View Full Version : I need to back off....

Doc Hoy
February 23, 2011, 05:28 AM
I have said several times on this forum that rotating the barrel in a 58 Remington is easy to do. I have based this statement on the fact that I have been able to remove, replace, or adjust the alignment of the barrel on Remingtons on numerous occassions. This includes both kit and finished pistols and it also includes revolvers on which I found locktite (or at least some foreign substance) on the threads of a removed barrel.


I have a Remington (the short barrel job I was fiddling with) on which the barrel would not budge.

In addition a fellow shooter and I were plotting a barrel swap in early March. He had occassion to take the pistols to a gunsmith who was not able to make the barrels move. The smith did not want to apply heat and neither would I when working with someone else's revolver.

So to those shooters who purchased a new revolver on which the barrel was not properly aligned, when I advised simply turning the barrel, I may have been giving bad advice. If it were my revolver I would carefully try, but very present in my mind would be the thought that the pistol would likely be taking a trip back to the vendor.

February 23, 2011, 12:12 PM

Your mention of improper barrel alignment brings to mind the infamous Pietta crooked barrel reports on the internet forums. Though in most cases it is easily remedied, there is always the possiblilty of complications. After calculating the added cost of shipping in the event of recieving one of these revolvers and the possiblity of voiding the warranty because of damaging the revolver while attempting to repair it myself, I was scared off from buying a Pietta. I had read numerous reports of people sending back revolvers because of misalignment of the barrel, only to recieve another with the same problem. Consideration of the added shipping costs back and forth scared me away even further. I wonder, did Pietta ever eliminate the problem? Or is buying one still like playing Roulette?

February 23, 2011, 12:33 PM
I got a 58 pietta about four weeks ago and the barrel is fine but i orderd mine from the local hardware store so who knows whare it came from

February 23, 2011, 02:06 PM
Doc, with my luck I'd probably later find out the reason why the barrel didn't rotate was because it was the first one anyone saw that had a spot weld put there specifically to raise ClemBert's blood pressure. :mad:

With a Cabelas purchase 1858 I'd definitely send it back on their dime and get a replacement...again, on their dime. Not even worth attempting a fix on your own. I'd say the same thing with any of the other retailers who had a similar liberal return/exchange policy.

You may want to change your wording from: "easy to do" to "usually easy to do but there is an occasional beotch that won't budge for anyone....even the Pietta factory gorilla".

Doc Hoy
February 23, 2011, 02:29 PM

In my entire life I have bought exactly three new finished revolvers. And only one was a Remington and the barrel of that pistol was fine. It was a 2010 Pietta 1863. All others were either previously owned or they were kits. I have attempted to change the position of the barrel on roughly a dozen Remingtons including two 1863 pockets as well as full size revolvers. I encountered only one stubborn barrel. (It was on the last Remington I worked on and it was absolutely locked in place.)

So my only experience with recently manufactured Pietta barrels being off is what I have read on the forum. In fact, I am not even certain that the problem is improper barrel installation rather than improper sight intallation. (But I think it is just that the barrel is not turned in tot he proper alignment.)

I can't answer the question about Pietta or whoever addressing the run of bad revolvers apart from assuming that Cabela's and other wronged distibuters applied pressure to Pietta to enhance their QC. I have no evidense of any kind that this happened. In fact, it is entirely possibly that Cabela's pays so little for these revolvers, that they don't even bother to go through the expense of having Pietta replace them rather than just sending out a new revolver. I doubt that Cabela's has them repaired but every word of the last two sentences was pure conjecture.

It would be helpful to know if anyone in the group got a bad revolver which they sent back.....did they get back the same revolver repaired or was it a new revolver to replace the dog?

To Kameron,

You are employing a valid strategy (IMNSHO). The pickins for BP revolvers around here is limited to Bass Proshop and I would never buy a revolver from them because their prices are WAY out of line.

February 23, 2011, 03:36 PM
A few weeks ago I got a pietta 1858 buffalo model and the barrel is spot on, perfect. Maybe spot welded on too because the barrel won't come off.

February 23, 2011, 05:28 PM
the price at the harware store was over priced i think i paid $50 more than at cabelas but the closest bass pro shop or cabelas is over 3 hr drive away so i sucked it up and paid extra but hell anyone who is crazy enuf to put a $275 converter in a $200 gun probably doesn't mind paying a little extra for the gun anyways but hey that just me:D

February 23, 2011, 08:14 PM
I don't have lots of experience - but the front sight problems I've seen on some guns - both Pietta and Uberti, were definitely not caused by poor installation of the sights. In both cases, the top flat of the barrel was dead on perpendicular to the axis of the sight - but the flats of the barrel were at an angle to the frame. In both cases, the flat was maybe 2° off perpendicular to the up and down axis of the frame. I could see the same off angle in the loading lever keeper post on the bottom flat. It was in line with the front sight, and perpendicular to the bottom barrel flat - but it was tilted off of alignment with the axis of the loading lever itself.

