1851 pietta navy 44


April 29, 2012, 03:44 AM
I recently broke down my pietta 1851 navy civilian in 44 to clean the action parts. I have place everything back and it works fine , the cylinder turns the bolt goes up and down and everything just like it should. However when I put caps on my cylinder the hammer wont go down far enough and it jams my cylinder. I know it is not the caps and the gun is almost brand new as iv only shot it on two different occasions so it shouldnt be the action part. I can hold the cylinder on with my hand no barrel or wedge and it still does it so I know its not the barrell wedge pin to tight ? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated Thanks

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April 29, 2012, 08:44 AM
Look for cap debris down in the action.

April 29, 2012, 09:59 AM
What do you mean by "broke Down"?

If you mean what the military would call a field strip, that is just taking off the barrel and cylinder from the intact grip frame then listen to Junkman and look for cap debris.

If you did a "detailed strip" that is you unscrewed everything and had all the internal parts out then.....still listen to Junkman....and if there are no cap fragments gumming things up start to look at how tight you screwed the trigger spring in and whether you installed the spring correctly.

If your gun is a brass frame then the cap debris can be embarasingly hard to find on occassion. They can be flattened out quite well and stuck on the frame under tha hammer and very hard to see. THey can also be well down into the inner workings.

Search around here for a tutorial on detail stripping a Colt 1851 if you have never had it fully appart.

If I can do it with ten left thumbs and get it back together and working it can't be all that hard. :)


Foto Joe
April 29, 2012, 11:28 AM
If you detail stripped the gun, it sounds like it might not be re-assembled quite right. As an old flight instructor once told me, "If you're flyin' along all fat dumb and happy and the engine quits, undo whatever it was you just did".

April 29, 2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks guys. I meant I took all the screws and parts out. Sorry kbob. I have cleaned the frame and all the parts .... No cap fragments. When I ease the hammer down and go to cock it again the hammer jams and wont go back like maybe the hand is hanging? I have watched a tutorial by mike bellaivu on youtube and am doing everything just like it says. Everything works fine until I put the caps on the cylinder. It jams on the nipples with caps on it. Any other ideas?

April 29, 2012, 09:51 PM
Are the nipples too long?

April 29, 2012, 10:03 PM
They werent before I detail stripped it

Foto Joe
April 30, 2012, 10:42 AM
Okay, I'm gonna ask a stupid question but from your description it makes sense to me, I think.

Are you sure that the nipples are screwed into the cylinder all the way??

April 30, 2012, 12:51 PM
It sounds like the bolt is not resetting. If Foto Joe is right, the nipples are too high if not fully seated, and the hammer is not going all the way forward, or not going forward for some other reason. Perhaps the bolt needs to be adjusted for timing. The lack of reset leaves the cylinder locked, so the hand cannot advance it, locking the hammer.

April 30, 2012, 01:10 PM
If the gun was working fine before, then it's probably not a timing adjustment problem.

Check that the nipples are screwed all the way in.

I'd also suspect you didn't get the legs of the bolt back on the hammer cam correctly, although from your description it sounds like the bolt drops down and comes back up and the cylinder turns the way it's supposed to....until you put caps on the nipples. That seems odd. Unless I'm not understanding your description of the problem.

May 1, 2012, 02:43 AM
is the trigger working normally? it sounds like it's caught behind the hammer notches. that or the cylinder stop [bolt] was installed wrong. try installing everything again, with the hammer held in the ''down'' position with your thumb. install the hammer spring in it's notch in the hammer last, and put the grips back on. it should work. Hint, I never remove a ''Colt'' type hammer spring completely, just loosen the tension screw in the grip frame, so I can just ''swing'' it into place before I tighten the grip frame screws. This saves a lot on ''colorful language''...

May 1, 2012, 04:55 AM
Thanks for all the advice guys I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

Skinny 1950
May 2, 2012, 02:08 AM
If the hand is trying to rotate the cylinder as the hammer is brought back and the bolt is engaged into the cylinder it is jammed. The hammer needs to move about a quarter of an inch back in order to pull the bolt down then the hand should engage the ratchet of the cylinder. If the hand is too long it will engage the ratchet too soon, the bolt will "jam" the action.
If the hand is too long it will also index the cylinder past where it should stop in the firing position, that is not obvious because the bolt should be engaged into the cylinder at this point. If you assemble the action but leave the flat trigger/bolt spring loose then the bolt won't engage and you can see how far the hand will move the cylinder...if it goes past the firing position then you can safely remove some metal from the end of the hand.

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