pietta 1860 problem


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TheBigAR2003
December 3, 2012, 04:05 PM
i recently picked up a pietta 1860 on sale at cabelas
the revolver locks up just fine but i think the bolt is coming up too soon while cocking
the bolt is sized correctly i checked but on the lead in on the cylinder groove is starting to peen a little bit just on the edge of the groove at first i thought it was just scraping off the blueing but now i think its actually starting to gouge it a little bit
when i cock it slowly i can hear the first click then the second click when the bolt pops up but the cylinder isnt finished turning and then will pop into place when i finish cocking
my pietta 1851 brasser does this too but it has only scraped off some blueing no gouging
i dont think its getting any worse anymore but i still would like to address the problem if there is one
any ideas guys? i read that article on tuning pietta bp revolvers but i dont think it exactly addresses my problem

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arcticap
December 3, 2012, 06:49 PM
rifle recently posted about loosening the trigger bolt spring screw a full turn on new Pietta 1860's.
He goes on to say plenty more but that would be a good place to start. :)

First thing to do with a Pietta is to loosen the trigger bolt spring screw a full turn. The cylinders are soft as all the Italian cap&ballers seem to be. The bolt will begin to scar the cylinder the first time the hammer is drawn back.
I like to weaken the spring on the bolt leg of it so the cylinder has a chance at looking new fer awhile. Hate the damaged cylinder from the hard bolt head hitting it. Those wire replacement springs by Hiene and others are good to use. Brownells gunsmithing supply sells them as others do too. I think Wolf Springs sell them too. Hardware stores usually sell the piano wire that can be bent into a trigger bolt spring. I've gone that route before. I like to stone the bolt leg on the trigger bolt spring and just adjust the "hit" of the spring to be lighter so it can't damage the cylinder and it's notches. Loosening the screw that holds the trigger bolt spring in will be a temporary fix so the action can be worked but not everyone will want the trigger lightened also as happens when the trigger bolt spring screw is loosened.
That said there is another thing to do first off before working the action of a Pietta.The bolts seem to always be in the cylinder notch when the hand tries to turn the cylinder so the bolt head broaches metal from the off side of the notch edge. That's the edge that does the stopping of the cylinder when it hits the bolt head. Don't need it minimized any at all by the bolt head removing metal from the edge of it.
The remedy is to make the bolt head get out of the notch of the cylinder before the hand on the hammer turns the cylinder. That means the bolts leg that rides the hammers cam needs to get closer to the hammer cam so the bolt can work in the timing of the action before the hand turns the cylinder.
Doing that with the bolt means taking it out of the gun and filing with a diamond file to the under side of it(under side when looking at the gun upside down with the trigger guard off the gun0. Filing there puts the bolt head further up in the bolt window in the frame and the head needs filed down to put it back to specs and have it go to the bottom of the cylinder notch when it's under side is on the frame. The idea is to file the under side of the bolt on the bolt head side of the bolt screw so the leg on the other side of the bolts screw gets closer to the hammer cam. Like a teeter-totter the bolt moves on it's screw. One side goes up and the other goes down. So if the bolt head goes further down in the frame window(the guns upside down) the other side where the bolt legs are goes up and closer to the hammer cam making the bolt move sooner in the timing of the action. That gets the bolt out of the cylinder notch before the hand turns the cylinder.
Next thing......shorten the bolts leg that rides the cam so the bolt gets off the cam and the whole width of the bolt head gets back to the surface of the cylinder "before" the edge of the cylinder notch. There will be a small amount of space between the bolt head edge and the edge of the cylinder notch. The timimg of the Pietta seems to always have the bolt head hit partly on the edge of the cylinder notches which causes the hard bolt to peen down the edge causing problems with the bolt being able to "get in the cylinder notch" to lock the gun in battery. The bolt will damage the edge of the cylinder notch from hitting it when it snaps back to the cylinder. Don't need a damaged cylinder on a new gun. The damage will happen relatively quick so don't work the action more than needs to be done to asertain the timing is off as explained here. Make sure the trigger bolt spring screw has been loosened a full turn before working the action to examine the timing. Put a small dab of grease in the cylinder notch ramp(lead) before the notch. That can show the bolt is hitting on or too close to the edge of the cylinder notch.
Try to be objective about what I say since I've "fixed" more than a few of these cap&ballers. Things will be as I say unless there have been changes to the Pietta's factory timing I don't know about. Haven't looked at any new ones lately.

--->>> http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=686311

TheBigAR2003
December 3, 2012, 07:43 PM
which screw is the trigger bolt spring screw is it one of the four on the side of the frame?

dickydalton
December 3, 2012, 07:51 PM
It's under the trigger guard. You need to remove the grip frame, not the side screws. One screw holds the spring for the trigger and bolt.

arcticap
December 3, 2012, 07:51 PM
The trigger bolt spring is directly under the trigger guard.
#19 on the schematic, and the screw which holds it in place:

http://www.vtigunparts.com/store/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=70&cat=Pietta+1860+Army+1861+Navy

Loosening it should lighten up the tension on the cylinder bolt.

dickydalton
December 3, 2012, 07:55 PM
The question I have is: What keeps that screw from just getting looser every shot once you loosen it? I'd think you better bend or lighten the spring instead of leaving a loose screw.

arcticap
December 3, 2012, 07:58 PM
The screw shouldn't be too loose or too tight, but just right.
That's why rifle mentioned about replacing it with one of the lighter wire springs that are available or which can be hand made using piano wire.

Smokin'Joe
December 3, 2012, 10:14 PM
The Home Made Cylinder Bolt Spring mod found in Black Powder Essentials works great for my Pietta 1860.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=623759

TheBigAR2003
December 3, 2012, 10:23 PM
so i loosened the screw a full rotation and there wasnt enough tension left on it to push the bolt up
so i tried it at a half rotation and it pushed up the bolt but there was alot of right/left cylinder play waaaaay too much
so i tried 1/4 rotation and same problem
it seems with this spring the only way the gun will lock up tight is with the screw being completely tightened
so whats next can i buy a lighter spring?
maybe i should see if the wife has any safety pins lying around

J-Bar
December 4, 2012, 12:25 AM
It is difficult to guess without seeing the gun in question, or close-up photos.

The bolt should rise and strike the lead-in and then slide into the notch as the gun is cocked. That's what the lead-in is there for.

If you are absolutely sure that the bolt fits into the notches as it should (and is not actually a hair too wide as is common in new Piettas), then what you may be seeing is simply a "wearing in" due to the contact of the bolt with the lead-in. I see some loss of blue on the wider side of the lead-in on all my Piettas. I would be much more concerned about damage to the left side of the notch (as seen when looking down on the notch in front of the hammer), if it is present, than about some loss of blue on the lead-in.

Loosening the bolt spring screw is a new one on me. I have never had to do that with any of my guns, Uberti or Pietta. Since I am using my guns in Cowboy Action matches, which involves cocking them forcefully as fast as I can, I want a strong bolt spring to make the bolt rise quickly to prevent over-rotation of the cylinder. Cocking them slowly to inspect the action is one thing, racking the hammer back hard and fast is another.

