Cylinder gap ? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Default Cylinder gap ?

The gap on my 1851 is way too big. What would be the best way to fix it?

Looking at it I am thinking about taking a few thousands off the part painted white. This should do it.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 11:16 AM
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That would narrow the cyl. to barrel gap but another piece comes into play there, the cyl. arbor with the slot the barrel locking wedge rides into. You may luck out that narrowing the gap still lets you lock the wedge in, but it will be good to take a good long look-see at that inter-relationship before ya go whittlin'.
BTW, just how much gap do you have?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Have not run a gauge in it yet.There is too much "day light". My other 51' and revolvers have little or none. There is a little extra room on the front edge of the slot. I figured that if I take 1/1000 off the face I could take the same off the slot. The pin holes can be deepened the same.

Is there another way?

Thanks.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 02:47 PM
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Have to ask. How does it shoot? If cylinder is aligned with the barrel and doesn't rattle, barrel is tight to the frame and you can hold 6" offhand at 50 feet with a Colt, I wouldn't do anything
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 03:30 PM
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IMO a gap of 'little to none' on a cap&ball revolver is too little. A bit of fouling on the cylinder end and it can bind up making for putting way too much pressure/wear on the hand and star trying to **** it. Just because your other clones are that way doesnt mean its right.
Dont 'fix' it iffn it aint broke.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Got out the gauge . I have 3 cylinders for it.

Two Pietta's with a gap of .012 . This is what I lit the bench rest on fire with.

One Howell .45 LC conversion with a .010 gap. This looks OK.

Any idea what would be the proper gap?

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 06:00 PM
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Modern smokeless revolver usually are between about .004 and .009. Gap on a BP revolver should be a little larger to account for fouling. Can the cylinder be shimmed forward using a washer? Don't have my Army model in front of me to visually see if its doable.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 03:23 PM
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Geeze, a gun forum that wont let us say coc$ the hammer back.........

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 03:50 PM
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Shimming a cylinder forward can result in throwing the timing off as the hand may not full rotate the cylinder into lock position;
You have three issues, basic headspace, in this case the nipples/caps to the rear, the cyl/barrel gap to the front when the cylinder is held completely back and endshake. The basic Colt's type open top tends to have a fair amount of endshake, and needs it.
A)With the cylinder pushed full forward measure the clearance to the rear with a feeler gauge. You also want to note if the cylinder still has any cyl/brl gap at all, it needs at least .001".
B)Pushed full back measure the cyl/brl gap.
Subtract A from B for the endshake.
Ive had C&B revolvers with .010"+ cyl/brl gap that shot well and one with about .004 iirc that would bind up too quickly for me; even though specs are as previously noted as .004-.009 I like on the wider end for Black Powder (never did much with Pyrodex and nothing with the other 'substitutes'. Your .010-.012 wouldnt put me off at all.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Can't shim it from the rear. It would mess with the hand engaging the star and would move the cylinder lock up notch off the bolt a little. After I get the new trigger/bolt spring I will check the lock up front to back. Side to side is good.

I gaped the others. The Navy Arms 1851 is .006 and does not bind up from fowling. The old Ruger Black Hawk .357 is .012 also. It is also a flame thrower with hot loads.

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