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Black Angus McPherson

Puzzle for Cap & Ball Gurus - Problem with '60 Army

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I went to a CAS match today and took my Colt Army clones (Uberti) for the first time.  I was looking for a little more boom than I've been getting with the .36 Navy's.

During a two, non-consecutive stages I had a problem with one gun not popping the caps.  Some took two, three or four hits before firing.  No caps fell off and all eventually fired.  Being the attentive type and knowing how important details are I was very careful not to note if it was the same pistol misfiring.  I also very astutely did not notice the wedge was loose.  Finished the match ok, if not quickly.

 

Once home and attempting to take the guns apart for cleaning I noticed the wedge in one (I can only assume the one with the misfire problems) was slightly loose.  Not falling out loose, but not pushed completely thru the slot and out the other side loose.  OK, I guess that explains the misfire trouble.

 

The problem:  I cannot remove the barrel from the arbor.  It slides most of the way out but hangs up when the rear of the barrel slot reaches the front of the arbor slot.  My guess is either the back of the barrel slot or the front of the arbor slot got dinged when firing the pistol.  I cannot see, or feel (using an old dental tool) any burr causing the hang up.  The fit of the barrel on the arbor is reasonably loose up until it stops.  It does not get stuck, it just stops moving forward.  If I could get it to move forward another 1/2 inch it would be off.  FYI I've already removed the wedge from the barrel.  There is no deformation evident on the wedge.

 

Suggestions?  I'm about at the point where I but a block of wood behind the barrel and give it a good whack with a hammer to get it off.   How much filing can I do to the arbor or barrel slot before one or the other is trashed?

 

Thanks,

 

Angus

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Put a chunk of wood between the barrel and the cylinder and use the loading leaver to push the barrel off, then take some Emory cloth and deburr the arbor wrap it around the arbor at the point it is catching. Should be able to get the burrs off that way. Mine take a little twist to get the barrel off

Rafe

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First, get the barrel off.  Rafe gave you a nice way to get it off,  Next, make a "Flap sander" out of a 3/8 dowel and polish the inside of the barrel lug for the Arbor.  Next, use some 220 wet/dry to clean up the arbor and the polish it with some 1000 wet/dry.  Your done when you can slide the barrel on and off with ease.

 

You should be able to seat the wedge with your thumb or a light tap with a screwdriver handle.  Light tap with the screwdriver handle should start the wedge out.

 

There are several reasons for Fail To Fire.  1.  Excess Barrel to Cylinder gap.  The gap should be around .006.   2.  Failure of the hammer to travel fully forward.  Insure it doesn't hit the Arbor sticking back thru the frame.   3.  Hammer Drag.  Inspect the sides of the hammer for drag marks from the frame slot.  Rubbin-n-Buffin to fix that.  Poor Nipples.  4. Using OEM nipples?  Don't.  Trash the OEM nipples and use Slixshot nipples with Remington # 10 Caps.   5.  Using the wrong Caps.  Your best results will be had with Remington # 10 Caps.

 

Those are the places to start.  Good Luck and hang in there.  Cap Guns er Fun!!  (When they work)

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The wedge is a harder material than the frame.

There should not be marks or deformation of the wedge.

 

BUT, using a light, look inside the wedge opening for a bur made by the barrel and wedge moving back and forth.

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It was a problem on one of my Uberti 1851s also.  There is a section on the arbor that is too big for the hole in the barrel assembly.  Guido probably put the two parts together with a hammer rather than fitting them properly.  Once the arbor gets past the tight spot, there is enough play between the parts to allow movement of the arbor inside the barrel assembly, the infamous Uberti “short arbor” syndrome, which can soften the hammer impact force on the caps.

 

After getting the arbor out of its hole (may require twisting, penetrating oil and drifting as described above) polish down the arbor (I used 200 grit sandpaper followed by steel wool) until it slides into the hole easily. Then follow Pettifogger’s instructions for correcting the short arbor problem.  That should prevent movement during shooting and result in more reliable cap ignition.

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Howdy Angus, 

 

Once you follow these pards suggestions and have the new nipples in check if the hammer sits on the nipple when the wedge is inserted properly.

You want there to be a slight gap between the nipple and hammer face so that when a cap is fired you do not have hammer bounce.

It is part of the cause of caps coming off and jamming in the works.  Without hammer bounce the hammer holds the cap in place until the hammer is cocked again and either comes off and falls free or stays in place.  Take a little off the hammer face with a file and check.  The Harbor Freight diamond coated files are inexpensive and work fine for this job.

 

A powder charge just large enough to allow seating of a ball and wad completely is the last step.  I used to pretty much  fill the chamber cause I like a good boom but wiser folks convinced me to back off the charge a bit and avoid blowing the cap off.

