First range report with new 1860 Army


Texas Moon
April 3, 2010, 05:21 PM
The Big Brown Truck of Happiness dropped of a new Uberti 1860 yesterday.
Out of the box everything looked good. Fit and finish as expected with an Uberti. Cocking action somewhat gritty and stiff. Figured this would smooth out with use and cleaning. Cleaned out the factory oil goop and readied things for tomorrow.
Took it out to the range today. The experience left me somewhat :(.
Capped her up for the first time. On the 5th cap something jammed up the action. Had to completely break down the gun to free a spent cap piece.
Got it back together and started shooting. This gun seems to jam a LOT.
Spent caps constantly jamming the rotation.
On almost every cylinder I had a least one dead misfire. By dead misfire I mean the hammer fell but the cap wasn't touched. This seemed to be caused by spent caps pieces in the way.
Again pieces of caps fell down into the action and completely jammed the gun.
I had to do this three times in 6 cylinders of shooting. :(
The cocking action still seemed rough and gritty. A couple of times the hammer didn't stay on full cock either. I had to fully recock it when this would happen.
Accuracy was outstanding. When it did shoot it shot nice tight groups of about 2-3inches at 15yds(benched). Varied the loads between 25-30grns of 2Fg.
Trigger pull is excellent.
I'm not totally disappointed with this piece. I think it will line out with some use and shooting.
After shooting Walkers this thing feels like a Daisy BB gun! LOL

I'm using CCI standard #11 caps.

Are you folks having as many jamming issues on your 1860's?

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rocky branch
April 3, 2010, 06:34 PM
Welcome to the joys of vintage style equipment.
The 1860 Army is my favorite revolver-very accurate.

The cap jamming is common.

You might try pointing the pistol straight up between shots as you cock it.
This helps sometimes to dump bits of cap.

Grease the cylinder pin and over the chambers.

There's a reason they developed cartridges and never looked back.
But then my real favorites are flinters.

April 3, 2010, 06:47 PM
The factory nipples have too large a flash hole and allow too much backpressure, lifting the hammer enough to blow caps back into the action. You find completely flattened caps between the hammer and the frame, holding the hammer back enough to fail to fire the next cap coming up.

The factory nipples are not all the same size, making some a better fit than others. v This is true of almost any Italian made factory cone.

This is one reason the mainspring is so strong on a cap & ball revolver, to keep the cap down on the nipple under the back pressure. The often mentioned Treso or Ampco nipple is the first upgrade you need, they have smaller flash holes, and they fit Remington #10 caps perfectly.

A CCI #11 cap is too large to fit tightly, and a CCI #10 is too small to press into place, and must usually be struck twice to go off. Most cap & ballers have abandoned CCI caps, but the dealers haven't, making the Remington caps harder to find.

Disassemble and deburr the sharp edges inside carefully, and polish rub marks on the hand, etc with a stone or #400 wetordry sandpaper.

April 3, 2010, 10:40 PM
Both Rocky Branch and rcflint have good suggestions: learn the 'gunfighter flip' and change to Treso nipples.

The gunfighter flip: as you bring your thumb up to cock the hammer begin to rotate your hand to raise the muzzle and turn the top of the gun to the right. As you bring the hammer back to full cock the muzzle should be pointing about 30-45 degrees up and the right side of the gun should be pointed towards the ground. This will promote the cap falling away from the gun as the cylinder rotates. It's not an easy maneuver and will take some practice, but with time the number of jams due to spent cartridges should diminish significantly.

April 4, 2010, 02:53 AM
Hey ;
I fixed mine and it is rare now that it jams. The back side of the frame where
the cap should slide along and exit has a burr. that burr is stopping up the works. I removed that burr and it worked. polished it smooth and have not had an issue since.

My hammer was not setting off the caps. I thought it was the hammer spring at first.. NOT... I ground the hammer where it hits the frame in the curve and that allowed it to travel forward just a little more. Enough to set off all caps. polished it and blued it back up and looks new.

I agree that the nipples are an issue too. the holes are way to big ..

