Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Need help from Experienced BP owners!!!

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by The Sicilian, Jun 22, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I just bought an 1860 Colt third generation black powder revolver (Signature series 1860). The gun was previously owned but looks to only have been fired a few times, if even that much. Anyway, I was checking the gun out at home, cocking it and dry firing it to see how everything was working (The gun shop owner would not let me do this before I bought the gun). For the first few trigger pulls everything was working fine, except the fact that the trigger was what most people would call a "Hair trigger". I think that would be an understatement, considering the pressure it takes to pull the trigger, i.e, you hardly have to touch it, you could look at the trigger funny and it would go off! :eek:

    A few more times of checking the trigger and pulling back the hammer and the hammer would not stay fully cocked! :cuss: It will stay at half cocked but it will not stay cocked and ready for firing! This wouldn't be too much of a problem if I never planned to shoot the damn gun but I bought it to shoot, not to put on the wall or into a safe. I've heard that this is an easy problem to fix, all one should need is a few screw drivers and a file, is this true? Which part would I have to file, the hammer? Is it possible that I may not even have to do any filing? A person told me that it could simply be some left over debrie fouling things up, lke old pieces of fired primers.

    Please try and give me clear instructions on how to fix this problem. I'm dissapointed that I couldn't take it to the range yesterday. I'd like to fix the gun before my next trip which may be this weekend. I bought a cheap set of small files from Harbor frieght for around $4.00 dollars that should do the trick fine. If not I'll buy some diamond files for around $10.00 bucks. I filed down the front sight on my Remington because it was shooting low, now the elevation is almost perfect. I need to buy a small table vice so I can move the front sight to the right a little. It shoots around two or three inches to the right. The Remington is capable of shooting one inch groups, it's a fine revolver considering the money I paid for it. I'll eventually get a conversion cylinder to see how it shoots with modern cartridges. Uberti makes a pretty good replica and I've hear the third generation Colts are built from Uberti parts.

    Question number two: I have a Remington New Army and I would like to lighten up the hammer as it takes a little too much effort to cock the revolver. The trigger is perfect and the gun is a shooter! What do I have to do to lighten up the hammer tension? I have plenty of diagrams so I just need the proper directions on how to modify the hammer pull. It takes way too much effort to cock the gun so I'd like to lighten it up before Sunday.

    Thanks for the help,

    Sicilian.
     
  2. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,460
    from the way your new gun started out, it sound like there was very little full cock notch contacting the trigger and when it started to smooth out, there was effectively none. Given the behavior of the spinctorial behavior of the guy who sold it to you, I would probably take it back and make him exchange it or send it to the manufacture for same. This would at the very least have the effect of making him explain that he doesn't practice business ethics.

    Otherwise, you can probably fix the gun by very conservative deepening of the hammer notch. It would be best to do so in a manner that would not let the file touch whatever remains of the full cock notch where it contacts the trigger as any degree of filing on it will remove any casehardening that might be present. Can't tell if this is feasible without looking but if the notch is virtually gone, it might not be possible to avoid cutting into the hardening.

    On the remington, if the trigger pull is nice, I would be tempted to avoid any weakening of the hammer spring. backing out on the screw that tensions the bottom of the spring may help though the remington springs are captured in a frame groove which can limit that effect. On my Uberti, that screw does put some strain on the mainspring affording a degree of adjustment.
     
  3. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I already took it back to the store owner. I don't want a new gun, nor do I want a replacement. Besides, he couldn't replace it even if he wanted to, it's not like these guns are easy enough to grab up for cheap. I've been pricing the signature series on the net and the prices people are asking are nuts! Just because of the Colt name they are already going for around $850.00! :what: I've yet to see one under $500.00. I paid $350.00 for mine (tax included) and by the look of the prices I did alright. I know the gun smith the owner would have sent it to and he won't be back in town until July 11, then I'd have to wait for him to unwind from his vacation (He travels the Cowboy action shooting circuit) and then he'd finally take a look at the gun. By the time I'd get the gun back in working order it would be around July 15 or so. I don't really want to wait that long in order to shoot my new 1860, know what I mean?

    Could you give me more detailed instructions mec, maybe some sort of a diagram so I can see exactly what I'll need to file away? I'm sure it will be pretty simple after I know what to do, but as of right now I don't know all of the proper names of the parts, nor do I know the specific shapes that engage the hammer and trigger. I'm sorry if I'm being a pain in the ass, please bear with my inexperienced questions, I'll eventually get the hang of things.

    Thanks mec,

    Sicilian.
     
