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I need a hand...

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by .38 Special, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    ...in the literal sense. I have an Uberti 1862 Police that is the single worst percussion revolver I have owned, and making it work properly has become a bit of an obsession. The last piece of the puzzle is the hand - it's just a little too short and I cannot find a replacement. Anyone?
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Can't you make it a touch longer by moving some metal like with a cross peen.
     
  3. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    Contact Uberti USA and tell them the problem, they will have parts.
    You could also contact Dixie Gun Works, they sell Uberti guns and have a telephone book size catalog and pages of parts for old guns. A new part will have to be fitted. That is, carefully filed down until it's juuuussst right.
    This can be tedious and time consuming. Remember, you can file off metal ... but you can't make it longer.
    The 1862 is not a wierd unusual revolver and it ought not be hard to obtain the part you need.
     
  4. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    You could build up the end by welding, fit it and case harden. Done it more than once myself.
     
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  5. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I threw up a burr on each side of the hand. That took it from "ridiculously short" to "just a bit too short". I have some vague memory of a "hand stretcher" but that memory is so far gone as to be pointless. I suppose I could heat the thing up, whack it with a hammer, and then heat treat it (and I have had enough martinis that I am wondering why I shouldn't do just that) but it would be nice to have a replacement for when I screw it up, anyway.
     
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  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I am set up for brazing but not for welding. It may be time to add that...
     
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  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Uberti has been fabulously unresponsive. I will give Dixie a try in the morning, and I appreciate the idea.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    You could always grind a step and braze on a peace of hss or other hard steel. But check with Dixie.
     
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  9. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Check with VTI, I'm pretty sure you can get a new one. The top should stay level if not slightly higher on the left than the right side (opposite a regular setup on a six shooter) if this is a 5shot revolver.

    On the other hand (get it ?!!! Lol) you can in fact stretch a hand. First, heat the hand (red) and using say an 1/8" drill bit shank, strike the shank against the hand so that it "pinches" the hand (about half way up). Turn the hand over and do it again. Straighten the hand (as needed) and reinstall for a test. If it's still short, pinch it again (not in the same place). When it's too long, harden it (red then to an oil quinch) and dress the top accordingly till fitted (if you fit it first, it may warp when you harden it just so you can do this whole exercise again!!)
    I have to stretch the hand in probably 90% of the revolvers I work on so, it happens every day!!

    Good luck
    Mike
     
  10. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Mike, you are a treasure. I will try that - but I still want a spare for when I screw it up!
     
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  11. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Thank you .38 Special but, I'm just passing along information and hoping it will help!!

    Mike
     
  12. denster

    denster Member

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    Mike has it correct except for one thing. Skip the heating and quenching. The hand is mild steel and will not harden nor is it supposed to. The hand is a wear part and needs be softer than the cylinder ratchet that it bears against. Soft of course is a generic term the hand is tough enough to wear through thousands of cycles without appreciable change.
     
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  13. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    I case harden the ones I work on.
     
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  14. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Hah, mystery solved. Wondered what all those weird little indentations where.
     
  15. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    If this is the case, Colt, Ruger, S&W, Freedom Arms, et al . . . . all have it wrong. If you don't soften any of the hands in any of these revolvers, they will more than likely shatter because they are hardened. Mr. Jim Martin would be wrong as well. He's probably forgotten more about tuning than most will ever know. I've always hardened hands (as per instruction) and I would recommend that everyone do the same. You won't shoot enough to ever wear out a ratchet but you will change hands (if timing is important to you) often if you're an "active" shooter!

