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pietta 1860 problem

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by TheBigAR2003, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You can find a lot by using this forum's search feature (in the green bar at the top of the page, center/right).

    Also start a thread in the Black Powder Shooting sub-forum with the title: How do I tune a C&B revolver? and start it with the question you ask that's posted in quotes above. I think you will be awed by the response.
     
  2. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    mec suggested to have several certain prefitted spare parts on hand realizing full well that they would indeed be useful when the parts eventually wear out or break and need replacement.
    He recommended to buy the replacement parts in advance, particularly hand spring assemblies which are usually larger than the originals, trace their outline and fit them before they're needed. That way, you have them on hand so that the broken part doesn't need to be reconstructed without having the entire original part completely intact to make copies from.
    I'm not sure why hardening with Kasenite would be necessary when it may be more efficient and economical to not tinker with the original part. But rather to use the original to help pre-fit some replacements.
    Why not keep the original part as is, and use it for a pattern, at least until other replacements are made?
    Then once more patterns are made, the original won't require hardening, because better hardened replacement parts will have already been acquired and pre-fitted.
    Wouldn't that be more prudent, to simply buy several of the hardened factory original parts and then prefitting them and using them to tune the gun rather than using substandard, defective or soft parts to tune the gun with?
    In the long run, using properly hardened factory parts may be better than using substandard Kasenite treated parts.

    Colt Type Revolver Disassembly thread:

    hand spring assembly post #11 by mec

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=2055279&postcount=11
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  3. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    FYI, Kasenite is no longer being made and most sutlers are out of stock. The new product being used by most home hobby metalsmiths is Cherry Red.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The part that is most likely to need hardning is the hammer (which is relatively expensive) followed by the hand and trigger, that are less likely to need attention if the revolver is correctly timed. If you start with a like-new or new hammer where the bolt cam hasn't been chewed up, and you harden it (or it was hard in the first place) it probably won't need to be replaced. What most often breaks is the (1) hand spring, and (2) cylinder bolt & trigger spring, and (3) cylinder bolt.

    Pre-fitting some spare parts make a little sense, but not if the revolver was incorrectly set up wrong in the first place. Clearly, some out-of-the-box guns are better then others, with those with brass frames more likely to be the worst because they are made to sell at a lower price point.
     
