View Full Version : 1851 reproduction revolver

December 8, 2002, 02:29 PM
A recently acquired Pietta 1851 Navy reprodcution has proved to be a lot of fun.

There are a few minor problems I'd like to fix.

1. It shoots too high. Seems like an easy fix, but should I add metal to the front sight or remove metal from the rear?

2. There is very little clearance between the cylinder and barrel. After several shots, it begins to bind. Would it be acceptable to remove a little metal from the barrel? How much clearance should there be? Should it be measured with a feeler guage? What method should be used to remove the metal?

3. Major trigger creep. Should this be messed with or not?

Old Fuff
December 8, 2002, 03:34 PM
1. Do what the old-timers did. Cut a shallow dovetail and mount a higher front sight. You can file it down to zero for elevation and drive the sight in the dovetail to adjust for windage. Go in the opposite direction you want to correct for.

2. The barrel wedge may be driven in too far. Tap it back and then in just far enough to be tight. It is most unlikely the breech end of the barrel needs to be filed on, and you might ruin the gun.

3. First I would try to live with it and see if it doesn't smooth itself up. If not, drill a small hole just below the hammer's full-cock notch and press-fit a pin into the hole. File the pin down until you get the amount of trigger/hammer engagement you want that will safely hold at full-cock. Do not file the notch down. If you do the trigger will catch in the half-cock (loading) notch and break.

Jimmy Mac
December 8, 2002, 07:46 PM
Or you can take the same amount off the half cock notch as well.

Also before you remove metal from the barrel are you using lube over the ball? Lack of lube will cause the fouling to get hard and bind the gun.

Old Fuff
December 8, 2002, 10:10 PM
I would advise not to cut back the half-cock notch. it has a lip on the front that is intended to make sure the hammer doesn't fall while the revolver is being loaded or capped.

You can reshabe the notch, but if this allows the hammer to sit lower the cylinder bolt may score a ring around the cylinder as it's turned during the reloading sequence. It's a good idea not to mess with the notches.