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Old October 22, 2017, 11:31 AM   #1
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CVA Navy 1861 44 Cal Issue

I have an 80's made CVA Navy 1861 44 cal bp pistol that I'm trying to tighten up the cylinder gap (currently 30-40 gap and I want 8-10). it's only getting about 84 fps average through my chrono, which I know is good. I assume a lot of gases are wasted seeping away from the cylinder gap when firing before it hits the barrel. I've probably bubba'd it to the point beyond fixing. The wedge fits all the way in pretty loose now. Thought I'd ask the experts to see if it is worth salvaging and how. Number 1 is the two metal post pins. I've attached a pic with the areas I think can be filed down but am not sure? Any help would be appreciated or to tell me it's worthless and toss it...

Last edited by zipspyder; October 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM.
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Old October 22, 2017, 12:02 PM   #2
Oliver Sudden
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It's not worth it! But you can pull the pins at point 1 and remove metal there then drill and tap the arbor at point two to tighten the wedge up. Also check the hole that the arbor goes it to as it should be just deep enough for the barrel to slide on and match the frame if you have the barrel turned to the side. Working on it for the fun of it is all you gain as it will loosen up again in time.
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Old October 22, 2017, 12:43 PM   #3
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If it has that much gap you've probably been shooting loads too heavy for the brass frame and battered the recoil shield.
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Old October 22, 2017, 12:50 PM   #4
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It was from a kit back then and I probably fitted wrong when put together. Back then I wasn't hard core and didn't realize that tolerances were so critical. I have another one from that era purchased assembled and have shot it countless times and is still good. It also has a brass frame shooting the same loads. Either way I understand how brass frames react over times with max loads and was asking for assistance on how to correct it if possible.
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Old October 22, 2017, 06:44 PM   #5
44 Dave
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I drill the holes in the barrel deeper. If the recoil shield area of the frame is damaged (indented) you have more problems. An ideal barrel/cylinder of .003 . Hate to say it but parting it out may be the best answer.
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Old October 22, 2017, 07:19 PM   #6
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I agree with some of the other comments. Things could be done to close the gap some but the condition of the recoil shield is important. And even if you were able to close the gap to a respectable distance, a battered recoil shield presents other problems.
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Old October 22, 2017, 08:08 PM   #7
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Is the arbor (cylinder pin) loose? If so that will draw the barrel forward as the threads strip out of the brass frame. What make is the gun? I have a "44cal 1861 Navy" that is basically an 1860 Army with navy grips. It is made by ASM (Armi San Marco, San Marco) but is steel framed.
With over 15 perCUSSIN' revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap & ball.
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Old October 24, 2017, 12:29 AM   #8
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/A brass frane will stretch - plus add in a battered recoil shield and even more issues will come up later on even if you do get it tightened up.

Personally, I wouldn't fix it - I would "part it out". If you try to sell the complete pistol with issues, you won't get much. However, if you break it up - i.e. the barrel. the cylinder, the internals, the frame with the grips - and sell them on fleabay, you will get more for the parts than the complete gun. CVAs were made by ASM and while some were very nice, some were not. Internals were known for being "soft".

If you part it out, you should come up with a decent "nest egg" to add a little to and then buy a decent Pietta or Uberti steel frame which won't shoot loose like a brass frame will do eventually.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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