You guys get it, John Wick doesn't have any connection to this build. Yadda yadda. I just make these absurd projects and he's the inspiration for this one.
As this build has come together, I've been surprised to see how complex it is. Although it looks simpler than the Space Cowboy Revolver and the Space Force 6, the function that I am trying to achieve in the ammo tubes has raised the complexity a ton.
Each of my gun projects have custom components or heavily modified stock components. That's nothing new. In this John Wick Revolver, the ammo tubes are first-of-their kind so there is no model to follow. I need to balance spring tension and the ability to load and unload the tubes from the rear. I also need to securely mount the tubes to the picatinny rail without interfering with the ammo and springs moving inside the tubes. And I don't want the thing to weigh 5 lbs or be 6 inches wide.
This has proven to be quite the challenge. It has also required me to make a handful of small components. This post covers the prototyping and finalization of these little (critical) pieces.
The End Caps
Let's start at the front of the gun and tubes. The carbon fiber tubes that I bought have a 1/2" inside diameter. I need some way to seal off the front of the tubes to protect the .357 mag rounds inside and be the backstop of the spring. I had a couple extra .357 Mag Marlin lever action magazine tube caps laying around that are designed to be used in a tube just bit bigger than 1/2".
So I got to grinding and sanding.
The end cap on the left is without modification. The one on the right is after I ground down the first ridge.
A few more hours and..... they fit!
As you can see above, the outside diameters of the end caps are nearly identical to the carbon fiber tubes. I am very pleased with how tightly they fit and how good they look.
I have a special color in mind for these little guys, so I sanded all the black off and made sure to have a super clean finish all around.
I was hoping to be able to buy a lever action tubular magazine follower that would fit inside the carbon fiber tubes, but I couldn't. So, I needed to make them.
I started with a 1/2" outside diameter rod of aluminum thinking I could just drill out a small opening in the back for the spring to fit in. Of course, it wasn't that easy.
The aluminum rod didn't fit inside the carbon fiber tubes. The tolerances of each were too far off so I had to remove a couple 0.001s of an inch from all the way around the aluminum rod to get a couple inches that would fit easily inside the tubes and then drill a recess in the back for the springs.
It turns out that sanding a cylinder is neither easy nor fun.
The image above is where the journey started.
The next two are where it ended.
A couple lessons I learned along the way. 1. It was easier to do the sanding and the drilling of the recess in the back before cutting the followers down to length. 2. It's hard to free hand drill a ~0.40" inch hole in the back of a <0.50" piece of aluminum. Thankfully I only ruined one.
The Ammo Gate
This is where all the thinking and trial and error really took place. I spent a couple weeks designing and testing various contraptions that would both hold the ammo in the tubes against the pressure from the spring and allow for John Wick to quickly pull rounds out to reload. I'll show my two most successful designs here.
The first was a solid piece of 1/4" aluminum bent at a 90-degree angle and then cut to only cover part of the end of the tubes. You can see the rough prototype and idea below.
Note the cuts into the carbon fiber tube. I was experimenting with the tubes as well to see what modifications I could make to them to get the functionality I was shooting for.
The image below is where the prototype ended - complete with a hole to secure the aluminum to the ammo tube mounts.
This ammo gate design didn't work because it was too bulky and too inflexible. It did however, show me that this kind of gate could work. Time to try another material.
The next material I tried was 20 (I think...) gauge stainless steel. I followed the same steps as above, but this time it worked. I continued to tune it until I got it working pretty well.
Below you can see the ammo gate in position, holding back some .357 Mag Dummy Rounds. To remove the rounds, Mr. Wick simply has to press in slightly and then push towards the revolver. Once the round clears the lip of the ammo gate, it pops into the hand and the next round is held up against the gate.
Notice, the thumb screw sticking out above... Let's fix that.
The Rear Mount Bolt
The Delta Point Pro Mount uses a 6/48 threaded bolt. That's great if you want a mount to be very securely fastened. Not so great if you need to find a 6/48 bolt that is at least an inch long.
The only 6/48 bolt I could find that was that long had a 1/2" of thumb screw on the end. So I bought it. It cost $12. $12.08 to be exact. Plus shipping.
I bought a $12 bolt. Space no expense for John.
With my life-savings now depleted, I need to cut it down so that it didn't stick out like a sore thumb screw. Get it?
Pretty simple process here: cut the flat head screw slot deeper, cut the excess head off, clean up. Pictures of the steps are below.
Once I'd cut the excess head off, I put the bolt in the Dremel and pressed it against some sandpaper to get the head flat a put a slight chamfer around the edge.
The Front Mount Spacer
This piece is seriously tiny, so I'll be quick. The front QD mount pressed up against the ammo tube mount when fastened. I thought it'd be more secure if I added a spacer into the counter sink on the QD mount to apply the tightening pressure where it was meant to be.
The picture above doesn't show it well, but the spacer sits just higher than the edge of the QD mount, so when the bolt is tightened from ammo tube mount, it'll tighten against the spacer, not the side of the QD mount.
So here is where she stands so far. Just a few more tweaks and prep then it's time to paint and assemble!
A Public Service Announcement
Amazon says that the Weigand GP100 rail fits 5.5" AND 6" Revolvers. It doesn't. It only fits the 5.5" ones.
Here's a side-by-side. The shorter one is the one from Amazon.
If you have a 6" GP100 and want a Weigand rail, get it directly from their site: https://www.jackweigand.com/Ruger-GP100-Scope-Mounts-No-Drill.html