  5. rifle

    rifle Member

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    :DI fergitted to mention about a remark concerning the bolt legs bevel on the backside that rubs/rides on the surface of the cam on the hammer. It seemed it was inferred that that bevel has something to do with timing of the bolt and all.
    Well......that bevel is there to let the bolt leg ride back onto the surface of the cam with an harmonious smooth contact. That's all...nothing to do with timing the bolt. Most all that is done by shortening or lengthening the bolt leg that rides the hammer cam. Longer and the bolt stays on the cam and off the cylinder longer and shorter the bolt leg stays on the hammer cam a shorter time and hits back to the cylinder sooner.
    The cam sometimes has an edge at the bottom the bolt leg can snag on and hamper the action working smoothly. The lil flat bevel on the back of the leg that rides the cam eliminates the snag.
    Cams on some of the older guns are separate pieces or parts. Most anymore are one piece with the hammer being cast as part of the hammer.
    Standard fare with some tune jobs is the person wants a harder cam. At times the cam is too worn to be operative. In a case like that the cam can be changed out whether it's integral with the hammer or a separate part. Soften the hammer when it's got the integral cam.....dot the center of the old cam with a punch to start a pilot drill and drill straight thru the hammer. The new "bought" or fabricated cam will go in the hole later. The cam that is discarded is milled or filed off the softened hammer. The hole that was drilled is enlarged to accomodate the new cam. It's inserted with a pressed fit in the hammer making sure it's turned the right way to work the bolt leg. If yur new cam is pre-hardened you can leave it as is or soften it before insertion whatever you like according to what tool steel is used to make one or what the cam that was "bought" is like.
    After the fitting the cam the whole hammer is casehardened once again. Use of a hardening compound like the old Kasenet(has a new name now...ask at Brownells) is standard fare with the "Kitchen Table Gunsmith". There are instructions with the compound. I used the instructions at first but modify them anymore.
    I bury the whole part....hammer,frame,trigger ect.ect. in the compound all in a small cast iron fying pan sitting on a propane single hot plate or burner(or whatever it's called). With the burner I have on full heat and a propane tourch hitting the pile of compound from above I turn it red like bubbling lave for at least 15 minutes. Usually I try to make it to 20-30 minutes of pure red compound with the part inside being red also. Try to stay at black cherry color or cherry and avoid the orange that's too hot.
    Once the chosen time is elasped the part is picked out of the compound and thrown in oil or water. Both work. Then the part is hard on the outside and with some metals hard inside to a degree also. Depends on carbon content. The Italian hammers don't seem to be "high carbon" but I'd say there is some carbon in them and they get harder clean thru. Some hammers are actually too hard to drill a hole thru and they need softened. Softened....heat to black cherry or cherry color and let the part air cool where there's no breeze. Then it's dead soft.
    Once the part is quenched it is now hardened with an "en-cased in carbon" thus the term case hardened. If you thunk you started with a part with more than "low carbon" content then tempering in an oven at 375 degrees for two hours puts the "tough" to the under-lying metal letting the carbon on the outside remain hard enough.
    When old hammers are "spiffed up" with modifying back to original with welding or filing or new cams or whatever they need hardened again. Triggers and hands can be hardened too and anything done to the hammers sear or the trigger means rehardening the parts to insure "hair trigger" isn't premature as it's a safety concern. Polishing included. Who knows how many .001's deep the original case hardening was?
    It's a personal decision as to whether of not hardening the hand is needed. I'd rather not harden the hand as much as change it out to a good tool steel that's got enough hard to it before "hardening". I'd rather later change out or repair a hand rather than change out or repair the rear of a cylinder.
    if a person wants to get a little deeper into case hardening they can get the bone and wood charcoal from a gunsmith supply and use a wood fire to case harden the real old way.
    Not hard to do. Looks cool too. Just don't harden with the metal getting more than red cherry. The metal crucible with the parts inside with bone and wood charcoal in the fire at night tells the story as you can see it and assume the parts inside are the same color. Heat fer awhile then quench in cool oxygenated water with the parts close to the water so air doesn't hit them much. Just close enough to drag a little oxygen down with the parts. Drop about an inch or two from the water. A little nitrat in the water helps get more blue color to the case hardened parts.
    When a hammer is fit right it doesn't attain any where nears the battering people mention. Usually the hammers that aren't dry fire safe are a little too long in the nose and just need fitted right. Fit so when the cylinder is fully forward the hammer nose is not able to batter the nose on hitting the nipple cone on a percussion open top. On the cartridge the hammer shouldn't be able to hit the housing the firing pin is in....just come close. The firing pin needs to be the right length too though.Just long enough to give the primer the dent it needs and no more and that needs to be so many .001's only on the side that's hit by the hammer.
    The hammers should stop on the frame before they can batter the other parts. Know what I mean?
    I have to reply to that good looking guy....Old Fluff?
    I have seen plenty of original Colts. You know....our opinions about hammers hitting backstraps has crossed paths before. I figure mines more logical mechanically speaking. When you talk of hammers battering the parts....like the hand on the cylinders index ratchets or the bolt hitting the cylinder too hard you ain't thunkin it thru all the way I'd say. Think about it.....working the action fast will send the hand into the rear of the cylinder and spin the weight of the cylinder into the bolt that stops it with lots of force especially when the cartridges are in it regardless whether or not the hammer stops at the backstrap. All the force needed to batter the parts is there even when the hammer stops at the backstrap. It all starts and all the force is applied before the hammer can hit the backstrap. Sure a person can pull hard enough too really over do it with the hammer not hitting the backstrap but that's not they way a person with any sense works their gun. Anyway working a gun "fast" with the hammer hitting the backstrap or not the difference between "hammer hits the backstrap" or "hammer doesn't hit the backstrap" is almost negligible unless a gorilla is working the gun.
    What isn't negligible is the fact that if a gun is tuned to have the action stop right as the hammer hits the backstrap any wear put to the hand will necessitate having the hammer have to go rearward further than it's capable since the backstrap hits it and stops it. The gun thus being inoperable with a small amount of wear.
    Anywhoooooo......the original Colts I've seen and worked in my hand that hit the hammer on the backstrap seemed to be well worn and just barely able to have the action work.
    If I saw some documented historical facts of evidence to back up yer claim then......I'd join the fan club and be a "hammer stops against the backstrap" believer myself. I still wouldn't tune guns like that though unless an Hombre I was helping wanted that specifically.
    If ole Sam Colt back in the day made his guns coming out the door like you say.....I'd tell him that was a design defect to be heaped into the pile when it comes to the good ole "Open Tops".
    Anywhoooooo........you may be right about the way Colt did his guns...I ain't sure about why he did this or that with them and I'm not an "expert" neither. I do know mechanical logic tells me there's enough force either way....hammers hit or don't hit the backstrap at the end of the action cycle...... to damage the guns from too much "hard fast pulling" of the hammers. I might talk to the Hombre at Peace Maker Specialists and see what he says about the subject. I'd keep it to myself though since I'm talked out on this "backstrap and hammer" thing. You win...I give up.....and I ain't as good lookin neither.:D I do have a really handsome hound pup that I'd bet money is almost as good lookin as Brad Pit.
    I just re-tuned my old Paterson awhile ago. In the end I pull the hammer as fast as I can move my thumb many times to test the action. It skips a beat it goes back on the work bench. It worked it's hammer and cylinder as fast as most anyone can move a thumb and it worked perfectly. I don't have the hammer hitting the backstrap....for if I did I'd need such a short hand and long trigger to do that I don't know if the action would even work with them in there.:banghead:
    Anywhooooo Old Fluff......now I'm going to want to research this backstrap hammer thing and waste my time just to satisfy my curiosity. I have to fix the old beater trucks frame and go cut some wood and all chores like that.:banghead: Maybe some of the other Hombres here that have their curiosity aroused would lend a hand to research this hammer hittin the backstrap thing. I may be thunkin wrong on how ole Sam Colt did things.
    One thing I figger I know....the cylinders were harder on the old Colts than on the new replicas. They used iron at first and then that Sheffield silver nickle(or whatever it was nicknamed) new steel after the Walker debacle with cylinders blowing a cork. The steel used is one reason the old Colts don't have all battered lookin cylinders. Sorta like the new modern revolvers that are higher quality don't get battered cylinders. You know ....Rugers,S&W;s and Colts ect ect. including the Uberti's cartridge conversion models and the SAA types.
    Salute! :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  6. denster

