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Old June 27, 2008, 09:07 PM   #26
Hawg
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A lot of people use corn meal for a filler with light loads. BP must have the ball seated tight enough against the powder so that there's no air gap. Lube is a must, either lube pills, lubed wads or overball lube. Cylinder gap should be 0.005-0.010.
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Old June 27, 2008, 10:20 PM   #27
Oquirrh
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Smokin gun,

Thanks, I appreciate any and all help. (Name's not Larry.)

I was advised to use corn meal, as Hawg points out, to get adequate compression with light loads. I've been shooting 15g to 20 g of Kik trying to get some consistent groups.

The wedge is all the way through and still very loose--which probably explains the accuracy problem The barrle is moving around.

I compared it to my nearly new Pocket Navy and it looks like the wedge is the culprit. The big navy's wedge is seriously curved on the front edge from wear and maybe polishing. Any recoil would lossen it.

Hawg, I stuck a piece of xerox paper in the gap. It slides in and when I cock the hammer, the cylinder grips the paper, but it will come out with a little tug.

I'll figure it out, but thanks for the information. i may have find a 51 Navy guy around here to consult. (Better yet, buy another '51 to compare-- :-)

Again thanks, everyone--I hope I haven't come across as ungrateful or a bother. I'll try not to bug y'all unless I'm absolutely baffled.

Last edited by Oquirrh; June 27, 2008 at 11:14 PM.
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Old June 27, 2008, 11:25 PM   #28
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The wedge is all the way through and still very loose--which probably explains the accuracy problem The barrle is moving around.
Oquirrh, get a beer can or coke can and cut a shim(to height of wedge) so as it wraps around the corners of the wedge put it on the froward side of wedge and slide it in.
Mines made of brass shim stock on mt 10yr old 1860 Pietta. Wedge sits flush on right side. Also have a coke can shim on top of arbor to barrel ...took wobble out, several shim in cavity to bottm barrel, arbors dont all go to the bottom of the barrel assy hole.

Sorry I thought you might be Larry. Long story...

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Old June 28, 2008, 03:43 AM   #29
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Good point about the arbor being too short. Try this. Take the barrel off and remove the cylinder. Put the barrel on at about 90 degress to the frame. Push the barrel all the way down then rotate it to the frame. The barrel should fit flush with the frame or close to it. If the barrel goes past the edge of the frame when you put in the wedge it tilts the top of the barrel inward. You can drill and tap a hole in the front of the arbor and put a set screw in it. Adjust it until the barrel just mates with the frame and loctite it in place. Now when you put in the wedge, the barrel can't tip back. Make sure the set screw does not extend into the wedge slot. It's easier than messing with all those shims. I'd get a new wedge too.
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Old June 28, 2008, 05:54 AM   #30
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Wedges should wear out before the frame does - that's a good thing. You can stretch a frame by driving the wedge in too far, or peen the metal around the exit slot on the right side of the frame. I use wedges in several guns -its quick and easy. I used a small piece of wood recently while at the range when my 1851 .36 worked loose. You can buy a new wedge but the problem will most likely happen again.
The screw on the left side of the frame is actually (according to an old Colt patent) a set screw to regulate how far in the wedge goes.
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Old June 28, 2008, 06:07 AM   #31
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A wedge sould be pushed in by hand, not tapped in or hammered in till the spring end clears the frame on the otherside. If new they are usually flush to the other side...not pushed thru.
Sorry, but I don't agree. The location of the wedge with respect to the barrel assembly is not a precisely controlled dimension. A better indicator of whether the barrel is properly installed on a Colt revolver is the cylinder end gap.

A set of automotive feeler gauges is available at any auto parts store and is not expensive. Install the barrel and wedge and check the end gap (the cap between the front of the cylinder and the barrel forcing cone) with the hammer at full cock. It should be between 0.002 and 0.006 inches.

