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Old December 29, 2012, 12:45 PM   #1
jlb43
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1858 safety notch query

I picked up a Euroarms 1858 recently and it looks almost new. Appears never fired. Whilst I was fooling around with it I noticed the hammer would not engage the safety notch between caps. I removed the cylinder and slipped onto the cocked hammer and it fits fine. It appears that the lower portion of the hammer face is touching the cylinder below the notch. In other words the notch appears too small. The hammer appears to drop onto the nipples correctly. Anyone ever seen this before? I do not think this will interfere with the firing of the gun but wanted to check with you veterans first. Since I will not be carrying it around loaded the safety really does not matter but shooting it is another issue. Maybe this pic will help describe the situation better.

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Old December 29, 2012, 01:22 PM   #2
Doc Hoy
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The way to know if your pistol is working right....

....is to place the hammer in the safety notch and then check to see that the cylinder does not move.

Yours looks pretty much the way all of mine look.

Tnx,
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Old December 29, 2012, 01:49 PM   #3
David13
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Yes. I believe I just read about someone who filed the hammer so that it would fit in there, so, if carrying loaded, the hammer rests there, rather than on a cap. Or filed the cylinder?
I will have to look at mine. I know I do not plan to modify mine, as I don't intend to carry it.
dc

Yes, mine does that too. ( I have the Pietta)
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:21 PM   #4
jlb43
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With the hammer down on the notch the cylinder is free to turn. This picture shows the area beneath the notch where the heel of the hammer seems to rest. The arrow at ten o'clock shows where the hammer is landing notice the bluing worn off. Probably from my turning back and forth trying to get the hammer in the notch. I am not going to carry either just want to be sure it is safe to fire or does this indicate some kinda problem. I think it is probably safe but might just check with a gunsmith to be 100%. Thanks

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Old December 29, 2012, 08:51 PM   #5
DD4lifeusmc
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safety notch

Some revolvers were not dead-on accurate in the milling for the safety notches.
On yours is it consistently off the same amount for all?
If so you can trim base of hammer a little or open the notches a little or both.
When you turn it, does it then lock into place?
If not you may have to do a little filing to let hammer drop a bit further.
You may want to drop a wooden dowel down the barrel into each chamber
as you successively bring it to full cock.
Verify the barrel and chambers are properly lining up.
If they aren't, the timing is off. Could be factory or a replacement cylinder or frame.
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:20 PM   #6
David13
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Mine is the same. And I have fired mine with no problem.
It does not help to get the cylinder lined up different, even with perfect alignment my hammer will not go into the notch.

I do not know if it is supposed to.

I do know that this is a common enough situation that just yesterday I read about someone, or saw something somewhere on the internet about someone who had filed theirs down to get it to work.

Mine is consistently like that all around the cylinder.

Mine is a just new from Cabelas Pietta 1858 Reminton. I believe that is what I read about yesterday.

So I don't know how or why this happens, just that it does appear to be common on 1858s.
dc
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:31 PM   #7
David13
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Oh, I think I found it. Of all places, right here:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...safety+warning
dc

And on further inspection I see what causes it. The notches are simply not machined all the way to the rear of the cylinder. They are just short at the tail end, and thus the hammer cannot fall into the notch.
Tho' it could be that the hammer is not made right, as well.
Maybe that would be the easiest way to resolve it. File down the lower part of the hammer.
dc

Last edited by David13; December 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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Old December 30, 2012, 01:27 PM   #8
BirchOrr
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Wow...

I think I'd either file the hammer a bit or only load 5 cylinders, resting the hammer on the empty one.

B
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Old December 30, 2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Birch
I'm still researching this. It appears Mike didn't make the later video as to how to do the modification.
Some seem to think it's because the hammer is too wide. But it may be the face of the hammer.
I may have to take the gun apart to see.
dc
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:28 PM   #10
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Hold on guys.....

I just examind every last one of my revolvers and I am ready to retract my prevous statement in which I said mine all look like jlb's photo. They do not.

I now see a very minor but pivotally important difference and I am ready to render my opinion that the jlb's revolver is defective. And I think I know how.

Here are the points.

1. In every one of my revolvers the part of the hammer that engages the safety notch is the very tip of the top of the hammer that comes to rest over the top of the cap. This little tip engages the notch and prevents the cylinder from moving.

