• Friends, our 2nd Amendment rights are always under attack and the NRA has been a constant for decades in helping fight that fight.

    We have partnered with the NRA to offer you a discount on membership and Muzzleloading Forum gets a small percentage too of each membership, so you are supporting both the NRA and us.

    Use this link to sign up please; https://membership.nra.org/recruiters/join/XR045103

My first Pietta…issues

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Aug 26, 2022
Messages
766
Reaction score
1,885
Location
PA
I have only fairly recently gotten seriously into BP and when I jump into just about anything I do so with both feet. I started out with an 1858 Remington Sheriff, then a 3rd model Dragoon (both Uberti) and lastly 2 ROA, one stainless, one blued.

So I ordered the cheapest Pietta from Midway. An 1851 Navy-ish, brasser. I knew that it was a low end price point model as it had no Navy roll engraving on the cylinder, the grip is black plastic and of course the brass frame, which is not highly polished. I was okay with all of that due to the price of $234, and free shipping code.

I know that many posts tell of Piettas being of superior build quality, here are the issues I have with the Pietta:

1 - The wedge was not inserted deep enough for the wedge spring to pop up on the other side of the barrel. In fact it had been driven in so hard at the factory that it took several good whacks with punch and hammer to remove it. It is stamped with a number 3 on the bottom which I assume was the choice of the person who assembled it (assuming the number has something to do with proper fit). Anyway I had to file one edge down to get it to fit correctly.

2 - The barrel was difficult to remove, when reinstalling it I had to tap the muzzle with a plastic mallet to get it to seat properly. I removed and replaced it several times so I could get a nice shiny spot(s) on the arbor so could lightly sand those high spots down. Using 320 grit paper I removed the high spots until I could seat the barrel by hand.

3 - upon removal of the cylinder I noticed bluing salts had cooked out and surrounded one of the nipples. I decided to remove all of the nipples for cleaning. Two of them were clogged with bluing salts and the one that had salts around the outside of it was not even screwed in all the way, it just spun off with no effort.

4 - I disassembled the remaining parts of the frame. The roller on the hammer did not rotate. I drove out its pin and sanded off some burrs on it and reinstalled, it now rotates as it is supposed to.

So for my first Pietta experience I am not impressed. I had nothing similar on the Ubertis.
 
I have only fairly recently gotten seriously into BP and when I jump into just about anything I do so with both feet. I started out with an 1858 Remington Sheriff, then a 3rd model Dragoon (both Uberti) and lastly 2 ROA, one stainless, one blued.

So I ordered the cheapest Pietta from Midway. An 1851 Navy-ish, brasser. I knew that it was a low end price point model as it had no Navy roll engraving on the cylinder, the grip is black plastic and of course the brass frame, which is not highly polished. I was okay with all of that due to the price of $234, and free shipping code.

I know that many posts tell of Piettas being of superior build quality, here are the issues I have with the Pietta:

1 - The wedge was not inserted deep enough for the wedge spring to pop up on the other side of the barrel. In fact it had been driven in so hard at the factory that it took several good whacks with punch and hammer to remove it. It is stamped with a number 3 on the bottom which I assume was the choice of the person who assembled it (assuming the number has something to do with proper fit). Anyway I had to file one edge down to get it to fit correctly.

2 - The barrel was difficult to remove, when reinstalling it I had to tap the muzzle with a plastic mallet to get it to seat properly. I removed and replaced it several times so I could get a nice shiny spot(s) on the arbor so could lightly sand those high spots down. Using 320 grit paper I removed the high spots until I could seat the barrel by hand.

3 - upon removal of the cylinder I noticed bluing salts had cooked out and surrounded one of the nipples. I decided to remove all of the nipples for cleaning. Two of them were clogged with bluing salts and the one that had salts around the outside of it was not even screwed in all the way, it just spun off with no effort.

4 - I disassembled the remaining parts of the frame. The roller on the hammer did not rotate. I drove out its pin and sanded off some burrs on it and reinstalled, it now rotates as it is supposed to.

So for my first Pietta experience I am not impressed. I had nothing similar on the Ubertis.
Italian guns are a assembled ,sort of usable, kit that almost needs gunsmith work.
Figure on the price paid add another $150 or thereabout to get one that is reliable at least as reliable as C&B gun can be.
At least that is my experience
respectfully
Bunk
 
They are all tight when new, and will loosen up after a few disassemblies and some shooting.

They are made to a price point. Whatever you do , don't try to twist the cylinder with the gun "at rest" and the hammer down....pretty much every one of the dozen or so Piettas I own will have one or more chambers that come out of lockup . I have put many 100's of rounds through them like this and they will eventually break in.

