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Author Topic: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??  (Read 2349 times)

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Offline ssb73q

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1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« on: August 29, 2013, 09:55:03 AM »
Hi, the spring on the barrel wedge of an 1860/1861 is sometimes a PITA when using a conversion cylinder. Sometimes when the wedge is pulled the wedge comes out so far that it pops out and becomes difficult to reinstall the wedge after reloading the conversion cylinder. IMO this problem would go away if the wedge spring was broken off the wedge.

Is there a downside to removing that spring? If the spring is removed will the wedge work itself out when shooting?  (^h (^h (^h

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Len

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 10:29:19 AM »
As far as I have learnt on this excellent forum, that web spring is only for keeping the wedge from dropping out of the frame, when (the wedge is) disengaged.

Offline Saranac Sam

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 11:46:06 AM »
Hi, the spring on the barrel wedge of an 1860/1861 is sometimes a PITA when using a conversion cylinder. Sometimes when the wedge is pulled the wedge comes out so far that it pops out and becomes difficult to reinstall the wedge after reloading the conversion cylinder. IMO this problem would go away if the wedge spring was broken off the wedge.

Is there a downside to removing that spring? If the spring is removed will the wedge work itself out when shooting?  (^h (^h (^h

Regards,
Richard
 

I know what you mean, they can be a PITA.  I have one now that is very high and stiff.  Rather than break it off, maybe try this:  Heat it red hot with a blow torch, clamp it down with a pair of vice-grips and let it cool.  That should anneal it and make it more manageable.  No, I haven't tried this yet  :)

I usually polish those wedges with a small stone, get the burrs off the corners, etc., they usually go in easier.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 12:16:59 PM »


I know what you mean, they can be a PITA.  I have one now that is very high and stiff.  Rather than break it off, maybe try this:  Heat it red hot with a blow torch, clamp it down with a pair of vice-grips and let it cool.  That should anneal it and make it more manageable.  No, I haven't tried this yet  :)

I usually polish those wedges with a small stone, get the burrs off the corners, etc., they usually go in easier.

Hi Sam, annealing the spring is a great idea, thank you. So as to not modify my original wedge springs, I ordered a couple of these to butcher up, see:
https://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?products_id=1059&osCsid=a56v1p8voct7aiqt8vfgjf2n44

Swapping out a cylinder on an 1860/1851 is almost as easy as the 1858 Remington if the wedge issue can be resolved. I would have thought that cowboy action shooters that use the 1860/1851 Colts would have already worked this out, but I can't find any references on the internet.

Annealing the wedge spring seems to be an ideal solution!  {?| {?| {?|

Regards,
Richard

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Offline Saranac Sam

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 02:14:26 PM »


I know what you mean, they can be a PITA.  I have one now that is very high and stiff.  Rather than break it off, maybe try this:  Heat it red hot with a blow torch, clamp it down with a pair of vice-grips and let it cool.  That should anneal it and make it more manageable.  No, I haven't tried this yet  :)

I usually polish those wedges with a small stone, get the burrs off the corners, etc., they usually go in easier.

Swapping out a cylinder on an 1860/1851 is almost as easy as the 1858 Remington if the wedge issue can be resolved. I would have thought that cowboy action shooters that use the 1860/1851 Colts would have already worked this out, but I can't find any references on the internet.

Regards,
Richard

Agreed, I can swap out my 58 in about 15 seconds, my 60 in about 20 seconds.  How fast do I really have to be, this ain't the OK Corral.  At the range, I will spend long minutes playing with them.   :)

Back in March I went to a SASS shoot down in Ballston Spa, those guys didn't swap cylinders, they reloaded the old fashioned way, but it was a casual shoot.  Now, I understand, at other SASS shoots they will swap cylinders, they're running against the clock.

The wedge should be pushed in enough to hold it all together tightly, but not hammered in.  I should be able to push the wedge back out with my thumb nail...if not, adjustments need to be made.

In the old days, I'll bet some of those wedges got lost in the grass.  And I'll bet a few smart range riders whittled a new wedge out of wood and drove that in until they could find a replacement.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 07:01:27 AM »

In the old days, I'll bet some of those wedges got lost in the grass.  And I'll bet a few smart range riders whittled a new wedge out of wood and drove that in until they could find a replacement.

Hi Sam, and I suspect that the guys that used wood for a wedge were surprised as their barrel blew off their gun? I did a calculation assuming a .45 bore with a chamber pressure of 8000psi. The force trying to separate the barrel from the frame is 405lbs. I don't think that wood would easily support that loading?

Regards,
Richard
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Offline ifyouaintcav

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 08:00:07 AM »
My 51 Navy started out tight but after a couple pounds of powder loosened up nicely.  I think in the day most folks who felt the need of more than 5/6 shots probably carried more than one pistol &j(

Offline Saranac Sam

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 08:59:48 AM »

In the old days, I'll bet some of those wedges got lost in the grass.  And I'll bet a few smart range riders whittled a new wedge out of wood and drove that in until they could find a replacement.

