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1860 Army Question

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On ORIGINAL Colt 1860 armies, is the inside of the cylinder stepped up as well as the outside? Were they bored out to two different diameters? I know the repros are bored straight through but I just saw a Duelist1954 video where he says the repros should have stepped chambers. Thanks!
 

sourdough

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Charles W. Pate's book The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver (pp. 132-135) discusses the "cavalry cylinder' in which the chambers are not "stepped" but are tapered at the rear.

1860-Army-003.jpg


Regards,

Jim
 
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Charles W. Pate's book The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver (pp. 132-135) discusses the "cavalry cylinder' in which the chambers are not "stepped" but are tapered at the rear.

1860-Army-003.jpg


Regards,

Jim
Thank you. That image is not working for me as I don’t belong to that board. Is it a photo of the interior of an original cylinder? Thanks
 
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Thanks! I've never hears a Colt's referred to as an NMA but it clearly is a Colt's due to the pins on the back of the cylinder.

It seems the repros are bored straight through but that's a fairly minor point all things condidered.

It makes a lot of sense considering the 1860s were nearly always loaded with the tapered paper cartridge.
 
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FWIW, I've been working on a pair of Uberti Dragoons and a pair of Uberti Walkers, all of recent manufacture. Using pin gauges to measure chamber dimension, a gauge that would easily enter the mouth would stop after about 1/8" suggesting the chambers are tapered.
 

Kozmo

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I just measured the cylinder on my 1863 Colt 1860.

There is a .133 difference between the cylinder opening and the inside at the nipple.
 
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The early 1860 Army chambers were not tapered and tended to rupture in the stop-slot area with the steel of that period.

Pate uses this nomenclature:

OMA (Old Model Army): 1848 Dragoon
OMN (Old Model Navy): 1851 Navy
NMA (New Model Army): 1860 Army
NMN (New Model Navy): 1861 Navy

Regards,

Jim
I see, thanks! It appears the modern steels used in the repros alleviate this problem.

I was just wondering the differences between the repros and originals because I love it when the repro mimics the original in all aspects, not just cosmetics. It seems, then, a modern repro’s chamber profiles would just about match an early original Colt 1860s?
 
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EDIT it seems the 1860s with straight bored chambers were the fluted cylinder models.

After those had issues with rupturing, Colt switched to the standard non-fluted cylinder and went to the tapered “cavalry” style chambers.

So, it would appear to me, that a modern 1860 repro with non-fluted cylinder would NOT be period correct with straight bore chambers.

Uberti makes a properly styled fluted cylinder 1860 Army but I personally do not fancy the Uberti guns for the soul fact their arbors are improperly set up (too short) from the factory as a rule.

I’m a Pietta man and while Pietta does offer a fluted cylinder 1860 Army, the design of the cylinder looks absolutely nothing like an original.
 
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TNGhost

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I have one of those Pietta 1860s with the half fluted chambers. No not true to the original, but then many facets of the repros are not.

I bought it because I found it strikingly graceful in appearance, even more so than the average 1860, which in itself to me is the most aesthetically appealing of the Colts. I am also a fan of the appearance of the 1862 New Police and its fluted cylinder.
 
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My Armi San Marco (BD/1994) cased set.


View attachment 39206
BEAUT!!!

I am leaning heavily towards a fluted cylinder 1860 Army as my next C&B revolver, not only for the correctly profiled chambers, but because they look SO good!!

I’ll need to research methods of correcting the short arbors on the Uberti guns. I know their are many, and am wondering if any gunsmiths out there can correct them? I am pretty good at tinkering with these things though. Perhaps another thread is in order?
 

BadDaditood

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BEAUT!!!

I am leaning heavily towards a fluted cylinder 1860 Army as my next C&B revolver, not only for the correctly profiled chambers, but because they look SO good!!

I’ll need to research methods of correcting the short arbors on the Uberti guns. I know their are many, and am wondering if any gunsmiths out there can correct them? I am pretty good at tinkering with these things though. Perhaps another thread is in order?
Somewhere I saw a SASS guy’s tuneup procedure for modern repros. The Uberti involved use of a Dillon Locator Button for their shellplate. I forget which number Button is the size of a Colt arbor but picture a thumb tack- the shaft is about 1/8” diameter and the head a good 1/8” plus. You drill a hole in the center of the end of the arbor, green Loctite (red Permatex) the Dillon button in, file to fit making the arbor longer.
There are a lot of fixes in this guy’s pages, try Googling
Tuning the Uberti Open Top Revolvers
By
Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS
He also has a Pietta tuning page, with that one I replaced the handspring with a Ruger coil spring which won’t break and works great as long as you remember to reinstall it after cleaning!!
Another guy uses toilet bolts on his Uberti... Have fun with it!
 

sourdough

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Tuning the Uberti Open Top Revolvers By Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS. He also has a Pietta tuning page, with that one I replaced the handspring with a Ruger coil spring which won’t break and works great as long as you remember to reinstall it after cleaning!!
I got you covered on the Smokey's other new thread. Thanks!

