View Full Version : 1847 Walker just arrived!

Ben Towe
January 31, 2011, 08:10 PM
I have a few questions about it. When I got it the action was extremely tight. We took it apart and wiped a bit of grease away and put it back together and it was smooth. When I got it home I broke it back apart to wipe some more packing grease away and when I put it back together it was tight again. I again tore it down and put it back and it still was too tight. After a couple more tear downs it was smooth again. Am I doing something wrong, or is it the excessive grease? It seems that if it was a quality problem it would not come and go upon assembly and disassembly.

I also would like to know what the minimum safe powder charge is? I'm afraid of going too light for fear the load lever will not seat the ball against the charge, but I like to work up to heavier loads. Also I bought a can of Triple Seven powder which I understand is somewhat more powerful than black powder or Pyrodex so I don't want to get too over zealous. And the final question; will .451 balls work or are the recommended .454 absolutely necessary? The reason I ask is I have 100 .451 balls. Any other advice will be greatly appreciated.

January 31, 2011, 11:01 PM
You might be getting the wedge in too far. When the cyl is too tight, try backing it out a bit..(Rawhide hammer works great).
Can't speak to the 777 load, but I regularly run 40gr 3f with no problem..
As much as 50 gr 3f a couple of times... Whoo-eee, what fun...
For plinking loads, I'd try 30 gr 777, nearly fill cylinder with COW, then your ball.
As to ball diameter, try the .451, Hopefully you'll shave a slight lead ring off it.
If not, it's likely too small...then you'll know you need the .454.
The problem with a too loose of a ball, is that under recoil, the remaining balls may move forward..
With a 10 or 20 gr load, I don't see that as much of a problem. (especially in a 4.5 lb Walker)..Just be aware, the first time you try it.
As for minimum safe load, there ain't one, as long as there is no air gap between the powder and ball.. Hence the COW or grits as filler.
I run 10 gr 3f in my '51, fill with Grape nuts, (no ball,) cap with beeswax plug, an go hunting yellow jackets...Impresses the heck out of folks when you
shoot hornets etc on the wing with a pistol...NO fouling in the barrel,

Ben Towe
January 31, 2011, 11:12 PM
Thanks Razor.

February 1, 2011, 12:07 AM
I'd also check the arbor hole in the barrel, make sure it's not partially blocked by grease or grit which could effect how easily the wedge goes in.

A bad fit in that hole could cause intermittent problems I think.

If you take out the cylinder and put the barrel back on without the cylinder and the barrel cocked off to the side a bit you can make sure it bottoms out at the right spot where the barrel bottom connects with the lower frame.

...er hope that makes sense, reading it back it could be fuzzy..

If going with the .451's I would make sure to put a dab of bore butter or crisco over the balls once seated so they don't move forward during recoil...had that problem on my Navy with .375's..its a frustrating way to jam up the gun.

Ben Towe
February 1, 2011, 12:22 AM
Razor, after playing with the barrel wedge I find that it does in fact cause binding/tightness if pushed in too far so I believe that was indeed the problem. Kadmos, I bought some Bore Butter today to use over the balls since I wasn't able to find wads to use between the ball and powder. Can anyone recommend a good place to order lubed wads since no one appears to carry them in this area?

February 1, 2011, 01:09 AM

I don't know if it's the best place to order, or not; but I ordered Cabela's dry lubed wads at the same time I ordered my pistols. They work just fine for me. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Black-Powder/Powder-Caps|/pc/104792580/c/104701680/sc/104511780/Cabelas-Black-Powder-Pistol-Wads/706908.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fshooting-black-powder-powder-caps%2F_%2FN-1100203%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104511780%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253Bcat104792580%253Bcat104701680&WTz_l=SBC%3Bcat104792580%3Bcat104701680%3Bcat104511780

Doc Hoy
February 1, 2011, 05:19 AM
I have never used wads including in my Walker. But I am going to start.

I stayed away from wads because I did not see the gain given the expense. But then two things happened.

1) Conversations on this forum convinced me that it may be a good idea at least to give wads a try.

2) Conversations on this forum enlightened me as to how to make wads, cutting the cost by a factor of probably ten.

I use my own lube. I cut a swatch of 100% wool felt from a hat (from a thrift shop), Soak the swatch in the hot lube. Use a punch to cut the wads.

When I begin using wads I will likely continue to schmootz the chambers over the balls with lube. At least until I am comfortable w/ the wads.

I use .454 molded balls which actually measure at a little larger than the mold size.

Here is a shout - out to "Razor740" for answering your question.

