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1860 Army .44 Trouble Shooting question.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ratdog68, Jun 24, 2009.

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  1. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    My friend (Andy) told me this evening that he's noticed his revolver isn't behaving normally.

    When the muzzle is pointed down and he goes to cock the hammer, it doesn't. However... when the muzzle is pointed up and he goes to cock it, it functions normally.

    I told him I'd inquire here. I don't own one, so, I'm not too familiar with 'em. Am I off base with expecting it's going to be rather similar to my Walker? M'be an issue with the wedge not seating the cylinder correctly... allowing it to slide forward when muzzle down and seating correctly when muzzle up? I haven't had the opportunity to see it first hand to inspect it myself... but will probably have a chance to do so next Tuesday when I see him again.

    Anyone have anything further I should look for ?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    ...possibly...the Spring which tensions the Hand, is broken...
     
  3. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    It's not a problem with cylinder end play. Oyeboten is correct, the hand spring is either broken or bent so that it isn't providing enough force to push the end of the hand into the ratchet teeth on the back of the cylinder.

    The Walker shares the same action design as the other Colt open tops from that era, with the exception of the Paterson.
     
  4. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    +1 on your hand,or hand spring being broken.
     
  5. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Thank you...

    Any special tools needed to make a repair? Where would a feller turn for an exploded view of the gun?
     
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    If the problem only showed up after a complete strip down and cleaning it may just have gone back together wrong. Or the hand's pivot pin may have sheared or loosened and fallen out, the spring may have broken, or even the metal of the hand itself may have broken.

    It could be any one of about 4 or 5 things but I have to agree that it sure sounds like an issue with the hand assembly. To fix it you'll need an assortment of tools including a spring winding jig and assortment of music wire and maybe a bench, vise, metal stock, files, etc to make a new hand if it has cracked off the finger...... :D

    So it's likely that you may not be able to fix it first time out unless it's just a misassembly issue. The first trip will probably be an exploratory one to find the issue. So enough well fitting screwdrivers to disassemble the gun and a few basics is all you're going to need for the first trip.
     
  7. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Kewl, thanks.

    To my knowledge... he hasn't done anything with the gun for a while... he's been pretty busy with life.
     
  8. rcflint

    rcflint Member

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  9. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Be careful. Some people might not understand that you're kidding - even with the smiley face.

    All you need is a set of gunsmithing screwdrivers - about $25. You can use household screwdrivers but you stand a very good chance of damaging the screw heads.

    Here's a breakdown; this happens to be an 1860 Army, but it still applies as far as the action parts are concerned.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Thank you for that....

    Already familiar with the need for the right screw drivers for working on firearms... and have them. Having never had one of these open, figured it'd be prudent to find out if there's a special tool needed for the job. LOL BCRider owes me a little fodder here and there... I took it as such. :neener:

    Appreciate the exploded view of it. Nice to have it to reference to... thankee mucho.
     
  11. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    WHAT? ! ? ! YOU DON'T HAVE A PORTABLE SHOP IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR! ? ! ? I thought everyone did.... :D

    Just thinking that if it's been a while and he's been busy enough to just shoot and do a basic cleaning rather than a full on down and deep cleaning that the action may be fouled with powder residue and the hand is just stuck. Certainly I was shocked at how much crud was in the actions of my Remmies after that one day. Not sure when they were last fully stripped down before I got them so I guess I'll find out now that I know I'm starting from squeaky clean guns..... Yeah, yeah, I know.... if they are squeaky then I need to oil 'em.... :D
     
  12. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Trying to rebuild the tool supply... three burglaries on the job-site last year and I lost $15,000 worth of tools in all. No... the Seattle PD aren't doin' squat either.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's just all gunked up. Don't know if he's taken it down for a deep cleaning (ever). I've known him for about a year, and don't think it's been shot in that time... how long before? I dunno.
     