People may disagree with me but I have heard and believe that the "Traditions" brand Piettas are "blem" or factory seconds. Which is why they are so cheap from Midway. My steel frame .44 Navy I got from Midway had metal shavings in the nipple recesses and the action was rough. But it broke in and that thing shoots like a laser.
 
Ya know I do hear you on what to expect from a handgun in that price range but I have a Ruger (the cheap .22 model) handgun that cost $194 out the door and there were no issues with that firearm at all.

Anyway another issue popped up when reassembling the Pietta. I noticed that the bolt was staying down when the hammer was fully forward. Long story short...I basically had to fit and smooth up the bolt and hammer cam to get it working properly. I had never done that job before so I went slowly and actually put the gun down and went to bed to "sleep on it". Worked an hour or so on it this morning and now all is right with the world...and my Pietta!

I must admit that doing these tweaks have helped me "bond" with the gun. I now could probably take it apart and put it together blind folded...not a bad "relationship" to have with any firearm.

But, ya know any unsuspecting purchaser without a modicum of common sense, skill and tools would be highly frustrated, upset and probably never buy a Pietta product again and would bad mouth them whenever they had a chance. I think that Uberti and Pietta need to do some house cleaning in their respective QA departments...If in fact they have a QA department??
 
Last edited:
Ya know I do hear you on what to expect from a handgun in that price range but I have a Ruger (the cheap .22 model) handgun that cost $194 out the door and there were no issues with that firearm at all.

Anyway another issue popped up when reassembling the Pietta. I noticed that the bolt was staying down when the hammer was fully forward. Long story short...I basically had to fit and smooth up the bolt and hammer cam to get it working properly. I had never done that job before so I went slowly and actually put the gun down and went to bed to "sleep on it". Worked an hour or so on it this morning and now all is right with the world...and my Pietta!

I must admit that doing these tweaks have helped me "bond" with the gun. I now could probably take it apart and put it together blind folded...not a bad "relationship" to have with any firearm.

But, ya know any unsuspecting purchaser without a modicum of common sense, skill and tools would be highly frustrated, upset and probably never buy a Pietta product again and would bad mouth them whenever they had a chance. I think that Uberti and Pietta need to do some house cleaning in their respective QA departments...If in fact they have a QA department??
I also think that some production was rushed to get product out "post Pandemic "

Kinda like avoiding first model year cars, maybe by 2024 they'll iron the bugs out again as the newly hired assemblers get more experienced
 
I have only fairly recently gotten seriously into BP and when I jump into just about anything I do so with both feet. I started out with an 1858 Remington Sheriff, then a 3rd model Dragoon (both Uberti) and lastly 2 ROA, one stainless, one blued.

So I ordered the cheapest Pietta from Midway. An 1851 Navy-ish, brasser. I knew that it was a low end price point model as it had no Navy roll engraving on the cylinder, the grip is black plastic and of course the brass frame, which is not highly polished. I was okay with all of that due to the price of $234, and free shipping code.

I know that many posts tell of Piettas being of superior build quality, here are the issues I have with the Pietta:

1 - The wedge was not inserted deep enough for the wedge spring to pop up on the other side of the barrel. In fact it had been driven in so hard at the factory that it took several good whacks with punch and hammer to remove it. It is stamped with a number 3 on the bottom which I assume was the choice of the person who assembled it (assuming the number has something to do with proper fit). Anyway I had to file one edge down to get it to fit correctly.

2 - The barrel was difficult to remove, when reinstalling it I had to tap the muzzle with a plastic mallet to get it to seat properly. I removed and replaced it several times so I could get a nice shiny spot(s) on the arbor so could lightly sand those high spots down. Using 320 grit paper I removed the high spots until I could seat the barrel by hand.

3 - upon removal of the cylinder I noticed bluing salts had cooked out and surrounded one of the nipples. I decided to remove all of the nipples for cleaning. Two of them were clogged with bluing salts and the one that had salts around the outside of it was not even screwed in all the way, it just spun off with no effort.

4 - I disassembled the remaining parts of the frame. The roller on the hammer did not rotate. I drove out its pin and sanded off some burrs on it and reinstalled, it now rotates as it is supposed to.

So for my first Pietta experience I am not impressed. I had nothing similar on the Ubertis.
Unfortunately, just about all Pietta or Uberti BP revolvers most likely will have to be worked over unless your lucky to buy one that is virtually flawless new.

There is an excellent 22 minute video by The Dualist on YouTube on how to prepare a BP revolver when it's new for the range. The revolver he is working on is an Uberti but his video applies to any revolver. Click on the link below.



Also, The Dualist also has a YouTube video with additional revolver fixes that you might want to watch at the link below.