Ben Towe
February 1, 2011, 05:58 AM
Doc, not at all, I thank you for all advice. What do you use to cut your wads? And what are you using for lube? This is only my second cap and ball revolver, and I only shot the first one a couple of times, so please forgive my ignorance. It was a Spanish built replica and the quality was terrible, so I was a bit afraid of it.

Doc Hoy
February 1, 2011, 06:23 AM
This really takes the thread in a different direction so I will answer by PM.

I know there are many here who will want to continue with tht thread on its original track.

February 1, 2011, 02:15 PM
I had the same issue a while ago with me 3rd model dragoon, and after some tinkering i found that the wedge pin was in too far. it took a while for me to get it just right but that did the trick. As for the 777 powder, i havent live fired it too much mostly just blanks, but I found that the 777 wasnt really all it was cracked up to be so i just use goes 3f powder. However im not too sure which is better when it comes to live firing.

February 1, 2011, 04:28 PM
You need to adjust the arbor length so the wedge is not pulling the barrel into the cylinder. The wedge is supposed to hold the barrel on, not adjust the gap. Read this article for instructions on how to correct this condition.


Doc Hoy
February 1, 2011, 04:41 PM
Guys and especially Razor.

It came to me attention that I used a term that was not understood.

I used the term "Shout Out" saying something like, "lets give a shout out to Razor...".

A shout out is a cheer. I think it was great that he answered Ben's question with what was IMNSHO a lucid, accurate and comprehensible way.

This is a term that my wife uses all of the time. You have to understand that my wife is African American so, without my knowing it, I am speaking ebonics.

Hope it did not create any confusion.

February 1, 2011, 04:44 PM
Heheh, you're not speaking ebonics, Doc, you're just hip. My nephews and nieces have been shouting out for quite a while. They also give props - as in "Massive props to Razor."

Doc Hoy
February 1, 2011, 05:00 PM

Gag me with a spoon!

Fingers McGee
February 1, 2011, 07:36 PM
Can anyone recommend a good place to order lubed wads since no one appears to carry them in this area?

A good source for lubed wads is Buffalo Arms: http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,5525.html About half the price of Ox Yoke wads and a lot less than Cabelas.


Gag me with a spoon!

when did you become a surfer dude, dude?

February 1, 2011, 09:31 PM
I would really, really, REALLY not recommend filling the chambers with 777 and a ball and shooting it. I have heard from a reliable source a few years back how a fellow loaded up his Walker with 777 and sent the barrel assembly downrange. The gun came apart at the wedge cutout leaving him holding a funny looking pepperbox.
In one range session (first CAS match with them) I managed to crush the wedges in my two Uberti Walkers by shooting the match with 50grs FFFg+wad+ball. By the end of the match I was thinking, "Wow, these things really blast out the flam, smoke & noise!" but I was just getting more & more flame out the gam. Fortunately, I was able to get new wedges and my sudden large cylinder gap was corrected. My recommended load: 40grs of FFg + lube wad+ .454 ball + over ball lube. It'll shoot all day with that load.
This is gonna sound like a public service announcement for STDs: if your balls are too small you will get "ball creep". i.e. they will migrate forward in the chamber and jam the cylinder rotation. Immediate solution is to shove the ball deeper with your finger, long term solution is get bigger balls.

Ben Towe
February 1, 2011, 11:00 PM
Hellgate, your post reminded me; this Walker has the tightest cylinder to barrel gap I've ever seen on a revolver. It won't even let light through, which is good but fouling may cause an issue.

February 2, 2011, 12:19 AM
After I clean my Walkers as I reassemble them I put a folded piece of typing paper (.0035" X2=.007" thick once folded) between the cylinder & barrel and tap in the wedge til it grabs the paper. That is my "feeler gauge" for setting the gap to .007". You can also just go to a copy/print shop and buy paper of .007" thickness and cut it into strips for the same use. None of my guns have the arbor properly adjusted so I set my gaps with the wedge. Not Kosher but has worked for me for years. I used to eyeball the gap and it ended up being about .007 anyway which gave me just enough gap to avoid fouling on the cylinder face that would cause dragging. That how I set all my Colts after cleaning & oiling (9 of them).

February 2, 2011, 11:45 AM
Guys: Read Pettifogger's articles about setting up a black powder revolver.

If driving the wedge in cause the cylinder to bind then you have a classic example of the Uberti short arbor. The Arbor should bottom out in the barrel at exactly the same time the base of the barrel contacts the frame of the revolver. It this relationship is correct then the gap will be correct and no undue pressure will be placed on the wedge. If it is not corrected and you shoot a lot then the wedge will be battered, the gap will close and the barrel will be pointing upward from the centerline of the gun.
It is an easy fix but must be done if you intend to shoot the gun a lot.