    I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

    Mike

    I'll add a little more : hands that I've hardened ( making the wrong choice thinking they were long enough to dress) and then deciding to get away with one more "stretching" without softening, always break!! So, this steel that won't harden will shatter after you harden it. I know it sounds funny but, softening the hand before stretching will allow you to stretch it, but after you harden it, it will shatter . . . go figure. The great thing is I'm just a dumb tuner and don't need to know what steel any particular part is made of which frees me from "over analyzing" every step that I do. I just know if you get a new hand from VTI (or anyone else) and try to stretch it without softening first, will more than likely break or crack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  16. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Mr. mike....so you have lengthen about 90% of the hands on all the cap and ball revolvers you work on? Do they come too short from factory? Ive only had to change and fit a hand once and i just had to shorten it a hair...but that short amount i took off made a.huge difference....before shortening it the gun would just lock up when cyled and over cycle. So i got to shaving off a little bit at a time till it worked. How can i tell if my stock hand is too short and needs to be stretched? Cuz all my guns cycle and seem to be timed just Fine but im curious if "just fine" is actually bad timing and it can be improved upon. I did notice that the hand i replaced and shortened makes the gun lock up tight when i cycle it...like once i pull the hammer back to full cock it wont go any further..but my other guns i can put in full cock and still press the hammer back a small amount. So did i leave my hand too long on that one gun, or are my other guns hands too short? Not sure if im supposed to be able to move the hammer back further after im already in full cock. Thanks mike!
     
  17. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Yep, . . . . . . stretch marks!!!! Lol!!

    Mike
     
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  18. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Outlawkid,
    Well first of all, a Single Action from the factory (except possibly Freedom Arms or Mag.Research, but even they can be improved on) has plenty of slop. Most of the new "tightness" can be attributed to burred edges that will wear away in short order and at that point, all things will change . . . even timing . . .
    Tuning takes the edges off so that there is a consistency in the action setup as time goes on. Two items I put in every S.A. is a bolt block and an action stop (which leads to both of your questions).
    First, the bolt block removes the lateral movement of the bolt which gives the bolt head a much more accurate location. This means the locking notches have to get all the way to the lock-up point which brings us to the hand needing to be stretched on 90% of the revolvers I work on.

    Second, the action stop puts an end to hammer travel after full cock. If not for an action stop, the locked cylinder and therefore the chain of cycle is the "stop". This puts extra wear on the action parts as well as the locking notches. The S.A.A. Colt had an action stop designed into it. Needless to say, it didn't pan out as designed so it was decided that the two fingered hand was in a strong enough position that a stop wouldn't be needed. For the average " Joe", that probably works. Well, I don't do average and almost all the revolvers I work on have single fingered hands . . . so they all get action stops. There ya go.

    Your hand is too short if you can slowly cycle the action (while dragging a finger on the cyl) and reach the full cock notch before the bolt locks the cyl. Those two things should happen simultaneously. Once full cock and lockup are correct, then your hand is the correct length!! Now, you can set the bolt drop.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
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  19. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I thought of that, also, as well as some people using JB Weld and a file.
     
  20. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    You know, if we were talking about a hard-to-find part, I'd be thinking about a piece of steel, a file, and some patience in shaping a new part to "just right".
     
  21. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    I have made much more complicated parts with a file and basic measurements than a simple hand for a revolver. Careful measurements and patience and don't get in a hurry. Make it fit , case harden it and you're good to go, plus you can take some pride in saying I made it and it works.
     
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  22. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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  23. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Your statement has me curious. What is your brazing setup?
     
  24. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I am a big fan of files and use them daily. (I build bicycle frames as a hobby, which is where the brazing comes in. I use Oxy-propane with an oxygen concentrator and a 5 gallon propane tank, which is perfect for silver brazing but not really hot enough for welding.) The trouble with making a hand is that this particular one includes a spring. I suppose after the zombies come and I run out of smokeless I will learn how to blacksmith my percussion revolvers, but for now I am just going to wait for the mailman. (Thanks again to Mike for the source, and skeeterfogger for the backup.)
     
  25. denster

    denster Member

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    No Smith, Colt, Freedom Arms & Ruger don't harden the hands. Your statement that they would shatter unless softened shows you have no idea what you are refering to. If they were that hard they could not be touched with a file however a file is the tool universally used to fit them. Go ahead and keep doing what you are doing since they are mild steel you are not changing anything just wasting time.
     
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