The result was that the front sight appeared to be bent to the left when viewed from the rear sight. The only fix for these that I can imagine would be turning the barrel enough to bring the axes of the sights into perpendicular.

edited to add - the Pietta was a new gun I saw at Cabelas - the Uberti was a second hand gun

Doc Hoy
February 23, 2011, 11:12 PM

This is the problem that was in my mind. And as others have said, if the barrel won't move, the most reasonable option is to send it back.

February 24, 2011, 08:52 AM
Doc - when you're able to do it, how do you turn the barrel?

I've read online that some guys are heating the frame to 350°F to accomplish this.

Doc Hoy
February 24, 2011, 11:32 AM
I have a vice mounted to a heavy bench and that vice is lined with some extremely dense ABS plastic. I take the revolver apart, Including removal of the cylinder pin. The vice I use for this operation is a cast iron wood worker's vice. I use this vice purposely because it is six inches across and this provides a lot of surface area to contact the barrel.

Then, with the barrel in the vice I turn the frame of the revolver. I make sure to hold the frame by the bulky area at the front of the frame. I never grip the frame by the web, nor the grip. I never use a bar through the web. If I have to get more leverage which has not happened yet, I will use a wooden clamp tightened onto the frame. I have never had to use liquid wrench on any revolver that the barrel came out of. On the one revolver which I could not disassemble, all of the liquid wrench in Chesapeake would not budge the barrel.

February 24, 2011, 03:24 PM
You're grasping the frame with your hand only?

Doc Hoy
February 24, 2011, 03:41 PM

When I was unable to get the frame to move on this short barrel revolver, I actually had a piece or steel round stock threaded through the web. I was getting ready to apply the force on the mechanical advantage but then stopped for a minute.

I thought about the frame twisting. I thought about a loud cracking noise.
I thought about the frame breaking and both me and the bar flying across the shop. Then I thought about just finishing the pistol with the barrel in place.

I have been able to remove any barrel I wanted to remove (all but the last one.) with only the pressure I could apply by hand.

Doc Hoy
February 24, 2011, 04:36 PM
I guess a person could put the pistol in the oven and heat it up. It would make it awful hard to handle and my guess is that the frame and barrel would cool substantially in getting the piece from the oven to the shop.

In the moments when I tought about the application of heat in an effort to free a part, I thought about the use of a heat gun. The air coming out of a heat gun can be quite hot, I have heard as high as twelve hundred degrees. I doubt it is as high as that but I know it is very very hot. If 350 degrees is somehow a magic number, then it is very likely that a heat gun could be used to heat up the frame of the revolver.

I am not recommending this to anyone else because I have never tried it myself. I do not know what the heat from a heat gun would do to a blued steel surface. I have used a heat gun to lightly warm the surface of metal to make the blueing process more effective. Beyond that I am just guessing.

February 24, 2011, 04:57 PM
What I read was on some forum - don't recall which - but the poster was saying that motor oil applied to the frame would start to smoke heavily when it reached 350°F under the flame of a propane torch - that being a safe temperature for preserving the integrity of the steel.

They suggested heating the frame - which would swell and the barrel would come out easily.

Can't comment as to what problems this could cause - only recalling here, what I've read elsewhere on the internet.

Clearly - if I ever need to do this I'll try your method first as it seems it poses the least threat to the gun itself.

February 24, 2011, 06:27 PM
Several years ago I had an email conversation with the late Tom Ball who accurized numerous Remingtons for the N/SSA competitors. He told me how to properly twist the barrel on my Pietta (barrel clamped in padded vise and use padded (toothless) monkey wrench on the frame near the barrel, index marks, etc.). He stated the Uberti barrels were epoxied in place and very difficult to turn but had the dovetailed front site unlike the Piettas with their peg type front sights. He was a generous man with his knowledge, skilled gunsmith and just getting into some Cowboy Action Shooting when he was killed in a car wreck a few months after my just getting to know him. A great guy.

Doc Hoy
February 25, 2011, 06:37 AM
This is good stuff.

I know that I will eventually encounter a revolver in which a wrench is necessary. In fact, in that last one I worked on, I probably already have.

February 25, 2011, 09:27 AM
Just a couple quick thoughts on this subject. I saw a show on TV some years back where they were installing a huge ball in a socket for an aircraft wing, they froze the ball part in liquid nitrogen and heated the socket part in an oven and were able to insert the ball in the socket that way, once the parts reached the same tempeture the ball expanded and the socket contracted to the point where the ball was able to move in the socket but not come out. Anyway I was thinking one could surround the barrel with dry-ice and heat the frame a little but not too much and it might be enough to remove the barrel that way.
In looking at a schematic for the Pietta 1858, the barrel has a shoulder where just ahead of the threaded round section that screws into the frame the flats begin. Isn't that flat section supposed to butt up against the flat section on the front of the frame? Backing the barrel off to align the sights would create a slight gap between the barrel flats and the frame. and also open up the barrel cylinder gap. I don't know how they align the barrels at the factory. Just some thoughts anyway.:)