  4. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,460
    I should have read your first paragraph better. Of course you can't send a signature series back for replacement.
    I've read one post complaining about a hammer de-tuning on a signature and the guy thought it was because of soft metal. You can kind of see the full cock notch on the hammer here:
    [​IMG]

    It is a small shelf that engages the tip of the trigger. Ideally, the metal has been case hardened putting a very thin hard surface over a fairly soft hammer. If you file on it, you expose soft metal which will wear out quickly . Depending on the exact configuration of your hammer, you might be able to file it deeper without abrading the contact surface.
    [​IMG]
    Once you get it down to this point, you'll be able to tell if it's the hammer or the trigger that needs shaping. Probably the hammer notch but triggers have been known to crumble away too. I had that happen on a really excremental "Lincoln Derringer" from Pal-fecundating=metto Arms Co. On these Pietta parts you can see that the hammer is case hardened but the trigger is not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    I wonder if someone did a trigger pull or action job on this revolver, and went too far. One problem is that the hammer is made from soft steel, which is then case hardened. If someone cut through the hard surface the hammer may be ruined. Triggers are not case hardened, but if someone filed on the one in your gun it may be ruined too. It is also possible that someone replaced or cut down either the trigger & bolt spring or the mainspring. Doing this to either or both springs could effect the trigger pull.

    The first thing that should be done is to completely disassemble the frame assembly to examine the parts for unauthorized modifications. Only after that will you know what needs to be done to correct the situation. If necessary, new parts can be obtained from www.e-gunparts.com.

    Do not dry fire this revolver! The hammer will batter the nipples in the cylinder and they will have to be replaced too.
     
  6. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,460
    Ah. Simultaneous posts from both me and the Venerable Fuff. I see that they contain essentially the same information even though conceived independently. two for the price of one.
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Yup... Great minds thik alike, and all that... :)

    The big problem I have here it that it's very difficult to offer advise without examining the gun and/or parts. The alternative would be very good, detailed photographs. The price of the revolver (which is truly a fine one) makes me wonder if someone played with the insides when they shouldn't have, and then dumped it when things didn't work right. Even if certain parts had to be replaced it would still be a good buy.
     
  8. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Right on! Thanks guys (especially you mec, for the excellent pics, they are worth their weight in gold). Thank you also Old Fluff! I don't mind buying some new nipples, I need a few extra sets anyway. Dry firing a BP revolver should only hurt the nipples, and that would take quite a lot of dry firing to smash them down. I guess I could always remove the nipples if I really want to practice squeezing the trigger while at home. Will that cause any inadvertant damage to the revolver?

    I hope I can get away with a little file work. The only way to find out is to start breaking down the old girl! I just disassembled my Remington for the first time, very interesting design, looks like a pretty good overall design, simple. The fewer parts that you have to worry about breaking always tend to make a better tool. Think of our howitzers vs. the German's long range artillery, their's ( I think a 105 or an 88) had over 40 moving parts while ours had only seven. Which would you rather work on and fire in the heat of battle? I'll take the simpler design over the more complex nine out of ten times. Just because somthing is complex doesn't necessarily mean that it's something I wouldn't want, just that I tend to admire the simpler, more practical designs compared to the time piece like designs of the Swiss and the Germans.

    I guess I'll put my Remington back together and start on the Colt. I'll tell you what is up after I break her open. Maybe I can scan the parts and post them so you two can take a look and give me your opinions? Do you think that would work, scanning an actual part?

    The Sicilian.
     
  9. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,460
    that somebody performed monkeyage on the innards is a very real possibility. It is also likely (though not certain) that current uberti parts would turn out to be a drop-in fit.

    " great minds...."
    absolutely right. I was about to use that line myself and you beat me to it.
     
  10. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Damn straight Old Fluff!!! The internal parts are cheap compared to the price of a Colt Signature series revolver. I'm really surprised that they are going for so much money, it's not like they're the second generation Colt's or anything. Though the same Italian American guy that started the second generation Colts was the one who began to start on the third generation Colts. I think these signatures are Colt in name only, but the overall guns are very beautiful. I've never seen such a beautiful blueing job on one of these guns before. The grips are shaped perfectly though the finish looks pretty bad. I'll have to stip them and put an oil finish on them to make the grips look proper, Any advice on how to do a great job on an oil finish? I've never done it before and only have one set of instructions on how to do it. I always like to get a few opinions on something before I start to do the actual work.

    Sicilian.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Dry firing can batter the hammer nose too... :(

    The wood stocks were individually fitted to the trigger guard and backstrap, so be careful with the sandpaper.

    The old finish should be left in place, but LIGHTLY sanded town to the wood surface. That way it will work as a wood filler. Commercial finishes such as Lin-Speed can be used to finish the job. The idea is to have several thin coats rather the fewer thick ones, and to allow at least 24 hours (48 is better) between coats to dry. Just put one or two drops of finish on the side of a stock and then spread it around with a fngertip. when done, repeat on the other side.

