Bending No 3 lever

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Rich/KY

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
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9
Location
Corbin, KY
Need to slightly bend the last curve on the lever on my No 3, with a No 1 buttstock installed, it is too tight on my ring finger. Have had advice to heat it and then bend and not to quench. Unfortunately no longer have an acetylene torch and honestly afraid to tackle this myself even if I did. Any recommendations on a gunsmith familiar with the No 3 who I can send the lever to?
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum!

I've never heard of someone bending a #3 lever. And if you hit it with a torch enough to bend it,, it'll likely need a re-blue. I wish I could help more.
 

NikA

Buckeye
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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
Personally, I think I would give it a try without heat. I don't think the No. 3 lever is a cast part, and I doubt given it's function it has much in terms of heat treat. Go slow, use leverage, bend the first time to your desired final state and I doubt you'll have a problem.
 

Rich/KY

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
9
Location
Corbin, KY
Tried the cold bending method but no luck. The lever is definitely heat treated, when I tried to bend it it is flexible like a spring and I was afraid to apply too much force for fear it would break. Will have to try heating it next, even if it messes up the blue I can live with that as long as it fits my hand.

Was hoping someone here had done this successfully before and could give me some guidance on what to do, or know of a gunsmith who has remodeled the No 3.
 

NikA

Buckeye
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Bernzomatic TS8000 torch. Fix in padded vice, heat in dark shop until very dull red, bend with padded tube. Padded in both cases means with softer metal like aluminum or brass, not plastic, rubber, or wood. Be slow and definite in the force you apply.

No idea who you could pay to do this. I own the above torch and it is dual fuel (propane or MAPP) and using only propane will heat small sections of 4140 hot enough to heat treat.
 
Joined
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Pennsylvania
Some years ago I had some work done on one of my No 3 rifles similar to what you describe, but I had my gunsmith do it. He has since retired so I don't have a reference to how he actually did the work.

This old thread has a lot of info in it and may be useful with some ideas - especially if your No 3 (actually no. 2) is one of the heavier calibers…

https://www.rugerforum.com/threads/ruger-no-1-vs-no-3.159218/
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Lake Lure NC USA
Ruger no longer has any No 3 parts. I'd be very careful about bending it. It may be hard to replace. I'm not versed enough in them to know if a No 1 uses the same lever or not.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
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2,602
Location
Texas
The No 1 and No 3 use different levers. And I agree that I wouldn't bend either of them. If you want to use a No 1 stock on a No 3 carbine, find a No 1 lever for the project.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Another thought.
I do think it's very likely that lever is a cast part, like the frames. Trying to bend it might result in a broken lever.
 

Rich/KY

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 1, 2023
Messages
9
Location
Corbin, KY
UPDATE: Worked up my courage and went at it. Heated the portion I wanted to bend to cherry red in dim light and bent away. Actually bent easier than I expected and although it was not quite perfect it was about as good as I cared to try. Nothing broke but a small crack appeared that I didn't notice til it cooled, but it is surface only and less than 1/4 inch so don't expect it to break. A little cold blue and it don't look half bad. I'd post a pic but that is a skill I never mastered.

Thank you to all who offered advice and words of wisdom.
 
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