I have also never had to adjust hand length or timing off the hammer cam. Maybe I have just been lucky. If the hammer can move back a hair past full cock when the cylinder locks up, then the hand does NOT need shortening. If the bolt is rising into the lead-in, I personally would leave it alone. The only thing I have ever had to correct on the 6 Piettas I have owned is the width of the bolt where it fits into the notches. As they came from the factory the bolt was too wide by a couple thousandths for several of the notches. Check the width of the bolt head versus the width of each notch with a micrometer to be sure.

TheBigAR2003
December 4, 2012, 01:13 AM
i have a set of calipers and checked the sizes so im sure the bolt is a hair smaller than the cylinder notch
there is only wear on the lead in not on the flat side of the notch

i will take some pictures tomorrow

rifle
December 4, 2012, 10:06 AM
Well,Maybe Pietta has lightened the trigger bolt spring some so loosening it a full turn is too much. It's hard to explain every small detail but......like the Big AR2003 did.....evaluated the situation and adjusted the spring screw less.
That is temporary ,as I mentioned. It stops the initial damage to the cylinder.
Replacing the spring or lightening it to snap the bolt head into the cylinder with less force can eliminate the damage.
The important thing is to understand how the timing of the factory timing is always off in that the bolt hits the first edge of the notch and peens it and moves metal into the notch lessening the width and then the bolt can't get fully into the notch and.....the bolt head doesn't get out of the notch in time for the bolt head to get out and that lets the bolt head broach metal from the most important side of the notch. The side that the bolt slams into to stop the cylinder.
If a person can examine and see how there's a problem then they can remedy the problems before damage accurs.
When the timing is right the spring can be lighter than factory specs. and the gun will function fine. Due to the bevel on the side of the bolt head it can seem like the lock up is fine when it really isn't. That's where the small amount of grease in the notch and the lead-in can show where the bolt actually hits to the cylinder and whether or not the bolt is against the bottom of it making as full contact so there's full ability of the notch edge to hit the bolt and stop the cylinder.
With the lead-in there to insure the bolt head is always lower than the off side notch edge there's a good contact of bolt head to notch edge and the cylinder can stop well even with fast working of the action. Hint....with Piettas the bolt head usually has a cant to it on it's top that also helps insure the bolt is lower than the notch edge and in the notch well to stop the cylinder. It's how the Remingtons can do without the lead-in to the notch. Their bolt head has a cant to the top. Well it's a good idea to make the bolt head of a Colt level on top when doing the timing. That canted top to the Pietta bolt can make the lockup give way on the leading edge side of the notch.
If the bolt head is loose in the frame window and loose on it's screw as is almost always the case the bolt can give in to the cylinders weight and force and cant over making a ,sort of ramp,a slanted bolt head for the force of the cylinder to make the bolt head work against the spring and move the bolt head down and out of the notch and let the cylinder over rotate.
Compensating for that loose in the frame window and loose on it's bolt screw a "bolt bolster" or ,as some call it, a "bolt block" can be made so that new part stabilizes the bolt so it can't cant from the force of the cylinder turning fast and moving the bolt head letting the cylinder over rotate.
A bolt bolster is a part used on some well tuned and some custom revolvers. They were standard fare in the San Marcos cap&ball conversions to cartridge.
Last time this came up on CASS a Buddy I have there posted a pic of a custom gun and it's bolt bolster.
The metal part is fashioned to hold onto the bolt screw and lay in front of the bolt screw and to the side of the bolt where the space is in the milled area of the inside of the frame. The trigger bolt spring screw keeps the part in place. It gently rides the side of the bolt and is in full contact to the frame on it's other side. Like moving the frame wall way over against the bolt soit is held in position always even when hit hard by the cylinder. A good modification for a"Cowboy" shooting gun.
Pietta does a good job with it's CNC machines keeping tolerances consistant. That is wht every Pietta I've seen has the mis-timed action with the bolt head hitting on the edge of the first notch edge the leading edge and the bolt head broaching metal from the off side edge that does the stopping of the cylinder.
Maybe thing have changed some with newer models but I haven't been examining any most recent ones lately. I know they can full people. Been over that with some that didn't "see" the timing problem of the new guns they got or see the damage till it was too late and ended uphaving to buy a new cylinder.
There's few moving parts in a Colt single action but a million ways for people to percieve the timing and a million ways for the timing to be off by different combinations of circumstances. Well....maybe not millions.
There is only ones right way for the action to be in perfect timing though. Pietta is close to it but not quite right there and the damage caused is easy to see once it's too late and it's substancial.
I've fixed and/or checked out or helped others fix many many of these guns. Every Pietta I've seen that was new had the timing issues. Well, maybe I've seen a few that actually ended up coming from the factory right.
Not to bad mouth the Piettas at all. I'd recommend them to my own mother and grand mother if they were still shooting six guns.
The Piettas are good cap&ballers fer sure. The arbors bottomed in the barrels arbor hole is one "fine trait" no other maker has to it's guns and that bottomed arbor is an important aspect not to be ignored. All cap&baller Colts shouldhave the "bottomed arbor.
By the way....if the hammer has some "over draw" at the full cock it's ok but not right. The well tuned Colt should have the "positive" stop when the action hits the end of the cycle at full cock. The hammer should stop dead right at the end when the bolt snicks into the notch and the trigger hits the sear on the hammer. Hammer stops,bolt snicks into the cylinder notch and the trigger snicks into the hammers sear all simultaneously at the very end of the action cycle. That is a beautiful thing. Beautiful feeling to hold. The perfectly timed Colt.
The Piettas are real close as they come from the box. Close but no cigar. The Uberti's aren't bad either for that matter. They can stand a little timing adjustment coming out of the box too though.
People seem to doubt what I say at times and that's good because they are thinking. People that I helped adjust the timing to their guns don't doubt me though. ha ha ha
Hey, I'm here to help people. Not wave an ego flag. I'm a "kitchen table gunsmith",so to speak, but......I wouldn't steer yas wrong and......I've actually been declared "the best in the country" at timing these cap&ballers. I've been complemented by pro gunsmiths with very complimenting good remarks.That is really too far reaching to be logical ,for sure, saying I'm the best in the country but.....how can I insure anyone I know what I'm saying? We are all fully capable of doing a fine tune to these cap&ballers. People that took my hint and began to reach the "perfectly timed Colt" situation with their cap&ballers don't doubt me.
I'm only here on the forums on rare occaisions any more and/but I only do it to be a help to Hombres and Hombrettes with their cap&ballers and my reward is when I see someone has began to "see" and reap the rewards. Take care Bud's!

Old Fuff
December 4, 2012, 12:23 PM
Question: When the cylinder has been locked by the bolt, is the hammer all of the way back to that it is against the top of the backstrap? I suspect that it isn't, and if so that's a major cause of the ball on the bolt (the "ball" is the part that sticks up through the frame) battering and peening the cylinder notches.

