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Old November 28, 2018, 06:22 PM   #1
bigstick60
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New Pietta 1851 Colt .36

Just received a new Pietta 1851 Navy Steel Colt .36, i took notice that the screw at the wedge is not big enough (round) to catch and stop the wedge from coming out with out any interference. The head of the screw measures .275, but the wedge seems to have a deeper groove from what i have seen in the past. I was just wondering if the wrong screw was put in at the factory, or is it a design change. Stamped 2018 under loading lever. I am checking at where it was bought, it was a gift, but have had no answer as yet, trying to get a measurement of a replacement part screw. guess i can scrounge something up at a gunsmith or have one made. Other than that everything else was very good, well pleased.
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Old November 28, 2018, 08:30 PM   #2
denster
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The head of that screw is just supposed to catch the tip of the wedge spring not provide any other interference to the wedge. On most Piettas it will but it is not something they pay close attention to an you have some where the tip of the spring will slide right under.
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Old November 28, 2018, 09:32 PM   #3
bigstick60
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Ok thanks, i can live with it the way it is, its just that there will come a time in the field or in the shop that it will come out before i am ready for it while breaking it down and that wedge will grow a pair of legs, run off, and never be seen again.
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Old November 28, 2018, 10:52 PM   #4
44 Dave
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Yes, Pietta doesn't locate this screw very well. Your day at the range may spoiled looking for a fly away wedge, I found mine in about 5 minutes.
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Old November 29, 2018, 03:13 AM   #5
Hawg
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If it comes out easy just take it out and keep it with the rest of your parts and you wont have to worry about it. It's not going to back out while you're shooting it.
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Old November 29, 2018, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
If it comes out easy just take it out and keep it with the rest of your parts and you wont have to worry about it. It's not going to back out while you're shooting it.
Yep. That's what I did with one of mine where the screw didn't do anything for the wedge. It looks better left on the gun, but if the gun is for function and not aesthetics, I take it out.
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Old November 29, 2018, 09:07 AM   #7
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I find that most of the capture screws on my Colts don't capture very well. I think I recall seeing original screws that actually had a flat spot on them for being able to actually remove the wedge; otherwise it would not come out.

Steve
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Old November 29, 2018, 05:44 PM   #8
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Colt always insisted that his 1851 Navy guns have the wedge driven in. Removal required that the wedge be driven out. If the pistol is shot this way the wedge will not come loose.

I have 7 variations of Pietta 1851 Navy .36 type pistols (Second Model Squareback TG, Third/Fourth Model Round TG, L&R, S&G, G&G, R&A, and a fantasy Second Model .36 Dragoon), and I usually just push in the wedge with thumb pressure for ease of disassembly unless I am going to shoot them. If the wedge spring lip protrudes from the right side of the barrel lug, it will stay in place.

Jim
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Old November 29, 2018, 11:41 PM   #9
Hawg
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Colt always insisted that his 1851 Navy guns have the wedge driven in. Removal required that the wedge be driven out. If the pistol is shot this way the wedge will not come loose.
I thought he was more concerned about losing it during cleaning.
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Old November 30, 2018, 01:11 PM   #10
bigstick60
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Yes Hawg that was my main concern, thanks. just looking on how to fix it
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Old December 1, 2018, 09:58 AM   #11
Smokin'Joe
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This should fix you up:

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=581369
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Old December 1, 2018, 01:19 PM   #12
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A long time ago I used to have an Uberti-built Leech & Rigdon in .36 caliber.

One thing I noticed when I took the gun apart for cleaning was that the wedge did not really have a set point at which it properly engages the slot and locks. It looked like it was built with that in mind, but after the wedge supposedly "locked", it could still be pushed in too far during reassembly.

And that caused a lot of issues with the gun itself. Push it in too little, and the barrel cone will not align with the chamber correctly. Good thing I noticed it before I shot live ammo through it. Push it in too far, and the barrel would be held against the cylinder with too much pressure, and the cylinder would not turn when trying to cock the gun.

I later sold it to my boss at the time and he had it converted to .38 Colt cartridge and as of this day he uses it against snakes when going on outings.

