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Thread: Pietta percussion revolvers = JUNK!

  1. #1
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    Pietta percussion revolvers = JUNK!

    I am the "proud" owner of 4 Pietta Colt repros, a brass frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .44 "Navy" and a '61 Navy.

    I have only done any real amount of shooting with the steel frame .36 Navy, over the past few days I put about 40 rounds through it. At first I used light "target" loads and then decided to try a 25 gr. "max" load of Pyrodex P, with Buffalo Bullet conicals. I only fired 6 "max" loads and then discover that the end shake of the cylinder was greater, the rear of the slot for the wedge is badly peened and the wedge now goes all the way in to the frame with finger pressure (bad) and also falls out with finger pressure. The gap between the forcing cone and cylinder is greater then when it was new. In effect, the gun has shot loose after only a few bigger charges.

    Also, my .44 Navy has only 12 rounds through it with light loads and round balls, and is visibly starting to peen the wedge slot already, as well as my other brass .36, with only 6! 12 gr. loads through it, has the start of peening. I am an experienced BP shooter and do not abuse my guns, and do not "over hammer" the wedge, only pushing or very lightly tapping it until it is just flush to the right of the slot.

    In contrast, my Uberti 1851 .36 has just about maybe 60 rounds through it, and looks like it just came out of the box, as it should. I expect a gun I pay $2-300+ for to actually be a GUN! that will last for a very long time. I feel my Uberti will still be tight after thousands of rounds, but my Piettas are already starting to wear after only handfuls of light charges and careful assembly and dis-assembly. Pietta's seem like display pieces that are only meant to maybe be fired a few times, the steel is so soft that you can't expect any reasonable use out of them. I now have to fashion some kind of shim to make my Pietta's useable so I can at least get my money's worth out of them. No more Piettas for me.

    Moral - Buy Uberti! For $100 more or so you get a revolver that will actually be able to be used, especially now that Beretta has taken them over.

  2. #2
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    i havent had any issues with my Pietta 1851 Navy in .44, i have had it about 4 years now and over 300 rounds through it with about 30 gr powder its still about as tight as day one. difference might be that i use FFg powder and not FFFg.

  3. #3

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    My Pietta has held up now for over 350 shots fueled with either 30 grains of GOEX or 30 gr pyrodex pellets (yuck, that was a lesson learned) and is still tight and accurate. Yes it is starting to show some wear around the cylinder from turning, but I would be surprised at any gun without the Uberti Millenium finish that didn't have the turn marks at this point. Only thing it has needed is a major grip refinishing out of the box.

    How old are your guns? Pietta had some QC problems back in the day but since 2000 or so has been on par with Uberti.

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    I'm really sorry to hear that!
    I have one of them a Remington Lawman special edition from Cabellas 12 or 15 yrs old, I have put over 400 rounds through with no problems. As a matter of fact it is as tight as the day I bought it.. but then again It is not a Colt, but my friend bought Colt 44 with the Ivory handles from me that is fine too, and I shot the hell out of it too before trading it to him for a 1022 Ruger 22 rifle.
    I am interested as well how old are yours? best of luck..
    Orion
    Last edited by Orion61; 03-17-2009 at 10:35 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
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    Default Pietta

    All of mine are date coded "CC" in a box, except for the '51 Navy steel frame which is a "CB". I assume these are 2008-2009 production. Oh, and the 1861 is probably a 2003 production, I can't recall the date code right now.

    Some info I have seen suggests that driving the wedge in too far can peen the slot on a Pietta, but I have not done that. I have been shooting Colt repros since the mid 1990's and had an ASM 1860 Army before I knew how to treat these cap and ballers and would routinely "over-tap" the wedge and I have never peened the metal. I am careful to tap the wedge on all these Piettas so that the right side of the wedge is either just flush with the slot, or in some cases it has to be to where the hook spring catches the side of the slot. There was just a slight bit of peening after my first shooting session with it, and when it was re-assembled I looked at it on the way to my backyard pistol range, very little peening just a little bit of raised metal behind the wedge. I did not take it apart during the shooting session, and after what I would call 6 "heavy" charges (Pyrodex P poured just below the chamber mouth and ball compressed on top) and also a few Buffalo Bullets with moderate charges, I noticed signifigant peening of the steel behind the wedge. I hope I can fix and stop the peening problem so I can salvage some use out of these guns, it's a shame they have great actions and lock up tight, and all of them have nice triggers and are very accurate. Just that I need to find out why all 4 of them are shooting loose after only a few rounds.

    I don't know if Pyrodex P is too "hot" for these guns, as I mentioned my Pietta brass frame .36 Navy Colt has only 12 rounds through it, and these were very light 12 gr. charges, and I can see the start of peening behind the wedge. I find it odd that all 4 of my Piettas are doing this. My Uberti .36 "London Navy" has only seen a few cylinders, but has absolutely no sign of peening.

    I just don't see how a revolver with only 12 rounds through it can be taking this kind of peening already.

    I am sticking with Uberti from now on, and I am going to wait until I have at least a few hundred rounds through my Uberti .36 to see if this gun does the same thing. I had a Uberti Walker that I used an R&D cylinder in and after 300 or so .45 Long Colt BP rounds it was as tight as the day I got it.

