1878 frontier disassembly - Pistolsmith

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Old 07-05-2014, 07:12 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: IL
Posts: 3
1878 frontier disassembly

Hello - New timer here

I have what I am pretty sure is a 1878 double action Frontier model. It matches the pictures for the parts diagram I found. Bottom of the bird's head frame has 14 with 211 stamped under the 14.

I inherited this ole relic which I know has been laying around and not fired for 65 years. It belonged to my long since passed on dad. It is in really ragged out/sloppy (lots of tolerance) condition. The action will cycle thru in the double action trigger pull. It will not stay cocked in the single action mode.

I want to start with some dis assembly and cleaning out of crud. On the cylinder, I have the catch screw, spring and nut removed from the frame. The cylinder and cylinder pin rotates freely. The cylinder will also rotate freely if the pin is held from rotating. I cannot get the cylinder pin to budge for removal and suspect that it is frozen/rusted to the cylinder bushing which precludes the pin from being pulled. Are my thoughts correct in the bushing being frozen to the pin and that is keeping the pin from being pulled?

So what is the next step? I am into day 5 of Kryoil soaking.

Is there a good site and reference for disassembly/assembly of this model?

Thanks for trudging thru my long winded post.

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Old 07-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,800
The best source for disassembly is the NRA Firearms Disassembly Guide.

I have volume 3 and 4, with the pistols being in Volume 4.
There is a newer, updated set available from the NRA, which I think is Volume 5 and 6.

Make sure the cylinder retention plunger parts are out of the frame.
Cock the hammer and insert a brass drift to try to drive the cylinder pin forward.
It can be seen inside the frame with the hammer back.

Some schematics show some models of these as not having a cylinder bushing, just a base pin passing through the cylinder.
Whether this is correct or not, I'm not sure.


Better drawing:


Last edited by dfariswheel; 07-05-2014 at 06:20 PM.
Old 07-06-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: IL
Posts: 3
Thanks for the input. I have noticed that you can see the rear of the pin with the hammer pulled back. I am going to try tapping on that some today.

On the pics, I think the top one is the model I have as I have been using that one for a reference.

maybe the lower pic is of the Lightning/Thunder - i don't know.

I will post back down the road if and when something budges or not.

whoah, that info about the NRA Volumes was like the mother lode. I just looked into it and think I will have a book ordered before morning.

thanks again


Last edited by DaveH; 07-06-2014 at 04:57 PM. Reason: update information
Old 07-11-2014, 05:55 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: IL
Posts: 3
well the book came in and I have the beast completely disassembled.

I spose that was a must since it has been accumulating gunge for that many years.

Now I have to get the parts cleaned up and go from there.
Old 07-11-2014, 07:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: near Huntsville, Ala.
Posts: 707
Thanks for the updates. They are appreciated.

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