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Old June 12, 2001, 10:56 AM   #1
Poodleshooter
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1858 Remington barrel adjustment help

My 1858 Remington (Pietta copy) has always been my project gunsmithing gun. As a shooter, it groups ok, but shoots about 3" low and 4" left at about 10yds. I'd bend the front blade, but there just isn't that much room for adjustment. Yesterday, while examining it after a complete teardown, I noticed that the barrel seems to be torqued too far clockwise, placing the front sight blade too far right and explaining the lower left grouping. The only way this error is visible is by examining the barrel flats at the barrel frame mate-up. I tried chucking the barrel in a vice with some wood as makeshift barrel blocks, and turning the frame, but was unable to move the barrel to its proper orientation. My question is: how I should go about this? A mallet to the grip frame? A wrench on the barrel, with the frame chucked in the vice? The revolver already has a pretty nonexistant cylinder gap, so "unscrewing" the barrel would probably not hurt the weapon in that respect. I'm trying to keep this a hobby project and not involve the gunsmith as this is a cheap shooter anyway.
Also if anyone could point me to some info on working on the timing of these guns I would really appreciate it. Another problem I have is an odd condition in which, if the hammer is cocked with a great deal of thumb force towards one sideplate or another (perpendicular to the hammer fall), the cylinder will only rotate halfway. It can then be rotated and locked manually. This has lead to untimed hammer falls, which have chewed up the cylinder somewhat. I can reproduce the error quite easily.
Any advice on either of these issues would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
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Old June 13, 2001, 07:06 AM   #2
George Stringer
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Poodleshooter, you were on the right track with the bbl. Make sure there isn't a pin through it. Normally you should be able to chuck the bbl in a vise and insert a wood hammer handle through the frame to turn it. There is a book titled Pistolsmithing by George C. Nonte that covers this as well as your timing questions. You can get it from me or Brownells, www.brownells.com. George
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Old June 13, 2001, 07:58 AM   #3
Poodleshooter
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There are no visible pins. I've checked the entire frame, even in the recesses for the loading lever. They must have screwed this thing in good! I'm using a box wrench wrapped in pillow ticking, through the frame to turn the assembly, but no luck yet! I've soaked it in WD40 to try and loosen the barrel.
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Old June 16, 2001, 08:45 PM   #4
James K
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My previous post was among those lost, so here goes again. There is no barrel pin on the C&B Remingtons; the barrel is crush fitted like a rifle barrel. I am a bit confused on the problem though. If the sight is leaning to the right as seen by the shooter, the barrel is not tightened enough, as it has right hand threads. You will have to remove the barrel and relieve it a bit at the shoulder to let it turn in a bit more.

To do so, secure a really strong vise, and a set of brass jaws. Remove the rammer and clamp the barrel in the vise about as hard as you can. Cut a piece of 2x2 to about a 2 foot length and trim one end to closely fit the cylinder hole in the frame. With the barrel clamped in the vise pointing away, insert the trimmed end into the cylinder hole and turn to the left to unscrew the frame from the barrel. It might be necessary to strike the wood hard to get things started. With the barrel out, trim the shoulder lightly, and reinstall. It should come up in alignment.

Jim
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:27 AM   #5
Poodleshooter
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nearly decade old bump
Raising this thread back to life,since I finally got around to taking this stupid barrel off!
As it came from the factory,the barrel is canted to the right (clockwise from the shooters perspective) when fully screwed in. It needs to be turned in a bit further than is currently possible (maybe 5 deg or so).
Can someone advise whether I should relieve the shoulder of the barrel,or relieve the face of the frame to allow the barrel to screw in deeper?
It seems that relieving the front of the frame would be far easier to keep the assembly square, as I have access to the full face of it. The barrel extension prevents me from consistently relieving the rear of the octagonal section of the barrel. I would have to make separate filing cuts to do that,which would make keeping the barrel square to the frame rather difficult.
Keep in mind that we're talking thousandths of an inch of stock removal here-very little material will be removed.
All I have access to are a good set of needle files and stones-no machine tools.
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Old December 20, 2009, 02:09 AM   #6
hickstick_10
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I recomend the book "gunsmithing guns of the old west" it will very clearly iservicing and working on these revolvers (lots of pictures to)
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Old December 20, 2009, 08:42 AM   #7
Tom2
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Without machine tools, you are pretty much limited to working the front of the frame, I guess. If you work it down off-square, all that will result is a gap on one or more sides. And the replicas have a reputation for being soft steels, they are not probably hardened, like modern guns that need to hold high smokeless pressures. All I can say is, maybe work hard to keep it clean and square. Taking off a few thousandths, maybe that would only require some sanding, but I am at a loss how to measure it. Turning in would reduce your cylinder to breach gap, but a small fraction of a turn to square things up, might not make much diff. Or require much material removal.
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:29 PM   #8
Poodleshooter
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Huzzah!
Fortunately it was just a bit of bad Pietta machining. They had a bit of a shoulder remaining from where the barrel was turned down to create the barrel extension. Removing just a touch of material with a needle file was enough to get it to seat square to the receiver. A little cleaning of the barrel threads and some graphite lube also helped.
Now if I can get the trigger to properly set in the full cock notch 100% of the time I'll be in business.
I won't say that I'm impressed with Pietta's finishing work,that much is certain.
Over the last 10 years I've done the following:
-replaced one broken hand
-retimed the revolver after timing went out so badly that the hammer was falling BETWEEN the nipples.
-turned down all of the nipples to allow #11 caps to seat properly (and not pop off and jam the cylinder upon firing of the first chamber)
It's been an education!
Thanks gents.
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