    I hope that Pyrodex isn't too hard on these guns, it is the most available option I have since most stores near me don't sell Black Powder and it's difficult to order over mail order.

  6. #6

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    I have had a mix of fortunes with them.

    I have a brite stainless or nickle .44 1858 which has spit quite a few heavy loads with no problems. Not sure of the exact charge, I simply filled the entire cylinder with Pyrodex P then seated a ball, never have fired a conical. This load chronys over 1000 fps with the 454 balls. I recon it has been thru several hundred since new in 1997, this gun looks, locks, and shoots like new.

    At the same time I purchased a Traditions 1860 Army, also a .44. I started with 20 grains of the same P. This Pietta was loose as a goose after 1 cylinder. The entire barrel end ratteled and would not tighten or seat onto the frame pins. I would have been afraid to fire it again. Midsouth Shooters Supply gave a full refund and suggested I not try another of the open top models as there had been "problems".

    Since then I have stayed with mostly top strap models. My favorite is a Lyman 1858 .36 mfg by Uberti, tho that first Pietta is as well made and easier to clean.

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    IMHO. Uberti is the best BP revolver maker (next to ruger) and work well. Its all downhill from there. A stretched/snapped pin can be fixed ( as posted elsewhere) but frame/wedge hole issues are ususally fatal. Cornered a F. pietta guy at the shot show who basically said (in italian) "the harder the steel the higher the cost" when asked about quality/duribilty issue. He may have also said bad things about me as well as I told him about problems seen and reported to me by others but seemes willing to help. They may want to help you out if you contact them directly and mention the safety issues relating to shooting loose. Good luck and let us know if they will do any thing for you.
    Last edited by vintovka; 03-17-2009 at 02:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    I have had several good Pietta revolvers.

    The few I had that needed repair were obviously abused by previous owners.

    I can see what is going on in this thread.

    It is hard to come up with a statement in defense of obvious abuse and then pass the blame on to the manufacturer.

    I have had some revolvers made by FIE that were far less than stellar.

    I have owned a couple of Jukar that literally fell apart.

    I can not say that I have owned a genuinely bad Pietta or Uberti.

    I have never had one returned to me or the shop, with exception to pistols and rifles that needed to be cleaned or appraised.
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

  9. #9
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    Default pietta

    There was no abuse in the case of these 4 pietta revolvers,none have seen more than 40 or so rounds, the most fired being the .36 navy and then only 6 were what could be called max loads, a .38 special case filled with Pyrodex P. It is absurd to think that 40 charges could damage anything being sold as a shootable gun. I baby my guns and would not abuse a piece I paid $200+ for.

    bear in mind the pietta .36 and .44 revolvers share the same frame,pin and wedge. The .44 navy is just a .36 barrel blank bored to .44. If my .36 is already failing then there's not much hope for the .44, with a bigger standard charge and heavier slugs.

    my most fired bp revolver is the Uberti .36 navy, holding up beautifully. no peening whatsoever. There money I spent on pietta revolvers should have been better spent on more Uberti guns.I'd like to hear from shooters with hundreds or even thousands of rounds through both makers and hear their opinions.

    I'm a forgiving guy,so I may try a Pietta Remington, since they seem to have gotten the solid frames right like my Spiller & Burr.

    my only hope for the pietta colts is to jb weld a sheet metal shim to the wedge.

  10. #10
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    Not to jump too far off topic, but you mentioned you own one of those Spiller & Burrs....I just ordered one. What's your thoughts overall on them?

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    Rather than the jb weld fix it is possible to either

    shorten the cylinder pin by a turn or two or
    install a set screw in the end of the cylinder pin to take up the slack.

    the latter would allow future adjustment.

    The nagging question is why should you have to do either? You expect this from brass framed jobs but not steel. Still would harass maker or even the retailer.

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    Default Pyrodex

    One thing I have noticed and nobody else has brought up is the fact that
    measuring "real" Black powder compaired to Pyrodex you have to cut back
    somewhat because it is less dense but vol. wise it is close, but I cut back by 10-15% anyway Not that it should matter THAT much.. I had a CVA Colt Walker do the same thing after 1 or 2 cyls of magnum loads. The store took it back and I got a little 36 Navy I still have and it has been terrific! I then bought a Uberti Walker I still have and have put at least 400 rounds through it with ZERO problems

    I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to ask for some compensation from them!!
    I like the screw idea for adjustment! great idea!! but it sounds more like
    a poor hardening issue on the steel.
    good luck and keep us tuned in.
    Orion

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    Default pietta

    There Spiller is a decent revolver, I'd got the kit from DGW and "antiqued" it, making it look like a well used original. It is mechanically tight but .375 balls are a bit too loose in my chambers, sometimes a ball will stick to the plunger and come out of the chamber during loading. I stick to light loads in mine. Mine is also not as accurate as my Colts.

    It is true, there is no reason these guns should be doing this. I can understand a "lemon" but for all 4 to peen is unacceptable, especially after so little use. 2 of them came from DGW and 1 from Cabela's. I don't know their policy on returns of fired guns.

