FIELD STRIP 101: COLT CAP AND BALL REVOLVERS
By Darryl Choy
Originally Published 3/2003 Photos added 4/2015
The available instructions are: “Tap out the wedge and remove barrel from receiver.” However there is a lot more. The basic rule to remember is: DO NOT REMOVE OR LOOSEN THE WEDGE SCREW.
Without proper instructions, just about everybody violated this rule, including myself. Sam Colt designed this screw to keep the wedge from being lost or separated from the barrel unit during disassembly. Here’s the proper procedure:
1. Place the Revolver in half cock
2. Tap the Wedge out until the wedge spring rests on the screw
3. Turn the cylinder until a wall between two chambers is under the plunger.
4. Activate the lever so the plunger presses against the cylinder, slowly separating the barrel unit from the receiver.
5 Remove the cylinder.
To reassemble, tap the wedge in flush to the right side. The wedge spring is not intended to lock on the right side. If you tap in the wedge too far, the cylinder will drag or not turn at all. Virtually none of the current owners manual have this information. Now you know. Go shoot that revolver! DC
Restoration Tips (July 1997 Newsletter)
by Cyrus Chun
Poor stock refinishing can ruin a good collector gun if you don’t know what you are doing. My techniques are the results of years of trial and error with advice from other restorers. There are many ways to restore a stock but essentially you need to visualize the final product; aged, mint, used, etc., that you want to achieve.
- Color; if you can’t duplicate the original, forget it and live with what you got, e.g., the orange color of Moisin Nagants and light color European military stocks are difficult to duplicate.
- Dents; you need to strip the stock finish. Remove all oils and grease or else filler/epoxy will not adhere to the wood. Steaming lifts finish/and oils out of the stock. If it’s not too bad, live with it; after all it was a combat weapon at one time.
- Steaming will raise small dents. Place a damp cloth over the dent and apply a hot clothes iron on top. Repeat until done. Sometimes the wood grain is too crushed to be raised.
- deep gouges and cracks can be repaired with wood putty or epoxy stained/dyed to match stock color.
- Stock Stripping;
- paint stripper (rub-off or water washable types) is sufficient and does not raise the wood grain too much.
- lacquer thinner is best in a 5 gallon can. Just stand the stock in it and the lacquer thinner will remove the finish and draw the oils out cleanly from the interior of the wood. Raises the wood grain a bit and dries the stock out completely
- Oven Cleaner Easy-Off with lye readily removes all the oils from inside the stock. But be thorough in removing all the lye or it’ll continue eating into the wood. The water rinse raises the wood grain a lot.
- Finishing; I rarely use sandpaper and if I do it’s for major reshaping only. There are 2 methods (carding and/or boning or a combination of both). These are 19th to 20th Century (1800’s 1900’s) stock finishing techniques.
- Carding: Do not stain/finish stock. Take a sharp implement, i.e., a straight razor, hold at a 450 angle and scrap the stock while applying even pressure along the grain of the wood. This will cut the raised wood grains off and keep stock lines sharp. This method removes little wood and keeps the stock edges from being rounded. Edges of markings will be sharp and not rounded.
- Boning: Stain/dye the stock to the desired color. Oil the stock with linseed oil or Tung oil. Linseed oil gives a flat military finish and Tung oil gives a semi-gloss finish. Use a flat piece of bone (-10″L x l”W), apply even pressure on the flat part of the bone to the stock and rub along the grain of the wood while the stock is still wet with oil. This lays the wood grains back down into the stock and forms a hard smooth surface/finish. No wood is removed.
Proper Way to Install an After-Market 10/22 Barrel
by Mike Fujioka
It’s a normal “bolt on and off.” Here are some hints on installing the barrel.
Remove the factory barrel and strip all parts from the receiver until it is bare. Try to fit the new barrel. If the barrel will not slide into the receiver as easily as the factory barrel, you will have to hand fit it. All you have to do is sand the barrel extension (the part of the barrel that slides into the receiver) with sandpaper to remove a slight bit of metal (evenly around the extension) so that it slides in snugly. Not TIGHT, but SNUG! (“Snug” means you can still remove it by hand pressure only; a little resistance is good.)
Do not sand or enlarge the receiver opening for the barrel!
NOTE: Be sure to clean off all metal sanding debris from the barrel extension before a trial fit. Failure to do so will allow metal grit to bind the barrel into the receiver at the half-way point. It’s a pain to constantly clean before each trial fit, but go slow and don’t rush it. If the barrel gets stuck, use a large wooden dowel placed against the barrel extension from the inside of the receiver and tap the wooden dowel with a small hammer lightly to push the barrel back out (having to do this just once will definitely ensure that you remember to clean off all sanding grit before trial fitting next time).
If the fit is TIGHT, do not hammer the barrel in. You might crack your receiver! Nearly all hand-fitted snug barrels shoot very accurately.
Be careful when tightening the V-Block while securing the new barrel to the receiver. Snug is all you need, and both screws should have even torque pressure applied. If the V-Block cracks or breaks, this is not a problem. Order an after-market steel one which will prevent this from happening again.