Now the 1851 Navy is broken. :(

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Polecat, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    Took it out to shoot it this evening.

    Sear/Bolt spring broke on the second shot. Now the cylinder won't stay locked.

    Pietta "Quality" I reckon.

    I have a notion to just return both this and the Le Mat for refund and give up.
     
  2. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    :(

    -John
     
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  3. junkpile

    junkpile Scout

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    That's unfortunate. Are both of these revolvers new?
     
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  4. DirtmanDave

    DirtmanDave Supporter Supporter

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    @Polecat check out Blackie Thomas' YouTube channel today. He's talking about the same issue as your '51.
     
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  5. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Damn! You shouldn't have been so fast on the draw, fanning down on all 6 of those targets in 1 second flat!
     
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  6. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    And that is one of the better brands :D I watch that Dualist’s you tube channel and the first thing he does with a new cap and ball revolver is tune them up by sanding, filing and stoning parts and changing to Wolf springs. Pretty much tells you that out of the box they all are marginal performers. I picked up a Colt Navy brass framed 1850 model a couple of weeks ago. Just one range secession and it was not as tight as when I started, pretty much telling me to expect future issues. A couple of hundred bucks (and I’m sure the Le Mat was a heck of a lot more) is not cheap, but I guess we get what we pay for.
     
  7. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    Yep! And I'm on my second Le Mat. First one wouldn't stay cocked. Second one had a misaligned barrel selectior.

    Sheeeit, I didn't even dry fire it without putting aquarium tubing over the nipples, lol.

    Yeah, I am not going to return the 1851, I'll just get the piano wire spring for it and replace the flat spring that broke. Other than that spring breaking, it's actually very very slick, the bolt fits the cylinder cutouts correctly, the gap is perfect, the frame isn't getting peened anywhere, and the wedge comes out by hand and is aligned right.

    Yeah, that sucker (at least the Dixie/Navy Arms version, which has more engraving, better bluing, and is fitted way better (other than the selector) than the Cabela's version) cost >$1000, but I've wanted one since I was 7 or 8 years old haha. Bucket list gun, along with that Hollenbeck. Now I need to find a Russian contract (or repro) Winchester 1895 in 7.62x54r with the stripper clip guides. :3

    I called Dixie today and talked to their gunsmith. He said to send it back and he'd fix it (the Le Mat I mean). I reckon I'll be paying the shipping, but I think that's a way better deal than getting a replacement that will have its own new host of issues. Even the original Le Mats were a little funny when new. They used a unique cylinder locking system (to avoid patent infringement) that is a little strange.
     
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  8. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    Got some Wolff springs on the way. Since I use the RWS caps and had to pay shipping anyway, I am going to try out the lightened mainspring, too. I reckon if it's too light I can just put the factory one back in and put the lightened one in my SAA.

    I figure once I have the Wolff bolt spring, I can put a caliper on it and make my own if I ever need to replace it again. I have a couple of junk pianos in a shed that I can probably harvest the right diameter wire from. I assume that one would then just anneal the wire, bend it to shape, and retemper it.

    Edit: Speaking of which, can anyone recommend which of the 3rd party quality replacement nipples fit the RWS #11 caps the best?
     
  9. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    Re shipping- you know you can mail the gun via Post Office for much cheaper than you can ship Fedex or UPS?
    Denis
     
  10. drobs

    drobs Guide

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  11. A K Church

    A K Church Guide

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    Broken bolt/sear springs are pretty basic to that design. Unfortunate yours broke so soon, but eventually they all break.

    The one on my Colt NF SAA broke...eventually.

    Replace with a wire spring. I think mine's a Heinie.
     
  12. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    This must be a rather recent (last 20 years) problem because my C&P revolvers never had any issues. I bought them new back in the late 70's and shot the heck out of them for many years. Never bought a cartridge arm til 1982 or so - Model 60, Model 66, 1911's, Colt Com Commanders, various others and rifles, etc, etc.

