Why doesn't Pietta and Uberti make thier revolvers more reliable?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by BamRanchCowboy, Jul 1, 2022.

  1. BamRanchCowboy

    BamRanchCowboy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2022
    Messages:
    6
    Are they sacrificing reliability in the name of "tradition"?

    The flat trigger/bolt springs on factory cap n' ball revolvers are atrocious. By far my biggest gripe. They break so often they may as well be considered consumables for the gun. If Pietta/Uberti simply switched to a more sturdy and reliable wire spring (like Wolff springs) straight from the factory, I'm sure it would make everyone happier.

    The nipples? They're okay. But just okay. I still had to switch them out for some slixshot nipples and pretty much never had a misfire since.

    And the screws? Oh boy. I'd like to know why on Earth Pietta thought soft screws would be a good idea for thier firearms. I've had to swap these screws out for high quality steel ones and never looked back.

    And the sights? Why the heck are they set at 100 yards? I can't imagine many of us shoot cap & ball revolvers from 100 yards away on horseback. That may have been a useful sight configuration during the civil war, but now days that's just plain impractical. Most people I know who are black powder enthusiasts shoot at standard target distances for a handgun, so about 20-50 yards tops. I've had to take my Colt Navy and carefully file down the rear sight notch to make the point of impact not 12-14 inches higher than I'm aiming. I learned how to do this from other black powder enthusiasts, many of which also made modifications to either the rear notch or front post to be accurate at normal handgun ranges.

    There's some very simple things Pietta and Uberti can do to make thier guns more reliable straight from the factory; that wouldn't necessarily make thier revolvers any less "traditional".
     
    Seiyoujin and highroadmember like this.
  2. hawg

    hawg Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,101
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I don't know what you're doing to your springs but I've been doing this since 1969 and can't remember breaking a trigger/bolt spring. Army model sights were originally set at 75 yards. Navies were usually closer to POA. My Pietta navy and G&G don't shoot anywhere near that high. If you want something that shoots closer to POA get a Pietta Remington. Those front sights are so tall they look ridiculous. Me, I want my guns as close to the originals as I can get.
     
  3. BamRanchCowboy

    BamRanchCowboy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2022
    Messages:
    6
    The flat springs currently in production at Pietta are not even spring steel. They're sheet metal that has been tempered a bit.

    My black powder revolvers get exposed to very cold temperatures at times, and that's when I find the flat springs were more prone to breaking, at the top of the leg, almost always on the cylinder index side. Sometimes I'd have to replace the spring 2-3 times a year. They aren't that expensive, so it was more an inconvenience than anything. Mind you, this is with heavy use and in cold conditions.

    Replacement with a wire spring made from quality spring steel pretty much cured that issue...
     
  4. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Find your self a Ruger Old Army, but it will cost you more than the upgrades Pietta or Uberti need.
     
  5. LaneP

    LaneP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,137
    Probably a cost-benefit thing. I'm sure they could build them to much higher quality standards but the degree of hand fitting (labor is very costly) and additional heat treating and material acquisition costs would drive the price into a realm that they perceive they wouldn't move units at sufficient quantity, and we would probably not buy very often as a result. My guess is they view the average consumer of C&B repros as someone that just puts a few rounds down range, then puts it away for a long time, vs shooting them early and often as some of us do.
     
  6. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,618
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    I agree with @LaneP
    I think it's the price point, they're making basically a $300 revolver. Think about modern handguns and what type of quality you get for that same price when buying new.
     
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    21,455
    Like LaneP, they gotta make a profit. There are gunsmiths who specialise in tuning or upgrading those guns and they are on these forums.
     
    Golfanaticshooter and Zulch like this.
  8. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    21,932
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Been shooting Uberti's since 1986 and don't ever recall any reliability issues to the point that I'd complain about it. I've only had one flat spring break and that was out of the box. They've gotten quite a bit better over the last 10 or so years.
     
  9. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,119
    I think that both makers are trying to make a somewhat historically accurate representation of these revolvers, I think production cost got in the way with using less than decent quality springs. For the most part they have a good foundation to work with, it just takes a little effort to get them there.
     
    Seiyoujin and dirt-poor like this.
  10. dirt-poor

    dirt-poor Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2020
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Texas
    Lee Gunsmithing sells a good wire trigger & bolt spring in two versions; one "standard" and one "long." The only difference between them is the length of the trigger side of the spring. The standard one is too short for a Pietta. The long one is too long as it comes, but can easily be cut to fit. I replaced some Pietta trigger/bolt springs with these awhile back, and have been entirely satisfied with them so far. I also used the long version to replace the springs on an Armi San Marco Walker and an Uberti Dragoon. The standard length (the first one I bought) fit an Uberti 1861 Navy with no modification.

    https://www.leesgunsmithing.com/store/Gunslinger-Spring-Kits-c89708601

    Mike Beliveau has a video on these springs.

