I was given an RG 31

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I was given an RG 31

Postby Flowmaster » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:40 pm

Last night I was given an RG 31 by a friend of mine. It is a snubby 5 shot 38 special. The gun is missing a hand, a sideplate screw, and some sort of rebound spring for the trigger. I'm not sure what's wrong with the gun but the hammer doesn't want to go all the way back with the sideplate on it. I may have the transfer bar in the wrong position or something. Can anyone shed some light on fixing up one of these guns? I'm not great with revolvers. The gun has been neglected for sure. The grips are cracked but glued back together and obviously its been apart a time or two. I still feel like this questionable-quality revolver is worth reviving considering the parts are available at Numrich's website. I found the hand for $11.90, the sideplate screw for $4.20, and I'm not sure what else I need to buy. The diagram I found online shows a "bolt" and accompanying spring which I assume is a plunger to maybe rebound the hand. The gun didn't cost me anything so I don't mind spending a little bit of money on parts to get it hopefully up and running.
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The paperclip in the picture is there to hold tension on the mainspring while the sideplate was off of the gun.

I've already pulled the cylinder and done electrolysis on it to remove a bunch of rust. It looks like someone left it loaded and a bunch of rust got between the walls of the cylinder and the shell casings. The finish on the rest of the gun isn't too bad.

There is a parts kit that I hope is complete currently listed on gunbroker. Its for the same gun but in 32 S&W Long. I'm tempted to buy that and convert the gun to 32 S&W Long if that's possible. Then I'd at least have all of the parts. Its $45 plus $10 shipping but it looks to have all the parts. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =543110633
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Re: I was given an RG 31

Postby jeffchance » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:20 pm

Here's a couple of our RG-31. Note the plunger in the side plate. That is what pushes the hand forward as the trigger is pulled.
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Also, our barrel is pinned in, so a cylinder swap and barrel change might be pretty easy.
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Re: I was given an RG 31

Postby adam01364 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:49 pm

Flowmaster wrote:Last night I was given an RG 31 by a friend of mine. It is a snubby 5 shot 38 special.
You've got some great friends!
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Re: I was given an RG 31

Postby Flowmaster » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:42 pm

Jeff, thanks for the pictures. I need to find that plunger and spring. It looks like the plunger and spring can be tensioned and held in place by putting a paperclip through the tiny hole in the sideplate. That'd kind of spring-load it until the gun is back together. That plunger part (called a bolt in some of the stuff I've seen) isn't really available. You think that's something I could make out of a nail using a drill and a file to whittle it down to size? I can probably repurpose a spring from my parts stash of J22 stuff.

Adam,
A guy I'm kind of friendly with (not great friends, met him a few times) was originally going to sell the RG for $20. When he heard that I collect cheapie guns he just gave it to me, knowing it'd go to a good home.
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Re: I was given an RG 31

Postby jeffchance » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:01 pm

Flow,
That parts kit you referenced has the plunger pictured with it. I just used a small jewelers screwdriver to push it back while positioning the side plate.
Another area of concern in the spring that activates the cylinder stop. Look at it funny and....GONE. (don't ask) :oops:
Also the trigger spring uses pure friction to hold itself against the frame until the plate is in place.
The screw that acts as the crane pivot needs some loctite as it can be tightened enough to not let the crane swing. You have to loosen it enough to allow it to swing which results in the screw being loose enough to work its way out.
Once it is all together, it is a nice shooting pistol. Kind of "old school" having to unscrew the cylinder pin to reload, so make the 5 rounds count.
I carry ours with birdshot ammo when in snake country, along with one of my other pistols for other creatures.
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