View Full Version : Taylor & Co. 1872 Open Top .38

November 4, 2009, 12:42 PM
Seem to have continual trouble with the firing pin hitting the primer on factory ammo. Sent it off to a gunsmith to check headspace issues and there were no problems. I have had it too long for warranty options. Anyone else experienced this issue? I will load a cylinder with Ultramax factory ammo and get 3-4 misfires. When I check the primer, tiny little indent...but obviously not enough to cause detonation. Any ideas? Replace firing pin?

November 4, 2009, 03:09 PM
Does it fire every other round or just misfire in a random order? If it fires every other round check the cylinder for front to back play. When the cylinder is to the rear (with excess play) the firing pin will drive the cylinder forward and not fire. The cylinder is now forward and the firing pin will ignite the round and the recoil will drive the cylinder to the rear and start the cycle all over. It doesn't take much movement to cause a problem. I had this problem with a 1851 Navy and it was factory repaired at no charge.

November 4, 2009, 03:58 PM
It's random. I can't predict it. Funny thing is, after I eject unfired cartridges and try again, it will sometime fire them. Weird. I just assumed the firing pin was too soft and not striking the primers like it should.

November 4, 2009, 04:38 PM
i'm not sure how this relates to the open tops but here goes. i have a uberti 45 cattleman. when i first got it i could not get it to fire every time. the problem was i had taken the cylinder out and when i put it back i either had the pin in too far or not far enough. the cylinder had more movement and when it was too far towards the front the gun would not fire, the fireing pin was not contacting the cartridge every time. once i figured out how to properly install the cylinder pin (who ever thought you could screw that up) i never had that problem again. silly mistake by me but sometimes problems can be that small. the uberti cattleman has since become one of my favorite handguns. it is amazingly accurate for a gun with such crude sights probably because it points so naturaly and now it goes bang everytime too :)

November 4, 2009, 04:53 PM
mine has a wedge that comes out like the BP revolvers...so it's not dependent upon a cylinder pin like your cattleman. thanks anyway though.

November 4, 2009, 05:02 PM
Any burrs or obstructions in the firing pin hole? How does the pin look? Is it peened or misshaped?

November 4, 2009, 05:16 PM
looks like a bird's beak that's been upturned a bit. not straight and pointy.

November 4, 2009, 07:18 PM
Another thought, are these factory or handloads. If handloads check to see if the primers are flush or deeper into the pocket. High primers will react as you described.

Jim March
November 4, 2009, 08:13 PM
Sounds like not a strong enough mainspring, OR something is slowing down the hammer's fall. Or both.

If you can strip it completely apart, consider fine-polishing the sides of the hammer and the channel it rides in, to reduce friction. This is NOT the same as a "trigger job" and trigger feel won't be significantly changed. This lets more mainspring energy end up on the firing pin. Unless you know what you're doing, avoid messing with the sear surfaces in any way, shape or form.

A simpler solution is a heavier mainspring, but this will of course increase trigger pull weight and cocking stroke pressure. Putting the sweat equity into fine polishing internal parts and reducing friction will yield a better gun than the factory was willing to put the effort into.

No guarantee that polishing will eliminate light primer strikes but it can't hurt. You can always find stronger mainsprings through Wolff or the like (probably the same as what an Uberti percussion open-top would use, but I'm not sure about that).

November 4, 2009, 11:40 PM
Probably needs a new firing pin. The Open Top's firing pin is not very robust and if it's not properly heat treated or it if lands funny in the hammer well it could easily get bent outta shape.

If it's got the factory hammer spring, you can be 99% certain that it's not a lack of spring pressure. I think they use recycled dump truck springs! I always stone the actions on my new Colt replicas. Brownells has a Peacemaker Specialists stoning kit and I've got a lot of use out of mine. With some judicious stoning you can slick up the action quite nicely without altering the sear engagement at all. That and a set of lighter springs works wonders for action "feel".

Don P
November 7, 2009, 09:22 PM
I have a 1860 open top and zero problems. How about trying different ammo. Just a thought