View Full Version : 1851 pietta navy 36 cal question

August 31, 2010, 09:10 PM
I just got in the pietta 1851 colt navy standard issue from cabelas..this is my very first black powder revolver...its a beauty..but I was wondering..forgive me if I dont know the correct names on these parts..the "loading or ramming rod"..is the part that rams the lead ball into the revolver chamber from the screw down , supposed to be "loose " and move left and right??..thanks

August 31, 2010, 09:21 PM
The 1851 style rammer is somewhat loose and will move left to right when you unlatch it. Nature of the beast.

August 31, 2010, 09:32 PM
thanks..this moves up and down and left and right a slight bit when its still locked..just wanted to make sure it wasn't defective, as I never owned a bp gun before..there is a blemish on one side of the wood grip, but what the hell..it gives it character in my book..I ordered the powder and the 36 caliber balls..I hope to try it out this weekend..this gun is "soaked " in factory oil...should I wipe it off before firing it??or is there anything I need to do to it before taking it to the range??

August 31, 2010, 09:44 PM
If the revolver is blemished and you are unhappy about it then contact Cabelas to have them send out a replacement. They have a satisfaction guarantee. If the item is blemished as received have Cabelas pay for the return shipping (i.e. use their return label and tell them not to deduct shipping costs because of the blemish). Seriously, its not a big deal. Better that you be happy than later remark to others you received an item that was blemished when it should not have been.

p.s. the lever mechanism IS known to rattle a little bit per the design. that DOES give it character! ;)

August 31, 2010, 09:51 PM
as far as the blemish on the wood grip, I look at it this way:
any gun isnt going to be 100% mint...I am going to fire it, and keep it in a holster...I'm sure its gonna get a few blemishes here and there, so its no big deal to me, in the end..thanks for the info on the lever mechanism..again, I absolutely love this gun..its a real copy of a piece of history..

August 31, 2010, 10:38 PM
Yes, you MUST wipe all of the oil off and then there are some great products that you can then use instead of petroleum based oil to finish a cleaning session with.

If you leave the oil on, the residue from the black powder will combine with the petroleum based oil and result in a very tough, cruddy substance to then clean off.

The blemish on the grip is nothing, I am a recently converted black powder revolver perfectionist. I've been fired by several customer service departments. :D

The wiggle in the lever is consistent with the quality levels of these arms. Sometimes you can find SUPER tight loading levers but then there's almost always something wrong somewhere else.


Doc Hoy
September 1, 2010, 06:08 AM
The important thing about the loading lever is that it should not come loose and fall out of its latch when you fire the weapon.

Unfortunately you have to shoot it to find out if this happens. I think (and I can't say for sure) that this reduces the willingness of the big C to take it back.

September 1, 2010, 06:58 AM
If your loading lever really bother you from being excessively loose you can get a wave washer, a thin brass washer the is bent in a wave shape, to take up some of the space.

September 1, 2010, 08:20 AM
Good advice so far.
Do clean well before (and after) use.
If you are happy with it's looks, that is all that counts.
Be safe. Enjoy.

September 1, 2010, 09:40 AM
Clean with soap and wter, hot is better. Re- oil with an black powder friendly lube for the first time out. Olive oil works well. No oil in the chambers.

I would remove the nipples and make sure the threads are coated with an antiseize compound before firing. The antiseize compound can be purchased (cheap) from AUTOZONE in tear open plastic envelopes.The contents of one of these envelopes can be stored in an empty cap can and used for a long time. This will stop any problems with stuck nipples before they start.

September 1, 2010, 11:10 AM
Noz: Stuck nipples? In 40+ years of ml shooting never have I encountered a problem with stuck nipples. The key is to use a good nipple wrench.
The best, IMHO, comes from North Star, or they did when Curly was still alive.
Olive Oil for gun lube? I have been both an Italian and shooter a long-ling time and have never heard of using OO for guns.
Might work, but why risk it when high quality modern synthetics are available? CLP Break Free is my choice.
BTW, I have tried many-many lubes for patch lube with round balls but never OO. Might do it just to say I haven't overlooked. Might work fine. But, I know, it will stink as most vegetable based lubes do.

