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cooked pietta 1858

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by jnewton2, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. jnewton2

    jnewton2 Active Member

    If you put this gun in the stove,turned it up to 500 degrees,and left it there for an hour would any damage result? I did this to dry it after cleaning with soapy water. I took it totally apart and put all metal pieces in the stove. Would this fatigue the metal or something like that? I don't want it to blow up in my face the next time I shoot it.One of the internal pieces has broken since then in the course of cocking and decocking. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
  2. solvability

    solvability Well-Known Member

    Embrittlement can occur at that temperature. That was not a good thing to do.
  3. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    Since you mention the broken piece..., best to reassemble it, coat it with Birchwood Casey Sheath, and put it in a shadow box on the mantle. Go and buy another one, and never dry above the lowest setting in an oven, if you must use an oven. Really in the future if you are in a massive hurry, then after a thorough wipe down I'd hit it with aerosol brake cleaner, as that evaps off completely and displaces any water. You still need to follow with a good rust preventative as that stuff is also a great degreaser.

  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    That is possibly the worst temperature you could have cooked it at.
    As solvability says, there is such a thing as temper embrittlement in some alloys that takes place around 500 F (Also comes in to play at 500 C.) Since you already have one broken part, other pieces of the gun may also be the same alloy and affected the same way. How about a new cylinder, at the minimum? Or just shelve it.
  5. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    A hair dryer is a much better solution to dry off a pistol that has been cleaned using the water method. I clean my revolvers in soapy water, rinse with boiling water from a tea kettle. Let dry and then take a hair dryer to them to catch any remaining drops of water. I never have had any rust issues when I use this method JM2C.
  6. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    Every man should have an air compressor. They're not just for tires.
  7. dtvburns

    dtvburns Member.

    It is posable you tempered some of the metal and it is now brittle, but on a positive note it is less likely to be scratched.

    If you use an air compressor make sure you have a dryer inline or you will just be blowing fine water vapor all over it if you live somewhere besides the desert.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  8. You damaged the '58 sir. It's your own fault. If you wern't aware as to whether it would damage it or not then you had no business doing it. Go without....."Judge, yes sir I shot that man through the head without provocation with that .38 Special. I was just messing around. I didn't even think as to whether it would kill him or not".."So, you admit to doing it. If you wasn't aware that you were in danger of killing him then you shouldn't have shot him. Deputy, escort this man out and let him enjoy a last cigarette while they warm up the Electric Chair"....
  9. solvability

    solvability Well-Known Member

    If it were a valuable weapon it could be retempered, but for this one please put it on display. The danger is real - you were smart to pickup on the possibility that there was a problem. This is a costly lesson, but a valuable one going forward.
  10. rcflint

    rcflint Well-Known Member


    Water boils at 212 degrees. You need barely more than that to dry the gun. I never set an oven over 250 to dry a gun part or wet brass.
  11. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Well-Known Member

    After cleaning in hot Soapy Water, a Cap & Ball or other Revolver will dry wonderfully at around 110 degrees in moving Air, for that matter.

    There is never any need to heat them up more than is comfortable to still be holding loosely in the palm of the Hand.

    Wipe off any excess Water, warm the Steel with warm Air merely, or by the very Hot Water itself prior to wipe down, and, the residual Water will evaporate right before your Eyes...
  12. sonofodin

    sonofodin Member.


    to hear about your rotten luck mate. We ALL do things that afterwords we think gee....what was I thinking? Why did I do that? Don't beat yourself up over this mack.

    at first your :mad::cuss::fire::banghead:

    gotta be :scrutiny::eek::D:rolleyes::cool:
  13. sltm1

    sltm1 Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that if he let it come back to room temp without quenching, it would have "normalized" the metal and there would be no appreciable difference from before the "cooking". Quenching would have made the metal brittle.
  14. jnewton2

    jnewton2 Active Member

    Thank you all who posted helpful and polite comments. This does not sound good.:uhoh: I don't know what "retempering" costs but I bet it's around what the gun cost in the first place.:scrutiny:


    the guy who cooked his gun

    yum yum
  15. denster

    denster Well-Known Member

    For gosh sakes people there is no part of a Pietta 1858, with the exception of the grips, that can be damaged by 500deg F. I agree there is no point in doing it but damage no not a bit.
  16. SAA

    SAA Well-Known Member

  17. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    I have the same model Pietta and find all I have to do is to run some mild soapy water through it, rinse it off with hot water (as hot as it get from your hot water heater) for a minute or so, quickly wipe it down and set it up to dry. The retained heat in the metal will cause the moisture to dry rather fast. After a few minutes of drying, I typically wipe it down again with something soft and dry like a paper towel and spray it down with CLP.

    They're may be other or "better" ways of cleaning BP firearms, but of all my BP firearms and C&R firearms that see plenty of Berdan primed ammunition, I have yet to find a single speck of rust anywhere.
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    You might think that "there is no part of a Pietta 1858, with the exception of the grips, that can be damaged by 500deg F."

    but the OP said:

    Now unless you want to bet that it was just that unnamed internal part's time to go, there was apparently SOME effect of the cooking.
  19. denster

    denster Well-Known Member


    I'll repeat again there is no part of the 1858 that can be damaged by 500deg F. That would draw a small amount of the hardness from the case hardened parts but not enough to apprecably effect function and if one were concerned a complete replacement parts kit is available from Cabela's that includes hammer, trigger, mainspring, bolt trigger spring, bolt, and hand with spring for $29.95. Before you ruin this gentlemans day telling him he ruined his gun you ought to at least have some idea what you are talking about.
  20. SAA

    SAA Well-Known Member

    Denster, I was going to say as you are saying, that as long as he let it air cool, the steel became more malleable, if anything, not more brittle.

    However, there may be something to what Jim is saying. While researching for supporting documents I ran into this:
    "Tempering in the range of 260–370 °C (500–698 °F) is sometimes avoided to reduce temper brittling."

    This only applies to parts that were previously austenized (heat treated), parts like the springs, trigger and hammer for instance, and maybe the hand and bolt as well. As far as I know, cylinders and barrels are not heat treated in this way or they would be prone to shattering under normal use. So, the 500 degree oven bake shouldn't hurt those parts, which is what I think Denster is saying.

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