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Old April 23, 2011, 12:19 PM   #1
Zenkoji
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Possible purchase, advice requested

I just found that a local pawn shop has a CVA Navy stainless (that's all I know so far, have not seen the weapon yet) for sale at $99. The gentleman on the phone indicated it "needed some work", as the hammer does not cock.

I am mechanically inclined, and have no concerns about taking the weapon apart and replacing parts as needed, or even performing the fixes I've read about on the forum. My question is this: would this be something simple like a spring replacement, or might it be indicative of something more severe?

I plan to visit the shop this afternoon, and will post pics once I do. Your help greatly appreciated!


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Old April 23, 2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Doesn't cock or wont stay cocked? if it doesn't cock it could be something broken inside and jamming it up. If it wont stay cocked it could be a broken trigger spring, a worn sear or broken full cock notch. They're pretty simple guns to fix tho. Depending on who actually made it will determine if it's worth 99.00. A lot of CVA guns were made in Spain. If it's a CVA/Traditions there's a good chance it's a Pietta and well worth the 99.00 even if all internal parts have to be replaced.
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Old April 23, 2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Hawg + 1

I vote for a broken trigger. (Under thirty dollars for all internals if it is Pietta) Need to see photos of the pistol. Offer 75.00. The pawn broker only has about 25.00 to 40.00 in it and can easily make money at 75.00. He has no idea how to fix it or it would already be fixed and the price would be fifty bucks higher.

I am with Hawg. It is almost certainly worth 99.00. But I am sure the harpy will take less.
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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Pics and disassembly

I went to check out the piece at the pawn shop, and the guy there allowed me to completely disassemble the weapon so we could attempt to see if anything was broken, jammed, etc. Quite nice of him to allow me to do that, seeing as I'd never taken one apart before, though apparently my research made me sound knowledgeable enough, and he knew nothing of the inner workings. So we had a fun time for 90 minutes or so!

When I first worked the hammer, it was obvious that something wasn't catching. After disassemby, I was unable to determine if any of the parts were broken or not working correctly, though it was apparent that the trigger was not engaging the hammer at all. I've attached some pics, poor as though they may be. Any help appreciated!

I offered $50, which was declined, as was $60. He did come down to $80 though.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0890.jpg (245.6 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0895.jpg (263.7 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0892.jpg (245.0 KB, 66 views)
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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More pics

Here are a few more pics.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0888.jpg (241.7 KB, 219 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0897.jpg (246.5 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0898.jpg (237.3 KB, 60 views)
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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And the last pic

Did I forget to mention it was filthy?

The cylinder was good, minimal dings around the bolt holes, no ring where the bolt might have dragged. I have some concerns about the look of the stainless, wondering if it may have been steel-wooled or brushed to be cleaned. Though given the significant fouling on the weapon, I doubt it was cleaning much, if at all.
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:00 PM   #7
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I didn't see a pic of the trigger. My guess is as Doc stated the sear is broken off. I don't think that is stainless, more likely polished in the white. It also appears to be a brass frame. I assume you bought it. Do you see a makers logo on it anywhere? Does it have Italian proofs like a PN and star?
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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Hard to say for sure but

My guess it that it is a CVA imported Armi San Marco. I have two of these and they are not bad revolvers. The revolver is not stainless, it is just unblued steel with a brass frame. Look at the underside of the barrel and you should find the manufacturers name roll engraved in the barrel. You have to raise the loading lever to find it. You might find a date code on the bottom of the brass frame very close to the serial number. It is two letters probably starting with "A" inside a box.

The view from the aft end of the frame shows a trigger which appears to be the proper length (Nothing broken). But it is hard to tell from the view in the photo. The hammer looks new. Full cock sear looks like it would catch and hold the trigger if the trigger is not broken. You can watch the trigger engage the half cock sear and the full cock sear on the hammer. If the trigger engages the hammer at full cock, apply a little forward pressure to the hammer and see if the hammer will remain in full cock position. Do this with the bolt and the spring removed.

