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Old September 17, 2012, 07:55 PM   #1
Vireye
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Black Powder Revolver Durability? (Pietta)

Hey all,

A few of my coworkers and I have regular debates regarding firearms. My captain, for example, is a die hard Glock lover. It's all he owns, and all he claims he'll ever own.

I, on the other hand, prefer the "old school" firearms, though I do of course own a few semiauto's, my personal favorite being my Sig p228r.

We also like talking about scenarios, from realistic economic collapse/chaos to the pretty unlikely zombie apocalypse.

During one of these discussions, we were talking about firearms being confiscated by the gov't, for whatever reason. Then say there's some sort of disaster, and it's an TEOTWAWKI scenario.

My black-powder revolver, for example, not having to have been registered, would likely still be in my possession. Not only that, but it'd be the only firearm I'd be likely to own.

So, this is sort of a fun hypothetical thing. How durable, in all of your experiences, are the Pietta's? I'm looking to get the .44 1851 Navy Civilian from Cabela's.

Naturally I'd try to have spare parts for it... but is there anything else those of you who have owned these revolvers for years have experienced?
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:10 PM   #2
Roshi
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Most vulnerable parts

The most vulnerable parts to breakage are the hand spring and the bolt and then the bolt spring. You can replace the hand spring with a coil spring sitting in a hole in the frame if you are handy with a drill press.

I suggest you also get a hammer.
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:17 PM   #3
Beagle333
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They're pretty reliable most of the time. And they're like anything else... you might get one that'll work flawlessly for 20 years, and the next one will go through 4-5 springs the first month. My first 1860 (bought in 1990) broke a spring in the first 25 shots, and then hasn't missed a beat since then. And I got a 2010 Pietta '60 that has used about 4 springs so far. Ya just never know.
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Old September 18, 2012, 12:37 AM   #4
brazosdave
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Guess I've been lucky. My 1860 I've had for 3 yrs, and I got what they call a 51 confederate navy sheriff this spring. I hit the range about once a week and haven't had any problems with either.
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:31 AM   #5
Noz
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Roshi is correct.

Order of breakage would be:
Hand Spring
Trigger bolt spring
Main Spring
Bolt
Hand
Trigger

The hand spring is easily corrected with a drill press and some Ruger parts that move its breakage point to the bottom of the list.
The flat trigger bolt spring can be moved down by replacing with a wire spring.
The life of the hand and the trigger c an be greatly extended by a mild heat treatment.

The remainder of the gun is built like a tank and should not wear out in many years.
Like anything they are subject to breakage when mistreated.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:24 PM   #6
Roshi
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Heat treat

Do you have directions for the "mild heat treatment"?
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:35 PM   #7
North East Redneck
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As far as SHTF guns go, a sidelock percussion rifle, an inline 209 rifle, repeat with the shotguns, 1858 Remmie and a Ruger Old Army. Plenty of spare parts for all. A couple of flint guns could only help.
Just my .02
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Last edited by North East Redneck; September 18, 2012 at 09:02 PM.
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Old September 19, 2012, 05:32 AM   #8
Hawg
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Guess I've been doing something terribly wrong cuz I've only replaced one hand and the spring was still good. That was on a revolver over 40 years old.
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:50 AM   #9
Noz
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Roshi, Heat part to red with propane torch and dip in used motor oil.



Hawg, I'm talking about running these guns far harder and faster than they were ever expected to run. My 1860s will frequently see 100 rounds a month or more, each.

Last edited by Noz; September 19, 2012 at 08:57 AM.
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Old September 19, 2012, 09:37 AM   #10
brazosdave
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I go through about a hundred box a month for my 2 pistols, so I expect I'll start seeing some of the wear or tear sooner or later. When that happens, any good books out there on cap and ball pistol repair? I shoot colt replicas (at the moment....
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Old September 19, 2012, 02:30 PM   #11
Noz
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http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php?board=82.0

This will take you to "The Dark Arts".
Scroll down to "Tuning the Pietta"

Will work for Pietta and Uberti revolvers. Ubertis need a little more help than the Pietta, especially on the arbor.
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Old September 19, 2012, 06:30 PM   #12
brazosdave
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Thanks Noz!
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