First blackpowder revolver.....finally!


January 1, 2011, 08:00 PM
I've been reading here for quite a while, thought its was time for my first post. I have been shooting muzzleloading rifles for some time now but always wanted a revolver. I never bought one because they always seemed kind of cheap to me. Well, today I went to Cabelas with every intention of buying one and I did! I really want a Walker but Cabelas is not the cheapest place to buy one, so I looked at an 1860 Army model. $269.99 on sale for $199.99(on the web site, but they matched it) minus 10% for buying the display model and a $20 off coupon from Cabelas. I walked out paying $160 plus tax! The fit and finish on this gun is so tight and perfect that I am still in absolute amazment. This gun out classes all of my other guns with the exception of my Brownings! I can't get over how tight this thing is, the hammer, the lockup, no barrel cylinder gap and a perfect trigger. I will have a Walker next, I just hope I get as nice of one. Maybe Cabelas will put them on sale and I will be able to pick one. Well I have one question for now, where do I get the best nipple wrench for this 1860? Thanks all!

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January 1, 2011, 09:25 PM
Congratulations. Now you need to learn about C&B revolvers.
If you had no barrel/cylinder gap, the cylinder wouldn't turn. The way to measure the gap is to half cock the hammer and push the cylinder to the rear. The hand and spring pushes it forward. Then while holding it to the rear, insert feeler gages until you measure the gap. Normal gap would be from about .005-010 inches.

The best nipple wrench for a Colt 1860 is made from a 3/16th 1/4 inch drive socket.

January 1, 2011, 09:29 PM
Nipple Wrench for 1860 army,,, Uh,, Cabelas has them.

January 1, 2011, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the help junkman, I'll measure that now. Good idea for a nipple wrench. Sniderman Uh,,,you right I'm either an idiot or they were out of them! Try posting somthing useful or helpful!

January 2, 2011, 12:23 AM
RMC Double ended nipple wrench ML063 (

January 2, 2011, 12:27 AM
THE best nipple wrench!

January 2, 2011, 07:22 AM
mykeal, thank you just ordered one! Looked at the ratcheting one but I was wondering how well it would hold up to a really stuck nipple, still it looks real handy.

January 2, 2011, 07:56 AM
Actually, the ratcheting wrench is an excellent choice, but expensive. It's my 'go to' choice in most cases (I've never found one wrench that is best for ALL cases). I don't generally recommend it to new c&b owners due to the price, but if you own several guns and work on them often, it's certainly one to have.

January 2, 2011, 12:22 PM
Actually, the ratcheting wrench is an excellent choice, but expensive.

Huh? $12.60 + $4.00 S&H is expensive? I got the Ted Cash wrench after I broke two other wrenches on stuck nipples and it hasn't shown even a bit of wear yet, let alone threatening to break. And I like the Ted Cash because the wrench and the adapter are two separate pieces, so I can use the wrench for other things and I can put the adapter into a screwdriver handle for speedy nipple install/removal if they aren't tight.

January 2, 2011, 08:30 PM
So, one more question any tips on removing the wedge for the first time. The instructions don't tell me much, "use a certain strength to remove it". Do I need to loosen the wedge screw first? Since the spring has a hook on the end do I need to push it down while pushing the wedge out? Thanks for all of the help!

January 2, 2011, 08:43 PM
Smack it from the backside with a small hammer. Preferably rubber mallet or brass, but a standard hammer will work if you're careful. No need to loosen the screw, it only retains the wedge. The wedge should not come completely out, only come out far enough to release the barrel from the frame.

January 2, 2011, 11:04 PM
If the wedge was driven through enough so that the lip of the spring has caught on the frame you will need to depress it while you tap the wedge out. This is a three hand operation.

January 3, 2011, 03:02 PM
Thats what I thought. Yes, the lip is out on the frame, this looks like fun!. So, when I replace the wedge am I supposed to stop before that lip exits the frame? Or does it need to be out to keep the pin from falling out?

January 3, 2011, 03:40 PM
Drive the wedge all the way back in so that lip comes back out the other side. That's what is supposed to keep the wedge in place. Otherwise you may end up sending the barrel downrange!

January 3, 2011, 03:43 PM
THE best nipple wrench!

Also can be used in a magnetic screw driver.

January 3, 2011, 04:32 PM
Drive the wedge all the way back in so that lip comes back out the other side. That's what is supposed to keep the wedge in place. Otherwise you may end up sending the barrel downrange!
Just where you you get these incorrect notions?

The wedge is not going to fall out when firing and the barrel is not going to be launched down range!