    Original commercial guns had a high gloss finish, where the military contract ones were flatter. You can dull a high-gloss finish by rubbing it lightly with 0000 steel wool or rottenstone. The above mentioned supplies are available from Brownells at www.brownells.com

    They also offer expert advise - for free.

    When Colt discontinued building cap & ball revolvers they sold a lot of left-over parts to Numrich/The Gunparts Corp. in West Hurley, NY. You will find them listed at www.e-gunparts.com
     
  12. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    Sicilian, you could solve your problem instantly if you want to...send that Colt to me and I'll send you that Uberti 1873BP...LoL! Then I'll worry bout it...
    Seriously I'd go ahead and order a new trigger, bolt, bolt/trigger spring, and hammer if after inspection the hammer notch is gone too. Uberti would fit just fine if you can't find Colt 3rd Gen. parts available. http://vtigunparts.com/
    That 1860 Colt would go well with my Colt Dragoon...
    Congrads on gettin' it and hope you get it fixed real soon.
     
  13. gmatov

    gmatov member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    I'd suggest, just because the whole package is so cheap, the replacement kit from Cabela's, at about 22 bucks, includes a hammer, and, I think, a trigger, as well as springs, hand, and screws for the whole pistol.

    I'd DEFINITELY replace the hammer and trigger. If you want to hone the new parts for a custom trigger pull, that woud be one thing, to stone new engagement seat and sear tip on those parts will likely mean you are into unhardened metal. It may work for a little while, but will soon need redone.

    Regardless how I made this Colt made copy shoot, I would save the original parts, think it would keep its value better if you sold it with the original parts back in it, whether it is operating properly with them or not.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  14. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Sorry Smoke, I'm keeping the Colt :neener: Though I still like your 1873 and if I had the bread right now I'd take it off your hands. I'll get some replacement parts as soon as I can, but for the meantime I'll be doing some experimenting (I may as well get some proper experience by checking it out myself). Hopefully I'll be able to get it working myself with just some filing, but like gmatov said, I'll probably be filing into the soft metal and will need the new parts anyway. I took apart my Remington last night for the first time....everything, even took out the main spring, it was no major ordeal, went back in pretty easily after I figured out the proper way to leverage it.

    I'll most likely be taking the Colt apart tonight, depending on how I feel and how late I decide to stay up. I'll tell you guys how it goes and try to send some before and after parts pictures. I may need some more advice so stay tuned. :scrutiny:
     
  15. pohill

    pohill Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,853
    Stripping it down is first and foremost, before talk of filing and replacing parts. Might be something as simple as a spent cap jamming the works, a lose trigger/bolt spring, etc.
    And dry firing is just simply not a good idea...
     
  16. Manyirons

    Manyirons member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,037
    Ifin tha case hardnins brokin through, great time ta learn ta use KASENIT. Might solve yer hardin problem ifin thats tha deal.
     
  17. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    Manyirons, I'm gonna ask you this here cause it ain't a plug it's a question.
    Would you guys make Colt Repro abors on request? No slot cut in them just abors with threads and lube grooves for the cylinder. With given lengths and dimensions/old arbor...ect.
     
  18. sjohns

    sjohns Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    Sounds to me like someone wanted to get rid of a gun that would go off arbitrarily, i.e.: KNEW it was dangerous. Probably because like some have said, he messed up the mating surfaces on the hammer and/or trigger, or both.
    The advice that most folks are giving you about hammer/spring/trigger sets is sound advice.
    I have one of those same guns. Unfired, I think. Its trigger pull is like fighting with an elephant. I'd rather have a 61 "Colt" that I could convert.
     
  19. Manyirons

    Manyirons member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,037
    Hi Smokin Gun!

    Yup! Tha BOSS MANN has made arbors afore and boy! Ifin ya can get onea THOSE ta stretch er deform yer usin smokeless!

    Choices of Carpenter 465 or 17-4 PH Stainless or Alloy steel all of em aged tempered etc. TOUGH! Ask yerself why NOT a stainless arbor? Ya never see it lessin ys takes it apart keeps that TRADITIONAL look.

    Theres an arbor he makes that has an adjustable ball detent, says ifin ya GOT ta have somethin silly as a wedge ta holder together, SHOULD be done right!
     
