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Login Name Post: Colt 1851 Forty Caliber        (Topic#305606)
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-02-17 05:44 PM - Post#1654801    


It came home!

Tore it down, cleaned it up, miked it out and reassembled with lithium greaase. Installed Tresco nipples. Thirty grains under .41 ball pretty much fill the chambers. The chambers are .403 and rounded on the lip so the balls swage in instead of shaving a ring. Groove diameter is .401.

Getting the feel for it this afternoon bouncing cans around the yard.

https://imgur.com/a/lYOZY



 
rodwha 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1995
12-02-17 11:31 PM - Post#1654846    

    In response to GoodCheer

I'm curious about your 30 grn powder charge. Seems that's what I read about a .36 cal as a max charge with a ball. Is this a measured charge or weighed charge, and of what?

 
Smokey Plainsman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 671
12-03-17 01:10 AM - Post#1654847    

    In response to rodwha

Is this a custom piece?

A .40 cal Navy sounds like a peach!

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-03-17 06:36 AM - Post#1654857    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

30 grains by volume is filling the chamber and leaving a little space up front for LOOB.
And yes, it's a .36 reworked to be a .40 as Colt experimented with, there being five known prototypes from what I've read. I'm not certain but am thinking maybe that was something he was looking at for the market place before the war came along and changed almost everybody's plans.
Any how, it is a nice shooting piece, handles well and seems to be hitting better than me. Haven't figgered out the best load yet.


 
rodwha 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1995
12-03-17 10:49 AM - Post#1654878    

    In response to GoodCheer

Did you also create a .40/.41 cal Remington? That's the way I recall it along with having a .40 cal barrel screwed into the frame as opposed to boring/lining it.

As I also believe I recall you had a gunsmith install the barrel. What of the reaming of the chambers?

What brand(s) did you modify? Curious if there's more meat in the cylinder you chose to work with, maybe being built from a .44 cal model but produced as a .36 cal.

A fellow on another forum showed how a conical with sufficient driving bands doesn't need to be oversized like a ball. What diameter are your chambers compared to the bore and the projectile? I will be modifying my conical designs and one of the changes will be to reduce the diameter as I share them between my ROA and NMA that's reamed to .449". I still want them slightly oversized so I'll reduce the diameter to .453" or .454" from .456".


Edited by rodwha on 12-03-17 10:55 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-03-17 11:24 AM - Post#1654880    

    In response to rodwha

Yep, I do have a .41 Remington made from a .36 1858 Pietta, set up to use off the shelf .41 revolver molds. Bullets are cast from soft lead and the hind ends sized to slip into the chambers, the front ends ends fitting the chambers like with round ball. That way the bullet alignment is never in question. The bullets' bases are sized .001 under groove diameter. The chambers are .001 or .002 over groove, don't remember which.

The .40 Colt 1851 is an older though not used Pietta.
I'm liking this '51. Forty has it thinned out about far as I'd care to go and the lead is up in weight about 30%.

 
rodwha 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1995
12-03-17 01:26 PM - Post#1654897    

    In response to GoodCheer

I'm one who appreciates larger calibers for the most part. Though I feel the need to own a Colt '62 Police/Pocket Navy the .36 cal just doesn't seem that interesting. But I have been a bit enamored with the Spiller & Burr but have felt I probably ought to own a '51 Navy just because of what's said about how it points and handles. I considered one of those .44 cal versions but it just doesn't seem right to do so even if I'm not exactly a purist. But a .40 cal version would not just be somewhat authentic but it also begins with a 4, which is something I appreciate. Since we talked about your modified Remington I've thought it seemed a good project for one day, though a bit low on my list.

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4508
12-04-17 07:53 PM - Post#1655144    

    In response to rodwha

Our local Cabella's has 51's on sale for $149.00 steel frame models.
If it was .36 I'd have one right away but these are all .45 Pietta's.
I have a reworked Navy 62 police in .36 and really like the little gun. I reamed the cylinder mouths to better fit the grooves and installed a dovetail front sight. It now takes a .380 ball. Nice little gun that shoots like a big gun.



Edited by M.D. on 12-04-17 08:08 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
rodwha 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1995
12-05-17 10:45 AM - Post#1655217    

    In response to M.D.

I'm curious what the dimensions were and whas they are know, as well as who's reamer you used along with how it was implemented if you did it yourself.

My understanding of the Uberti Police is that it has a bore of .370 x .376" with .372" chambers.

Did you notice a considerable improvement once the chambers were reamed?

