View Full Version : Is My New 1858 New Army Remington Defective??

October 11, 2010, 08:14 PM
Newbie here.

Just received my Cabela-ordered 1858 New Army .44 calibre Remington (Traditions, made by Pietta).

There seems to be a problem with the bullet loading "ram" not lining up with the cylinder - I define the "ram" as the part that pushes the lead bullet into the bullet chamber when you push down on the loading handle.

Let me see if I can describe this ....

The way I understand loading - one pulls the hammer back to half-cock, which allows the cylinder to rotate counter-clockwise (when looking toward the back of the revolver - looking towards the handle). There are audible clicks as the cylinder rotates at half-cock, and after the click the cylinder will not revolve the other way (backwards, clockwise). But after the click, the bullet loader "ram" will not fit in the bullet hole - it seems to be off by about 10 degrees or so, i.e. one edge of the "ram" hits the front of the cylinder and will not go into the bullet chamber.

I can pull the hammer back to full cock, and the loader "ram" will then fit entirely within the bullet chamber, but who wants to load bullets at full cock. At half-cock after the cylinder clicks into position, when I look down the barrel, the bullet cavity in the cylinder is not lined up with the barrel, about 10 degrees off - seen another way, when looking down the barrel, the hole in the nipple at the bottom of the bullet chamber is not centered with the barrel, the nipple hole is off to the side somewhere between 1/16 - 3/32"".

I can get the loader ram to fit in the bullet cavity if I very slowly rotate the cylinder at half-cock until I feet the metal tang in the frame behind the cylinder begin to engage - but this is real tricky - if you go too far, and the cylinder clicks, you have gone too far and the loader ram will not go into the bullet chamber.

I assume that after the click of the rotating cylinder at half-cock, the bullet cavity should line up perfectly with the loading ram - otherwise the bullet will not be seated, but will be jammed just inside the chamber and be sticking up halfway out the front of the cylinder, and you cannot rotate the cylinder backwards to line up the loader ram to fully seat the bullet on the powder????

Do I have a defective revolver, or am I missing something very basic?


October 11, 2010, 08:34 PM
I don't think you are quite understanding the loading process. You are correct to load at half cock. Don't expect the cylinder chambers to line up perfectly with the bullet rammer. You ARE supposed to rotate the cylinder by hand to get it to line up when ramming the bullet.

Hope I understood your question and therefore answered it. Please let us know if I misunderstood you.

p.s. the cylinder will only rotate one direction. so, be careful to make sure you properly seat the bullet into the chamber or else you will have a problem if you rotate past the point of no return with a bullet not properly seated.

October 11, 2010, 08:49 PM
Just to clarify...watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSOo-zY0_lc). There are other videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwBldVw6xqI) on YouTube so look for those too.

October 11, 2010, 09:23 PM
Thanks ClemBart.

I have seen both those videos before, and I can see that the cylinder is being rotated to load the balls. I think I understand the procedure, and I have seen it done firsthand at local shooting ranges.

My problem is, when I rotate the cylinder and the cylinder clicks in place, the ram will NOT seat the bullet - the loading ram hits the front of the cylinder and will not enter the bullet chamber. The bullet chamber is not lined up with the loading "ram".

It is such a very small additional rotation from where I can get the ram into the cylinder, and where the "click" occurs (which by that time is too far around so that the ram will NOT fit into bullet chamber) that about 50% of the time I can not load the bullet because I have gone too far around, the cylinder will not go back the other way to line up, and I have to leave that cylinder empty and come back to it later.

And worse yet, if I do not hear the faint click which locks the cylinder too far around, sometimes the bullet starts in the cylinder, the ram hits the front of the cylinder and can not enter the bullet chamber, and then the ball is halfway in the cylinder bullet chamber opening and I have to remove the cylinder and ram it in using another homemade "ramrod". Then put the cylinder back in - a real hassle. A very fine line between going too far around (and maybe not realizing it before ramming a bullet halfway in)

Seems that this should not be happening in a "precision-made" revolver.


Andy Griffith
October 11, 2010, 09:37 PM
After starting the ball you may have to "reseat" the ram a bit. If you notice when you get it started down to the edge of the cylinder once you have lined up the cylinder with it, you may still have to "play" with the ram a bit to get it lined up to go into the cylinder since they do have a bit of play.