    denster Member

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    Hardening the hand is a patently bad idea. If it were a good idea Colt would do it on their SAA and S&W would do it on their revolvers.
    There are two types of parts in a revolver wear parts and non wear parts. The non wear parts being the more expensive ie: hammer and cylinder.
    The hand is a wear part and hardening it puts the wear on the cylinder ratchet exactly where you don't want it.
    A properly fitted hand will last for thousands of cycles before it appreciably wears and is inexpensive to replace.
    As to the hammer hitting the backstrap. My 1851 Piettas and my AWA Peacekeeper SAA that I use for cowboy shooting are all tuned that way. They all have been cycled a bunch and shot a lot and are still in perfect time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Smith & Wesson hands used to be hardened...

    But anyway as the hammer comes to the full-cock position or the double-action release point, the hand passes the ratchet tooth and is no longer pushing against it. Where wear may be a factor is on the side of the hand.


    If a Colt C&B or SAA revolver is correctly set up the hand will neither wear or batter the cylinder ratchet teeth; the reason being that the hand cannot keep pushing on the ratchet after the hammer's further rotation has been blocked. The need to harden the tip of the hand is questionable, but it will have no negative affects. Same with the tip of the trigger.

    In the original guns the only lockwork part that was case hardened was the hammer.

    Today's Colt SAA hands are made of high carbon steel, and heat treated for optimal hardness.
     
  8. denster

    denster Member

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    As to S&W and double action revolvers in general that is correct. In fact a good percentage of the 60 degree rotational cycle assuming a six shot revolver is accomplished by the left top edge of the hand and the side of the hand. Hand thickness and hand window width being the operative factors to lockup timing.
    All triggers need to be hardened at least at the tip. Not being so will result in an unsafe revolver in short order.
    As to hardening the hand why do something that will accomplish nothing? In any case you are right it probably will not cause any significant wear to the cylinder barring extreme usage. If you are going to do it don't forget to remove the hand spring first.
    As to Colt SAA hands you may know something I don't. They do however file like they are dead soft.
     
  9. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  10. denster

    denster Member

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    Rifle

    Having the gun tuned so that the hammer hits the back strap as the gun comes to full cock is practically not necessary for those who use their guns for regular target shooting, plinking or hunting. It is however good insurance for those of us who use these guns fast and hard in cowboy shooting. Most even average shooters can empty a revolver in under three seconds and the hammer is comming back fast and hard. The rotational force of the cylinder is a factor but a greater factor is the speed and force used to cock the gun.
    If a person uses their gun in this manner it will simply last longer with less repairs and damage then one set up otherwise.
     