September 1, 2010, 01:55 PM
If you have never had a stuck nipple you are indeed a lucky person. I have a Pietta cylinder and an ASM cylinder in my junk drawer now that each have what at one time was a stuck nipple. In my own defense I will state that both guns were purchased with the stuck nipples. In the Piettas case it simply has a rather ragged looking hole where the nipple finally came out with the threads so damaged it is unusable. The ASM still has remnants of the nipple still imbeded in the cylinder.
Both are now unusable. In both cases the best nipple wrenches that could be found were used and the all broke. I also cut slots in high quality sockets which also broke. I used intense heat, all of the possible chemical release agents and resorted to an impact wrench with no avail. In both cases I drilled the offending nipple to receive an "easy out". It worked on the Pietta but damaged the threads beyond repair. the "easy out" broke on the ASM. I anger I took a small steel punch and broke what I could out of the ASM. Mess!
Olive oil works well as an inorganic lubricant and you will find it often shown in recipes for soft bullet lubes for black powder guns. I'd recommend that you not use extra virgin because of the solids and the smell.

September 1, 2010, 02:04 PM
I just received mine this morning, the loading ram is very loose on the pivot point but the latch for securing is rock solid. Doubt that it would ever come loose from firing. Wife looked it over and I had to darn near beg just to keep it, yes she likes them too. I disassemble for cleaning and to my surprise the nipples came out with out having to get out the ratchet and propose cut socket. Other Pietta's I have owned had the nipples installed by the strongest gorilla that works there. Overall I would have to give it a 9.99 out of a 10, grips need minor fitting in one or two places but nothing that would be an issue. Might even look at getting another of these, at $199.00 and free shipping it was worth the money for what I wanted.

September 1, 2010, 02:26 PM
On the topic of stuck nipples, a few years ago, I disassembled great great grandpa's 1862 Springfield to give it a thorough cleaning, probably the first time in over a hundred years that anybody had done that.

The nipple unscrewed with no problem. Just a bit of effort to get it started, then it spun right off. And don't you think that I wasn't absolutely terrified that I was going to really muck it up...careful isn't a strong enough word to describe what I was being!

Anyway, I use antiseize compound on it. That's one that I won't take a chance with!

Doc Hoy
September 1, 2010, 03:07 PM
I take the nipples out and clean and lube them every time I put a round downrange. I never tighten more than just a little more than finger tight. I own nineteen revolvers and I can get the nipples out of every last one of them.

September 1, 2010, 03:54 PM
I, too, have no problems with stuck or hard to remove nipples on any of the guns I own. However, there are three cases where stuck nipples have been a problem in my experience: a couple current new production Pietta revolvers (not all of them, so relax Pietta lovers), used guns purchased at auction or from an estate sale and guns I have repaired/restored for other people. It can happen, so those of you who have never experienced it now know what to avoid to keep their record intact.

The use of olive oil as both a patch lube and a rust preventative is not uncommon. I know a few, and have corresponded with many other, people who use it routinely.

September 1, 2010, 03:59 PM
I use olive oil on my BP guns. Not the extra virgin stuff, but just some cheap oil that comes in a one gallon can. It must work because I haven't had any problems with rust or excessive fouling.

I don't doubt, though, that there's better stuff out there.

September 1, 2010, 05:42 PM
I tried using olive oil as a general lubricant for my 1860, but then gave it up as after a couple weeks the action would get really stiff. Something about the oil does not stay so slippery after a short while. Why doesn't anyone else ever talk about this?

September 1, 2010, 08:11 PM
Zathras . . . . . great info from all these fellers . . . . . that being said . . . . I have only one thing to add . . . . .

The 1851 Navy . . . . . Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Such a sweet revolver! :D

Doc Hoy
September 2, 2010, 01:25 AM
I would be willing to bet that a large number of these revolvers are sold and never shot simply because they are just so danged purdy.

I don't know what "large" is but as you go to gun shows or to the auction sites it is not all that difficult to find examples that are 20 to 30 years old and are unfired.

September 2, 2010, 03:42 AM

No bet on the unfired weapons.