October 11, 2010, 10:02 PM
My technique to load my 1858 is as follows:

1. Half cock the revolver and place it in a loading stand pointing up.
2. Load 1st cylinder with power then push a felt wad on top with finger.
3. Rotate cylinder by hand and repeat steps #2 and #3 until all six cylinders have both powder and a felt wad. (note that revolver stays at half cock until all cylinders have powder, wad, and ball rammed in.
4. Pick revolver up and place in left hand. With revolver still pointing up place a lead ball on top of 1st cylinder. Rotate to be under rammer. Unlatch rammer and allow plunger to sit on top of ball. Do not touch the cylinder with hand. Use lever to seat the ball. Note that the rammer will "auto" align the ball and chamber to be under the rammer as long as you let the cylinder free turn without having your hand on it.
5. Repeat step #4 until all six chambers are loaded with a ball in the seated position.

I think step #4 addresses Andy Griffith's issue. Specifically, once you get the cylinder rotated to be approximately under the rammer let go of the cylinder. The rammer should have the effect of allowing the cylinder to move that fraction of an inch to auto align the chamber. Do not rotate the cylinder with ball beyond the rammer-chamber alignment point.

To the OP it sounds like you are saying that at half cock the cylinder "clicks" to prevent it from moving even just a little bit at approximately the point where the rammer and chamber line up. I just checked both of my 1858's. One a Uberti the other one a Pietta. On the Pietta if you rotate it 1/16th of an inch beyond the ideal rammer-chamber alignment point then you are right...you've got trouble. The point on your revolver where this happens may be even tighter. However, for mine I just make sure I only rotate it about 1/16th of an inch PRIOR to the alignment point. Then I let the rammer auto align the cylinder by allowing the rammer to push down on the ball without touching the cylinder with my hand.

October 11, 2010, 11:31 PM
Thanks again ClemBart, will take your advice and let the ram "auto align" the ball into the bullet chamber.

Will let you know how I do.

At least I think I am now assured that my 1858 is NOT a lemon! It is designed to usually NOT allow alignment of the loading ram after the cylinder clicks. You just have to make sure it does not click before ramming home a ball, or you might be in trouble with a ball half way into the chamber opening with no way to back up and no way to revolve 360 degrees because the ball is sticking up.


October 12, 2010, 12:24 AM
Yep, with my 1858, if you hear the click, you just went too far. Since I'm a clumsy gray beard, I find loading off the gun is a lot easier. You may want to add a cylinder press to your 1858's kit.

The Ruger Old Army can be converted to allow the wheel to turn either way when loading. I haven't heard of the same thing for the '58, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

October 12, 2010, 12:26 AM
Once you get to actually loading, I think you will find your worry is for naught.

The ball will center in the chamber, and the rammer will center on the ball. Everything will more or less align themselves as you ram, and the rammer should enter the chambers just fine.

No, the rammer is not supposed to be aligned with the chamber at half cock. How could it be? Think about it. The barrel and rammer are 180 degrees from one another- barrel at 12 o'clock and rammer at 6 o'clock, if you will. The cylinder of an 1858, being a six-shooter, will also have chambers opposite one another. So, when one chamber is aligned with the barrel, the opposite chamber will be aligned with the rammer. This is the state of things at hammer-down and full cock, is it not? So, you cannot expect either to be aligned with the barrel or rammer at half cock. Make sense?

sac - man
October 12, 2010, 10:37 AM
Hi Jon Im glad you asked about this because like you I just bought my first BP also the 1858 Army and was having the samething happen to me, if you hear the click :eek: you have gone to far. but after reading this thread I guess Its working ok just need to learn how to work it right....
have only been able to go out shootin one time sofar. what a blast, love the sound it makes and all the smoke. :) just need to get it dialed in, right now Im shooting about a foot high and 8 to 10 inches left at about 15 yards

October 12, 2010, 11:31 AM
You're fine the loading at half-cock position for rotating the cylinder is between the clicks.
I load one chamber shy of 6 o'clock, partially lower the rammer to just contact the ball front then use the recess in the rammer face to finish alignment as I go along, allowing the cylinder to rotate the 1/4 or so for full alignment.

Once fully seated I leave the rammer inside the chamber mouth too BTW as that "locks" the cylinder in place while messing about with the next chamber before ramming.

October 12, 2010, 06:45 PM
This is amusing, but confusing.
Until now, I never even thought about the actual process of how to load mine.
I guess that I just do it.
Never ran into a problem.
Kind of like walking up and down stairs.
Over thinking about how to do it, while actually doing it, will probably result in nose meeting stairs.

