Did Civil War soliders do this?
I have a Cutlass, US Model 1860 and I had it in hand while I was shooting my 1851 revolver. The barrel wedge started shifting out, so I needed to punch the wedge back in. I started punching it back in with the pommel of the Cutlass.
My question is, since I know that many wedges on Colt style revolvers were replaced during the Civil War period as they had problems like mine, did they ever use their sword pommels to punch the wedge back in place? Any evidence of this practice?

Thank you.
It probably happened from time to time but I doubt very much there is any mention of it in history books. Certainly a memoir written by a Civil War soldier might mention it, if it was an issue. but I know of no references like that.
Well, the only problem that would rule out this practice is whether or not they went into battle with sword and revolver drawn.
If there's no written accounts, then this would be the next important question.
My hunch on replaced wedges is that it was more a matter of them getting lost when cleaning. The screw and spring would certainly keep the wedge from falling out. If your wedge is backing out when firing, it probably has too much of an angle to its profile in relationship of the base pin or barrel lug (or the pin has gotten hogged out).

Banging on the wedge during the course of firing all loads in the cylinder kind of goes against basic safety. Also, kind of an awkward maneuver in the heat of battle. Any portrait I have seen (or movie scene for that matter) have been of a sword/cutlass in the right and a pistol in the left.

Show us your piece! I like the 1851. I traded all my black powder stuff off for cartridge arms. Is it a repro?


Yeah, It's a reproduction. And also I do indeed weld it in the left hand, sword in the right. I'd have to take photographs of my revolver first, though I do have footage of me shooting it.
Could you show me some paintings of soldiers welding both revolver and sword?
I am not finding a good painting quickly but somewhere in the Army ordnace pages is remark of pistols as secondary arms and you will find pages referring to crossdraw holsters, cartridge boxes on the right side as well. This t the onset of the ACW. Silly enough to remember much older dragoons and officers with two saddle holstered pistols. That was "re-invented" by some ACW cavalry men. Still, the norm was a crossdraw holster. I think it is in the book Boarders Away that has ilustrations of the older single shot in the left and cutlass in the right.

As to the wedge issue (iirc) the first Colt patents for the Walker and pocket pistols don't have a spring on the wedge and the intent of the screw was to set the depth of the wedge. Most though regard the spring and screw only as a catch to keep it from flying out but some (as I did in doing a kit brass frame) size the wedge so that the wedge spring actually locks the wedge on the far side of the barrel lug. The wedge will affect the gap between the barrel and cylinder and can actually bind up the cylinder.

If it is a Pietta, there are several discussions on various boards. Regardless of make,it is always a compromise of what will wear. It is supposed to be the wedge but some wear the barrel slots while others the cylinder pin. In the case of my kit build, I ended up sizing the wedge on a coarse stone, then paper. The wedge should at least reach flush the right side while still having the .005 gap to the barrel or whatever the manufacturer recommends. If nothing seems to be pounding one surface or another, get some extra wedges and fiddle around with shape/sizing. Ideally, I would think the cylinder side of the wedge should have the taper. It should not be routinely be loosening in five or six shots. It has been thirty years since I was shooting those, so quality and reliability has probably changed.


Yeah, It's a Pietta, what about it?
And the Cutlass is a Windlass....

Yes, the cylinder gap is getting bigger. I would really want to get more wedges so I can help fix the problem. Though my revolver is one of those Brass framed ones, and people have been telling me that the frame has stretched. Some people have fixed that problem with a simple retuning job. I'll look into my problem with that.
The brass frame will keep stretching and the problem will keep occurring until the frame is no longer serviceable. You'd be better off simply purchasing another C&B revolver with a steel frame, rather than chase an unfixable problem.

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