Tapping the wedge further into the slot (with any tool you feel comfortable with respecting the finish on the gun) will reduce the gap. Once that's determined note the location of the wedge; you can usually get close to the correct end gap by repeating that location, but it needs to be checked occasionally as the wedge/base pin slot wears.

If the wedge is loose once the proper end gap has been obtained the wedge must be replaced. It will not maintain the end gap during shooting if it's loose. If the new wedge is also loose then the slot is stretched and the base pin should be replaced (a job for a gunsmith).

Hawg's suggestion about a set screw is a darn good one. I've never seen that done and it sounds interesting. I'd try that before replacing the base pin.
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Old June 28, 2008, 08:32 AM   #32
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Mykeal, I agree that the closer the gap is the more accuracy you get but doncha think 0.002 is a lil close for a bp revolver? Factory tolerance on the wide end is 0.012, not sure what it is on the narrow end but I'm sure it's closer to 0.005 than 0.002
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Old June 28, 2008, 09:53 AM   #33
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Thanks, thanks and thanks...

Now I've got some things to try.

Hawg, I did the 90 degree test and it's seems flush -- but the set screw idea is genius.

Smokin' I was pondering the shim idea, too--at least as a temp. fix until a wedge arrives. (The parts place in Conn. takes forever to ship.) I could even trim a piece of feeler gauge.

In the midst of fiddling--For the hell of it, I flipped the wedge upside-down and pushed it in. I fits tight! When I get a second -- a tree fell onto my shed, putting a moratorium on shootin'-fiddlin' for the weekend -- I'll check with the feeler gauges (thanks mykeal). And upload some fotos.

Fiddlin' with these revolvers is fully half the fun. Think I'll get another.

I have a hand/spring assembly coming for my Uberti Pocket Navy (some day) and I may be checking back for guidance on fitting it.
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Old June 28, 2008, 11:53 AM   #34
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Quote:
Smokin' I was pondering the shim idea, too--at least as a temp. fix until a wedge arrives. (The parts place in Conn. takes forever to ship.) I could even trim a piece of feeler gauge.
Feeler gauge stock works great...I even make hand springs with feeler gauge stock.

Quote:
Sorry, but I don't agree. The location of the wedge with respect to the barrel assembly is not a precisely controlled dimension. A better indicator of whether the barrel is properly installed on a Colt revolver is the cylinder end gap.
You can not agree all you want, but you are just contradicting yourself in doing so.
Your dimensional statement equates the shim that I mentioned on the wedge that is tryin to be temporarily repaired, and not to have happen again with a new wedge. Most companies like Cabelas are shipped with with a wedge so tight one has the smack it out. This one was probly at the same adjustment ... TOO TIGHT... ie your gap referance. Most new or used without damaged wedges or barrel assy's are set with wedge flush or a little more to the right side of th frame .004"-.008"...
Most shooters do not carry feeler gauges or calipers with them. So Flush will put you about .005" to .010" or without bind on the cylinder the barrel.
Follow me?

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Old June 28, 2008, 12:47 PM   #35
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Hawg, I did the 90 degree test and it's seems flush -- but the set screw idea is genius.
I wish I could take credit for it but it's just one of those things you pick up here and there.
My 60 Colt came with the wedge flush and had to be driven out the first few times. It's finger removable now but stays in place during use. Gap is 0.004.
Gap on my Pietta 58 is 0.008. Gap on my Rigarmi 58 is 0.005.
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Old June 28, 2008, 12:47 PM   #36
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Nope, sorry, I don't follow. This sentence confuses me - I don't understand what you're trying to say:
Quote:
Your dimensional statement equates the shim that I mentioned on the wedge that is tryin to be temporarily repaired, and not to have happen again with a new wedge.
Colt's drawings do not specify a location for the wedge. As Hawg mentions, however, the cylinder end gap is specified, so that's the critical dimension, not the wedge location. It is true that the wedge determines cylinder end gap, but both wedge and arbor slot wear make it impossible to say what the wedge location must be to obtain any given end gap value.

