Brand new 1860 Army with very light trigger


April 15, 2012, 12:31 AM
Received my 1860 Army (Pietta) from Cabela's last week and I've been looking it over. Fit and finish appears very nice. Action is fairly smooth, considering it is brand new. Timing looks good. I checked the trigger pull when I first got it, and it seemed very light, with lots of creep. The trigger moves quite a ways before the hammer falls. Also, it appears the hammer might move forward slightly near the end of this creep, right before it falls.

I disassembled the revolver and cleaned off all the factory oil. Hammer and sear surfaces looked good, nothing obviously wrong. They have been polished; there is hardly any friction between the two. Springs look good, seem strong. Without the springs installed, and the sear resting in the full cock notch on the hammer, I cannot push the hammer off the sear, so that seems good.

Reassembled the gun, and checked trigger pull with a trigger pull gauge. Pull measure 1.25 to 1.5 lbs. This is a bit light for a factory gun, in my opinion.

I'm wondering if the sear angle needs to be re-cut?

I still haven't shot the gun. I cannot decide what to do. Should I return it to Cabelas? Should I shoot it first, then address the light trigger later, perhaps with replacement parts? Should I try to re-cut the sear angle so that it cams the hammer back a bit as it is pulled? I know this will require re-hardening the sear tip with Kasenit or such.

What do you fellows think I should do?

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April 15, 2012, 01:16 AM
If it was mine I would consider myself very lucky. I love light trigger pulls. But I also understand your concern. Not everyone likes light triggers.

April 15, 2012, 03:21 AM
being a single action, you are not in any danger of it going off until you have cocked the hammer. you should not have the revolver at full cock before you are on target, at which time a light trigger pull is an advantage. that said, check that your trigger and hammer spring are both tight. a lot of folks will check the trigger, but not realise the hammer spring can affect the let off as well.

April 15, 2012, 06:13 AM
You said that, originally, before you cleaned it up, there was significant trigger creep in full cock and the hammer seemed to move forward before it broke. Is that still the case?

I think BHP FAN has a good point; everything sounds like there's little force on the hammer in full cock.

April 15, 2012, 07:53 AM
Yes, the trigger pull feels exactly the same as before I completely disassembled the revolver. I just didn't put a trigger pull gauge on it until after I'd taken it apart, cleaned it, and put it back together. The hammer spring screw is tight; it is at full pre-load. The hammer is not especially light in cocking; not the heaviest I've felt, but not as light as my Cimarron Model P. I don't think the hammer spring needs to be any heavier.

That Model P developed a very light trigger as well. Measured at only a pound or so. Loooong creep, too. Exactly like this. After it had an action job though, the trigger is now very nice, not too light, crisp let off. And that's with a hammer that is MUCH lighter, easier to cock, smoother. Guess I need to ask the 'smith what he did on that one, eh?

April 15, 2012, 08:48 AM

You are a lucky dog! A light, but safe trigger, is a blessing. :D

April 15, 2012, 06:11 PM
Well, I decided to go ahead and shoot it.

This was my first time ever shooting a blackpowder gun. let alone a cap and ball. The first load out of the gun was a .454 Hornady ball, FFFg Goex out of a 30 grain spout on a Pedersoli flask, and copious amounts of Wonder Lube on top of the ball to seal the chamber. Caps were CCI #11 (probably going to need to go with #10, these took some pinching to keep on the nipples).

Testing for accuracy and POI, I set up the target at 15 yards and fired off the bench.

THIS was the first 5 shots out of the gun. I was aiming at that orange post-it note below, so the gun is definitely shooting high, as was expected, but windage looks pretty good. I shot more groups later on that were more centered left to right than this one.

Looks like a keeper!

April 15, 2012, 06:27 PM
Very nice!

April 21, 2012, 05:44 AM
very nice!

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