View Full Version : Care and cleaning questions

January 19, 2011, 12:59 PM
First off, thanks to you all for the great information in this thread. I just became a proud owner of a 1860 Army and since this is all new to me. One question in regards to rust prevention: I got my gun used and to be honest it wasnt very well taken care of. There is rust in the cylinder chambers and in the barrel. Also some minor rusting on the barrel assembly as well. As such I am pretty worried about making sure it doesn't get any worse. I have gotten as much rust and gunk off as possible with petro-based cleaners. But now that I am ready to begin shooting it I have cleaned it thoroughly with dish soap and hot water (all traces of petro-based stuff is gone). I have Crisco and canola oil available to me to use.

Are the natural oils like Crisco and canola oil going to prevent rust in between times when I am shooting? I hear mumbling that its not so good in that department but would like to hear from you guys that know.

Also would you advise completely breaking down the revolver (including the frame, grip, and trigger assemblies) and cleaning it after every outing? Or just the barrel, cylinder, and frame with occasional complete clean?

One more thing -- any one have a clue what the specs are for the replacement nipples? Its an ASM 1860, Hartford Model. From the limited information online they may be 6 x 1mm. If someone knows for certain that would be great.


January 19, 2011, 01:04 PM
Ballistol is your best friend in this application.

January 19, 2011, 09:54 PM
I have one of those Hartford Models. Mine is by ASM (Armi San Marco). If your is an ASM, it takes the 12X28 nipple threads. If a Pietta then it takes the 6X.75 nipple threads. The replacement nipples I put in mine were for the Ruger Old Army which also has the 12X28 thread on the nipples.

You said:
"Also would you advise completely breaking down the revolver (including the frame, grip, and trigger assemblies) and cleaning it after every outing? Or just the barrel, cylinder, and frame with occasional complete clean?"
Answer: Clean frame, barrel & cylinder and then give the innards an annual bath. I have a '61Navy that I could not get apart for YEARS so all I could do was knock it apart and clean the 3 big parts. So I sprayed WD-40 down into the frame, up behind the trigger, etc. After about 5 years and finally getting a house with a shop vise I got the danged trigger spring screw out and lo & behold the entire inside was full of a black mush, a few cap fragments and NO RUST whatsoever! Since then, I don't get excited about cleaning all the internals unless there's a problem.

With a minimum of jiggling I can get the LEE 200gr conical into my 1860 ASM (no can do with a Pietta). With 20-25grs FFFg it is an extremely accurate load.

Doc Hoy
January 19, 2011, 10:19 PM
Hellgate has some great info on nipples.

I have pretty good success with keeping revolver surfaces in good condition by washing them up EXTENSIVELY after each outing. I take the pistols down to parade rest every time I shoot them. Nipples come out and everything. I am probably over the top on cleaning but it is something I enjoy doing so what the heck?!

I use Crisco..... (Actually a generic equivalent because I am so tight I squeek. I squeeze a nickel until the buffalo poops. I am so tight my friends think I don't carry a wallet. I am so tight the homeless guy down the street gives me his change. I am so tight I send my cat over to the neighbors to eat. I am so tight both of my sons moved to Washington State to get away from me. Cavemen painted my image on cave walls with arrows stuck through me. I am so tight, I push my truck to work.)....and wax rings from under toilets at about half and half for bore lube and then rem oil for a protectant between shooting sessions. I douch it down pretty good with rem oil and wipe it with a cloth. But before I put it back together it is as clean as the day it was made.

I don't own a pistol with any rust and I don't own a pistol I can't get the nipples out of.

January 19, 2011, 10:22 PM
Yeah, but isn't removing the toilet to get the wax ring out every time you go shooting getting a bit tiring?

Doc Hoy
January 19, 2011, 10:28 PM
BTW...Congrats on the revolver.

and good job choosing a used one.

I could look at a million photographs of 1860 Colt revolvers and when someone showed me the million and first photo, I would still say, "Dang, Thats a purdy pistol."

Doc Hoy
January 19, 2011, 10:49 PM
I have changed out the bolts with ones that are shaped like a nipple. I use a nipple wrench to get them out. That keeps me close to the cap and ball way of life. It is the only way I can stand the smell.

January 20, 2011, 02:35 AM
Actually the pistol was given to me quite unexpectedly. He knew I was looking for an "old west" gun and he happened to have one that he knew I could take better care of. Nice gesture! But he was sure right. It has some pretty bad rust/pitting in the cylinder chambers and the bore. I don't think it got cleaned much after shooting (maybe a squirt of 409?). But its in good hands now at least I am trying. I am new to the black powder world so I have been doing a lot of reading here in this part of the forums, its good to have. I do think despite its flaws that it is a darned good looking firearm. The bluing isn't so blue (gunmetal gray!) and the walnut grips are dinged: but the action and timing are perfect. I just like holding it.

I think I am going to want to clean every part like an OCD freak, I just don't want screws to loosen up from constant taking out and putting in. I was thinking about getting a new set of screws that aren't so muffed up from previous improperly sized screwdrivers.

@Hellgate, I appreciate the info on the nipple size. It is made my ASM, and it does say "Hartford, CT Model" -- so I am going to have to believe that its the same as yours. I wish it had the German silver trigger guard like I have seen in some pictures (mine is plain old brass). Any advice on nipple replacements? I see all sorts of stainless steels and special alloys as well as different designs... anything to stay away from?

Thanks again guys.

PS: Doc you are a pretty tight fella!