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 Modifying a Tanaka SAA...

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singleaction
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PostSubject: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:30 am

Hi guys, new to the forum!
I recently received an all metal SAA from Tanaka works and have a few questions on modifications. I was thinking about removing the obstructions in the chambers to get a more realistic look, just wondered if this is possible or do I risk ruining the whole thing? Also, as I have understood, there is a hardened steel rod in the barrel, preventing it from getting drilled out. Is there any way of doing that at all without destroying the barrel? All answers will be much appreciated Smile
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Cerwyn
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:03 am

Any attempts at boring out the barrel would, very likely, send the drill or cutting tool through the side of the barrel. The carbon steel rod is cast into the barrel completely blocking it to prevent any attempts at illegal conversion to live firing.
Likewise the chambers are part blocked to prevent conversion.
It's best not to attempt any mods like this as it's highly likely to be illegal and you could end up with a ruined model

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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:29 am

If it is legal in Sweden, here's a VERY long shot how it might be possible - just an idea, never done this, dunno if it will work, don't hold me responsible if it doesn't Very Happy 

You could try to drill "around" the steel rod using a hollow drill bit
Of course the drill bit would have to be long enough (no idea if they exist in that length) and the steel rod has to be pretty much in the center of the barrel and smaller in diameter than the barrel bore you want to achieve. So that's a lot of ifs and whens... maybe just forget what I said there  Wink 
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:47 am

Assuming all modelgun revolvers use the same barrel blocking rod, there probably wouldn't be room to drill with a hollow bit, have as look at this


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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:33 am

Ah, thanks for the pic Cerwyn.
Ok, I mentioned the diameter of the steel rod, but I honestly didn't expect it to be THAT big. They really, really, really don't want you to drill out the barrel, hm? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:58 am

They definitely don't want their products tampering with.
It only takes one individual to modify a metal model and attempt to fire a live round. Even if the model exploded in the process it only takes one bullet to kill someone 

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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:12 pm

Cerwyn wrote:
They definitely don't want their products tampering with.
It only takes one individual to modify a metal model and attempt to fire a live round. Even if the model exploded in the process it only takes one bullet to kill someone 

Hi again!
Just wanted to make clear that I in no way had the intention of trying to make it fire a live round; that would just be plain stupidity, I was just going for a more authentic look. The barrel is filled almost up to the brim in the front end (the hole is just 3-4 mm deep), which ruins the look a bit for me; is there any way of knowing how far the steel rod goes? In that case I was thinking if it would be possible of drilling out just a small part of it and then paint the inside of the barrel black. Any thoughts on this? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:25 am

Hi singleaction,

It's OK, I wasn't suggestion you were planning on firing live rounds  Smile , merely trying to explain why all metal modelguns made since the late 1970s have blocked barrels. Japanese laws were put in place to make the models tamperproof.

It's going to be difficult finding out exactly how close to the muzzle the steel rod extends. As far as  I know there aren't any factory drawings available giving exact manufacturing dimensions.
Assuming that there must be some zinc alloy in front of the rod due to the casting process, you might be able to drill a test hole until you reach the rod.
There's a real possibility that the drill will be pushed sideways once it hits the rod though, sending it through the side of the barrel so go carefully
Personally, I don't think I'd risk it just in case I ended up with a ruined barrel  No 

Black paint would be a safer option.

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PostSubject: Chambers   Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:21 pm

OK, I'll take some time to think this over, wouldn't want to ruin this lovely piece of craftmanship; I LOVE this revolver!! Smile. But what about the partially blocked chambers, then? Is there any danger in removing them? It ruins the overall look of the gun and it would be much easier operating the ejector rod if these obstructions were removed, IMHO. Do you have any thoughts about this? I've read through a couple of threads and if I remember correctly, at least one of the japanese members here has removed the chamber blockings with great looking result.
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:50 am

As most, if not all metal revolvers have the Detonator Pins placed at the bottom of each cylinder you may not be able to fire the model if you remove the ring. It might be possible, however, to use different cartridges intended for open barrel ABS or HWABS revolvers. 
It'll be worth checking through the Cartridge Library


Comparing SAA type cartridges listed could find one that you could use. The list does not yet include every cartridge so if you don't find one there please feel free to ask. I'm sure we can come up with something  Wink 

I think the modification you've seen is this one :-  


Bear in mind this has been carried out on a ABS model. It may not be possible to dismantle the metal cylinder in the same way.

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PostSubject: Detonator pins   Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Hi, Cerwyn!

The thing is, that this Tanaka has NO detonator pins inside the chambers, they're fitted in the cartridges themselves (the revolver came with 6 of these). The chambers are just partially blocked in the front ends and it looks easy enough to remove these obstructions. But the cartridges are a history of themselves; I've checked through the cartridge listing and their design mostly resembles the KSC revolver cartridges, but as I'm fairly new to this, I can't really say for sure. I could snap a few shots of the cartridges and maybe you or someone else with more experience than I could help me identifying what model they are, is that OK?

Once again, thanks for all help, this truly is a great forum! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:18 pm

I'm glad you're finding the Forum useful  Very Happy Thanks  Exclamation 

Photos of your cartridges would be very useful, particularly if you can take a photo showing the internal parts too please
If you can let us know the length and diameter also, that'd be even better  Very Happy 

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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:30 pm

OK, I'll take photos of both insides and outside and take measurements; this is really intriguing Razz
I'll get back as soon as possible Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Modifying a Tanaka SAA...   Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:48 am

OK, Now I have checked the cartridges out; they are 35 mm in length and the diameter is 11 mm. Here are some pics:

Cartridge



Cartridge disassembled



Detonator pin inside of cartridge



Cartridge front view




I hope this is of some assistance in helping me identifying the cartridge type; as I said I'm fairly new to this, the cartridges of my former model gun revolvers (Hartford Colt SAA and a Hartford double Derringer) were of the old type where you just fitted the cap in the front of the cartridge.
* Update * I forgot to mention that the cartridges are exactly as pictured in the instruction manual that came with the revolver, so they must be the originals; anyone have any idea what make they are? Have checked through the entire cartridge listing on the forum now, but haven't found any that look exactly like these...strange, or?
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