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Old January 4, 2014, 06:58 AM   #1
Maggs
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Colt 1861 Navy

Hello,
New to the forum and searching for information on a CVA Black Powder Kit that I received over the holidays.

Following the instructions in the kit, I'm simply trying to assemble and debur the action for the first time. It seems that the kit requires ALOT of filing (I'm going to need to buy a few specialty tools) in order to fit the Hammer and Spring Assembly into the Frame Assembly.

Has anyone put one of these kits together?

Any pointers are appreciated.
Thanks!

Maggs
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Old January 4, 2014, 07:57 AM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Back in the day...

…Kits was all I did.

I suppose that you have already fit the thing together to test the fit of the parts.

Odd to read that it needs to be filed to get the hammer into the frame.

The hammer should have a case hardened finish on it so I would not file on that, Rather smooth up the inside of the frame.

If you are into it far enough, there is a variety of stones in small sizes that are needed for smoothing up the working surfaces inside the frame.

A set of jewelers files is helpful. It also works to wrap different grits of abrasive paper around a larger file. Be careful with this because that technique is really a compromise for those who don't have the stones. (Like me because I am too cheap.)

I never had a kit that did not cycle right out of the box. (That was in 1975-80 so things probably have changed.) What was required was final smoothing of the action and finishing of the exterior surfaces. I did 1851 Navy, 1860 Army, and 1858 Remingtons plus a parcel of single shot rifles and pistols.

You can find the stones on Amazon at from 32.00 to 40.00 by searching "gunsmithing stones."

Also do a search on the internet for "Pettifogger Colt Tuning" The first thing that comes up is two articles on smoothing up operation of a Colt single action clone. That article does two things for you.

1. It give you a complete sequence of operations to make the pistol shoot nice.
2. Reading it several times gives you a great understanding of the interaction of the internal part.

The Colt sequences is a series of two articles. I see that he has written several other articles as well and they should all be quite good.

That 1861 is a good pistol to start on since it has a round barrel and contoured barrel lug. It should finish nicely without a lot of profanity.
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Old January 4, 2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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BTW….

Has anyone said, "Welcome" yet?
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Old January 4, 2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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Hey Maggs,

Welcome to the forum!! Great group of people here and a flood of info to be had.

Post up a picture of the problem, you never know what someone might see that will help.

Good luck and Doc's advise is spot on.
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Old January 4, 2014, 07:45 PM   #5
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Thanks Doc,

No Welcome yet, but that's ok. Thank you, for your reply.

I am attempting to fit it all together and am stopped at the first set of instructions. I took my frame, hammer & spring, and cylinder to the local gunsmith and he said that I would need to do a LOT of fitting in order to make the cylinder catch on the hammer & spring.

I just took a bunch of photos and would like to post/link them here.

Photo named DSCF0001 is of the hammer inside of the Assembly frame. At this point, only the hammer is inside of the Assembly Frame. The spring assembly is not on the hammer.

Photo named DSCF0006 shows how I am attempting to insert the hammer and spring into the Assembly Frame. I believe the spring assembly is supposed to go all the way through the Assembly Frame and engage the cylinder.

Photo named DSCF0009 shows how the hammer is not properly aligned in the Assembly frame.

It seems as if the hammer and spring assembly need to go THROUGH the frame to catch/rotate the cylinder. This is where I believe that I'll have to make FILE and fit the hammer and spring to (actually through) the Assembly Frame.

Am I missing something here?

Please chime in. I have more photos, but it seems like only three are allowed.

Maggs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0001.JPG (174.6 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0006.JPG (184.0 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF0009.JPG (194.2 KB, 59 views)
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Old January 4, 2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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Going off to read the "Pettifogger Colt Tuning" links now.

thanks,

Maggs
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Old January 4, 2014, 08:21 PM   #7
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The hand in your second pic goes through a slot in the frame and turns the cylinder.
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Old January 4, 2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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Maggs - welcome to the forum! I've lived in Michigan my entire life, traveled all over it, BUT, never heard of Crump until now! I did a look-up on Wikipedia - I'm sure I have been by it but never "through" it! I'm in AZ right now so won't even ask how the snow is as I'm sure you're buried.

