About our Lever Action Break Down Kit
Here's a little information about the Lever Action Breakdown Kit from Doughty Enterprises. This kit was developed in Montana by Richard Doughty himself, allowing a standard Winchester 94, Marlin 336, or Marlin 94 to be converted into a breakdown pack rifle.
Here we have started with a customers Standard Winchester 94 Angle Eject Trapper Rifle.
At one time Winchester offered takedown versions of their rifles. This made the transportation of these longer weapons easier when traveling by train or stage. To my knowledge they did not make any in their carbine or "trapper" versions. In today's world the small package of a takedown trapper has appeal when considering backpacking, bicycling, motorcyciing, or wherever storage space is a concern, or where it is desired that the contents of a bag or case not be so obvious. However, none of the above was the concern of the customer who wanted this conversion. He wanted to be able to clean the weapon easier. Especially the barrel; from the breech end.
The Conversion: Step 1
The other concerns were that as few as possible of the original parts be altered, and that new parts be as "drop in" as possible. In an article by Pete Dickey in The NRA Gunsmithing Guide-Updated, he tells of a takedown conversion he had which was made by gunsmith Roland Jorgensen. This seemed like a good place to start, to keep from re-inventing the wheel, however, his method called for altering the receiver by grinding off the flange around the front of the receiver where the forearm fits in. Also, the takedown plate was made by attaching a rectangular piece of metal to the barrel and then sawing, grinding, and filing this piece of metal down to the contour of the receiver. These proceedures almost certainly then called for a re-bluing of the firearm, not to mention a lot of time on the sawing, grinding, and filing.
In Jorgensen's era, his proceedure was probably the best way to go. But times have changed and now there are the wonderful machines, the CNC mill and the CNC lathe. The first part designed was for the takedown plate that the barrel, magazine tube, and forearm are attached to. The exterior contour of this plate is designed to match the contour of the action and is finished to be virtually "drop-in" from this aspect. A hole is machined in the interior that allows for good clearance and position for the magazine tube to fit through. Another hole is machined that allows the threaded portion of the barrel to pass through, but requires that a small portion of the barrel in front of the threads be turned down.
The Conversion: Step 2
This portion of the barrel is turned down so that it is about .0005" larger than the hole in the plate. The barrel is then placed in the freezer to "shink" while the plate is heated to cause the hole in it to "grow." The two are then quickly fitted together. When the temperatures are stabilized it forms a very sturdy joint. A ring is also machined on the back of this plate that reaches beyond the flange on the front of the receiver. The back of this ring and the back of the plate are then trued in a lathe and "clocked in" much like installing a conventional barrel.
The Conversion: Step 3
Additionally, the barrel must have another notch cut in it for the forearm/barrel band screw to pass through.
The Conversion: Step 4
The magazine tube slides in it's channel, allowing the barrel group to rotate for removal. To accomplish this the magazine tube must be altered by lengthing the front barrel band screw slot to about .800 long.
The Conversion: Step 5
A plunger type mag tube plug must also be made to replace the exsisting plug.
The Conversion: Step 6
The mag tube plunger rest in a notch cut in the back side of the foreward barrel band. This keeps the mag tube locked to the rear. Depressing the plunger allows the mag tube to be slid forward, allowing the mag tube to clear the receiver, which allows the barrel group to be rotated. Besides the machined plunger assembly, a hole must be drilled into the lower portion of the mag tube, for the plunger to extend through.
The Conversion: Step 7
The barrel group can then be unscrewed from the receiver allowing disassembly. If a scope is used it most probably must be dismounted before the barrel group can be unscrewed. If so, a quick detach mount which allows positive ejection is recommended.
By utilizing the advantage of CNC equipment it is easy to produce duplicate parts. We can supply these for $65.00 a set. They are in the white and will require some fitting and finishing. If you have a lathe available, it shoudn't take more than a few hours to make a conversion. The parts in my conversion were blued using Brownells Oxpho-Blue.