The backstrap is supposed to act as a hammer stop, and in so doing prevent excessive shock to the ratchet tooth, tip of the hand, and cylinder notches.

It is true that the steel used to make the reproduction cylinders is on the soft side, but it isn't any softer then that used in original Colts. I have examined many well-worn original revolvers that didn't have excessively worn or battered notches and the stiff springs that were in it when it was made, and everything still works fine.

TheBigAR2003
December 4, 2012, 02:09 PM
I think that I can move the hammer back slightly after it has been fully cocked if that is what you mean I'm at work now so I will check that and take pics tonight

J-Bar
December 4, 2012, 02:28 PM
Question: When the cylinder has been locked by the bolt, is the hammer all of the way back to that it is against the top of the backstrap? I suspect that it isn't, and if so that's a major cause of the ball on the bolt (the "ball" is the part that sticks up through the frame) battering and peening the cylinder notches.

The backstrap is supposed to act as a hammer stop, and in so doing prevent excessive shock to the ratchet tooth, tip of the hand, and cylinder notches.

It is true that the steel used to make the reproduction cylinders is on the soft side, but it isn't any softer then that used in original Colts. I have examined many well-worn original revolvers that didn't have excessively worn or battered notches and the stiff springs that were in it when it was made, and everything still works fine.
I understand what you are saying about the initial setup and timing. But it seems to me that if we have a gun that was not set up initially as you describe, then the trigger, hammer, hand and maybe the bolt would have to be replaced and redo the setup from scratch to achieve the situation you describe. Most of us aren't going to do that, and will have to compromise with a hammer that overtravels a bit.

So I guess what I am asking you is, if we accept a hammer that is not in contact with the backstrap at the point of lockup, what can be done to promote optimal function from that point on?

Old Fuff
December 4, 2012, 04:21 PM
You have a good point, but there is a chance that the only part that would have to be replaced (or welded up at the upper tip) is the trigger.

Another less desireable solution would be to drill and tap a blind hole in the trigger guard just behind the trigger slot, so that when the hammer was cocked the bottom/tip of the mainspring would come to rest on the top of the screw. This would stop the hammer from rotating further, and to a degree be adjustable. Thereafter the length of the hand could be shortened if necessary, and the bolt modified at the tail end as well.

Such a modification would cause Col. Sam to spin in his grave, but I have seen it done on a number of occasions. Perhaps if you go to www.sass.net you might find a gunsmith who was experienced in such matters.

Again, without actually seeing the revolver with the hammer cocked I can only speculate.

TheBigAR2003
December 4, 2012, 10:34 PM
ok i took some pictures and checked the distance that the hammer travels back past where it is at full cock hammer locked and cylinder locked

hammer at full cock
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202624.jpg

hammer pulled back past full cock its hard to tell but there is a little less than 1/4 inch travel
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202630.jpg

then some pics of the cylinder
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202538.jpg
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202550.jpg
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202600.jpg
http://i430.photobucket.com/albums/qq25/TheBigAR2003/20121204_202742.jpg

Azguy
December 4, 2012, 11:27 PM
This is the same issue I am having with three of my Pietta's. My first two models were the 1851 & 1860 and now a recently purchased 1862 from Cabela's has started it.

unfortunately its starting to look like pretty common problem.

denster
December 5, 2012, 01:26 AM
After seeing the pictures it is clear that your bolt is dropping late. Easy to correct you need to remove a small about of metal from the rear of the leg of the bolt that rides on the hammer cam. Make sure to maintain the same angle. You allready have some metal peened into the notch for the bolt. That should also be corrected. Best tool is a machinists triangular scraper.

TheBigAR2003
December 5, 2012, 01:34 AM
if it was dropping late then wouldnt the gouging be on the other side of the notch?

denster
December 5, 2012, 03:33 AM
In a word "NO". The bolt is dropping late because it is dropping over the edge of the notch. It should drop at the begining of the lead then slide into the notch as the rotation continues. If the problem isn't corrected then in very short order the revolver will not lock up because the bolt will no longer fit into the notches due to the peened in metal. Also the worse it becomes the harder it is to correct. Fortunately new cylinders are only about $60.

Old Fuff
December 5, 2012, 09:38 AM
There is more to it then that. Even if the bolt is released late it shouldn't chew up the notch. More often a too late release will cause the bolt to skip and over ride the notch.

Without having the gun-in-hand it's difficult to be sure what the problem is, but adjusting the bolt for an earlier release and nothing else is likely to result in a dinged up leed - such as you see, but sooner.

Perhaps the owner should take up the matter with the firm that imported the gun and/or sold it to him and see what they say.

denster
December 5, 2012, 10:52 AM
I hate to dissagree with old fuff but in this case 98% of the problem is that the bolt is dropping at exactly the worst time as all of the force of contact is right over the edge of the notch. Moving it back even a little puts a greater mass of metal under the point of contact so that even with the inordinately strong bolt springs most of these guns are blessed with you may get a bright spot but no functional damage. In this case though having a lighter bolt spring would not stop the damage only cause it to take longer to happen.
One could return the gun but it has been my experience that out of ten new guns of this genere three to five will have this problem and some of those will have the additional problem of a slightly too long hand that tries to rotate the cylinder before the bolt has cleared raising a bit of metal on the outboard side of the notch.
These are great guns and a bargain at the price point they are sold at but you have to realize that to get that price point the maker can not afford multiple dissasembly and adjustment at the assembly bench. Some of the assemblers from experience get it right the first time most of the time some don't and it is a crap shoot which you the purchaser gets.
Part of the fun of these guns is learning how they work and how to correct some of these little deficiencies.

Old Fuff
December 5, 2012, 11:48 AM
I hate to dissagree with old fuff

That happens all the time, but not to worry. The only thing that's bigger then my ego is my good looks. :D

Anyway, the reason I suggested the gun be returned is because at this time the only way to undo the damage is to straighten out all of the timing issues and maybe replace the cylinder - also I don't see the owner as being a do-it-yourself gunsmith. And I suspect that simply adjusting the bolt to release earlier will solve the issue for very long.

But the OP has plenty of advise to think about, and can go in any direction he wants.

unknwn
December 5, 2012, 11:50 AM
Geez, once I looked at those photos all I could muster is that I would be pissed if my brand new gun was capable of causing that degree ($50 to $60.00 worth -on sale-for a replacement cylinder) of damage before it even made it to the range.
How many times did you have to cycle the action to peen the cylinder notches like that?

denster
December 5, 2012, 12:03 PM
A couple of hundred cycles will do it. Particularly that this one is dropping at the worst possible place. The maker could spend the time to tune each to perfection however the gun would then likely be a $100 or more greater in price. If you know what to look for and can examine several examples you can avoid most of these problems.
To old fuff the damage is close to irreprable but not quite. Check the Pettifogger articles on CASS for details on using a triangular scraper to clean up the displaced metal.

Old Fuff
December 5, 2012, 12:26 PM
To old fuff the damage is close to irreprable but not quite. Check the Pettifogger articles on CASS for details on using a triangular scraper to clean up the displaced metal.

