Colt 1851 .36 Dragoon Resurection - Gunner Forum
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Colt 1851 .36 Dragoon Resurection

This is a discussion on Colt 1851 .36 Dragoon Resurection within the Black Powder Handguns forums, part of the Handgun Forum category; Back in the late 80's my younger Son and I were into Civil War reenacting. I ordered two black powder pistol kits from CVA, a ...


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Old 05-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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Colt 1851 .36 Dragoon Resurection

Back in the late 80's my younger Son and I were into Civil War reenacting. I ordered two black powder pistol kits from CVA, a Remington .44 and a Colt .36 Dragoon. The Remington came out well and always worked. I primarily used it when portraying an officer and fired blanks. I did take it to the range several times for live firing and it worked well there too.

The Colt however, never worked. Long story short, I stuffed it in a drawer and pretty much forgot it. Recently I found the Colt and decided to see if I could get it working. For starters I have to explain the condition the gun was in. The action seemed to be completely jammed. you couldn't cock the hammer and the trigger felt like it was welded in place. I had long ago lost or thrown away the assembly instructions. When I took the gun apart I put all the parts in a small box so I wouldn't lose any. I had discovered duelist1954 on youtube and see that he has amassed over 300 videos showing him repairing, loading, shooting all kinds of weapons, mostly black powder. There are at least 3 featuring the 1851 dragoon and I watched them many times.

I finally realized what the various parts were supposed to do in relation to each other. Also I saw how important it is that any burrs or other rough edges be identified and smoothed over with files or emery cloth.

In the case of my Colt, I found that the hammer was jammed in place by a rough area at the top of the milled slot in the receiver near the rear face of the cylinder. This was filed until the hammer would just drop into place in the slot.

The part that duelist1954 calls the bolt and engages the cam on the hammer to index the cylinder, had its legs sorta mashed together. I bent them away from each other enough that the one leg pressed against the inner wall of the receiver and allowed the other leg to be firmly pressed against the hammer and be in firm contact with the cam.

Most of the rest of the work involved filing off rough edges so everything worked as designed.

Reassembly, following duelist1954's videos, indicated all was ready except for the fact that the trigger pull was almost nothing. I had to be very careful to even get the action to stay at full cock. Took the action apart again and worked on the sear's notch in the hammer until I have the trigger pull at a level I can live with.

Now that I have the gun working, The next thing is removing lots of tooling marks in the barrel and polishing the brass. I intend to use one of the DIY Bluing Kits. I have done this before to repair worn areas in various firearms. What is the recommendation for a good bluing kit that won't break the bank?

I'll add some pics when the gun is finished.

Russ
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:57 PM   #2
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I've never blued a gun b4 but I'm sure there r several here that have and u will get some sound wisdom shortly. Lookin forward to the pics of the finished product. Good luck
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:03 PM   #3
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This is fast and works good and holds up well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNrX9LFzjUU
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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I built this in the 70's is my best guess .

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Old 05-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #5
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I watched the Birchwood Casey video on YouTube 2 or 3 times and was not satisfied with my results. I have no idea what I did differently from the video, but the parts came out blotchy. This was not the first time I have done bluing, but it was the first time it failed for me. Today I took the parts to a local gun store that will send the parts out to be blued professionally. These guys have done bluing for me before and it was very well done.

Bummer!

Russ
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:35 PM   #6
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Nice .31 Remington tx gun runner.

Russ
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:03 AM   #7
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This was my buddy's 1st engraving job . He die in about 1980 . This gun will be given to his a family when I die or maybe before .



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Old 05-25-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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That is some great shooing!
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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Still waiting for the parts to come back from being reblued.

Russ
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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Cold blue is very sensitive to metal hardness and the alloys used in the steel. In my experience, big difference in one model of gun to another as to how they do with cold blue. Hot blue is much more durable, anyway. Well with it for a gun that's going to see a lot of use.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by north country gal View Post
Cold blue is very sensitive to metal hardness and the alloys used in the steel. In my experience, big difference in one model of gun to another as to how they do with cold blue. Hot blue is much more durable, anyway. Well with it for a gun that's going to see a lot of use.
Cold blue stinks. I don't mind the smell but some people do. I've used a welders prep and it works great on small parts. I wouldn't do an entire firearms that way though.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:57 AM   #12
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Well, it's done. I'm not sure there was as real .36cal colt with brass frame and all visible steel parts blued, but I think it looks pretty good. I did enjoy bringing it back from the dead. Maybe I should call it the Frankencolt.

Russ
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:07 AM   #13
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Whatever you call it I like the looks of it. How does it shoot?
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:25 AM   #14
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I have no intentions of firing the gun. It will go to my Son whenever he decides he wants it.
Besides I no longer have any black powder accouterments, I gave all that stuff to other reenactors.

Russ
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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Whenever I hear colt dragoon all I can think of is John Wayne in "Rooster Cogburn" when matty shows him what she's got in her poke.
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