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

New Convert to the Dark Side

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Big Al Mass, Nov 17, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,864
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    [​IMG]

    Yes. There are two alignment pins mounted in the frame that should fit into two holes in the barrel. Whatever is preventing the frame and barrel from coming together is what is keeping your barrel/cylinder gap so large.

    This is how the parts should look when the barrel is mounted to the frame.


    FrameandBarrelMated.jpg

    Here is a photo of the pins and their matching holes at the base of the barrel. Inspect the parts closely to see what is keeping them apart.

    FramePinsandMatchingHolesinBarrel.jpg

    This should be easy for anybody with a vast knowledge of guns in general, both antique and modern.

    Sorry pard, but you really set yourself up for that. Perhaps your knowledge is not quite so vast as you think?
     
  2. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Driftwood,

    Very well then. I should have qualified that with the phrase "book knowledge". However, like my father always told me (like his father told him), as much as a person knows, there is infinitely more that they do not know. In that way, I am not above listening to other peoples advice and experiences to help improve myself.

    I will disassemble the gun and see if the pins are too long/holes are not deep enough. Or maybe the back of the arbor slot needs to be filed?

    J-Bar,

    I used a stainless steel ruler that is graduated in 32nd's below the first inch and the gap measured 1/32 of an inch. I then divided 1 by 32 and got the decimal. That was just holding the ruler over the gap and eyeballing it.

    I took the measurement again with dividers and it looks to be a quarter of 1/32 under 1/32, or about 0.02344.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  3. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,497
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    OK, thanks.

    I think I'm done here.
     
  4. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,864
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims

    I'm sure everything was lined up properly when the gun shipped, so I doubt the pins are too long for the holes. And this has nothing at all to do with the slot in the arbor. Just inspect carefully to see why the pins are not bottoming in their holes. Put your file away before you damage something.
     
  5. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    How much of a gap is there between the wedge and the front of the slot in the barrel of your gun? Because in mine it is about 2/32 of an inch. And I have not done anything this evening except mill around on the computer, measure various parts of my revolver, and enjoy a home-made Twinkie.
     
  6. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,864
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Sorry, I don't understand the question.

    Line the barrel up with the pins and give the muzzle a smack with the palm of your hand. The barrel should snug up to the frame. Then shove the wedge in place.
     
  7. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The wedge has not been removed since I took the gun apart to clean it of oil and debris last night. It is in its slot as far as it will go. Looking at the wedge with the barrel facing to the left, there is a gap of roughly 2/32 of an inch. What is the gap on your gun?
     
  8. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    2,130
    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Maybe you should stop by a local auto parts store and pick up a blade type feeler guage to accurately measure the gaps rather than using the steel rule and eyeball method.
     
  9. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Using dividers, I determined that the measurement is 3/64 of an inch. What should the dimension be in this location? Or should there be a discernible gap?
     
  10. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    OK. Forget everything I have been rambling on about. I think the problem is the hole for the arbor is not deep enough. I would take care of this myself, but I don't have a drill-press. Does anyone know of a gunsmith in the Eastern Mass/Greater Boston area I can go to?

    Driftwood,

    The peening on my notches looks exactly like yours, but on mine it is on both sides of the notch. I also noticed I can turn the cylinder back by hand out of alignment. What should I do?
     
  11. arcticap

    arcticap Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,185
    Location:
    Central Connecticut
    Which mail order outfit did you buy it from?
    You should probably send the gun back if possible for a refund or exchange since it seems to be unsafe & defective and you're not satisfied with the fit and finish.
    Your credit card company may also be able to obtain the refund if necessary.
    If they won't send you an exchange, consider traveling to a store where you can inspect the gun before purchasing it.
    There's a Cabela's in East Hartford, CT (and in Scarborough, Maine if it's closer) where they often have plenty of BP guns in stock, just call to check their inventory first.
    Or try Bass Pro in Foxboro, MA and see if they have any in stock.
    Maybe a Colt isn't the best model for you and you would like a Remington 1858 instead. The Remington's fixed frame design will rarely ever have any barrel gap or barrel lug fitting issues.
    It could be costly to send a brand new gun to a gunsmith to resolve such issues. But if you feel compelled to have it worked on, THR member
    Hoof Hearted is an experienced and reputable cap & ball gunsmith with reasonable rates. And shipping wouldn't cost too much if using flat rate priority mail.

    http://www.cartridgeconversion.com/

     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  12. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    After more staring and pondering, I have figured out the problem.