Not sure where I saw it but there is a post on the THR here that shows the fix for this.
He shows how he installed a pin to stop the caps from coming back into where they would jam things. I did not do that ... I just made the exit larger and polished it and must say , it was what it wanted.

Good Luck.

Mr Woody
April 4, 2010, 10:35 AM
That Big Brown Truck also visited my house last week with a new Uberti 1860 Army revolver. I looking it over and was pleased with most of the fit and finish but there were a few issues.

The latch on the barrel where the loading lever locks into was very loose and could be slid out by hand

scratches on the left side of the hammer from the frame

Lockup from the bolt seemed to be fine so I disassembled the thing and found a couple more issues. The grip screws were misaligned and sprung. Poor finishing inside. And the bold was tight in the frame whole.

First I stoned out some of the machine marks where they counted. I was not trying for a fancy action job but just cleaning the scratches out.

Sanded the left side of the Hammer a bit to limit itís binding

Filed the inside of the frame opening for the hammer on both sides to clean up any drag point that may have been sticking up. I had been researching how to fix up a percussion revolver for several days and one of the things suggested was cleaning out the cap channel and slightly enlarging it. I used a Dremmel tool to lightly clean this area up.

There was also a small lip left from factory machining of the channel at the hammer opening that was taken care of at that time. (when I told the wife about opening up the cap channel, she said - of course that needs cleaned out; my dad used to do it to all his percussion revolvers years ago.)

I also very lighted sanded the sides of the bolt and with a small file I cleaned up some in the bolt hole of the frame but am afraid to do very much material removal in these areas. It is still a snug fit. The brass strap that needs adjusting for the sprung grips is pretty thick and I was only able to help this problem a little. Will try again the next time the gun is apart.

The loose wedge was re-staked to the barrel with a bit of Locktite under it. I also stoned the assemble wedge a bit so it fit better but will wait until shooting the gun some before a final fitting.

Out in the back yard I tried 4 shots into the bank of the cannel with Remington caps. Muzzle pointing down the whole time and all four chambers when off with no problem. The cap pieces were carried away through the frame channel like they are supposed to be. Neighbor comes running out to see whatís going on. Surrounded in a cloud of black smoke and holding a large revolver I look at him and ask if thatís him doing that shooting. He laughed.:cool:

Texas Moon
April 4, 2010, 02:19 PM
After reviewing what you guys have suggested about the nipples having too large of holes I think that is where most of the problem lay.
On discharge the cap is blasted into several pieces. These smaller pieces are whats falling down into the action and causing the jamming. When the cap is intact it is completely flattened/opened wide.
Will order TRESO nipples tomorrow.
Guess I am lucky because this 1860 is pretty nice. No drag on the hammer.
Fact is its smoother in cocking now than it was.

Thanks for the advice.

April 4, 2010, 03:32 PM
One very common cause of cap jams is the cap getting caught in the little safety notch at the bottom of the hammer face. Take a wire brush or Dremel SS rotary wheel brush and clean the notch, degrease it with brake cleaner then fill it in with JB Weld. Put a tape dam around the hammer face to hold in the JB Weld. Clean off the excess with the brush or a brass scraper. Solder or brazing would be even better but just fill in the little notch and don't use the safety pins between the nipples. Put the hammer down on an uncapped or uncharged chamber for safe carry. In Cowboy Action Matches we only load 5 chambers anyway so a 6th is always the "open" chamber where the hammer rests. What happens is the cap gets wedged into that notch and when you pull the hammer back the cap is pulled off the nipple. As the hammer is pulled back farther, the cap gets nocked off the hammer by the frame and dislodges the cap into the hammer cutout or down into the works. Either way the gun malfunctions. By filling in the (way too wide) notch the cap stays put unless you shoot very heavy charges. The Treso nipples do have smaller flash holes and produce less blow back but I have filled in the notches on all my Colts and so far, no cap jams even with 30 grain powder charges. Most of them have stock nipples with big flash holes. I haven't handles an original in a long time but I do remember they had large flash holes in the nipples. I didn't look at the hammer faces to see if the safety notch was the same size or not. It is a very quick, cheap, and reversible fix for cap jams. Try it. You can always knock out the filler with a screwdriver. Occasionally it will fall out on its own. I tried solder but couldn't get it to stick to the case hardening.