That is probably one of the main reasons why, with the exception of the Richard-Mason cartridge conversions post-1866 and the Merwin & Hulbert revolvers made in the 1870's, almost all revolvers made after 1865 were of the top-strap solid frame designs.
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Old December 1, 2018, 03:20 PM   #13
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004.JPG

Thanks again for your thoughts, here is what i have come up with as of now. was at the hardware store and came across brass washers .104 bigger than the screw head and had the correct size hole for the threads of the screw. It was a perfect fit for the wedge and it will not come out on disassembly without removing the screw. The brass sort of stands out, so i will be looking for a steel washer of the same dimensions and blue it. I guess i could let it brass it goes with guard and the strap. thanks again for your suggestions.

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Old December 1, 2018, 05:54 PM   #14
44 Dave
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Like the washer, black magic marker till it oxidizes with age.
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Old December 1, 2018, 07:16 PM   #15
Hawg
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Quote:
One thing I noticed when I took the gun apart for cleaning was that the wedge did not really have a set point at which it properly engages the slot and locks. It looked like it was built with that in mind, but after the wedge supposedly "locked", it could still be pushed in too far during reassembly.
Uberti's all have short arbors. Once the arbor length is corrected the wedge will make no difference in cylinder gap no matter how hard you drive it in.

Quote:
That is probably one of the main reasons why, with the exception of the Richard-Mason cartridge conversions post-1866 and the Merwin & Hulbert revolvers made in the 1870's, almost all revolvers made after 1865 were of the top-strap solid frame designs.
Colt made the open top revolvers up to 1872. Colt made a revolver with a top strap in 1855, the Root pocket pistol.
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Old December 5, 2018, 09:34 PM   #16
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Re: Hawg:

Yep. I have noticed the pattern after all these years. I have owned a few Uberti Colt Navy 51's over time, including the Leech & Rigdon I mentioned. I have compared a couple of Pietta-built guns side by side with them and it was clear that Pietta paid a lot more attention to tolerances when it came to the cylinder pins. Pietta deserves an even better reputation and following than they have done for the past 20 years. All of their products are consistently top of the line. At least all of the Pietta handguns I had handled. The Ubertis, on the other hand, were not that good enough to be keepers, and I think that is the reason why I generally shy away from the open-top frames. I like shooting heavy loads and stout cartridges, and the fact that everything on an open frame gun, the cylinder, arbor, loading lever and barrel, are all attached to the frame by a tiny threaded stub at the end of the arbor does not give me too good of a feeling.

If a manufacturer built a fully modern open-top revolver chambered in .357 Magnum and state that it is "fully capable of firing full-powered factory loads and reloads", would anyone go ahead and take a chance?

Yet one of Mike Cumpston's (MEC) good friends had an article years back where he said that several original 1858 Remington revolvers salvaged and restored by his father were converted into .357 Mag hunting guns.

Of course, no offense meant at all to those who enjoy shooting the open-tops. They represent an essential part of history and Elmer Keith himself did a lot of his long range shooting with an original open-top Colt. If you don't plan on turbocharging them, they are good and will deliver years of good use. Just like the Rigdon that my boss converted to .38 LC.
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Old December 10, 2018, 10:43 PM   #17
45 Dragoon
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Rachen,
If someone made a modern Open Top capable of shooting 357 mag., then it would be capable of shooting 357 mag. so, not sure what you mean here.
The most powerful revolver for almost 100 yrs was an open top.
The arbor in an open top is screwed in yes, so is the barrel of a top strap design.
The top strap design that continues today is mostly due to economics. It's easier/cheaper to screw a barrel in a perimeter frame than the production steps for an open top. That said, cheaper isn't necessarily better. The arbor design is stronger than the top strap design.
The square frame of the T.S. design has the barrel screwed in at the weakest position of the frame (a corner) if you're trying to contain a force. The open top is a more compact rectangular frame of much more tensile strength. The two assemblies held together under tension with a rather large cross sectional wedge present an extremely strong support system for the cylinder (think about the amount of material in the bolt locking lugs next time you're looking down the barrel of a high powered rifle or even a leaver action for that matter).

The way I see it, the wrong design is the one that is being "turbo charged" lol!!

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Last edited by 45 Dragoon; December 11, 2018 at 08:28 AM.
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