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Major Hazzard, SASS #23254

Pietta C&B Revolvers, 1994 versus Now

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I hoping someone here can talk about any significant differences there might be between the 1851 and 1860 Pietta revolvers I purchased from Cabela's back in 1994 and those of current Pietta production.  My only experience with C&B is with those two, bought new 25 years ago, and it was not too good.  After maybe 25 shots or so apiece, both were deadlined for broken springs; one hand spring and one trigger spring.  They were easily replaced under warranty, but Army stuff and raising kids got in the way of any further work with them, and now I've got tons of time on my hands and I'm wondering if I should give them some more opportunity or go with new ones.  Or both?  Any help from you hard core capgun shooters would be greatly appreciated!

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Both. Get a small parts kits for your old ones, and buy some new ones ;)

 

Pietta has come a long way with their firearms. In my opinion they have passed Uberti for both Cartridge and Cap & Ball Revolvers.

 

 

 

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I wore out several c&b guns in the late 80s and only recently got a small horse to shoot in cowboy action.  The modern Piettas are very good.  I might give a slight nod to Uberti for cosmetics but the Piettas that I have now are solid.

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Well as to the differences in Piettas in 25 yrs. , "modernization"!!  The fit is better, consistent. The springs are better and for open top revolvers, they addressed the short arbor issue that has plagued every copy ever made!!  The only downside is the parts still mimic 1970’s parts (thick bolt arms) and they're all still over sprung!  And, downside or not, they make everything off of one platform (you know, Vega, Monza, Sunbird). That's great for production and being able to " mix n match" but it also means no pocket gun sized revolvers and no Walker/Dragoon revolvers .  .  .

  To me, Uberti has most excellent parts (bolts are more like originals) , lighter mainsprings, different sized (and close to correct) Models. But, they refuse to address the arbor issue!! So, best "out of the box" ?  Already tuned new in the box from GGW's!!! That's the best!! (Wheww!!)  (coming real soon).

 

Mike

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Several have addressed the major differences.  As a retired Gunplumber, the difference in the "old" Pietta Ca Guns and "new" Pietta Cap Guns, and Pietta guns in general is as Day and Night.

 

As long as your current guns fit together right (Check the Arbor carefully), a parts kit will do you fine.  The New Pietta hand/spring combination will last indefinitely.  The Trigger/Bolt spring is too heavy.  I'd suggest a replacement Wire Spring.  The Main Springs are too heavy.  The OEM Nipples suck.  I'd suggest Main Spring kits by "Lee's Gunsmithing" which include a nice wire T/B spring.  New nipples from SlixShot will improve ignition greatly.  

 

The major components of your current guns may well NOT interchange with new build guns.  The New build Pietta guns are very well made indeed.  Uberti Cap Guns are more "authentic" in appearance but fall way short mechanically.  With a few bucks invested in some aftermarket parts and a little judicious rubbin-n-buffin, you can have plenty of fun with your current guns.

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Download the tuning guides posted on this thread.

 

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They have invested in modern CNC machines. I think they are driven to be a world-class manufacturer. 

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The Arbor fit issue is and has been a major problem with Uberti Open Top guns for Decades.  The Arbor is shorter than the Bore in the barrel lug, allowing the Wedge to draw the barrel breach into the Cylinder face.  Jams up the works.  Guns won't tune worth spit until the fit of the Arbor to the Barrel is corrected.  A few Older Pietta guns had this issue.  Not common, but a few.  Worth a look with an older gun.

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17 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Several have addressed the major differences.  As a retired Gunplumber, the difference in the "old" Pietta Cap Guns and "new" Pietta Cap Guns, and Pietta guns in general is as Day and Night.

 

As long as your current guns fit together right (Check the Arbor carefully), a parts kit will do you fine.  The New Pietta hand/spring combination will last indefinitely.  The Trigger/Bolt spring is too heavy.  I'd suggest a replacement Wire Spring.  The Main Springs are too heavy.  The OEM Nipples suck.  I'd suggest Main Spring kits by "Lee's Gunsmithing" which include a nice wire T/B spring.  New nipples from SlixShot will improve ignition greatly.  

 

The major components of your current guns may well NOT interchange with new build guns.  The New build Pietta guns are very well made indeed.  Uberti Cap Guns are more "authentic" in appearance but fall way short mechanically.  With a few bucks invested in some aftermarket parts and a little judicious rubbin-n-buffin, you can have plenty of fun with your current guns.

