Saying Hi, and questions about getting into BP shooting.


September 9, 2013, 01:41 AM
Good evening The High Road,

I deeply apologize for the wall of text about to ensue, and would like to thank you in advance for as helpful as these forums have already been!

I am new to these forums, and the black powder section is what made me want to sign up. I am a firearms enthusiast, though one with a college student budget. I have had many guns in the past, but the only two (smokeless) firearms I have right now are a HK P7M8, and an Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1. The Enfield has me convinced that guns with fewer moving parts are more accurate, and it has caused me to love older firearms.

I decided to head to my local Cabela's and look at some firearms to see if they had anything that caught my eye a few days ago. As I finished looking at all of the smokeless firearms I wandered by the black powder firearms section. The display of Pietta revolvers caught my eye. I have never been much of one for revolvers, and have always thought that modern revolvers are kind of ugly. However these black powder revolvers demanded that I stop and look. These replica revolvers that Pietta makes are beautiful, and what I think a revolver SHOULD look like. The balance and weight of these revolvers are beautiful things to see and hold.

Anyways, this caused me to want to purchase one on the spot, especially at the attractive sale price of $249. I have never purchased a handgun for less than $700, however, I held out and went home to do some research. Time and again, THR seemed to pop up no matter what I was searching for. So I read through as much of the black powder essentials sticky post that I could, then went back and purchased my first black powder firearm; a Pietta 1860 Army. It came with a free starter kit that included a flask, nipple wrench, capper, powder measure, and 30 .45 balls, and 30 patches. Not a bad deal I thought. I also purchased a pound of Pyrodeg P (FFFg equivalent). However Cabella's was all out of percussion caps. After arriving at home I unboxed it and held it like a child clutches at his new toy. Again I was in love with the balance, the feel, and the beauty of this revolver.

The next day was all about getting percussion caps, I tried many places. All of the local gun stores, Walmart since they have them listed on their site, Bass Pro (an employee there said they have been out of them for months and there is a big backorder at the warehouse so they don't know when they would get them in again), and finally started browsing online. The only place that I found that had some to sell were Dixie Gun Works. I ordered 1 tin of 100 #11 caps (still waiting on these to show up), and ended up paying a $25.75 dollar HazMat fee (oh well, it is all for the love of shooting).

I got enough tools together to try and disassemble my new revolver for cleaning. The resource I used for this was a two part video on youtube:

I made my way through removing the barrel assembly and sliding the cylinder off removing the nipples and cleaning all the parts disassembled so far. I found I did not have a good enough screw driver to proceed in taking apart the grip to continue cleaning further. After some thought I decided to put it back together, I didn't want to damage or strip any screws. After I put it back together I noticed that there was some cylinder play after cocking the hammer and slowly releasing it down to the nipple so as to not damage it through dry firing. What i noticed after 10 cycles or so it looked something like this: (not my gun, a picture of one from somewhere on the internet. But I do not want it to progress so the black cylinder is all marred up with silvery areas on the stops.

So now I have a few questions:

How do I get rid of the play that is in the cylinder, it has a very tiny bit of play from back to front, and a very tiny bit as well on its rotation axis. I did a search for how to fix it, and a post from THR did come up about replacing the Cylinder Stop. Is this an avenue that needs to be pursued?

Who makes a good gunsmith tool kit that would be able to handle this revolver's screws at a decent price?

What is a good resource on the complete disassembly of the 1860, or was the one that I was using good enough?

What is a good container to carry all of my black powder paraphernalia?

What will make a good gun case for this revolver? It seems to be a tad too long for most pistol cases. Or should I just get a pistol bag or nice belt and holster and store it in the holster?

If you have any other tips, anything I should know, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you read through the whole post, thank you for reading, and your patience!

If you enjoyed reading about "Saying Hi, and questions about getting into BP shooting." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 9, 2013, 11:12 AM
Welcome Brammers!!!:)

TOW sells some good screwdrivers here:

Or MidwayUSA sells some good screwdrivers,

About the play that could be a lot of things. There is some good information up top to correct this.

September 9, 2013, 11:21 AM
I don't think you can easily get rid of the play in the cylinder, not without a lot of very precise machining work that will cost more than you paid for the revolver.

One of the best options for a shooting box is a cheap tool box. Pad with foam rubber. Buy a long pistol soft case, put the gun in that. Having said that, I personally use a Dokosil "4 pistol" case. Which is just big enough for one revolver and all the accoutrements. The spotting scope is separate.

September 9, 2013, 11:52 AM
Thank you for the links to the screwdriver sets Crawdad1, I will have to get some for the gun.

