Wedge stuck on an 1851 Navy

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Several people have already suggested making a brass drift with a rectangular cross-section. I have one of those, and also one made of red oak, which doesn't scratch or scar soft metal surfaces like brass or mild steel. Both of them were made from scraps found in my "Someday" box --- ie: "Might need this someday ..... " from other projects like knife hilts, or the carriage of a small ML cannon. My tool assortment also includes soft faced hammers, mallets, and a striking tool adapted from a section of 1-inch brass rod stock that I've had so long I don't recall where it came from. Probably a scrap bin someplace. These work for reproduction guns, and some were devised for work on an original or two that found their way to my hands, usually family heirlooms from other folks. "Hey, I've got an old revolver that belonged to my grandpa but it doesn't work. Would you take a look at it?" One I recall was an old Colt that was
well and truly jammed and I also recall a gun-shaped block of rust that a friend of my Dad's had hanging over the fireplace in his summer camp, which turned out to be a beautifully engraved Bacon Arms .31 caliber pocket revolver with Rosewood grips underneath all the corruption. I don't believe my work area has ever been that neat, though.
 

45D

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Omg!! If it was a Rolex that would be one thing but . . . are you kidding me ?!!!!

It's a brass frame Pietta !!!!!! Use a colthes pin if that's what you have!! Just move the wedge out and fix the problem!! I would be working on the first of some 700+ revolvers if I needed satellites to line up and the planets to align . . . ! Take a chance. . . . be adventurous !!!

Mike
 

Ed C.

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Start out by drilling and or cutting a hole near the edge of a 2x4 block of wood to give you a solid base to put the frame on. Use a wooden or brass punch to apply the proper amount of force to drive it out carefully monitoring the effect your hammering is having as you go along.
 

Rich44

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Mine had the same problem, thats why it was given to me.
I removed the wedge with a drift, then sanded the forward edge of the wedge until in moved in and out.
After you get the wedge out, this is good advice to follow. But be careful in removing too much metal by sanding. Your 2nd picture shows how much gap is between the screw and the spring end. You want the wedge to tighten up on the front and back before the spring end hits the screw and interferes with the proper fit. Keep a slight amount of gap between screw and spring end. And it should be just a tap in fit as you will remove for cleaning all the time.
 
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Assume you ground down a rod to make the wedge tool. Or is it something that is commercially available?
After I give a tap to the wedge on my 1860 Army or Traditions Trapper with a nylon hammer, I use this wedge puller to get it the rest of the way out. It is a worthwhile tool to have.

 
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After I give a tap to the wedge on my 1860 Army or Traditions Trapper with a nylon hammer, I use this wedge puller to get it the rest of the way out. It is a worthwhile tool to have.

Thanks for the recommendation. I remember seeing this tool over on Midway awhile back. Have already beat on the wedge with the tools I had readily available to no effect. Tried pulling it out with pliers, but that was a useless approach. Am going to give it a go witha brass rod and punch later this week and see what happens. While it may be "just a brass frame Pietta", it is one of only 2 blackpowder pistols I own so I'd prefer to not overly damage it if it can be avoided.
 
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Thanks for the recommendation. I remember seeing this tool over on Midway awhile back. Have already beat on the wedge with the tools I had readily available to no effect. Tried pulling it out with pliers, but that was a useless approach. Am going to give it a go witha brass rod and punch later this week and see what happens. While it may be "just a brass frame Pietta", it is one of only 2 blackpowder pistols I own so I'd prefer to not overly damage it if it can be avoided.
I'm like you when it comes to my stuff. Even if it's not the fanciest, I try to take care of it.

Something you might try is to get a sturdy screwdriver, put its bit into the notch under the wedge, and put something under the shaft of the screwdriver to use as a fulcrum so that you can lever the wedge out.

You can brace the revolver down, and pry out the wedge, using a cheater bar on the screwdriver for more leverage if needed.
 
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created new thread. have the same problem as above so my mistake in putting entry in this thread.
 

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Rich44

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I just got a pietta army colt 1861 and the wedge is very difficult. Taking the screw out doesn't help. There's give in the wedge spring but the wedge will only go just past even with the barrel. After wedge is removed I have to use the loading lever to remove barrel. Here are pictures. I think the wedge spring is 'sticking' up and/or is too long for the rest of the wedge. ????
Very easy to see what the problem is, but I cannot answer because you are high jacking the original op's post. You should open your own.
 
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Thanks to all. With the help of a brass tool from Rich44, I was able to quickly get the wedge out and disassemble the gun. The barrel assembly came right off so I do not think there are any bent arbor issues that several folks mentioned earlier in this thread. Time to get it cleaned so we can get back out on the range on Saturday morning.
 

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Rich44

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With a brand new member as this op is, it is kind of disappointing to read a post that goes off track with lack of attention. The op completely described his problem and what he has tried so far. And even provided two pictures of the pistol showing wedge area.
He already stated he tried to tap in deeper to see if the wedge would move any. And it would not, Why would we recommend he hit the wedge even more to make it seat in just a little harder?
If people had simply looked at his pictures they could see it was in straight and most likely the wedge is just a little wide and therefore did not project out the right side the normal amount. And the person before just gave it a good hefty whack or two or three.
So we go from use a plastic hammer knowing there is nothing for it to strike on, to a metal hammer, to its a nothing gun just use anything you have, Take a chance. . . . be adventurous !!!

Not hardly fair to the new op making him try and figure out how he should proceed when we do not read his post and look at the pictures he provided. And understand he would like to not damage his pistol if possible as stated. Suggestions like have it supported well, use a brass punch that is slightly smaller than the wedge are the important things to bring out. And then maybe a couple utube videos on how to fit a wedge would help him when it is time to reinstall. We can do a better job.
 
