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DIY - Pietta (Colt) 1860 loose arbor repair - the video


Warden Callaway

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I discovered a problem with one of my new to me Pietta 1860 Army revolvers. Although I'm convinced it had never been fired, the arbor was loose.  Conferring with Colorado Coffinmaker, he advised the problem be corrected.  I did a Google search on "Colt loose arbor" and came up with lots of information on a half-dozen forums with directions on making this repair.  But I didn't find any YouTube videos on making this repair so as I was going to make the repair,  I  went ahead and made one.   It turned out over 16 minutes long even though I nipped and tucked it as much as I could.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Warden

 You're timing couldn't have been better,  I just got a notice from VTI that the arbor for my Richards Mason that I ordered in Jan. 2018 was in, Your video will be a big help when I replace it.

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2 hours ago, Slowhand Bob, 24229 said:

Does youtube do any of theseon timeing the C&B revolvers?  Seems a common problem with some of mine is gitting the bolt-to-cylinder lockup in line when the hammer is cocked very aggressively at all. 

 

I don't recall a specific YouTube video that would address the problem you have. But the basic Colt action is the same from at least the 1851 to the Colt SAA and replicas made today.  

 

If I understand the problem,  the cylinder rotates past the bolt stop when cocked quickly.  I've not uncounted that problem so can't advise a fix. 

 

Maybe Colorado Coffinmaker will chime in and suggest a fix. 

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3 hours ago, Slowhand Bob, 24229 said:

Does youtube do any of theseon timeing the C&B revolvers?  Seems a common problem with some of mine is gitting the bolt-to-cylinder lockup in line when the hammer is cocked very aggressively at all. 

 

Have you done the modifications Mr. Pettifogger was kind enough to document and share with the rest of us? IIRC Piettas have an issue where the bolt is wider than the notch in the cylinder. To correct this you measure all the notches in the cylinder and then remove material from the proper side of the bolt until it is 0.001 smaller in thickness than the narrowest not5ch on the cylinder

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:)  Well, Hi Bob !! :)

 

Unfortunately I haven't seen a video of what your mention.  HOWEVER, your problem, if the gun is a Pietta, is probably NOT timing.  the problem with Pietta is the fit of the bolt head to the Locking Slots in the cylinder.  The Bolt doesn't actually fit in the slot.  The bolt just sits up at the top.  Pietta Bolts MUST be fit to the slots.

The referenced information from Pettifogger explains how to do that. 

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Great video:excl:

The Loctite was a good choice. 

Let me suggest, that you shake the tube of Loctite vigorously for 5-10 seconds before using. 

If you store the Loctite in the refrigerator, it will last forever.

OLG 

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Good video! No need for locktite though.  Originals didn't need it lol!!  Using the wedge to keep the arbor from turning while in the vice (vertically) will make it a lot easier for unscrewing the frame from the arbor and vice versa (no need to protect the frame).  Using the large screwdriver as a lever for torquing the frame back in place will make things a little easier as well (while still in the vice).  The "break off" groove (on the staking pin) works well while giving you longer stock to hammer on, keeping the hammer away from the recoil shield (thanks for using that).

 

Mike

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7 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

:)  Well, Hi Bob !! :)

 

Unfortunately I haven't seen a video of what your mention.  HOWEVER, your problem, if the gun is a Pietta, is probably NOT timing.  the problem with Pietta is the fit of the bolt head to the Locking Slots in the cylinder.  The Bolt doesn't actually fit in the slot.  The bolt just sits up at the top.  Pietta Bolts MUST be fit to the slots.

The referenced information from Pettifogger explains how to do that. 

Yup. Found that out the hard way. Just cycling the action on a new gun started mashing the slots. I still don’t understand why Pietta doesn’t adjust their tooling to make a thinner bolt or larger slots. 
 

