Python Bolt Drop Timing
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  1. #1
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    Python Bolt Drop Timing

    On my 1981 (or so) Python, the bolt drops before the cylinder rotates to the leade (bolt drops early).

    Should I be concerned?

    What can be done to correct it?

    Timing seems ok in all other respects.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    The first question is where SHOULD the bolt be dropping?
    That's dependent on how Colt designed it.
    The 1990's Colt "SF" frame small framed revolvers dropped the bolt almost instantly after the cylinder started to rotate.
    I haven't heard how the new Python is intended to work.

    If the bolt is intended to drop into a leade and it's dropping early, it would require return to Colt for correction.
    I "think" (note the qualifier) that the new Python bolt is operated the same way as the Mark III and later Colt's and the S&W.
    These designs operate by a lug on the front of the trigger pulling the bolt downward then releasing it.
    I assume the new Python uses this system since it's easy to build and works very well.

    If the bolt is dropping too soon, either a new bolt or new trigger would need to be fitted so the bolt stays down longer before being released to pop up.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    The first question is where SHOULD the bolt be dropping?
    That's dependent on how Colt designed it.
    The 1990's Colt "SF" frame small framed revolvers dropped the bolt almost instantly after the cylinder started to rotate.
    I haven't heard how the new Python is intended to work.

    If the bolt is intended to drop into a leade and it's dropping early, it would require return to Colt for correction.
    I "think" (note the qualifier) that the new Python bolt is operated the same way as the Mark III and later Colt's and the S&W.
    These designs operate by a lug on the front of the trigger pulling the bolt downward then releasing it.
    I assume the new Python uses this system since it's easy to build and works very well.

    If the bolt is dropping too soon, either a new bolt or new trigger would need to be fitted so the bolt stays down longer before being released to pop up.
    Thank for the reply!

    I think you answered for a 2020 Python. I was asking about an older Python from circa 1981. Let me know if that changes your response or not.

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    If the bolt didn’t drop before the leade wouldn’t it scratch the cylinder?
    I’d rather be in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smutt View Post
    If the bolt didn’t drop before the leade wouldn’t it scratch the cylinder?
    Most double action revolvers I've seen do have a drag line, indicating that the bolt rides all the way. My 1993 vintage Anaconda has a turn line between each lead, as do my 29-2 and 14-1. SAA's however, when timed correctly, shouldn't leave a drag line.

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    Op you need to send it ti Frank Glenn and have it repaired.
    You can continue to shoot it but it will eventually mar the cylinder . Not good for value.
    Problem has worn parts.
    Thin Man likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paracord View Post
    Most double action revolvers I've seen do have a drag line, indicating that the bolt rides all the way. My 1993 vintage Anaconda has a turn line between each lead, as do my 29-2 and 14-1. SAA's however, when timed correctly, shouldn't leave a drag line.
    I’ve found that most turn lines on double action revolvers are caused by improper closing of the cylinder.
    Joe A. likes this.
    I’d rather be in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thin Man View Post
    Thank for the reply!

    I think you answered for a 2020 Python. I was asking about an older Python from circa 1981. Let me know if that changes your response or not.
    Sorry I speed read your original post. With all the discussion about the new Python I miss-read it.

    The old Python should drop the bolt into about the middle of the leade. A little early isn't a problem other then for excessive wear of the finish.
    Dropping late is a problem because the cylinder can "throw-by" and rotate past the bolt, and fire in an unlocked condition.

    The older Colt action allows adjusting of the "tail" of the locking bolt to regulate when it drops.
    This requires full disassembly of the gun and using padded pliers to bend the tail of the bolt.
    Bending it AWAY from the rebound drops the bolt earlier.
    Bending it TOWARD the rebound drops it later.

    NEVER try to bend the bolt tail with it in the frame because the small bolt screw can easily snap off. In the old Colt's even the bolt screw may need fitting and that requires a special tool that's almost impossible to find.