I didn't think to use a toolbox for a shooting box, I have a harbor freight nearby and could pick one up for fairly cheap, Thanks Mike OTDP.

September 9, 2013, 12:04 PM
A little fore-aft play is OK. You don't actually want to have ZERO cylinder gap or when the gun gets hot & dirty it will seize up.
A tiny bit of sideways play is pretty normal for Italian guns (BP revolvers) and will not really hurt. The balls have round fronts and the forcing cone will take care of the tiny amount of play. It is hard to imagine lock-up being so far off time that shooting the gun would damage it. If the cyliner looks online with the barrel, it's probably good.
Pietta (actually Pietta Brothers, that's what FLLI.PIETTA means) make good guns. Quality has actually improved over recent years and many think these are now equal to Aldo Uberti's products, which were the previous creme of the crop of Italian guns. There are super high quality guns which are mostly German but they are waaaaaaaaay more expensive.

September 9, 2013, 01:34 PM
Sounds like you are off to a good start. Next time you order caps order 1000 or 2000 at a time. Hazmat fee is the same.
The play you described does not seem excessive to me. I would think that you will find that it fires and rotates fine when you get out to shoot it.
Lot's of good information and help available here on THR.
Welcome to Black Powder.

September 9, 2013, 03:49 PM
The HAZMAT fee is the same unless you buy from Bass Pro! They charge the HAZMAT fee PER TIN! Probably why they're the only big on-line vendor that has any caps in stock!

September 9, 2013, 04:37 PM
You can avoid Haz-Mat fees altogether at Cabelas by ordering the caps on-line and having them shipped to the store for you to pick up.

September 9, 2013, 04:40 PM
It is common for Pietta revolvers to have the bolt a bit wider than the notches in the cylinder, which causes peening of the edge of the notch. The solution is to carefully file down the width of the bolt that protrudes up through the frame (the "water table" as its called) and fits into the notch. The process is described in a brilliant instruction manual by a cowboy action shooter/gunsmith named Larsen E. Pettifogger. Follow this link to another forum, The Open Range, and download the two articles in the first post:

There are going to be a number of cowboy action clubs in Arizona. The vendors at these matches, particularly the club annual matches and the state championship match will have caps, powder, firearms and accessories for sale. Here is the link to the Arizona clubs:

The soot lords at these matches will be happy to coach you in your new hobby. Good luck.

September 9, 2013, 04:42 PM
This is the screwdriver set that was recommended to me. A great product for the price!

They have a more complete set as well for a little more.

September 9, 2013, 05:21 PM
I found this driver set on Ebay, made by Winchester. Not sure of it quality but for $13.90 shipped to my door I could not resist. There are several more sets available.

1 Non-slip Rubber Grip 1/4" Driver with Magnetized Tip

~ 8 Hex Bits

~ 12 Parallel Bits

~ 3 Phillips Bits

~ 3 Torx Bits

~ 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits

~ 1" Socket Adapter

~ Fitted Storage Case

~ Winchester Name On Case and Screwdriver Handle

September 9, 2013, 06:08 PM
The Chapmans (mine and Rodwha's link) and Grace screwdrivers are built here with American steel and hollow ground, those are the ones you want for any good firearm.

September 9, 2013, 07:35 PM
Thank you everyone for answering all of my questions. It looks like i have a bit of reading to do. It is good to know that there are some local clubs as well.

44 Dave
September 9, 2013, 10:51 PM
The screws that are hardest to fit are the wedge screw (you may never need to take out), the main spring and the trigger-bolt spring. wide very narrow slot.

September 12, 2013, 09:52 PM
I've found that tackle boxes are better suited for range boxes than tool boxes. You will accumulate a lot of small stuff that are better accommodated in a tackle box. Tackle boxes generally have movable dividers to enable you to customize your box to you needs.

September 13, 2013, 10:43 AM
Some tool boxes have lots of compartments too and they're intended to carry a fair amount of weight, which is good. Search Amazon for Plano 823-003 as an example - there are some little compartments up top, and then a couple of shallow trays that can hold all kinds of stuff, and then the big pit at the bottom is just for any really bulky stuff that didn't fit above (like the actual gun, in a soft case).

September 13, 2013, 05:45 PM
Grace makes some great screwdrivers and they have awesome customer service. Their Colt Peacemaker set of screwdrivers works on all of my Pietta and Uberti and ASM revolvers. Euroarms is a different beast, not even my Winchester or
Wheeler sets have a match. For you fellas with a Ruger, they also have a 3 driver set for the Old Army and Black Hawks.

My Winchester set has buggered up the screw heads, the Grace screwdrivers are much better.

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