Hi Sam, and I suspect that the guys that used wood for a wedge were surprised as their barrel blew off their gun? I did a calculation assuming a .45 bore with a chamber pressure of 8000psi. The force trying to separate the barrel from the frame is 405lbs. I don't think that wood would easily support that loading?

Regards,
Richard

That was pure speculation for entertainment's sake, don't try it at home Richard.

 (?^
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Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 09:14:08 AM »
Heck! I would try that wood wedge. Knowing me...I'm a Goober!  [-=
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »
Heck! I would try that wood wedge. Knowing me...I'm a Goober!  [-=

Hi Sam, the mass of the barrel would probably let you get one good shot off as the barrel launched. The gun coming apart like that would probably have both you and the bad guy running.  )L$ (?^ ->i

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Mad Dog Stafford

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 09:37:19 AM »
 (?^ You might be right there Richard!  (T^

To you other guys...PLEASE don't do that dumb crap that I do.  ;)
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 09:39:18 AM »

That was pure speculation for entertainment's sake, don't try it at home Richard.

 (?^

Hi Sam, I shot 50rds of .45LC (250gr Laser Cast and 4.8gr Trail Boss) using a Taylor conversion cylinder with the Pietta 1851 Colt this morning. The 1851 groups as well as the Pietta 1860 Army with conversion cylinder, a same spot on the IPSC steel target from 25yds. However, while windage with the 1860 was perfect, the grouping of the 1851 is a couple of inches to the left. Both the 1860 and 1851 shoot high ~1.5ft at 25yds, 3ft at 50yds. Once the offset is dialed in, I had all my steel targets singing.

What's nice about the conversion cylinder and smokeless powder is that cleanup only takes ~5 minutes.  :) :) :)

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Saranac Sam

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 10:19:25 AM »

  I've always like the looks and idea of a conversion pistol...maybe next year  (T^

Back in the day, a couple of hundred years ago when I was a kid, my father (veteran combat infantryman) taught me the idea of "Kentucky windage."  Simply meaning, if you're shooting high right, aim low left.

Obviously we want to get our rifles dialed in to the best distances we can expect to shoot.  Up here in the mountains and thick woods, 50-100 yards is as good as it gets, which is why the .30-30 is popular.  Out west, it can be several 100 yards or .30-06 country.

I apply Kentucky windage to my pistol shooting (I have to have some excuse for being so bad at it).  Last time I was at my local range, a couple of the range officers were doing pistol shooting.  They had the steel target set up at 10 yards.  I remarked that was awful close.  They reminded me that any real gunfight would probably happen closer than that.  Probably true (yes I know about Wild Bill Hickock).

 ])M

(actually I didn't do too bad that day, I had a human silhouette set up at 25 yards, shooting an SA 357 with 4-3/4" barrel, I got all but two in center mass)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:37:49 AM by Saranac Sam »
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 10:57:27 AM »
Hi Sam, almost anyone can learn to shoot a rifle accurately in short order, handguns are another story.

Many years ago when I was in Boot Camp in the Navy, they wanted us to learn how to understand and use the 1911 pistol. While I could take down and reassemble the 1911 with my eyes closed, I couldn't hit the target no matter how hard I tried. That so bummed me out that some years later I bought my first 1911, a 1970 series Gold Cup. I was able to shoot my .22 revolver pretty well and I thought it was time to master the 1911. I took my shiny new Gold Cup to the local range with a few boxes of match .45 ACP ammo. At 25yds I was only able to hit the paper a few times. I began to doubt the Gold Cup, was it a bad one, were the sights off? The guy next to me was shooting his tuned 1911 and getting 8,9s, and 10s on his target. I interrupted his shooting to ask if he could look over my Gold Cup and see what was wrong. He asked me to load up a magazine and he began to shoot, 7rds in the X-ring. He just handed back my 1911 and smiled. With lots of practice I did master that 1911 and a number of others.

Some people are natural pistol shots, but like me most pistol shooters require lots of practice. You also need to handload so you can afford all the shooting required.

I currently have six handguns that sport laser grips. Laser grips is a fast track method to learning to shoot well. Strong hand, weak hand, and any shooting position, a laser grip gives the shooter an advantage. In a stress situation one's eyes focuses on the threat. The laser dot on the threat is natural to follow. However, even with the laser, electronics can fail, so I still practice with iron sights occasionally. Even with the iron sights, the laser points out flinching and hold issues, a training aid.

Bottom line, what does it take to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.  {?| {?| {?|

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Saranac Sam

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Re: 1860/1851 barrel wedge??
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 12:18:27 PM »
Exactly   ])M
Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.