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Schofield


Rye Miles #13621

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I've hear that Schofields don't work too well with real BP, I was told by a good pard (Prairie Dawg, who is an educated man) that bp subs are okay? Anyone else?? I'm lookin fer second opinions!:D Rye

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they don't work too well with subs either! some folks can get there schofields through a match using sub with some minor maintenance, but mine will only get through 2 stages before I have to squirt with moose milk and wipe down, sometimes I have to take the cylinder out and wipe down. Way too much work,I have tried pyrodex, APP, and Goex. My Cimarron 73's work great with my APP load and can get through a 6 stage match with no maintenance. I keep my schofields for backup and for the few times a year I shoot smokeless. I wish they worked with black because they are awesome to shoot and have major style points.

Rafe :FlagAm:

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Hey Rye, I don't have Schofields, but I did have a pair of Cimarron Lightings, they too lacked a proper cylinder bushing and position. The only thing I could get to run in them was Pyrodex, I don't care at all for subs so I sold them. Good Luck :)

 

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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This subject has been discussed many times. Genuine original S&W Schofields work with BP because they have a cylinder pin bushing. S&W 2000 Schofields (which I own) and Uberti Schofield reproductions do not work very long with BP or subs. I can only shoot 2 or 3 stages with them before I have to take the cylinder out and clean it and the mouth of the bore chamber which is a PITA so I shoot them with smokeless more often than not.

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Howdy

 

I have been going a fair amount of research into this subject. I have been measuring and photographing gas collars on several different guns. For more information, and an explanation of how the original gas collars on 19th Century Smiths worked, see this thread:

 

Link

 

I have no experience with subs in a modern Schofield replicas, so I cannot comment on that. I have considerable experience with real Black Powder in original 19th Century Smith and Wesson Top Break revolvers, so I do feel qualified to comment on that.

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Rye, these things seem to run the full spectrum, as far as making smoke goes. There are a precious few guns out there that seem to do well for a whole match using real bp, according to their owners. The tally is slightly larger when you factor in those that run well with the sub APP and likely 777 also, though I think it is overkill for SASS. And then there is the vast majority of guns that lock up to quickly to be practical for shooting a full match with bp or subs. I know my pair of Uberti .45s will do six stages easy and without a hitch when using APP. I have a third Uberti in 44-40 that will not do a full cylinder without locking up. The situation is so unreliable that I would not dare buy another pair with short barls, as bad as I want them. Eventually I will spend the money, and it is expensive, to get my current barls bobbed shorter but that is the only way I feel I can get dependable guns the way I want them.

 

If I were absolutely sure I wanted a pair to make smoke, and it is most likely going to happen with a sub, I would advertise specifically for such. Some SASS WIRE pards occasionally get overzealous in their claims when wanting to sell something so make sure they understand beyond any reasonable doubt that you want a gun that can make smoke without upkeep for an entire match. Most do not want their reputation ruined and know that you can crawfish so far, when the wording is spelled out in detail but also expect to possibly pay a premium. Mine are not for sale at any reasonable price, even premium! My last thought, the fact that these Uberti Schofields are so varied in their ability to take bp it would seem that someone, perhaps even Uberti, would have watched those tolerances and found out what combination it is that creates one gun that works well with bp subs, while the next dozen off the line behind it will not????

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I've been playing around with a Russian in .44 Russian for a couple months now and found If I Heavily grease the Axis pin with red wheel bearing grease and use APP I can make it through six stages with no problems. Before I used the bearing grease it would start getting sticky after three stages. I have my second Russian on the way and I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that it will also work with a lube job and APP.

Willy B'

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My last thought, the fact that these Uberti Schofields are so varied in their ability to take bp it would seem that someone, perhaps even Uberti, would have watched those tolerances and found out what combination it is that creates one gun that works well with bp subs, while the next dozen off the line behind it will not????

 

Bob, I have said this before and I will say it again. It has nothing to do with tolerances. It is the design. Uberti messed up when they reduced the size of the gas collar in order to make a longer cylinder fit in the same size frame. It took S&W three tries to get this right back in the 1870s. There is simply no way the .070 tall gas collar on an Uberti Schofield can effectively prevent fouling from reaching the cylinder base pin. The gas collar on my New Model #3 stands .165 proud of the face of the cylinder. That makes sufficient separation between the barrel/cylinder gap and the front of the gas collar to keep fouling away from the pin. Actually, this is no different than a SAA or a Ruger, which also have a nice tall bushing at the front of the cylinder to serve the same purpose. My New Model #3 was completely reworked by S&W in 1965 and is still as tight as a drum. I just measured the barrel/cylinder gap and it is only about .004. The gap on my 44 DA is very sloppy, around .012, but clearly the tall gas collar on my tight gapped New Model #3 is what keeps the fouling away from the pin.

