View Full Version : loosy goosy

January 6, 2013, 12:02 AM
I'm bugging you guys because although I have maybe 2 years worth of componants and rimfires I thought I'd supplement with BP C&B stuff.

My current question has to do with a Uberti 51 with a loose (arbor?) cylinder thingy that is loose.....Anyone work on these problems?

Doc Hoy
January 6, 2013, 08:15 AM
I don't envy you.

There are several ways to remedy the situation and the chosen method IMO is unque to the actual situation which may be different depending upon how the arbor is held in place in the frame and upon how loose the arbor is.

You will likely get several responses from people who have been successful at tightening up the arbor. Silver solder, Drill the frame and tap the hole for a set screw. I personally had success in just taking a center punch and tapping the little pin which (on my problem child) held the arbor in place.

You might be well advised to carefully consider each of the methods that folks decscribe to you. Then decide on the best option considering a) the actual situation in your revolver, b) your level of skill, c) the tools and materials available to you, d) whether there is enough money in your account to pay a gunsmith. (If you take it to a gunsmith, I would be very careful to tell him that you want the finished revolver to be as strong or stronger than it was when it was new. If he won't commit to that requirement you may be wasting your money and time.)

My recommendation is that at least on that revolver, stop loading with the onboard loading lever and start using a press. (Forgive my presumptuousness if you are already doing that.) This IMO reduces significantly the stress you will put on the arbor.

January 6, 2013, 09:22 AM
Thanks Doc, I don't use the shooter for anything but display. My brother-in-law made me a period looking case out of birds eye maple. Great looking, but would love to start shooting it again. Where exactly is that pin located?

Doc Hoy
January 6, 2013, 10:38 AM
....hold the pistol up with the hammer cocked as though you were aiming it.

Now if you look closer at the back of the frame just forward of the wrist of the hammer you are very likely looking at the back of the arbor as it comes through the frame (Some revolvers are designed that the hole for the arbor does not go all the way through the frame.)

If you can see the end of the arbor, (It should form a circular pattern in the frame.) look very closely at about the twelve o'clock position on that little circular pattern which is the end of the arbor. If your arbor is pinned as I am describing, the pin will be something less than 1/8 inch in diameter and it is driven into the frame in the same orientation as the arbor. The best way to understand it is that it acts like a woodruff key on a shaft. Its design is to keep the arbor from turning out of the frame. But the damage which generally causes the arbor to become loose is that the threads on the arbor and in the frame fail. They essentially sheer off at least partially. This is especially true of brass frame revolvers with loose arbors.

If you have a good drill press and if the frame is steel, you can fairly easily drill the pin with a larger hole and just force a replacement pin into the new hole. Three problems with this method:

1. The drill bit can wander off of the existing pin and consequently the new hole does not properly engage both the frame and the arbor. This is especially true in brass frames because the brass is much softer than the steel of the arbor. Drill it slow, use cutting oil, keep and eye on it. As an alternative you can drill a completely new hole and just leave the existing pin alone. Still you have to be careful about the location of the hole. Also you have to be careful about the size of the hole. You are looking at an "interference fit" and these are finnicky.

2. It is very difficult to hold the frame in a drill press vice or jig because there are not many parallel surfaces to clamp onto.

3. The location and alignment of the arbor is relatively critical to proper operation of the pistol. If you fix the arbor but don't ensure good positioning, either the gap can be thrown off or the cycling of the pistol can be loose or tight. To remedy this, take the cylinder out of the revolver but put the barrel back on. Here you are using the barrel to support the end of the arbor and hold it in correct alignment.

Since it is just a wall hanger, I think I would simply leave it alone.

January 6, 2013, 11:49 AM
Great advice Doc. Maybe it should become a sticky. Both Uberti and Pietta steel frame 1851's can be had for less than $ 250, less than $ 200 if you wait for a sale. Re-doing the arbor pin could take a lot of time and not produce the results desired. Taking it to a gunsmith is likely a minimum $ 150 experience. My gunsmith charges $ 90 an hour.