  13. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    If the cylinder doesn't rotate with the muzzle pointing down, as the OP said, the handspring isn't likely broken.
    If it was broken, aiming the gun upward would cause it to fail to push forward and engage the cylinder ratchet. It would probably engage the ratchet if aimed down, though, unless it was gunked up.

     
  14. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Good point Tommygunn...


    It was late night and I had it bass ackwards...Lol...


    Hmmmmm...side play in Hand, maybe?

    Cylinder end-play...binding/catching on the front somehow..?
     
  15. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    And it only took 13 posts for someone to think of this.

    Each time I had a hand spring break, I pointed the pistol down when cocking so gravity would drop the hand into the cylinder ratchet to advance to the next chamber.

    Not advancing when pointing down leads me to believe end play is the culprit.
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    +1
    The tip of the hand could be broken or worn.
     
  17. junior geezer

    junior geezer Member

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    as noted in a previous thread herein, i have had numerous problems with the wedge(s) on my steel-frame replica 1860 Army; they eventually becoming bent through repeated firing. on more than one occasion, to fire off my last remaining charges, i would have to point my revolver skyward while cocking, as this was the only way i could get the cylinder to turn. a bent wedge can make for excessive end play.
     
  18. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    LOL I filled my buddy in on the input from here...

    he had it bas-ackwards. It advances when pointed down, does not when pointed upwards. I'm also suspecting that it hasn't been opened up and given a good cleaning... and he hadn't heard of lubing the gun with a veg-based oil for use and a petroleum based for long term storage. It's probably all gunked up. He also didn't know about not using gunsmithing screwdrivers on his gun. I'll be seein' him next Tuesday and will be bringing my screwdrivers with me and see what I find inside.

    Thanks all for your input.
     
  19. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    In that case, it's definitely a broken hand spring.
     
  20. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    parts # 18 and #7 [in that diagram] are suspect.
     
  21. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Grassy Ass Ameeeeeego !!

    Appreciate the input fellers... mykeal for the schematic, and BHP Fan, for the part number reference too.
     
  22. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

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    What is said above would be just the opposite if it were a handspring being broken.
    Held bbl down the hand would fall forward to the cylinder and turn it and the bolt would lock up...held bbl up it couldn't turn the cylinder...

    Fingers it only took me one reading :O) I just read it...
     
  23. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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    Same thing happened to me with two different ASM Colt's revolvers in a single match: Broken hand spring. I had to point the gun down to cock it. I have successfully replaced the hand springs with a good bobby pin spring by pulling out the broken spring (used a sharp chisel to slightly flare the insertion of the spring) then put in the proper length of bobby pin segment, peened it in place and the hand worked great. It had more tension than the original but has worked like a charm.
     
  24. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    Update....

    As it turns out, his 1860 is a Pietta, not an Uberti. I took it apart tonight and found that the "trigger and bolt spring" (#26 in the Pietta diagram) is broken. As you lay the gun with trigger facing upward... the right hand side of the spring was not only broken off, but missing altogether. The screw head was a bit buggered up, leading me to suspect the gun's been dug around inside at least once before. Andy told me he's never had the gun apart. He bought it used. There was a minor amount of brown uglies just beginning to grow inside. All we had on hand at his leather shop was some 600 grit paper and some WD-40. So... we buffed everything clean with it and wiped it all down good.

    Upon reassembly, I found that the "roller" (#20 in the diagram) on the hammer does not spin/turn. Since all I had available was WD-40... we shot a bit in there to soak.

    With the muzzle raised, the hammer does not lock in the cocked position, the trigger remains rearward, as if having been pulled to fire. It functions normally with the muzzle parallel with the floor or pointed downward.

    Everything else seems to be pretty good inside his puppy. Never had one of those apart, simple enough to tear down. I note that his is set up to accept the carbine stock attachment. He had no idea until I showed it to him and explained how it attaches.

    Who's a good source for parts for these?
     
  25. rcflint

    rcflint Member

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    VTIgunparts.com
     
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