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Not exactly dead soft, but they are heat treated so that they can be file-fitted, which is "optimal hardness."
     
  12. rifle

    rifle Member

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    Denster...OleFluff.....
    I can see how there's "extra" force put to a "CowBoy Action Competition" gun. I can see how the dead stop against the backstrap by the hammer can help a good bit in that scenario. It can help in a hunter....plinker.....target ...shooter too and I've done it fer a few peoples. My own guns I prefer the parts stop before the hammer hits the backstrap.
    In this thread,that is a good thread, the main type problem mentioned was the cylinder damage by the bolt head(or "ball" as Ole Fluff calls it) ect.ect.
    That damage takes place whether the hammer hits the backstrap or not. Happens before the hammer can hit backstrap.
    I see the damage caused by forcing the hammer hard at the end of the action cycle different than the soft cylinder problems. The hand and the rear of the cylinder are the parts hurt by the hard hammer pull.Damage to the bolt would be minimal from a "hard pulled at the end of the action cycle hammer" not hitting the backstrap. The bolt getting forced out of the way by the cylinder from over rotation could damage the important part of the cylinder notch. That's why I like the added insurance of the bolt block or bolt bolster due to the looseness of the bolt in the cap&ballers. Loose in the frame window...loose on the screw....and not supported on both sides it can cant and make a slope fer the bolt to work against the bolt spring so the bolt can try to get out of the way of that heavy cylinder smashing into it. Carlos San Marcos put the bolt blocks in his Richards conversion models he manufactured. Not all though I've heard.
    Anywhooo...I like the hands in the guns I tune to be against the cylinder ratchets,without applying force, when the bolt is locked in the cylinder. I don't thunk it really needed but people like to wiggle the cylinder and feel no movement side to side.;) The hand channels don't always accomodate that.
    Hey......Doesn't the cylinder stop against the lower part of the hand in those double action types?
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    It depends on what make and model you're looking at.

    Colt double-action/hand ejector revolvers that date from 1908 have a hand that is much like the one found in the SAA, with two ledges where the lower one should be against the ratchet tooth when the trigger is pulled to the end of its stroke.

    Later Colts, Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Taurus revolvers are entirely different. The upper tip of the hand rotates the cylinder to the point of lock-up and then passes by the ratchet tooth as the hammer continues to go backwards.

    Returning to original Colt C&B revolvers. By using the backstrap to positively block further backward rotation, other lockwork (hand and cylinder bolt) could be fitted so that no meaningful stress would be transferred to the hand, ratchet teeth, cylinder notch or cylinder bolt after the hammer came to full-cock. It largely removed the risk of skipping a notch and peening the notch on the far side.

    If this doesn’t float your boat, you can get somewhat the same affect by installing a screw in the trigger guard under the tip of the mainspring.
     
  14. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Wire replacement springs

    Based on information from previous posts, the Wolff wire Sear/Bolt spring that fits Colt will work:

    Wire-Type Springs (Stock No. 32294-32296) fits: Colt, Uberti, and most clones


    This Heinie Colt SAA Trigger/Bolt Spring was also reported to work:

    http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/trigger-group-parts/trigger-parts/trigger-springs/single-action-trigger-bolt-spring-prod6875.aspx


    Below are previous posts: (IIRC mykeal posted about the Heinie):


     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  15. rifle

    rifle Member

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    One factor that may sway the masses from the venerable Colt cap&baller for CASS shooting is the geometry of the Remington 1858/1863 Revolver.
    The geometry of the hammer cam related to the shape of the bolt in a Remington make it possible(if it ain't like it already) to avoid the "snap" of the bolt hitting the cylinder peening it.
    The hammer cam in the Rem holds the bolt leg and moves it off the cylinder and holds the bolt leg all the way back to the cylinder so the "snap" of the bolt head to the cylinder is not there.
    If the Rem cam doesn't hold the bolt leg all the way back to the cylinder a lil crook to the leg closer to the cam can make it do it or a wide cam installed can do the trick.
    If the bolt isn't messing up the cylinder just from the peening the bolt does initially at least one negative variable can be negated.
     
  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Thanks articap :cool:
     
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