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Just picked up a Colt Pocket Model 1849, made in 1863. From my untrained eye it looks pretty good and doesn't seem to have been messed with much. There is barely any blue'ing left but it faded into a nice patina. Don't think it was ever reblue'ed but someone correct me if I am wrong. All the numbers are matching and the screws seem to be original, save for the wedge/wedge-screw, as it was not numbered and the wear looks different. The rifling is still well defined but the bore is pretty brown/dark, along with the chambers.

It is fully functional in half and full lock and ticks with confidence. The one issue I see is that sometimes when I cock the hammer the cylinder doesn't always turn in-time on 2 cylinder notches. I am able to move the cylinder to alignment after the fact and it doesn't happen all the time, especially when I cock the hammer back with a little force.

I know some of you will hate hearing this, but I really want to make the old girl sing one more time before it's retired to my wall, and only if its safe to do so. I will have to find a competent gunsmith familiar with Colt percussion revolvers but would love yall's opinions as well. More pictures to come after disassembly.

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I of course won't dare to mess with it other than keep it oiled. I currently have the Renaissance polish, Ballistol, Breakfree CLP, and Hoppes Oil at my disposal. Any recommendations on maintenance?


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Here is the issue I mentioned earlier with the cylinder not being fully aligned for 2 notches:
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The best maintenance is around 40% humidity and to keep the fingerprints from the surfaces. And it looks like you are doing well on the second count.

Excesses of oils and waxes can build up to a dull and cloudy look.
 

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OK niece gun. now GO Slow. the timing of the gun rests mostly on the hand and spring. this is a fairly easy fix.
take it apart. you can do it. mark all the screws on paper Left, right TG or backstrap. a soak in Kroil will help tight screws.
use turn
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screws meant for the job, NOT screwdrivers. a set will go about $30, well worth it.
take out the hammer and the hand and spring will be there. most likely the tip of the hand is worn and the spring is weak.
you can get a replacement part from S&S or some other source. Dixie used to have them.
keep the original for use if ever necessary. Do NOT fool with the cylinder notches, some have ball peened them over and wrecked the gun.
Some times a loose wedge will be the problem. the cylinder has to be pushed back to work properly. If the cylinder has front to back movement this may be it.
a new hand can still fix this.
if you do not intend to shoot it and I would NOT. just keep it as is, and enjoy it's history.
I've owned many colts and pocket models. they are strong, and take abuse.
enjoy it and forget about the problem is my advice. a new hand is cheap and you can always put if back the old way if you want.
Ken
ps I was an antique gunsmith for decades. not my first rodeo. This is wedge slot repair I just did on an 1860 Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK niece gun. now GO Slow. the timing of the gun rests mostly on the hand and spring. this is a fairly easy fix.
take it apart. you can do it. mark all the screws on paper Left, right TG or backstrap. a soak in Kroil will help tight screws.
use turn View attachment 713727 screws meant for the job, NOT screwdrivers. a set will go about $30, well worth it.
take out the hammer and the hand and spring will be there. most likely the tip of the hand is worn and the spring is weak.
you can get a replacement part from S&S or some other source. Dixie used to have them.
keep the original for use if ever necessary. Do NOT fool with the cylinder notches, some have ball peened them over and wrecked the gun.
Some times a loose wedge will be the problem. the cylinder has to be pushed back to work properly. If the cylinder has front to back movement this may be it.
a new hand can still fix this.
if you do not intend to shoot it and I would NOT. just keep it as is, and enjoy it's history.
I've owned many colts and pocket models. they are strong, and take abuse.
enjoy it and forget about the problem is my advice. a new hand is cheap and you can always put if back the old way if you want.
Ken
ps I was an antique gunsmith for decades. not my first rodeo. This is wedge slot repair I just did on an 1860 Colt.
Thank you so much for this fantastic advice. The more I read into the subject of shooting antiques, the more I am disinclined to shoot this thing. I'm going to heed your advice to keep it as is and enjoy the history of it (if only it could talk).

Looks like its time to get an Uberti repro! I've been looking to add the 1861 Navy to my collection
 

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Looks like its time to get an Uberti repro! I've been looking to add the 1861 Navy to my collection
Why an Uberti? You can find one from Colts 2nd or 3rd generation w/o the horrible "Black Powder only" and all the other Italian stamps.
 