2. I have revolvers in which the notches in the cylinder are cut deep and other notches that are cut shallow, but every one of my revolvers has a safety notch system which works. The tip of the top of the hammer engages the notch and the cylinder won't move.

3. In jlb's photo, the damage to the cylinder is actually below the notch meaning that the part of the hammer which I shall call the "heel" is hitting the cylinder before the tip of the hammer can engage the safety notch. The damage is actually done to a part of the cylinder which is perpendicuar to the center line of the cylinder. The tip of the top of the hammer never gets a chance to engage the safety notch because there is a problem in the geometry of the cylinder to hammer interface.

4. Most of my revolvers that have any age on them have a very little bit of "peening" at the top of the safety notch which is caused by the tip of the hammer engaging the notch. I never use the safety notches and so the revolvers I have which I purchased new, don't have these tiny dings. But one of the ones I bought used clearly has the marks. jlb's photos clearly show no dings at the top of the notch (the part of the notch which is closest to the extreme circumference of the cylinder.)

5. jlb checked the width of the notches and it is adequate to accept the width of the hammer.

6. If the revolver is defective as I believe it is, the defect is in a feature of the revolver which impacts safety. The prudent mariner would return the revolver and get a replacement, checking the replacement before leaving the store.

If it were up to me, I would keep the revolver because I never use the safety notches anyway. I load all six and I just be careful.
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:21 PM   #11
David13
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I may be closer to understanding it.
I will keep mine, as I don't really ever intend to use the safety notches, either.
It looks like the solution is either to bring the heel of the notches down toward the middle of the cylinder, to accommodate the heel of the hammer, or take part of the heel of the hammer off.
I may do neither.
But I still want to find out what the cause is.
dc
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:22 PM   #12
Doc Hoy
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I think....

That I would not take that much off of the hammer.

Remingtons have a reputation for treating caps kindly. Take that much off the hammer and that behavior might be upset.

As a first action, I would keep it. As an alternative, I might be talked into taking it back. But I would not mess with the hammer just to fix this problem.
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Old December 31, 2012, 08:56 AM   #13
bedbugbilly
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After reading this post, I checked my NMA's. Both of mine are Piettas. I have a stainless 44 and a blued 36. I was expecting to find the same thing on them as I've never really checked the safety notches. I was surprised to find that both of them lock up on the safety notch with no problems. Who'd have "thunk it"? The hammers go right in to the safety notches and lock the cylinders up tight. Maybe I got lucky? And as an afterthought, both of them were NIB and have never had any work done on them in regards to the safety notches and lock up.
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Old December 31, 2012, 10:06 AM   #14
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I have a PR that the hammer won't fit the notches on but my Pietta's and Rigarmi do.
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Old December 31, 2012, 12:51 PM   #15
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I have always carried my single-action revolvers - either C&B or cartridge - loaded with 5 rounds and an empty chamber under the hammer. No exceptions, not even for new model Rugers. No reason to take that kind of chance.
Just my .02
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:23 AM   #16
jlb43
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Thanks youse guys. Doc Hoy more clearly explained exactly what I was trying to convey in my earlier posts. I did check the timing and it is dead on so firing should not be an issue. Since it is a Euroarms piece and it's date code XX9 pegs it at 33 to 34 years old I would surmise returning it to the mfg. is not feasible. I do not plan to carry it and at the range I will probably load 5. Anyhoo now you fellas can check any new acquisitions and take whatever steps you feel necessary. I do think it is a safety issue to a certain extent but remember most revolvers have no safety notchs at all.

Happy New Year to one and all.

JB
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:35 AM   #17
Hawg
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XX9 is 1973. No manufacturer to send it back to at any rate. Euroarms went under and Pedersoli bought the remnants. I think mainly to get the tooling to make the Civil War rifles Euroarms was making.
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Old January 1, 2013, 12:57 PM   #18
bedbugbilly
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You still have to wonder why the safety notch wasn't machined long enough for the hammer to catch . . . why "half machine" a part?

