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  1. Old hex keys (allen wrenches) are of a quality of steel good enough for firing pins, ideally turned on a lathe, but carefully hand ground will work. Note: don’t turn the steel blue when grinding, the heat treat will be ruined. You can also chuck in a drill press and work with a die grinder or dremel.
    Aircraft supply houses such as Aircraft Spruce are a good source for small pieces of 4130 steel plate of sufficient strength for gun parts.
    My grandfather was not trained as a gun smith, but he was a machinist. Interestingly he made some pocket money cleaning guns for the rich guys who didn’t want to do it. I learned much from him.

  2. Very good article, with useful information. I concur regarding the Paul Matthews book, The Paper Jacket. It is excellent, and making paper patched bullets isn’t all that hard, though it is time-consuming.

    Another fun topic to explore is black powder cartridge reloading. The rules are a bit different, but some of our current cartridges — such as the .45 Colt, .45-70, .303 British, and the .410 and 12 gauge — started with black powder. Hobbyists in BP cartridge loading tend to make some of their own supplies, such as lubricants, and many freely share their knowledge with others.

  3. Drill rod is also used for firing pin base material needing to be machined or ground to dimension. Old break action single shot shotguns can have the extractor worn, or grooved by the firing pin, I have successfully TIG welded the worn groove with nickle rod and filed to fit like new.

  4. I appreciate yesterday’s tip about the Mauser conversion.
    I bought K98 parts gun for 40$ many years, intending to have it made over into a 30-06. Eventually I realized that it would cost more than it was worth to me. Turning the old clunk into a .45 bolt gun sounds like a fun project and a good beginner’s rifle after the heavy stock is cut down.

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