Author Topic: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851  (Read 1773 times)

Offline Bishop Creek

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Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« on: March 02, 2016, 06:56:48 PM »
I have a 2nd Generation C Series Colt 1851 Navy made in 1971 that is in mint condition, has never been cocked, the cylinder has never been turned, but I have decided to shoot it. Should I take it apart and get what is likely 45 years of gunk out of the internals before firing it? Do these C Series 2nd Gen pistols have the short arbor problem that the Uberti's have?


Online mike116

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2016, 08:11:19 PM »
I would disassemble, clean and lube it after checking the function of all the parts if it were mine.    By the same token if it were mine,  I'd sell the commemorative cased set and buy an unfired 2nd gen standard model and use it for a shooter.   
I have no idea if the C series has the short arbor problem but I would assume it does and act accordingly.

Offline Bishop Creek

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 08:19:48 PM »
Thanks Mike, I'll take your comments under consideration.

Offline Fingers McGee

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 08:27:38 PM »
I would disassemble, clean and lube it after checking the function of all the parts if it were mine.    By the same token if it were mine,  I'd sell the commemorative cased set and buy an unfired 2nd gen standard model and use it for a shooter.   
I have no idea if the C series has the short arbor problem but I would assume it does and act accordingly.

What Mike said.

I've never checked my C series 1851s for a short arbor; but, my F series 1861 Navies had short arbors.
Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee - AKA Man of Many Colts; SASS 28564-L-TG, rangemaster and stage writer extraordinaire; Frontiersman/Pistoleer, NRA Endowment Life, Central Ozarks Western Shooters
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 08:49:49 PM »
I think it's safe to say the arbor will be short.

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2016, 09:04:01 PM »
Well, if I had it,  I'd go through it just like normal but, I'd remove the hand spring (after fitting) and heat treat the hand. I would also take the time to check the cyl ratchet and correct any misaligned teeth (for consistent timing purposes). Stud or bush the hammer to keep it centered. Set it up for dry fire. Then, if I got real picky,  I'd check the volume of the chambers and adjust all of them to the largest of course. (I mean it's a commemorative Colt for crying out loud!! Show it some respect!!)
 Of course to answer your question, no matter how well the arbor fits (I'm sure it's short), I'd set the bbl/cyl clearance to .002"   and the timing to factory perfect. The trigger would probably get an over travel stop as well.
  Then I'd remember I can't shoot bp where I live (not outside and only smokless in ranges) so I'd sell it, buy me a 2nd Gen Dragoon and set it up exactly like the Navy but with a Kirst gated conversion and shoot the heck out of it!!!

 Yap, that's what I'd do.

Mike
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Offline DoubleDeuce1

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2016, 10:29:07 PM »
I think I would be inclined to sell it and get a standard 2nd Gen Navy to shoot. As for taking it apart to clean and lube, I would leave that to the new owner should you decide to sell it. If the screw heads get messed up, let the new owner do it.  8)

Offline Ringo

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 03:16:39 AM »
I would be inclined to keep it as a collection piece, and get a recent Uberti to shoot it.
Shooting a 45 years old unfired commemorative revolver would make it lose more than half its value in just one round.
If I was not able to keep it and get a new one for shooting, I'd sell it and get 2 new ones, and spend the rest on a fine mould (and a few rounds with a buch of friends at the local pub).

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 03:59:06 AM »
I would be inclined to leave it as-is and use something else as a shooter.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 07:29:53 AM »
Hi Bishop, if it were mine, I would leave it pristine and get another to shoot. I wouldn't even clean the internals. You can check if it has an arbor issue by driving in the wedge hard. If it then has a zero cylinder/barrel gap clearance, it then has the typical Uberti short arbor.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2016, 08:06:15 AM »
I recently cleaned a NIB Colt 2nd Gen F-Series Navy by fully disassembling it and soaking everything but the grips in Odorless Mineral Spirits for about 45 minutes. It cleaned the cosmoline off without harming the finish. The metal looked "dry" when I took it out and I gave everything a thin coat of Eezox but Ballistol or whatever you like would probably work fine as well. The only thing I might do different is drop some Kroil or something on the screw heads prior to dismantling because some of the screws were very tight and I could have easily buggered them up.

As far as shooting a commemorative, to me the reason for shooting a 2nd Gen is to experience the joy of handling and shooting a beautiful piece that looks and feels as close to an original as possible. Just my opinion but the writing on a commemorative detracts a bit from that.

As far as shooting my F-Series Navy goes, there were/are a number of problems. The arbor is short. The arbor hole goes all the way through to the loading lever. The nipples are too small for even CCI #10 caps, which I believe are the smallest caps available nowdays. I had to wear safety glasses and hold the caps with a pair of forceps while pinching them with a pair of pliers for safety. The hammer is so tight in the hammer channel that it delivers a weak blow so even with pinched caps I had a lot of misfires. Due to those problems I haven't really had a chance to work up a proper load so I can't really say how accurate it is. That said, I don't really have any regrets. These 2nd Gens are a thing of beauty and I think the joy of handling them and shooting them is worth whatever work it takes to get them running right.

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2016, 09:53:38 AM »
LP,
 There ya go!! I don't think anyone thought these would ever be shot. To do so, there is all kinds of "cleaning up" to do (like what you listed plus!)  Therefore, if someone wants a most excellent looking shooter, it should have the action that would allow it to be a most excellent shooter! What I mean by that is, if left as is, the action parts will break.  A premium looking revolver with an "out of the box" action is no better than the "run of the mill" revolver  .  .  .  .  .  . it just looks purty!!

Mike
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Offline Bishop Creek

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2016, 03:02:24 PM »
I would be inclined to leave it as-is and use something else as a shooter.

Most here say the same thing. Maybe I'll just purchase a Pietta 1851 from Cabela's and shoot that instead. No arbor problem with those.

Offline G Dog

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2016, 09:13:21 PM »
I would be inclined to leave it as-is and use something else as a shooter.

Most here say the same thing. Maybe I'll just purchase a Pietta 1851 from Cabela's and shoot that instead. No arbor problem with those.
Hi Creek - I agree with the quotes above.  Keep that beautiful rare baby pristine.  Get a Pietta 1851 to shoot like crazy and thereby eliminate any concerns over tradeoffs or conflicts of judgment. 

I have had a Pietta 1851 since 1996 [BH] and it is still shooting great, it always has.   I love that thing. 
Your 2nd Gen. is a really beautiful piece.  Nice picture of it too.

Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Shooting an old 2nd Gen 1851
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2016, 09:38:25 PM »
Just wanted to report that I received a set of Slix Shot nipples designed for the Uberti 1851 Navy from Longhunter today. They fit my Colt 2nd Gen F-Series 1851 Navy perfectly. I fired 3 cylinders and had no misfires so I may have been mistaken about the hammer channel being too tight. It does feel a bit tight but it works great now with the Slix Shots. I did not have any cap jams either.

Longhunter Slix Shot nipples:
http://www.longhunt.com/storelh/index.php?route=product/product&path=88_97&product_id=267