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Navy arms 2nd model dragoon

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jdw276

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Been reading seaching here and other places.

1st question, use #10 caps? On these nipples they have a tendency to fall off or come loose requiring two strikes to fire the cap. Replace the nipples? Pinching the caps does not seem to work well due to full power loads. Some model nipples prefer different cap makers i read.

2nd question, hammer pull is STRONG! Like almost 2 thumbs strong sometimes. Based on another thread cleaned and found 2 caps stuck under the trigger spring. Helped a little bit. So how do i reduce the hammer pull?

3rd question, with full power loads, 40-45 grains, .451 ball shifts forward after firing and stops the cylinder from rotating. Will 454, 457 roundball help stop this? I think it will but have not tried yet. Have not measured my cylinders yet.

Not really finding my answers with google searches. May be there but this is a better place to ask i think.

Thanks in advance.
 

bang

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Try #11. #10 most likely not seating. Nipples have some taper. #10 will seem to go on but not seat. Most of the heftier pistols like dragoon and walker use #11. Sometimes they might put #10 nipples on them by mistake or availability. But typically a pistol that will shoot a charge that is near or at rifle charge will use #11.
 

jdw276

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Try #11. #10 most likely not seating. Nipples have some taper. #10 will seem to go on but not seat. Most of the heftier pistols like dragoon and walker use #11. Sometimes they might put #10 nipples on them by mistake or availability. But typically a pistol that will shoot a charge that is near or at rifle charge will use #11.
Will do. I tried some older remington 11's but they are noticable bigger than cci 11's on my rifles and just did not work well at all. Will take a tin of cci 11's next range trip. Yes, i did notice the dragoon did have some taper to them.

Thanks.
 

bang

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Will do. I tried some older remington 11's but they are noticable bigger than cci 11's on my rifles and just did not work well at all. Will take a tin of cci 11's next range trip. Yes, i did notice the dragoon did have some taper to them.

Thanks.
If it becomes iffy some either modify the nipples to accept and seat the #10 or just get better set of nipples that are proven to work. Possible the quality control on a batch of nipples manufacture used were not as quality as expected. As long as the rest of the gun is good to go the right nipple for the right primer is simple fix.
Pinching the primers to make them stay on is not good practice. The design of the skirt on the primer is designed to expand as you seat it to create a seal. That's why nipples have some taper. Pinching it causes a gap that hot gas can enter causing chain fire.
Personally I would remove the nipples and get proper size for the gun. Easy inexpensive fix.
 

Woodnbow

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2nd question... is the cylinder free to turn while you’re at half cock?
 

jdw276

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2nd question... is the cylinder free to turn while you’re at half cock?
Yes no problem there when i load. Now when i take the barrel wedge out and the barrel/cylinder off to clean, the hammer will not go to either half cock or full cock. I can get it clean so i considered that "normal" and not to concerned about it unless that is part of the issue on hammer pull when loaded and ready to fire?
 

jdw276

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If it becomes iffy some either modify the nipples to accept and seat the #10 or just get better set of nipples that are proven to work. Possible the quality control on a batch of nipples manufacture used were not as quality as expected. As long as the rest of the gun is good to go the right nipple for the right primer is simple fix.
Pinching the primers to make them stay on is not good practice. The design of the skirt on the primer is designed to expand as you seat it to create a seal. That's why nipples have some taper. Pinching it causes a gap that hot gas can enter causing chain fire.
Personally I would remove the nipples and get proper size for the gun. Easy inexpensive fix.
Was thinking of getting a set of "slik shot" however they spell it, as never heard a bad word about them but dont want to see how much can put into to the gun if i can't get comfortable with the hammer pull etc.
 

