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bent rammer!

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by ZVP, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ZVP

    ZVP Well-Known Member

    I must have bent the rammer handle using .454" balls!
    I posted earlier last month about it and can't find the answers so I am going to try again,OK?
    I thought of correcting it by hammering the arm but that didn't work. I have considered trying to further elongate the latch pin slot to move the pin further into the clasp?
    Is there anywhere you can buy a stronger spring to push harder on the pin?
    The revolver is a full size 8" Pieitta with perhaps 400 shots thru it. As you can see it's still a new gun and it's a pity to have the Rammer fall with each shot
    I even tried filing the notch deeper but I fear it aggrivated the situation...
  2. Hellgate

    Hellgate Well-Known Member

    I've only had rammer drops with Colts (ASMs) and solved it by filing the rammer tip like a wood chisel blade (not like a cold chisel) and the catch recess to mesh with it so there were horizontal surfaces touching. I wish I could draw it for you.
  3. J-Bar

    J-Bar Well-Known Member

    Building up either or both surfaces with JB Weld might help, but would probably have to be repeated periodically as it wears down. At least it would be cheap and easy.
  4. Smokin'Joe

    Smokin'Joe Well-Known Member

    On my Pietta 1860 I got the loading lever spring loaded latch to engage the clasp tighter by snapping the latch a few times. I pushed the latch in with a screw driver and slid it away allowing the latch to snap out quickly. A few of these snaps bent the pin slightly and provided a better fit. Easiest repair I ever did.
  5. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Well-Known Member

    It is very doubtful that you damaged the rammer using .454 balls.
    The common recommendation is .451 inch, which is a slip-fit in the chambers of many reproduction revolvers. This is why so many shooters have gone to .454 balls, to ensure a good seal and the ball's tenacity against the chamber walls.
    The difference is .003 (three thousandths of an inch). Pure, soft lead will easily swage or cut against the chamber mouth; lead being one of the softest metals out there.

    Rather, I suspect that after the ball was seated on the powder, you applied too much pressure and may have bent the rammer.
    May have.
    Rammers are made of steel, and bending a 5" steel rod, 5/16th of an inch in diameter, is difficult. A lot of force must be applied.
    That said, I have seen one pistol with a bent rammer. It was on a cheap, brass-framed 1851 Navy made in Spain. I doubt the steel received any hardening, and was probably made of inferior alloy. This was decades ago. I still wonder how much force the owner applied to bend it; doesn't seem like an easy thing to do.

    What design is your revolver? Remington or Colt? Brass or steel-framed?
    Most of the time, the brass-framed revolvers have workmanship inferior to their steel-framed counterparts. This is why they sell cheaper.

    You really don't say what your problem is. Is the rammer dropping with every shot? This is a common problem among cap and ball revolvers, and very common among the Walker and Dragoon with their powerful charges.

    The cure for a rammer that repeatedly drops is to gently ... very gently ... filing the catch recess a little deeper. You may also have to reshape the rammer tip to fit the recess deeper.
    But do this with a set of Swiss needle files, so you don't remove much metal and can go slow. Harbor Freight, gun stores, and perhaps even Home Depot sells such a set. It's simply a set of very small files -- flat, rectangular and triangular in cross-section -- with very fine teeth.
    Be patient. Go slow, or you'll end up damaging the catch or rammer tip and have to order new ones.
  6. swathdiver

    swathdiver Well-Known Member

    What kind of balls? Did you cast your own?
  7. ZVP

    ZVP Well-Known Member

    ZVP's answers...

    Thanks for trying to help!
    The revolver is a Piettia '58 emington standard 8 steel frame.
    The rammer drops every shot even with 15 gr loads!
    The balls were swaged Horniday factory .454 balls.
    I will try the tricks you allo sent me!
    I love the revolver it is very accurate and easilly handles 35 gr loads. It's a beautifull piece of work! Recoil is low even with stout loads due to the weight and frame design, I realy like that part.
    Thanks again folks!
  8. unknwn

    unknwn Well-Known Member

    If you go to the Harbor Freight for a set of needle files, consider the diamond face type.
    They are a few dollars more but don't load up or wear out as easily.
    If you strike out on fixing your loading lever latch, a black o-ring stretched over the barrel and loading lever when stowed will keep it where you need it and won't look too bad while you need to depend on it.
  9. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I'm just thinking out loud here, but what if......you lowered the loading lever, placed an appropriate sized object between bent rammer and barrel, and gently re-bent the rammer upwards towards the barrel??

    ^^Admittedly thinking like a farmer, not a gunsmith.^^
  10. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    One other option would be to buy a replacement rammer. VTI Gun parts has the Pietta rammer for $30 unfinished. Hope you get your revolver up and running soon:)

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