 

The solution is actually quite simple. Make a new gas collar that mimics the old design. Happy Trails was doing this but he has unfortunately retired. But the idea is simple enough that any competent gunsmith should be able to duplicate his work. Machine away the vestigial gas collar Uberti left on the cylinder. Counterbore the cylinder to accept a new collar, leaving enough meat behind to maintain the integrity of the chambers. Fabricate the collar so it stands about .150 proud of the cylinder face. Contour its profile so it clears the rear end of the barrel. Clear away enough material from the barrel to accept the new bushing and maintain the original barrel/cylinder gap.

 

Here is a photo I took of an ASM cylinder that Hap modified with a new gas collar. It is pretty self explanatory.

 

 

Cylinder

 

 

Short of modifying the cylinder, slathering lots of BP compatible lube on the cylinder base pin is a good idea. After all, it is this pin which gets fouled and causes binding. Keeping whatever fouling reaches the pin soft with lube will go a long way to keeping the cylinder rotating freely. Don't forget, those helical grooves cut on the pin are too provide clearance for fouling to build up. Keep them moist and allow them to do their job.

 

Interestingly enough, last week I had the opportunity to examine a S&W First Model Russian. The owner graciously allowed me to photograph the barrel/cylinder gap area. Here is the photo. Notice the prominent gas collar and how it shields the base pin from fouling blasted out of the barrel/cylinder gap.

 

First Model Russian Gas Bushing

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And I keep saying that you are accounting for that next twelve off the line I mentioned, those that do not work! BUT what is the reason for that one or two out of the days run that will work with real bp or even just a sub in some cases, devine intervention or a random occurence of tolerances stacking up in a certain way? I KEEP TRYING TO SAY, it is the one that doesnt know it was supposed to need a gas collar to work, so manages to work without it, thats the one I keep saying we should be devoting our attention to. I have a pair and more than a couple of other shooters have stumbled onto these acorns from time to time. I do not use red grease or anything else special (well perhaps), I lube normally with Ballistol after the guns are cleaned and consider them ready for the next match as is. I do use reduced powder loads, as I am using Cowboy .45 special cases. Many other shooters say they have used my load data and still had no luck. Since the guns seem fairly well made with no sloppiness, I am guessing that it takes more than one tolerance issue to crop up together so that we get the one random gun every so often. My two work equally well and were consecutive numbers, perhaps machine settings were just right at that moment in time???

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Thanks pards, especially Driftwood for your intense research. Guess I'll be shootin smokeless outta this 3 1/2" barreled Schofield. I just love the gun but my main match guns are Smoke Wagons that I had the cylinder gap increased to .008. Thanks Crossdraw!!!

Rye B)

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Well, you're welcome to do the tolerance study, but good luck getting a major firearms manufacturer to change their manufacturing methods to satisfy a minority of shooters. And unfortunately, Black Powder shooters are a minority. The guns work fine with Smokeless, what is their monetary incentive to make them work well with Black Powder? If Uberti really cared about this all they would have to do is stretch the frame by about 1/10" to make room for a better gas collar. Good luck getting them to do that too, for a minority of shooters.

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S & W didn't strech da frame fer da US governmint ,,,,,, they made da .45 short colt as an attempt ta make it do ...

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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S & W didn't strech da frame fer da US governmint ,,,,,, they made da .45 short colt as an attempt ta make it do ...

 

Howdy Again

 

Not really an entirely analogous situation. Yes, S&W did decide not to stretch the cylinder and frame for the Schofield revolver. Prior to that time, all #3 Smiths were made for shorter cartridges, principally the 44 S&W American, 44 Russian and 44 Henry Rimfire rounds. The cylinders for these guns were about 1.42" long. When S&W approached the Army about supplying revolvers, the Army asked for a revolver chambered for the 45 Colt round. S&W made the obvious statement that the extractor system used in their Top Break revolvers would not work with the tiny rim that was typical on the 45 Colt cartridge at that time. No doubt they also realized there would be extra expense tooling up for a longer cylinder and the requisite longer frame. So the Revolver Ball Cartridge Caliber .45 M1875 (also known as the 45 Schofield round) was developed by S&W as a cartridge that could be fired in both the SAA and the Schofield revolver. However S&W knew better than to mess with the design of their gas collar when they designed the Scdhofield revolver.

