THR Spiller & Burr Club

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... The action is rough, as is the entire finish on the gun. ... the interior of the frame and hammer channel look really chewed up and totally in the rough. There are also a number on nicks and dings especially on the frame, right out of the package. The mainspring is very heavy …
I reduced the thickness of my main spring using a micrometer and drum sander, remaining clear of the bottom 3/8 inch where it engages the frame. While I was at it, I also made a set of shims on the lathe to center the hammer, which was dragging a bit on the frame. One of the major sources of drag I found, however, was in the channel that houses the hand tensioning spring. It was replete with crude machining marks that needed to be filed out. The hand spring, too, was a bit mangled, so I restored it to its original shape using photographs of the original part. A dab of grease in the channel, and another where the hammer roller contacts the main spring, and it was a whole different gun.
Next time I have it down all the way I plan on spending some time on the brass frame, sanding and polishing out machining marks, especially inside the trigger guard.
A braver soul would defarb it completely, I think.
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Yeah I'll have to do some work on this one, definetaly not the quality I was expecting. I've heard pietta has gotten as good as Uberti, well between my two models I just don't see it.
Both Pietta and Uberti put out ..."lemons" every once in a while. Generally it is true Pietta is now much better than it was.
But I have had problems with a Uberti Dragoon I got from Dixie Gun Works years ago. They were able to replace it for me.
Well after sleeping on it, I am starting to like the gun more! I polished the cylinder pin with 400 grit sanding paper and 0000 steel wool, it really seemed to help and the hammer is now easier to cock. I need to find a way to polish out the cylinder pin hole that the cylinder turns on.

Also, I'm going to embark on refinishing the grips on this gun. The weird red coating is just awful and has to go, there is decent looking wood under it, the backside of the grip panels are unfinished. Here are the grips you can see what I mean:


Not so pretty, eh?

I'm going for an authentic refinish... I'm not sure what would be period correct for the grips, so I'll have to do some research. If all else fails, I'll strip the grips, stain with Minwax walnut, and throw down a few layers of BLO. I also sent out an e-mail to gunsmith John G. Zimmerman ( to see if he can defard the pistol, basically removing the unsightly Italian import marks and replacing them with period correct factory markings. I also want to do some basic polishing and tuning of the action, it's decent but is somewhat rough.

Oh, and when it warms up, I'll have to actually SHOOT the cotton pickin' thang! :D
That's the crappy finish my Pietta Remington '58 had. Like you I removed it and redid them. I also sanded them a bit for a better fit. It's not perfect, but it sure looks much better now!
Yesterday I adopted a "rescue" Spiller and Burr from a local pawn shop.

They had the poor thing listed as an 1851 Navy.

She was jammed together with two other BP revolvers unprotected in their glass case.

I asked to see her and if I could work the action.

She glided smoothly through all six.

I examined her markings: "Richland Arms Co." on the left side of the beautiful mirror deep blue barrel, proofs and "Cal.36 Black Powder Only" on the right with "Spiller and Burr" on the top flat.

I found the serial number on the butt strap along with the Euromanufacture interlocking double diamond logo.

On the right side of the butternut brass frame were the Italian proofs and XXX for 1974, my first year teaching science.

I took her home where she would be cared for properly.

She is not ready to have her picture taken yet as a previous owner treated her disgracefully.

Most of her sprucing up has been easy with black powder solvent and a few patches but I am having trouble with some discoloration on the brass frame in front of the cylinder (which has the safety notches btw.)

Anybody know how to remove the blast staining from brass after it has sat for who knows how long?

I would recommend the obvious such as Brasso or if that doesn't work a Cratex polishing wheel using fine grit? Would have to see the staining to be more helpful. Congrats on the rescue!!!!!
Polishing cylinder arbor hole

An easy way to polish the inside arbor cylinder hole is to take a small dowel...cut a groove in one end...slide in some emery cloth ( in the groove) and chuck the dowel in a hand drill and polish away...but don't go over board.
Hope that helps. :)
Ephraim - yes it would remove the bluing. You're only treating the interior and it won't be seen. If one is concerned about rusting, one can express blue it and that can be done over a campstove.
Thanks for the heads up 4v50 Gary!