The arbor is supposed to bottom out in the barrel lug just as the lug bottoms out on the lower edge of the frame where the alignment pins are. The wedge is not used for adjusting the barrel/cylinder gap. The spring on the wedge is only to keep it from being lost when taking down the gun. Certain Colt models do not employ that spring at all. The spring does not need to be depressed when removing the wedge even if it is sticking out past the barrel lug when installed. The built in angle of the end of the spring allows it to just be pushed out. A properly fit wedge should be able to be pushed out with just finger pressure.
The attached article should explain most of the procedure. If you have further questions, go ahead and ask.

A. Walker
January 3, 2011, 07:33 PM
And don't remove the wedge screw. It's to be left as-is to help keep the wedge from falling out during reloading.

January 3, 2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks for all the help guys. junkman where can the rest of those articles be found, I would like to read them all.

January 3, 2011, 08:27 PM
Here you go holl....

January 15, 2011, 07:53 PM
Finally sat down tonight to clean this beautiful pistol. I am able to pull the wedge out with my fingers, which made me very happy. So, I went to remove the nipples and they aren't gonna cooperate! Now what?
January 15, 2011, 07:56 PM
Try a nipple wrench :D:D

Foto Joe
January 15, 2011, 08:36 PM
I would suggest taking your nipple wrench and tapping it onto the nipple firmly with a mallet or if you must a "SMALL" hammer, what my wife would call a "Girly Hammer". Hopefully you will be able to pop them loose in that way.

When you go to re-install them you've probably already figured out that they aren't going to fall out during use. Just snug them down, don't lean on 'em or you'll be doing this again.

Let us know how you like your '60 on the range.

January 16, 2011, 02:49 AM
Put the cylinder in a pan of water and then heat it up on the stove. The nipples should loosen up without any struggle.

January 16, 2011, 08:42 AM
A small amount of anti seize or even b/p lube on the nipple threads after cleaning will make removal much easier the next cleaning time.

January 16, 2011, 10:13 AM
Ok, after two rounds in the boiling water and two rounds with the girly hammer and being locked in the vice they finally came out! I will be sure to assemble lightly with some gorrila grease that I use on my inline breech plug. Thank-you again for all of the wonderful help everyone. As soon as I can find some Goex in this part of the country(without having to order 25lbs) I can go out and shoot! On a side note does anyone use the ampco bronze nipples. Will they last a lifetime with moderate shooting? Are they worth $6 each?

Foto Joe
January 16, 2011, 10:31 AM
does anyone use the ampco bronze nipples

I use the Treso (ampco bronze), as well as Stainless Steel and if they suit my needs the factory nipples as well. I personally have never "Worn Out" a factory nipple, but that's not to say it couldn't happen with enough rounds through the gun.

The main reason to change nipples is if you having issues with the factory ones. Issues that might include not being able to find the correct size cap to fit without messing with pinching etc. Another issue might be that the flash hole in the factory nipple has eroded, was drilled or was just too big in the first place causing nipples to blast back or worse yet the hammer to be blasted back upon firing.

If I were you, I would evaluate the factory nipples on the gun. If you find caps that fit properly and you are not getting blow back that causes cap jams or the hammer to rebound, leave them alone for now.

January 16, 2011, 11:16 AM
Thanks, just what I needed to know!

January 16, 2011, 04:41 PM
$6 for bronze nipples seems very reasonable to me, we own several CNC lathes, two with milling capability, and $6 each wouldn't seem out of line, however, there are $$ losses in the sales mechanism, it is commonly 50% if there is only one middleman, so that means $3 each to the maker. If they are using screw machines (And I assume they are.) then $3 each still sounds pretty good, depending on how expensive the material is, and how difficult that material is to machine.

Looking at it from the machine shops side can bring things into focus better. Of course, if you can get Asians or Indians to make them that can be brought down.

January 16, 2011, 05:15 PM
does anyone use the ampco bronze nipples.
Will they last a lifetime with moderate shooting?
I don't know, I'm still alive and they're still working. Seriously, they will not last forever, but they will significantly outlast OEM nipples, and probably even stainless steel nipples.
Are they worth $6 each?
I hope so. I paid it, no regrets so far.

Shoot The Moon
January 16, 2011, 05:48 PM
I use the Ampco/Treso cones on my Uberti '51 Navy copy. They work well - especially with RWS 1075 caps. For me, the advantage is that the cap handling is improved - ie less stoppages. I shot CAS with the guys at my gun club a couple of summers ago and the Tresos made things more reliable for me.

I have not noticed any wear in use.

January 16, 2011, 07:39 PM
I got some on a pair of .36 Remmies I picked up in a trade. I always thought they were mostly hype. Not anymore.....

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