     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
    01KLR650, BamRanchCowboy and 1KPerDay like this.
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,446
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    troll? I haven't had any issues with my Piettas and Ubertis so far. *shrugs*

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Seiyoujin, drobs, 01KLR650 and 6 others like this.
  12. Shortgrub

    Shortgrub Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    kaintuckee
    Great groups!
     
    LaneP likes this.
  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,446
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    Thanks! Not bad for offand shooting with my bad eyes LOL. I'm sure others can do better, and fine-tuning the charge/load/projectile/lube would likely improve. I'm lazy and just load max recommended charges under a LFW and then a ball.
     
    Seiyoujin, drobs, dirt-poor and 2 others like this.
  14. red rick

    red rick Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,429
    Location:
    Virginia
    That is good offhand shooting . What distance and did you have to modify your rear sight ?
     
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,446
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    I haven't messed with my sights at all. You'll note that on some targets I did paste a "POA" sticky to aim at. The short Remington hits to POA out of the box though, and my 1860s aren't bad either. About a 6oclock hold at 20 yards to get on the paper.
     
    Seiyoujin and red rick like this.
  16. Mizar

    Mizar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,953
    Location:
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Hmmm, someone is pissed off why a $300 revolver is not built to the same manufacturing standards as a $1300 revolver. Go figure...
     
  17. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,467
    I’ve been at it since the early 60’s and I have to agree.


    Ahem… https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/show-us-your-50-yard-five-shot-cap-n-ball-revolver-groups-or-patterns.907200/page-2#post-12339741

    some of those guns are going’s to shine at distance. What say you?
     
    Ugly Sauce, CraigC and Big Bore 44 like this.
  18. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    19,446
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    @woodnbow I say I'd love to try it, but finding a place around here to shoot 50 yards is a chore. Maybe I can make it happen this long weekend.
     
    woodnbow likes this.
  19. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,220
    Location:
    Somewhere in Maryland
    Yeah, this is the problem you run into with guns made to a price point. Pietta and Uberti are doing their best within the limits they have to work in. If you want a good gun, try a Pietta Shooter's Model, or a Pedersoli Remington. Or a Hege-Remington, if you can find one.
     
  20. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,698
    Location:
    Michigan
    The only broken spring I've had was already broken when I acquired the revolver it was in.

    Pro Tip -
    When considering reviews, first consider what the complaint is actually about before worrying about if it is good or bad.
     
  21. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,467
    I’ve always stuck with Uberti and Second gen Colts. So far it’s working well for me. I’ve had a few I sold away as unsuitable for my purposes but I’m careful to make sure the buyers know what they’re buying and I’m pretty particular about those I keep so my rejects are usually pretty good guns with no obvious flaws.

    Pietta have apparently really upped their game in the past few years. I have one but it’s got some problems and after a few more sessions, I’m sending it off to @Jackrabbit1957 for a treatment. All told I’ve owned maybe 5 Piettas, all Shooters Model Remingtons, and they’re good guns generally, with small grips I cannot make fit. Oh well, I’m not a fan of the Remington aesthetic anyway so…
     
  22. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,024
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I have both Piettas and Ubertis and the Pietas are no problem at all, every Uberti had a problem except an 1885 HighWall I had. I have quite a few 2nd Gen Colts and a third gen dragoon. Mike AKA Goon Brackett has worked on some of my favorite shooters including 2 C Series, one 3rd Dragoon and 1851 Navy. An Uberti Whitneville Dragoon and an 1862 Navy and he's about to send my 1860 2nd Gen Colt back as I just sent my 2nd Gen 1861 Navy to him! Most every one of my Piettas never needed much work.
     
  23. BamRanchCowboy

    BamRanchCowboy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2022
    Messages:
    6
    Yep, I know I'm not the only one with these gripes. Duelist1954 and Thomas have them to, and have talked in detail about it.

    Why else are there so many tutorials on how to make your cap n ball gun more reliable and accurate? All I'm saying is there's a few simple things the manufacturers can do to slick these guns up to be a bit more reliable from the factory, that is all.

    I'd gladly pay an extra $50 for a cap n ball pistol to get shipped with a decent wire trigger/bolt spring, rear notch sight set at 25 yards, and good quality steel screws and nipples. I know theres traditionalists who might disagree but I think these things would only enhance the enjoyment new black powder shooters get from these guns.





     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
    red rick likes this.
  24. hawg

    hawg Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,101
    Location:
    Mississippi
    You want all that for 50 bucks?
     
  25. BamRanchCowboy

    BamRanchCowboy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2022
    Messages:
    6
    That's about how much those things costed me to install myself. Wolff trigger/bolt spring ($6), Slixshot nipples ($35), steel screw set ($10).

    Plus having to file down the rear notch to a more appropriate 25-30 yard zero.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice