condition. Looking at the picture my guess is it was just starting to go back together. Incidentally, I always take a picture of the insides of a gun these days as customers are always curious and a before and after comparison is so much easier than 10 minutes of waffle.

Well, this was supposed to be just a comparison picture of a couple of Beretta triggers so there you go. I might even explain how to strip and re-assemble a trigger one day for those that are interested and fancy having a go, having said that I have something very similar that arrived in bits with a note asking me to mend it and put it back together from a well intentioned source within the trade so maybe extended details of a Beretta trigger is not quite such a good idea.

Right, I am off to bed as it has been a long day and I need to be up bright and early tomorrow morning.

Take care all.

I am still here

A few people have started to comment on the lack of posts on my Journal and I was quite shocked when I realised it has been a couple of months, so this is just a quick albeit solitary post for the month of March to say I am still here and still incredibly busy with all sorts if projects and jobs running at present.

We also have these two things who are now 9 months old, growing steadily and for the most doing quite well. We are training them with the help of a couple of well known and regarded trainers plus as many 1:1 sessions a week as we squeeze in. This is not as easy as it sounds when you have four dogs around you with the three Labs and the Lurcher and they all have their own very special needs and requirements.

The picture is typical of the two, one had a piece of cardboard and the other a stone. I have a pile of stones by my desk and another pile of stones in the workshop and I must admit he is very good at spitting out such items when told to do so. Will they make good working dogs? Well right now my gut feeling is yes, they will do well however that is entirely down to us, certainly more so than the pups as they are sponges, they just soak up what they are shown and usually repeat it.

Right I am off to get some CAD work done for the morning however I will also be adding some new posts in the next day or so.

Take care all 🙂


The BSA Ralock

A .22LR BSA Ralock dating to 1949 arrived today.

The Ralock was produced by BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) from 1947 to 1949 in two guises, the S was for .22 Short and was produced from 1947 and the T was for .22LR and was produced from 1949 to mid 1951 with the long rifle versions production stopping in mid 1951 with only 5,696 S&T variant rifles having been made.

In case you wondered Ralock is an abbreviation for Radial Lock which is a reference to the breech locking mechanism. I will add some more pictures at a later date.

The Ralock is a semi-automatic rim-fire rifle with a blow back breech block design that was apparently based on machine gun development from the Second World War. The interesting part is the enclosed receiver that catches the spent cartridges as they are ejected, so no more hot cases down your shirt sleeve as with the Browning SA22, the downside is when you open the breech with the lever on the underside all of the hot cases go down your shirt sleeve instead of just the one. The lever is also used for cocking the action.

The 8 Shot tubular magazine is filled via the side loading port on the left hand side of the Butt stock a per the SA22.

Being of such a design means showing safe is all but impossible unless you remove the barrel, however you can open the bolt and pass a length of heavy nylon cord through the load port and out of the muzzle, add a small piece of tape as a flag and you are good to go. Alternatively just remove the barrel and pop it into a small rucksack or leg of mutton case.

The actual take down process is the easiest I have ever operated, lift a lever and pull the barrel out, job done. To fit the barrel reverse the procedure and it does not appear to be dependant on the bolt being back or forwards

Construction is incredibly robust with a receiver machined from what was probably a solid lump of steel. The safety is a slide type device as you would find on some pump action shotguns at the top rear of the receiver.

The barrel looks to be around 24″ long and the front sight is noticeable by its hight, this rifle is particularly nice as it has the majority of its original finish and has not been screw cut for a sound moderator or had the receiver drilled for a telescopic sight.

The trigger is reasonably light and crisp and the moving parts are removed by first dropping the barrel off, then pulling the front of the bottom trigger guard down and out it pops. You need to remove the magazine follower first and this is secured and removed form the rear of the butt.

I suspect it will take less than 15 seconds to remove the magazine follower, barrel and trigger set and about the same to replace it which is probably quicker than the Browning SA22 of the same era, plus the Ralock feels a lot more robust and lacks the potential fiddly barrel head spacing mechanism of the Browning.

It needs a good service and it can then head out to the range for a test firing, I will report back on that later.