    I do love the actions on 3 of the Pietta's, if I could just get some properly hardened barrels to swap out the soft ones I'd be set.
    Last edited by stantheman86; 03-18-2009 at 08:42 PM.

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    I have a 1851 .44 Pietta that has a loose cylinder pin. Never abused and shot less than a 100 times.
    Used the 30 grain Pyrodex pellets exclusivly.

    I bought a new cylinder pin from DIXIE, but can't figure out how to remove the small pin in the rear that holds it in.

    Is this too much of a job for a non gunsmith? or does anyone have any info. on how to do it.

    I would like to try to save it, great shooter.

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    Caution!! Replacing the pin is not a "snap" I can try to tell you how but their is no substitute for proper tools and experience. Even getting a correct pin for you gun isn't easy. Brass frames are not worth the time as they may/will loosen again. If unsure send it to someone who you can trust.

    Heres my .02

    Dismantle it down to frame. Look down on the hammer "cut" and you should see a pin in a hole. Turn it over and (if made right) you should see the other end of the pin in the hole. Look close as it may be ground flush. I carefully drive the pin out from the bottom (to top) with a correct punch. May have to add a little heat.

    Now the hard part:

    With the pin out and the bare frame in a padded vise CAREfully turn out the cyl pin using the wedge slot and a proper fitting tool. I ground a big blade screwdriver to fit and dedicated it to that purpose.

    Once out, you need to see if the old pin has stretched or threads are damaged. If the threads and wedge hole are ok you could reuse the old pin by facing off (lathe) one to 3 threads worth and reinstalling.

    This means removing just the threads and shortening the pin by the same amount to allow a very tight fit against the frame and proper indexing.

    If the old pin is fubar, try the new pin for proper thread and wedge fit. You may have to remove threads and shorten the pin to get it to fit.

    "Fit " means that the pin is properly indexed in the frame and the wedge slot is in the proper position when the cylinder and barrel are in place. A new wedge should be used as well. You can measure all you want but I think feel and eyeball are best.

    In either case the retaining pin hole will need drilled (using frame hole as guide) and the pin reinstalled.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by vintovka; 03-19-2009 at 12:40 AM.

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    Default Uberti

    I think the overall theory I have is that Pietta Colt repros aren't worth the time and money. I'll give it to Pietta, they seem to have the 1858's and Spiller and Burr down pretty good, most Pietta fans are 1858 shooters. They have not seemed to be able to get the Colts down yet, and the major factor is heat treating the barrel. They may be able to get away with softer steel in the 1858's because the pressure from shooting is taken up by the solid frame and the cylinder bearing on the forcing cone, but with the Colt, basically with every shot the force is bearing on the barrel pushing against the wedge and in turn the steel on the wedge slot, and the whole assembly bears on the threads of the cylinder pin, which is why there have been reports of Pietta Colt cylnder pins loosening.

    I would like to try a Pietta 1858, I had one but sold it without firing it, and it seemed like a good tight gun. But until they start using harder steel in their Colts I'm staying away from them.

    Uberti has gotten the Colts down pretty good, as I said my Uberti 1851 .36 has not seen many rounds, probably no more than 60 light loads but even 40 rounds has beaten up the slot of my Piettas, while my Uberti has hardly a trace of wear even on the cylinder stops let alone peening at the wedge slot, and if not for a little carbon burning in the chambers could still pass as new.

    I am going to shoot my Uberti as much as I can and observe it for looseness, and even shoot some max loads in it and use this revolver as my "shooter" to test out the long term durability of the new Uberti's. If it holds up, then I'll probably eventually buy one of each of Uberti's Colt percussion revolvers. I love the Colts, I think the open top Colts are probably the neatest revolvers ever made, but I need to find a solid manufacturer who makes guns I can actually count on not to wear out after a few hundred rounds.

    I hear US Firearms is making an 1858 repro, using ordnance grade steel and hand fitted to the same standards as their famous 1873's, which are reportedly made better than the real deal made by Colt. If so, I would easily pay a premium for a very high quality cap and baller such as this. If they ever tooled up and started making more Colt percussion guns I would definitely be pretty happy about it. An 1851 made to high standards, with a perfect action and high grade steel would be one of my favorite guns ever, if it was ever made.

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    Thanks again for all the good info.

    I don't think I will attempt replacing the cylinder pin.

    Stantheman86 that is some good advice. I also really like the "look" and feel of the colt 1851.

    But if they tend to loosen up after awhile, I'm going to sell these and maybe go with a Uberti later.

    Until now I was not aware of the problems inherent in some of these BP pistols.

    Good information.

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    Default Pietta

    Never ever had a problem with the full or half frame 44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdub View Post
    Never ever had a problem with the full or half frame 44.
    You probable never will either. Open top designs subject an area with a total surface area of less than a 1/4 circle to stresses in all directions. At a minimum theres the foward tension of the wedge and hammer fall the rearward effects of recoil. The bending moment of loading and/or striking the barrel or butt. That same area (at the the base of the pin) is further weakened by the thread depth, sharp transition to the base of the pin and, if that wasn't enough, the hefty torque needed to install the pin in the first place. WHen you see the imprint of the cylinder rachet on on the inside of even a solid framed revolver you start to understand some of the forces involved.
    Last edited by vintovka; 03-19-2009 at 02:52 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOSS 54 View Post
    I have had a mix of fortunes with them.

