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Sedalia Dave

1860 Pietta loose barrel

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Posted (edited)

Notice after the last match that the barrels on my 1860 Pieta Steel frame pistols were a little loose and that the wedges were bottomed out against the screw. 

Did a through inspection and the arbors of both pistols are nice and tight. Ordered new wedges and that tightened up one of the pistols. Unfortuanately it didn't make enough of a difference on the other one.

 

What is the next step to getting the wedge not to bottom out?

Edited by Sedalia Dave

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Make the slot smaller or the wedge bigger. Take a thin piece of steel shim stock and cut a filler piece the thickness of the wedge slot. Cleanup the slot real ggod and use a drop of JB weld to hold the shim in place.

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If you're handy with a drill press and a tap, you can drill a hole in the end of the arbor and put a set screw in it. Then you can adjust exactly where the wedge sits and keep your gun like new. You'll just have to make sure the set screw is below the face of the arbor, so you'll have to file the set screw down to the appropriate length. But this modification tightens the gun right up and keeps it that way.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sedalia Dave said:

What is the next step to getting the wedge not to bottom out?

I'm far from an expert, but your arbors are likely short.  Some will say Pietta solved the short arbor issue, but I have 2 of recent manufacture that prove otherwise.  There are a couple of DIY methods that involve either building up the arbor or filling in the bottom of the hole on the barrel assembly.  Google "Larson Pettifogger" and you will turn up a series of excellent articles that will explain all the steps necessary to remove many problems that these Italian clones come with straight from the factory.  If you want a pro to set them up right I can highly recommend Mr. Brackett of Goons Gun Works.  He set up a pair of Uberti Navies that run as reliable as cartridge guns now.  I can hardly wait to see the pair of Armies and Whitneyvilles he is currently tuning for me!

Edited by July Smith

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I had a similar problem with an 1851 open top.  My local cowboy gunsmith made me a wedge that fit for about $25.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 12:15 PM, July Smith said:

I'm far from an expert, but your arbors are likely short.  Some will say Pietta solved the short arbor issue, but I have 2 of recent manufacture that prove otherwise.  There are a couple of DIY methods that involve either building up the arbor or filling in the bottom of the hole on the barrel assembly. If you want a pro to set them up right I can highly recommend Mr. Brackett of Goons Gun Works.  He set up a pair of Uberti Navies that run as reliable as cartridge guns now.  I can hardly wait to see the pair of Armies and Whitneyvilles he is currently tuning for me!

 

That is a cure for an arbor that does not bottom out in the barrel lug recess, which causes variations in the barrel forcing cone/cylinder gap depending upon how deeply the wedge is seated, but that is not the OP's problem.

 

Smokey Dave has the correct fix for this problem concerning the narrow wedge/long arbor wedge slot (the post directly above yours). Goon (Mike Brackett) does basically the same procedure for this problem, and Goon is VERY good.

 

Regards,

 

Jim

Edited by sourdoughjim
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Thanks for the help. My gunsmith is making a slightly wider wedge.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks July Smith and Sourdoughjim !!

 

  S.D., the other thing to look it would be the barrel wedge slot itself. When the barrel assy is mounted on the arbor, you should see the forward most part of the slot in the arbor. That is the "bearing surface" the wedge contacts on the arbor. The rear most part of the slot should have a void where the arbor slot is. This means you should only see the sides of the barrel slot and none of the arbor surface. The rear contact for the wedge should be the two sides of the barrel.  That's how the tension from the wedge is applied to hold the two assemblies together. Front contact is the forward material in the arbor slot, the rear contacts are the sides of the barrel slot. 

  Sometimes the arbor slot is too short (front to back) and there may be contact of the rear of the arbor slot along with the sides of the barrel. This condition won't allow tension between the two assemblies.  The fix is to extend the arbor wedge slot further to the rear.  Installation of the set screw in the end of the arbor (as already explained) will restore the "fit" of the wedge. Make sure you grind off the cutting surface of the set screw (nice smooth surface) to make the bearing surface.

 

Mike

P.S.

  Your post above was posted while I was "building" my post. If the arbor slot is short, a wider wedge won't help.

Edited by 45 Dragoon
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