Add 2 drops of oil.
I'm new to the forum and new to Colt. I have a question regarding cylinder spin--that is, how easily the cylinder spins when swung out from the frame. I searched through the forum and did find that the cylinders on older Colts tend to have a tighter fit than newer Colts and other brands but my gun seems unusually stiff.
The gun in question is .38 spl Officer's Model Match from 1966 (according to ProofHouse) that I've just acquired. The gun is clean and in great condition (90-95%+, I'd say). However, I'm lucky to get one full revolution on the cylinder when trying to spin it. It functions fine during dry fire and when rotating the cylinder by hand there is no "gritty" feel to it. I don't think the gun was ever shot much. I suppose I'm used to my S&W 686, which spins like a top. Is this normal for a Colt or for this particular model?
Thanks for any insights,
Add 2 drops of oil.
Welcome to the Forum!
Yes, it is "normal" for a double-action Colt revolver (prior to the introduction of the J-frame). Most double-action Colt cylinders are "squeezed" on the crane by spring pressure, so are not "free" to spin like Smith & Wesson revolvers. Oil might help the "spin" a little, but the friction caused by the spring pressure will prevent the cylinder from "spinning like a top."
A older model Colt cylinder should make a little more then one rotation.
It could be the assembly is gummed up with old dried lubricant or fouling or just dry of any lube.
I recommend putting a drop or two of CLP Breakfree into the center of the cylinder where the cylinder crane shaft enters.
Rotate it a few turns then give it a few hours to penetrate.
CLP Breakfree will penetrate and dissolve any old lube or fouling.
This should free it up.
If not, there might be another problem, in which case you'd probably be better off sending it one of the forums recommended Colt pistolsmiths, Frank Glenn or Spartan.
I appreciate the advice. I'll try a couple of drops of CLP and see what happens.
CLP itself will dry and gum up. ATF, Kroil or similar is much better.
The problem is that the old oil has gummed up, so as already said you'll have to replace it with fresh oil. Getting rid of the old, gummy lube can be difficult, but you can do a pretty good job if you remove the crane assembly from the gun. This will allow you to slide the cylinder back and forth on the crane, which makes it easier to clean and work the fresh oil into the assembly.
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Gun repair and restoration
The very early CLP Breakfree "could" dry out and form a "varnish" in tight areas like side plates.
When the first CLP formula change was made that problem ended and today's CLP Breakfree won't do this.
Ben, The Cylinder of my 1959 3 5 7 does not spin freely as on my S&W revolvers. It is not gunked up, is well lubed,etc. I wondered about this too until I discovered that the Colt cylinder fit the yoke more precisely/closely than on my S&Ws. With my Smiths, I can detect the slightest amount of radial play between cylinder and yoke. On the Colt there is no such play. If the cylinder/yoke fit of your revolver is as precise as my gun, and I suspect it is, I don't think how many times it will spin is a concern.......ymmv