I don't need to check because I know you are right 'cuz I've done it myself, but I'm not sure it's something the present gun owner wants to get into, and I can see the possibility of other future problems coming into play. Whatever he decides to do won't come about for lack of advice.

arcticap
December 5, 2012, 01:32 PM
After seeing the pictures it is clear that your bolt is dropping late. Easy to correct you need to remove a small about of metal from the rear of the leg of the bolt that rides on the hammer cam. Make sure to maintain the same angle. You allready have some metal peened into the notch for the bolt. That should also be corrected. Best tool is a machinists triangular scraper.

Thank you denster for helping us to understand what caused the notches of this Colt to become peened.
And also to TheRodDoc for his animation of an 1860 action.

http://www.theroddoctor1.com/180.mov

J-Bar
December 5, 2012, 02:29 PM
I would love to watch TheRodDoc's movie but neither my work computer nor my home computer can play it. What is the secret?

Mk VII
December 5, 2012, 02:54 PM
QuickTime opened it for me.

TheBigAR2003
December 5, 2012, 03:00 PM
I am not an at home gunsmith by any means but am willing to learn
I think I will call cabelas and see if they want to replace the pistol for me
If they don't then I think I will try both a lighter spring and get the bolt to drop earlier
How does one get the bolt to drop earlier?

denster
December 5, 2012, 03:17 PM
To get the bolt to drop earlier you need to take apart the pistol. The bolt has two legs one of which rides on a cam on the hammer. This is the leg you need to adjust. there is an angled flat on the rear of the leg. You need to reduce this a small amount maintaining the same angle.
If Cabela's replaces the pistol examine the new one for two things. First watch the bolt as the cylinder rotates and the bolt drops. It should drop near the beginning of the lead. If not you will have the same problem. The second is while watching the bolt slowly cock the hammer and note that the bolt completely clears the cylinder before the hand starts to rotate the cylinder. If it passes both of these tests you are good to go. If not it will need to be returned or gunsmithed.
There are some excellent articles on the CASS site by Pettifogger showing how to do this. Maybe someone will be kind enough to post the links.

unknwn
December 5, 2012, 07:53 PM
You suggest to watch the bolt while cocking the action. Since the cylinder and bolt are shrouded by the concave cut of the frame am I needing to remove the trigger guard so that I can see the bolt's movement?
If I had a way to keep the cylinder from moving away from the recoil shield I would remove the barrel and watch from that end of the frame,but, I don't have that option either.
.

Smokin'Joe
December 5, 2012, 09:51 PM
Find a flat washer that fits the arbor and slide it up to the cylinder. Keep the washer in place with a small hose clamp.

denster
December 5, 2012, 10:01 PM
Whoops! Sorry about that I had my brain in 51 Navy mode. With the 1860 Army you use a different method.
Cock the revolver to full cock. You will note that the left side of the hammer slot in the frame aligns with the outboard side of a notch. Now cock the revolver till you hear the bolt drop. At this point the left side of the hammer slot should be aligned with the inboard side of the notch on top or just before it. If it is into the notch then you have a late drop. To check for the hand pickup cock the revolver till you just see the cylinder start to move. Hold this position and attempt to rotate the cylinder. If you feel resistance the bolt has not cleared and the hand needs shortened a few thousandths. If you need to correct this work on the hand first as shortening it will effect the point the bolt drops.

Lunie
December 5, 2012, 10:41 PM
It can certainly still peen, even if the bolt drops earlier. This particular cylinder started peening in the middle of the lead, and now drops just at (and perhaps slightly before) the lead begins. No timing tweaking performed. The stock bolt spring is rather strong, and the screw is typically just snugged to help lessen the impact. The trigger side of the spring isn't nearly as overzealous; the trigger pull is ~2.5lb. The bolt face is not visibly wearing, just the cylinder.

On the order of 1000 balls fired. I'd estimate each notch has seen something like 200-250 impacts.

http://imageshack.us/a/img607/3420/1006463.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/607/1006463.jpg/)
http://imageshack.us/a/img405/6136/1006464p.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/405/1006464p.jpg/)

The pictures could be a tad better. :cuss:

denster
December 5, 2012, 11:15 PM
The damage you show however is not functional damage as no metal has been extruded into the locking notch. Most would class that as normal wear and it can be moderated considerably by lightening the trigger bolt spring.

rifle
December 6, 2012, 10:52 AM
The hammer shouldn't be against the backstrap when the gun is in battery(fullcock) .
When it is then a little later when wear and seat in of the parts occures the hammer needs to be drawn back a little further to get the gun into battery. If the hammer was already not able to draw back a little more because it's against the backstrap then the gun becomes inopperative.
Sam Colt wouldn't have designed a gun to become inopperative when it attained a little wear.
The action parts stop the hammer at full cock. A little hammer overdraw isn't going to hurt a thing and doesn't really cause the bolt to batter the cylinder and do the damage. The off-time is what does the damage as does the soft metal of the cylinder and the hard metal of the bolt(which is actually a spring).
If a person wants that nice positive stop of the hammer as it hits the backstrap they can have it and no problem will be there till the gun wears some. It's better in the long run tonot have the hammer hit the backstrap at full cock.
Anyway......some guns would need excessive re-vamping of the action parts to get the hammer to hit the backstrap at full cock. Example would be the hand needing to be overly shortened and the trigger needing to be overly long. That ispossible and I've done it for some Hombres that want it but it makes it difficult to get the perfect timing with the hammer hitting fullcock when the trigger hits in the sar(hammer notch) and the bolt hits in the cylinder notch. The last "snick" of the action should be the trigger hitting in the hammer full cock notch and the bolt hitting inside the cylinder notch. There is four snicks to the action of a Coltsingle action. The last two need to be simultaneous. Makes sense tohave the action let the trigger hit in the full cock notch on the hammer as the bolt hits in the bottom of the cylinders notch.
Anyway I'll have to see Pettifoggers example of using a machinist triangular square to spiff up the damaged cylinder notch. I make an engraver of sorts from an old small wood chisel or hardened screw driver to spiff up the mess of the battered cylinder notch.....among other things. I like to ,at times, get rid of all the damage by filing the cylinders notch lead-in and deepening the notch some so the lead-in side of the notch as some "edge" put back to it. A mill and a woodruff key cutter can be a big help. Not everyone has a mill though. A small mill table can be bought for about a hundred and fifty dollars on sale and that can be put on a good drill press and make a type of a home made milling machine. Enco and MSC and Blue Ridge machine shop supply should have the small mill tables fer sale.
One thing I have to add is about where the bolt head should hit the cylinders lead-in ramp when the bolt returns to the cylinder surface i the action timing.
Guns with actual hardened ordanance grade steel like a S&W or modern Colt seem to have the bolt hit real close to the notch edge. Then as the guns wear they hit further and further away from the notch edge. That's the modern high end guns. Cap&ballers should be as well made but that would make them too expensive.
Cap&ballers are good when they hit with the full width of the bolt head hitting the cylinder just a tad before the notch edge. That is when the bolt spring has been adjusted to not be too heavy. If the spring is stock then the bolt seems to do well hitting in the middle or a little closer than that to the notch edge. Then as the parts wear the bolt head still hits in the ramp(lead-in) for a good while. You know...not having the bolt scrap a line on the cylinder before the ramp (lead-in).
Anywhoooo......cap&ballers are not quite up to parr really and that's one reason I've learned to love them. They are fun to "fix-up". :eek:
The illustrious and venerable ole Pettifogger with his articles with pics and all has been a big help to all the aspiring "Kitchen Table Gunsmiths" out there. Big help to all the newbies and the fearless and all.
Like an old long gone friend used to say,"buying a cap&baller is like buying a "kit" gun to fix up.
A lot of what a person does with their own personal cap&baller is ....well.....personal. People do what they want with them according to their own taste and perception ect ect.
A lot of what is "wrong" to one Hombre is "right" to the other Hombre and.......who's to say what is actually right and wrong?
I do it to try to be a help to my fellow cap&baller shootin brothers in arms. If someone wants to think....." that Pard Rifle is full of _ _ _ _ and I ain't doin it that way he suggests"......then....well.....he can do it his/her own special way and that's all OK and in the spirit of the cap&baller game.:D
I get my reward when someone extends a "thanks Bud" to me for takin the time to type these replies to some posts.
Right now I have to get off this puter :banghead:and go run the hounds.:D
I know one thing....when a Colt single action cap&baller is runnin good it's a beautiful thing fer sure sure. Makes ya want to just sit and work the action to death because it feels and sounds so good. :o
If a person wants the actual well timed gun then the hammer doesn't hit the backstrap but the bolt and the hand stop the hammer. A person just should know not to draw the hammer excessively hard after or as the gun locks into battery. If the gun owner doesn't feel when to stop the hammer draw and makes like a gorilla and man handles the guns action(that's a weird way to put it....gorrilla man handles the gun ha ha ha ) it'll get some wear or damage sooner than not. Even the "Cowboy Action Shooters" probably learn the ways of their guns and not man handle them too bad too much.