Texas Moon
April 4, 2010, 04:24 PM
Ya know I was going to ask about the hammer face on this gun.
It has what appears to be a set screw on the face of the hammer?
That notch looks like it is a problem with grabbing the soft copper cap and holding it until the hammer is cocked back.
Why is that there? To adjust hammer contact with the nipples?

Oh, forgot! What is the correct nipple(thread) for the Uberti 1860 Army?

April 4, 2010, 05:05 PM
Not sure where I saw it but there is a post on the THR here that shows the fix for this.
He shows how he installed a pin to stop the caps from coming back into where they would jam things. I did not do that ... I just made the exit larger and polished it and must say , it was what it wanted.

Here are 2 threads about installing a pin in front of the hammer to fix cap jams:



April 4, 2010, 09:09 PM
Don't mar the gun up with the pin installation until you try filling the safety notch. I've never heard of a set screw on the hammer face. Maybe a description of its location to help us out?

Texas Moon
April 4, 2010, 09:32 PM
I was mistaken. Its not a set screw.
There is a vertical cut in the hammer face as well as a circular inset.
Along with some very slight peening from hammer drop.
Fooled my old eyes.

I'm headed to the store tomorrow for some JB weld.

April 4, 2010, 10:30 PM
The notch in the bottom of the hammer face is for the between the chambers safety, see the small pins on the back of the cylinder in between the nipples. The circular "inset" you see is mark off from the hammer hitting the nipples, most likely, you been dry firing it?

Uberti pistol nipple thread is #12-28. This is also the Ruger Old Army thread, and I have used Ruger nipples in Uberti cap & ball revolvers....

April 4, 2010, 11:18 PM
I've also used Nipples for Ruger Old Armies in the ASM Colt repros.

April 5, 2010, 03:08 AM
Is the "gunfighter flip" allowed in cowboy action matches? I don't think that "flip" is the safest way to handle a loaded gun. If anyone happens to be shooting next to me, keep the loaded gun on target, please.

April 5, 2010, 06:57 AM
You misunderstand the 'gunfighter flip'. It is not necessary to point the muzzle anywhere but downrange when executing it. At the most it might point at the target next to the shooter's, but there's no reason anyone has to even go that far. It requires firm, constant control of the firearm to execute effectively and properly, and must be practiced to be done correctly. Nobody's suggesting anyone just wave the gun around trying to shake expended caps out. Think about how the hammer and cylinder work together and how the side of the frame is designed to shed caps and you can see how it works to help the cap fragments fall away as the cylinder rotates under control of the hammer. It should be fairly clear that one doesn't need to sweep the range with the muzzle to make it work.

April 5, 2010, 08:55 AM
As you bring the hammer back to full cock the muzzle should be pointing about 30-45 degrees up
I do understand the flip, and that bothers me, alot. Keep the gun on target, please.

Mr Woody
April 5, 2010, 11:16 AM
I forgot to add in my first post that the hammer notch would not set fully over the cylinder pins. I had to enlarge the notch in the hammer to make it take the pins as it should.

I know that because of Cowboy shooting matches people fill in the safety notch and loose the ability to put the hammer down between caps as it was designed to do. Filling this notch is not what I want to do. I might thing differently if I went to more SAS matches.

April 5, 2010, 02:01 PM
30 degrees up bothers you a lot? How do you get your gun out of a holster without being off target? How far off target is acceptable? How do you carry in a tactical situation?