  20. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    There's nothing wrong with talking about filing the parts down if that is what is needed. You're right, it could be something gunking up the works but I highly doubt it and that was mentioned at the beginning of the thread. I plan on getting a set of internals but I'd still like to try and get it working for the time being. The only way to learn is to dive in head first. The beat part about owning these guns is that almost everything you need (part wise) has to be mail ordered. There is a Cabela's a few hours north of me, maybe I should take a ride for the parts. You can convert an 1860! What were you talking about? I want to get an 1862 pocket Navy also, for a conversion gun. Nice to have both options.

    Manyirons, what stuff are you talking about? "KASENIT"...I've never heard of it, where can I get some and is it easy to use?

    Let me clarify something....I do not sit around dry firing my revolvers! But when I get a new revolver I do check it by dry firing it a few times, this will not do one bit of damage to the revolver. I think sjohns is right, whoever owned it either tried to do some work without getting any proper advice and screwed it up...or they got rid of the gun because of the "Hair Trigger". No more hair trigger now:D I can't see how the store owner didn't know what was going on with this gun. I really don't care either way, it was great buy over all. No big deal if I have to spend 25 bucks on new internals. Doesn't the Mann make stainless steel internals for these guns?

    The Sicilian.
     
  21. Manyirons

    Manyirons member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,037
    KASENIT is a hardin compound dead easy ta use, hell even i can manage! :)
     
  22. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    I thank you good to know...have a friend that I believe wants a few made. Not from stretching...I belive mostly too short a wedge slot to barrel assy length or deformed arbor slots from too long or overbottoming causing wedge to arbor damage...I'll let him explain it. What do I know, LoL!
    Thanks again for the info. Is there a ball park figure on them or is 1 or more the same price?
     
  23. gmatov

    gmatov member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    Sicilian,

    With a centerfire, no, you won't do any damage to the pistol. With a C&B, even a couple hits with a fully sprung hammer can mushroom the nipples. Steel on steel. Sumpin's gotta give.

    One other thing you should check before you start filing and stoning. Some people seem to have used epoxy to reduce the sear engagement into the hammer notch. Makes for less creep and less pull weight, as you don't have to raise the hammer so far with the trigger squeeze.

    Smoke,

    I don't know about getting an arbor made, no slot. Hard for a non-machinist to broach the slot. You crank 'er in, then you gotta do the broaching. and you go too far, you gotta fill in, do over.

    I don't know if DA MANN takes your pistol and makes new and also broaches to suit. The sales force doesn't seem to get into that, and, you too, did say no slot. If I were paying for a new arbor, I would want the provider to make, screw in, mark, unscrew, then broach to match the window. If he can broach with the arbor in the frame, so much the better. Already seated.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  24. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Okay, here's the best pictures I could produce without a digital camera. I had to scan the hammer and trigger. The hammer does have another notch for full cock but the scan quality makes it hard to see. The trigger looked a little strange to me but since I've never realy taken apart a Colt before it may be normal. One side of the top of the trigger had a little "pointed horn", is this normal? It almost looked like something was broken off, yet at the same time it was so uniform (the possible breakage) that I'm unsure.

    Anyway, I took it apart, checked things out for a little while so I would become familiar with how all the parts interacted with each other, then reassembled before doing any filing just to see if it might work. I did notice a small piece of "chipped" or "flaked" metal that fell out after disassembly. Once I got it back together it did work again, though the trigger is still too sensitive. I also noticed if I gently pushed the trigger to the left it will slip off of the second notch. I think something is wrong but cannot properly diagnose the problem. It's either the trigger or the hammer. I'll have to take a look at the picture mec posted. THR has been offline since last night so I had nothing to reference my parts to.

    At the very least I can now shoot it next trip to the range, that's something. I'm glad I decided to give it a try, not too complicated at all and very interesting. I'll still have to order new internals in order to fix things properly.

    Sicilian.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Well...I just took another look at the pics mec posted of the internals and the trigger on my revolver is definitely broken. I'm not sure how much surface area broke off but it was enough to screw things up. That's probably the reason for the over-sensitive trigger. The second hammer notch still looks a little worn to me but I'll wait on on more experienced investigation. The full cock notch was probably abnormally worn because of the broken trigger. It could be that a rougher surface on the top of the trigger wore down the notch a bit...any other guesses as to what may have caused the trouble? The scan was blurry and even with enhancment software I couldn't sharpen it up. The sharpening tool on the software added too many weired looking digital artifacts to the hammer and trigger so I left things as is. If you look very closely you'll be able to make out the outline of the full cock notch.

    Sicilian.

    P.S.,

    The hand assemble, which rotates the cylinder, has a sharp burr on it that seems to have gauged the the side of the round guide next to the arbor. It's only a very small, yet sharp burr that I think should be removed. It shouldn't effect cylinder rotation at all and may even smooth things out. Any advice for or against removing the sharp burr on the hand assembly?...:confused:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page