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Author Topic: Uberti Conversion Wedge  (Read 590 times)

Offline dangt

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Uberti Conversion Wedge
« on: December 14, 2019, 06:12:40 AM »
I just purchased a Uberti Open Top 1871-1872 revolver and am annoyed by the wedge design.  I have wondered why in heck Uberti used a design like this for this gun ( and possibly the other Colt conversion models) instead of the spring-less type used on original conversion and open top Colts.  Because of the change in shape of the forward edge of the wedge body, a spring type wedge meant for a percussion gun cannot be used instead.

The reason this displeases me is that once the screw is turned so the flat allows the wedge to be driven out, it comes out all the way. The original type could be released without turning the screw and the screw head would have prevented it from falling completely free from the barrel, just as the percussion spring type wedge is retained by the screw.

Has anyone altered the slot in the Uberti conversion wedge by milling (or using a Dremel) or is the wedge just too hard to work as it is?    I might consider buying a new wedge and modifying it, lengthening the slot.  Anyone need pictures?  I dont have an original conversion type spring-less wedge but could take an image of a picture in one of my books.

Dan

Offline ssb73q

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2019, 06:57:53 AM »
Hi Dan, I would like to see a photo of your wedge. The C&B Patterson uses a wedge that just has a milled center, no spring. Most all the other C&B Colts use a spring. A photo of your wedge will allows us to comment more intelligently.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline Yolla Bolly Brad

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2019, 11:59:29 AM »
I don't have any experience with that particular gun but I doubt the wedge is hardened to a point where you cant cut on it with a sharp file.

Offline dangt

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 02:11:05 PM »
Thanks,  I'll  later post pics of my Open Top's wedge and also take an image of a pic in either Swayze's or McDowell's book showing the original O.T. and conversion wedge design.

If not too hard, I'll be milling the groove longer  as the Dremel would possibly give an ugly result...................if I decide to chance it and order a second wedge to do so on.

Offline dangt

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2019, 02:38:06 PM »
The shot from the forward edge of the wedge is supposed to show the rounded (radius-ed) edge that bears against the cylinder arbor slot. I suppose Uberti did this for manufacturing purposes that might ease fitting........it would definitely ease machining the arbor slot.  That does not bother me as the screw head clearance slot in the upper surface of the wedge.

Sorry that the image of the McDowell pic turned out so poorly.

Dan

Offline Hawg

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2019, 03:15:28 PM »
I seriously doubt the wedge is hardened at all
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 05:10:06 AM »
Hi Dan, seeing your photo I now understand your issue. Most wedges are soft steel, the wedge gives instead of the barrel metal. IMO a dremel job won't do well. If I were you, I would find a small machine shop to mill the slot to your specification.

Is there a chance that wedge of a spring type wedge would fit? Wedge springs can be easily removed.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline dangt

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2019, 05:59:16 AM »
Thanks,  I have  small machine shop in my back yard.   I am going to order a second wedge, fit it to the gun as a spare and mill out the slot .  At the same time, I'll get a non-flattened-head  wedge screw.

Dan

Offline bigted

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2020, 06:58:56 PM »
I seriously doubt the wedge is hardened at all

Little late on this one but ...

I had a Pietta 61 that was lose so I thought if I peened the wedge a bit I could  make it a bit wider and close the gap as well as tighten up the arbor to barrel fit.

Second smack with my small ball peen hammer as it rested on the heel of my vise ... broke in two.

Had a second wedge and it needed to be just a bit wider also ... guess what happened ... yepper it broke also.

Mine were very hard.
BIGTED

Offline 45 Dragoon

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Re: Uberti Conversion Wedge
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2020, 07:14:01 AM »
      I think you're right bigted!  They do have at least a certain amount of hardness. The big secret is, they don't have to be super hard to do what they need to do (but it wouldn't hurt either!). As long as the arbor fits and the wedge is in place under tension, there shouldn't be any damage to the wedge or the arbor or the barrel. It's when there isn't a good fit and no tension (or loss of tension from "thumb pressure") that damage happens. I know some CAS shooters use the " thumb pressure " thing but they shoot pretty light loads .  .  . and over time, they get sold and the person buying it sends it to me  .  .  .  then I get to deal with a beat up revolver !  I'm grateful that folks want me to fix them but honestly, new revolvers are much easier to set up /customize than  worn out examples!!

  As far as the op's question,  I think Colt decided that a radius on the forward edge of the wedge would be prone to less wear while spreading the "load" area to the front of the wedge.  The wedge spring is only there to allow the user  to pull the wedge without removing it totally.  The "new" springless wedge has a notch  instead of a spring to serve as a keeper.  Some wedges (I think possibly the fisrt examples) had a full length "notch" but (just as a problem with some of the sprung wedges) the wedge was probably prone to collapse as it proves to be weak. The notch then became  much shorter to allow the wedge to remain solid for the most part.  To me, this is the best wedge for all open top revolvers (of the Colt pattern).  The flat on the wedge screw is just a convience for wedge removal without removing the screw totally (and loosing it!!).

  When I setup a "captured" wedge, I'm essentially doing the same thing as making a "short notch" wedge. The spring is removed and re-mounted on the other end  and then cut shorter. This arrangement allows the wedge to be installed and the spring (now shorter) pops up and locks behind the head of the wedge screw.  The wedge is now "captured" and can't become loose! Removal is by turning the flat on the wedge screw  to allow the spring to pass by. 
  Installing the wedge is the same as normal but before you tap the wedge, you turn the wedge screw tight again  which pushes the spring down. Continue tapping for installation and you will see the spring pop up behind the screw head. That's how that works .  .  . 

Mike
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