View Full Version : How Far Do You Go? Uberti 1851 Navy Colt Take Down

July 23, 2010, 01:28 AM
I just got a Uberti Replica of an 1851 Colt Navy Revolver, ,36 Cal. I read the instructions and decided to take it apart and clean the factory grease out. I suspect they want you to do the following.

1. Remove the wedge. (Mine had the spring, something they neglected to mention).
2. Take the barrel off by using the loading lever.
3. Remove the cylinder and clean it.
4. Clean the barrel. Then clean and lube the rest of the weapon.

Under Cleaning and Maintenance. (I suppose they assume you have fired it)

In line 2. They say "completely disassemble the gun". Next they say wipe off the grips, then soak all parts in hot water and dish detergent, then with a brush use a solvent to scrub off the fouling.

Then its rinse off all the metal parts in boiling water and dry. After cooling you wipe all the parts off with a rust preventative, lightly oil moving parts, grease up the cylinder pin and viola reassemble the gun.

Having read David R. Chicoine's book "Antique Firearms Assembly /Disassembly I took her down to this level...


So my question is how far do you guys and gals normally go in taking this thing apart?:D

July 23, 2010, 06:00 AM
Regular cleaning after shooting: remove grips from grip frame, remove barrel assembly and cylinder.

Complete disassembly depends on how much the gun is used; for the ones I use most it's every ten to fifteen shooting sessions. I tend to judge that based on how it's operating. Every gun gets a complete disassembly no less than annually, however, even if I haven't shot it.

Doc Hoy
July 23, 2010, 06:50 AM
As you read this, please understand that most people on the forum think that I am too fastidious with cleaning. In point of fact, I can't say I disagree with them. I probably put more wear on the pistol by cleaning it than I do by shooting it.

I take the pistol to your level every time I clean it and I clean it every time I shoot it. Lately I have been running off about 60 to 100 rounds distributed over two or three pistols about every third week end. So somewhere around 20 to 40 rounds per pistol. I shoot the ROA every time and then some other pistol(s) go along for the ride.

I don't think I can build a case to support the pistol needing this kind of care. I do it more because I enjoy it. This does not extend to the nipples. I think the nipples MUST come out every time. Then I lube them and put them back in just a little tighter than finger tight.

July 23, 2010, 07:03 AM
Have a nice day DOC.

The Uberti Owners Manual gets no where near all this detail. "Completely disassemble the weapon." hardly hacks it.

I bought David R, Chicone's book, "Antique Firearms Assembly/ Disassembly", great information and illustrations on taking it apart.

Reassembly? "Reassemble the revolver in reverse order of above". Notice a trend? I got it reassembled and it works. So far so good.


July 23, 2010, 08:36 AM
After shoot cleaning consists of removing barrel and cylinder. Clean as you see fit and replace. Removal of grips generally comes with a repairing a part failure or once a year whichever comes first.

July 23, 2010, 11:06 AM
Me three.
I also take BP guns apart for cleaning.
The one time I did not, after only a week it was like to not ever come apart again.
Maybe folks who live in dry areas won't have to be this fastidious with their BPs, but if there's any humidity, rust will prevail.

Doc Hoy
July 23, 2010, 11:15 AM

You just made me realize why I do what I do!

My early days of shooting where I formed all of my habits for better or worse, were done mostly in Guam. There is Summer in which the temperature is 95 degrees with 100 percent humidity and then there is winter when the temperature drops to 93 with 100 percent humidity.

In Guam everything rusts. In Guam aluminum rusts. It took them a long time to decide to build a McDonalds because they were afraid the Big Macs would rust.

Thanks dude. Now I know why I do what I do.

July 23, 2010, 11:38 AM
LOL.. I spent a few few years in SE Asia. Monsoons do tend to bring out those little bits of rust.

Fingers McGee
July 23, 2010, 02:43 PM
After shoot cleaning consists of removing barrel and cylinder. Clean as you see fit and replace. Removal of grips generally comes with a repairing a part failure or once a year whichever comes first.

Pretty much the same here, although teardowns are more frequent. Clean barrel and cylinder and wipe down the frame after each match. Do complete teardown and scrubbing after 6-8 matches or two to 3 months. Nipples come out and are cleaned/lubed/reinstalled after every match. Makes it easier to get all the residue out of chambers when you can run a bristle brush through the nipple holes.

July 23, 2010, 04:59 PM
Thanks McGee. Like Noz you seem to be into match shooting. That sound like some experience worth listening to.

