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Old October 19, 2010, 09:16 AM   #1
Doc Hoy
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I am going to take a chance....

....posting a question about black powder revolvers in this essentially cartridge domain.

Experts, I am requesting your advice.

I have a Leech and Rigdon clone which I am working on. The barrel to cylinder gap was way wide at about .008 to .009. Seating the wedge tightly did little to correct the problem. I turned the barrel on the arbor and found that there was plenty of room for the barrel to move closer to the cylinder.

So I took the milling machine to the barrel lug as shown below.



I felt like the only alternative was to go to work on the frame itself. As the frame is tapered, I knew it would be very difficult holding it in place for the miling operation. Also, I can get a barrel cheap. That frame is hard to come by at any price approaching a completely new pistol.

This operation closed the gap down to about .004 - .005 which I am very pleased with.

Is there another way to do this operation?
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Old October 19, 2010, 01:10 PM   #2
Scorch
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The barrel-cylinder gap is generous on BP pistols so that they will continue to operate as they get fouled. .008" does not seem excessive to me. .005" seems a bit close to reliably rotate after firing several rounds, but only testing it will show for sure.
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Old October 19, 2010, 04:05 PM   #3
Unclenick
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My replica Remington 1858 does that. About 2 or 3 cylinder loadings and it starts to stiffen up. I've never tried using a BP substitute to see if that improved it any? I guess I like the smell of BP too much.
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Last edited by Unclenick; October 20, 2010 at 04:33 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old October 19, 2010, 06:08 PM   #4
Doc Hoy
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Scorch and Unc,

Thanks for the wink back. I load out of the pistol so I can keep the fouling from gumming up the works too much. How about some suggestions on alternative ways to lessen the gap? In your opinion, am I doing it right?
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Old October 19, 2010, 07:28 PM   #5
James K
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No, you did it the only way you could, but of course you now may have to get or make a new wedge to keep the barrel in the right position. You might have had to drill the holes for the pins deeper, but that seems to have worked OK.

I will join those who saw nothing wrong with the original gap; I consider .007" about ideal in a modern revolver but the factories usually consider .010" to be within spec.

Another issue, though. In discussing a tight b/c gap in revolvers (old or new), most people focus on fouling. But another problem is heat. After firing rapidly, a cylinder heats up and expands lengthwise. If the b/c gap is too tight, the gun will bind up until the cylinder cools down. And yes, even a fast six shots from a c&b revolver can do that if the gap is too tight.

Jim
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Old October 19, 2010, 07:40 PM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Jim,

All good info.

Wedge and pins are okay. I will watch for the pistol tightening up.
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