As a follow up to my earlier post - my Piettas are machined correctly and the hammer catches. When I'm shooting at a range situation, I don't utilize the safety notches. If I'm going to carry in a holster as in a hike, I have the hammer resting on an empty chamber. That was the way I was taught 50+ years ago in regards to revolvers and old habits die hard. I even do it on my "newer" SA cartridge revolvers regardless of cross bar safeties, etc. The only revolver that I don't do that with is my Ruger LCR 357 CCW which is DA only and designed to be carried fully loaded in all five chambers.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:54 PM   #19
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bedbugbilly
You still have to wonder why the safety notch wasn't machined long enough for the hammer to catch . . . why "half machine" a part?
They must have been put there for looks only, facsimile, faux or fake safety notches.
Who would have known better at that time when civil war reproductions C&B's were still in their infancy of popularity more or less.
One irony to note about it is that the N-SSA approves using Euroarms Remingtons because they're considered to be more authentic. Well at least not in that one respect.
IIRC Piettas aren't on their list of approved Remingtons.
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:02 PM   #20
David13
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I don't care if mine are on the approved list. They are toys. And the price was so right. I can play with 2 for the price of one.
As to the machining. It may be quality control. That they didn't check the tolerances or something. Or the parts went out without a machining step being done.
Or, like said above, they are not meant as real safety notches, just fake look alike notches.
I still haven't found out what the defect is. Why it doesn't fit. Hammer machining or cylinder? Or adjustment, or what.
It really isn't a big issue with me as I don't intend to carry the gun. Just load and shoot at a range, or someones yard.
But, someday, I will answer my questions.
dc
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:35 AM   #21
arcticap
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mykeal recently posted about how the original Remington-Beals 1858 revolver didn't have any safety slots milled into the cylinder. The slots were an innovation that were added in late 1862 to the 1861 Model production series. Some Euroarms resembled Beals models so perhaps they were trying to be more authentic by not having functional safety notches, but not leaving them totally off the cylinder either.
The Beals models had a longer threaded section of the barrel in front of the cylinder which caused them to bind up with fouling more easily. That section of your revolver isn't shown in the photo.


Quote:
The Remington was a single-action, six-shot, percussion revolver produced by E. Remington & Sons, Ilion, N.Y., based on the Fordyce Beals patent of September 14, 1858 (Patent 21,478). The Remington Army revolver was large-framed, in .44 caliber, with an 8 inch barrel length. The Remington Navy revolver was slightly smaller framed than the Army, and in .36 caliber with an 7.375 inch [Beals Navy 7.5 inch] barrel length. There were three progressive models; the Remington-Beals Army & Navy (1860–1862), the 1861 Army & Navy (1862–1863), and the New Model Army & Navy (1863–1875).[2] The three models are nearly identical in size and appearance. Subtle but noticeable differences in hammers, loading levers, and cylinders help identify each model. The 1861 Remington actually transitioned into New Model appearance by late 1862, slowly transforming throughout 1862, due to continual improvement suggestions from the U. S. Ordnance Department.[3][4]....
....Another innovative feature, (first appearing in late 1862 in the 1861 Model production series) was safety slots milled between chambers on the cylinder.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remington_Model_1858
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:28 AM   #22
jlb43
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Articap

I am not sure what I should be looking at but here are a couple of pictures. The barrel protrusion does not seem to be out of ordinary to me. I am beginning to believe that the cylinder may have other issues. It is nearly impossible to reinstall it without using something to compress the hand. I have tried all the tricks about hammer position and rolling it etc. I could find and it is still next to impossible. My other two Remingtons are not that way.



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Last edited by jlb43; January 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:12 PM   #23
mykeal
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The barrel 'protrusion' is not unusual or out of the ordinary. What is different is the lack of frame relief around the barrel. Stated another way: there are only 2 barrel threads visible on a Beals, while the later Remingtons had several more threads visible; the frame was cut back quite a bit further. This extra relief allows more room for combustion gas - and thus fouling - to escape.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:14 PM   #24
10851Man
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I have a very old Pietta 1858 and the hammer goes down into the notches perfectly...
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:17 PM   #25
David13
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My 1858 Pietta was ordered from Cabelas in December, so I suppose the date of manufacture was recent.
My cylinder slots are machined to exactly the same spot as jb in the above photos.
I have yet to find the Mike Beliveau video on how to do a modification to get the slots to work. Maybe he never made the video, even tho' he said he would.
But I do think he had the issue, so he may have, over the years found the reason for this.
He never answered my pm.
dc
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