 

Some years later however, S&W did lengthen the cylinder and frame on both the New Model #3 and the DA 44. Both of these guns were originally chambered for the 44 Russian round, as well as some other short rounds. Cylinders were 1 7/16" long. But S&W later chambered both of these revolvers for 38-40 and 44-40, both cartridges basically the same length as a 45 Colt. For these chamberings the cylinders were lengthened to 1 9/16" and the frames were also lengthened accordingly. S&W had most likely learned from their experience with the Schofield that it was worth it to put in some extra tooling cost in order to accommodate longer cartridges. And of course, all of these revolvers used the efficient gas collars that had been developed for Black Powder. Interestingly, neither 38-40 nor 44-40 were big sellers with these guns. However enough longer frames had been made for the DA 44 that all the later guns, no matter what the caliber, used the longer cylinders and frames.

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Just FYI, going to the auction preview with Driftwood was a masters class in antique S&W handguns. He was educating the auction house staff on some stuff as well.

 

Hey Johnson, the Colt shoots as good as it looks, had Robbie give it a minor tune up and plan to take it out again today to see how much better it is.

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Results do seem to vary a bit. Maybe it's loading & prep, maybe I'm just lucky. Either way...

 

I have a pair of Uberti Russian models in .44 Russian. I have shot them Gunfighter with Blackpowder. They have not been modified.

 

I use either the old Lyman .44 200 gr. slug, with 2 grease grooves & a flat base, cast 1/20, using soft BP lube or a Big Lube bullet cast & lubed the same.

 

I lube the cylinder shaft with Bore Butter.

I am able to shoot 6 stages without a problem. (I found they do get real sticky at stage 7-8 so I smear in a little more Bore Butter into the bushing area on stage 4 just to avoid any hitches in the get-up.)

That would be without pulling anything apart.

 

I have thought about relieving the barrels to match the originals contour just above the forcing cone to help fouling get out of the way, but so far so good.

 

Happy shooting.

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Hafta' agree with E.B. I shoot a pair of Uberti #3 Russians in 44 Russian. I've shot as many as twelve stages with no problems and the only modifications were re-arching the main springs and a little action work.

 

I think the ammo and prep is where the solution lies. I use two lubed fiber wads and a normal 180 grain bullet with a moly lube over real Black Powder. The lube in the wads keeps the fouling soft and greasy. The guns start to resemble an old two stroke Detroit diesel after a stage or two, but they generally stay smooth and slick. Frogg Lube works well for gun layup and or a little Balistol at intervals when unloading, sprayed in strategic areas.

 

Same thing works for my '75 Remingtons.

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Guys, I am glad it worked for you and it sounds like yours do better than mine does since mine will not work with real black powder. When I first bought mine (Uberti in 45Colt) and tried them in a match, boy was I disappointed that I had to fetch a second set of guns after the first stage. Got home and came straight to the WIRE a crying bout my new pistols but that is where I got my earliest solution to the problem. Some long lost saint informed me of a technique that was working for him and a couple of others. It involved using approximately a half case of the old Clean Shot bp sub with a foam back rod filling the remainder of the case and a bullet that was no heavier than 200gr. Well, it worked great for me and did so for years but in time Clean shot went away and was ultimately replaced by APP and then probably the greatest idea ever came along, the Cowboy 45 Special case. Sources for light to ultra-light bullets have now become common and this has made the reloading a breeze. One of thew great things for me has been not needing to worry about lube, after a day of shooting the APP actually has coated the guns with an almost wax like lube and both Schofields and '58 Rem conversions just never seem to freeze up with it. I am sure the reduced powder charges and reduced pressure (also helped by lighter bullets) have a great deal to do with solving the problem for those few guns that can be made to work. We will never know how many can actually be made to work because most shooters will never try to make them shoot a smoky load through experimentation anyway.

 

MY biggest question right now is whether anyone has a stock gun in 44-40 that will function with a sub or real bp? I still think that a part of the answer is in how well the case design funnels all the crap to the front when fired, great for the old toggle links but perhaps not so much for the Schofield?