    I took the barrel off and was cycling the action and noticed that the cylinder was positively locked in place when I held it firmly against the frame. This got me thinking.

    I put the barrel back on and tried the same thing. It produced the same result as with the barrel off.

    Also, as I have mentioned before, there is a miniscule space between the end of the frame and the part of the barrel below the loading cutout, enough to slide a piece of paper between.

    So the problem is that the arbor is too long, resulting in too much play in the cylinder front to back, resulting in the notches not being in proper alignment with the bolt and preventing positive lockup. Here is the solution as I see it:

    1. File the end of the arbor very carefully until the space between the end of the frame and the part of the barrel below the loading cutout is gone.

    If there is still too much play in the cylinder after that, here is the second thing to do:

    2. Cut and shape a piece of steel sheet and place it around the arbor to act as a spacer to push the cylinder back and properly align the notches with the bolt.
     
  13. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    2,864
    Location:
    Land of the Pilgrims
    Howdy

    I really, really doubt that your arbor is too long for the hole in the barrel. Do you really think Pietta is shipping these things so that they cannot be assembled correctly? I strongly suspect you are not reassembling it correctly. After all, did you not state that this is your first real gun? Perhaps you are not quite as expert at this as you think?

    I suspect the culprit is the wedge. The wedge on these guns can be a bit tricky to get lined up properly, and if it is not lined up properly it can be in the way of the barrel sliding all the way onto the frame.

    First, before you do anything else, observe the orientation of the wedge to the frame. Notice which side of the wedge is up, because you may be removing it from the gun. By the way, this little episode should have taught you a very valuable lesson in gun disassembly. Always take note of the relationship of the various parts before you take them apart. If you had taken a good look at the relationship of the barrel and the frame before you took it apart, you would have known whether or not they were originally assembled properly or not. Now you are guessing. When I used to disassemble a gun that I was not familiar with for the first time I would make sketches showing the relationship of the parts, so I could reassemble them properly. Laying a part on a piece of card and tracing it is a good way to do that, indicating which other parts the part interacts with. Modern digital cameras have made this even easier. Just snap a few photos before you start, and as you go, so you have a record of how things are supposed to go together.

    Enough of that lecture. Take your barrel in hand and pull the wedge as far out as it will go without coming out of the frame. The screw on the side of the barrel is there to retain the wedge. The wedge may come out in your hand, that is why you took a good look in the first place to see which side was up, in case it comes out. If the wedge is still retained by the screw, be sure it is completely perpendicular to the barrel. If it is angled, it can present part of its profile as an obstruction to the arbor, and I suspect that is what is causing you trouble. With the wedge withdrawn all the way, and perpendicular to the barrel, the barrel should slide nicely all the way down and contact the frame.

    The wedge should look like this, it should be barely retained by the screw head.

    wedgeextended.jpg

    With the wedge in this position, peek up inside the arbor hole in the barrel. The wedge should not be obstructing the hole at all. With the wedge in this position you should be able to slide the barrel down onto the arbor. If it does not go quite all the way, give the muzzle a good smack with the palm of your hand. You should not need a hammer, just a good blow with the palm of your hand should be enough to seat the barrel completely down, contacting the frame. Now before you drive the wedge back in, fold a piece of paper over once and insert it between the rear of the barrel and the front of the cylinder. Drive the wedge in until the piece of paper is being gently squeezed between the barrel and the cylinder. Remove the paper, your barrel/cylinder gap has been set the correct amount.

    Regarding the timing issues we have been discussing, these are very inexpensive guns. I see Cabellas has them on sale for $199. I think that's about what I paid for my pair a few years ago. No offense, but for $200 you do not get a finely tuned gun. You just don't. That is a bargain basement price. Back in 1860, when the originals were made, there was a great deal of hand fitting done to them to make sure they operated perfectly. And back in 1860 they cost a good deal of money to pay for that hand fitting. There is very little, or none at all hand fitting done on these guns today. They are assembled from bins of parts and the type of hand fitting required to make the bolt pop up perfectly in the correct spot on the cylinder just does not happen. If they were leaving the factory perfectly timed, you would be paying a lot more money. Probably twice as much.

