Uberti Cattleman .44 w/ No Half-Cock

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Keith E., Apr 25, 2021.

  1. Keith E.

    Keith E. Member

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    Dec 24, 2020
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    All,

    I just acquired a used Uberti Cattleman in .44 Magnum. The serial number is late 27xxx, all matching w/ AA date stamp 1975 date of manufacture. Left side frame stamp below the cylinder:
    IVER JOHNSON'S
    FITCHBURG-MASS-U.S.A.

    My concern lies with the fact that there is no half-cock notch. The only audible or tactile indicator throughout rearward hammer travel is a click just before full-cock. Stopping rearward movement at this click does not hold the hammer back. I'm open to suggestions, recommendations, etc.

    I informed the seller that I would be researching this concern and report back to him with my findings.

    TIA,
    Keith

    ETA Date Stamp & DOB

    **Thanks n5lyc for the informative post from October 6, 2009 @ 07:43 AM
    on mfr dates
    AA=1975
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Happy Valley, UT
    You sure it’s supposed to have one? Lots of Rugers don’t, for example.
     
  3. Keith E.

    Keith E. Member

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    I'm pretty sure that it's supposed to as the new ones do but, I'm asking because I'm not 100% sure.. Modern Rugers have a transfer bar system.

    Thanks,
    Keith
     
  4. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Does the cylinder free spin with hammer down and the loading gate open? That click your hearing is the bolt dropping most likely. If the cylinder spins free only when the hammer is pulled to what would be a half cock notch something is broken internally, most likely the half cock notch on the hammer.
     
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  5. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    If you turn the revolver upside down and cock it slowly you should be able to watch the bolt retract and pop back up, see if this corresponds with the Audible click sound.
     
  6. Keith E.

    Keith E. Member

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    Jackrabbit1957, you are The Man, as shown below.

    1. Does the cylinder free spin with hammer down and the loading gate open?
    *NO

    2. If the cylinder spins free only when the hammer is pulled to what would be a half cock notch something is broken internally, most likely the half cock notch on the hammer.
    *Yes, the cylinder spins freely when the hammer is in that position.

    3. If you turn the revolver upside down and cock it slowly you should be able to watch the bolt retract and pop back up, see if this corresponds with the Audible click sound.
    *That's exactly what happens.

    Thanks,
    Keith
     
  7. grter

    grter Member

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    888
    I would take the hammer and trigger out to see if it the hammer has a busted half cock notch or if the tip of the trigger is busted.

    I doubt anything made by Iver Johnson let alone in 1975 would be anything else but a Colt clone using an old Colt action. That means no transfer bars, no rebounding hammers, no free spinning cylinder by merely opening the loading gate. It's just an old fashioned 5 loaded hammer down on empty chamber Colt type action that IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN HALF COCK WHEN LOADING.

    I am not sure if finding a new hammer or trigger for this is going to be patient search for used or new old stock part/parts. I don't know if the newer old style hammer or trigger of the fairly recently discontinued (I think it's dc ed) old style action cattleman is going to fit. The 1970's models are made before they were using CNC machines. Maybe someone who knows more can chime in.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  8. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    If the half cock notch on the hammer is broken, a good smith can re-cut the notch without having to replace the hammer.
     
  9. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    My thoughts exactly, still have not determined this to be the problem. It's gonna require being taken apart to really know what's going on.
     
  10. grter

    grter Member

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    Maybe something like this. I don't know if Uberti parts or guns finished by Iver Johnson during the 1970s. are an exact match with other Uberti Cattleman parts..

    https://www.brownells.se/WebRoot/MediaDefinition/userdocs/schematics/u-1873_CattlemanSA.gif

    http://www.ubertireplicas.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/0358_1to182.jpg

    The quick way to tell the Colt clone from the modern transfer bar one is does the hammer have a point or is it flat.

    Some info about Uberti Cattleman .44 mag imports to Iver Johnson

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/uberti-cattleman-44-magnum.873888/

    https://fasrvector725.weebly.com/blog/iver-johnson-cattleman

    Opinions on Iver Johnson Cattleman revolvers vary. Deformation of firing pin holes in .44 magnums after being fed a steady diet of magnum loads is one complaint. .44 special loads from mild to hot may be a viable solution to this?

    If you are fortunate the edge of the half cock notch on the hammer may be bent over blocking the trigger from entering. That can probably be fixed. TAKE IT APART AND LOOK if it's within your capabilities.

    I read that parts were imported by Uberti to Iver Johnson between 1974 and 1978 with final fit and finishing done by Iver Johnson. I am not sure of that and information during my web search is scarce. Whatever the case it's not a CNC gun and hand fitting may be necessary even with original parts..

    This site below (Numrich aka gunpartscorp.com) has some (4 pages) old new stock or used Iver Johnson Cattleman parts.

    Hammer (get Centerfire Hammer) is in stock here at $45.00 (probably)
    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufacturer/iver-johnson/revolvers-ij/new-cattleman-mag?page=3

    Numrich takes forever and it may not be in stock despite being listed as so. I don't know

    trigger is listed as out of stock..

    It actually may be an easy fix making most of this moot.

    You can choose to dispense with the hassle and send it to a gunsmith who knows how to work with Colt type single actions, deliver it to them, pay and wait for the work to be done.

    If the work can be done with a $10.00 (maybe less) mini file set from Home Depot it may make the other suggestion moot. Don't touch the trigger or full cock notch with a file though since the hardened surfaces must be left intact.

    A worthwhile mention: getting the geometry of the edge (should be somewhat sharp and ramped) near the half cock notch right can be tricky. Failure to do so can result in the hammers outer edge near the half cock notch slamming down on the trigger tip the moment the trigger tip is pulled out of the full cock notch way before you can pull the trigger all the way back out of the way. If the actual inside of the notch is wrong (not a wide enough opening) then your trigger can get stuck (locked in) in the half cock notch locking up the action.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  11. Keith E.

    Keith E. Member

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    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help with this.

    A bit off topic but definitely related to the revolver. I've been trying to communicate with the seller (another forum) but he is being a bit unpleasant. He wants me to get a quote from a gunsmith and then "see what we can work out". I've asked for a refund which he said was not going to happen. I'd be in for two 60 mile round trips to the gunsmith without knowing if he plans to bear the cost of the repairs. On a brighter note, this is only the 4th crapbird that I've had an issue with in ~40yrs but, they've all been within the last 5yrs.

    Thanks again for rhe tech advice and also for bearing along with my little saga. I'll definitely keep y'all updated.

    Keith
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Look for file marks, the notch may have been removed intentionally.
    Elmer Keith discussed removing safety and half cock notches to protect the sear nose of the trigger.
    'Sixguns', chapter XV, page 218 in my edition.
     
  13. Keith E.

    Keith E. Member

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    I was finally able to get this revolver in for diagnosis and repair. Thankfully, it ended up being only a trigger spring. Again, I really appreciate everyone's input.

    Thanks Again,
    Keith
     
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