    I have a brite stainless or nickle .44 1858 which has spit quite a few heavy loads with no problems. Not sure of the exact charge, I simply filled the entire cylinder with Pyrodex P then seated a ball, never have fired a conical. This load chronys over 1000 fps with the 454 balls. I recon it has been thru several hundred since new in 1997, this gun looks, locks, and shoots like new.

    At the same time I purchased a Traditions 1860 Army, also a .44. I started with 20 grains of the same P. This Pietta was loose as a goose after 1 cylinder. The entire barrel end ratteled and would not tighten or seat onto the frame pins. I would have been afraid to fire it again. Midsouth Shooters Supply gave a full refund and suggested I not try another of the open top models as there had been "problems".

    Since then I have stayed with mostly top strap models. My favorite is a Lyman 1858 .36 mfg by Uberti, tho that first Pietta is as well made and easier to clean.
    Yeap...I bought a Pietta 1860 Colt Army from Midsouth in January and it had all kinds of problems.Poor lockup and timing,loose cylinder pin and IMHO the metal used on the revolver is soft.Cylinder was peened heavily by the bolt with only a few cycles.Lots of burrs and grinding/file marks on the revolver.Never fired the revolver due to the issues I found right out of the box.
    So I sent it back to Traditions a little over a month ago for inspection and waiting for it to come back.They said they smoothed the action,tightened the cylinder pin,and fitted the bolt to the cylinder.We will see when it comes back.
    Now I have two Pietta 58 Rem New Model Armies I ordered from Cabela's last month that are very nice and have no issues with perfect fit and finish.
    But,I have to say the pertiest as well as my favorite BP revolvers to date are my Uberti Walker and Whitneyville Dragoon.IMHO the Uberti's are a better made revolver and use better materials overall.

    ETA
    Speak of the devil and it shows up.The Traditions 1860 Colt Army was on the porch this afternoon thanks to the big brown truck...happy birthday to me.
    All I can say is if you buy a cap-n-ball revolver,regardless of brand,and it is not right straight out of the box...then return it to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange.If its a minor issue just fix it yourself...parts are cheap.
    What I can say for sure is Traditions did nothing but make a bigger mess out of this Pietta Colt replica than what I had to start with.They did tighten the cylinder pin,by peening the heck out of the rear of the recoil shield at the arbor with a punch.Could have done that myself.
    They cut the bolt to fit(looks like bench grinder work) the cylinder notches,but did not deburr the cylinder notches from the peening before hand.On top of that they cut the wrong side of the bolt,full length to boot so it moves side to side in the frame.Lockup and timing is way off to the point I'd be affraid to shoot it for sure now.Got about 1/16" cylinder face showing in the bore.Not to mention they filed/dremelled the frame port for the bolt to basically a recess and I have no idea why.Worst hand work Ive seen to date and Ive worked in the mechanical field for 20 years.Could have done better myself blind folded.
    Plus they deformed just about every screw head on the frame and grip...so apparently they do not have or use hollow ground screw drivers or bits.I mean come on guys.
    Im perty sick over it...Oh well at least Ive got the parts on hand to fix it myself.
    Sorry for the rant folks.
    Word to the wise...don't send anything to Traditions for warranty work.
    Last edited by Blankwaffe; 03-19-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: ETA
    1st Tennessee Co.H Maury Grays

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    Default Uberti

    Uberti is by far the best maker of repro Colt percussion revolvers out there, maybe excepting the very few 1851's that USFA turned out, although I heard that some or even all of these were Uberti parts that were heat treated and fit and finished by USFA, so in effect they may have just been very well made Uberti's. I am all excited about the USFA 1858 Remington, but I hope it is 100% made in their Hartford, CN factory and is not just a "Uberti fit and finished by USFA".

    Overall I think the .36 '51 Colt Navy is the best handling, most naturally pointing and by far the handsomest revolver ever made. The 1861's and 1860's are nice, too but I personally prefer the loading lever style, octagon barrel, and overall lines of the 1851 more. My Uberti 1851 will shoot better than any of my S&W .38 or .357 revolvers.