Anyway . . . you have more patience than I to put one of those kits together. If you get hung up, don't be afraid to ask on here as there are a lot of good folks who can help you out. Doc Hoy is sort of akin to a "wizard" when it comes to some of the things he's tackled and done and a lot of others are just as knowledgeable. I hope you'll keep us posted on your progress and don't forget . . . we all love pictures! Good luck to you on your project - I'msure it will be very nice when you are finished. And welcome again!
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Old January 4, 2014, 10:16 PM   #9
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Thanks Hawg Haggen,

the slot isn't nearly big enough to let the "hand" through. I suspect that BOTH the "hand" and the spring need to go through that slot AND the spring works against the back of the Assembly Frame and the hand works against the cylinder.

I've attached a few more photos.

The photo named DSCF0010.jpg shows the slot (or lack of slot) where the "hand" needs to come through from the Hammer and Spring assembly.
I believe that I will need to use a file and make this "large enough to allow for the hand to contact the cylinder.

The photo named DSCF00015.jpg shows how I believe that the hand needs to contact the cylinder.

The photo named DSCF0009.jpg shows how "OFF" the machining is... for the hammer to be in proper alignment for the kit to function.

Am I on the right track, before I start FILING? I bought a bunch of "needle files" at the local gun show today.

Maggs











Thanks,

Maggs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0010.JPG (145.6 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF00015.JPG (122.7 KB, 35 views)

Last edited by Maggs; January 4, 2014 at 10:22 PM.
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Old January 4, 2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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Hey BedBugBilly,

Thanks. Yeah.. Crump...two bars, one gas station, one market, one John Deere Dealer.. a couple of churchs within a few miles... "God's Country".

Winter came early.. we've had snow for most of December... The snow was too deep to allow for good grouse hunting and caused havoc in the deer hunting woods.

It'll be a good year for working on this project.

Thanks,

Maggs
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Old January 4, 2014, 10:23 PM   #11
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thanks TemboTusk,

Looking forward to the project.

Maggs
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Old January 5, 2014, 08:06 AM   #12
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Like this.

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Old January 5, 2014, 08:28 AM   #13
Doc Hoy
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Maggs,

I think your understanding of the fit is correct.

Hawg's photo is very helpful.

In your photo the geometry of the hammer and frame appear to be correct.

You might try fitting the cylinder on the arbor, and the hammer (without the hand) together to verify the alignment. The top of the hammer comes to rest substantially above the top arch of the frame in order to keep (what I call) the "palm" of the hammer properly in contact with the cap on the nipple.

When the gunsmith talked about a "lot of fitting", he was referencing the parts fit on handguns he is accustomed to dealing with on a routine basis. That would be cartridge handguns, manufactured to exacting standards. As regards blackpowder revolvers, the precision technology is 150 years old. So what is "a lot of fitting" to a present day gunsmith is more or less common to persons who deal with BP revolvers. I think you might start with steps in the following order:

1. Put the cylinder on the arbor and verify that it spins easily. A little lube on the arbor is appropriate at this point.

2. Put the hammer (without the hand) into the frame and slide the hammer screw in place but don't tighten it.

3. With the hammer screw still loose, verify that a) the hammer moves easily and b) that the hammer comes to rest in such a way that thee palm of the hammer is even with the hole in the nipple. There may be some "scratchiness" in the movement of the hammer but this is okay. You'll clean that up later.