The blast remains are not only on the inside of the frame but wrap around onto the outside of it in front of the cylinder and in places they are as thick as several sheets of paper. I will try to keep the Brasso off the outside of the barrel and screw heads. Maybe a Q-tip?

The Birchwood Casey 77 cleaned the bore and the chambers right up but wouldn't budge what was on the brass.

Do either copper or zinc interact more readily than steel with the components in the fouling or is it the bluing that makes it easier to clean.

I would like to stay away from abrasion cleaning if I can so I hope the Brasso works.
The Brasso worked.

You can smell the acid in it although you have to go to their website to find out the ingredients as they are not marked on the bottle.

If I use it again, I think I will opt for outside in the open air as the smell seems to be permanently stuck in my nose.

It took about ten applications and the butternut patina was an expected casualty of removing the blast residue but it will return over the next forty years.

That will make me 106 and the Spiller and Burr a youthful 80.

The first picture is "before" and the rest are after.

The date stamp looks like XXV (1969) at first glance but, since Euromanufacture did not start until 1971, I think that the bottoms of the X's are partially cut off especially the third one.

Interestingly in addition to the complete serial number on the butt strap, this revolver has partials on the inside of the grips, the barrel, the loading lever and the cylinder.

The only other part I removed was the cylinder pin latch to protect it from the Brasso. No washer.

The barrel has a nick in it to the right of "Richland Arms Co." but the rest looks to have cleaned up pretty well.


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Just made a deal for these new in boxes and consectutive serial numbers a pair of Spiller & Burr marked Navy Arms. Funny I haven't bought any guns in a year and I get these four in one week - two classic Confederate made revolver pairs



Nice job!!!!

Ephraim Kibbey
I'm glad the Brasso worked for you. Remember to put a coat of paste wax over the brass to help keep it from tarnishing prematurely.
Again...very nice job!!
Thanks Bluehawk but I sorta liked the butternut patina just not the black blast debris!

Please don't forget to add my name to the membership rolls.

A pretty pair jaxenro!

Now you need a nice custom made presentation box (Hampel's) to show them off and accouterments (Cabela's Sale) to accessorize them.

What would be the correct Flask for a Confederate cased double set of consecutive S&B .36's???

Definitely fit for a newly commissioned CSA General Officer!!!
I like Bills Cases a few of my pairs use those they are historically accurate (not that S&B's came cased but his Colt cases are perfect)

At the moment I have 9 or 10 matched pairs at least 5 with consectutive serial numbers, but only 3 of the pairs have the case I want. I need around 8 more cases, 5 flasks, 5 molds, 6 cap tins, and a few more items
Request Membership in the s&b club

Attached is a photo of my S&B Serial number identifies it as a 1995 Navy Arms. holster is from Oklahoma leather.


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Date Codes

Ephraim Kibbey
I believe the S&B's were made by Pietta and these are their codes:
Date codes
Hope that helps :what:
I found this on craigslist cheap . It defiantly needs some tlc.


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Ephraim Kimberly, it looks like I have the near twin to yours.

Oh yea, add me to the club also please.
Had this one since 2009.

Are those Piettas? I LOVE that patina! The S&B I got from Pietta one time wasn't such a nice looking gun... it had issues.
Are those Piettas?...

That double diamond logo on the butt was Euromanufacture's (Not Euroarms) mark. Euromanufacture was acquired my Palmetto who is no longer in business. Neither of them had a especially good reputation for consistent quality, but that doesn't mean they didn't also put out some nice ones too.
I think every Whitney (the steel frame revolver that the Spiller and Burr copied) that I have had my hands on was made by Euromanufacture.
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