    I don't think I will ever buy any more Pietta's, not even the 1858 because I am waiting for the USFA model to come out, and I would also rather spend more $ and get a Uberti .36 1858 "Navy" too.I want a Rem in .36 and would rather go with a Uberti rather than Pietta's "Navy Police" model. This is the second time Pietta has left a bad taste in my mouth with substandard workmanship. I gave them another try with 4 revolvers, hearing that they had upscaled their production methods but apparently they have a long way to go, the only way they will make usable revolvers is to use higher grade steel. Sure, the Pietta's look pretty and their fit and finish has greatly improved, but they still sell a softer gun than other Italian importers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
    I hope that Pyrodex isn't too hard on these guns, it is the most available option I have since most stores near me don't sell Black Powder and it's difficult to order over mail order.

    it's not the pyrodex, it's the metallurgy of the guns themselves

    The old Navy Arms and CVA guns from the 1980's had better metallurgy, I have 2 and they eat up full cylinders of pyrodex and spit it out, like nothing. The Navy Arms is just as tight as the day I bought it, but it is a Remington design. As a matter of fact, I'd buy an old CVA or Navy Arms gun, rather than a new BP gun from any make. Of course the Gen 2 and Gen 3 Colt BP guns, made by Colt in USA, are of the finest high grade hardened steel- and the cream of the crop. Recently I ran across this CVA Stainless Colt on Gunbroker, I should have bid on it, went for only $275 and being stainless, should be the ultimate in frame/barrel strength- equalling or even surpassing a real Colt.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=120247581

    If one buys the cheaper guns, i.e. Piettas, then it's best to buy a topstrap design like the Rem 58 or Peacemaker, for the added strength- they need it.

    To make hardened parts that don't shoot loose of Colt pattern, takes a lot more money, time, expertise, heat treating, and lab metallurgy work- i.e. grain samples, etching, and looking that them under a microscope- this adds cost

    the overseas mfrs. want to cut costs, so they lower the standards on the cheaper guns, yes they will shoot, but as you said before, they are really just display pieces. The answer is, just don't buy them- they'll get the message and improve quality.

    the brass frame guns look great, but aren't much of a firearm for actual shooting. You could shoot a new brass frame loose in one day. I've done it already.

    these same problems existed back in the day, because their metallurgy was more primitive in the 1800's. That's why the early Walkers and Dragoons were so large, they simply made the guns bigger to add strength. It's also why the US Army turned down the 1871-72 Open Tops, (Remington and Smith/Wesson beat Colt), and that's why Colt then invented the 1873 Peacemaker. If Colt didn't come out with a competitive topstrap design, then Smith&Wesson and Remington would get all the military sidearm contracts for new cartridge guns- which initially they did just after the Civil War- until the Peacemaker came out- then Colt regained their lead.

    The problems you describe are reasons why the original Open Top was discontinued after only 2 years, that and the 44 Henry rimfire chambering doomed it from the start.

    One thing the open top designs have, they win hands down in the looks dept.
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-04-2009 at 08:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
    I am the "proud" owner of 4 Pietta Colt repros, a brass frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .44 "Navy" and a '61 Navy.

    stan, check your PM/email, I sent you one.

  24. #24
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    I beleive the Walkers were initially made to arm the dragoons............. you would not want a light wispy little revolver to shoot off the back of a horse (patterson). The weight of a Walker would have been the advantage somewhat.
    ISAIAH 41:10

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    Well after today Pietta anything now on is on my s--t list. How about a NIB pietta SS .44 1858 with a 1/2" long (or more) circular void area, mid barrel? Not a bulge but an area about 1/16" deep or so where metal is missing, There was rifling on both sides of the gap and ragged metal void in between. I first thought it was a circular rusted out area but the pistol appeared unfired and is made of SS!!. Dealer friend showed it to me as a "joke" with a line about a rough bore on a new gun. I can only conclude that the void was there when the barrel blank was made and then bored and rifled right through it. SO much for quality control. How could anyone miss it?

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    I don't know much about metalugery, but here is something to ponder.

    I got curious and got out a BRASS punch.

    Set it against the rear edge in back of where the wedge sits. Not were the wedge fits in but further back to the end by the cylinder.

    Gave it a slight tap with a brass hammer.

    Tried this on a Uberti and Pietta.

    BOTH had an indentation from the slight tap.

    THe metal seemed as soft as puty.

    Tried it on a Ruger SS. I wouldn't be able to dent that metal with sledge hammer and steel punch.

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Other than I am starting to understand what the guys that say buy only pre 1980 BP guns because they are made with better harder steel know what they are talking about.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RH7777 View Post
    I don't know much about metalugery, but here is something to ponder.

    I got curious and got out a BRASS punch.

    Set it against the rear edge in back of where the wedge sits. Not were the wedge fits in but further back to the end by the cylinder.

    Gave it a slight tap with a brass hammer.

    Tried this on a Uberti and Pietta.

    BOTH had an indentation from the slight tap.

    THe metal seemed as soft as puty.

    Tried it on a Ruger SS. I wouldn't be able to dent that metal with sledge hammer and steel punch.

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Other than I am starting to understand what the guys that say buy only pre 1980 BP guns because they are made with better harder steel know what they are talking about.
    I suppose this was part of my point a few threads up.

    Both revolvers are essentially the same.

    I can make original Colt or Remington parts work in either manufacturer's revolvers with little effort if the were made to specs.

    The newest revolvers on the market from both manufacturers seem to suffer from quality issues.

    This problem will affect any other sub contractor or retailer that uses these pistols.

    Unless you DGW replica was made in America, you are going to be familiar with this problem.

    I can not say that 1980 in the magic year for a quality pistol or rifle, I am sure this is a more recent problem than that.