February 2, 2011, 12:30 PM
See post #11:D

February 2, 2011, 02:59 PM
Missed your post. Right ON!

Doctor H
August 24, 2012, 05:36 PM
I am new to black powder shooting and just received my Ubertic 1847 Walker---as noted on your posts, the wedge pi can be a bear to get back in. Despite no obvious obstructions in the arbor, the wedge pin tends to want to go sideways, thereby hanging up when it is reinserted. I purchased a rubber/plastic head hammer that gets the job done but it can still be tough and I do not wish to smash the dickens out of it. Can the pin be filed to decrease its width or does it need to totally penetrate through the other side? Not sure how to proceed?

August 24, 2012, 06:09 PM
Dr. H,
I've never had problems getting the wedge back in. Keep in mind the Walker wedge goes in the opposite side from all the other common Colts so be sure it is going in the proper side. No offense intended it you are already well aware of this.

August 24, 2012, 06:44 PM
It does not NEED to all the way through to the other side. What it needs to do is firmly hold the barrel assembly on the cylinder arbor and frame.

August 24, 2012, 07:28 PM
At the risk of "mooching" a bit, since I shoot smokeless, does anyone know if this issue is the same for 1872 open tops? I bought mine from Cimarron and paid the folks in Fredericksburg extra to tune them up for me. The guns shot very well, right out of the box and I was very pleased with Cimarron's service - have three other Cimarrons and all seem flawless. But I didn't know about the short arbor issue or I'd have asked them to make sure it is not a problem.

Thanks to Junkman for the PDF link and to Hellgate for the folded-paper gap gauge.

August 24, 2012, 07:32 PM
Pictures? Please?

Doctor H
August 24, 2012, 08:16 PM
Thanks Hellgate and mykeal---I just want to take this slowly. I really love this piece! I compared it to my 1860 Army and the size differential is truly amazing. I will double check everything, like the direction of entry---you just never know.

August 24, 2012, 09:36 PM
I'm with Doc Hoy on the felt wad issue. I have shot percussion revolvers for 16 years and always thought that felt wads were for people who wanted to spend money...
I usually used cream of wheat or nothing, and smothered crisco over the ball to help with fouling. After seeing the post on home-made wads, I just bought the felt and beeswax to make them on the cheap.

I do believe that this is the first time I've heard of shooting wasps with a pistol! Well done. I did once shoot a wasp's nest with a full chamber of powder and no ball. Big black spot on the roof of the shade canopy, and no nest remaining...

As mentioned in a previous post, there is a wealth of info on cap n ball revolver shooting/tuning here and on other forums.

August 25, 2012, 12:48 AM
Thumbs up on the wedge being installed too tightly.


August 26, 2012, 12:35 AM
On my Pistols I cut round Shim from machinist shimstock or you can use feeler gauges for shimstock. This puts an end to the arbor dilemma and you can adjust as fine as you want.

Doctor H
August 27, 2012, 12:37 PM
Regarding the tight wedge issue [again]---I double checked that I was inserting the wedge from the right side, which I was, and I also did some minimal lubing to the wedge to ease the fit. Bottom line, it was still tough to insert.

I then fully removed the wedge and looked into the arbor---again remembering I am new to black powder guns, I noticed that there appeared to be two protrusions into the rectangular arbor: they are likely circular in cross section, and looking in from the right side of the Walker, the closer one is on the right, the one on the far side is on the left.

My suspicion (please correct me if you know) is, if these are not flaws, that these help to align the wedge when reinserted. However, I watched a "YouTube" video of cleaning/reassembling the Walker and the young man in the video reinserted the wedge with thumb, not plastic hammer, pressure.

I have e-mailed Cabelas on this but would like you input---perhaps time, and wear will make insertion easier but I just want to insure this is not a flaw.

Thanks much and I have really appreciated the help.

Doc Hoy
August 27, 2012, 12:38 PM
A photo would be helpful here.

August 27, 2012, 05:57 PM
When I bought my first Uberti Dragoon I noticed that most all the Dragoons the man had in the case had the same problem with the wedge you could take your finger and push the wedges back and forth. I went on and got the one I wanted anyway and after firing a couple cylinders full it went to working like it should. I tried to show the guy in the store what was causing the problem that the wedge was almost bottomed out and the cylinders were hard to turn when you pulled the hammer back. I think he was more in to getting them sold than lessing to me. I mean what the heck do I know. :(