January 6, 2013, 12:05 PM
Well I have an Email into a smith that might do this type of thing. That being said Doc, I've located all the stuff you mentioned. Can disassembly and padded chucked in a vise while peening the eentsy teentsy pin work?


Doc Hoy
January 6, 2013, 01:32 PM
I would clamp the arbor itself in the vise and position it such that the recoil sheild is resting on the jaws of the vise. I would pad the top of the vise jaws such that the recoil shield does not come into contact with the metal jaws of the vise.

The guy who did that case knows what he is doing.

Doc Hoy
January 6, 2013, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the compliment but we really should wait for others to wade in with their solutions and techniques.

There are a lot good ones out there and mine may not be the best option.

Doc Hoy
January 6, 2013, 01:41 PM
The revolver in the photo appears to be one of the 2nd or 3rd generation replicas.

That revolver enjoys a bit higher station than an Uberti. Means it is worth more money in good condition.

It has a turn ring and of course there is the arbor problem but this revolver may still be worth the investment of a hundred bucks to tighten it up.

January 6, 2013, 02:26 PM
Yes, it has the colt address on top of the barrel, a colts patent on the frame and a silver plated grip frame.


Here's the top of the case .... pretty cool ... the case, not my B in law

January 6, 2013, 02:31 PM
That is some beautiful wood and woodwork!

January 6, 2013, 02:52 PM
The top two tiers wood grain figure merge and the bottom tier figure merges with the sides...Not sure how you do that, but it was a gift and purty neat.

January 6, 2013, 05:43 PM
Your lead balls have oxidized and lead oxide is much more dangerous than lead. I advise you dispose of them or melt them down. You shouldn't handle them and touch food or tobacco products.

January 6, 2013, 05:53 PM
It also appears that you have different sizes of roundball in there....

January 6, 2013, 06:41 PM
Wash your hands after handling them just like with unoxidized lead. Looks like 6 .44 balls mixed in.

January 6, 2013, 08:44 PM
Thanks for the heads up gents. I've been casting and reading about casting for at least 40 years. I leave the oxidised balls in the case because it makes the display look more Olde Timey. I do apprecialte the members of the forum looking out for my well being, thank you.

January 6, 2013, 08:45 PM
i'm surprised no one pointed out the Browning HP magazine safety engager at the bottom of the case.

January 6, 2013, 09:01 PM
I was just gonna bring that up.;)

(Okay... I don't even know what that is.) :p

January 6, 2013, 09:58 PM
It's a spring loaded lever that is engaged by the magazine. Without it the shooter can operate without a magazine in place and makes for a slightly nicer trigger and allows the empty mag to fall clear without any help.

Anyway thanks for all the info, this forum provides a crnacopia of knowledgable feedback.

January 7, 2013, 12:00 AM
I've never done it so this is hearsay: one post I read recommended drilling out the small pin that holds the arbor. Threading the hole and installing a set screw. If it is still loose (which is likely) then unscrew the arbor. Thouroughly clean the threads in the frame & on the arbor, applying epoxy or JB Weld and screwing the arbor back into the frame. Reassemble the cylinder, barrel, and wedge. I can't remember if you let the epoxy set, then clean the threads off in the hole for the set screw and reinstall the set screw or just repin it and let the glue set. Obviously, I am not a gunsmith or I would have the procedure more clearly stated.

Doc Hoy
January 7, 2013, 06:59 AM
I alluded to that in my first post.

Problem with that method is that you have to be able to unscrew the arbor. On some revolvers that requires removal of the pin I am discussing. I have never seen one which comes out easy.

I stand by to be corrected.

January 7, 2013, 10:28 AM
Actually Doc, I had a Pietta that the arbor and pin were both loose in, the pin came out with a magnet, so I'd try that first.