    I have bought and sold these revolvers for a very long time now and have not received anything that matches these descriptions.

    I have received a small minority of damaged firearms, some repairable.

    In every instance the cause for failure was operator related and would have had the same affect on any new pistol. (Even smokeless pistols)

    I have recently received a once nice Ruger old Army that was ruined due to an "Elmer Keith memorial load" incident and a partially blocked barrel.

    The individual who did this apparently did so to prove that his Ruger can take anything.

    It turns out that he was wrong and had to have a trip to the ER to remove scrap metal from his body.

    (and yes, he had the gall to ask me to fix it.)
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RH7777 View Post
    I'm not sure what to make of this. Other than I am starting to understand what the guys that say buy only pre 1980 BP guns because they are made with better harder steel know what they are talking about.

    you ain't kiddin'...

    I worked in a plant that made rings that look like lampshades, from high temp steel, these round lampshade type rings were then all welded together by our customers, who made jet engines out of them, and they went in F-16, F-18, etc. fighter planes. I had to do the hardness testing.

    some of these pistols have the metallurgy quality of a crayon- I'd wager the old vintage real 1860 Colts were just as good, or even better- even though they were made 150 years ago

    if you buy a stainless gun, by its very nature it will be much harder, and that gun will be able to take much more punishment, and higher pressure loads- without pulling the cylinder pin out, or stretching the barrel/wedge slots interface

    makes me wonder, why some American firm just doesn't do it here in the USA, the right way, in the first place- and create some jobs already too: I guess those were the good old days...
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-06-2009 at 05:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ret_marine2003 View Post
    I can not say that 1980 in the magic year for a quality pistol or rifle, I am sure this is a more recent problem than that.)


    I have (2) BP C-B pistols from early-mid 1980's, and they are strong ones. The old CVA steel frames for Colt 1860 Armys had a factory welded in hardened cylinder pin, I have one- that ain't going nowhere, i.e. it's not going to pull out or stretch. I should have bought 20 of those frames, when I had a chance. I'm actually going to track down the one I gave away to my in-law, for his Navy gun, if I can. My other gun is a Navy Arms Remington that's even stronger than the Colt.

    It seems the recent arms are worse, i.e. 21st century.

    brass frames are weak, just by their very nature- but there is a few tricks to girdle those up too, if one needs to

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    Quote Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
    I don't think I will ever buy any more Pietta's, not even the 1858 because I am waiting for the USFA model to come out, and I would also rather spend more $ and get a Uberti .36 1858 "Navy" too.I want a Rem in .36 and would rather go with a Uberti rather than Pietta's "Navy Police" model. This is the second time Pietta has left a bad taste in my mouth with substandard workmanship. I gave them another try with 4 revolvers, hearing that they had upscaled their production methods but apparently they have a long way to go, the only way they will make usable revolvers is to use higher grade steel. Sure, the Pietta's look pretty and their fit and finish has greatly improved, but they still sell a softer gun than other Italian importers.


    Stan, if you want to sell those guns, PM me, or email me

    [email protected]

    I could use them for parts, if they shot loose
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-07-2009 at 11:23 AM.

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    I mentioned somewhere above I spoke FTF at length with a Pietta rep at the show show. I'm starting to think the steel is softer due to switchover to all cnc machines and the need for faster production. Also have seen and machined some very soft stainless so not all of it is hard. what do you think?

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    yes, softer steel machines easier/quicker, and saves a lot of money on tooling cutters- but the end product is a gun with the consistency of a crayon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by locknloadnow View Post
    yes, softer steel machines easier/quicker, and saves a lot of money on tooling cutters- but the end product is a gun with the consistency of a crayon.
    Normally, the steel is soft from the beginning.

    After the steel is cut it is sent to heat treat.

    The problem has to be either poor quality steel (porosity) or lack of or improper heat treat.

    I am a hobby machinist and a fair gunsmith but have spent a good portion of my life with professional machinists and I am very familiar with the process.

    There are many grades of steel and many different types of alloys.

    I suspect that since the price of steel jumped up, these manufacturers have gone to cheaper materials.
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

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    heat treat affects the dimensions of machined parts- to get a perfect part within tolerances, it requires machining after the heat treat

    for instance, in an engine, the crankshaft journals and connecting rod big ends/small ends, could never be machined before heat treat- all the dimensions would be incorrect, as well as the bearings surfaces finish ruined

    the same holds true with guns. If you machined the parts first, then heat treated them all, they very well may not even fit together any more.

    it's best to finish machine last, after all heat treat is done

    take a small piece of metal and heat it up, watch what happens to it- it warps, bends, moves all over the place- the problem is, when it cools, it may not move back to its original shape

    yes, economics and profit margin demands is sacrificing quality, in these BP repro guns- it's a damned shame too
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-09-2009 at 05:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by locknloadnow View Post
    heat treat affects the dimensions of machined parts- to get a perfect part within tolerances, it requires machining after the heat treat

    for instance, in an engine, the crankshaft journals and connecting rod big ends/small ends, could never be machined before heat treat- all the dimensions would be incorrect, as well as the bearings surfaces finish ruined

    the same holds true with guns. If you machined the parts first, then heat treated them all, they very well may not even fit together any more.

    it's best to finish machine last, after all heat treat is done
    If you spend some time talking to machinists or gun manufacturers you will find that you are only half right in specific instances and will be corrected.