    That's why I don't bother to tune mine so they are perfect. I don't shoot them that much, and they are good enough for me with the bolt rising a little bit late.
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I had a similar space on my Uberti when I reassembled it.

    I tapped it home with a wooden hammer and the daylight went away, then I shoved the wedge in. The fit was just tight to start out with from the factory.

    If you flush up the gap and the wedge doesn't fit, then you may have a problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  15. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Everything was assembled correctly. The problem was in fact that the arbor was too long by a few thousandths of an inch (I am just guessing, I did not nor have I the capability to measure it). After over an hour of careful filing, blackening the end of the arbor with soot, and test fitting the barrel, the gap between the barrel and the frame is nonexistent. The gap between the face of the cylinder and the barrel is enough for 1 thickness of ordinary paper to slide between with no resistance. Before it was big enough for at least 2 thicknesses to slide between.

    As for the timing and lockup, it is fine now.

    Driftwood,

    I appreciate your suggestions and assistance, but I do not appreciate insinuating that I do not have the intelligence to know if my gun is assembled correctly. Also, I never thought that it was assembled incorrectly. I thought it just needed further hand-fitting, as I just discovered was the case. I don't want to be on bad terms with anyone, but I have a bit more intelligence than what I feel I am being given credit for. And I am not too afraid to roll up my sleeves and fix something myself, which seems to be a vanishing trait in this day and age.

    If it was not your intention insinuate that, just say so. Like I said, I don't want to be on bad terms with anyone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  16. shafter

    shafter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    801
    This site is full of some highly intelligent people who know far more than I will ever know about firearms. It's an incredible resource. When someone comes along who states that they have a vast amount of gun knowledge, but has never owned a real firearm before, and then proceeds to ask for help, and then gets mad at the advice given, it gets annoying. People are more than willing to help, just ask humbly and grow a thick skin. You'll need it when dealing with the internet.

    That being said, a few thousands of an inch gap can still be due to a poorly fitting wedge. It's gonna loosen up just a bit after some steady shooting so hopefully you didn't make it worse by attacking it with a file.
     
  17. Fotno

    Fotno Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    W. North Carolina
    I'll be fifty in a few short years, and I've been shooting since I was a little kid. Even so, I learn something new practically every time I visit The High Road; but then I found out a long time ago you can't learn much if you already know everything.

    There are folks here who have forgot more about firearms than I will ever know. If you take the time to listen, you'll find you can learn a whole lot.
     
  18. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Shafter,

    You misinterpreted the intent of my previous post(s). I was not mad at all. I simply was expressing a difference of opinion. In addition, I was giving Driftwood a chance to explain his intentions with my most recent post. Also, see post #27 regarding the language of my opening post.

    Back to my gun, when I received it, there was a gap present between the end of the frame and the part of the barrel below the loading cutout. The gap was large enough for 1 thickness of ordinary paper to be slid between with no resistance. The wedge (inserted from the left side looking from the breech) could only be inserted far enough for the retention spring to snap over the edge of the slot on the other side. Also, the gap between the cylinder and forcing cone was big enough to put at least 3 thicknesses of paper between and made me worry about excessive powder gas leakage at that point.

    I removed the wedge (which was installed spring-up to begin with), the barrel, and the cylinder. I then reinstalled the barrel rotated 90 degrees and turned it (holding the gun muzzle forward) until the right side of the frame and the left side of the part below the loading cutout were aligned.

    At this point, I observed that the arbor was inserted into its hole in the barrel as far as it would go and the gap between the frame and the part of the barrel below the loading cutout was still present.

    After establishing that this was the problem, I set to work filing, going slowly and checking the relevant gaps for fit regularly. I did not attack anything with a file. Once I could not fit 1 thickness of paper between the frame gap, I judged my work finished. Also, after filing, the gap between the cylinder and forcing cone looked much more acceptable, more like the photo Driftwood posted in post #26.

    That is all.
     
  19. shafter

    shafter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Messages:
    801
    Good, I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Those 1860's are pretty nice.
     
  20. Big Al Mass

    Big Al Mass Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Thanks. I intend to.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page