rbertalotto
December 6, 2012, 11:57 AM
We need to remember that these $179 revolvers are made of metal slightly harder than cheese. I have two sets of 1858 and two 1860 Pietas. All converted to cartridge cylinders.

I can't tell you how much "un-peening" I've had to do on these firearms. Now, granted, I use them to compete in Cowboy Action so they get a tremendous amount of use. But they do need a ton of maintenance.

Recently on my 1860s the hammer face was so peened it wouldn't strike the firing pin in the back plate of the cartridge conversion. Files and a Dremel rectified the problem, but it will come back. I'm going to drill the hammer faces and insert hardened drill rod to resolve the issue for good.

I've replaced all the springs and did a complete timing job on all these revolvers and when they are good....they are very, very good! Nothing like them in the hand!

http://images50.fotki.com/v1557/photos/2/36012/10360662/DSC_4204-vi.jpg

http://images54.fotki.com/v104/photos/2/36012/10288332/DSC_4217-vi.jpg

Old Fuff
December 6, 2012, 12:13 PM
The hammer shouldn't be against the backstrap when the gun is in battery(fullcock) .

Obviously you aren't too familiar with the original Colt's.

Most of the lockwork problems in current day cap & ball reproductions come from battering, not wear. An exception is the bolt cam on the hammer. On the original revolvers they were a separate part and hardened and could also be replaced. On the current imports they are part of an investment cast hammer, and not hardened, but this is another story.

Anyway the purpose of using the backstrap as a positive stop for the hammer was to prevent battering of the cylinder ratchet teeth and notches as well as the hand. It also largely eliminates a condition where the bolt can miss and skip a notch if the hammer is cocked quickly. All of this is still true today.

If cylinder rotation is stopped by the ball on the bolt engaging the notch in the cylinder; all of the shock of the sudden stop is transferred to the cylinder notch, the window in the frame, the hand, and ratchet teeth. The result is battering.

Original Coltís that are still correctly timed, as I have described, often show wear from use, but little or no evidence of battering.

denster
December 6, 2012, 01:31 PM
I have to agree with Old Fuff. Not because he is good looking, just right. If you use your guns lightly it probably doesn't make much difference but if you use them hard like in Cowboy Shooting it is imperative. Generally not a problem with Piettas as they will be close from the factory and a small mod is all that is necessary. Uberti is another story as the hammer geometry is a bit off sometimes enough that it is more practical to use a stop threaded into the triggerguard.
One point of contention I've never run into a cam that wasn't case hardened on any of the reproductions.

Old Fuff
December 6, 2012, 07:30 PM
One point of contention I've never run into a cam that wasn't case hardened on any of the reproductions.

Don't let the case color on a hammer fool you. They are simply colored but not hardened, and the cam is part of the investment cast hammer. If in question take a file stroke on the bottom of the hammer where it won't matter and see if the teeth "bite." If you can file it it isn't case hardened, just made to look like it.

denster
December 6, 2012, 08:37 PM
It doesn't fool me. At least with Uberti and Pietta they are glass hard on the surface.

Old Fuff
December 6, 2012, 09:03 PM
It doesn't fool me. At least with Uberti and Pietta they are glass hard on the surface.

And I have found some that were as soft as warm butter. :rolleyes:

Seriously, I would suggest that anyone with a recently purchased revolver made by the above mentioned makers check the hammer for hardness before they use it much. The test is quick and easy, and if there is a problem will prevent grief later.

unknwn
December 6, 2012, 09:21 PM
So will treating the components in need of case hardening with the present day version of Kasenite solve any "too soft" problems?
And have any of you ever done that process to these Italian C&B guns?

Old Fuff
December 6, 2012, 09:45 PM
Yes it will, and yes I have. But it's important to start with a new, or like new hammer and/or other parts and do any alterations or modifications (called "tuning") before you do the hardning, and you don't do it to the cylinder bolt or any springs.

denster
December 6, 2012, 10:25 PM
And I have found some that were as soft as warm butter. :rolleyes:

Seriously, I would suggest that anyone with a recently purchased revolver made by the above mentioned makers check the hammer for hardness before they use it much. The test is quick and easy, and if there is a problem will prevent grief later.
I'll take your word for it although it has not been my experience guess I'm lucky. Not a bad idea to check a soft trigger or hammer would go bad in short order. Fortunately, at least with Pietta, all of the internals can be purchased in a kit at a reasonable price.

unknwn
December 7, 2012, 12:02 AM
I have a squad of new Pietta revolvers and several new Uberti '73 lever rifles that I would like to process before any impending battering and wear.
The rifles have all been worked over by a renowned cowboy 'smith, but the hand guns will only get my maticulous although unpracticed attentions & handiwork.
Where can I find better instructiion on the use of the case hardening compound than what comes with the product?
And I would really appreciate some tutoring as regards the tuning aspects of my seven various open tops and the pair of '58 New Army Pietta revolvers.

denster
December 7, 2012, 12:43 AM
First check the parts with a file like Old Fuff stated if the file skids over the surface without taking a bite then the part is all ready hard. The only parts you need to be concerned with are the hammer and trigger. If they are soft google kasenite and you will likely come up with some tutorials also check youtube.
As to tuning do a search in this forum for "Pettifogger" the links to his articles over at CASS have been posted several times. Excellent articles on tuning cap and ball revolvers.