It was nice of the guy to let you take it apart. Also nice of him to take 80 dollars for it. It is well worth the price.
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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Did not purchase yet

I actually have not purchased it yet, as I am also considering the purchase of a Pietta 1860 Army that includes a powder flask, nipple wrench, wad punch, extra nipples, felt pads (for punching wads), and a 1/2 box of balls, for $175 shipped.

The trigger did not appear damaged, though I certainly would not know for certain. When re-assembled, the trigger just did not have any springiness, like the other weapon did.

There was no proof stamping like the Italian one that I could see, other than Connecticut Valley Arms Inc. on top of the barrel. On the cylinder it has: Colt's Patent Sept 10, 1830, CVA and a little logo that looks like a flintlock.
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Coupla additional thoughts

The hammer channel in the frame is so clean that it appears the revolver was never fired. The first six shots in the life of a revolver leave a mark on the pistol that is hard to remove. Especially given the poor care of the barrel.

If it is an ASM, Pietta parts can be made to fit. ASM parts are like hen's teeth. It does look as though you will get it working without parts unless that photo of the trigger is fooling us. Hawg is right. A good close-up would be helpful.

I recommend trying the pistol with just the hammer and trigger in the frame and see if you can get the hammer to catch the trigger. (Or is it "trigger to catch the hammer"?)
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:21 PM   #11
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Zen

Offer 225.00 for both revolvers. I bet he goes for it.
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:34 PM   #12
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Markings

It was marked ASM, so definitely Armi San Marco. It actually has no other markings on the frame, and no serial #, which I found odd.

The guy at the pawn shop was extremely nice and helpful on the phone, willing to check all of this for me!
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:46 PM   #13
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If the 1860 is a steel frame and it's a choice of one or the other that's the one I would go with. Both would stil be a good deal tho. I don't think you'll have any trouble getting that one working again.
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:49 PM   #14
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1860 Pietta vs 1860 (?) ASM

The other 1860 is indeed blued steel, and appears to be in excellent condition. I cannot examine it, however, but the questions I asked of the seller led me to feel it would be a good piece.

I wonder if I could have the local, unblued steel one nickel-plated... would imagine it would be costly!
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Old April 23, 2011, 05:58 PM   #15
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Generally...

.....about two hundred bucks for a plate job on a revolver.
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Old April 23, 2011, 06:09 PM   #16
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So what's the consensus on the local one that isn't locking the hammer? I have him down to $80 out the door, but I would like to know exactly what will need to be fixed and where to get the parts, if needed .

I greatly appreciate the assistance!

(he other package I mentioned for $175 is actually in Ohio). My budget is severely limited by a wife who doesn't like guns and wants all the money for herself .
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:01 PM   #17
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If the trigger will not engage and hold the hammer there are two possibilities I can think of why.

1. The trigger is worn or filed down and not long enough to engage the step on the hammer.

2. Someone at some time filed the step on the hammer trying to lighten the trigger pull and they filed the hammer step too much where the trigger would not hold against it. Then thinking if they just filed the hammer step a little deeper the trigger would catch again. But if this is what they did, they did not think about that if the step on the hammer was filed down too much and then filed deeper to reform the step, that would also mean their trigger would then have to be longer to reach the now deeper hammer step. I hope you understand what I mean. It loses something trying to put it into words without actually showing it to you.

I would try a new trigger first and see what happens. Then if that doesn't work, it should be the hammer that's the problem.


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Old April 23, 2011, 07:09 PM   #18
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As Doc said ASM parts are going to be hard to come by. VTI may have some. Pietta parts can probably be made to fit. Check for binding on the trigger, see if it moves when you cock the hammer with the trigger guard off. see if forward pressure on the trigger will lock it into place. If it does the spring may be loose or weak. Make sure the sear can properly engage the full cock notch. Does it catch on half cock? Cabela's sells a parts kit with all internals. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104218380
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenkoji
When re-assembled, the trigger just did not have any springiness, like the other weapon did.
Since you stated that you had never taken a Colt's pattern apart before, I think I may have a guess as to the problem. The hammer looks good and you state that the trigger also looks good. But your statement above makes me wonder if the "Bolt/Trigger Spring" is either missing or the trigger spring part of it is cracked or just missing.

