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Author Topic: barrel/cylinder gap measuring  (Read 582 times)

Offline Powder Burn

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barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« on: December 27, 2020, 10:34:39 AM »
As a result of my having a gunsmith work on a Pietta 1851 Navy for me a question has arisen. When I got the revolver back, he said he opened up the barrel/cylinder gap because there was none. I did not tell him to do this but now I am worried he over stepped his bounds. What is the proper way to measure the gap and what is the recommended gap distance? Do you measure with the hammer at rest, half cock or full cock? Not only did he open the gap, he cut the forcing cone at an angle so the gap is about 3 times bigger on one side from the other. There are gunsmiths and then there are gunsmiths.

Offline Hawg

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2020, 11:25:07 AM »
It's time to look for a better gunsmith. Check gap with it on half cock and cylinder pulled to the rear. To me a gap of .003 is about right but .004-.008 is what most usually ship with. I don't worry about it too much.
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Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2020, 12:12:14 PM »
It's time to look for a better gunsmith. Check gap with it on half cock and cylinder pulled to the rear. To me a gap of .003 is about right but .004-.008 is what most usually ship with. I don't worry about it too much.
Oh boy, at half cock and cylinder to the rear, I am reading .025" on the tight side. I assume that this is not good and that he just might have turned it into a paper weight. Probably not allowed to cuss on this forum huh?

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2020, 04:42:42 PM »
He messed it up, for sure. But not permanently. It's fixable.
FWIW, there are very few competent gunsmiths in the black powder revolver theater. Keep us posted. I've done this repair myself a few times. Normally, the way an idiot would "open up clearances" is to mill the face of the cylinder, If this is what he did it's a super simple fix; replace the cylinder with a new one. Since all Pietta parts have been CAM/CAD since 2002, this would require nothing other than a gunsmithing screwdriver set and a mallet to drive out the wedge. If it's a pre-'02 gun, you may have to do some fitting. Do you know the date code of the gun? (either Roman numerals or two capital letters in a box on the frame) That will help a lot.
Now, if he did 'something else' to open the gap (you never know with these hacks!) we may have to explore this in depth. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Hawg

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2020, 12:17:09 AM »
He said he cut the forcing cone on an angle so that will have to be cleaned up. Then the barrel lug will have to be shaved down and the arbor hole deepened. Best bet would probably be to find a new barrel.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2020, 04:32:52 AM »
Yep partners, that is what he did. He cut down the forcing cone and didn't even do a good job at that since it is cut on skew to the cylinder. I was shocked when I seen it but since he is a long time friend and had been a gunsmith for many years I can't bring myself to mention it to him.
The date code on the right side of the frame, in the box, is 20. So where could I possibly order a new barrel for it ?

Offline sourdough

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2020, 05:49:22 AM »
VTI/ Item #3/ Check stock/ $125.

Your revolver was manufactured in 2020.

https://www.vtigunparts.com/store/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=70&cat=Pietta+1860+Army+1861+Navy

Regards,

Jim

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Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2020, 06:42:08 AM »
VTI/ Item #3/ Check stock/ $125.

Your revolver was manufactured in 2020.

https://www.vtigunparts.com/store/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=70&cat=Pietta+1860+Army+1861+Navy

Regards,

Jim
Good deal. Thank you for the link. I sent off an email to them to check if they are in stock. I am awaiting a reply back from them but I have to go to the eye doctor pretty soon here. Maybe I'll have good news from them when I get back.

Offline TheOutlawKid

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 05:45:52 PM »
When it comes to gun smiths/tuner...they all have their specialties and a cap and ball revolver is way different than tuning a smokeless modern revolver. Always make sure your gun smith/tuner works on and understands cap and ball revolvers as they have different requirements. I truely feel for your situation. What exactly were you wanting him to do to your pietta? Because there are tuners who can really slick them up and specialize in them. For instance i put a two part torsion spring set up to replace the flat trigger/bolt spring, a cap post, a hammer sheild to prevent fouling and cap fragments from falling into the action, bolt leg and cam adjustment, and action stop. Im curious as to what you wanted/needed him to do. Fix a problem or just slick it up?

Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2021, 03:16:29 AM »
When it comes to gun smiths/tuner...they all have their specialties and a cap and ball revolver is way different than tuning a smokeless modern revolver. Always make sure your gun smith/tuner works on and understands cap and ball revolvers as they have different requirements. I truely feel for your situation. What exactly were you wanting him to do to your pietta? Because there are tuners who can really slick them up and specialize in them. For instance i put a two part torsion spring set up to replace the flat trigger/bolt spring, a cap post, a hammer sheild to prevent fouling and cap fragments from falling into the action, bolt leg and cam adjustment, and action stop. Im curious as to what you wanted/needed him to do. Fix a problem or just slick it up?
Very nice for you to pitch in Outlaw. Well, it's all my fault actually. It was a brand new Pietta 1851 Navy that I had ordered from Midway. When it arrived, it wouldn't stay on full cock. At that point in time, I didn't feel comfortable disassembling it and trying to figure out what was wrong with it. Returning it to Midway was out of the question. My gunsmith, one who is a SASS member and slicks up more guns then I can count took it off my hands to look at it for me. He returned it a few days later and the revolver functions really nice but then he said that it had practically no B/C gap and said he opened it up. Boy, did he ever. I could drive a Mac truck through the gap. It's like .025" or more. My feeler gauge only goes up that high and it slides through ,touching, with ease.
I am still trying to locate a new barrel for it but it seems everyplace I checked are out of stock and don't know when they will get any.
Again, thank you for your interest and concern.

Offline Hawg

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2021, 09:45:59 AM »
Try ebay
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2021, 09:57:44 AM »
I was going to suggest eBay also. There are a lot of them listed but they're a bit on the high side price wise.
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Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2021, 11:02:57 AM »
Yes, I already checked ebay out and yep, they are asking to much. In some cases,might as well just buy a new revolver.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 11:06:25 AM by Powder Burn »

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2021, 06:34:53 PM »
Yes, I already checked ebay out and yep, they are asking to much. In some cases,might as well just buy a new revolver.

You're right about that. The people on eBay are gouging big time. They buy brand new revolvers and then strip them and sell the parts. They gotta be doubling their money.
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Offline Powder Burn

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Re: barrel/cylinder gap measuring
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2021, 02:03:34 AM »
I couldn't stand it no more. I hated seeing my brand new Pietta 1851 Navy laying around as a paper weight so I broke down and hit up one of those scalper on ebay and ended up paying $150 for a brand new barrel for it. It finally arrived and all went well and I have it installed. The barrel is a 2020,same as the one that my gunsmith messed up.My new barrel/cylinder gap .005". That's a far cry from the .027" that my gunsmith created.