I have 2 that I acquired this month. A Ruger Old Army, made in 1976. A Pietta 1858 Remington both were sold by sons who inherited them from their fathers who had never fired them. No screw driver marks or nothing. Unless some one was real careful or knew their stuff they'd never been opened. The Remmie still had the manufacturers grease in her.

I also acquired a Pietta 1851 Colt Navy that the owner said he fired once, since he bought it 2003. This one was an education in removing the wedge pin. It was stuck in there. I checked the alignment and had at it. I broke 2 cheap brass punches and tore up a piece of wood that I had used on some other weapons. I went ahead and took the wedge it all the way out and checked eveything out. I lubed it all up and got things loosened up. Getting the wedge pin back in though takes a bit of doing. It has be angled in due to the spring. This one now has some marks.

Piettas are great to learn on when it comes to disassembly and reassembly. I'd hate to mess up on a more expensive piece. This one was a $142.00 purchase. I'm ordering some spare parts, I have a feeling I'm going to need them. This one needs some range time. She has been sitting around too long.

Also I have a Uberti 1847 Colt Walker, made in 2007, that I bought looked like it was new and from looking at it the thing might have made one or two trips to a range. No powder burns or marks. She was broke in well, like the Dragoon I bought. I popped the wedge on that one out with finger pressure.

I'm not complaining mind you. But I can't guarantee how long these ladies are going to remain unfired.

September 2, 2010, 09:19 AM
Shoot "em. Chances are that the repros will never appreciate much in value.

They're too much fun to leave in the safe.

Fingers McGee
September 2, 2010, 11:57 AM
I don't know what "large" is but as you go to gun shows or to the auction sites it is not all that difficult to find examples that are 20 to 30 years old and are unfired.

In January I purchased a stainless steel Uberti 1860 Army off of GB that was made in 1985. It was described as used, probably unfired. I put it up when I got it, and just this past weekend had the opportunity to take the barrel off and the cylinder out. It was definitely unfired. Still had the original packing grease (that had hardened up) in the barrel, chambers, and on the arbor. It's now been cleaned and lubed - and put back up. I'll get around to shooting it sometime.


September 2, 2010, 04:05 PM
Very nice Fingers. I love those old Colt and Remingtons. I'd wager you have acquired a few over the years.


I got up this afternoon and cut some 3" wooden dowels and tapered the end to fit the slot for the wedge. 5/16s ought to be sturdy enough for any future use. This weekend I'm taking her down completely. VTI is out of stock on wedges and spring until Oct/Nov. I'm going to lay in some extra parts just in case.

Part of fun in owning these old Gals is getting them, cleaning them up and of course a range trip. Each one is unique in its own right. One thing is for sure I'm not sitting on them waiting for their value to go up. A friend of mine sold his entire collection of replicas to buy one original. His choice of course. But I'd rather be shooting while I'm still capable of getting around to do it.

Doc Hoy
September 2, 2010, 05:32 PM
That Uberti is byoot!.

I have an ASP that likes like it but yours shines better'n mine.

There is a show this week end and I am hoping to pick something up. I am not hoping too hard because the pickins been mighty slim.

Fingers McGee
September 2, 2010, 06:18 PM
I've got an ASM also. Barrel shines as much; but the cylinder is a little dark. Havent been able to polish it out yet.

September 2, 2010, 09:28 PM
I followed the advice of some of you here, and called cabelas about the grip blemish issue, since I noticed on the other side of the blemish side there was a deep long dent scratch there..they were very nice, and shipped me out a replacement gun, and made sure it was inspected first...the only pain in the neck, is that now "all of a sudden" an adult signature is required to get the package..since I am never home when UPS shows up, I have to tell them to hold it at the ups hub for me..should see it next week..I miss the piece already! lol

September 5, 2010, 10:23 PM
Placed the order for my 1851 on Sunday night, the information about shipping time and required adult signature was there. No problem because expect for a few trips to the grocery store I am home most of the time or my wife is here. Anyway on Wed morning I went to post office and had notice of package. It was the 1851 shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, and on the label in bold letters was a statement that if there was no one at home to just leave it at the door. In this small bump on the road we don't have door to door delivery. Not that I'm complaining or anything but if they say adult signature required why would it be labeled to just leave it ?? The biggest surprise was how fast it was shipped.