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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt SAA Clones (Moderators: RRio, Gen Lew Wallace, Hoof Hearted)  |  Topic: Rookie Needs Help w/ 1849 Uberti Pocket 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Rookie Needs Help w/ 1849 Uberti Pocket  (Read 2209 times)
dimner
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« on: May 15, 2017, 10:08:45 am »


Howdy everyone,

First a quick intro.... I'm new to cap and ball revolvers. I have an 1860 Pietta Army that I love to shoot and have been shooting for a few months now. Come from a background of reloading and casting for rifle calibers in 30wcf, 223, 30-06, 22 hornet, and 303 Savage. I have never owned any other handguns than the two C/B revolvers I have now.

Having so much fun with my 1860, I recently purchased an 1849 form Dixie. I wanted something more mobile for walkin about the woods and well, it just looked so dang nice! My 1860 works great, I can put a whole cylinder in a 8" bull at @25yards off sandbags. Most of the time I can get 5/6 shots inside 4". I don't think that's anything to brag about, I'm just trying to give you an idea of what I have experienced so far accuracy wise.

So... I received my 1849 pocket last Monday and was able to get out the range yesterday and do some shooting. This pistol I just cannot get to shoot. @25 yards on a bench with sandbag. I couldn't get anything to work on a target the size of 24" by 20".

I tried holding low, I tried holding high, and right and left and all combinations in between. At no place on the target was I able to get more than 2 hits per cylinder, often non per cylinder. I finally got a little bit of holes if I held low right. But only then, out of 4 cylinders (loaded on frame) I had only 6 hits. If I shot the target with a shotgun and buckshot, the group would have been better. The range/club I shot at yesterday doesn't allow BP pistols in the indoor range. So I was stuck at the minimum yardage of 25. I'm going to go somewhere and try 15 this week, but I cannot see it being all that much of a difference. I bought this gun having read that it's good to go out to 25 when the shooter does their part.

More detail... I tried loading the cylinder off frame and on frame. I tried various charges of 3F from 9gr to 12gr. I tried with and without lubed felt wads. Tried round balls from dixie that are advertized at .321 (sprue facing out). I tried #00 buckshot (.330). Oddly enough the buckshot was much easier to seat than the dixie round balls. I'm getting the lead shaving when seating the roundballs. I'm using Rem #11 caps.

Non shooting wise.... This revolver works great! It cycles nice, no binding issues. The cylinder always rotates and puts the nipple in the right spot. But keep in mind this is my rookie eye. My 1860 just plain works. So I have never had to think about any of this.

I have been through the CASCITY archives and researched alot about this little pistol. I have read about the short arbor issues, but being a rookie I'm unable confirm if I have the short arbor. I most likley do, since they all have them.  I have read pettifoger's articles. If I understand correctly the short arbor should not impact accuracy with the 5 roundballs loaded in a cylinder. The short arbor just means that when I remove the barrel/cylinder and put it back together it's not the exact same configuration as it was before. This is why I tried the test of 4 cylinders when loading on frame.

I know that is alot of detail and words written, but I figure you guys who really know your stuff would have asked for some of that detail. I'm basically stuck here.

Do I have a bum gun? Should I call dixie for a replacement even though I really cannot identify the exact issue?

Am I expecting too much out of it? 25 yards, bench and sandbags seems like something that is achievable. Honestly, I wouldn't have gotten the 1849 if the @25 yards is out of the question.

I'm at your mercy gentlemen. I can upload pictures and take measurements if that will help. Just let me know what you need.  Smiley

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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 11:47:26 am »

I'm sure you'll get better advice but I'll get things rolling for you. My first point to inspect would be the muzzle for any imperfections. Then the bore to include the forcing cone. Your loading is how you refine your groups rather then get one. Seems to me you're doing your homework so getting hits at 25 yards should be attainable.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 04:42:28 pm »

The Barrel to Arbor fit will cost certainly affect accuracy.  If the fit isn't solid, the barrel just sort of floats around on the arbor.  That means the axis of the bore and the axis of the sights are .......... fungu.

The 1849 is not exactly a target pistol.  It's a "Pocket" pistol. Originally intended to be accurate across a card table.  Anything beyond that is ...... cake.