If you've never had one apart, then if the Bolt/Trigger spring were completely missing you wouldn't know it was even supposed to be there. Also, if it is there and is NOT damaged in any way. It's possible that the hole in the spring for the hold down screw is large enough that if it isn't held in the proper position when it's put in, the spring may not contact the trigger but could still be in contact with the bolt. Either way, if the problem is the Bolt/Trigger spring, it's an easy fix.

Even though it's not stainless and it does appear to be a brass frame, $80-$99 bucks is worth it. You will always be able to get your money back out of it down the road at that price. If it were me and I had the chips, I'd grab both. But since you can afford only one and it appears that you might be new to this addiction, the pawn shop gun is a great starter.
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:18 PM   #20
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You can see the trigger/bolt spring in pic #4 The bolt legs are spraddled out but thats only an issue if the bolt is dropping early or late.
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen
You can see the trigger/bolt spring in pic #4
Thanks Hawg I missed it. Given that it's there and appears okay, I'll requalify my statement by saying that it's possible that it's slid too far forward to catch the trigger properly. My Dragoon requires that I pay attention when I put the Bolt/Trigger spring back in or I get the same problem.

It would be great if it turned out to be something as simple as a mis-aligned spring wouldn't it?
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:28 PM   #22
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Foto Joe, he had a link to a picture he took of it that clearly shows the trigger/bolt spring is in there......



But you know what? It could just be the light or glare but it does look like the longer leg of the spring that tensions against the trigger is not as long as it should be to properly engage the trigger. If it isn't just the light making it look that way, perhaps someone at some time tried replacing the trigger/bolt spring with one that does not have a long enough leg to properly engage the trigger.

My advise to test that would be to get it just like it is in the above pic and then pull the trigger and watch the trigger/bolt spring to see if it stays on the trigger. Come to think of it he did say his trigger had no tension on it.
If he sees that the spring is not keeping tension on the trigger or slips off the trigger when he pulls the trigger....then he needs a new trigger/bolt spring. If the spring isn't keeping tension on the trigger, then try pushing forward on the trigger (as opposed to pulling it) while cocking the hammer. Then if the hammer stays cocked, .....he needs a new trigger spring that fits properly to engage the trigger.

It still could be a too short trigger or a filed down and then re-filed hammer step if the trigger/bolt spring is good.



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Old April 23, 2011, 07:32 PM   #23
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Need a labeled parts diagram!!

I found the diagram...

The sear/bolt spring would engage on the trigger... I had to lift it with a screwdriver to seat the trigger. It just didn't have the springy feel that the other revolver had when I tried to move it. I didn't notice any binding on the trigger, other than mentioned below.

I did try pushing a little forward on the trigger while cocking the hammer, and the trigger would still not engage. In fact, after reassembly, the trigger seemed competely "dead" and wouldn't move at all.

Neither the hammer step nor the trigger seemed to have been filed. Given the fouling on all parts of the gun, I doubt the previous owner would have had a clue on how to modify it .

Last edited by Zenkoji; April 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM.
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:49 PM   #24
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Yes

Go to VTI Gunparts (www.vtigunparts.com) and go to their "online store". Then select either ASM, Pietta or Uberti. Under any of those headings you will find "1860 Colt". An exploded view will come up with the list of parts by number (corresponding to numbers on the diagram) and nomenclature at the bottom. They use exactly the same diagram regardless of manufacturer. Nice diagrams.

On one of the first photos, it appears as though the trigger side of the trigger bolt spring is not riding on the trigger. That'll do it. All you have to do is loosen the screw (shown in your last photo that was enlarged by Bill) and reposition the trigger bolt spring with the leaf on the trigger rather than under it. It is a common mistake to put the revolver back together with the spring installed incorrectly. There can be nothing wrong with the spring and if the revolver is reassembled incorrectly it will act like a broken spring.
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Old April 23, 2011, 07:49 PM   #25
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From the pic that Bill blew up it kinda looks like the fork that is the actual trigger spring is "under" the trigger instead of resting on the spring sear.

If that's the case you're in business with a simple adjustment.
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