bang

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I would like to hear about this also.
Check the bolt and make sure it's not over torqued. If not disassemble it and check that the hammer is not too tight fitting in the slot. Could be some burrs or uneven surface causing binding. If it's tight in the slot and the slot surfaces are good check the sides of the hammer sides for irregularities if none lap the sides of the hammer a bit.
Does the hammer function easy with the cylinder removed?
Does the cylinder turn easily at half cock? If not possibly the wedge is in too far.
If moving the wedge back a tad helps then shim the arbor to a solid proper fit.
You can check that by removing the cylinder then install the barrel but turn it so the bottom where it pins misses the frame. Check that the bottom does not over lap the frame. You should be able to turn the barrel past the frame to the pin with zero gap between the parts. An extremely small interference but still passing is ok but only extremely slight that doesn't cause hard contact. If the barrel over laps the frame at that bottom point then shim the arbor just enough to eliminate the over lap. I did this by putting a thin washer same thickness as amount of over lap in the hole of barrel assembly adjusting it till the over lap was gone. The I put a small drop of poxy in the hole and put the washer in. Dab of oil on end of arbor, assemble, install wedge only finger push tight and let set. Once set disassemble and double check for over lap and zero gap.
If it is only tight with cylinder in it could be possible the hand is a bit too long and needs to be trimmed a bit. Look on back of cylinder and see if there is evidence of the hand making marks where it engages. That could indicate the hand length issue. If the hand contacts too soon it puts it out of timing. Reassemble with dab of light grease or light oil on areas. Only snug the hammer bolt. Check it periodically and if it backs out use mild thread lock.
 

jdw276

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Check the bolt and make sure it's not over torqued. If not disassemble it and check that the hammer is not too tight fitting in the slot. Could be some burrs or uneven surface causing binding. If it's tight in the slot and the slot surfaces are good check the sides of the hammer sides for irregularities if none lap the sides of the hammer a bit.
Does the hammer function easy with the cylinder removed?
Does the cylinder turn easily at half cock? If not possibly the wedge is in too far.
If moving the wedge back a tad helps then shim the arbor to a solid proper fit.
You can check that by removing the cylinder then install the barrel but turn it so the bottom where it pins misses the frame. Check that the bottom does not over lap the frame. You should be able to turn the barrel past the frame to the pin with zero gap between the parts. An extremely small interference but still passing is ok but only extremely slight that doesn't cause hard contact. If the barrel over laps the frame at that bottom point then shim the arbor just enough to eliminate the over lap. I did this by putting a thin washer same thickness as amount of over lap in the hole of barrel assembly adjusting it till the over lap was gone. The I put a small drop of poxy in the hole and put the washer in. Dab of oil on end of arbor, assemble, install wedge only finger push tight and let set. Once set disassemble and double check for over lap and zero gap.
If it is only tight with cylinder in it could be possible the hand is a bit too long and needs to be trimmed a bit. Look on back of cylinder and see if there is evidence of the hand making marks where it engages. That could indicate the hand length issue. If the hand contacts too soon it puts it out of timing. Reassemble with dab of light grease or light oil on areas. Only snug the hammer bolt. Check it periodically and if it backs out use mild thread lock.
The hammer does really work at all when the cylinder is removed. Won't go to half cock at all no matter how many thumbs i use. I am not thinking wedge because of this. I can load very easily on half cock with the cylinder in the gun.
 

bang

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The hammer does really work at all when the cylinder is removed. Won't go to half cock at all no matter how many thumbs i use. I am not thinking wedge because of this. I can load very easily on half cock with the cylinder in the gun.
I'll take it the hammer doesn't really work at all when cylinder is removed. Correct?
 

jdw276

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I'll take it the hammer doesn't really work at all when cylinder is removed. Correct?
Can pull it back 3/4" maybe? I mean it moves but not even clost to half cock. 3/4" maybe more like 1/2"...
 

bang

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Did you check the torque on hammer bolt? If all other items are good I would consider there is somthing internal that is binding the movement.
Have you completely disassembled and checked for free movement of the individual parts. Burrs, galling indicative of interference.
 

jdw276

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The hammer does really work at all when the cylinder is removed. Won't go to half cock at all no matter how many thumbs i use. I am not thinking wedge because of this. I can load very easily on half cock with the cylinder in the gun.
Typo, should have said "the hammer does NOT really work at all when the cylinder is removed."
 

Zonie

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Something is indeed strange if the hammer can't be placed at half cock or full cock or for that matter, all the way down to the fired position.