April 5, 2010, 03:32 PM
I don't think that there's anything inherently unsafe about "the roll".
Even if the pistol were pointed at a slightly upward angle, as long as it's pointed in a safe direction within the maximum range of the pistol at all times then that would satisfy the strictest of safety requirements.
What safe outdoor shooting range would have a backstop without a built in margin for a shooter's error?
Even indoor ranges should have deflection shields for any errant shot at an upward angle.
The problem with the roll is probably with the improper execution of it. I'm sure that many people just don't know how to keep their finger completely off of the trigger while they're trying to manipulate the hammer to cock it.
Touching the trigger when not deliberately aiming tends to indicate that the shooter is not in completely safe control of their firearm.
However when it's done properly at the range with the revolver always being held in a safe direction it shouldn't really present a problem.
For example, if the pistol did discharge prematurely due to poor handling during the roll then generally no harm would be done.
There needs to be a way for folks to train how to perform the roll properly and safely and the shooting range is one place where safe handling skills are proven. But practicing skills at home first while unloaded is a good idea.
We can all understand each side of the equation and each shooting range has it's own particular set of rules for its members and users to follow.
If a range has strict rules then that could be a basis for a complaint which can sometimes be resolved simply by the interpretation of the chief range officer if there is one.
If there's no rule prohibiting it then whether the roll should be allowed or not is something that needs to be discussed with either the club's board of directors, the Chief Safety or Range Officer or the range owner/management.
There's no use arguing about whether the roll is hypothetically being performed properly or not.
It's all a matter of interpretation and preference by the folks who are in charge of the individual shooting range.
Whenever someone has a gripe and there's friction over it at the range there's a way to properly settle it.
It's possible for everyone to have a different perspective on the matter, and if folks don't like the decision or enforcement at their range then one party can always chose to shoot elsewhere.
What else can anyone do when there's a dispute over safety?
But in this case there's not an actual dispute yet, it's still only a hypothetical situation.
Since people aren't machines the rules usually have enough room to accommodate the needs of shooters whether it's the needs of the few or the needs of the many. Custom and tradition can also have a lot to do with it. :)

April 5, 2010, 03:45 PM
Yeah, "30-45 degrees up" bothers me.
Like I said, if you're shooting next to me, keep your gun on target. Play gunfighter when you're alone.
Some people are bothered by guns pointing all over the place, some people are bothered by pictures of guns pointing all over the place.
Go figure...

April 5, 2010, 11:16 PM
I'll ask one more time; please answer my question. How do you get your gun from (or into) the holster without taking it off target? How do you carry in a tactical situation?

And please stick to the facts of the issue. You know I did not and do not advocate
guns pointing all over the place
so please have the decency not to imply such a thing.

April 6, 2010, 12:00 AM
Some shooting ranges are in suburban areas and all muzzles are required to be pointed under the top of the berm so an AD doesn't go into the adjacent neighborhood and hit someone's house. Even rifles are often required to start a "low port" with the muzzle pointing down.

April 6, 2010, 06:26 AM
as you bring your thumb up to cock the hammer begin to rotate your hand to raise the muzzle and turn the top of the gun to the right. As you bring the hammer back to full cock the muzzle should be pointing about 30-45 degrees up and the right side of the gun should be pointed towards the ground.

So, you see nothing wrong with cocking the gun as you raise it 30 - 45 degrees, while twisting it, a single action gun that may or may not be greasy from Bore Butter, Crisco, etc? And you're the one who was so offended by the picture of a gun pointing at you? A PICTURE?

I do not use a holster at the range. As far as a tactical situation, I can't remember the last time I carried my cap and ball revolver in a tactical situation, especially at the range. Wait, I DO remember - NEVER.
Targets don't pose too much of a threat to me, but lack of gun safety does.

This is not an issue of what gun is better, Remington or Colt, or what size cap or ball is the best, or what type of powder, etc. These guns are not toys, and we don't need the publicity of some clown doing a "gunfighter flip" and accidently putting a roundball where it shouldn't go.
I'll ask again: Is the move allowed in cowboy action shoots? From what I've heard, those organizations are very safety conscious, so I doubt it.
Gunfighter As Mr Quigley put it, "This ain't Dodge City and you ain't Bill Hickok."

Camp Curtis Guild, Wakefield, MA: "The outdoor firing range at Camp Curtis Guild closed in 1998 after a stray bullet nearly struck a Lynnfield woman and her toddler. A total of 19 stray bullets have been found in the abutting neighborhood between 1967 and 1998."

