Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Light Primer Strikes

In our game, we shoot single action revolvers with wax bullet ammo.  We're tough on our revolvers, even though the ammo is under-powered.  And, the game is fast, with shots being scored in fractions of a second.  As a result of trying to be as competitive as possible, we're apt to tune our revolvers It's fairly easy to trim a spring, or polish a strut, or lighten a hammer.  This isn't rocket science.  It's basically 19th century technology, and frankly, with a good set of screwdrivers, a file, and a basic knowledge of mechanical interactions, it is entirely within the realm of the garage-tinkerer to do most of the basic gunsmithing that was done back in the 1800s.

We have a rule that at a sanctioned shoot, the host supplies all the ammo for the match.  It's a good rule, because it levels the playing field.  Everyone shoots the same ammo.  While we have standards for our ammo, and every host makes an effort to supply reliable ammunition, they have no control over the strength of your mainspring. If your mainspring is too light, the ammo might not ignite and the match is lost.

So, it's a balancing act.  Tune the revolver, but keep the springs tight enough to ignite the primer.  Especially for our ladies and youth, who might not have the grip strength of the men. Wolff makes springs for the Vaquero and they make springs for the Colt clones.  Those two spring packs stay in my spares bag, and on my Brownells's wish list at all times.

I'm telling you all this, because next Wednesday, Milady and I are traveling to Kentucky to shoot at a sanctioned match, the Kentucky State Championships.  Sure as God made little green apples, there will be a misfire sometime during the match.

Over the next several days I'll be going over our revolvers to make sure that they are clean and all the screws are tight.  I've reduced the mainspring tension on Milady's Piettas and she's been shooting them for several months without a light strike, so I'm convinced that she won't have a problem, I run factory springs in my Ubertis, The Rugers are a mixed bag.  Milady's backup was the first time I had tried to lighten a mainspring.  She and I had matching guns, and I lightened both of those by the simple expedient of cutting four coils.  That reduced the hammer tension considerably and has never been a problem.  The Turnbull Vaquero has factory springs, but the action has been polished to a buttery smoothness.


Jack said...

Good luck! We expect a full report... :)

Retired Spook said...

And I'm still never going to forgive you for that Turnbull Ruger!