View Full Version : Tools of the trade

H.W. French
February 11, 2009, 05:49 PM
Playing hooky today.
Well, got a Uberti 1851 London a while back and I reckon it's time to give it a whirl. Fit and finish are as good as I've seen but the trigger! It's about as close to a hair trigger as I have come accross on a factory repro. Just a bit too light for my taste. I'd like to investigate this a bit further but do not want to bugger screws and whatnot before it even gets to the range. Anybody have recommendations on a quality set of tools for workin' on these smokewagons? I've also got a Cimarron Model P, and hopefully a Rodeo in the near future, so it would be helpful if the bits/drivers worked with them as well. Any ideas?
Oh! and any suggestions on that ultra light trigger would be greatly appreciated.

February 11, 2009, 06:27 PM
Well, as for tools: a good set of hollow ground gunsmith's screwdrivers will always be worth the investment. Now, what is a good set of hollow ground gunsmith's screwdrivers? Try:
Brownell's Magna-tips (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=417&title=MAGNA-TIP%20SUPER%20SETS?)
Forster's gunsmith screwdrivers (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=6634&title=GUNSMITH%20SCREWDRIVERS)
Chapman's gunsmith screwdriver set (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=4979&title=DELUXE%20GUN%20SCREWDRIVER%20SET)
Had enough? If not, Midway USA is another good place to shop for some.

Trigger: trigger adjustments on replica single action revolvers are pretty difficult. The designs don't lend themselves to much fiddling. First, be sure the trigger sear fits in the hammer notch. It could be you have a burr or casting flash on the sear or the notch that keeps it from fully engaging. If so, take it off slowly with a fine stone or file, being careful to not remove any metal beyond the flash. If you overdo it, you'll actually make it worse. Next, the trigger/bolt spring leg that controls the trigger lash could be bent too much. The spring can be bent back or straightened, but it will only take a few attempts at adjustment before it work hardens and breaks. Buy a spare set of springs before fooling with it. Better yet, while you're on Brownell's site, search for and buy Heinie's Single Action trigger/bolt spring (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=6875&title=SINGLE%20ACTION%20TRIGGER/BOLT%20SPRING). It's a music wire spring that gives excellent trigger response and lasts forever. You can sometimes get better trigger response by lightening the hammer mainspring using the screw on the front face of the grip frame, under your little finger, but it rarely is a linear adjustment and might have no effect at all.

H.W. French
February 13, 2009, 04:21 PM
Thanks Mykeal.
Looks like ther's some tools in my future.
Can you recommend any good reads/manuals that might give me some more insight.


February 13, 2009, 05:59 PM
Well, I'd start with Mike Cumpston and Johnny Bates first book: Percussion Pistols And Revolvers: History, Performance and Practical Use. Don't confuse it with the second book, Percussion Revolvers: A Guide to Their History, Performance, and Use; Cumpston has disavowed the book due to problems with the publisher failing to correct some proofreading errors. Either is an excellent treatment of the subject.

I presume you've read the sticky threads at the top of this forum (So you want a cap and ball revolver); if not, you need to do that as there is a great deal of useful information there.

H.W. French
February 13, 2009, 06:34 PM
yeh, I've been shooting Powder off and on for about 14 years now, but mostly rifles. I had several used pistols that i'd pick up at a show every now and then (even an Old Army) but they always sat idle. They eventually were sold off and replaced with other more modern arms, but lately I've been coming back around and getting more into powder. Now it's the AR that's on the chopping block(!) as I slowly,but surely, regress into the blackness.
thanks for the info.

February 14, 2009, 12:39 PM
Here's a set of hollow ground tips (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=516186) that won't break the bank. Midway has sever sets, but this set has a very good selection that fits every revolver I own. They are hardened, you just need the driver.

H.W. French
February 14, 2009, 06:34 PM
Thanks for all your input. I'll be getting some tools and spare parts soon. I'll also peruse the "So you want a..." section again as well.