 

Enjoy them capguns.

 

CP

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I apologize.  I failed to recognize your description was an Uberti.  BEFORE you do anything else, fix the barrel and arbor so you can assemble and disassemble easily.  THEN follow Pettifoggers tutorial to fix the Barrel to Arbor fit.  It's Bad and needs fix'd.  Then you can proceed to the other things I mentioned as well as Pettifogger's tutorial.

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20 hours ago, Rafe Conager SASS #56958 said:

Put a chunk of wood between the barrel and the cylinder and use the loading leaver to push the barrel off, then take some Emory cloth and deburr the arbor wrap it around the arbor at the point it is catching. Should be able to get the burrs off that way. Mine take a little twist to get the barrel off

Rafe

 

That's what I ended up doing last night.  With an assist from a bar of lead to whack the lever.

 

20 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

First, get the barrel off.  Rafe gave you a nice way to get it off,  Next, make a "Flap sander" out of a 3/8 dowel and polish the inside of the barrel lug for the Arbor.  Next, use some 220 wet/dry to clean up the arbor and the polish it with some 1000 wet/dry.  Your done when you can slide the barrel on and off with ease.

 

You should be able to seat the wedge with your thumb or a light tap with a screwdriver handle.  Light tap with the screwdriver handle should start the wedge out.

 

There are several reasons for Fail To Fire.  1.  Excess Barrel to Cylinder gap.  The gap should be around .006.   2.  Failure of the hammer to travel fully forward.  Insure it doesn't hit the Arbor sticking back thru the frame.   3.  Hammer Drag.  Inspect the sides of the hammer for drag marks from the frame slot.  Rubbin-n-Buffin to fix that.  Poor Nipples.  4. Using OEM nipples?  Don't.  Trash the OEM nipples and use Slixshot nipples with Remington # 10 Caps.   5.  Using the wrong Caps.  Your best results will be had with Remington # 10 Caps.

 

Those are the places to start.  Good Luck and hang in there.  Cap Guns er Fun!!  (When they work)

 

RE:  #1 I did check for excess cylinder play (back and forth) after the first incident and didn't notice any more movement than in the other revolver.

#2  Possible but I didn't notice any obstruction and the arbor does not protrude out the back of the frame.

#3  I looked.  No sign of any drag marks.

#4 & #5  OEM nipples?  The nipples came on the guns and, I do not believe, they are any aftermarket brand.  I have a set of Treso and Slixshot nipples.  I just wanted to check the originals to see how/if they worked.  I was using Rem #10 caps and they seemed to fit fine.  None fell off during the match.

 

After disassembling and cleaning the pistol I looked at the arbor and barrel wedge slot for burrs.  I could not see or feel any abnormalities.  FYI I used a magnifying glass with a light to check. 

 

I'll probably try using a marker of some kind on the arbor to see where it's binding and I'll mess with polishing the arbor and/or barrel sometime next week.

 

Coconino,  I load 'em up pretty much the same way.  Lots of boom, smoke and flame.  I actually knocked down two plates on a plate rack with one shot from the mighty .44 yesterday.  :D   I think I scared it down.

 

Thanks all,

 

Angus

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3 hours ago, Black Angus McPherson said:

#3  I looked.  No sign of any drag marks.

Color the sides of the hammer with a Sharpie and see where it scuffs off. The Hammer channel may not be smooth or parallel to the hammer

#4 & #5  OEM nipples?  The nipples came on the guns and, I do not believe, they are any aftermarket brand.  I have a set of Treso and Slixshot nipples.  I just wanted to check the originals to see how/if they worked.  I was using Rem #10 caps and they seemed to fit fine.  None fell off during the match.

Replace the nipples as they are crap. Just because they don't fall off doesn't mean the caps fit.

Are you using a push stick to fully seat the caps after placing them on the nipples? VERY IMPORTANT, even if you use Slix or Treso.

After disassembling and cleaning the pistol I looked at the arbor and barrel wedge slot for burrs.  I could not see or feel any abnormalities.  FYI I used a magnifying glass with a light to check. 

Check the smoothness of the wedge. When fitted, it should push in and out with thumb pressure.

 

You've gotten good advice above my post.  Good luck!

 

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Regarding the failure to fire: take a trick from Bill Hickok's book and pick the hole of the nipple before you place the cap.  I use a piece of stout wire, but a safety pin or other such thing would work as well.  Even with a well setup revolver, blackpowder crud can still cause an issue or blockage.  Doing this doesn't take much more time in loading, but it makes a huge difference.

 

Keep your powder dry,

 

Wild Ben

 

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