After considerable delay (.... too many projects, too little time .....) I have finally gotten around to bringing my original London Navy revolver into full firing condition!
The main thing was acquiring a set of new nipples threaded to fit original revolvers, then soaking the cylinder so I could remove the rather rusted and battered original nipples. The new nipples I received (from Track of the Wolf) are marked "Colt" on one shoulder ..... and went in without a hitch. (Never fear, the original nipples have been preserved.)
Although the revolver is fully functional, and operates crisply and cleanly, it had a couple of apparent problems:
- the nipple shanks seemed too short (although the original and new nipples were the same) so that I was not getting sufficient contact to fire a cap. (This may have been part and parcel of the next problem ....)
- also, there seemed to be a very excessive gap between the cylinder face and the the rear of the barrel, and the cylinder was free to shift forward on the axis pin to close up the gap .... which undoubtedly contributed to the failure of the hammer to make positive contact with the nipples.
I accordingly fashioned a "washer" from brass shim stock to keep the cylinder positioned further forward, with a much smaller cylinder/barrel gap. This, in turn, required that each nipple be shimmed out somewhat. Having fiddled with that to get it "right", the revolver now fires each cap without difficulty. One great advantage of these original-configuration nipples is that a standard #11 percussion cap fits perfectly, and grips the shank of the cone quite firmly .... so firmly, in fact, that a well- seated unfired cap is quite a chore to remove! What a joy after having experienced sloppy-fitting caps on various reproduction revolvers, which must be pinched out of round to grip the nipple at all, and still often come loose .....
On another note, I have today completed arrangements to have an English-style case made for this revolver by William Shumate ("Bill's Cases" - http://www.billscases.com/index.htm
) which will, of course, nicely accommodate the reproduction "Canada Commemorative" London Navy I also have.) Although I have made pistol cases before, I have heard such good things about the work done by this craftsman - for quite reasonable prices - that I decided to let him do the work!
The standard layout of a London Navy casing seems to have varied very little, and is like this:
I have always preferred green for a gun-case lining, so that is what I have ordered.