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Old May 24, 2012, 08:35 PM   #1
noelf2
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Help! Issue working the action on a Pietta 1858 NMA

One of my Pietta remmys has a problem that I'm trying to sort out, has been bugging me for quite a while. This problem has been with the gun since I bought it new. I'll describe this as best I can. When I have the hammer back full, pull the trigger to release the hammer, and let it fall gently with my thumb, the hammer glides easily to the point where the bolt gets unlocked and will stay at that point (bolt still locked up) unless I give it a nudge - then it unlocks the bolt and falls the rest of the way. So, at the point where the hammer drop releases the bolt from locked (but bolt spring still holds the bolt up), something is catching. So far this hasn't affected the gun firing as the hammer spring provides plenty of momentum to push the hammer all the way down with enough force to pop a cap, but I have to keep the spring tension pretty heavy. What do I need to adjust/alter so the hammer will glide down smoothly, all the way, when decocking it? My other remmys fall smoothly and just make a slight audible click at the point where the bolt is unlocked.
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Old May 24, 2012, 09:43 PM   #2
Hawg Haggen
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Maybe a burr in the bolt notch? The bolt head is tapered, maybe it's a tad too wide and is getting stuck in the up position.
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Old May 25, 2012, 04:56 AM   #3
noelf2
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Bolt head seems to move in the slot with no trouble. The bolt spring holds the bolt head up at that point anyway, I think. Bolt head won't drop into the frame until recocking starts. May be the bolt notch but I didn't see any obvious burrs. I'll give it another look.
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Old May 25, 2012, 06:16 AM   #4
mykeal
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The trigger sear is catching on the half-cock notch, which it should do with the hammer moving slowly and no finger load on the trigger.

I don't understand this part:
Quote:
the point where the bolt gets unlocked
When lowering the hammer after being in full cock there is no point where the bolt "gets unlocked". The bolt should stay up in the cylinder stop notch for the full hammer throw all the way down to the frame.
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Old May 25, 2012, 07:42 AM   #5
noelf2
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Quote:
I don't understand this part:
the point where the bolt gets unlocked
Quote:
When lowering the hammer after being in full cock there is no point where the bolt "gets unlocked". The bolt should stay up in the cylinder stop notch for the full hammer throw all the way down to the frame.
I don't think that is accurate, or you aren't understanding me. Yes, the bolt stays up in the cylinder notch for the full hammer drop, but there is a point in the drop where you can actually physically push the bolt into the frame/slot. Try this on one of yours: remove the cylinder, pull hammer back to full cock. Push down on the bolt face with your finger (it will not go down, it is "locked" up). Drop the hammer slowly with trigger fully depressed and put constant finger pressure on the bolt (trying to push it into the frame). I think you will find that at a point before full hammer drop, the bolt is released (you can push it into the frame now, it is not "locked" up) but it will stay up under spring tension anyway for the remainder of the hammer drop. It is at the point, just before the bolt is released, where my hammer hangs.
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Last edited by noelf2; May 25, 2012 at 08:16 AM.
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Old May 25, 2012, 09:14 AM   #6
Hawg Haggen
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You can push mine down as soon as the trigger is pulled and it will stay down if you take your finger off of it but it comes back up right before the end of hammer travel. To my thinking there has to be a burr somewhere, just not sure where to tell you to look
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Old May 25, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7
noelf2
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What causes the bolt to retract into the frame when the hammer is pulled and the hand is advancing the cylinder? Does the end of the bolt cam on the hammer somehow?
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Old May 25, 2012, 11:46 AM   #8
Hawg Haggen
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Yes it does. The hammer cam is a round peg that's angled on one side.
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Old May 25, 2012, 12:16 PM   #9
noelf2
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So my hammer pauses just before the bolt leg drops off that hammer cam. Is the angle on one side of the hammer cam to allow the bolt leg to slip around it easily when the hammer is falling? Maybe the cam isn't angled enough or there's a burr keeping the bolt leg from slipping around the cam. I'll check for burrs around the bolt leg and hammer cam tonight, and compare with my other remmys.
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Last edited by noelf2; May 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old May 25, 2012, 04:01 PM   #10
mykeal
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Quote:
Is the angle on one side of the hammer cam to allow the bolt leg to slip around it easily when the hammer is falling?
No.
As you pull the hammer back the bolt leg is pushed up by the side of the cam on the hammer, causing the bolt head to drop out of the cylinder stop notch and retract through the frame. As the hammer continues back the bolt leg eventually slips off the side of the cam when it reaches the bevel on the cam - there's no more 'side' of the cam pushing on the bolt leg. That allows the bolt spring to force the bolt head back up through the frame and into the cylinder stop notch. The purpose of the beveled angle on the cam surface is to cause the bolt leg to fall off the side of the cam.

Once the bolt leg has fallen off the side of the cam the only thing holding it up through the frame is the bolt spring; the hammer is no longer involved. When the hammer drops the bolt leg simply slides up the surface of the cam along the bevel and then slips over the edge into place alongside the cam. It's possible there's a burr on the bolt leg or the cam surface that affects that movement, but it would seem to me that it would be a pretty big burr.

I still think the trigger sear is getting snagged by the half cock notch.
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Old May 25, 2012, 07:43 PM   #11
noelf2
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mykeal you're probably right, but it sure seems like the hammer hangs after it passes the half cock notch. I replaced the hammer, trigger, bolt, hand and spring from a smooth remmy into the problem child and the problem went away completely. I started comparing the parts and the only glaringly obvious difference is the length of the sear side of the trigger. The problem gun's trigger is longer by about 1/16" !! I put all the original parts back in the problem gun, except I used the shorter trigger from the other remmy. It worked a lot better, but the hammer still hangs a bit. All timing was still spot on. I'll take a bit of metal off the sear side of the longer trigger and see if that helps. If it does, I'll call it victory and proclaim mykeal's genius. The gun has always fired even with the problem, but it may be able to function with less hammer spring tension when I'm done.
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