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Why an Uberti? You can find one from Colts 2nd or 3rd generation w/o the horrible "Black Powder only" and all the other Italian stamps.
If money wasn't an issue I wouldn't even think about getting a reproduction. But I am sticking to my commitment in getting a 1st gen Colt SAA and will have to be frugal with my gun purchases for the next year or so. I recently developed an interest in BP so I want to find a cheap revolver to shoot worry-free, and from what I seen Uberti is pretty faithful to the original.
 

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Great looking old Colt!! I do not shoot my antique black powder revolvers, but a lot of people do. As mentioned in previous post, take your time with it and make sure the work is done well. If you are unsure in anyway of making the repairs yourself, find a gunsmith who specializes in black powder guns and have him do it. Too nice of a gun to screw it up. If you are like me, you take your guns out and admire them occasionally, instead of just storing them in a closet or gun safe for months at a time. You can get a quality silicone cloth and wipe it down after holding it to protect the remaining finish. A very nice addition to your collection.
 

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Here are some more pictures after a basic strip. The nipples are rough but doesn't seem to be heavily corroded. I can still see light on 5/6 chambers when looking into them. There is a lot of old oil in the internals when I field strip it. Unfortunately some of my smaller screws on the grip frame are stripped and doesn't want to budge, and I'm apprehensive on trying to mess with them.

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How to free frozen screws.
soak them in Kroil over night. let it work.
clean it up and put a propane torch on the screw. you want to heat it up and break the rust 'seal' both sides especially the thread side.
let it get as warm as you can.
Then
PUT IT IN THE FREEZER OVERNIGHT.. expansion and contraction.
yup, this will help break the rust seal.
then, put it on a flat vice service, with a piece of leather to protect the flat side, and put a good screwdriver in the slot and hit the end with a hammer...
again, this will pop the rust seal.
use a good turn screw to turn. vice grips on the driver, while tapping the handle top will help .

and OUT IT COMES...MAGIC.
use the same trick to free stuck nipples. works every time....
Ken
 

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I have a Colt 1849 worthy of firing. Any ideas as to a source of caps, roundballs and grease such that the chance of chain firing is negligible?
 

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Use WD40 and spay all over used it for years,and it is good for loseing up screws and it will protect inside and outside. It will keep the revolver in nice condiction
BTW welcome to the forum and good luck.
 

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Use WD40 and spay all over used it for years,and it is good for loseing up screws and it will protect inside and outside. It will keep the revolver in nice condiction
BTW welcome to the forum and good luck.
I believe this reply was by ALSS and not PATTERSON. Has the Forum database been corrupted, will our future posts be attributed to other people now?
nghiggins
 

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To me, the gun looks like it had it finish stripped off, probably in preparation to being reblued. The lack of blue just about everywhere is not a normal wear pattern. And a very worn revolver would not have bright, shiny brass parts. I think it was either acid stripped or probably polished with a mild abrasive - everywhere but the grips. Note the dents in the sides of your cylinder still have dark patina, but the rest of the surface is white metal. At this point I would use some CLP or other oil in the nooks and crannies, cleaning the gunk out, and see if there is any blue there. Like the nipples areas, under the lever, etc. But that white metal shows a lot of rubbing, and it is not simply handling rubbing, it was deliberate to remove patina.
 

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To me, the gun looks like it had it finish stripped off, probably in preparation to being reblued. The lack of blue just about everywhere is not a normal wear pattern. And a very worn revolver would not have bright, shiny brass parts. I think it was either acid stripped or probably polished with a mild abrasive - everywhere but the grips. Note the dents in the sides of your cylinder still have dark patina, but the rest of the surface is white metal. At this point I would use some CLP or other oil in the nooks and crannies, cleaning the gunk out, and see if there is any blue there. Like the nipples areas, under the lever, etc. But that white metal shows a lot of rubbing, and it is not simply handling rubbing, it was deliberate to remove patina.
Ok I was thinking the same thing that the revolver was cleaned at some point, but I assume it's a good thing it was never re-blued. Do you think this was done a long time ago? In either case, I'm glad the markings are clear and the edges are sharp, and I'm happy with what I paid ($800) for a (mostly) matching example. I'll report back on the bluing in those areas and check the internals after disassembly.
 

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It probably happened in the last few decades, and it still looks good. Sometimes they are in a hurry and take steel wool to "pretty them up!" They didn't do that to yours. I think you did well, and should continue to enjoy it.
 
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