    I can see that there is a break-in period that is more noticeable on BP revolvers than on modern designs with modern steels, but I'm still surprised to read this.
     
  13. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    My first handgun was an Italian .36 in '69.
    Less than 200 shots before the hand spring broke.
    Denis
     
  14. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    Yeah, it is technically legal, but I am half afraid some soy-boy postal worker will x-ray the package, not know what he is looking at, neither will any of the rest of them, and dumbness will ensue resulting in headaches. <_<

    I have an Uberti SAA that I've shot a good bit and haven't had a problem with (yet lol). Once I have this commercial spring, I am 90% sure I can use it for measurements and make my own in the future. I figure I could probably make one right now based on internet photos and measurements of the broken flat spring, except I am not sure what diameter piano wire I need to use to make it the right strength.
     
  15. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    C#minor :rolleyes:

    -John
     
  16. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    Yeah, maybe it doesn't make much difference, heh.
     
  17. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    I've mailed several percussions, it's entirely legal, and MOST of the PO people know it.
    Anybody at the X-ray & Inspector level who'd be chasing you down would certainly know it.

    Much cheaper than Fedex or UPS, your choice.
    Denis
     
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  18. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    I went ahead and grabbed 2 wire bolt springs from Wolff. I'd hate to travel 1/2 way around world to shoot the gun and find it too has a broken spring.

    Added them to an order of 2 EMF reduced power mainsprings.
    https://www.gunsprings.com/index.php?page=items&cID=3&mID=1&dID=96

    Was reading on another board that these mainsprings will reduce the effort required to cock Pietta 1858 Remington revolvers. Plus keep the revolver reliable with conversion cylinders and percussion caps.

    http://1858remington.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5248.0.html


    Quoting myself from the other thread:
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  19. Lee C.

    Lee C. Scout

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    My very first handgun was a pieta Colt walker repro I bought when I was in early 20s.. first time I fired it,it chain fired. Lucky lucky day. No damage to me or weapon. Loudest damn thing I ever heard. I have since bought several CnB pistols from them over years and only repairs were to the Walker, mainly the lifting hand and replaced a bolt stop spring,and shot the front sight out somehow. My Colt and Remington copies have held up thru all sorts of shooting. Sad to hear todays copies are giving you such a bad time .. hope they get em straight and you can get back to enjoying your smoke wagons..
     
  20. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Curious did you have any luck with the Wolff sear/bolt spring?
     
  21. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    I have it, but I haven't put it in yet. Been working 6.5 days per week while the weather is nice, heh.
     
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  22. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    I put the springs in a little while ago. Both the wire sear/trigger spring and the reduced power mainspring.

    Figured I could get away with a lighter mainspring, since the gun is fairly smooth and I use RWS caps.

    Trigger part of the sear/trigger spring seemed a tiny bit of a shade short, but it seems to be working fine so far.

    Haven't loaded and shot it yet, but snapped a few caps. Functions reliably with the lightened mainspring if I push the caps on the nipples hard with the hammer. That would probably give some people a heart attack, but it's how it was done back in the day (or so I've read). (Although the brown bess loading procedure with paper cartridges was to tear it open and prime the pan before loading the rest of it, which does give me a heart attack, lol, so maybe traditional doesn't always mean correct. :p )

    Without pressing the caps on hard with the hammer, I have to drop it a second time to get them to pop.

    The action is way slicker with the reduced power mainspring, though, so I'm going to try to leave it in if I can. Might try a little polishing where that nubbin thing on the hammer rides past that spring-loaded bit that pushes the hand, or whatever, if it remains an issue.

    Some better nipples might solve/help that issue, too.

    Will shoot it for real later. Don't have enough time to clean it up tonight, so I'm putting it off, heh.
     
