Pietta 1858 with a badly stuck cylinder pin


October 14, 2008, 05:49 PM
Hi Folks!

I'm new around here, although I've lurked reading various threads at THR for quite a while, but never had cause to join till today.

My very first pistol, purchased from a Cabela's outlet store about 15 or more years ago for about $80, was a Pietta 1858. Now at some time since then I made the very bad mistake of not cleaning it after shooting - somehow it got put away, and left untouched for quite a while. Now I know you are all cringing right about now about my callous disregard - trust me, I am kicking myself.

When I did finally pull it out, the cylinder no longer moved - it was stuck fast. The cylinder pin seemed to be welded in place. At the time I completely disassembled it to the point where all pieces are removed except for the barrel, cylinder and cylinder pin. This was about 8 years ago. I had no luck getting it apart at the time. In fact I managed to break the head off of the cylinder pin trying to pull it out. I gave up in frustration.

Well recently the bug bit me again, and I dug her out of my drawer and gave another look at the problem. It is still in great shape overall, with the exception of the completely frozen cylinder and pin.

Now, if I recall correctly (although I've not been able to find any pictures to support this) the cylinder pin comes all the way through the back of the frame, and sticks out slightly, right under where the hammer is.

I lubed it up, and ran a bit of Hoppes 9 along the pin and left it for several hours. I then tried to tap the pin out with a hammer and screwdriver, just to see if I could get any movement on the pin. It didn't budge at all. :banghead:

I guess I'm looking for some thoughts on how best to remove the pin. I'm guessing something with a bit more penetrative ability - possibly some liquid wrench? I'm also thinking that I need to brace the gun a bit better - perhaps in a vice with cardboard protecting the finish, and then try tapping out the pin again.

Does anyone else here have any other suggestions? Thank you all very much for any input you may have. Admonishments for being careless are ok too :D


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October 14, 2008, 05:57 PM
if it isn`t loaded and your ready for a cleaning ....run some hot water across the face of the cylinder where it meets the cylinder pin below the barrel .....the water will break it free ...no beating on the cylinder pin/ pistol .

October 14, 2008, 06:18 PM
I was thinking about that - some very hot, almost boiling water, to see if I could get the metal to expand and break free. Trust me, I really don't want to be banging on it. I just did a bit to see if the lube and Hoppes had made a difference.


October 14, 2008, 06:46 PM
Hot water might work, but if it's really rusted in there, it won't do much at all. Never use a screwdriver as a punch. That will just peen the end of the arbor, making it that much more difficult (and probably damaging to the cylinder and frame) to remove. If you have to punch it out, which I would say is pretty likely if it's rusted, you must use a proper punch. First remove the hammer. Start with a brass punch, or just a section of brass rod. Be sure to protect the cylinder and frame extremely well-- they're fairly soft steel.

If the hot water doesn't help, you'll sure want to get the thing apart before that water results in further corrosion problems. Heating the cylinder with a propane torch may help also-- just don't overdo it. If it starts to smoke, stop heating.

I've had to deal with stuck parts (ferrous and non-ferrous) for decades, and I can tell you, sometimes a little heat works like magic, and sometimes a little penetrating oil does the trick, but other times nothing but brute force will separate the parts. In rare instances, you're forced to get new parts, i.e. a new gun in this case.

Here's another tip I learned the hard way over the years; If you can get the pin to m ove, just a little bit, stop right there. Then drive it back in. Then drive it back out just a little until it gets too hard to move again. Then drive it back in, and so on. You will find that this back and forth method will often work when the straight-out-in-one-direction attempt will fail horribly. I've saved a lot of instruments that way.

October 14, 2008, 10:39 PM
Drive the pin out from the rear with a long punch ... from the hammer slot. The pin goes thru to the frame in a hole that it stops into.


dirty dave
October 15, 2008, 12:06 AM
soak in pentrating oil dont rush and tear it up.soak it for a day or week.then lightly tap it out.if its that frozen probally was not cleaned a lot anyway wont hurt.

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