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Old December 15, 2012, 01:09 AM   #1
Idaho Spud
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Excessive wear?

My 3 week old Pietta 1851 Navy London may be showing signs wear already, need some advice. I was surprised to see that the barrel wedge has peened the rear of the barrel slot some and the wedge sticks out the right side a lot more than even a week ago. Only 44 shots thru this gun @ 22 grs BP equiv. Pyrodex. Actual weight of Pyrodex is 16.9 grs. When new, the wedge catch would just snap over the right side with the barrel tight. Now it's probably 7-8 thousandths or so more. Should I be concerned? These are stout loads, I know for 36 cal, but this is all steel, not brass. Somehow I was hoping for better. First BP revolver, so don't know if I'm over-reacting, if this is normal wear or excessive. What to do?
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Old December 15, 2012, 02:03 AM   #2
denster
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The wedge will not peen the barrel slot due to firing. This mostly occurs because folks tap the wedge into place with a tool of some sort when all that is necessary is to use thumb pressure. The wedge is a incline plane and a powerful tool and tapping it into place can move metal.
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Old December 15, 2012, 02:35 AM   #3
Hawg
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I use 25 grains of Pyrodex in my .36 Pietta and I don't have that. I dunno how many rounds have been thru it but its a lot more than 44.
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:54 AM   #4
arcticap
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Every gun is assembled in its own way which can be different from another, and some of the parts and their critical junctures will have a fit that's different to a degree which are tolerances.
Therefore the gun may be undergoing a break-in period where the parts are beginning to fit or meld into a position where they become settled in.
If you feel that there is a sign of a problem like excessive wedge battering or peening of the slot, then maybe there's a solution for it.
It could be helpful to show us a photo.
And as you shoot it more, to note if there's any other symptoms of a growing problem, such as a wobble, or a growing barrel cylinder gap, or an alignment issue where it's spitting or depositing lead.
If it only needs a new wedge or there's a little peening, then give the parts a chance to settle in just like a newly constructed house and its foundation will settle in over a period of time.
Even if one of the slots is too large then perhaps a good gunsmith can figure out a fix for it and then properly fit it.
You'd figure that if there's a wear issue involving a slot or wedge, then material would either need to be added, or removed, or both, depending on where the tolerances are slightly off.

Last edited by arcticap; December 15, 2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old December 15, 2012, 11:59 AM   #5
Idaho Spud
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Thanks for your advice. I 've tried since day one to use minimum force in removing and re-installing the wedge, so I honestly don't think that's an issue.

I just didn't want to let it get too far before taking things up with Pietta or Cabelas. I know Cabelas is good about making things right and if this is simply a "settling in" situation I'll be happy. Hate dealing with dealers and manufacturers. On the other hand I don't want a 300 dollar wall-hanger. I believe in the adage that you get what you pay for. I feel I paid a fair price in this case. Thanks Articap for the detailed info. I'll keep an eye on it, shoot it some more and see what happens.

Last edited by Idaho Spud; December 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM. Reason: typo
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Old December 15, 2012, 12:37 PM   #6
Roshi
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24 Grains in my Piettas

I have two .36 Navy Pietta's and shoot mine often with 24 grain (volume) Pyrodex P with no noticeable wear.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:00 PM   #7
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Try this, take the barrel off and the cylinder out, place the barrel back on the arbor turned sideways and push it towards the receiver. The base of the barrel should be even with the receiver base when you can no longer push it forward, if it goes further and overlaps, then the arbor isn't seated properly, the tip must be shimmed to get the barrel to stop dead even with the receiver.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:02 PM   #8
Idaho Spud
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Thanks, Roshi. I actually measured the wedge movement from where the clip just snaps up, to where the wedge is now, under thumb pressure: 23 thousandths (I was a bit off!). That measurement with an accurate micrometer as carefully as I could measure. Will monitor as time goes by. Thanks, all.
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:10 PM   #9
Idaho Spud
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Thanks, sltm1, arbor length is correct, l already checked that.

Last edited by Idaho Spud; December 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM. Reason: another typo, need new keyboard
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:05 PM   #10
Hawg
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Arbor length on a Pietta usually isn't a problem.
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Old December 16, 2012, 11:44 AM   #11
chaz12
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Does the wedge appear to be deforming in shape at all? Maybe one side starting to bend or any other abnormality?

I had that happen on a Pietta 1860 and I don't know what caused it. I suspect it was probably user error of some kind. Anyway, I ordered a new wedge from VTI and the problem never happened again.

I shoot 20 grains pyrodex in my 1851 routinely ( about 400 rounds so far) and have never had a problem with the wedge.

Chax
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Old December 17, 2012, 12:05 PM   #12
Idaho Spud
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Hi chax (?), wedge looks fine, it's a pretty hard steel. No evident malformation. It's not the wedge, it's the hole enlarging.
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Old December 17, 2012, 01:35 PM   #13
arcticap
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If the wedge were making solid contact at the muzzle end of the arbor slot, then the barrel lug slot at the frame end shouldn't be getting battered.

If the tolerance of the arbor slot at the muzzle end isn't close enough to the size of the wedge, then it may get worse.
But if it doesn't get any worse then it could just be that it's settling in.
It's better for the barrel lug slot to be too tight at the frame end than too loose because being loose could open up the barrel cylinder gap over time.
That would be the same with having a loose arbor slot at the muzzle end.
If it's only that the barrel lug slot is a little bit tight at the frame end, then I would guess that any battering would only be very minor.
Should keep an eye on the amount of battering and the barrel cylinder gap.
The worst would probably be if the arbor slot and wedge aren't properly mated at the muzzle end of the arbor slot where you can't really see how it fits after the wedge is inserted.
Then the amount of battering would denote the amount that the tolerance of the parts are off by from being perfectly mated. That is unless the steel is softer than expected.
Is the barrel lug slot only getting battered on one side or both?

Last edited by arcticap; December 18, 2012 at 05:15 AM.
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Old December 17, 2012, 02:49 PM   #14
Idaho Spud
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Thanks again, Arcticap. The slot in the arbor seems ok. The LH side barrel slot toward the frame seems the most battered. The barrel/frame gap at this point looks absolutely even. I'm hoping to get 500 or so shots at least for the life of this piece, then make it a wall-hanger. Like I said before maybe this is overreaction on my part. First experience with these so have nothing to compare with which is why I pick your brains here.

Some of this could be wear from disassembly and reassembly, I've done it a number of times. I disassemble down to the last screw after each firing, for cleaning, also. Overkill, maybe but I fear rust. I know one thing: the barrel slot steel's a lot softer than the wedge.

Otherwise, I love the BP experience.

Last edited by Idaho Spud; December 17, 2012 at 03:42 PM. Reason: typo/spelling
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Old December 17, 2012, 03:43 PM   #15
Noz
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500 shots?

You should get many more than that!
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Old December 17, 2012, 04:11 PM   #16
Idaho Spud
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Yeah, I know I should get more than 500. I plan on a few more of these. I guess 500 shots each, times 8 or 9 I should have said! Also, I'm possibly much older than many here. Not as much time left. Besides, I'm a slow loader.
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