    You may machine small parts after heat treat, but the major parts will me machines prior to heat treat.

    Failure to do so usually means breaking a tool in the middle of a job.

    Breaking a tool in the middle of a job leads to a scrapped part and loss of income.

    The only time I have machined post heat treat parts is when I am repairing someone else's mess or doing some rework.

    The raw steel is purchase in specific grade and quality, but not fully hardened.

    Finished parts are sent to heat treat in most applications.

    Consider rifling a fully hardened rifle barrel.

    This is not going to happen with post heat treat steel.

    Heat treat does not add much if any shrinking to finished products when done correctly.

    Heat treat is often done with an oil bath at a controlled temperature.

    Some of these BP pistols probably receive no heat treating and may be crude enough to manufacture this way.

    BP pistols like the Ruger Old Army are treated.

    The other issue with heat treating is over heating the steel.

    The steel becomes brittle.
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

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    Anybody ever seen the Pietta Colt SAA copies? I bought one back around 2003, and before I had shot 20 rounds, the whole ejector assembly fell off the gun, the screw boss was soft soldered to the barrel, it also seemed to have a hair trigger. I took it back to the shop where I bought it, they sent it to a gunsmith who repaired the ejector assembly and replaced the hammer with a new one. When I got it back, I took it to the farm, shot 6 rounds with no problem, but as I was loading the gun with the next 6 rounds, the hammer dropped from half cock, it fired the round in the chamber which was not completely lined up with the barrel, and spit lead into my right arm, and the ejector assembly fell off again. I took it back to the shop, and they just told me to pick out anything in the shop that was equal to what I had paid for that piece of c**p. Later on I bought an Uberti SAA copy that I have shot over 500 rounds through with ZERO problems. I also had a Pietta copy of the 1862 Colt pocket model that was a piece of junk also, I had to replace the trigger spring twice, mainspring once after less than 30 rounds. Spend the extra money for Uberti guns, the Pietta Colt copies seem to be problem ridden.

  37. #37
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    Talking To all with bp arms grievances, attention:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cincinnati Kid View Post
    Anybody ever seen the Pietta Colt SAA copies? I bought one back around 2003, and before I had shot 20 rounds, the whole ejector assembly fell off the gun, the screw boss was soft soldered to the barrel, it also seemed to have a hair trigger. I took it back to the shop where I bought it, they sent it to a gunsmith who repaired the ejector assembly and replaced the hammer with a new one. When I got it back, I took it to the farm, shot 6 rounds with no problem, but as I was loading the gun with the next 6 rounds, the hammer dropped from half cock, it fired the round in the chamber which was not completely lined up with the barrel, and spit lead into my right arm, and the ejector assembly fell off again. I took it back to the shop, and they just told me to pick out anything in the shop that was equal to what I had paid for that piece of c**p. Later on I bought an Uberti SAA copy that I have shot over 500 rounds through with ZERO problems. I also had a Pietta copy of the 1862 Colt pocket model that was a piece of junk also, I had to replace the trigger spring twice, mainspring once after less than 30 rounds. Spend the extra money for Uberti guns, the Pietta Colt copies seem to be problem ridden.
    ATTENTION ALL:

    Feel free to take all of the black powder pistols, parts, and items that you say are junk and place them in a flat rate USPS box and send them to the following address:

    A-1 REPAIR AND RESTORATION
    PO BOX 296
    LAKE CITY, MICHIGAN
    49651-296

    I will reimburse your shipping.

    ...and since all things Pietta are junk, make sure to send me all that you have purchased so that they will not bother you anymore.

    You do not want them so please send them to me.
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

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    Holy Shirt - I'd better send you my cr*ppy Pietta Remington Model 1858 [thirty years of totally reliable performance so far], the other nine in our club, my 23-year old totally reliable ROA and my second series Colt Walker, because in spite to their ages and general decrepitudes, not a thing has gone wrong with any of them - apart from a bendy wedge on the AMERICAN-made Colt - in all the time I've owned them.

    Sheeeeesh, guess I've been REAL lucky,eh?

    tac

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFoley View Post
    Holy Shirt - I'd better send you my cr*ppy Pietta Remington Model 1858 [thirty years of totally reliable performance so far], the other nine in our club, my 23-year old totally reliable ROA and my second series Colt Walker, because in spite to their ages and general decrepitudes, not a thing has gone wrong with any of them - apart from a bendy wedge on the AMERICAN-made Colt - in all the time I've owned them.

    Sheeeeesh, guess I've been REAL lucky,eh?

    tac
    No Tom, I would say your experience is the same as my own.

    I have been shooting many brands for a long time and I have come to the conclusion (based in my own experiences repairing them) that many of these "different" brands are buying their parts from the same places.

    I think the idea that they have traditionally used better steel from one manufacturer to the next is downright silly.

    With exception to specific premium pistols and rifles (not brands of pistols and rifles), they are all very similar.

