Uberti 1858 mainspring pressure?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by BCRider, Jul 7, 2015.

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  1. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Hey all, I shot in Frontiersman this past weekend in a big local Regional shoot. This time around I used my Uberti Remingtons. As per usual any time I shoot these or my pair of 1860's I had a real smoke filled blast of a time.... :) As it happens I beat the other guy handily. Pity it was only the two of us. But he put one over on me by shooting a clean match. Not an easy thing with all the things that can plague us C&B shooters. So we were both winners! And best of all we had a great time comparing notes and ribbing each other.

    I have noticed though that my Remingtons need a stronger pull on the hammer to cock than my 1860's. So I'm wondering what would be the issues and what to look for if I were to thin the springs slightly. Or, from what I've read around, to narrow the springs slightly to reduce the effort required.

    First of course there's the issue of too little speed energy to fire the caps. That's the obvious one. But I'm also wondering about the hammer blow back issue. Is it a case of being OK until either the caps don't fire OR the hammer sets back far enough to go "full auto"? :D

    The obvious answer is to go until it don't work right no mo'. And I WILL be checking with the local smith to see if he has a spare main spring or two in stock before I go all grizzly with the grinding. But in the meantime any advice from the collective would be appreciated.

    I'm going to start with a SLIGHT narrowing and tapering of the edges and see where that goes. There's a local club monthly fun shoot this next weekend and I"m already planning on trying out the Slix Shot nipples I bought a while back and hopefully the hammers are a trifle less straining to cock from the work.

    -Typed in from oven like conditions in the 'puter room from the roughly fourth week of the current heat wave........ DRINK MORE WATER! KEEP HYDRATED OUT THERE BOYS AND GIRLS! ! ! ! :eek:
     
  2. Erwan

    Erwan Member

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    Hi BCRider,

    I had that kind of problem like you with main springs to strong. It was bad for cocking the hammers and it was also bad for the inertia of these on the frame with a to important shock at the percussion...
    I have reduced the main springs in the sens of the width but never in the thickness, and now my two Pietta they are now working pretty good and the cocking of the hammer is much more soft...

    This is what I had did but that not a good job for a gunsmith, normal I'm clock maker and may be is it why I did this way: we do so in my job...

    Regards.

    Erwan.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  3. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Yep, reducing the spring pressure to lower the shock from the hammer falling will also help.

    I've adjusted out the main spring screws by three turns each and the hammer still feels quite strong. I'm going to slip out and play with some .22 rifle and try some caps just to see if the hammer still works. If it's good I'm going to try it with powder and ball at the monthly match.

    I'm thinking that if this works I'll simply make up some spacer sleeves to fit under the heads of the tension screws and call it a day. I much prefer removable modifications where I can. And the screws will stay in place for a few shots at least for testing during the match. I'll just bring along a screw driver and double check that they aren't moving each time I reload.
     
  4. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    BC,
    You can reduce the thickness (first) and then thin to "fine tune" the m.s. tension. I say reduce the thickness first because it should be done full length (under side, not top side) and it reduces the tension much more than the thining.
    I reduce them to about a 4 lb. draw (slightly less).

    Mike
    www.goonsgunworks.com
     
  5. Erwan

    Erwan Member

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    Hi BCRider,

    Is your screw adjusting the main spring adjustable really working and efficient ? Surprising on a Uberti Army 58, they aren't working fine on Uberti and Pietta but on Pedersoli (they are not produced anymore) and Feinwekbau (no more produced now), still Artax with his army 58 what have an efficient screw...

    If you use real BP normally the main spring of an Uberti can work without screw with caps like RWS1075, RWS1075+, Remington10, Sellier & Bellot etc...
    With T7 (if U use it) I don't know if they are enough warm and powerfull but with BP Swiss 1, 2 and also with french PNF2 or PNF1 it works without screw of tension of the mainspring and just by his own tension...

    The problem is more in the thikness and the wideness I think...

    Erwan.
     