Thank you and the other fellows for the great suggestions!  I've found the parts kits, but the Lee's Gunsmithing kits don't seem to include anything specifically mentioning Pietta Cap and Ball revolvers.  Which of their Main Spring Kits should I select?

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Older Pietta C&B guns can have Really Mismatched Cylinder Mouth Bore relationships ie; A ball fired from the Largest Cylinder is 18 Thou. smaller than the Groove diameter on one of My (Boat Anchors) guns ...

The ball skitters down the bore bouncing from side to side .... Velocity is 300 FPS slower than the Same load in My Uberti ...and My Uberti shoots better Groups at 75 Yards than the Pietta does at 5 Yards ...  5 yard groups/patterns are in the 10 - 14 inch range  with the Pietta , while 75 yard  best groups are in the 4 inch Range ...

I keep the Pietta as a Reminder Of how Bad Guns can be Made and Sold, And In the Words of the Head Honcho of Pietta " Be with-in Factory Specs"...

I have been Working on Guns in 6 different Decades and this is the worse gun I have ever encountered ...

But I have heard that the "New Guns" are much Better ... But all my other C&B guns are Uberti Made ....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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The "Lee's" kits don't mention Pietta specifically.  You want the kit for Colt or Colt Replicas.  Expect the Main Spring may require some fitting to clearance the back arc of the hammer.

 

Take a peek at "Long Hunter Shooting Supply"

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  I used the pietta C&Bs of the 1980's and belgian centennials of the 1960's until the ruger old army fixed sight models came out. Still using those first 5 1/2 " ruger models I bought  but have slicked up  new piettas for customers . I have one very early pietta, one from the 80's, and one 21st century one and the differences are there.

   The new ones are great. The ones I've seen from Taylors are so good I have one for my backup match gun. But I've never had to use a backup match C&B in my life, so far. Once you rework the old models they are fine but the amount of work on the new ones is greatly reduced. And the quality of the parts is a lot better.

  As a gunsmith you mostly just see the problem stuff. Colt, Uberti, Pietta, S&W and yes even Ruger have all let crap go out the doors over the years and now I'm seeing every modern brands' issues. Quality control vs price point is always going to be the defining factor. And  I'm seeing real improvement in pietta. Better materials, better machining, and better quality control. Amazing in a product with such a low price point.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

The "Lee's" kits don't mention Pietta specifically.  You want the kit for Colt or Colt Replicas.  Expect the Main Spring may require some fitting to clearance the back arc of the hammer.

 

Take a peek at "Long Hunter Shooting Supply"

OK, then we're talking using the kits made for "Colt SAA and Colt SAA Clones" then?  Just want to get it right the first time!  And I see he also sells the Slix-Shot nipples as well.  

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Hazzard  :lol:  Yep you got it.  Also gives you the opportunity to kill two birds, one rock.  Pick up your SlixShot nipples at the same time.  Don't forget to put a little anti-seize grease onna nipple threads and only screw em in "snug."

 

John Boy  :D   Absolutely!!  The Pietta Marshal guns and now several "others" in there line (Capt. Schaeffers) are without doubt the best made Cap Guns on the market.  Not specific copies of anything, 44 Navy guns are Never Never, but just the best made Cap Guns available.  Pietta has added several more Polished Steel and Heat Treated guns to their line.  A stroll thru the EMF catalogue is well worth the time.

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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Hazzard  :lol:  Yep you got it.  Also gives you the opportunity to kill two birds, one rock.  Pick up your SlixShot nipples at the same time.  Don't forget to put a little anti-seize grease on the nipple threads and only screw em in "snug."

 

OK, they're on the way.  Also ordered in a couple of those Pietta parts kits to add to the mix.  Cabela's has 'em.  I'm betting they'll be better than the parts original to the gun.  I don't think they could be worse anyways.  Seems funny this stuff adds up to pretty much what I paid for those revolvers when I bought them, but it's something interesting to do while we aren't supposed to be doing anything else.  And I'm tired of loading ammo!  Thanks, fellers!  