4. Lightly tighten the screw and verify that the hammer still moves easily.

Once these steps are complete with satisfactory results, you can start to worry about the hand. The Pettifogger articles will be helpful in understanding how the hand should engage the cylinder ratchet and what should be the position of the cylinder as the hammer is drawn back. (Indexing)

The hand should be hardened at the factory and thus it is not likely that you will have to do much filing on the hand, (Too easy to get below the hardened part of the metal.)
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Old January 5, 2014, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
1. Put the cylinder on the arbor and verify that it spins easily. A little lube on the arbor is appropriate at this point.
The cylinder spins easily!

Quote:
2. Put the hammer (without the hand) into the frame and slide the hammer screw in place but don't tighten it.
This hammer works great in the frame.

Quote:
3. With the hammer screw still loose, verify that a) the hammer moves easily and b) that the hammer comes to rest in such a way that thee palm of the hammer is even with the hole in the nipple. There may be some "scratchiness" in the movement of the hammer but this is okay. You'll clean that up later.
Got it. This seems to line up fine.

Quote:
4. Lightly tighten the screw and verify that the hammer still moves easily.
The hammer still seems to move easily.

Thanks for the info. Back to the Pettifogger articles. Good afternoon reading.

Maggs
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Old January 5, 2014, 04:44 PM   #15
Doc Hoy
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Now the hand….

Now this is only my personal opinion…. But

I would now remove the hammer and install the hand and then put the hammer back in the frame.

Tighten the hammer screw.

Now pull the hammer back while you are applying light drag on the cylinder with your finger. Moving the hammer back toward the full cock position should make the cylinder move through perfect indexing (in battery) to a position slightly clockwise of properly indexed. This is because without the trigger installed you are moving the hammer actually further than full cock. So the hand is turning the cylinder too far, which for now is okay.

What you are checking here has nothing to do with timing. It only has to do with smooth operation of the revolver with the hand moving the cylinder.

Once this is verified, you can install the trigger, bolt and double spring.
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Old January 5, 2014, 05:18 PM   #16
Hawg Haggen
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Quote:
I would now remove the hammer and install the hand and then put the hammer back in the frame.
From the pic he posted he doesn't even have a hand slot.
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Old January 5, 2014, 06:21 PM   #17
Doc Hoy
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In the second photo

The hand slot is shown.
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Old January 5, 2014, 07:00 PM   #18
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The hand slot barely exists. I bought some needle files and believe that I can file the slot into the frame.

A measurement of the handslot. OR.. a measurement of the depth of the handslot would be helpful.

Here is a better pic named DFSC0002.jpg. I've circled in RED I believe that where there SHOULD be a hand slot.

Thanks for taking a look.

Maggs
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Last edited by Maggs; January 5, 2014 at 07:02 PM. Reason: further explanation
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Old January 5, 2014, 07:42 PM   #19
DD4lifeusmc
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fitting

That part of the joy and mystique of these old time guns.
Yep you will have to do some fittting for a fit.
Remember a little filing can remove a lot of metal.
So stop and chck often, keep the tolerance tight,
they will wear in with use.
Mostly jewelers files, emery cloth and cremel work.
Welcome and enjoy the hobby.
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Old January 5, 2014, 07:44 PM   #20
Doc Hoy
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I think you will find

That the slot was not machined all the way through the frame. I had seen two kits in which the slot when viewed from the front of the frame as is shown in your photo, was partially open, But never an extreme case like the one in your photo.

I did not catch that previously but it is possible that what remains of the frame where the slot should be, a sort of membrane of brass might be somewhat thin.

I am going to close to examine your photos more carefully. When I had to clean up slots in the recoil shield I used a square jeweler's file working from the bottom of the frame.

Lemme take closer look.
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Old January 5, 2014, 07:48 PM   #21
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Yep....

Your photo number ten shows it. I missed that before.

I think you can open up the slot with a square jeweler's file.

IIRC, the surfaces that the hand rides on is straight and flat. I think that is true of the spring riding surface as well. That means you don't have to worry about an arched surface inside the pistol frame.