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  23. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Good to hear Sir!
    I've read elsewhere that changing mainsprings on Pietta colts might result light hits. Figure you can always change back or get some Slix Shot nipples recommended by Mike Beliveau (Duelist1954).
    http://www.longhunt.com/storelh/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=267

    I'll be home Monday and can't wait to shoot my 51 Navy and try out the Wolff Mainsprings in my pair of Pietta 1858's.
     
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  24. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Prov 27:17 Supporter

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    Pretty cool. Prov 27:17
     
  25. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    Add some pics if you can!! :dblthumb:

    -John
     
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  26. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Will definitely take some pics.

    Here's the group to beat:
    [​IMG]
     
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  27. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    I swap out to Wolffe springs anytime I have a problem and every time I can remember it made for a better product afterwards.

    I had a miss feed in a match last weekend. (Timed event) I pulled (stripped out) that full, 23rnd mag and when it hit the ground... its floor plate popped off, the base follower went one way, the spring went into orbit and the rounds streamed out onto the ground.... I just got a replacement spring, a Wolffe for 6$. Money well spent.


    As for shipping problems. What I do is to Buy sheet lead at Home Depot or LOWES, lay a sheet on both sides of the flat side of the box.

    It is legal as it is NOT a firearm and ship. NO PROBLEMS.

    A friend bought a few plastic dummie firearms for training. and TWO TIMES they where stopped at some shipping hub because they where x-rayed and thought to be firearms!! They where re shipped with the lead and NO PROBLEMS, they are FLAT RATE boxes anyhow so no extra fees for the weight.

    Again, you KNOW what you are shipping is a legal item, so your doing NOTHING illegal. Juts keeping busy bodys OUT of YOUR business!

    CW
     
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  28. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    I hear a Pringle's can with it's aluminum foil internal layer will defeat an Xray machine.
    Good way to send your buddies deployed overseas booze in a water bottle.
     
  29. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    I've been shooting Pietta revolvers for years in cowboy action shoots, most of the competitors use either Pietta or Uberti revolvers and never have problems, one of my sons has a LaMatt revolver he purchased from Dixie gun works and it's absolutely flawless.
    Some folks have a knack for just not having good luck with those sorts of things, perhaps you need to consider a new hobby ?:33:
     
  30. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    A quick review of my new 36 caliber steel frame Pietta 1851 Navy. Pics and targets to follow in the next couple of days.

    I disassembled and cleaned up my new 36 cal Pietta 1851 Navy the other day and replaced the factory flat bolt spring with a Wolff wire bolt spring. Manipulating the gun before cleaning and bolt spring replacement, I noticed the timing was a little off. I think the new spring and wiping all the gunk off the internals of the revolver cleaned up the action. Now the action seems a little smoother. There was sharp edge where hand spring connects to the hand. I buffed that on some 3M 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

    I put a dab of T/C Bore Butter on the arbor (cylinder pin) as I find that helps my other Pietta 1860 Army revolvers run longer / smoother. I also tightened each nipple - maybe a 1/4 of a turn.

    Thursday we had a boat trip planned on Bull Shoals lake at 930am. I got up early and did a little shooting at my backyard gong at 7am. I need to cut some wads but just wanted to test fire the gun with a couple cylinders to see how it shoots for function.

    I fired off 2 cylinders of caps - goal being to clear the nipples without disassembling the cylinder, which I neglected to do. An older friend of mine previously gave me a 1/3 full can of Goex FFFg powder. He later gave me his powder horn that has another 1/3 of the same Goex powder from 1985. I have 2 powder flasks, 1 has a 30gr spout filled with Graf's Scheutzen FFFg the other a 20gr spout that I loaded with the 1985 Goex FFFg.

    For the 1st cylinder of the day I started with 5 chambers with 20gr of Goex and 1 chamber with 30gr of Graf's. I used .375 diameter Hornady ball and Remington #10 caps. I really just wanted to do a quick test fire of 1 or 2 cylinders.

    I had one missfire, the cap went off but the main load didn't (pop but no boom) on a 20gr loaded chamber of Goex. It fired with a 2nd cap (I blame not cleaning the nipples). The 30 gr chamber fired with authority. The 20gr loads were mouse farts in comparison barely moving my gong when hit.

