A project for between projects...

Sweeney

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Picked up an abused child thinking I could save it.
Colt 1860 Army pile A.jpg
Bad; The trigger sear surface was broken off. The hammer sear surfaces were pretty mangled. The trigger and bolt pivots/screws are worn and bent. It has a
replacement barrel wedge (not that "bad" actually)... The hand appears to have been made from scrap metal using a farrier's rasp ...poorly. Percussion cap nipples are heavily corroded and not wanting to leave their anchorage. The trigger guard had been badly distorted (already 'mostly corrected in the photo) with the front of the hoop bent back towards the trigger. I think the grip had been sanded at some point as there was some sort of finish applied and there's no cartouche visible. I used cabinet scrapers to get to the wood then lightly oiled with BLO. The barrel is also quite loose.

Good; 1863 production date with matching barrel, frame, trigger guard, cylinder and back strap. Still has some bluing! Some of the cylinder engraving is still present. The bore will take some work but all of that delightfully, progressive rifling is present. The forcing cone needs some work so I'll need to make some sort of tool to address that.

Soooo... I found NOS replacement parts from many moons ago and set about fitting them. The hammer needed a little touching up of the sear surfaces and the bolt engagement 'cam'. There was no NOS hand or bolt (needed to interact with the new hammer) so I got replicas from one of the Italian copies (Pietta I believe) and drilled, filed, ground, machined a new pivot pin etc. to get the action timed. The trigger needed a lot as well. To fit the trigger I need a new trigger screw/axle so machined one to stand in while I have NOS Colt hammer and bolt screws on the way.

I have a NOS replacement cylinder (no sea battle) and I'm waiting for new nipples to arrive. I got the timing to work with both cylinders and I'm trying to decide If I want to drill out and replace the original nipples or leave them and use the original cylinder for display only. To tighten the barrel I'm going to make an oversized wedge. I shimmed it with a strip of copper for fondling purposes.

As it sits now... It will be a shooter.
Colt 1860 Army.jpg
 

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Nice!
This is my 1861, all matching but a few springs have been replaced. I’ve put about 30 balls through it but I leave it alone now. God forbid something were to break on it.
Very nice! I'm about to make a new oversized barrel wedge for mine to tighten it up. I also want to adjust the barrel/cylinder gap once I determine what surfaces need work.
 
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I feel it's always good to practice 'gunsmithing' on collectable and highly sought after antiques sooo, I found myself down in my little shop of horrors.

I knew there was a new wedge hiding in there! The disembowled one is a Pietta repro from which I might use the spring.
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There's the little fella... Once hand fitted it will get case hardened and blued then I'll add the spring.
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This led to further debauchery... adjusting the cylinder gap. It was at 0.017" with the new (shootin') cylinder. I wanted to close it to under 10 thou. The cylinder spindle is meant to bottom in its bore in the barrel along with the dangly bit on the barrel seating on the frame.
I ground a drill bit to the same nose profile (140 degree included angle and flattened cutting lips) of the spindle, mounted the bit in the lathe chuck then fed the barrel by hand to scrape the bottom a bit deeper.
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Next was facing the strut. It wasn't quite square and would cause the barrel to sit at an angle relative to the frame. With the surface inked and a 0.002 skim you can see the issue. I ended up taking a total of 0.006" off to attain a flat surface. With this I got the cylinder gap down to 0.008".
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I feel it's always good to practice 'gunsmithing' on collectable and highly sought after antiques sooo, I found myself down in my little shop of horrors.

I love it. Some would lose their minds over this but I would do the same, seeing as the gun lost its collector value already.
 
I love it. Some would lose their minds over this but I would do the same, seeing as the gun lost its collector value already.
Some see 'patina' while I see corrosion, neglect and abuse. I love the history but want to remove the corrosion, correct the damage from neglect and get these things operable again while retaining their character. I think it does a service to the piece and I enjoy the challenge.
I decided to leave the original, matching cylinder 'as is' with the frozen in place, corroded nipples for display and bought a replacement with stainless nipples for shooting.
I will be shooting this tomorrow.

Now, if can only get my hands on that Antikythera thingamabob...
 
Confirmed today with Sweeney that it does, indeed, go bang 😍

v18E34Hh.png
 
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Target?
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Target was a steel plate at 100yrds. only 3 shots fired and the offending plate was subdued. Minininjer did manage to knock 2 steel targets off their moorings, one with the M1 Carbine and one with the M14A1. The only casualty from the Sharps 45-110 was her shoulder.
 
Who's the old, fat guy?
hey, you do not speak about my good friend like that. I will cut you!

Target was a steel plate at 100yrds. only 3 shots fired and the offending plate was subdued. Minininjer did manage to knock 2 steel targets off their moorings, one with the M1 Carbine and one with the M14A1. The only casualty from the Sharps 45-110 was her shoulder.
And my collarbone and my jaw :D As always, Sweeney brings the recoil and does not disappoint. Once I find the “good day for the range” or something thread, I’ll post some stuff there.
 
Nice.... like it when they go bang again.

but you know you should have left it in a box to preserve its corros.....mmmahh ... patina and kept in operable for you know safety. /s
 
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