Like DD says, work slowly.
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Old January 5, 2014, 08:58 PM   #22
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Getting the right hammer protrusion and fit to the nipples requires filing the hammer stop area in the frame (the round part where the cylinder arbor comes through). Correct fitting is to have the hammer not touch the nipples; you should be able to put a strip of thin cardboard (cereal box) on the nipple, push the hammer down hard and easily pull the cardboard out.

I used to put those kit guns together for people who didn't want to do it them selves, but finally gave up and refused to work on them. I would have had to charge three or four times what they paid for the gun, and the traffic wouldn't bear that. The parts are not only unfinished, but often so far out of spec that completion of the gun is either impossible or nearly so. Anyone who wants to tackle one, I say, "good luck!"

Jim
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Old January 6, 2014, 07:19 AM   #23
Maggs
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Thanks everybody!

I'll keep you posted. This is a"weekend project", so it's back to work for the week.

Maggs
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Old January 9, 2014, 09:58 PM   #24
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Well, I did have a few minutes to work on the Hand Slot through the frame. I wanted to post a few pics, so that I don't "over do this".

The first photo is FrameFrontShowingHandSlot. This photo shows the hand hole that I've made a little larger. It is now the width of the hand. According to one drawing that I have in my CVA instructions, I believe that this hole has to be large enough to let the hand protrude through to the TOP of the cylinder arbor. Photo 10 of the Pettifogger PDF #1 seems to show the hand slot almost to the top of the "cylinder flash wall (? - I hope that is the right term. )"

http://www.theopenrange.net/articles...a_Part_One.pdf

The second photo is HandSpringSlotBottomOfFrame. This one shows the hand spring slot that I've started to open up. It is now as wide as the hand, however I believe that it now needs to be made deep enough to allow/reach the TOP of the cylinder arbor as described above.

The third photo is HandAndHandSpringInFrameSlot. This photo shows the hand and hand spring in the slot. Does the Hand Spring ALSO have to go through the hand slot?

In the Pettifogger PDF2, Pettifogger, breaks the Hand Spring off, drills out the frame and installs a Ruger Spring to activate the hand. I'm not sure that I am ready to do that.

So, please take a look at the photos and chime in. I'll probably work on this some more on Saturday.

Thanks,

Maggs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FrameFrontShowingHandSlot.JPG (204.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg HandSpringSlotBottomOfFrame.JPG (226.4 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg HandAndHandSpringInFrameSlot.JPG (173.8 KB, 19 views)
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Old January 9, 2014, 11:04 PM   #25
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Good photos

It looks like you are going in the right direction.

You are correct when you ask if the hole in the frame has to accommodate the hand moving in such a way that the top of the hand is protruding out of the frame. It will eventually end up just above the top of the arbor.

The hand spring does go into the slot along with the hand.

I have put about a dozen of these kits together and I have never seen such a poor machine job on that slot. You would have been well advised to take the thing back if that had been an option.

Hard to believe the thing got past QC.

Anyway with the hand and hammer properly installed in the revolver,... when the hammer is all the way forward the hand is withdrawn into the frame such that it can not be seen. When the hammer is drawn back, the hand will begin to move up and out of the frame. If the cylinder is installed, the hand will meet one of the teeth on the ratchet ring and additional movement of the hammer will begin to move the cylinder clockwise (viewed from the back of the frame looking forward.

If you do this with the cylinder out of the frame, you will see the hand move up and out of the frame. If you push on the hand you will feel the spring tension trying to push the hand in a forward direction. The hand spring is riding on the rear surface of the slot you are working on.

You will know when the slot is the right size because the hand will move to the correct position when the hammer is drawn back. If the slot is too small the hand will begin to bind against the undersized slot. The hammer will stop prematurely and will not be able to go to the full cock position.

I have a suggestion. I have a spare brass frame for a .36 caliber revolver. I will send it to you if you gimme your address in a PM. I do not know for sure that this frame will fit your revolver because I don't know the manufacturer.

But it is worth a try.
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