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Old 10-20-2016, 02:39 PM
mscornbread

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Lever questions



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Have a Model 15 that has been restocked and needs the lever bent (slightly) to the new stock contour. I have read where some say that it is best to remove the lever to heat and bend it; I have also read where some say that unless total reshaping is needed, the lever can be heated and bent while in the action. I have taken the action out and noticed that the lever is held in by a pin, and it looks like a simple task to remove, but I wonder if anything might launch itself across the room if the pin is taken out? The lever needs to be bent only very slightly at one point to get it into the right position. For those of you who have experience with this stuff, what do you suggest?
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Old 10-21-2016, 07:30 AM
Yank

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If your 15's metal is un-modified at this time, I would consider some other way to work around the problem. I bent a lever (Cadet) years ago, and will never bend another. Perhaps you could find another lever that has already been "clubbed," and set your original aside for safekeeping.
Good luck with you project,
Y

PS: Photo are always welcome!
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:33 AM
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Travelor
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I have got to agree with Yank. Martini Model 15's are a bit rare and I would hate to see an original lever bent.
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Old 10-21-2016, 11:12 AM
Yank

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It's kinda like cars. How many more 1950 Mercurys need to be chopped? 😎
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:54 PM
DoubleD
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If you are going to do bend it, it needs to taken out of the trigger group. The lever and not the horns need heated and cooled slowly by burying it in something like lime. This removes the surface hardening.

Then it can heatedand formed.

After forming it is polished and reheat treated.

Don't try bending or forging cold it will break.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:01 PM
mscornbread

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Thanks for the replies. This rifle has already undergone major work (years ago)--rear of the receiver reshaped like a 12/15, trigger guard safety installed, and original barrel cut to 22" and turned to a sporter-style contour. It looks NOTHING like a Model 15 anymore, so there is no worry about hurting the value by bending the lever. The original stock had a little "tighter" curve in the pistol grip than the replacement; as a result, the lever with the action closed doesn't come down to the grip--at the end of the pistol grip, there is a 1/2" gap between the lever and the wood. It starts out fitting nicely into groove of the grip, but then falls away from the wood. It looks as though the lever could be heated in one spot (where it starts into the groove) and be bent down just a little to fit. The rifle functions fine, but the ill-fitting lever is constantly catching on clothing and opening the action.

Double D, I really appreciate the info; had a feeling that trying to bend this, even slightly, while cold was not a good idea. With this needing only a minimal bend, do you think heating in one spot and bending would work? Also, as per my original post, is removing the lever a tricky undertaking? I see the pin that holds it in, but will pushing this out send things flying? I only ask because that has happened to me on other guns before. Thanks again.
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Old 10-21-2016, 06:35 PM
Yank

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I did most of the bending with the lever red hot, while keeping the horn end cool. After cooling, the lever was somewhat annealed, and the case-hardening gone. Further, more minor adjustments were done cold. I hade a bending fixture that featured 3 pieces of round stock (brass), so I could localize the bending areas. Not certain, but I think this method was shown in the American Rifleman. 😳
Y
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Old 10-21-2016, 10:23 PM
DoubleD
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Any time you are worried something going flying when you disassemble do it under a towel. In this case nothing is going flying.

Remove the breech block. Remove the lever.


There are a number of older books around by the late Frank deHaas that can guide. Be aware if Frank was still alive today and had access to what we have he would do a lot of things different.

But bending the lever Frank would not change, anneal, then bend. Be very careful bending cold.

Way back in the olden days when I did this work, I built jigs for bending. A flat faced female arc and a concave matching male arc. The concave match the radius of the face of the lever. I pinned the lever to the female tool. I heated the lever with my torch and then with male tool, formed the lever arc. I beat on the tool not the lever. That kept me from hammer marking the lever.

Sitting her writing this, it has been over 16 years since I last did this. I wonder where the tooling is? Haven't seen it in years.
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