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A hard plastic-face hammer (a machinest's hammer) is an excellent "wedge popper"!! It won't hurt the metal or finish. Your wedge may be bent and if so, you'll really have to smack it hard! And, more than likely you may need to use the loading lever to remove the barrel assy.
A hammer like this one.View attachment 145472
Wow, Iv’e had surgery in messier places…
 

45D

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With a brand new member as this op is, it is kind of disappointing to read a post that goes off track with lack of attention. The op completely described his problem and what he has tried so far. And even provided two pictures of the pistol showing wedge area.
He already stated he tried to tap in deeper to see if the wedge would move any. And it would not, Why would we recommend he hit the wedge even more to make it seat in just a little harder?
If people had simply looked at his pictures they could see it was in straight and most likely the wedge is just a little wide and therefore did not project out the right side the normal amount. And the person before just gave it a good hefty whack or two or three.
So we go from use a plastic hammer knowing there is nothing for it to strike on, to a metal hammer, to its a nothing gun just use anything you have, Take a chance. . . . be adventurous !!!

Not hardly fair to the new op making him try and figure out how he should proceed when we do not read his post and look at the pictures he provided. And understand he would like to not damage his pistol if possible as stated. Suggestions like have it supported well, use a brass punch that is slightly smaller than the wedge are the important things to bring out. And then maybe a couple utube videos on how to fit a wedge would help him when it is time to reinstall. We can do a better job.

Talk about "reading posts " !!!!

First, the op didn't make it clear that HE wasn't the one that got the wedge flush with the side. I think he said he tried to push it in a little further . . . So, apparently he shot it with the wedge in that position?!

Second, I didn't see any post suggesting use of a plastic hammer. I only mentioned the use of a "plastic-face machinest's hammer " ( big difference) is an excellent wedge popper!!

Third, I suggested that the WEDGE was probably bent, not the arbor. Since the date code is 2010, it may have a short arbor which means the wedge would be in a loose condition and probably was damaged as a result.

Fourth, Saw no suggestion to use a metal hammer except for hitting a PUNCH!!

Nothing I said would have been harmful to the revolver.

Maybe YOU should read a little more carefully sir!!

While we're in "teaching mode", why don't you offer a "how to" on "fitting" a wedge.
Honestly, I've never had to "fit" a wedge ( why would you?).
I do install an adjustable wedge bearing so the owner can position the wedge as he/ she wants but I've never had to make a wedge fit that came in the revolver (and I can't think if I did for a new wedge).

Anyway,
I'll try to better word my suggestions in the future and reread the posts before submitting . . . least I make a mistake . . .

Mike
 
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M. De Land

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Bought a used 1851 Navy about 3 weeks ago and finally got it out to the range for 9-10 shots yesterday. When I went to diassemble it to clean it, I could not get the wedge out to remove the barrel. I have watched a few YouTube videos about how guys pop it out with clothespins and other wood objects, but nothing helped. The old Infantryman in me says get a bigger hammer, but I don't want to damage the gun. Tried punching back in some more and it wouldn't move. The screw is loose. Thought about squirting Ballistol on the screw hole. Am I doing something wrong? Seems like such an easy task to punch the wedge out.
What happens is the soft wedges deform against the slots ,form low spots which tend to lock up and peen thicken which binds them in the slot height. This is why wedge thickness as well as width and hardness are all important.
 

M. De Land

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Talk about "reading posts " !!!!

First, the op didn't make it clear that HE wasn't the one that got the wedge flush with the side. I think he said he tried to push it in a little further . . . So, apparently he shot it with the wedge in that position?!

Second, I didn't see any post suggesting use of a plastic hammer. I only mentioned the use of a "plastic-face machinest's hammer " ( big difference) is an excellent wedge popper!!

Third, I suggested that the WEDGE was probably bent, not the arbor. Since the date code is 2010, it may have a short arbor which means the wedge would be in a loose condition and probably was damaged as a result.

Fourth, Saw no suggestion to use a metal hammer except for hitting a PUNCH!!

Nothing I said would have been harmful to the revolver.

Maybe YOU should read a little more carefully sir!!

While we're in "teaching mode", why don't you offer a "how to" on "fitting" a wedge.
Honestly, I've never had to "fit" a wedge ( why would you?).
I do install an adjustable wedge bearing so the owner can position the wedge as he/ she wants but I've never had to make a wedge fit that came in the revolver (and I can't think if I did for a new wedge).

Anyway,
I'll try to better word my suggestions in the future and reread the posts before submitting . . . least I make a mistake . . .

Mike
You've never made or fit a new wedge ? Now things are beginning to make sense as to your thinking! You may be able to pick up some useful information here if you have good sense .
 
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45D

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You've never made or fit a new wedge ? Now things are beginning to make sense as to your thinking! You may be able to pick up some useful information here if you have good sense .

There's no need to. All my ot's have the factory wedge that came with them. No need to fit them.

So, give us all a lesson.

Mike
 

M. De Land

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There's no need to. All my ot's have the factory wedge that came with them. No need to fit them.

So, give us all a lesson.

Mike
First I'd check for any indentation in both sides of the wedge from barrel and arbor slots. If present there will usually be an accompanying swelling of the wedge thickness at these points. If so I just make a new wedge of 0-1 or A-2 tool steel and not fool with reshaping ( forge out) the original which will wind up thinner and longer.
Also when reducing the lower lug height I make brass centers that snug slip fit into muzzle and forcing cone of the barrel (pull the pins if necessary) and take "very" ( read scratch cuts) light lathe cuts to square with bore axis and remove needed amount of material . This can be braced to reinforce but I have not found it necessary to this point.
 
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