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I have a pair in 44-40 w/ 7.5" bbls. Consecutively numbered at about 81XX. One will shoot a cylinder full, maybe as much as 10 rounds. The other will go about 18 rounds before grit-lock causes difficulty in cocking the hammer. These are stock guns with only a little action work to true up the timing when I bought them.

 

I can tinker with loads and relay measurements if you are game. One thing I noticed is that the gun with the tighter barrel-cylinder gap is the one that works longer. This leads me to think its all about the soot getting into the arbor.

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Virgil, I have had good luck shooting BP in my USFA's 1873 in 44-40 with the barrel gap at .007 and the forcing cone at 11 degrees for lead bullets. I also use Mobil One Red Synthetic Grease on the base pin and removable bushing. I don't think any style of revolver will fire the real BP which is all I shoot without the cylinder bushing.

I think that Uberti just failed in the design phase of the Schofield. That piece could not add that much cost when you are building from scratch. I am speaking of from the start. If you have 5000 frames already to go then it would be a problem.

I have owned several Uberti guns and they have been all top of field. I think that the person in charge dropped the ball. Later Fairshake PS When I first started with SASS I wanted to shoot Schofields but the inability to handle the real BP steered me into another direction.

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I think that Uberti just failed in the design phase of the Schofield. That piece could not add that much cost when you are building from scratch. I am speaking of from the start. If you have 5000 frames already to go then it would be a problem.

 

Folks, let's be fair to Uberti.

 

When they first introduced their version of the Schofield revolver, nobody was making 45 Schofield brass. It was not until a few years later that Starline made 45 Schofield brass available. So it was a natural decision for them to chamber it for 45 Colt instead of the original 45 Schofield cartridge. This necessitated the longer cylinder. The obvious engineering decision was to lengthen the cylinder at the expense of shortening the gas collar, thereby keeping the frame the same length as the original. This is the type of engineering decision that gets made all the time when designing new products.

 

I'll bet you it never even crossed their minds to think about the old S&W gas collar design and how well it performed with Black Powder. I'll also bet that Uberti simply has accepted the fact that the design does not shoot well with Black Powder. As I said before, we who shoot Black Powder are in the minority. The Uberti Schofield design works just fine with Smokeless.

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Hi there Fairshake, I do agree the design I have (no proper blast shield for the arbor) in the Schofield is inadequate for BP. All my guns with removable base pin bushings have no issues with BP and I don't go to excess to grease things up. I just use a little mineral after cleaning.

 

The above noted Schofield modification of a half bushing and barrel cut back are very interesting to me. BUT, it is an expensive and very risky proposition on a $700 gun. To correct the uh-oh if this modification would cost ($400 barrel + $200 cylinder + $$? fitting). Since nobody is chiming in with testimony on how well it really works, I have to assume the silence tells me: 1)maybe the modification does not work well, or; 2) it has not really been tested at length by anyone.

 

The end is the same ... the Uberti Schofield is a really fine attractive gun limited to smokeless for the many, and for a lucky few people BP or substitute BP.

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I just went over to do the paperwork on my 2nd Russian in 44 russian caliber, It's an older Stoeger import in the low 200 serial number range. When I looked the gun over I got quite a surprise, It has the gas collar!!!, I could'nt believe it, I came back home and checked out my other Russian and confirmed I wasn't seeing things. It looks to me to be a factory made setup, I didn't measure the cylinder body but it looks shorter than my newer gun and has about a 1/8" gas collar, The barrel doesn't show any signs of being extended the forcing cone looks factory with no signs of welding to extend it.

This sure makes me wonder if Uberti didn't make these with the gas collar at first and then figured out they could sell more guns if they were chambered for 45 Colt and eliminated the collar to make the longer cartridges fit.

I can hardly wait to get this out of gun prison and see how it works

Willy B'

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Driftwood I did not say anything demeaning about Uberti. I take offense with you using my post to imply such wrong statements. I said the the designer did not give enough thought to how the original revolver worked. I stand by that statement. As far as giving Uberti a break, they make several black powder guns that have been selling for many years. They are not new to the design work needed to shoot such guns. There is no shortage of 45 Schofield brass as I purchased thousands for myself and friends to shoot in our 45 Colts in SASS matches. Please read all of my post before using it as a example of bashing a company. I have both rifles and revolvers made by Uberi and consider them one of the best makers of guns that are used for many things including cowboy shooting.

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