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Thread: Werndl 1867/77 Disassembly! (lots of photos)

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    Member canross's Avatar
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    Werndl 1867/77 Disassembly! (lots of photos)

    As with the mannlicher thread, this' another of the really oddball guns I've encountered over the years.


    Since I have never seen a decent set of photos of a Werndl, nevermind a good takedown, figured I should do something about it!

    The gun in question is an 1867/77 Werndl-Holub rifle, and I'm pretty sure there are many experts who know more about it than I, but I'll tell what I do know, or at least have guessed at!







    This gun was the first purpose built cartridge rifle for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, replacing the Wanzel rifle which was similar to the american Trapdoor rifle, but with what I consider to be a better locking mechanism. I'd love to get my paws on a Wanzel.....
    It is chambered in 11.15x58, which I can get practically no useful information on, but appears to be a slightly larger based and rimmed cousin of the 43 mauser. I have yet to cast the chamber or slug the barrel, but a 43 mauser cartridge will chamber and extract with some play. Since the rim is undersized I am now looking for a larger alternative to resize to 43 mauser then fireform to the chamber. Might be a bit of a roundabout way of doing things, but it's what I've thought of so far. 348 winchester shows good potential as a parent case for fireforming.


    Overall impressions - Wow. Love these guns. Very unique design, very clearly designed as a cartridge gun, but done so in a way that shows they hadn't yet fully broken out of the muzzle loading era.

    Quality is phenomenal as well. Every piece is well fitted with no appreciable wear from part on part contact. This is probably in part due to the fact that this gun doesn't seem to have been used much, but still, 135 years is a long time for a gun to stay absolutely rock solid.

    Some info on Josef Werndl
    Austro-Hungarian Army - Josef Werndl

    In German - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Werndl



    Now, for the takedown. I did my best to show how the gun is put together because there are some parts of it that are not intuitive. Some pictures may be slightly out of order as I have arranged them as I would take the gun apart now that I have seen what it looks like internally. I had to do some guessing here and there initially since I wasn't entirely sure how things were held in place.




    Step 1:
    Remove first trigger guard screw.




    Step 2:
    Swing trigger guard down and forwards to free it.




    So Simple!





    Step 3:
    Remove front trigger plate screw.




    Step 4:
    Remove rear lock plate screw.





    Step 5:
    Remove front lock plate screw.




    Step 6:
    Lift lock clear. Mine was a tight fit, but popped free.








    Step 7:
    Remove rolling block mainspring. I would recommend 2 soft jaw clamps to keep the tension off of the bolt while doing this, as it is considerable.








    Step 8:
    Remove tang bolt.



    Step 9:
    Remove trigger plate and trigger. Forgot to take a picture


    Step 10:
    Remove nose cap. Mine was so tightly attached that I actually did this after sliding the stock free, because the wood would move but the cap would not I wasn't sure if there was anything retaining it underneath and unseen, so I went with what the gun wanted to do. It cannot be left on the stock as it actually slightly envelopes the barrel and must be unscrewed then slid forwards. Mine was a little more resistant and I had to slide the stock backwards and free then give it an oiling to free it from its place.

    ***** I had to do this after the stock was removed due to the cap refusing to move and not wanting to force it. I would recommend doing it before, as the wood below the cap is relatively thin and would be the only thing holding the wood in place if the bands were removed.




    Quite a complex inlayed nut to hold the nose cap screw!



    Step 11:
    Remove Barrel Bands





    Step 12:
    Remove barreled action from stock.














    Minor pitting under the barrel, but very isolated. Makes me wonder what circumstances caused this.






    Step 13:
    Remove receiver screw. This screw holds a plate in place that locks the whole action.






    Step 14:
    Lift action plate free. I would imagine this could be royal hell on a rusted or badly cared for gun. Happily, this gun is in beautiful shape and it lifted free with slight pressure from a plastic rod. This plate is responsible for locking the rotating block in place as well as causing it to move forwards and back when locking and unlocking.








    Step 15:
    Removing the rotating block.
    This is a little tricky and can only be achieved by closing the action, then lifting gently while slowly re-opening the action. The block will raise slightly then free itself from the extractor.





    Note the tiny fitted bearing surface at the rear of the action.






    Step 16:
    Removing the extractor. There is a ball end on the extractor below where it engages the rim. The whole assembly will pivot off this point towards the rear of the action then come free.








    Step 17:
    Remove firing pin retaining pin. This was as far as I went because the edge of the firing pin recess has been slightly peened, stopping the pin from coming free. Since it works I saw no reason to force it.







    And that's it! You've successfully disassembled a Werndl Rifle! Feel free to admire the beautiful bore. Sharp, shiny and like new, if a tiny bit dirty.














    Now, an interesting note on how the action locks up. I originally thought the werndl just rotated on a 90* angle to the barrel. Simple to design but would be prone to fouling and jamming. Any action that was tight enough for good lockup would inevitably jam with fouling and grit.

    Of course, they thought of that.

    So, the action is slightly angled, forming a very shallow screw like face around the base of the rotating block which seats the block face firmly against the cartridge but lifts it back and away from the breech face during the ejection phase of operation.


    Helical machining of the rear of the rotating block:



    Action closed. Note how far the base of the stub pin in the center of the screen is from the back of the action.




    And action open!




    Now a photo from above at the breach. Barrel is pointing downwards in this picture, extractor can be seen on right. Note the gap in front of the rotating block.




    Action half closed, gap closing up.




    Action closed, gap gone!






    Block face:




    Hope you enjoyed!

 

 

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