View Full Version : how do u "tune" a BP revolver????

August 21, 2005, 07:20 PM
I've heard of "tuning" a BP revolver, what does this do and how is it done? any ideas or am i hearing things.

I have a Rogers and Spencers .44 cal six shot and it does well in grouping just not centered. I've tried different charges. different fillers.

August 21, 2005, 09:18 PM
Tuning a gun can involve many things, and generally refers to improvements in function. Chaning or modifying springs or polishing and smoothing the action (a trigger job) are examples of tuning. The specifics are dependent on the make or model of firearm you're looking to tune.

James K
August 22, 2005, 01:28 PM
ATW525 is correct; the term "tuning" as applied to a revolver generally means smoothing the action, rather than correcting the point of aim.

The Rogers & Spencer is a solid frame revolver with fixed sights, so getting it to "hit where it looks" is not as easy as if the sights were adjustable. You might try other variations in the loads, but I would not be too optimistic about results. You don't say whether the gun is shooting "off" to one side or in the vertical plane.

If you are willing to put up the money, you can have the barrel slotted for an adjustable front sight, which would solve your problems by allowing movement to left or right; the sight would be made high and then filed down as necessary.

The fact is that the makers of BP revolvers really don't care much about proper sight adjustment, since they are making toys, not serious revolvers. That was not true in the old days, and most antique revolvers (if not messed with) will shoot close to the point of aim.


August 22, 2005, 10:57 PM
Thank you for the advisment fellas. I'm hittin center just of to the left. guess i'll have to aim for 3 oclock. :o

Remington kid
September 16, 2005, 07:42 AM
Go to your local black powder shop or get on the internet and get a book on building your own guns from scratch or kits. It's not hard at all to remove the site you have and cut in your own dove tail for a sight that you can adjust left or right. To cut the dovetail it only takes a little time and a hawksaw, cold chisle, 3 corner file with one side smooth, sand papper and hammer.
I have done several of them over the years and it's very rewading. On my 1858 Reminton i did the dove tail and got a site I like and then shoot and adjusted until it was deadly accurate. Then I took the measurements of the height of my front sight and removed the whole sight from the gun. Then I cut off the blade and smooth the top with a file. Then I cut in a groove for a half dime to fit in it and after some careful measurements I place a 1858 dime in the slot that I bought off Ebay for $20.00. Then silver solidered it and it works perfect and fit is so good that you can't tell it's a dove tail without a close look. People love the dime.

September 16, 2005, 10:15 PM

Try shooting with your other hand. See if the shots are still left or not? Sometimes the old-style grip contours will slide in the hand in a way that requires you to shift your grip to keep the recoil going to the rear and not off to one side. Also, a trigger pull with a lot of overtravel can cause some people to pull the gun to the side before the relatively slow lock time and long barrel time of BP guns can get the projectile clear of the muzzle. If either of these are factors in your group center, then shifting hands should move it to center or to the opposite side, depending on whether your weak hand grip has the same fault or not?

Does your front sight stick straight up? An improperly or under-torqued right-hand barrel thread will leave the tip of the front sight too far to the right.

Another thing often checked in tuning is cylinder timing. This has two parts: whether the pawl pushes the cylinder lock notches over the cylinder latch to lock it up before the hand slides clear of the ratchet, and whether the bolt locks the cylinder in position with the chamber centered in the back of the barrel? A problem with either can be corrected, though a pawl sliding off the ratchet too soon usually requires replacement.