After a couple months of designing, looking for the right components and waiting for things to arrive, it was time to get started putting this space puppy together.
Most of the custom work on the project is in the handguard. I had three major problems to solve: 1. figure out a way to attach the handguard securely to the revolver, 2. make room for the cylinder to open, and 3. make room for the rangefinder inside the handguard.
1. Attaching the handguard to the revolver
The original plan was to flip the handguard upside down and the secure it to the revolver via the Weig-a-tinny rail. See design below.
The problem with this design is that the top half inch of the Kriss MKI Handguard is narrower than the rest of it. If I flipped the rail upside down on the revolver, the rangefinder wouldn't fit in the narrow portion of the rail. If I cut the rail to make the rangefinder fit, the narrow section would make it difficult to read the rangefinder's display. Right-side-up it was.
The plan to attach the handguard to the revolver was to sand down some of ridges on the underside of the Weig-a-tinny rail so that the handguard would fit between it and the barrel and then drill the rail to secure it to the threaded holes in the handguard. This actually worked, right-side up or upside down.
2. Making room for the cylinder
Reloading is important. Even in Space.
As you can see in the image below, the rear extension of the Kriss handguard prevents the cylinder from rolling out the left side. Our friend Mr. Dremel fixed this.
3. Making room for the rangefinder
The final problem was making space for the rangefinder underneath the barrel and inside the handguard. The rangefinder is about a quarter inch too tall to fit neatly inside the handguard, so I cut off the bottom of the front ~3 inches of the handguard. This cut allows the rangefinder to be protected by the handguard on all sides except the bottom. It also tucks it far enough toward the rear that the handguard will protect its front.
There are a few more cuts to make and many hours of finishing work to be done but it's nice to have the rough shape complete and the connections all working.