April 6, 2010, 08:01 AM
Come on, man. Let's keep it civil, ok. Characterizing other forum members as 'clowns' is insulting and inappropriate. If you'd care to recall accurately you'd remember that in none of my posts regarding the picture did I use any pejorative language regarding any other person or their views. I ask that you apologize for your inappropriate language and refrain from such in the future, as a courtesy if not to me then at least to the forum membership.

I'm not a SASS member, so I don't know what their rules are. The 'flip' is allowed at our range; I know that it isn't at some ranges, and that's fine with me. If their facilities and operations are not designed for such maneuvers then they should not be allowed. We believe we have a facility that can contain an AD from the maneuver I described. This isn't being done in a haphazard, clownlike manner; it's been discussed by our Range Committee and approved by the membership (219 as of last month).

We also allow, in fact, encourage, law enforcement training and civilian tactical training at our facility; these activities involve teaching positive control of weapons at all times and do include raising the muzzle above the target at appropriate times and for good reasons.

Our members are allowed to carry loaded guns in holsters when off the firing line; we support and encourage both concealed and open carry laws and the vast majority of our members have CPL's. When they are on the firing line they draw from their holsters when the range is hot; when they draw the gun is not pointed at the target for a short period of time. We've not come up with a way to reasonably prevent that; in fact, we've never thought we needed to.

I don't recall advocating people use the 'flip' in every situation regardless of safe practice. I simply described it as a method of preventing cap jams. Each individual must consider every movement of his gun in regard to the situation at hand. This is true regardless of whether he uses the 'flip' or not; it applies to the simple act of drawing or holstering the weapon. People have experienced AD's when holstering their guns - so do you advocate elimination of holsters as they lead to an unsafe practice? How about carrying weak side - that requires a rather radical movement of the muzzle when drawing and holstering. Shall we make the weak side holster illegal as unsafe?

The use of the 'gunfighter flip' is not always appropriate. It can be an effective means of preventing cap jams when used in a situation where it is safe. That decision must be made by the user, the same as when and how to carry, draw and holster the gun.

April 6, 2010, 09:14 AM
I would call a shooter who, while playing gunfighter, puts a stray bullet beyond the berm, into the overhang, into another shooter's target, into the woods, into the local neighborhood, a clown. Apology? Not likely.

Ohio Gun Guy
April 6, 2010, 09:20 AM
Didnt read all of the responses, but I had one and the problem was 100% cap size. I used one size larger cap and ZERO problems! (They were remington, if memory serves).

Mine was suprisingly accurate and fun.....I may need to get back into one. :scrutiny:

Texas Moon
April 6, 2010, 03:11 PM
Found some TRESO nipples for the 1860. They're on the way.
Hopefully this will solve the issue.

Fellows, I have never even seen this "gunfighter flip".
Knowing my luck if I tried something like that, I'd hit myself in the forehead with the barrel, knocking myself out, and dropping it, and scratching the thing! :what:
I can live with a split open head but a scratched pistola NEVER! :D

April 6, 2010, 10:28 PM
Pohill, the gunfighter flip, if done correctly, will not violate the SASS 170 rule. Therefore it should be legal.

Remember, there are no other shooters around you on a stage. The only way you can endanger the TO or the spotters is to actually turn toward them.

Another point. Recoil is going to elevate the barrel to a certain extent, although obviously not 30 degrees. When you barrel reaches maximum recoil rise, cock the hammer, turn your wrist clockwise (if you're right handed) to allow the spent cap to drop, then return to normal shooting position for the next shot.

I can't speak for everyone, but if I'm the TO while you're shooting, you won't get called for a proper flip. And I'm RO1 and RO2 certified.

After I posted this last night I moseyed over to the SASS Wire and posted the same question. Here's a link to their responses:

April 20, 2010, 11:45 PM
Hey :
Here is how I fixed mine and it worked and I have not had an issue since.
The burr was removed and polished . All spent caps just come out now.
My hammer was the problem with not setting off the caps.
The nipples are still too big and I will tend to that later.

April 20, 2010, 11:48 PM
Hey ;
I messed up with the 2nd picture..

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