October 14, 2010, 04:40 PM
Having dealt with the same issue on a personal learning curve, further investigation on my part of how a revolver works was in order.
At half cock, the hand wich is attatched to the hammer, comes in contact with the cylinder and starts to rotate the cylinder ever so slightly. It is spring loaded so it ratchets in one direction only. This is the reason for the mis-alignment for the loading lever after the hand clicks the next notch in the cylinder.
As others have well described, turning in the correct direction and letting the loading plunger find it's own center on the ball keeps the cylinder from rotating to the next notch.

The bolt wich is at the bottom of the cylinder is locked during hammer rest and hammer full cock. During half cock the bolt is released.

By the way, the hand moving the cylinder a short ways during half cock, is why you need to fully cock the hammer after half cock to keep the gun from locking up. If the hammer is brought to the rest position after half cock,the bolt tries to lock the cylinder when the cylinder is in the wrong place maybe causing the lines some times seen around the cylinder.
Hope this is clearer than mud.

April 16, 2014, 01:58 PM
I noticed my new 1858 Pietta acted the same way as Jolasa did as few years ago. Namely, when half cocked and the cylinder is moved to the next click, the ram does not align itself with the cylinder. This too bugs me!!! The reason this bugs me is my other 1858 Pietta (that is engraved) DOES line up (ie. the cylinder lines up with the ram) when the cylinder "clicks" which I believe is the way it should be. My reasoning is that when the cylinder goes to the click position, it will not rotate backwards, thus causing potential problems when the ball is being seated. Because this bothered my and wasn't like my other 1858, I called Cabelas about it and they are sending me another revolver. Hopefully the new revolver cylinder will align itself with the ram. Just my two cents on an old post.

April 16, 2014, 03:54 PM
My Pietta 1858 Remington did the same thing when new.

The issue is this:

You bring revolver to half cock.
Then you manually rotate the cylinder until it clicks, then rotate it backwards until it stops.

At this point, the ram should be able to go into the chamber.

On mine, when new, it would not. The ram would catch, barely, on the edge of the chamber.

You cannot rotate the cylinder into position because the hand is stopping any further rotation.

What you had to do was rotate the cylinder until it was under the ram but before it had clicked over the hand. This was a bit tricky.

After putting about 200 rounds through it the problem went away.


April 16, 2014, 04:55 PM
Just pulled out the 58 and the 60.

I think the issue is this:

On the 1860, the hand back-lock does not happen anywhere near ram alignment. So you just rotate until you get close, and the nose of the bullet centers the ram and all is well.

On the 1858, the hand back-lock happens very close to the ram alignment. I don't think it is necessarily supposed to lock exactly at alignment. And if you click over, you very well may find you can no longer align the ram with the cylinder.

It is a real pain in the ass, though, if you "click over" and can't ram the ball.

If this is intentional in the design, it's a real drawback. They should not have made the hand click-over happen so close to the loading position.


April 17, 2014, 08:47 AM
I have 4 Remmys. 3 Piettas (1 new not fired yet 5" barrel), and 1 Uberti carbine. I've never noticed the loading ram issue actually, so I checked all 4. All will ram after the click. That said, I don't think it would bother me if they didn't.

April 17, 2014, 10:36 AM
That said, I don't think it would bother me if they didn't.

The bother comes from if you've got powder and a ball sitting on that chamber and you roll it just a little too far past the rammer until you get the "click", you can't back up to get under the rammer again.

So then you have to rotate the cylinder until you can fish the bullet out of the chamber, assuming you can, or otherwise fish the bullet out of the chamber and frame cutout (and don't cut yourself on some of those sharp frame cutouts!) so that you can rotate the cylinder back around under the barrel for another try at ramming.

Like I said - I can't tell if the 1858 is supposed to be rammed after you click over the hand or not. If not, it's unfortunate that the click-over happens so close to the loading position. If it is, it's unfortunate that some of the repros are not lining up with the rammer.


April 17, 2014, 12:58 PM
The bother comes from if you've got powder and a ball sitting on that chamber and you roll it just a little too far past the rammer until you get the "click", you can't back up to get under the rammer again. Sure I understand that. I should have qualified my position by the fact that I use a separate loading stand for the cylinders. I rarely use loading levers any more.

Like I said - I can't tell if the 1858 is supposed to be rammed after you click over the hand or not. My bet is that it is since all 4 of mine can ram after the click, and they range greatly in use and age.

April 17, 2014, 01:56 PM
I also use a separate loading stand for the cylinder on my 58. It's faster and more consistent.