 

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I have two Pietta's.  One is the Remington "shooters revolver" I bought from Dixie Gun Works, a long time ago.  The other one is the single action Starr revolver.  The only thing I dislike about them (I did change out the cones/nipples to the slick-shot cones/nipples) is: there is way too much writing, and way too many inspector's marks on the firearm.  If Uberti can eliminate all that, why can't Pietta?  I don't need, or want, a lot of junk written all over both sides of the barrel, and the frame.  Uberti hides it, on the bottom of the barrel, beneath the rammer, or reduces it in size a lot so it is less noticeable.  Come on Pietta, you can do it.   

 

My Two Bits.

W.K. 

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Picky Picky Picky.  It is Replicant ya know.  Not an original.

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3 minutes ago, J.C. Bell, SASS #15217 said:

Back to arbor fit issue, if you please - how is the "too short" arbor fixed?

 

Best way is a set screw or a round head screw in the end of the arbor. I like to use a stainless 6-32.

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On 4/7/2020 at 5:14 PM, Major Hazzard, SASS #23254 said:

 

 

My parts kits came in from Cabela's today.  Those folks are fast!  I was amazed at how much better than the originals these parts are.  There's just no way anyone could have taken the originals (hammer, trigger, hand, bolt) and improved them them to even close to these new ones.  Just amazing.  Earlier this week, I spent about three hours apiece on each gun trying to improve the original innards.  The illustrated instructions Sedalia Dave linked are very good and I also tapped into some You Tube videos.  Both guns got a lot better than they were starting out, but those little projects are about to be undone for the new stuff.  Long Hunter's came in today too with the Lee's springs and Slix Shot nipples.  Hope I can find my nipple wrench.  Haven't seen it about 20 years.  I thank all you fellows again!

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Mike over @goongungoongunworks.com

Has tuned several Pietta's for me .

And I have to say the 1851's he did had become two of my favorite guns to shoot .

They are as reliable as any cartridge gun out there .

No cap jams or hang ups of any kind.

Now with his new hammer shields and Mobile one grease .

You dont even need to take your guns down but once a year to clean them .

You can clean your barrel just like any other gun .

Clean your Cylinder and nipples and your done .

Give Mike a call if you would like reliable Cap Guns .

I'm 100% Satisfied with all the work he has done for me.

Just Sayin. 

Rooster 

PS. 

I like the Pietta's guns for Shooting  Competition. 

And The Uberti guns for looking at and some playing around .

 

IMG_20200410_123007_962.jpg

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An addendum to my comments re: Pietta parts kits and the Lee's springs, in case anyone cares.  With the 1860, neither all new nor any combination of old and new parts created a functioning revolver.  With the 1851, the only thing that worked without fitting was using the new hammer with original parts.  All new didn't even come close.  The Lee hammer springs are too long to use as is, but trimming won't be difficult.  The trigger and bolt spring is a  no-go because the trigger leg is too short.  Yesterday I ran across a Mike Beliveau video that mentions this point and even shows a special spring packaged for Piettas but no mention of where to find them, and I've not located any via Google.  He also mentioned those trigger springs are actually too long, but are easily trimmed.  So, all in all disappointing but not surprising given customer reviews I read before purchasing the parts kits, where the majority of users did say the parts would need fitting.  Now I will cipher on whether to leave them as is (much improved from original) or undertake the fitting of all those beautiful new parts (with which I'm a rank armature at best) or send them to someone for professional work.  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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3 hours ago, Major Hazzard, SASS #23254 said:

An addendum to my comments re: Pietta parts kits and the Lee's springs, in case anyone cares.  With the 1860, neither all new nor any combination of old and new parts created a functioning revolver.  With the 1851, the only thing that worked without fitting was using the new hammer with original parts.  All new didn't even come close.  The Lee hammer springs are too long to use as is, but trimming won't be difficult.  The trigger and bolt spring is a  no-go because the trigger leg is too short.  Yesterday I ran across a Mike Beliveau video that mentions this point and even shows a special spring packaged for Piettas but no mention of where to find them, and I've not located any via Google.  He also mentioned those trigger springs are actually too long, but are easily trimmed.  So, all in all disappointing but not surprising given customer reviews I read before purchasing the parts kits, where the majority of users did say the parts would need fitting.  Now I will cipher on whether to leave them as is (much improved from original) or undertake the fitting of all those beautiful new parts (with which I'm a rank armature at best) or send them to someone for professional work.  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

Send it to Mike at goonsgunworks.com and you'll never have to look back.  Jared at Longhunters is excellent too.

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