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Old April 17, 2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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What does this guy have going on

This is a conversation from another forum. What do you think this guy has going on.
Originally Posted by WLW
Mine is an Italian clone and the wedge doesn't stay in worth a darn! Any advice on how to remedy that?
Originally Posted by Delmar
Define doesn't stay. Does it fit tight but come loose? Does the wedge seem to be wide enough? Is the arbor long enough?
Originally Posted by WLW
The wedge will not go all the way in... what stops it is a screw in teh barrel that I assume is suppose to land in a notch in the top of the wedge. I cannot make it happen so the wedge can shake loose. If I remove the screw from the barrel then the wedge goes all the way in!
Would he be better off just to take the wedge screw out?
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Old April 17, 2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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First of all on most clones the wedge doesn't need to go all the way in. In fact if it does the barrel cylinder gap will be too small. Most clones have the hole for the arbor too deep and originals the hole is just deep enough to bottom the arbor out. On most new clones the wedge should be flush on the side opposite the screw. On older ones with some wear it may need to go deeper.
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Old April 17, 2010, 07:03 PM   #3
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the circumfurential coefficient must equal the radius

It really basic geometry = Ya know what I mean??
See Ya!
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Old April 17, 2010, 07:28 PM   #4
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If he needs the wedge to go in so far that the screw engages the slot a the end of the spring trough then the gun is damaged. It probably needs a new wedge or perhaps a new barrel assembly. At the MOST the wedge should only protrude out the other side by a couple of tenths of an inch.

The screw has nothing to do with how far in the wedge goes. It's ONLY function is to hold the wedge when it's pushed OUT of the slot and keep it from getting lost.
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Old April 17, 2010, 08:56 PM   #5
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It sounds like he is trying to put the wedge in from the wrong side. The purpose of the screw is to keep the wedge from coming all the way out when it is pushed from the other side.

In the civilian guns, the screw has to be removed before the wedge is installed, then put back in. On the military guns with the spring in the wedge, the spring engages the screw and removing the screw is not necessary.

Jim K
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Old April 17, 2010, 10:25 PM   #6
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Actually, Colt intended the wedge screw to act as a depth set for the wedge.

Patent #1,304 dated 8/29/1839. In this patent, Colt talks about the "key" or wedge. "As the key C is to act laterally as a wedge to draw the receiver and the barrel into contact, it is of importance that it should be checked when forced sufficiently far in, or the receiver might be wedged up and prevented from turning. For this purpose I insert a screw, e, Fig.3, into the steel button f, which is attached to D D... The head of this screw, overlapping the end of the mortise, receives the wedge and checks it. By turning this screw the force of the wedge may be tempered. In fig. 5 g is a spring-latch on the under side of the key, which catches upon D when the key is forced in and prevents its accidental removal."
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Old April 19, 2010, 07:53 AM   #7
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Patent #1,304 dated 8/29/1839.
Note the date on the patient. This was before Sam learned to make the arbor longer and have it control the position of the barrel rather than pulling it into position with the wedge.
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Old April 19, 2010, 08:32 AM   #8
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But it still describes and defines the purpose of the wedge screw, plain and simple. And a bottomed out arbor tip can wear.
See my next post.

Last edited by pohill; April 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM.
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Old April 19, 2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Check this out, from

So, Sam Colt initially intended the wedge screw to act as a depth set for the wedge (1839).
Then he figured out that bottoming out the arbor in the barrel slot might work better (1850s). But, parts wear, so we're back to the wedge setting the barrel/frame connection, which means that the wedge screw comes into play again as a depth set.
I do not believe that the repros are machined close enough for the wedge screw to come into play. On my 1851 .36, made in 1862, the wedge screw has an oversized head, and it does contact the wedge and acts as an adjustment, but that does not happen on my repros.
Interesting stuff.
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