Once you fix the barrel to Arbor fit, start your quest for accuracy at 10 feet and work your way out.

Not to be insulting, but if your intent is to carry this little pistol while on safari in the woods, you'd be better advised to pack a roofing hammer.  Or a sharp stick.

Coffinmaker
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dimner
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 11:39:49 am »

Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I was hoping this little guy could hit something the size of trash can lid at 25 yards. I even had a dream last night that I shot it at a muskrat and it bounced off...  Cheesy Funny part being that muskrats are the worlds wimpiest creatures.

Anyway, So what is a good baseline to tell if this revolver is a good unit or not? I have no problem going through the work and/or sending it away for mods to be done to fix common problems. I just don't want to spend that kind of time/effort/money if it's a lemon. Then get it back and have a really smooth working, perfect arbor, timed correctly, lemon.

Also, are there places that specialize in this kind of work? Who are the 3 that people mostly rely on? I have read articles that say things like "if you have had your cap and ball revolver tuned up... and depending on who did it..." Not sure if the meaning from reading that kind of thing was that there are some out there that may being doing more harm that good?

So assuming I even have a revolver that is a candidate, can you guys point me to some of the shops that do good work on these things?

Thanks for putting up with my questions. I'm sure I'm not even asking the right questions...
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 03:55:26 pm »

Ho Boy .....
I'm gonna rain on your parade.  I've spent over 20 years working on CAS guns and the last 4 or so building Cap Guns to compete in CAS as well.  So I are not going to sugar coat.

There is no "baseline."  Basically, you take the gun apart and fix everything that's wrong with it.  If it's a Uberti, that is a little more involved as you begin with the Barrel to Arbor fit and go from there.  Your gun is only useable as a "pocket pistol" in side matches.  As a "carry it around" pistol, it is worse than useless.  Better off throwing rocks.  

There are a few folks who work on Cap Guns.  I'm one of them.  Gary Barnes (Hoof Hearted) is another and so is Mike Bracket (45 Dragoon).  I can only speak for me.  Putting the money in an 1849 it will take to get it "right" is a waste of your money.  I personally wouldn't take the job.  I wouldn't be able to justify your bill.  I know you have the cost of the purchase price in it, but my best suggestion for you is toss it in a desk drawer.  Get it out once a year and shoot it at 10 feet.  Put it back in the desk drawer.

If you want a Percussion Pistol, put your money in a full size gun that will be worth having work done on.  Were I starting from scratch, I'd start with a Pietta.  Fewer problems to overcome.  If you want to carry it around, start with a .44.  For shooting anything other than people, a 36 is even a bit anemic.

Lemon.  Harsh word.  But.  In all honesty, an 1849 isn't good for much of anything.  Were any of us to take the job, you would get back a really smooth working, perfectly timed, corrected Arbor ..... Paper Weight.

Coffinmaker

Well, I managed to screw that up, but I fix'd it (Thanks Major 2).  Hoof Hearted is Gary Barnes.
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dimner
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 09:33:11 am »

Thanks Coffinmaker... that's the kind of info I was looking for... even if the actual content isn't what I was hoping to hear Smiley

I know little to nothing about CAS matches. What is the normal distance that those side matches are shot at? I'm guessing that these are ad-hoc matches with rules setup by the users? But is there a normal yardage range?

I probably should have asked specific questions before purchasing. Seems as those who had posted 20-25 yards accuracy had inhaled a little too my fffg!. Duelist1954 seemed to get good accuracy in his videos. That's what I get for relying on youtube Smiley  I have my pietta 44cal army that shoots like a dream, just wanted something more portable in a blackpowder revolver. I probably should just give up on blackpowder and stick with the ruger bearcat.

If I were to stick with blackpowder, how do the shorter barreled 44 cal revolvers do at 25 yards? Taylor & co has a 1860 Army Police Sheriff Fluted Cylinder that I was very interested in. 5.5" barrel. Or is there another short barreled C&B revolver you would suggest? I'm okay with 36 cal. My woods walking revolver isnt for self defense or bear defense or anything like that.