 
I purchased one of those as well. I am kinda thinking the frame was a unpolished 2nd. The arbor was not finished with case hardening color, and the hammer is just colored black. I originally thought I could live with the black plastic grips, but couldn't.

Good excuse for a project gun!

IMG_20230131_140421093-01.jpeg
IMG_20230131_140350424-01.jpeg
IMG_20230131_140337587-01.jpeg
IMG_20230131_140327160-01.jpeg
 
Looks nice, good grip choice.

Using Phil Coffins 3 piece method for the Colt grip, I have started a grip out of red gum eucalyptus. Might get pretty far on it this weekend...not sure much personal stuff going on at the moment.

Did you do any polishing on the brass? I plan on taking it to about a 400 grit finish but that will be not be done until the grip is near complete. Just in case I hit the grip frame with a rasp...Just in case.

My hammer is not color case hardened either but as with your gun the rammer is.
 
I left the brass as is. I figure I will let it tone down after some range time!

Sadly, not that long ago, I purchased a Johnny reb revolver that was a whole lot better quality for $219. I collect the the 1851 variations, but with this purchase, not sure anymore. Musings of an old man I suppose...
 
I purchased one of those as well. I am kinda thinking the frame was a unpolished 2nd. The arbor was not finished with case hardening color, and the hammer is just colored black. I originally thought I could live with the black plastic grips, but couldn't.

Good excuse for a project gun!

View attachment 194593View attachment 194594View attachment 194595View attachment 194596

I purchased one of those as well. I am kinda thinking the frame was a unpolished 2nd. The arbor was not finished with case hardening color, and the hammer is just colored black. I originally thought I could live with the black plastic grips, but couldn't.

Good excuse for a project gun!

View attachment 194593View attachment 194594View attachment 194595View attachment 194596
I had to replace the hammer on my 1851 and was disappointed that it came in black. I've done a good bit of work on that gun, given up on it being a safe queen. But it is now the most accurate and smoothest running of my BP revolvers.
I purchased one of those as well. I am kinda thinking the frame was a unpolished 2nd. The arbor was not finished with case hardening color, and the hammer is just colored black. I originally thought I could live with the black plastic grips, but couldn't.

Good excuse for a project gun!

View attachment 194593View attachment 194594View attachment 194595View attachment 194596
 
Those black hammers are hideous but they are better for target shooting, because the sight picture will have less glare and be more crisp

On some of my new Piettas I put the hammer , trigger and loading lever in a Solo cup full of vinegar to match them up. The black finish comes off and the hammer looks like it has worn case hardening
 
Those black hammers are hideous but they are better for target shooting, because the sight picture will have less glare and be more crisp
I don’t mind the black hammer, I think it looks good against the brass frame and the black grip as well. I just can’t abide the grip being plastic. However if I had a wide enough piece of ebony I would not waste it on a $200 gun. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am making a grip for mine from red gum eucalyptus. I’m sure that it won’t look as nice as an ebony grip would but it will be better than plastic.
 
I don’t mind the black hammer, I think it looks good against the brass frame and the black grip as well. I just can’t abide the grip being plastic. However if I had a wide enough piece of ebony I would not waste it on a $200 gun. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am making a grip for mine from red gum eucalyptus. I’m sure that it won’t look as nice as an ebony grip would but it will be better than plastic.
The plastic grip is just a way to make the guns cost less

I have a few sets of the Get a Grip on It guys grips, he sells on Ebay
 
I purchased one of those as well. I am kinda thinking the frame was a unpolished 2nd. The arbor was not finished with case hardening color, and the hammer is just colored black. I originally thought I could live with the black plastic grips, but couldn't.

Good excuse for a project gun!

View attachment 194593View attachment 194594View attachment 194595View attachment 194596
How are these .44's with a non-rebated cylinder???

I just went to Midway to look at these, and they show what looks like a .36 , but they are described as a .44

I came here to look and the barrel is marked .44 but they have what looks to be the cylinder from their Dance & Brother .44?

Interesting. These might be "cleanup" guns with a run of blemished or 2nd brass frames and leftover Dance cylinders from the run of those they just did.
 
Sure sounds like buying a new one has turned into a manure shoot.
If Pietta is cranking out mishmash Frankenguns made of parts from 3 different models , they must have rushed to fill built up orders during the Pandemic, and rushed together bunches of guns. Now they're cleaning out the parts bins to put together saleable guns with plastic grips to sell as cheapies, while they , I assume, gear up for the next batches of various models.

Midway is slowly selling out of some stuff and the backorder dates have come and gone, and they are still sold out. So it could mean the sloppily assembled batch is already out . Prices will probably be higher for the next batch though.

Hopefully things settle down, and they can make guns with some QC now
 
Back
Top