Old Fuff
December 7, 2012, 12:53 AM
Where can I find better instructiion on the use of the case hardening compound than what comes with the product?

Brownells www.brownells.com (800) 741-0015
Dixie Gunworks www.dixiegunworks.com (800) 238-6785

Both offer soft-cover catalogs for about or under $10.00 - Buy a copy of each.

www.sassnet.com can direct you to a lot of information on tuning revolvers, but as you have found there a lot of different techniques and opinions.

I could explain that they are all wrong except me, but that would start a war. :D:

Old Fuff
December 7, 2012, 01:06 AM
And I would really appreciate some tutoring as regards the tuning aspects of my seven various open tops and a pair of '58 New Army Pietta revolvers.

You can find a lot by using this forum's search feature (in the green bar at the top of the page, center/right).

Also start a thread in the Black Powder Shooting sub-forum with the title: How do I tune a C&B revolver? and start it with the question you ask that's posted in quotes above. I think you will be awed by the response.

arcticap
December 7, 2012, 03:09 AM
mec suggested to have several certain prefitted spare parts on hand realizing full well that they would indeed be useful when the parts eventually wear out or break and need replacement.
He recommended to buy the replacement parts in advance, particularly hand spring assemblies which are usually larger than the originals, trace their outline and fit them before they're needed. That way, you have them on hand so that the broken part doesn't need to be reconstructed without having the entire original part completely intact to make copies from.
I'm not sure why hardening with Kasenite would be necessary when it may be more efficient and economical to not tinker with the original part. But rather to use the original to help pre-fit some replacements.
Why not keep the original part as is, and use it for a pattern, at least until other replacements are made?
Then once more patterns are made, the original won't require hardening, because better hardened replacement parts will have already been acquired and pre-fitted.
Wouldn't that be more prudent, to simply buy several of the hardened factory original parts and then prefitting them and using them to tune the gun rather than using substandard, defective or soft parts to tune the gun with?
In the long run, using properly hardened factory parts may be better than using substandard Kasenite treated parts.

Colt Type Revolver Disassembly thread:

hand spring assembly post #11 by mec

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=2055279&postcount=11

mykeal
December 7, 2012, 08:28 AM
FYI, Kasenite is no longer being made and most sutlers are out of stock. The new product being used by most home hobby metalsmiths is Cherry Red.

Old Fuff
December 7, 2012, 11:29 AM
Wouldn't that be more prudent, to simply buy several of the hardened factory original parts and then prefitting them and using them to tune the gun rather than using substandard, defective or soft parts to tune the gun with? In the long run, using properly hardened factory parts may be better than using substandard Kasenite treated parts.

The part that is most likely to need hardning is the hammer (which is relatively expensive) followed by the hand and trigger, that are less likely to need attention if the revolver is correctly timed. If you start with a like-new or new hammer where the bolt cam hasn't been chewed up, and you harden it (or it was hard in the first place) it probably won't need to be replaced. What most often breaks is the (1) hand spring, and (2) cylinder bolt & trigger spring, and (3) cylinder bolt.

Pre-fitting some spare parts make a little sense, but not if the revolver was incorrectly set up wrong in the first place. Clearly, some out-of-the-box guns are better then others, with those with brass frames more likely to be the worst because they are made to sell at a lower price point.