Really appreciate you giving me the straight dope with no filters.
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 12:55:47 pm »

Now ! dimmer you are talking Coffin Makers language....get ready  and listen well 

Snubby's are his passion


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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 12:57:46 pm »

Get yourself one of these

Coffin did !  in fact he got  2 ...I got one  Pietta Schaefer 51 Navy 


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dimner
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 01:48:58 pm »

Looking forward to the info!

a short barreled Navy hopefully will work perfect for my needs. I'm noticing most of these "navy sherrif's" are .44 cal. Any come in 38 with the shortie?
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 02:58:16 pm »

Ah yes Padawan.  Questions.  The right questions.

When we speak of CAS .. Cowboy Action Shooting, we are speaking of SASS.  The Single Action Shooting Society.  No, it's not Ad-Hoc.  Very organized.  I suggest you visit the web site for SASS.net. Spend a couple of days just browsing around. 

Normally we shoot at hanging steel targets (nice CLANG from the bullet) at varying ranges.  Pistol 5 to 10 Yards, Rifle 10 to 15+ yards and Shotguns at 10 - 15 yards.  most of us like em big (14"+ X 14"+) and close.  We shoot against a timer and like to shoot fast (If we can).
Most of us don't care such about 25 Yard accuracy.  We're not shooting bullseye.  Minute of Pie Plate is just wonderful.

DO NOT give up on Black Powder, or the more popular Substitutes.  BP is FUN, once you learn the ropes.  BP Percussion guns can be and are quite accurate.  From a rest I can easily match cartridge (suppository) guns.  If your looking for a more portable package than your 1860 that hangs down to your knee, you can choose from several available 4 3/4, 5 1/2 or 6" barrel guns.  Or, you can get real adventuresome and shoot Snubbies.  Snubbies run from 3" Barrels to 3 1/2" barrels in factory guns.  The only current manufacturer of Snubbies is Pietta.  Most common is 44 caliber although Taylors (an importer) also offers an 1860 pattern Snubbie in .36

Understand this.  ALL the percussion guns are works in progress from the factory.  I call them finely crafted "KITS."  For optimum performance, they ALL need help.  Professional help is available, also there are some tutorials that will explain many things that are DIY to make Cap Guns more user friendly.  For someone not well versed in Percussion, I suggest starting out with Pietta guns.  Much less hassle than Uberti.  If your desire is a really packable .36 Snubbie, Taylors offers their Pietta Snubbie.  Or, for a bit higher price, EMF has the limited run Capt. Schaeffer replica.  Please understand, they will "work" out of the box, but if you want them to really "run" they will need some work

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dimner
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 03:10:53 pm »

Thanks for the info on the shooting matches, interesting... sounds like bigger targets and at closer range than I was expecting... but that makes sense given you are racing a clock so to speak.

I think in a perfect world I would look for a Pietta .36 at around 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 inches. Does such a thing exist? If not, I would probably go with .44 cal in those barrel lengths. Snubbies look really neat, but I'll be honest, I probably do not have the skill to shoot such a short barrel all that well.

Not giving up yet on BP. I still have my flintlock and caplock rifles as well as my 1860 army. Been really spoiled by how well those work for me. I'm okay with alot of DIY mods as long as I don't need a lathe to complete it. I'll be sending back the 1849 and see what I can find in a 36 in the 4-5.5 inch range.
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River City John
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 03:28:01 pm »

Also check out the NCOWS forum on CAS City.

SASS is not the only game in town.


RCJ
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 07:24:42 pm »

Good point RC John.  NCOWS is also an enormous gob of fun.  Lets face it folks, Guns-R-Fun!!

Dinner, you need to surf.  No, not on one of them dumb boards, the net.  You need to surf the purveyors of all things Cap Gun.  I'd suggest you start with EMF .... then Taylors ...... then Dixie Gun Works ....then Cimarron FA Co. ..... then Midway USA and Cabellas.  If you can't find what your looking for somewhere within these resources, your actually Dead and someone else is using your log-in  Roll Eyes

I'm personally opinionated.  Just ask me.  Even though I own two pair of really trix 36s, I'm not a big fan of the 36.  I like 44s for my main match guns.  I/we are mostly shooting at steel plates and like a nice loud KLANG.  Take your time.  Read.  Read a lot.  ASK QUESTIONS.  And if some Rube on one of these boards can't explain something so you can understand, they don't really know what their doing.