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Mike, thanks for that. Like you I found that taking a little off the thickness REALLY has a big effect. So your warning to go light on the thinning is well taken.

    Is that a 4lb draw at the hammer? I'm guessing that's to just start it moving? And are you hooking the scale on to the hammer spur or the firing anvil? Either way I'm impressed that it can be that light and still fire the caps reliably. I'm also guessing that this light a pull relies on really good fitting nipples and caps that work together "just right".

    I need to check my hammer movement starting tension. That'll be later on today. Gotta get going just now. Life awaits.....

    Erwan, on the Remington 1858's the main spring is captured at the foot in a notch in the main frame. Then it uses a tensioning screw to set the pre-loading. In fact it works exactly like a Smith and Wesson revolver in this way.

    And that's why I figure I can try the reduced M.S. tension out first by just loosening the tension screw. Just like with the Smith and Wesson guns it's not the right method. But as long as I check it a few times during the day to make sure the screw stays at the right spot I will be OK for a day of testing.

    With the Colt style single actions the one screw both retains and tensions the spring. So it's not a good idea to back off that screw for a few reasons.

    When cleaning the guns after the big match I doctored up a few things. The reloading lever on one was binding so I eased the notch in the frame a little to relieve that. And I use a rubber abrasive wheel on the checkering of the hammers to smooth them a little and round over the edges. With that done and the tension screws backed out they feel just a little harder to cock than my cartridge Pietta pistols. So that's a good start. They sure are easier to cock quickly now! ! ! ! And the thumb can slip off the side like a fresh fish on a wet cutting board now :D

    We'll know more about how well this pans out this coming weekend. I'm off to make more smoke and fun while learning more about tuning these things up.

    I'll likely leave the spring thinning until then and work with a fishing scale on the hammer to see how much spring force there is both to just start it moving and to set the main cock point. Then I'll begin thinning and shaping the spring to work down to those sort of figures.
     
  7. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    I measured the thickness of my main springs with a dial caliper, and very carefully reduced their thickness with a benchtop belt sander, continually checking for parallelity and thickness. Gentle hands are the order of the day here!

    The other thing that made a huge difference was replacing the hammer bearing---the one that rides on the spring---with a tiny ball bearing purchased on Ebay. The old bearings were visibly out of round and fit very poorly, sometimes to the point of scuffing the mainspring. The new ones were a significant improvement, making it much easier to cock the hammer without further weakening of the main spring.
     
  8. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    BC,
    I used to measure from the hammer spur but its inconsistent with different guns so I measure from the nose of the hammer on half cock all the way to full cock.

    Mike
    www.goonsgunworks.com
     
  9. Erwan

    Erwan Member

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    BCRider you are right: I have to look how it is inside... ;)

    EGix6xYBemF_Remingtons.jpg

    Sorry 'bout the screw... ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    The day is done and both guns performed very nicely with the tension screws backed out by three turns.

    I did have two caps that failed to fire on the first strike. But I put that down to me not setting them correctly and the hammer seating them on the first strike and firing them on the second.

    In the end I'm thinking that to keep things as stock as possible that what I'll do is make up some sleeve shims to slip over the tensioning screws so they tighten at the present position.

    The Slix Shot nipples worked just fine too. They didn't keep the cap shards on the nipples. But they did let me set the caps easily and consistently with matched force needed to seat them all.

    The first strike misfires I did have were both on the other gun with the stock nipples. And likely as not they both occurred on the one nipple that is a touch fatter than the others and requires a VERY firm push with the cap setting stick to seat correctly.

    I don't doubt that the Treso's are better. Enough of you have said that they are. So the two 1860's will get Treso nipples soon. But the Slix Shot are certainly working well and I've already paid a healthy amount for them. So they'll do nicely on these Uberti '58's.

    45Dragoon, I'm going to go out for a day of testing with my fish scale and see if I can work the first lift of the hammer down to your 4 lbs and how it works with setting off the caps.
     
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