rifle
December 7, 2012, 11:35 AM
:DI fergitted to mention about a remark concerning the bolt legs bevel on the backside that rubs/rides on the surface of the cam on the hammer. It seemed it was inferred that that bevel has something to do with timing of the bolt and all.
Well......that bevel is there to let the bolt leg ride back onto the surface of the cam with an harmonious smooth contact. That's all...nothing to do with timing the bolt. Most all that is done by shortening or lengthening the bolt leg that rides the hammer cam. Longer and the bolt stays on the cam and off the cylinder longer and shorter the bolt leg stays on the hammer cam a shorter time and hits back to the cylinder sooner.
The cam sometimes has an edge at the bottom the bolt leg can snag on and hamper the action working smoothly. The lil flat bevel on the back of the leg that rides the cam eliminates the snag.
Cams on some of the older guns are separate pieces or parts. Most anymore are one piece with the hammer being cast as part of the hammer.
Standard fare with some tune jobs is the person wants a harder cam. At times the cam is too worn to be operative. In a case like that the cam can be changed out whether it's integral with the hammer or a separate part. Soften the hammer when it's got the integral cam.....dot the center of the old cam with a punch to start a pilot drill and drill straight thru the hammer. The new "bought" or fabricated cam will go in the hole later. The cam that is discarded is milled or filed off the softened hammer. The hole that was drilled is enlarged to accomodate the new cam. It's inserted with a pressed fit in the hammer making sure it's turned the right way to work the bolt leg. If yur new cam is pre-hardened you can leave it as is or soften it before insertion whatever you like according to what tool steel is used to make one or what the cam that was "bought" is like.
After the fitting the cam the whole hammer is casehardened once again. Use of a hardening compound like the old Kasenet(has a new name now...ask at Brownells) is standard fare with the "Kitchen Table Gunsmith". There are instructions with the compound. I used the instructions at first but modify them anymore.
I bury the whole part....hammer,frame,trigger ect.ect. in the compound all in a small cast iron fying pan sitting on a propane single hot plate or burner(or whatever it's called). With the burner I have on full heat and a propane tourch hitting the pile of compound from above I turn it red like bubbling lave for at least 15 minutes. Usually I try to make it to 20-30 minutes of pure red compound with the part inside being red also. Try to stay at black cherry color or cherry and avoid the orange that's too hot.
Once the chosen time is elasped the part is picked out of the compound and thrown in oil or water. Both work. Then the part is hard on the outside and with some metals hard inside to a degree also. Depends on carbon content. The Italian hammers don't seem to be "high carbon" but I'd say there is some carbon in them and they get harder clean thru. Some hammers are actually too hard to drill a hole thru and they need softened. Softened....heat to black cherry or cherry color and let the part air cool where there's no breeze. Then it's dead soft.
Once the part is quenched it is now hardened with an "en-cased in carbon" thus the term case hardened. If you thunk you started with a part with more than "low carbon" content then tempering in an oven at 375 degrees for two hours puts the "tough" to the under-lying metal letting the carbon on the outside remain hard enough.
When old hammers are "spiffed up" with modifying back to original with welding or filing or new cams or whatever they need hardened again. Triggers and hands can be hardened too and anything done to the hammers sear or the trigger means rehardening the parts to insure "hair trigger" isn't premature as it's a safety concern. Polishing included. Who knows how many .001's deep the original case hardening was?
It's a personal decision as to whether of not hardening the hand is needed. I'd rather not harden the hand as much as change it out to a good tool steel that's got enough hard to it before "hardening". I'd rather later change out or repair a hand rather than change out or repair the rear of a cylinder.
if a person wants to get a little deeper into case hardening they can get the bone and wood charcoal from a gunsmith supply and use a wood fire to case harden the real old way.
Not hard to do. Looks cool too. Just don't harden with the metal getting more than red cherry. The metal crucible with the parts inside with bone and wood charcoal in the fire at night tells the story as you can see it and assume the parts inside are the same color. Heat fer awhile then quench in cool oxygenated water with the parts close to the water so air doesn't hit them much. Just close enough to drag a little oxygen down with the parts. Drop about an inch or two from the water. A little nitrat in the water helps get more blue color to the case hardened parts.
When a hammer is fit right it doesn't attain any where nears the battering people mention. Usually the hammers that aren't dry fire safe are a little too long in the nose and just need fitted right. Fit so when the cylinder is fully forward the hammer nose is not able to batter the nose on hitting the nipple cone on a percussion open top. On the cartridge the hammer shouldn't be able to hit the housing the firing pin is in....just come close. The firing pin needs to be the right length too though.Just long enough to give the primer the dent it needs and no more and that needs to be so many .001's only on the side that's hit by the hammer.
The hammers should stop on the frame before they can batter the other parts. Know what I mean?
I have to reply to that good looking guy....Old Fluff?
I have seen plenty of original Colts. You know....our opinions about hammers hitting backstraps has crossed paths before. I figure mines more logical mechanically speaking. When you talk of hammers battering the parts....like the hand on the cylinders index ratchets or the bolt hitting the cylinder too hard you ain't thunkin it thru all the way I'd say. Think about it.....working the action fast will send the hand into the rear of the cylinder and spin the weight of the cylinder into the bolt that stops it with lots of force especially when the cartridges are in it regardless whether or not the hammer stops at the backstrap. All the force needed to batter the parts is there even when the hammer stops at the backstrap. It all starts and all the force is applied before the hammer can hit the backstrap. Sure a person can pull hard enough too really over do it with the hammer not hitting the backstrap but that's not they way a person with any sense works their gun. Anyway working a gun "fast" with the hammer hitting the backstrap or not the difference between "hammer hits the backstrap" or "hammer doesn't hit the backstrap" is almost negligible unless a gorilla is working the gun.
What isn't negligible is the fact that if a gun is tuned to have the action stop right as the hammer hits the backstrap any wear put to the hand will necessitate having the hammer have to go rearward further than it's capable since the backstrap hits it and stops it. The gun thus being inoperable with a small amount of wear.
Anywhoooooo......the original Colts I've seen and worked in my hand that hit the hammer on the backstrap seemed to be well worn and just barely able to have the action work.
If I saw some documented historical facts of evidence to back up yer claim then......I'd join the fan club and be a "hammer stops against the backstrap" believer myself. I still wouldn't tune guns like that though unless an Hombre I was helping wanted that specifically.
If ole Sam Colt back in the day made his guns coming out the door like you say.....I'd tell him that was a design defect to be heaped into the pile when it comes to the good ole "Open Tops".
Anywhoooooo........you may be right about the way Colt did his guns...I ain't sure about why he did this or that with them and I'm not an "expert" neither. I do know mechanical logic tells me there's enough force either way....hammers hit or don't hit the backstrap at the end of the action cycle...... to damage the guns from too much "hard fast pulling" of the hammers. I might talk to the Hombre at Peace Maker Specialists and see what he says about the subject. I'd keep it to myself though since I'm talked out on this "backstrap and hammer" thing. You win...I give up.....and I ain't as good lookin neither.:D I do have a really handsome hound pup that I'd bet money is almost as good lookin as Brad Pit.
I just re-tuned my old Paterson awhile ago. In the end I pull the hammer as fast as I can move my thumb many times to test the action. It skips a beat it goes back on the work bench. It worked it's hammer and cylinder as fast as most anyone can move a thumb and it worked perfectly. I don't have the hammer hitting the backstrap....for if I did I'd need such a short hand and long trigger to do that I don't know if the action would even work with them in there.:banghead:
Anywhooooo Old Fluff......now I'm going to want to research this backstrap hammer thing and waste my time just to satisfy my curiosity. I have to fix the old beater trucks frame and go cut some wood and all chores like that.:banghead: Maybe some of the other Hombres here that have their curiosity aroused would lend a hand to research this hammer hittin the backstrap thing. I may be thunkin wrong on how ole Sam Colt did things.
One thing I figger I know....the cylinders were harder on the old Colts than on the new replicas. They used iron at first and then that Sheffield silver nickle(or whatever it was nicknamed) new steel after the Walker debacle with cylinders blowing a cork. The steel used is one reason the old Colts don't have all battered lookin cylinders. Sorta like the new modern revolvers that are higher quality don't get battered cylinders. You know ....Rugers,S&W;s and Colts ect ect. including the Uberti's cartridge conversion models and the SAA types.
Salute! :D

denster
December 7, 2012, 11:53 AM
Hardening the hand is a patently bad idea. If it were a good idea Colt would do it on their SAA and S&W would do it on their revolvers.
There are two types of parts in a revolver wear parts and non wear parts. The non wear parts being the more expensive ie: hammer and cylinder.
The hand is a wear part and hardening it puts the wear on the cylinder ratchet exactly where you don't want it.
A properly fitted hand will last for thousands of cycles before it appreciably wears and is inexpensive to replace.
As to the hammer hitting the backstrap. My 1851 Piettas and my AWA Peacekeeper SAA that I use for cowboy shooting are all tuned that way. They all have been cycled a bunch and shot a lot and are still in perfect time.

Old Fuff
December 7, 2012, 12:18 PM
Hardening the hand is a patently bad idea. If it were a good idea Colt would do it on their SAA and S&W would do it on their revolvers.

Smith & Wesson hands used to be hardened...

But anyway as the hammer comes to the full-cock position or the double-action release point, the hand passes the ratchet tooth and is no longer pushing against it. Where wear may be a factor is on the side of the hand.


If a Colt C&B or SAA revolver is correctly set up the hand will neither wear or batter the cylinder ratchet teeth; the reason being that the hand cannot keep pushing on the ratchet after the hammer's further rotation has been blocked. The need to harden the tip of the hand is questionable, but it will have no negative affects. Same with the tip of the trigger.

In the original guns the only lockwork part that was case hardened was the hammer.

Today's Colt SAA hands are made of high carbon steel, and heat treated for optimal hardness.

denster
December 7, 2012, 12:48 PM
Smith & Wesson hands used to be hardened...

But anyway as the hammer comes to the full-cock position or the double-action release point, the hand passes the ratchet tooth and is no longer pushing against it. Where wear may be a factor is on the side of the hand.