Coffinmaker
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 08:02:43 pm »

Looking forward to the info!

a short barreled Navy hopefully will work perfect for my needs. I'm noticing most of these "navy sherrif's" are .44 cal. Any come in 38 with the shortie?

The Pietta Schaefer 51 Navy  is a 36 Cal.

and the other on here is a 38 Heel Based shooter


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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 10:17:04 pm »

Coffinmaker, I enjoy and learn from your posts so here's a question that perhaps you can help me with. The 1849 is much the same as a 1851 in a smaller scale, if we except this then why can't the smaller pistol if properly built and operated produce as good a group? All us shooters have shot good 22 caliber pistols as well as larger bore guns at 25 yards or more and can get groups. What mechanical things happen when we drop to 31 caliber that precludes the ball from flying straight?
Kent
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Jake C
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2017, 09:45:58 am »

Howdy Dimner,

The 1849 is definitely a short range gun, and, in my experience, tends to be a bit of a problem child. I had to do a bit of stoning on various parts on mine; this was an attempt to fix an over-rotating cylinder. Luckily, this worked and now my Pocket Model is a fun little plinking gun. However, I 100% would not recommend using it as a carry gun, even for a woods gun. Just not enough oomph with it. Consider an 1851 Navy, or, even better, an 1860 Army with a shorter barrel, if you're concerned about the weight of the firearm. Just my 2 cents.

Having said that, I hope you don't give up on it. They're great little plinkers, and fun entry level guns for people who are new to BP revolvers. My wife and mother-in-law love shooting mine, and I'm rather fond of it myself.

Anyways, hope you enjoy your revolvers!
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dimner
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2017, 10:20:05 am »

Thanks Jake,

I'm close to sticking with this one... when I say "woods carry" I don't mean something that needs to stop grizzlies or anything. Just a fun plinking gun is exactly right. Something like a 22lr. Maybe pop a couple red squirrels for dinner. Or maybe shoot at a couple red squirrels and then eat my jerky and baked beans....

Back to the build of the 1849... I took some pics this morning before work, and unless my rookie eyes are being deceived... This one might not have a short arbor. Here is a pic of the arbor in place and the frame turned 90*. Also, I checked the cylinder gap using an automotive feeler gauge and it's around 0.0025 to 0.002. I only could find my 0.002 feeler gauge and the 0.0025 was a little tight.

Was this the right way to determine arbor length?



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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2017, 11:20:07 am »

Yes it is.  Provided you first insure the Arbor is "seating" in the barrel lug.  Often, because of machine errors the Arbor stops short of seating.  Instead of a solid seat, you will feel it just sort of grind to a halt.  If that is the case, the bore in the barrel lug needs attention and the front end of the Arbor also needs attention.  The Barrel should slide on and off the Arbor with light hand pressure.  If you can feel it "grinding," clean up the Barrel Lug and the Arbor and start over.  Your Arbor appears "long" but I'd have to "feel" it before I made that conclusion final.  Also, a Barrel to Cylinder gap of .0025/.002 is a bit ... snug.  If your Arbor is long, your going to need to fit the back of the barrel as it makes contact with the cylinder face.

KENT:  The 1849 can be cleaned up.  The 1849 can be made to Play well and share toys.  While I have been coerced into setting a couple up, I haven't actually spent any time Slugging the bore, checking chamber match, working for accuracy.  For what ever reason, that itty bitty ball seems to just wander around as the distance increases.  Also, the front sight post is nowhere near the right height.  Entirely possible an 11 degree forcing cone could help.  To date, I haven't found anyone interested (foolish) enough to invest enough money to create a really ........ marvelous ........ paper weight.  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 01:02:37 pm »

Well, maybe a retired fool has been found. Always liked the idea of wasting time and money so now to find one to hack on. Any one got one for me? Besides I haven't case hardened any thing lately and a taller dovetailed sight would shine on it. Heavy snow will keep me out of my cabin project this week.
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 10:20:28 pm »

Hold on there Kent!!  I also resemble that!!  I've been retarded (er...retired) for about 6 years now.  Mostly retired.  When I really bored, I still take some Percussion work.  Wife tells me "find something to do."  As an ALPHA male I immediately respond "yes dear."  I digress.