BEAUT!!! I am leaning heavily towards a fluted cylinder 1860 Army as my next C&B revolver, not only for the correctly profiled chambers, but because they look SO good!!
I guess we are twin sons of different mothers! Thanks for the nice comment. A bit of explanation about the cased set is in order.

It took me over a year to put it all together. I bought the ASM 1860 (BD/1994) used early in 2019 with the engraved cylinder (in the lower left compartment). Like you, I wanted a full-fluted cylinder, but ASM parts are scarce as hens' teeth since they closed up shop in 2002. ASM did produce a full-fluted cylinder model during that time period, so I spent a couple of months measuring the original cylinder, contacting folks with info about Pietta and Uberti cylinder measurements on other forums, and other things. The Pietta cylinder was too long, but the Uberti cylinder turned out to be within about .002" in all dimensions compared to the ASM cylinder. I bought one from Taylor's (VTI also has them), and when it arrived I was elated that it fit very well.

Pietta 1860 Army Cylinder  Specs.jpg


I have no idea who manufactured the shoulder stock. It may be ASM, or it could be an Uberti. These days the only source of Colt Type 3 1860 shoulder stocks is Pietta, and Pietta never puts that nice of a grade of wood on their stocks, let alone maple. It is somewhat an anomaly as it is tiger stripe maple stained dark. I removed the buttplate and the wood is light colored underneath, and have never seen another even close to it. I acquired it with the case, and assembled the accoutrements (Euroarms ball/conical bullet mould, Euroarms powder flask, Eley cap tin, and unknown nipple wrench). The case interior dividers were in poor shape and I re-glued them back into place.

!ASM 1860 001.jpg


Quite an enjoyable project.

Regards,

Jim
 
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The early 1860 Army chambers were not tapered and tended to rupture in the stop-slot area with the steel of that period.

Pate uses this nomenclature:

OMA (Old Model Army): 1848 Dragoon
OMN (Old Model Navy): 1851 Navy
NMA (New Model Army): 1860 Army
NMN (New Model Navy): 1861 Navy

Regards,

Jim
Thanks! I just bought that book. Can’t wait! :)
 

brazosland

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193F5FF0-6822-4451-9920-241BDD1A1AEB.jpeg


Bought this Uberti back in March. If I have to stay home, where my range is, I might as well have a project. Shoots to point of aim at 15 yards. That’s not even my best group, it’s gotten better the last 100 rounds.

Thinking about stripping the blue and putting an antique finish on it. It sure is pretty now though...
 
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⚠ UPDATE: ⚠

There were some conclusions I reached in the above texts that were NOT CORRECT in light of recent research on my part. I originally came to the conclusion that straight-walled chambers were not used in the standard (non-fluted) round cylinder of Colt 1860 revolvers, and this is NOT the case.

According to author Charles M. Pate and his phenomenal work The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver, the very first 1860 revolvers were made with ROUND cylinders and the standard straight chambers like we see today on the Italian guns. However, Colt quickly focused on making fluted cylinders in order to reduce the weight of the gun.

As the revolver was being proofed by the Army before adoption, they found some guns were bursting cylinders at the bolt notches. This was NOT a result of the fluted cylinder, but the straight chambers were the culprit. There just wasn’t enough metal between the chamber walls and the bolt stops.

Colt’s fix for this was the “cavalry cylinder”, that member sourdough mentioned in post #5. By adding a taper to the rear of the chambers, the wall thickness of the metal under the bolt notches was roughly doubled, and this cured the bursting issues.

Shortly before the cavalry cylinder was introduced and made the standard in June-July of 1861, Colt had started to produce the now-ubiquitous round cylinders again starting in April of 1861. Some speculate this was to reduce machining time and manufacturing costs and it appears Colt was phasing out the fluted cylinders during this period. Again, THE FLUTED CYLINDER WERE NOT THE CULPRIT of the burst guns, and in fact Colt continued to produce (or finish) some fluted cylinder guns featuring the strengthened “cavalry” chamber design for a while after.

SO, what this means is that some of the earliest 1860 Army revolvers had round cylinders and straight chambers, as well as those guns made in the first half of 1861. This amounts to quite a large number of guns.

All modern repros use the original straight chambers but today we don’t experience burst cylinders because the metallurgy far exceeds what they had during the time period. I won’t get in to the pedantry of all the minor details of correctness for today’s repros, but the chamber designs thankfully are NOT incorrect.

Sorry for the confusion!

-Smokey
 

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