View Full Version : 1860 Army revolver issue

January 23, 2012, 12:21 PM
In my 1860 Army (and also my 1851 Navy), the cylinder bolt comes up too late in the cycle and engages the cylinder locking slot right before it should be dropping into the slot. This is peening a small amount of metal off into the slot and narrowing it. The bolt should come up sooner and engage the cylinder on the lead-in ramp and slide down to, and then drop in, the slot. Right? This would distribute the force of the impact across the entire surface of the bolt head, rather than just on the trailing edge and the soft edge of the cylinder slot. Here's a pic of what it is doing.
My assumption is that the bolt leg is a bit too long and doesn't drop over the hammer cam soon enough. I need for the bolt to pop up earlier in the cycle and hit the ramp instead of right on the edge of the slot. (The 3 clicks heard when cocking should be even spaced, not clicks 2 and 3 right close together)

So this dimension should be slightly shortened in this pic.

The leg rides on top of this cam on the hammer and should drop off about 3/4 of the way to full cock for the bolt to jump up properly and be "waiting" for the cylinder slot to spin into alignment. (I'm guessing at this)

And these dimensions do not affect timing (I'm assuming)

If you are familiar with this type of black powder revolver and have adjusted the timing, any advice would be welcomed. I have never had this one apart before and didn't want to start "test filing" on parts if I don't have to.

James K
January 23, 2012, 02:49 PM
Yes, you can and should adjust that timing, but another problem is that the bolt spring is too strong or the bolt wouldn't peen the cylinder like that. Either slim down and feather the bolt side of the spring or replace it with one of the wire springs that will not have as much tension.


January 24, 2012, 01:36 AM
That fixed it. Thank you. Also, I backed off on the screw that holds the bolt/trigger spring 1/2 turn. It sounds much softer now when it pops up. I'll get a wire spring soon though. I was a bit hesitant to get one because they come with a warning that it may result in very soft trigger pulls.

James K
January 25, 2012, 09:41 PM
Long before there were wire springs, I used to feather bolt springs (taper them down with a small grinder) to reduce that gouging. Get the tension down to about that of an S&W cylinder stop and that problem should cease.