    I fired the next 6 cylinders using 30gr of Graf's FFFg which created a nice cloud of smoke and made my gong move nicely. 30 grains fills the chamber to mouth. A ball is then pressed in on top of the powder resulting in a compressed load. This being a steel framed gun it should handle the full powder loads.

    I noted the hammer on this 1851 really sucks caps if the action is manipulated slowly. Brisk manipulation of the hammer and a little shake here and there had the caps falling off nicely. My pair of Pietta 44 1860 Army Colt hammers don't suck caps like this 1851 Navy does.

    Will try to get out Friday or Saturday and see what it does on paper. I do note the rear hammer sight is even smaller than my 1860's.
    Overall - black powder is fun and the 51 Navy seems to shoot well so far.
     
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  31. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Did some target work this morning out in the backyard. Its blazing hot and humid.
    Started with 30gr of Graf's fffg and switched to 20gr of Goex fffg. 30gr is messy real easy to have it spread all over the cylinder face. Below was shot at 21 ft using the 20gr loads using 2 hands. I haven't shot since January and I blame the flyers on myself. Am on day 2 of shooting the gun. The gun is dirty but I washed the barrel out before shooting today. I figure one more day shooting it and then I'll give it a full bath.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. southron

    southron Guide

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    Check with dixie gun works for parts or numrich arms maybe?
     
  33. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Did some more target work yesterday with the '51 Navy. Still getting flyers on shots 5 & 6. I wonder if my hands aren't slipping around.
    Shot at 25yd gong this morning, and the 51 seems to hit easily enough with little difficulty. I'm still working through a flask of Goex powder w/ a 20gr nozzle. Might need to try some Graf's.

    Also tried a 40gr Graf's FFFg loaded cylinder out of my Pietta 1858 Sheriff. Lots of smoke but I really don't notice any increase in recoil. Seems to me these guns loaded with BP don't have much if any recoil. Completely missed my gong on all 6 shots.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  34. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    The new springs are stamped out of thinner sheet and still often have rough stamped edges. Bolt cams on hammers now cast integral rather than staked hardened steel. Looks are way up, internals way down.

    Could not be happier with my all steel 1yr old Uberti, even the screws appear almost Colt quality.
     
  35. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Too bad Uberti can't get that short arbor problem fixed in there open top Colts.
     
  36. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    Nothing short in mine.
     
  37. drobs

    drobs Guide

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    Which Uberti model do you have?
    If it's an open top Uberti Colt, cap & ball revolver, you have a short arbor (aka cylinder pin).
    Feel free to google that.

    It's correctable. Here's the tuning articles for your Uberti:
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Uberti_Open_Top_Revolvers_Part_1.pdf
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Uberti_Open_Top_Revolvers_Part_2.pdf

    Part 3 covers the short arbors in Uberti revolvers.
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Uberti_Open_Top_Revolvers_Part_3.pdf
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Uberti_Open_Top_Revolvers_Part_4.pdf

    The above Uberti tuning articles refer back to the Pietta tuning articles.
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Pietta_Part_One.pdf
    http://www.theopenrange.net/articles/Tuning_the_Pietta_Part_Two.pdf

    You need to look at these Italian Colt clones as semi-finished kits that just need a little polishing to get working perfectly. They will work out of the box but some minor tweaking makes them so much nicer and more reliable long term.
     
  38. mtngunr

    mtngunr Scout

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    Again, the pin is not short, not a thing wrong in timing, either, have been shooting SA revolvers since the 1960s, built my first 1851 from a kit in 1974. Bolt fit could be better, but so could Ruger. It is a suprisingly well made gun. Compares quite favorably to an actual Colt 1851 in pawl/ratchet, bolt will be replaced when it breaks, same with spring, and will install own cam in hammer when/if the cast unit wears down.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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