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1860 army cylinder gaps, wiggle, and hammer/nipple gaps?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jason41987, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    just out of curiosity.. what should the cylinder gap be on the 1860 army?.. i can get a single sheet of printer paper through it touching both the cylinder and the cone, folded over it doesnt come close to fitting in between...

    also, how much cylinder play should there be when the cylinder is locked?

    and there seems to be a similar size gap between the hammer and the nipples when the hammer is down... which im guessing is how its supposed to be?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. Naybor

    Naybor New Member

    Cylinder gap is wonderful.

    Cylinder play should be very little ~ as tight as possible.

    What you are describing is fine. If it touched the nipples they soon would be battered, especially if you dry fire the weapon. Note: if the gap is too great, you may have ignition problems.
  3. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    well, im doing a bit of investigative surgery on this thing... was looking into the cylinder play issue from side to side... so i took the bolt out of the pistol, placed it into the stops on the cylinder to check the fit... was perfect here...

    so then i put the bolt over the pin.... it wiggled.. a lot... thought that was odd, so put the parts back into the pistol to test and it seems the hole for the pin that holds the bolt in is a bit larger than the pin itself which is causing a play in the cylinder when attempting to rotate it while locked... but when i put the handspring back in, the wiggle is still there, but the bolt doesnt seem to be moving... confusing
  4. unknwn

    unknwn New Member

    Pivot pin to bolt pivot hole & bolt slop in bolt frame window are both things you get to live with,
    It is what it is ,
    and I don't expect that you will get either aspect of the cylinder rotational play to ever get any better with that gun (and I'm talking about brand / model in that respect),
  5. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    if you drop the hammer between cylinders and try to rotate it side to side.. the amount of play i get here is roughly the amount of play i get when its locked back and ready to fire
  6. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    hmm... i just took the hand assembly out.. and it looks like it somehow got peened... would this cause excessive side to side wiggle?
  7. Skinny 1950

    Skinny 1950 New Member

    How is the fit of the bolt in the rectangular hole in the frame, if it is loose the bolt will move sideways under pressure. If the bolt fits tight in the cylinder stops then it is probably the bolt moving sideways.
  8. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    the bolt does wiggle a small amount... not sure what one could do to remedy this though?.. perhaps i should use the old one as a pattern to carve a slightly thicker one and fine-tune the fit if i wanted a tighter lockup
  9. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    ill be honest... this revolver does wiggle a bit do to the bolt wiggling... and its probably within spec from their factory quality control... but i mostly bought a pietta 1860 as cheap practice on single action revolvers... to learn more about the actions themselves, improving the feel, the fit, the function of the parts...

    i know i can get a better lockup than what this came with.. so i intend to do so not out of necessity, but as a learning experience on the work involved... im going to ask around and see if i can get a part slightly oversized and fine tune the fit, if not, i can make one from scratch... also, the hand is a bit peened... i dont know how that happened, but VTI sells a replacement for $8, so no big deal
  10. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    hmm... seems to be incredibly tight on the lockup if i hold pressure on the hammer to hold it back... but on the bolt alone is when it wiggles, so i guess ill have to make a slightly oversized bolt to get a tighter lockup..
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  11. mykeal

    mykeal New Member

    Most of (in fact, all of) the posts about bolt heads fitting cylinder stop notches are about going the other way - making the head smaller so it doesn't peen the notch edges. You're the first person to want to tighten up that interface.

    Think about the dynamic situation - do you really want the bolt head to be a tight fit when it's having to move in and out of the notch? I think you're fixing to cause a bigger problem than you have.
  12. arcticap

    arcticap New Member

    Perhaps the cylinder bolt spring could be very slightly tightened up by turning the screw that's located under the trigger guard.
    That increases the upward pressure of the cylinder locking bolt.
    It was mentioned that when the screw was loosened up too much the cylinder had more lateral movement and didn't lock up as tight. The downside is that doing it increases the chance of the cylinder bolt dinging the cylinder or peening the side of the cylinder notch.
    Putting some grease in the leads of the cylinder notches could temporarily soften the impact of the adjusted cylinder bolt if experimenting with increasing the spring tension.
    The chambers are made under sized relative to the diameter of the forcing cone to help minimize the potential for alignment problems. If the cylinder movement became excessive then there would be some lead getting deposited at the barrel mouth or lead flecks would spit out from the side of the barrel cylinder gap.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012

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