I will agree that, in most cases (not always), setting the end of the wedge flush with the side of the barrel assembly will provide an end gap within acceptable tolerances. But we have a guy trying to figure out what's wrong with his gun, not what works 'in most cases'. He may have any number of problems, and I believe that in such a case it's important to start by measuring the critical dimensions so that he can begin the process of trouble shooting the problem.


And Hawg, you are correct about the max end gap tolerance. However, I don't like to let it get that wide. .010 is maybe ok, but I'd rather see .006 or even .008. As for the minimum tolerance, I see nothing wrong with .002, other than the possibility of fouling closing that up and causing interference. I think it's acceptable but not optimum. For the purposes of troubleshooting the OP's problem, I think it's ok.
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Old June 28, 2008, 12:55 PM   #37
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I don't think there's a "set" location for any wedge. I think most new guns have the wedge flush but constant removal wears them down and the more a gun is disassembled the further in a wedge will go to keep the barrel tight and the gap in tolerance.
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Old June 28, 2008, 03:09 PM   #38
Oquirrh
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Progress...

I got the feeler gauges and with the wedge in upside-down, I get .004 with the hammer cocked back. Absolutely no binding anywhere between barrel and cylinder.

I'm going to make a couple shims for the wedge and put it back in rightside up.

If everything's hunky-dory, I might take it to the range tomorrow to see if it will group.

I've been firing a 17g fffg Kik test load (with some corn meal spacer and beeswax/crisco lube) but this '51 Navy fouls so fast I might load up 13=15g of Triple 7 because it shoots cleaner.

thanks all.
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Old June 28, 2008, 06:40 PM   #39
Hawg
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It shouldn't start to bind until after at least three full cylinders. Is there any special reason you're using such light loads?
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Old June 28, 2008, 11:12 PM   #40
Fingers McGee
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Quote:
It shouldn't start to bind until after at least three full cylinders. Is there any special reason you're using such light loads?
It shouldn't bind even then. What are you lubing the arbor with? I use bore butter and get between 6 and 10 stages before the cylinder starts to bind.
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Old June 29, 2008, 12:15 AM   #41
Oquirrh
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no unusual binding of the cylinder

I was using light loads in hopes of accuracy. 20g?

It ain't the arbor that binds. It's the hammer. After two cylinders, the dry crud on the hammer and the frame opening it swings through--starts causing misfires.

BTW, my Treso cones have arrived in the mail.
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Old June 29, 2008, 02:21 AM   #42
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Quote:
Nope, sorry, I don't follow.
Ok Mykeal, in plain English or as close as I can get to it. You are being anal about a critical dimension that doesn't matter as long as the cylinder has about a .010" gap and is free to turn.
The dang Navy Rev had the Wedge hit in too far and it was fired, bound up bulged, hard to remove from arbor(raised material), damaged wedge, had to beat it out. What more trouble shooting do you need to know to figure out the wedge was in too dang far.
And that Sir was my point to Oquirrh not you, as he was following the explaination.
Now he's able to shim to temporarily repair the wedge till replaced.

Oquirrh, good job when I first started repairing my own 30 some years ago I was in the same boat you are in....So I speaking for only myself(so I don' get in any trouble) jump eagerly at the chance to help when I have been there and done that a couple times.
I'm pretty sure most everyone wants to help....

SG
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Old June 29, 2008, 07:21 AM   #43
Hawg
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the cylinder end gap is specified, so that's the critical dimension, not the wedge location. It is true that the wedge determines cylinder end gap, but both wedge and arbor slot wear make it impossible to say what the wedge location must be to obtain any given end gap value.
Quote:
Ok Mykeal, in plain English or as close as I can get to it. You are being anal about a critical dimension that doesn't matter as long as the cylinder has about a .010" gap and is free to turn.
I fail to see where Mykeal is being anal. Seems to me y'all are both saying practically the same thing. I do find the "critical dimension that doesn't matter" statement somewhat amusing tho.(no offense intended)

BTW I usually run 18-24 shots before my 60 starts to bind but that's probably due to the tight gap.

