Good job to begin working on Colts?
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Thread: Good job to begin working on Colts?

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    JWP
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    Good job to begin working on Colts?

    I want to learn how to work on my Colts myself. I know that it can be a tedious thing to do and it helps to have somebody to train you, but I have access to no such person. However, as a young man I expect to be shooting my Colts for the next 50+ years and Coltsmiths aren't getting any easier to find. So, I've started buying up extra parts to have on hand here and there. And I intend to by the Kuhnhausen shop manual for the V-Spring and mk iii guns. Currently, one of my Official Police's won't carry all the way up into full lockup. It will when you pull the trigger of course but not with slowly cocking the hammer. I think the hand needs lengthening though I don't have my shop manual yet to confirm this diagnosis. If that is the case, would stretching and refitting the hand be a good project to get my feet wet as a Coltsmith? If not, what project would you pick?
    Thanks for the input!

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    My brand new Python wouldn't lock up on a couple of cylinders if I cocked it really really slow, but the instant the trigger was pulled it locked up. Some 40 years later it does the same thing. I don't cock it really slow when I am shooting, and it has caused no problem.
    Joel6180 likes this.

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    Stretching the hand is about as easy a project as you will find. Just understand that ANYONE runs the risk of breaking the hand while stretching it. Get the Kuhnhausen manual. Then come back here. There are a few tips that will help you that are not in the manual.

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    There is a Sticky thread on Colt hand streching that is pretty good.

    Patience is a virtue:

    My friend has a real nice Colt Officers Model and when shooting single action the cylinder would bind slightly at one chamber and real hard on the next. Shot fine double action. I brought it home and as luck would have it I had a hand, I actually have two. After cleaning this Colt and sticking my nose in Kuhnhausen's Manual, the conclusion I reached was the timing was off and someone tried to fix it and let the hand out and it was pushing the cylinder forward. There was also a high spot, actually a ring on the end of the cylinder. I put a new hand in and no bind, but the and was too long as I could feel the trigger seat hitting the hammer nose. So I filed it down, still hitting, so I filed it down again, too much. Now I had to stretch the new hand.
    I've now got it where is off just a bit on one chamber. The decision now is too shoot it and either stretch the hand or put in another.

    You could also see where that ridge on the cylinder was dragging, binding or hitting the barrel end so I very carefully filed that down as there was hardly any clearance.

    We tend to assume that our Colt's especially the older ones are perfect, but this isn't always so, and when working on a 60 year old or older revolver who knows what some other kitchen table gunsmith did.
    Last edited by kenhwind; 06-08-2019 at 09:54 AM.
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"

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    Stretching the hand is a good way to get your feet wet in Colt revolvers.

    Get the Kuhnhausen Shop Manual, then just sit down and read it.
    Then go back and STUDY it.
    The shop manuals were written as training aids and Kuhnhausen figured that along with his instruction, the students would have enough sense to understand the manual without huge Red arrows pointing to critical information.

    Once you've spent some time actually studying and understanding what you've read, use the manual to disassemble a Colt revolver and using the manual, study each part and how it interacts with the other parts, noting that every part serves more then one function, usually NOT related.
    Then assemble the gun one part at a time to see how it fits in with the rest.
    There are NO parts in a Colt that are not critical, and these often have tiny working surfaces that may not be all that noticeable.

    Buy some Brownell's Magna-Tip screwdriver bits and "law enforcement" size handles, one clip-tip and one magnetic.

    The driver bits you'll need are....
    .150-2 and .150-3
    .180-2 and .180-3
    .210-2 and .210-3

    The reason for two sizes each is for a perfect fit in screw slots that may vary slightly.

    Buy the Brownell's ejector rod spring bushing tool. This will be needed for older models.....

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...l-prod712.aspx

    Buy or make an ejector wrench for the older type models with the old style ejector.
    Note, dissemble old style ejectors only of you have no choice. These are easy to damage, especially during reassembly when they tend to cross thread slightly no matter how careful you are. I used a die to make the threads on the rod uniform and remove the deformation caused by factory staking so there was less risk....

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...h-prod605.aspx

    Last, there's a wealth of information on this site about gunsmithing the Colt's. Do some deep searches and reading, and we're here to be a resource for you.

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    JWP
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    Thank you for the input you guys. It has encouraged never to continue pursuing this. JohnnyP's post has made me reconsider whether I want to wait a bit longer before stretching the hand on the OP though. I know that it isn't timed correctly from reading DFaris's posts on their topics in the past, though. But since it is still working I may just keep an eye on it a bit longer. Regardless, I'm going to begin buying the tools and manuals I'll need. Thank you for the advice on that, Dfaris!


 

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