July 23, 2010, 08:34 PM
Take a 6 to 1 water to ballestol mix and drop gun barrel in it. Take nipples off cylinder and drop cylinder in it but nipples should be placed in a small cup of alcohol. Unscrew grips and trigger guard but stop. Clean frame w/ballestol mix and wipe down residue out of springs and frame without taking them out-- oil then reassemble grip and guard. Clean cylinder and barrel with proper cleaning rod etc. grease threads of nipples and replace. wipe down== presto.

July 24, 2010, 12:16 AM
Brownings has Ballistol. What kind of oil are you using? I have been using Break Free CLP and REM OIL on my other weapons.

Thanks for the response.

Fingers McGee
July 24, 2010, 10:40 AM
I use copious amounts of Balistol when cleaning and lubing my C&Bs. After a match, I'll spray it in the chambers, around the nipples, and down the barrels of the revolvers. Usually let them sit a couple days before actualy getting around to cleaning. The Balistol loosens the fouling and makes it easier to remove. I've found that in Birchwood Casey BP solvent dissolves cap residue better than anything else I've tried, so I'll soak the nipples in it while cleaning the rest of the pistol, and use it with a nylon bristle brush to scrub off any stubborn cap residue on the hammer nose and frame. The only lube I use on my C&Bs is Bore Butter on the arbor and Balistol everywhere else.

July 24, 2010, 08:09 PM
Slowhand, a bunch here are goin to form a posse after me but here is a simple way to clean it. Get a plastic pale that holds abput a quart. Fill it with distilled water and about 4 ounces of ballestol. remove barrel and drop it. Take oy cylinder and drop it. Don't take down the rest. Leave it all intact and drop it in there to. Let soak for 20 minutes and clean it out with you mix. swap out everything and then swab barrel out with a pur ballestol finish after getting out residue. Get all residue out of chambers and dry w/qtips. Pipe cleaner or nipple pics are necessary to clear them ut. I prefer a nichol wrapped 26 to 30 guage guitar string --But this doesn't require a whole lot of work and little mechanics. I haver never used soap or water.

July 24, 2010, 08:11 PM
Sorry bout all the mispelling and broken sentences --I was in a hurry

July 25, 2010, 03:10 AM

Fingers..... We might be hanging from the same tree, but.....I somehow have it in my mind that water and guns don't mix as well. Maybe in diluting a chemical or cleaning substance ballestol perhaps but somehow the idea of boiling water and running it on a weapon:confused:

Crisco .... Until I got it into my head is a natural oil had me wondering too at the beginning.

Birchwood Casey BP Solvent is a new one to add to the list though.


July 25, 2010, 06:05 AM
I use hot tap water and dish washing liquid. Remove grips and cylinder. All metal parts go in water with action assembled. Once it's clean action is shaken out and sprayed with WD-40 to displace water and liberally sprayed out with Remoil. Bore and chambers get a light coat of bore butter and once assembled whole thing gets a wipe down with 3n1 oil.

July 25, 2010, 06:15 AM
I somehow have it in my mind that water and guns don't mix as well. Maybe in diluting a chemical or cleaning substance ballestol perhaps but somehow the idea of boiling water and running it on a weapon

I see no issue with using water to clean a bp gun. We've been doing it for a few hundred years (well, in my case just 35) and it works just as well as any of the modern bp solvents. The key is to thoroughly dry it out; if you do that you'll have no problems.

July 25, 2010, 09:53 AM

I don't always do a complete disassemble...kind of like what mykeal does in frequency. However, there is that occasion where the entire firearm is disassembled similar to your picture except that the grips are the first thing that are taken off.

For cleaning: hot water, liquid dishsoap, hot water rinse, shakeoff, dry with paper towel to remove most water, bake in oven at around 175 degrees for 20 minutes, cool off for 20 minutes. Like Hawg, I generally spray Remoil on all the parts including the bore. I'm experimenting with Ballistol too. When I don't do the complete disassembly (action left assembled) to the lockworks/clockworks, again...like Hawg, I blast the inside of the lockworks with WD-40 through every opening.

I'm not buying into the WD-40 conspiracy story about it gumming everything up. Perhaps, in time I suppose its possible that WD-40 might gum up. However, how long does that take? 2 years....5 years? I completely disassemble my BP firearms at least once a year and give them a good cleaning so perhaps I'm not giving the WD-40 even time to mess things up. For my non-BP firearms I use Remoil since I don't use water to clean them and therefore don't need to displace any water.