Quote:
It ain't the arbor that binds. It's the hammer. After two cylinders, the dry crud on the hammer and the frame opening it swings through--starts causing misfires.
Have you checked for burrs on the hammer or frame? It might need a little stoning of the hammer/frame to smooth things up. Check for rub marks on both to give you an idea where the problem might be.
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Old June 29, 2008, 08:24 AM   #44
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Quote:
Have you checked for burrs on the hammer or frame? It might need a little stoning of the hammer/frame to smooth things up. Check for rub marks on both to give you an idea where the problem might be.
No burrs on hammer or frame--just way-tight tolerances. On the left side the gap between the hammer and the frame is .006 to .004, but on the top left side I can't get a feeler gauge in at all. But the problem seems to be down in the works, when the hammer's coming down from full cock it binds in the last 1/4". But when I lift it back up a bit and let go--no binding. I need to polish the innards.

btw, the Tresos and RWS 1075 caps seem a good match.

Last edited by Oquirrh; June 29, 2008 at 09:24 AM.
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Old June 29, 2008, 08:55 AM   #45
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I just checked my 60 and on the right side I have 0.004, on the left side a feeler gauge won't go. If I push the hammer over to the right the 0.004 will go in the left side but none will on the right. The hammer shows very light rub marks on the left side but mine doesn't bind up with use. Quite frankly I'm baffled at this point. Maybe the nipples are letting too much flash back through them, maybe the Treso's will fix it but right now I'm clueless.
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Old June 29, 2008, 02:32 PM   #46
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Good day for the '51 Navy

just got back from a satiisfying morning at the range.

4 cylinders fired. 20 gr and 25 grain loads of Shockey's Gold powder. And one for-the-hell-of-it cylinder with 25 gr of Kik fffg black powder.

I really prefer black powder, but I had a bottle of the Shockey's around and it burns clean.

The TRESOS make all the difference. Only one misfire and that was only because two flattened caps were stuck under the hammer. Not one cylinder jam from caps. The cylinder was a little hard to get off at the end of the day, but it never stopped going around. No build up on the front of the cylinders--I was using beeswax/parafin/crisco.

No more serious crud build up on the hammer. The wedge held with a beer can shim. I would have liked to have shot until it fouled up, but I ran out of balls.

Accuracy was so-so, 4" groups at 50 ft., but today was about functioning.

Thanks everyone, I'm on my way.
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Old June 29, 2008, 02:37 PM   #47
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Good deal! Those Tresos have smaller flash holes than factory nipples. I guess that was all it took.
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Old June 29, 2008, 11:34 PM   #48
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Glad to hear it's working better for you now. Tresos definitely help. One other thing you might look at. The safety pin notch in the hammer will grab the caps & pull them off the nipple if the edges are sharp or there is a burr on it. I had a Pietta the would sometimes grab a cap & not let go without digging it out. A small round jewelers file taken to the notch to get rid of the sharp edges and burr was all it took to keep the expended caps on the nipples so the wouldn't fall down & get flattened by the hammer.
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Old June 30, 2008, 01:14 AM   #49
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Quote:
The cylinder was a little hard to get off at the end of the day, but it never stopped going around. No build up on the front of the cylinders--I was using beeswax/parafin/crisco.
Oquirrh, glad to hear you ha fun at the range...nothin' better. Good on ya on them Treso cones too. I am awaiting a couple sets from Thunder Ridge some TRM cones.
Also pleased to see the Lube pills/lube mix worked for you...can add more Crisco or try Olive/Soybean Oil (what I use) corn, Wesson, or any veggie oil you happen to like.

Email me or PM me will tell you more about makin um

Good shootin' at 50ft, that'll do um


See ya,
SG
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