Engraved, brass frame 1851

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okawbow

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Here is a 1851 engraved Colt that belongs to my Father-in-law. I replaced a broken cylinder bolt, and now the action works fine. However; there is play in the barrel and frame connection. I can see movement between the barrel and frame when I apply side pressure.
Does that movement make the gun unsafe to shoot? Is there a way to tighten it up?
The pistol is marked- Black powder only- made in Italy. FAP under the loading lever, on the barrel. Has stamps with a PN on the barrel and brass frame. I believe it is fairly old, maybe 70's. 36 cal.
 

hawkeye2

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Its quite possible that it is entirely safe to shoot but that depends on where the play is and how bad it is. There are two areas where you can have problem. One is the cylinder arbor being loose in the frame itself which is unlikely but far from unheard of if the gun has been shot a lot with heavy loads. The other area is the fit of the barrel/wedge/arbor which is easier to repair. Of course it can be a combination of the two also.
 

okawbow

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The cylinder arbor is solid. The play is where the bottom of the breech block pins to the frame. The is play around the barrel pin, and it is causing the barrel to move.

Is the normal fix adding metal to the back edge of the pin?
 

Zonie

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Is the bottom of the barrel tight against the front of the frame?

Lightly tapping the wedge in from the left side of the barrel will force the barrel back against the frame at that location which might tighten things up. Just don't overdo the tightening by driving the wedge in further than is needed.
 

okawbow

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Looks like the barrel wedge is worn out. If I take the screw out; I can tighten the wedge in enough to make the barrel fit tight against the frame, without binding the barrel and the cylinder.

Looks like we need a new wedge.

Thanks!
 

hawkeye2

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A new wedge is a good place to start. Just hope no one was filing on the opening in the barrel or arbor to adjust things or the wedge has been driven in so hard it damaged the slots. If that doesn't do the job get back to us, all is not lost as there is at least one more way to fix the problem.
 

okawbow

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I did some judicious hammering of the wedge on an anvil, and got the sides back to close their original width.

I can now get the play between the barrel and frame out by very lightly tapping the wedge in with a wood dowel. The wedge doesn't bottom out now, either. Everything seems tight and inline, and the cylinder rotates and locks in place like it should. Seems safe to shoot now.
 

hawkeye2

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Enjoy shooting. I like the engraving even if it is on a brass frame. I had a brass frame '49 pocket in my hands 4 days ago, probably 70's vintage,
 

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