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4508
12-06-17 01:48 AM - Post#1655382    

    In response to rodwha

Bore .364
Groove .372
Cylinder mouths now .375
Cylinder before .368-.370 as I remember it. I know a .375 ball shaved a lot of lead.
Measurements taken with plug gauges, bore slug and calipers.
cylinder/barrel gap .008
Haven't gotten around to testing accuracy yet with the new ream job.
I reamed it using a six flute, .375 chucking reamer in my drill press to keep it square with the mouth, parallel to chamber bore.
In practice take the belt off the drill press head cluster so you can turn it easy by hand.
Hold the cylinder chamber mouths up by hand on the press table, set the depth lock on the quill, lube each chamber with cutting oil and lower the quill as you hand turn the head.
Make sure to keep the base of the cylinder firmly on the press table while reaming.
Your bare hand will do that very nicely while moving with the reamer to maintain center.
What your actually doing is feeling the reamer through the center while using the drill press quill and base plate to keep the reamer cut square and centered.
Same principle as using a drill and tap guide to thread a hole.
The reamer will find it's own center and the quill depth lock will make the same depth on each chamber.
You will probably discover that one or more of your original chambers is a different diameter and not perfectly round.
Actually it can be done by hand only in a padded vice if one is careful and feels the reamer through.
I like the drill press because it mechanically keeps things straight and square.It also makes a uniform depth on each chamber.
Don't be temped to use the press power, do it by hand. You won't screw it up or endanger your holding hand if the reamer catches.

Edited by M.D. on 12-06-17 02:01 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-06-17 04:39 AM - Post#1655386    

    In response to M.D.

Getting ready to do that with my 1849 with the 6" barrel.
The chambers are exactly bore diameter.


 
rodwha 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1995
12-06-17 10:36 AM - Post#1655426    

    In response to M.D.

I don't own a drill press. The majority of my tools are HVAC related, though I've been interested in working with wood and bought a cheap table saw to play with. But I don't generally work on a project that if something isn't just right it could be screwed up or even become dangerous. I'd prefer to leave reaming to someone experienced.

I've seen many examples of cut down revolvers claiming it's rather easy but I just can't get myself to draw a saw blade across the barrel or even try creating a dovetail.

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4508
12-06-17 10:47 AM - Post#1655428    

    In response to rodwha

If you know you don't have that particular skill set than it is wise to have it done by some one who does.
Same deal with me and auto transmissions or electrical wiring for example.

 
hawkeye2 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2145
12-06-17 02:36 PM - Post#1655462    

    In response to rodwha

"I've seen many examples of cut down revolvers claiming it's rather easy but I just can't get myself to draw a saw blade across the barrel or even try creating a dovetail.



If the saw blade scares you do what I did on the last one, a 4 1/2" angle grinder with a cutoff wheel . Real fast and easy. Finish with some files.


 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4508
12-06-17 04:20 PM - Post#1655479    

    In response to hawkeye2

The problem with stone cut off wheels on gun barrels is that it burns the steel near the cut.
Same reason I do not agree with folks that TIG weld liner muzzles to loose the seem.
It sure looks nice when cleaned up but the steel near the muzzle will be softer, possibly bore scaled and and /or warped.
This is one of the main reasons to not use silver solder to sweat on front sight blades or bands.

 
hawkeye2 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2145
12-06-17 06:34 PM - Post#1655504    

    In response to M.D.

Slow and easy, don't let the barrel get hot and it won't hurt a thing. If you push it and the steel is turning blue in the cut you really have an issue. Filed off almost 1/8" to get to the target length and the (mildly) heat affected zone is gone.

 
M.D. 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4508
12-07-17 02:50 AM - Post#1655552    

    In response to hawkeye2

I guess my question then would be if your going to file it square any way why not use a hack saw and have no chance of over heating barrel steel.
The saw will be quicker any way.

 
hawkeye2 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2145
12-07-17 09:03 AM - Post#1655622    

    In response to M.D.

Don't have a vise handy. When I really need one I have to lug mine outdoors (about 50 lbs.) bolt it to the table and then bring it back in when I'm finished.

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-07-17 07:17 PM - Post#1655727    

    In response to hawkeye2

Had a huge awesome vice with iron wheels on it in the barn where we used to live in Texas. Not sorry we sold everything and left but that's something you miss.

 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5961
GoodCheer
12-07-17 07:24 PM - Post#1655728    

    In response to GoodCheer

Was just checking the sizer dies. Got .400, .401, .406, .408. That means that I can make some pretty darn good form fitting bullets for the chambers on this piece.

Anybody have recommendations on a real good loading press that you put the cylinder in. I've never been prone to wanting to use one 'til now but now the idea is looking a might attractive.

 
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