There is absolutely nothing that connects the barrel or the barrel wedge to anything inside the gun that has a thing to do with the hammer or the trigger.

With my 3rd model Dragoon which I have presently in my lap, with the barrel and the cylinder removed the hammer can be moved to any of these positions.

Now, one thing that can cause the hammer to seem to lock up with the barrel removed is, if you leave the cylinder on the arbor and it slides forward just a little bit it can interfere with the cylinder lock bolt. For instance, if I remove the barrel and leave the cylinder on the arbor and then cock it to full cock, the cylinder will move slightly forward so its notch interferes with the cylinder locking bolt.
In this position, pulling the trigger will not release the hammer and the gun seems to be frozen up. The hammer can't be lowered at all.

Sliding the cylinder forward, off of the arbor allows the cylinder bolt to move up into its locked position and then the trigger and hammer both begin to work again.

I suspect you are leaving the cylinder on the arbor with the barrel removed? That is the problem and the solution to it is, Don't do that.
Remove the cylinder with the hammer at half cock. Then, everything will work like it should.
 
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jdw276

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Did you check the torque on hammer bolt? If all other items are good I would consider there is somthing internal that is binding the movement.
Have you completely disassembled and checked for free movement of the individual parts. Burrs, galling indicative of interference.
I have taken it down a couple of times in cleaning etc. But now that you are mentioning it, have not taken a flashlite and looked to see if something got into the hammer slot like a cap might. Had couple of caps somehow under the trigger spring. But the hammer cocks, stiffly two thumbs, when the cylinder is in the gun, but not at all when the cylinder is removed. It will shoot, just very stiff hammer pull.
 

bang

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Yep, cap fod will do it. I always flop the gun to the right when cocking after first shot. It helps clear the caps.
 

Zonie

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Just a side comment about my 3rd model Dragoon.
As you know, the Colt Walker had a bad problem with the loading lever dropping and jamming up the gun when it was fired.
Colt tried several things to redesign the loading lever lock. All of them involved putting a movable release tab in the forward end of the loading lever.

My Dragoon has one of his earlier attempts on its loading lever. I think it is a carryover from the 2nd model Dragoon.
Hanging down from the bottom of the arm is one small tab. To get the arm to release, this little tab must be pushed towards the cylinder and because of its small size and the force of the spring it needs to overcome to unlatch its grip on the barrel tab it is just about impossible to do.

I'm sure glad he figured out the latch with two serrated tabs, one sticking out one side and the other sticking out the other side of the arm is the best design.
He used these 2 tab releases on the 1851 and all of the later versions of his cap & ball pistols.
 

jdw276

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Something is indeed strange if the hammer can't be placed at half cock or full cock or for that matter, all the way down to the fired position.

There is absolutely nothing that connects the barrel or the barrel wedge to anything inside the gun that has a thing to do with the hammer or the trigger.

With my 3rd model Dragoon which I have presently in my lap, with the barrel and the cylinder removed the hammer can be moved to any of these positions.

Now, one thing that can cause the hammer to seem to lock up with the barrel removed is, if you leave the cylinder on the arbor and it slides forward just a little bit it can interfere with the cylinder lock bolt. For instance, if I remove the barrel and leave the cylinder on the arbor and then cock it to full cock, the cylinder will move slightly forward so its notch interferes with the cylinder locking bolt.
In this position, pulling the trigger will not release the hammer and the gun seems to be frozen up. The hammer can't be lowered at all.

Sliding the cylinder forward, off of the arbor allows the cylinder bolt to move up into its locked position and then the trigger and hammer both begin to work again.

I suspect you are leaving the cylinder on the arbor with the barrel removed? That is the problem and the solution to it is, Don't do that.
Remove the cylinder with the hammer at half cock. Then, everything will work like it should.
Ok, gun functions as should in my lap now all three hammer positions, removed barrel and cylinder with hammer on half cock. Hammer won't move frozen in place. Now took cylinder, put on arbor, pushed cylinder as if with barrel in place, hammer works, half, full, resting on cylinder.
 

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