I too have been known to decide some darn fool project just might be a lot of fun.  I usually wind up with some form of "Frankenpistol" or something similar.  If I had an end use, beyond just saying "look what I did" I could get interested in actually building an 1849.  Oh dear.  Wait a minute.  I did build an 1849.  8 or 9 years ago.  I built an 1849 Conversion.  Shot itty bitty 32 cartridges.  Shot about a foot and a half high at 12 feet.  I don't remember where it shot percussion.  At the time, I felt the itty bitty 32 ACP round was actually too hot for the 1849 frame.  I only built one.

Coffinmaker 

 
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 01:17:22 am »

Before sending the gun back I would try putting up two targets, one above the other. Aim at the bottom middle of the lower target and see if it hits somewhere on the upper target. If there's no hits, aim at the bottom right, no hits again aim at the bottom left. Use a rest and aim at the same spot for one whole cylinder for each point of aim. This is what I do for Walker's and Dragoons which frequently hit between 1 and 2 feet high at 25 yards. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2017, 05:34:34 am »

....if'n I was in the league of super hero's ,  I'd be Contrary Man....  Roll Eyes

Ok , so to the contrary....  I have both 36 & 44 cap guns...but if it was NOT made in 44 (I:E 1851 Navy ) then contrary to others its not in my inventory ....if it was never made with a brass frame or Birds head grip .
 same outcome , "...don't go around here " (plagiarizing a quote from Tombstone)

I too like the Snubby's ,  drooled all over the Schaeffer when it was first intro'ed  sent my money and got on the waiting list....
would not have bother had it been in 44  Huh   (note original Schaeffer & my version )

Now for something completely different contrary ( Monty Python reference )

Brass frame (check) original in 36 Cal. (check) fun to shoot ?  oh yeah ! (check)
here is tuned a Spiller & Burr ( for everybody ? no... for Contrary Man ? yes )

it's about 7/8 in scale to a 7 1/2" 51 Navy  ( both short frame 3/16" shorter   & barrel 6 1/2" VS 7 1/2 " ) not quite pocket size  Undecided
but smaller tucked in the belt (with a cool little holster like Schaeffer's ).... and way smaller than a Remington.

A little harder to find for sale, but your rewarded with a nifty little plinker  that's dead nuts on R to L and about 3" high at 20 yards.
the little button sight could be a tad higher ( one day perhaps I'll do that )

That all said, I shoot NCOWS with Conversion 7 1/2" Richards ....contrary  Wink  

takes your pick and enjoy the ride....bet you can't own just one ( design )( Lay's Potato Chip reference )




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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 11:56:12 am »

My recently aqqiured 49 pocket model (Uberti) came with a terrible action. It also had no forcing cone at all, the main spring was too long, and the arbor fit was terrible, something like .060 deep. Their were also very bad ridges (burrs) in the hand slot, and it over rotated. I spent a good amount of time fixing all the discrepancies. I even bought the forcing cone parts for my  FC kit to do the .32 cal forcing cone. I also put Tresso nipples in it.
Havn't shot it yet tho, so that will tell if it has been worth all the trouble. Got to do some work on my Plymouth  Barracuda  first.

Rebel Dave
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dimner
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« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 04:48:35 pm »

well I got to the range recently.

started working with loads again... basically treating the pistol as if it was the first time i had shot it. It does pretty well with #00 buck(.330) . this was cheap buckshot that came out of mil  surp 12ga loads so I doubt it was hardened at all. In fact it was easier to seat than the .323 round balls I bought from dixie.

Pistol shoots well with around 12grs of FFFFg. Does ok with 3f too, but I have this 4f and nothing to use it for. I use 3f to prime my flintlock. I shot somewhere around 8 cylinders. I cleaned the barrel after 5 cylinders because the groups got wonky. All shooting was done at 35 feet.

Next I need to work on the sights. As always the elevation is off. It's shooting 12 to 13 inches high

here's a pic of my last shots. maybe I will have a chance to bag a squirrel in the woods this fall.

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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2017, 05:38:34 pm »

KOOL!!  Of course the first step is to find out where it shoots.  Then start the improvements.  Patiently.  One change at a time.  Start with correcting the Arbor.

Coffinmaker
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