    Metal quality is a recent issue and does not seem to affect most of the BP items made prior to the last couple of years.

    The metal quality issue affects many manufacturers of firearms, including smokeless.

    Heritage Arms has been plagued with this issue since they went "cheaper" a couple of years ago.
    Semper Fi,
    ret_Marine2003

    Located at American Legion post 300, somewhere in Northern Michigan.

  40. #40
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    Pietta's manual lists a max load of 15 grains fffg for .44 cal revolvers and 12 grains for .36 caliber. So anything over that is abuse.
    http://www.pietta.us/pdf/Manuale_Avancarica_ENG.pdf
    Last edited by Ordtech; 04-13-2009 at 03:18 AM.
    How many psi in a CUP?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
    I am the "proud" owner of 4 Pietta Colt repros, a brass frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .36 Navy, a steel frame .44 "Navy" and a '61 Navy.
    over.
    I could use those guns as raw material for repairs/conversions I'm doing. I'd pay you $100/each for the steel frame guns, and $75/each for the brass frame guns- plus shipping. Let me know if you want to cash in.

    $350 on the barrel head, and you can buy something better that holds together, like a Ruger OA- Remington 1858- Rogers/Spencer- or Uberti Peacemaker cap/ball- or a cartridge conversion from Cimarron for $450 that really is a good gun

    That goes for anyone else reading this thread as well-if you have "low quality" cap/ball pistols that you're disgusted with- I'll pay cash for them as follows: $75 each brass frame guns complete- $100 each steel frame guns complete- broken brass frame guns that are complete $50 each- I'll pay the freight/paypal fees/etc.

    parts- I'll pay $25/each steel barrel, $20/each cylinders, good back half of gun populated frame with parts/grips/arbor, but missing cylinder/barrel- $50

    this offer won't last forever- once I get stocked up, that's it- I won't need any more. Already got 1 barrel and 3 cylinders from other sellers. Cash in while you have the chance.
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-19-2009 at 01:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ret_marine2003 View Post
    ATTENTION ALL:

    Feel free to take all of the black powder pistols, parts, and items that you say are junk and place them in a flat rate USPS box and send them to the following address:

    A-1 REPAIR AND RESTORATION
    PO BOX 296
    LAKE CITY, MICHIGAN
    49651-296

    I will reimburse your shipping.

    ...and since all things Pietta are junk, make sure to send me all that you have purchased so that they will not bother you anymore.

    You do not want them so please send them to me.

    I'll gladly send you all the broken brass frames I have, for shipping cost. :D

    barrels and cylinders are still useful

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    [QUOTE=ret_marine2003;815109]
    I think the idea that they have traditionally used better steel from one manufacturer to the next is downright silly.QUOTE]


    I'd disagree there

    the old blackpowder guns, from the 1970's, some of them had FORGED STEEL BARRELS that were superior quality, and they say forged steel right on them

    later barrels were soft castings rather than forgings

    stainless steel guns are much harder/stronger, than blued steel or brass frame guns

    they vary quite a bit in strength, from era to era, decade to decade

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFoley View Post
    Holy Shirt - I'd better send you my cr*ppy Pietta Remington Model 1858 [thirty years of totally reliable performance so far], the other nine in our club, my 23-year old totally reliable ROA and my second series Colt Walker, because in spite to their ages and general decrepitudes, not a thing has gone wrong with any of them - apart from a bendy wedge on the AMERICAN-made Colt - in all the time I've owned them.

    Sheeeeesh, guess I've been REAL lucky,eh?

    tac
    your post is a "red herring" of sorts, you are ignoring the MAJOR issue- design/topstrap

    what you describe has nothing to do with luck- the reason your gun stayed together is because it's a TOP STRAP DESIGN Remington, like the Ruger and Peacemaker is too. Much stronger. Actually twice as strong- with 2 beams holding the barrel to the recoil shield, all one solid cast or forged piece

    a Colt open top, has one beam the arbor, and is only pinned with a wedge

    If you had a Pietta open top Colt, it would be loosey goosey unless the arbor was welded into the frame, like this vintage factory welded arbor/frame assembly I bought back in 1994

    this frame on my 1851 36 cal Navy will ingest full cylinders of pyrodex or black, and shrug them off like nothing, and spit them out- for 15 years now. Any other modern open top gun with a threaded rather than welded arbor, would have shot loose already and needed to be shimmed

    the original brass frame bit the dust after only 3 times out shooting- it shot loose after the first cylinder- and this was a Euroarms gun with the "DGG" stamping.

    the only thing a brass framed gun is good for, is parts, or give to your kids as a cap gun- and it's about time someone came out and said that already
    Last edited by locknloadnow; 04-19-2009 at 01:53 PM.

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    I looked at a .36 Navy today, brass frame, PN in a box stamping (Pietta, correct?). It was older, "COM" under the barrel, serial numbers on barrel, frame, trigger guard. Didnt seem too bad at all hadnt been fired much. What era would this have been made? Seller wanted $150.
    "It's all gone to hell now, the wimps have gangs, pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos"--DKM

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