The .36 caliber Colt Navy pattern belt pistols, frequently called the Model of 1851, present mechanical features more or less typical of the complete series of percussion ignition open-top Colt revolvers regardless of caliber. Disassembly and assembly procedures are similar regardless of vintage.
When working with antique revolvers such as these, it is imperative that care be taken from the start to prevent damage to old and often hard to replace parts. Marring of original finish must be avoided. Screwdrivers used should be selected to fit precisely the various screws in main frame and barrel. Likewise, the use of a plastic or fiber head hammer is recommended for driving the barrel wedge, or for any other hammering which may become necessary.
Original Colt nipple wrenches are brittle and will break quite easily. Modern nipple wrenches are available at little cost and will prove much more satisfactory for the removal of old nipples which often are rusted in place.
For normal cleaning purposes separation of barrel from frame and removal of cylinder will usually suffice.
Separate barrel and frame assemblies by gently driving barrel wedge (11) as far as it will go to the left and pulling barrel (2) off the cylinder pin (16). If barrel wedge has a spring, the right-hand lip of the spring must be depressed where it protrudes from barrel before wedge can be moved. Wedge can be removed completely by unscrewing barrel wedge screw (12).
Remove loading lever screw (8) and pull loading lever (7) and plunger (9) free of barrel. The loading lever latch (3) and spring (4) may be removed by gently drifting out their retaining pin (5). Remove plunger screw (10) and separate loading lever and plunger. The barrel stud (6) is force-fitted in a dovetail milled on underside of barrel and should be removed only if replacement is necessary.
Slide cylinder (13) off cylinder pin (16). If removal of nipples (14) is necessary for replacement, care should be taken that a proper nipple wrench is used.
Removal of cylinder pin (16) from lock frame (18) is not recommended. This cylinder pin, or arbor, was very tighdy fitted originally and the firm association of pin and frame over the years is further complicated by a lock pin (17)
which is usually next to impossible to remove and generally must be drilled out. before cylinder pin can be unscrewed from frame.
Remove the two backstrap screws (36) and butt screw (34). Pull backstrap (35) and one-piece wood grip (37) free of lock frame (18) and trigger guard (29). If it is necessary to remove grip from backstrap, use care to avoid chipping or cracking grip since it is usually quite tightly fitted. If gun has two-piece grips held together by a screw, they should be removed before removing backstrap. Remove mainspring screw (33) and mainspring (32). Remove front trigger guard screw (30) and rear trigger guard screws (31) and drop trigger guard (29) off frame.
Remove trigger and cylinder locking bolt spring screw (23) and spring (22). Remove trigger and cylinder locking bolt screws (20) and drop trigger (21) and cylinder locking bolt (19) out of frame. Remove hammer screw (28) and pull hammer (24) and hand and spring (27) gently out bottom of frame. The hand can be lifted out of its hole in the hammer. If replacement is necessary, hammer roll (25) can be removed by gently drifting out it' retaining pin (26).
1. Front sight
3. Loading lever latch
4. Loading lever latch spring
5. Loading lever latch spring retaining
6. Barrel stud
7. Loading lever
8. Loading lever screw
9. Loading plunger
10. Loading plunger screw
11. Barrel wedge (with spring)
12. Barrel wedge screw
16. Cylinder pin
17. Cylinder pin lock pin
18. Lock frame
19. Cylinder locking bolt
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