View Full Version : 1851 Navy - stuck barrel

December 11, 2010, 06:32 PM
I finally got around to shooting my Pietta 1851 navy today, lots of fun! I am trying to clean it now but seem to be having trouble with the dis assembly. I removed the wedge with no problems, but when I pull on the barrel it slides forward about 99% of the way, but will not separate from the frame. What am I missing here?

Fingers McGee
December 11, 2010, 08:00 PM
You need to scle you picture down so it fit in a normal screen.

There is probably a burr on the arbor near the wedge cut. Pull the barrel while twisting it and it should come off. You may have a soft arbor the deforms when the pistol is shot. I had a '61 Navy that stretched the wedge slot on the arbor.

December 11, 2010, 08:09 PM
There are probably several things you can try . . . and they are just suggestions. First, since you've fired it and therre will be some fouling, try shooting a little penetrating oil, WE40 or similar around the cylincer pin where it enters the barrel assembly. Let is set and see if you can't slide the barrel back and forth on the pin and get it off. If that doesn't work, once you have it pulled off as far as you can, measure between the face of the cylinder and the barrel assembly where the loading lever is. Cut a small piece of hardwoon approx. that size and slide it in on the face of the cylinder and slowly pull down on the loading lever and see if that won't push the barrel off the rest of the way. I've had a number of '51 Navies - different brands - and sometimes, when they are new you might have a problem like this. One time, I had a heck of a time getting my barrel off and once I did, I discovered a slight burr where the wedge slot had been cut in the cylinder pin. A couple of swipes with a sharpening stone took carre of that. If it gives you a continued problem, you may try a little emery paper and some oil and carefully polish the end of the cylinder pin where the slot is. It probably won't take much. I'm not sure how much BP revolver shooting you've done so will go ahead and tell you anyway that one of the usual ways of pushing a barrel off is to turn the cylinder so your loading ram sits on the web between cylinders. You can then (after the wedge is out obviously) gently pull down on the loading lever and usually it will push the barrel off of the cylinder pin. Those are just a couple of suggestions and I'm sure others will chime in here as well. If all else fails . . . swear at it . . . a lot! That usually works pretty good. Good luck to you and I hope you had a lot of fun shooting it! Best regards! :)

December 11, 2010, 10:21 PM
I took the liberty of downsizing the photo so that everyone can view it.


December 12, 2010, 01:11 AM
If I have a stiff barrel I usually put a popsicle stick or piece of cardboard on the web of the cylinder so the rammer doesn't mar it when I lever off the barrel. Just be sure the wedge is the heck out of the way. I've grunted on a few and then realized the tip of the wedge was jamming the arbor.

Foto Joe
December 12, 2010, 08:58 AM
Hopefully you've gotten it solved by now and I agree that you might have a burr but hopefully it's not on the wedge slot in the barrel. I found out the hard way that if that wedge loosens up, you can peen the slot in the barrel. When you try to pull the barrel the peened area slips into the slot in the arbor like a key and you're in for a fight.

How much powder were you using in your loads, just out of curiosity?

December 12, 2010, 09:55 AM
Sorry guys, I posted that from my cell phone last night and did not realize that the picture was so large. I removed it, many thanks to the user that resized for me.

I managed to get it off last night, just muscled it a little more than I was willing to do before posting and it slid right off. I have not reassembled it yet, but hopefully all is ok. I did not see any signs of burrs, but the wedge was very loose when I went to take it down. I had expected it to be a pain, but it slid right out. Hopefully the slot in the barrel has not peened.

I shot 12 @ 15 grains pyrodex pistol, and 12# 20 grains. I had hoped to shoot more than that but I was a little concerned as I forgot to take grits or some other filler with me. At 20 grains, when I seated the ball back against the powder there was quite a bit of room in the cylinder ahead of the ball. I sealed off using a borebutter mixture (thanks Doc) but seemed that I had t use a ton of it to fill the space - and making a big mess. Next time I'll use some filler so that I dont have to use as much bore butter.

With pyrodex I am supposed to seat the ball against the charge right - 777 is the product that should not be compressed if my memory serves me?

Doc Hoy
December 12, 2010, 10:01 AM
On the three pistols in which I had difficulty such as you describe, I was not able to see the burr. I went to town on the end of the arbor with some sandpaper and that always cure the ailment.

In fact I am experiencing it again on the ASM1860 brass frame Colt I am working on. I try the barrel, then work on the arbor a little. Try the barrel again and work on the arbor repeating process probably ten times until the barrel goes on and off easy.

What I am trying to add to this post which has been ably answered already is that you may not notice any burrs. I think it really isn't a burr but a raised area on the arbor and as Fingers says it is likely near the wedge cut.

I would not use a file but that is because I am not much good with a file. Sandpaper wrapped around a file is a different story. As well, I keep some long sandpaper ribbon like you use on a 1 inch belt sander around and I used that like buffing a shoe. I am using 60 grit on the 1860 but as I have said I am going slowly and testing the fit often.

December 12, 2010, 10:26 AM
I had t use a ton of it to fill the space

You don't need to completely fill the space. Just cover the balls.

December 12, 2010, 02:24 PM
Take a black magic marker (sharpie) to the end of the arbor (i.e. paint it black) then put it in and take it off. The ink will get scraped off the contact points. Sand those down just a smidge. The pin is case hardened so it is slow but just keep repeating the process til you get the high spots down enough.

December 12, 2010, 03:34 PM
The pin is case hardened so it is slow
Case hardened? Really? I don't think so.