If a Colt C&B or SAA revolver is correctly set up the hand will neither wear or batter the cylinder ratchet teeth; the reason being that the hand cannot keep pushing on the ratchet after the hammer's further rotation has been blocked. The need to harden the tip of the hand is questionable, but it will have no negative affects. Same with the tip of the trigger.

In the original guns the only lockwork part that was case hardened was the hammer.

Today's Colt SAA hands are made of high carbon steel, and heat treated for optimal hardness.
As to S&W and double action revolvers in general that is correct. In fact a good percentage of the 60 degree rotational cycle assuming a six shot revolver is accomplished by the left top edge of the hand and the side of the hand. Hand thickness and hand window width being the operative factors to lockup timing.
All triggers need to be hardened at least at the tip. Not being so will result in an unsafe revolver in short order.
As to hardening the hand why do something that will accomplish nothing? In any case you are right it probably will not cause any significant wear to the cylinder barring extreme usage. If you are going to do it don't forget to remove the hand spring first.
As to Colt SAA hands you may know something I don't. They do however file like they are dead soft.

1KPerDay
December 7, 2012, 01:08 PM
So I took a look at my unfired, but certainly hand-cycled Pietta 1860 last night and sure enough, the notches in the cylinder are being peened by the bolt. Not as bad as the pics above but it's happening.

Which of these will fit?
http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=3&mID=1&dID=96

denster
December 7, 2012, 01:09 PM
Rifle

Having the gun tuned so that the hammer hits the back strap as the gun comes to full cock is practically not necessary for those who use their guns for regular target shooting, plinking or hunting. It is however good insurance for those of us who use these guns fast and hard in cowboy shooting. Most even average shooters can empty a revolver in under three seconds and the hammer is comming back fast and hard. The rotational force of the cylinder is a factor but a greater factor is the speed and force used to cock the gun.
If a person uses their gun in this manner it will simply last longer with less repairs and damage then one set up otherwise.

Old Fuff
December 7, 2012, 04:10 PM
As to Colt SAA hands you may know something I don't. They do however file like they are dead soft.

Not exactly dead soft, but they are heat treated so that they can be file-fitted, which is "optimal hardness."

rifle
December 8, 2012, 11:47 AM
Denster...OleFluff.....
I can see how there's "extra" force put to a "CowBoy Action Competition" gun. I can see how the dead stop against the backstrap by the hammer can help a good bit in that scenario. It can help in a hunter....plinker.....target ...shooter too and I've done it fer a few peoples. My own guns I prefer the parts stop before the hammer hits the backstrap.
In this thread,that is a good thread, the main type problem mentioned was the cylinder damage by the bolt head(or "ball" as Ole Fluff calls it) ect.ect.
That damage takes place whether the hammer hits the backstrap or not. Happens before the hammer can hit backstrap.
I see the damage caused by forcing the hammer hard at the end of the action cycle different than the soft cylinder problems. The hand and the rear of the cylinder are the parts hurt by the hard hammer pull.Damage to the bolt would be minimal from a "hard pulled at the end of the action cycle hammer" not hitting the backstrap. The bolt getting forced out of the way by the cylinder from over rotation could damage the important part of the cylinder notch. That's why I like the added insurance of the bolt block or bolt bolster due to the looseness of the bolt in the cap&ballers. Loose in the frame window...loose on the screw....and not supported on both sides it can cant and make a slope fer the bolt to work against the bolt spring so the bolt can try to get out of the way of that heavy cylinder smashing into it. Carlos San Marcos put the bolt blocks in his Richards conversion models he manufactured. Not all though I've heard.
Anywhooo...I like the hands in the guns I tune to be against the cylinder ratchets,without applying force, when the bolt is locked in the cylinder. I don't thunk it really needed but people like to wiggle the cylinder and feel no movement side to side.;) The hand channels don't always accomodate that.
Hey......Doesn't the cylinder stop against the lower part of the hand in those double action types?

Old Fuff
December 8, 2012, 12:37 PM
Doesn't the cylinder stop against the lower part of the hand in those double action types?

It depends on what make and model you're looking at.

Colt double-action/hand ejector revolvers that date from 1908 have a hand that is much like the one found in the SAA, with two ledges where the lower one should be against the ratchet tooth when the trigger is pulled to the end of its stroke.

Later Colts, Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Taurus revolvers are entirely different. The upper tip of the hand rotates the cylinder to the point of lock-up and then passes by the ratchet tooth as the hammer continues to go backwards.

Returning to original Colt C&B revolvers. By using the backstrap to positively block further backward rotation, other lockwork (hand and cylinder bolt) could be fitted so that no meaningful stress would be transferred to the hand, ratchet teeth, cylinder notch or cylinder bolt after the hammer came to full-cock. It largely removed the risk of skipping a notch and peening the notch on the far side.

If this doesnít float your boat, you can get somewhat the same affect by installing a screw in the trigger guard under the tip of the mainspring.

arcticap
December 9, 2012, 02:17 AM
So I took a look at my unfired, but certainly hand-cycled Pietta 1860 last night and sure enough, the notches in the cylinder are being peened by the bolt. Not as bad as the pics above but it's happening.

Which of these will fit?
http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?...3&mID=1&dID=96

Based on information from previous posts, the Wolff wire Sear/Bolt spring that fits Colt will work:

Wire-Type Springs (Stock No. 32294-32296) fits: Colt, Uberti, and most clones


This Heinie Colt SAA Trigger/Bolt Spring was also reported to work:

http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/trigger-group-parts/trigger-parts/trigger-springs/single-action-trigger-bolt-spring-prod6875.aspx


Below are previous posts: (IIRC mykeal posted about the Heinie):

Wolff makes a round wire replacement spring for the Colt Single Action that fits the Colt 1860 admirably. Much lighter, but still has positive lock up.

http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=3&mID=1#403


Wolff has trigger/bolt springs for the 1873 Colt that also fit the repro 1851's,1860's and with a little work the Remmies as well.They are round 'music wire' springs instead of flat springs,and they last for everrrr...


There is a simple solution to the weak trigger/bolt spring: both Wolf and Heinie make music wire springs for that function which last forever.Brownell's sells the Heinie spring under part number 394-630-000.

rifle
December 9, 2012, 10:34 AM
One factor that may sway the masses from the venerable Colt cap&baller for CASS shooting is the geometry of the Remington 1858/1863 Revolver.
The geometry of the hammer cam related to the shape of the bolt in a Remington make it possible(if it ain't like it already) to avoid the "snap" of the bolt hitting the cylinder peening it.
The hammer cam in the Rem holds the bolt leg and moves it off the cylinder and holds the bolt leg all the way back to the cylinder so the "snap" of the bolt head to the cylinder is not there.
If the Rem cam doesn't hold the bolt leg all the way back to the cylinder a lil crook to the leg closer to the cam can make it do it or a wide cam installed can do the trick.
If the bolt isn't messing up the cylinder just from the peening the bolt does initially at least one negative variable can be negated.

1KPerDay
December 9, 2012, 01:44 PM
Thanks articap :cool:

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