View Full Version : How things are supposed to fit...

February 19, 2011, 01:37 AM
On an 1860 Army (.44) should there be any play or "wiggle room" with the cylinder when the hammer is fully forward and uncocked? Or should the nipples be in slight contact with the hammer (and therefore no play in the cylinder)? Thanks.

February 19, 2011, 07:25 AM
In perfect alignment there should be a very small amount of endshake and the hammer should not touch the nipple ends.

Perfect alignment is a very elusive goal.

February 19, 2011, 05:12 PM
If there is a gap between nipple and hammer (more than what I think should be) would it be a bad idea to loosen the nipple by a 1/2 turn?

February 19, 2011, 05:26 PM
If it shoots every time don't mess with it. I wouldn't loosen a nipple by that much anyway.

February 19, 2011, 05:44 PM
It wasn't shooting on all cylinders. Maybe 1 or 2 out of 6 if i was lucky. I have since replaced the badly corroded and damaged nipples with new ones. This has helped considerably but now I am getting 4 or 5 out of 6. Much better but I am still getting light strikes. I see that if I loosen the nipple ever so slightly it makes the hammer hit it more square = more consistent. But if that's a big no-no I will have to find another way.

February 19, 2011, 06:11 PM
I'd be concerned about them backing out further during use. You could put a shim under them.

February 19, 2011, 08:07 PM
Yep. +1 to what Hawg said. Small washers under the offending nipples, then snug them down firm (NOT tight).

They do make longer nipples, but none of the sutlers publish the data in their catalogs. I've got some measurements for the more popular thread sizes - what did you install and maybe I can suggest some longer ones.

February 19, 2011, 08:36 PM
If the strikes are just light then maybe a wrap of teflon tape around the threads will make them able to be left a little undone without coming loose.
I don't know how easy it is to shim such a small amount.
Brass washers can be shaved pretty thin, but if only a partial turn of a thread is required then teflon tape just may do the trick.
It would also be easy to temporarily make a shim using masking tape.
Stick the threaded end of each of the nipples through a small hole in the masking tape and let it stick to the flat nipple seating surface.
Then either trim or fold the excess tape inward onto the flat nipple base as needed to build up a temporary shim height that works.
Easy on, easy off and an easy to replace shim to fractionally raise the height of the nipple.
Replaceable temporary masking tape shims should work fine until slightly longer nipples can be located.

Foto Joe
February 19, 2011, 09:03 PM
All due respect to mykeal & arcticap but...

If you've already replaced the nipples I have to ask, have you pulled the action apart and cleaned it thoroughly? A small cap fragment could be down in the works just barely blocking a complete hammer drop.

Just a thought.

February 19, 2011, 09:35 PM
If there are no cap frags in the hammer cutout here's how I have shimmed quite a few nipples that were too short:
Take soft steel, bronze or copper wire and wrap it around and around a nail, screw or drill rod to create what looks like a coiled spring (about 10 wraps). Take wire cutters or tin snips and cut the "spring" length wise. This will make a bunch of open circle wires that look like little lock washers. Then either use them as is by putting them around the shank of the nipple and seat the nip into the cylinder or if the wire is too thick then gently pound them flatter with a small hammer on an anvil (vise) or flat sheet of metal. I typically use small soft bailing wire but copper works ok if you flatten it. Using it as is will likely result in a loose nipple if the copper gets flattened by repeated hammer blows to the nipple. Remember to put anti-seize lube on the nipple threads once you get the right fit and snug them in. I almost never take the nipples out again unless I'm having problems again.
It only takes a few thousandths of thickness to get reliable ignition from the shim so I pretty much hammer all the shims flat. They open up in diameter when you do that too. Once you've done a few it's a piece of cake.

February 19, 2011, 09:41 PM
That's a great idea. :)
There are a many thin to ultra thin copper and aluminum wires that can be found in broken electronic items like old TV's, computer monitors, radios etc...

February 19, 2011, 11:21 PM
Hellgate -

Marvelous! I used to know that trick and forgotten it completely. It was taught to me by my instrument flight instructor, a WWII Navy command and instructor pilot who made his points by pounding on the panel. Saved my life a couple of times.

Thanks for posting that. I got to recall a valuable lesson and an old friend, two things I shouldn't have forgotten.

February 20, 2011, 02:21 AM
mykeal - the new nipples were purchased from midwayUSA.com and are the factory replacement Uberti nipples for the 1860. I'm fairly certain the thread is 1/2 X 28, although it does not say. The link to the exact product: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=269654

Foto - Yes I am 100% positive that it is not from cap debris. I have pulled it apart and cleaned, inspected, etc. several times, and that was just in the last day or so.

Hellgate - I've got some small gauge guitar strings, would that work? They are plain steel, not sure how soft they are. If that's a no-go I might have to go scrounging for some small gauge copper wiring.

Looks like I've got some ideas to mess around with. I'd like to get to an end result that allows me to get reliable and consistent ignition while not being out-of-spec. I'm hoping both can be achieved but if not I will probably do what makes it work right.

February 20, 2011, 08:48 AM
I would remove a small amount of material from the inside of the hammer were it contacts the frame, you could remove from the frame also. This well allow the hammer to move further forward. A few thousandth of an inch is all that's needed. I've done this on one or two revolvers.

Rebel Dave
February 20, 2011, 11:49 AM
Why not just put a set of Treso-Ampco, good quality niples in it and be done with it. Ampco nipples Last a lot longer, give better ignition, have less blow back problems, and are longer than Uberti nipples.
They are available from "The possibles Shop", and "Track of the Wolf". I believe the thread size on Uberti nipples is M6x.75, for a Remington.
Rebel Dave

February 20, 2011, 11:58 AM
What Rebel Dave said. If the hammer does not fire the caps on the TRESOs then I'd invest in a new hammer.

February 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
I'd follow MCB's advice and remove some metal from inside the hammer. I wouldn't touch the frame tho.

February 20, 2011, 12:08 PM
+1 As Hawg said.

Always work on the leat expensive part.

February 20, 2011, 04:07 PM
Guitar strings are pretty hard steel although still useful: I take a short length (about 3"), twist one end into a small loop, solder it to stay and there you have a nice nipple pick! You can scrounge for softer wire or go to a hardware store or maybe even a hobby shop and you'll find small blister packs on a rack of varying gauges of copper and brass wire. House wire is too thick. I would guess that about half of my C&Bs have one or more shimmed nipples. If you shave off the hammer curve you will likely start getting the face of the hammer battered on the higher nipples and that can cause sharp edges along the safety notch that might start lifting caps off the nipples after firing. Also you can fill in that safety notch with JB Weld and that will prevent cap lifting too.

Fingers McGee
February 20, 2011, 08:50 PM
Sometimes, when the maufacturer stakes the arbor or arbor retaining pin in the frame they cause a small raised point in the hammer channel that will keep the hammer from going all the way forward. Look at the hammer and see if there is a small imprint of a burr on it. If so, lightly file or stone the burr in the hammer channel of the frame. That little indistinguishable burr will cause one or maore caps to fail to fire. I've had that problem on a couple Piettas, and Ubertis in the past.