    I suggest one of two options....
    If you want to attempt it yourself, buy the Kuhnhausen Shop Manual Volume One.
    This was written as a training aid for new pistolsmiths and shows everything about gunsmithing the old Colt models.
    Make SURE you use real gunsmith's screwdriver bits so you don't damage the screw slots.
    Brownell's also sell the excellent Magna-Tip bits for this purpose.

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod25720.aspx

    Suggestion two is, if you don't feel you should do this, send it to one of the two members here who are Master Colt qualified pistolsmiths.
    They can quickly restore your Python to proper operation, and check it out to insure everything else is in correct order.

    Frank Glenn-Glenn Custom Complete Gunsmithing Service Glendale AZ

    https://bpczubak.wixsite.com/spartanfc
    Thin Man and sublimert70 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    Sorry I speed read your original post. With all the discussion about the new Python I miss-read it.

    The old Python should drop the bolt into about the middle of the leade. A little early isn't a problem other then for excessive wear of the finish.
    Dropping late is a problem because the cylinder can "throw-by" and rotate past the bolt, and fire in an unlocked condition.

    The older Colt action allows adjusting of the "tail" of the locking bolt to regulate when it drops.
    This requires full disassembly of the gun and using padded pliers to bend the tail of the bolt.
    Bending it AWAY from the rebound drops the bolt earlier.
    Bending it TOWARD the rebound drops it later.

    NEVER try to bend the bolt tail with it in the frame because the small bolt screw can easily snap off. In the old Colt's even the bolt screw may need fitting and that requires a special tool that's almost impossible to find.

    I suggest one of two options....
    If you want to attempt it yourself, buy the Kuhnhausen Shop Manual Volume One.
    This was written as a training aid for new pistolsmiths and shows everything about gunsmithing the old Colt models.
    Make SURE you use real gunsmith's screwdriver bits so you don't damage the screw slots.
    Brownell's also sell the excellent Magna-Tip bits for this purpose.

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod25720.aspx

    Suggestion two is, if you don't feel you should do this, send it to one of the two members here who are Master Colt qualified pistolsmiths.
    They can quickly restore your Python to proper operation, and check it out to insure everything else is in correct order.

    Frank Glenn-Glenn Custom Complete Gunsmithing Service Glendale AZ

    https://bpczubak.wixsite.com/spartanfc
    Thanks for checking back. Your guidance is much appreciated.

    Everyone has 2020 Python on the brain.
    Colt-SL likes this.

  11. #10
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    Well... the bolt needs to drop for the cylinder to be able to turn. Yours may be dropping early... or it may be right in time.

    If the drag line in the cylinder lead starts at the beginning of the lead and leaves a long drag line... then yes it is timed early.

    If the drag line is short... slightly before the bolt notch... then the timing is good.

    I've seen a couple where the bolt dropped right in the notch with no drag line.

    Not necessarily a bad thing... because somebody got the timing "spot on".

    However... as the gun is used and breaks in... the timing will get later... so in the last scenario above it would be easy for the cylinder notch to bypass the bolt.

    This could be potentially hazardous if the chamber and barrel don't line up.

    So slightly early is better... and as time goes by with shooting... the the closer the bolt will drop to the notch.

    If you want to check the basic timing on your gun:

    Put snap caps in the chambers to protect the firing pin and hammer.

    Place left thumb on left side of cylinder to create a slight drag.

    Pull trigger in double action mode... one at a time... on all 6 cylinders.

    Each time the hammer drops... wiggle cylinder with left thumb. If cylinder won't turn... the hand and bolt are in time.

    If you can rotate the cylinder slightly... and hear a "click"... the hand is worn... not rotating the cylinder fully so the bolt will engage.

    If the cylinder rotates backwards when you pull the trigger... then you have issues with other internal parts... but the bolt is still working.

    IIRC... the bolt and the hand run independently and simultaneously off the trigger.

    Of course I might be all wrong too. Having Colt, S&W, and Ruger revolvers... I get a bit confused and dislexic at times.
    "Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance." - George Bernard Shaw


 
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