Shims From Feeler Guages

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  • Last Post 22 August 2019
mashburn posted this 09 April 2019

Before I start my discussion I would like to state a few things. If I ever build another single shot rifle it will not have a tapered round or tapered octogen barrel on it. If I do it will have a quarter rib at least. I always color case harden the actions of the rifles I build (I build most of the actions that are on my rifles)  and the butt plate-grip cap and target bases and rings or scope bocks. Here is where the trouble started revious to these blocks and rings the only brand that I had color cased was; Leupold,Redfield & Browning.This time I used a pair of Ruger rings and target Blocks . The three previous brands are not a high carbon  steel and they color beautifully and never break For some reason I figured Ruger would be the same, I guess I should have figured if Ruger used a different screw they would be different with my luck. Again they colored real pretty. While I was breaking the barrel in on the new rifle it started shooting everywhere. Guess what? One of the scope blocks had broken underneath the ring. Yes, I discovered that Ruger rings are high carbon steel. I was so aggravated that I set it up for several years and didn't touch it.. I started back a few weeks ago and as usual I like to make my own parts. So I started making a set of target blocks for a big round heavy tapered barrel..After several hours I had a set of barrel blocks made that were both level on top with the line of bore. But the problem was that the front block was a few thousands lower that the rear one. I started to make a shim that I could form to the shape of the outside barrel contour.

Now here is the gunsmith tip ,there may be plenty out there who have thought of this and I may just be a slow learner gunsmith type person. I had a straight edge and a feeler measuring how thick my shim needed to be. Hey my brain started working. I took that leaf off of the feeler guage set-annealed it-took a small ball peem hammer and some hastily constructed tooling and made a shim the same size of the target block and it fit the barrell perfectly and was precisely the correct thickness. I drilled two holes for the mounting screws to go through and I had a perfect target block. Let me know how many of you thought of using the feeler guage blade that you measured with. They anneal real quick with just air cooling also.

For all of you old timers who ever heard of Mashburn Arms & might be interested in the rest of this. I had three shop made chamber reamers that were built by Mr. Mashburn of Mashburn Arms formerly in Oklahoma City. I was going to build rifles using all of them. The calibers are: .17 Mashburn Bee-.218 Mashburn Bee-.219 Donaldson Wasp. This one is the .219 Donaldson Wasp .Now they are all done.

Mashburn

 

David a. Cogburn

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RicinYakima posted this 09 April 2019

When ever I go into a pawn shop, I buy feeler gauge sets that are less than a buck. They are Chinese and not accurate, but anneal well. So they become shim stock and have worked great for 20 years. Mashburn stuff was top of the line in the 1930's, but never could afford any of the rifles.  HTH, Ric

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frnkeore posted this 09 April 2019

I'm wondering, if the one block was just a few thousands off, why not re-mill the other block to match?

For myself, I use brass shim stock, mostly (easy to work with and you can cut it to any shape) but, I also have 2 rolls of SS shim stock (.002 & .006) and use a Whitney hand punch to make the holes.

Frank

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 09 April 2019

congrats on a great idea at just the right time.

i can feeler your satisfaction

ken

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fa38 posted this 09 April 2019

 

Another feeler gauge shim use.

I have a Rem 03-A3 that has the original rear aperture sight which changes elevation by running the aperture up and down the ramp of the sight.  The only way to change elevation is to move the aperture from notch to notch which gives quite a bit of elevation change for each notch.

 I was changing the elevation one day and noticed that the ramp has a bit of up and down movement that is spring loaded and pivots a bit at the rear of the ramp.  You can change the elevation by sticking a shim from a feeler gauge under the front edge of the ramp. The front of the ramp goes up and the aperture at rear goes down.

 I cut shims from the feeler gauge of .012, .010, .008, .006.  Set the elevation a bit high and lower the elevation by using the shims.  The .012 is the biggest shim I can get under the front edge of the ramp.

 

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R. Dupraz posted this 09 April 2019

I have used all of the following for shimming sights and such over the years.

Brass shim stock of various thicknesses from an auto parts store ( engine builders)

Mild steel shim sheet variety pack from Brownells, no need to anneal. 

Feeler gauge shims.

 

R.

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mashburn posted this 10 April 2019

Hello,

I'm giving an example of what can be done, yes, you and I have about all of the stuff to do gun work but not everyone does. You may need a .0005 shim and if you have a old feeler guage set it's right there. we are turning out a generation of people that don't know how to do much of anything. Gunsmith School graduates are basically parts changers, they don't know how to build anything from scratch. My Dad used to say most people anymore don't even know how to tie two pieces of wire together. You can hang a feeler guage  blade on a piece of wire and pick up a propane torch that is usually setting on the work bench, heat the blade up red hot and it will air cool in just a couple of minutes and it will be annealed, if not heat it up the second time and it sure will. Then you don't have to a have a carbide drill or specialized punch to put a hole in it, one that came over the big boat will work fine.  If we want to keep people interested in arms and shooting anything that we can teach them will help interest. If you know how to do more simple gunsmith jobs the more interested they will get to be .And if someone put a ugly brass shim under one of my nice rifle sights I wouldn't be a very happy camper.

Masshburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 10 April 2019

Frank,

I shimmed it because I had already cut the dovetail slots in the top of the blocks. What I was getting at when I said I would never build another single shot rifle with a round tapered barrel was the hell I had with this one. The rear mount sat on the shoulder of the barrel-the taper from the shoulder-and the tapered barrel itself. I had hell cutting such a peace of cake. It had to be cut from a pretty thick piece of stock. It took me several attempts at getting the back one level with the bore. I thought I had everything level and when I got everything tightened down the front one was level but too low. That's when I had a feeler guage under a straight edge and said here is the perfect shim. This also makes a good spacer material from which to make spacers if it's annealed After it has heat on it and you sand it smooth it will take cold blue. I did this discussion mostly for people who haven't had much experience repairing minor gun fixes. (Of course target blocks aren't a minor project) A feeler guage is something that a lot of people have on hand and can donate a blade. They will be found useful for a lot of uses for people in the learning process , I still learn every day.The  blocks came out perfectly level in all directions so I'm well satisfied.

Thanks for the interest,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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ALYMAN#1 posted this 19 August 2019

Something I found some time ago that will get thin strips of shim approximately 1/4 by 1 1/8" by 0.001 to maybe 0.003 or 0.004" thick is to remove the security sensor in any store bought items with any value.  This is a small rectangular plastic capsule glued to the inside of the packaging.  Most will contain 3 or more strips of varying thickness, usually a couple are loose and one is glued to the inside of the capsule.

FWIW.

Al

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Brodie posted this 19 August 2019

Alyman, Thank you.  Now I finally have a use for that junk, and it at least serves a purpose.

B.E.Brickey

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mashburn posted this 20 August 2019

Hello ALYMAN#1,

Thanks for your response. I've always wondered what was in those little capsules and now I know. Thanks for the tip.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Pentz posted this 21 August 2019

I cut my scope shims from pop cans....

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mashburn posted this 22 August 2019

Hello Pentz,

Thanks for the reply, like you said about cutting scope shims from pop cans, I've cut shims from about everything imaginable from plastic to pop cans. I use the feeler guage blades because I can control the thickness by selecting the proper thickness and they don't thin down when you compress them.

Thanks,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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