July 25, 2010, 09:57 AM
So I have learned since starting my research project..... that water is commonly used by loads of people who have been shooting for decades and of course have no issue with it. After the grips come off, some disassembly, a hot bath and rinse, followed by a good drying out with lubrication there is no doubt in my mind it works. I plan of trying it after my first outing with the new pistols I have bought.

Thanks for the polite and matter of fact responses and comments received so far. I'm researching how it's done, individual methods used, with preferences and appreciate the information. I realize some of you have been at it for decades and that I have to respect.

Thanks guys.

July 25, 2010, 08:57 PM
ballestol mixed with water doesn't separate so it cleans and lubricates without having to through all the things the pros suggest. They take "and for good reason and cause BP seriously" but if you just want to shoot your gun and keep it oiled and operational just do the simple thing until you get hooked and want to take it more seriously. I think keeping the nipples cleaned and cleared-the barrel and cylinder cleaned is the first perogative. Ballestol mixed 6 parts to water is really all you need and then put a little straight out of the bottle to lubricate parts. Thompsons or CVA lube is good to put on arbor and wedge and loading lever spring if you like. I wouldn't use petroleum base oils like Remingtin gun oil to swab barrel. But no need for olive oil and beezwax etc. for now.

July 25, 2010, 09:57 PM
Thanks to all, appreciate it.

Fingers McGee
July 25, 2010, 10:51 PM
Fingers..... We might be hanging from the same tree, but.....I somehow have it in my mind that water and guns don't mix as well.

Slowhand, I use water as well as Balistol & BC BP solvent. After I take the nipples out of the cylinders, I take the barrel and cylinder down to the utility sink and scrub them with straight hot water and a nylon bore brush. I wear rubber gloves and use 140 degree hot water. It gets the metal hot enough that there almost isnt any drying necessary. The Balistol that they were sprayed down with after the match has had time to loosen the fouling, and the hot water pretty much rinses it all away. Final cleaning and lubing with straight Balistol & some patches; reassembly, and put them away.

July 26, 2010, 07:27 AM
I ordered 16 oz Liquid and 6 oz Aerosol bottles of Balistol from Brownells on 7/24/10. They shipped it today. My next project is a recently acquired Uberti 1847 Colt Walker. That ought to be some fun.

July 26, 2010, 08:24 PM
I'm another one that completely disassembles after each shooting. Hot soapy water, dry, light oily rag. I use Q-tips to clean out the treads,etc. I think the main issue is to make a couple of screwdrivers that precisely fit the slots in the screws/bolts and be very careful not to mar up the slots- probably the biggest concern.
And I admit- probably more than is needed when I'll be shooting again in a few day's time.

July 27, 2010, 08:47 AM
I shot my Armys Sunday and one of them didn't "feel" right on the last stage. I dis-assembled it for the fist time in a "while" and found an exploded cap in the mechanism. Removed it and did a full body cleaning. There was enough Ballistol soaked fouling to make it look nasty but outside of the cap there was no interference with any of the mechanism.
I buttoned her back up for several more months.

July 27, 2010, 09:10 PM
I decided to upgrade my screw drivers. I have a couple of older sets but it’s time to upgrade a little. Since these are going to be used primarily on the Uberti Colt Replicas ( 1851 Navy and 1847 Walker) it was recommended that I get set #3, from Brownells. Any comments or suggestions for additional bits would of course be appreciated,

MAGNA-TIP SET NO. 3 - 11 Bits for slotted screws (#445-00, #445-0, #445-10, #445-20, #445-30, #445-1, #445-2, #445-3, #445-4, #445-5, #445-6), the Field Case and Bench Tray, plus the Handle of your choice, but DOES NOT include the hex head or Phillips bits.

I chose the following handle.

#84 Hollow Handle - 1¼" (3.2cm) diameter, 8" (20.3cm) long overall. Handle With Bits includes #445-1, #445-2, #445-3 and #445-4.


July 27, 2010, 10:01 PM
Everything I have ever bought from Brownells has been of the best quality.

July 28, 2010, 03:15 AM
Slowhand, I take mine down like you did every time I shoot the Holy Black powder thru um and soak/clean in scaldin' hot soapy water and rinse in clean scaldin' hot water...them kitty litter buckets work great for my Rev cleanin'.
Wish I could get my cat Missy to help me clean um. :rolleyes:

July 28, 2010, 03:33 AM
Cat pee will instantly remove bluing. Don't ask me how I know.:D

July 28, 2010, 03:43 AM
Dang cats :O)