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Old August 10, 2008, 09:50 AM   #1
Raider2000
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My Pietta 58' w/ 5.5" barrel

Hello all.

When I bought my Pietta 58' NMA w/ a 5.5" barrel from Cabelas in November I was impressed with it's fit & finish & how handy it seemed since it has a shorter barrel than my 23 year old Remington copy but when I took it out I found that it's grouping capability was not what I was hoping for, no matter what powder charge I used it was a so so performer.

Well after running 100 rounds through it & smoothing up the internals it still was a mediocre shooter & after reading a few posts on The High Road, & here I found what may have been my achilles heel.

One was that 2 of the cylinders were just slightly off in alignment "not much but I could see just a slight touch of the chamber in the bore as looking through the barrel.
& then there is the chamber to barrel dimentions.
Grove diameter: .4495
Lands diameter: .4400
Chamber diameter: .4460 - .4465 in the 3 cylinders I have for it.

Curious I talked to Rifle "on THR" & he pointed me twords Manson Reamers to acquire a reamer to increase the chamber diameter to .4500 or maybe .4510.

Well Friday my .4460/4510 reamer was home & I reamed the first cylinder & checked the alignemnt.
Nearly perfect, I had to try to look for the chamber while looking through the barrel & yesterday after running 3 full cylinders of .457 144gr. Ball with 40gr. FFFG Goex I see that I did not take too much metal off & seems to Proof good & will hold up to my normal load of 35gr. FFFG Goex or less with no ill effects & even with 40Gr. my last full cylinder "where I tried to aim my shots" it showed very good promise of accuracy where I was able to achieve a very respectable 4" group at 20 yards "compared to a before best group of 4" with just 30gr. @ 15 yards."

Next weekend will give me time to run some aimed shots through it but already I see that this decision was well worth the effort.

I'll post pictures later today.
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Old August 10, 2008, 10:50 AM   #2
Hawg
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You should have sent it back.
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Old August 10, 2008, 11:05 AM   #3
Oquirrh
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Thanks for sharing...

I have three Rem NAs of pretty good accuracy and am very interested in your work.

More details, pls.

One frustration I have in gaging the potential of my C/Bs is that few shooters post credible group info. (Also, distances vary from 50 feet to 20 yards to 25 yards.) I keep hearing about "cloverleafs" at 25y, which would mean sub-2" groups. I sometimes get cloverleafs, but other balls go wide. I'm trying to keep my targets to have a ragged record of my progress.

It would be nice to have a rough standard for posting grouping info., such as: 50 feet, measure center-to-center, and an AVERAGE for the groups along with the BEST group. (Even I get lucky once in awhile.)

Nothing anal -- this ain't benchrest shooting -- but something useful to those of us who are curious about the potential of these Amero-Italian wonders can produce.
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Old August 10, 2008, 01:06 PM   #4
Raider2000
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Well when I can take a single chamber on my 1860 or my other 1858 & shoot near same spot each time but not this one I knew it had to be something that could be corrected.

As far as me sending it back to Cabelas, I thought to try some smoothing up & what not as I normally do first & thought that since I did that I couldn't send it back.
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Old August 10, 2008, 09:17 PM   #5
Raider2000
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Here is a few pictures of it & it's rig.
Not only did I Ream the chambers to be slightly larger than the Grove diameter of the Barrel but I also modded the rear of the cylinders to allow the use of the snail capper, & while I was waiting on the reamer I smoothed all the edges & lightly blued them to give that worn but not worn out look.

Oh and please forgive the fact that she's loaded, but I've gotten her ready for her next outing.



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Old August 10, 2008, 11:42 PM   #6
Oquirrh
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Sweet revolver. What are the red cones?
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Old August 11, 2008, 04:06 AM   #7
Raider2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oquirrh
Sweet revolver. What are the red cones?
Fingernail Polish.

When ever I preload any of my revolvers I never know exactly when I'll get the chance to shoot it & to prevent any possible moisture from getting into the chambers from the nipple end I usually use clear polish over top of the cap & nipple but I ran out so I sortof borrowed some of Momas "don't tell her."
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Old August 11, 2008, 09:03 AM   #8
noelf2
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Pietta must intentionally make the cylinder chambers smaller so pressures in the barrel will be low. A tighter fit will certainly improve accuracy but I wonder if there is a safety trade-off.

Raider, I'm interested in the results of your next shoot? And if you'll lend me your reamer....
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Old August 11, 2008, 09:51 AM   #9
Raider2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelf2
Pietta must intentionally make the cylinder chambers smaller so pressures in the barrel will be low. A tighter fit will certainly improve accuracy but I wonder if there is a safety trade-off.

Raider, I'm interested in the results of your next shoot? And if you'll lend me your reamer....
Well as far as having my Chambers @ .4510 & the Groves @ .4495 I wouldn't think that the pressure would effect the barrel being all these guys shooting .45 Colt Cartridge Convertion Cylinders Launching a .4520ish 200gr. - 255gr. Bullet through it with either 30-40ish gr. FFG &/or FFFG charges & mild smokeless loads, & being that the percussion cylinders will pretty much max out at 40gr. FFFG Goex & mine survived it with 3 sucessive cylinder loads of it, it should be fine under my normal loads of 30-35gr. FFFG Goex or 30gr. Pyrodex P & a .457 Ball which is almost a requirement now but not a problem for me.

Since I'm pretty much done with my reamer I may sell it for half of what I paid for it.
$40.00 shipped.
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Old August 11, 2008, 12:02 PM   #10
noelf2
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Would be a bargain but I doubt I have other required equipment anyway. Is a drill press required? I wouldn't want to screw up my cylinder using a hand drill or something , but if this can be done by hand, I'll take it !!!
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Old August 11, 2008, 01:09 PM   #11
Raider2000
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Yeah I used my hand to ream the chambers.

Wait a minute, you live not too far from me, we just need to get together for a bit.
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Old August 11, 2008, 02:22 PM   #12
noelf2
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Raider2000 - I sent you a personal message with my contact info.
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Old August 11, 2008, 03:07 PM   #13
grymster2007
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I really haven't shot my 5.5" Pietta '58 enough to know how good it might be yet, but I don't think it would hurt to check the land, groove and chamber dimensions.

Looks like you're running your chambers .0015" bigger than the grooves. So what might be the ideal dimensional difference between groove and chamber diameter?
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Old August 11, 2008, 09:25 PM   #14
Raider2000
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OK I've gotten some shooting in today after getting a splinter out of my 6 year olds hand "she always asks if it'll hurt" but I did get some shooting in.

Since I didn't have the time to grab my meaures & gear to do a good bench shoot I thought to grab the first tray of preloads that I had, my rig & my 11" X 9" X 11" box of used magazines with a traget face attached "great for keeping your Lead."

Conciddering that at 20 yards I was lucky to hit this box much less have a decent amount of shots on the target before shooting one handed & especially with a 35gr. charge of FFFG Goex I figure that 15 out of 17 shots was pretty darned good, the ones circled in magic marker is the first 5 shots.



From what I've gotten is that the Chamber diameter should be .0010 - .0020 larger than the Grove diameter of the revolver.
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Old August 12, 2008, 08:16 PM   #15
Raider2000
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If I have time this weekend I'll do a proper bench shoot with a few different loads to get her dialed in but from yesterdays shooting, it told me that it was a lot better than before I reamed the chambers out, the 2 misses were I believe my fault, they actually hit the paper "on the edge" but you can not see it in the picture.
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