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Slim  :wacko:

 

I agree.  It makes no sense.  Pietta has been aware just about forever.  Sort of like Uberti never correcting the Barrel to Arbor fit problem (Lots worse than Bolt/Slot fit to correct).  Seems in the age of CNC Machines, the fix would be fairly easy to incorporate.  Of course, the little fix does give Gunplumbers something to do :rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

Slim  :wacko:

 

I agree.  It makes no sense.  Pietta has been aware just about forever.  Sort of like Uberti never correcting the Barrel to Arbor fit problem (Lots worse than Bolt/Slot fit to correct).  Seems in the age of CNC Machines, the fix would be fairly easy to incorporate.  Of course, the little fix does give Gunplumbers something to do :rolleyes:

 

I now have 5 Pietta 44s and have not noticed that problem.  I'll take a critical look at that when I get them out. 

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I took the Pietta 1860 Army that I did the arbor repaired.  30 shots and 30 went off fine. 

 

I only had one quirky incident.  On the 3'th cylinder,  the action jammed solid on the 5'th shot. (I was loading 6 on my home range.)  Turned out that a 1/8" fiber wad was stuck in the forcing cone. I've never had that happen before. 

 

1982688107_Pietta1860wadjamDec2020.jpg.8a98d89eff874141e3b255d5dbe8c063.jpg

 

I had to knock the wedge out and pull the barrel forward to get it out.

 

On the 4'th and 5'th cylinder loads,  I got out the grits and topped of the powder with .7cc.  The powder charge was 25 grains of Graffs ffg. The balls set with about 1/16" below the face. Crisco on top. 

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I got brave today and installed the new arbor in one of my Richards mason conversions, Drilling out the arbor pin was the only part I was worried about and it turned out to be a cinch, I used a 3/32 bit like the Warden suggested I had drilled in about 1/8 " when I pulled the bit up to see how deep I was getting and got lucky when the rest of the pin came out with the bit, The old arbor screwed right off and the new one went on and indexed correctly made a new pin and set it in

 Everything was going along just fine until I tried to put the hammer back in and it wouldn't go all the way forward it turned out that the conversion ring had turned a tiny bit and was blocking the hammer, After scratching my head for awhile I took a brass punch and with a couple taps got the ring back where it belonged.

The repair turned out just great, Warden Callaway's video of the repair was a big help, If you have a open top with a loose or beat up arbor it's not that hard to fix.

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Great video!!  You know how to determine if it’s great?:huh:  You start watching it and before you realize it, it’s done!!  Where did that 16 minutes go??:D

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29 minutes ago, Clueless Bob said:

Great video!!  You know how to determine if it’s great?:huh:  You start watching it and before you realize it, it’s done!!  Where did that 16 minutes go??:D

 

Thanks!  I make an effort to compress my videos as much as possible.  When this one got down to 16 minutes,  I just couldn't find anything else to edit out.  I did 4x speed a couple of places. 

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On 12/20/2020 at 2:06 PM, Warden Callaway said:

I took the Pietta 1860 Army that I did the arbor repaired.  30 shots and 30 went off fine. 

 

I only had one quirky incident.  On the 3'th cylinder,  the action jammed solid on the 5'th shot. (I was loading 6 on my home range.)  Turned out that a 1/8" fiber wad was stuck in the forcing cone. I've never had that happen before. 

 

1982688107_Pietta1860wadjamDec2020.jpg.8a98d89eff874141e3b255d5dbe8c063.jpg

 

I had to knock the wedge out and pull the barrel forward to get it out.

 

On the 4'th and 5'th cylinder loads,  I got out the grits and topped of the powder with .7cc.  The powder charge was 25 grains of Graffs ffg. The balls set with about 1/16" below the face. Crisco on top. 

Use felt wads.

OLG 

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1 minute ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

It is a felt wad.

Well, you said 'fiber',  that's what most BP shooters call the hard cork gasket material wad, in either .030 or .060 thickness. 

The Felt-Pro type, felt wad is completely different. 

OLG 

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2 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Well, you said 'fiber',  that's what most BP shooters call the hard cork gasket material wad, in either .030 or .060 thickness. 

The Felt-Pro type, felt wad is completely different. 

OLG 

 

In any case,  it was a homemade Wonded Wad - 1/8" felt soaked with a beeswax, mutton tallow and paraffin wax. 

 

It may have been a light charge.  I had to refill the flask on next cylinder.  But I didn't notice any change in report and ball went down range. 

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