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Old 10-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rainmaker Restoration Project - w/ hammer face pic

I found an older (?) bag o' rainmaker in the BSTs and wanted to see what you guys were talking about. It was in great condition, other than "some assembly required". I did some homework and found some old threads, this one turned out very helpful...

Rainmaker stock board dwell...

Thanks to MondoMor and Mad Marty for that.

These things are a lot bigger after you put them together.
And yes, on HPA and a ported valve, still loud.

The hammer face picture is on the last post.

I wanted to keep it mostly original, but add some Mad Marty mods and see what I could do with the original design



I bored out the valve to match the body ports, recessing the seat since there was plenty of meat, and made a new valve poppet.



I worked up the Mad Marty carrier mods with a link set screw and center post.





I was studying the sear alignment for what I remember is MM's mod #5 for polishing and fitting the sear for easier lock up. What I came up with instead was to fit a 1/16" roll pin in the back of the hammer which holds the sear in alignment with the carrier when they are not yet latched. I'm surprised these things worked originally. Between the tool marks on the carrier face and the way the sear was bumping the vertical edge of the carrier, it looked like it would just ram the parts together all the time.

This roll pin mod also keeps the sear spring tucked up in the hammer so it doesn't drag the body.

Never mind the 1/16" hole near the front of the hammer. I wasn't a good day in the garage.



I'm trying to show where I ground a little off the sear for the final fit, making sure that the sear has a full latch on the carrier. If I had drilled the roll pin hole higher up in the hammer, it would not have been necessary.



I decided to try some high volume (3/32") promaster tubing on the LPR supply to the solenoid. Partly to add volume and also to try to get away from the tiny elbows that were on there. It may kink enough to be the same, but it seems to work well enough.





I ground the ports in the LPR stem, and added some flow slots in the top. Those are just in case the stem gets pushed up against the tubing fitting, which seemed like it would keep the pressure from kicking the piston closed in good time.





Made a new bolt. Mad Marty definitely has a point on custom bolts. The stock bolt didn't seem to fit the space very well. The largest o-ring diameter on the bolt was around 0.685, while the bore was very consistent at 0.699



Bored out the HPA back to add some volume.



I polished and cleaned up the LPR orifice. That is not a shadow in there, it is partial anodizing. The hole had a small burr in it and the seat was uneven, so I cleaned that up. With all the odd mods, it still runs right at 80 psi.



I still need to go through and loctite it all down and will probably stiffen the valve spring since I seem to have a lot of velocity overhead available (I started at about 350 fps).

I think I'm going to work on the feed neck and get a loader matched up to the detent next.

***

Got my macro line fittings and added a feedneck mod. My tape wasn't thick enough and I made a couple of marks on the body from the lathe chuck, but I got away from the side screw feedneck. There's plenty of meat on the inside of the original feedneck to thread or clamp onto.





****

A couple of odd notes. The ball detent was bent too deep, not just protruding too far into the breech, but also presenting too steep of an angle to the bolt. My first assumption was that it was intentional, but I'm not so sure. Along the same lines, there were only four pair of spring washers in the HPR, where the original design was five. I bought some extra washers from JT parts as I couldn't find the exact size anywhere else (and the JT price wasn't bad either). Five pairs is not as stiff and should last longer and provide higher flow for the same pressure setting.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice! I love the roll pin on the hammer; the draggy spring is one of the last things that still annoys me. Now, do I have the courage to try that one myself...
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! It's relatively easy with a drill press. The edge of the hammer lines it up in a vice and the bottom is 3/8" wide, which is a standard roll pin length. I think the drill bit I used was 0.067, but the fit was still tight.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice work. I have never had my hands on a Rain Maker, but for some reason I just love old single trigger electros.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, between the grip frame and a 45/45 bottle, it feels pretty good. It would be the only duck bill ASA I have ever played with.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool! I'm glad the old beast is getting some new life breathed into it! I can remember ripping a few VERY loud streams with that thing when it was new. Lots of fun and, as I remember it, acceptably accurate with even that crude-seeming stock barrel!

I'm glad you wound up with it; I was NEVER going to be able to do all that work to get it up and running, so I feel a lot better about my failure to revive it knowing what it actually took! :-)

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Old 11-13-2011, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I ran it for about 500 rounds today from a 3500psi fill on my 45ci bottle. It got cold from the HPA, it's such an air pig. Not much worse than a mag I guess, but really odd. I may try a different barrel on it. Startled lots of people. Anyone that knew what it was would say "oh, wow! A working rainmaker!

****

A note about the feedneck. It was red-loctited in and it had come off at the field as I was installing the halo. After I cleaned the old loctite off, I saw that the fit was not pressed in at all, more like "dropped in". It had enough clearance that I would have liked to use some JB weld to fill the gap, but all I had available was some more red loctite. After letting it set for about three hours, I pushed it into service and it did fine. That's why it only got 500 rounds of play.

All that after chucking the whole upper body in the lathe to keep the feed neck undisturbed.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds fun. You should get a nice loudner for it.


One day, I'll have one.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Spider!,

Did you combine my Rainmaker with another for this project? That's not the lower receiver from my RM. That S/N is in the 5000s, and mine was something like S/N 0083 or something. Just curious.

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Old 11-29-2011, 05:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice writeup! And nice mods that I never would have dreamed of being able to make. Can you show people what the face of the hammer looked like and what your solution entailed? Also, nice closeup of the hammer with the wear on only one side of the rear edge, showing how "cocked" and out of alignment the hammer was as it moved through the body. As you said, tolerances weren't tight. I wonder how well the design might work if it were actually built well?

I like your comment about the noise. It certainly needs no loudener. It has a really cool, unusual, "BLAP!" sort of sound to it that I dug. I can remember, years ago, ripping off a string of those shots as I rounded a bunker and the shock and alarm that just the noise of the thing (as well as the speed that even my lame trigger finger could manage) put into folks at the field.

I really liked the grip frame and grips. It was always a very good fit and looked good (on an otherwise not-so-sexy gun). I wouldn't have dreamed of "upgrading" to dual-finger trigger frame, or cutting that one.

I'm positive that's all the spring washers that came with the RM. I don't remember whether I counted four or five pairs in the reg, but I can't imagine they didn't all either make it back into the reg or into the box/bags. I wonder if, with such a low S/N, it might actually have been something they didn't include until later?

Finally, I had noticed the issue with the wire ball detent. It was dinging the leading edge of the bolt but, like so many other similar points of wear, I just assumed it was inherent in the design. I had enough trouble trying to get it to cycle reliably to worry too much about it.

In the end, what do you think was causing the intermittent failure to cycle? Was it just the fact that the divot in the face of the hammer had shortened the effective length of the whole bolt/carrier train to the point where it just didn't always quite come together closely enough for the bolt to latch on? I can't imagine that the sear hitting the face of the carrier, rather than the "ramp" part, helped. But was anything else the "main" problem?

Thanks for getting some good use out of it. I would have loved to have kept it and used it (it totally fits my love of weird, suboptimal, old guns) alongside my Mag and Phantom. But I was never going to get it running. Thanks for keeping it alive. If you tire of it, let me know, or at least make sure it goes to someone who will play with it and love it.

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