Enlarging bolt slot?
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  1. #1
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    Enlarging bolt slot?

    Ok I have a delema, I have a 1904 Bisley that has seen a lot of use and I am trying to get it back in shooting shape. I have determined that it needs an oversized bolt and I have two currently one smith interprises that I have already fitted to cylinder that now measures .1545 and an untouched Superior Industries bolt that is .150. My problem is that the bolt that fits will not fit through slot in frame the .150 bolt seems to just barely fit. So my options are accept the play I will get with smaller bolt(will be down cost of smith interpose bolt), slightly enlarge slot in frame, or find cylinder that is less worn and try and match appearance.

    So what would you do?

    Thanks!
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    DJC
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    Work on the cheapest part first! If I understand correctly, the new bolt fits the notches in the cylinder but is too large to pass through the frame. If that is so, I would reduce the bolt thickness to fit the frame and live with a bit of slop at the cylinder. Won't hurt anything.
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    A 1904 isn’t proofed for smokeless.
    I like what DJC says and work on the cheapest part.

    If the stops are enlarged and shallow in the cylinder I’d try to find a cleaner cylinder.
    Shallow notches that the bolt can’t secure? Get a better cylinder.

    The hand can be perfectly alterned to keep tension on the ratchet so the bolt stays engaged against the stop notch. This aids in wobble of an ill-fitted bolt to cylinder.

    If you do decide to alter the frame (Ugggh) time the bolt so it doesn’t drop below the frame recess area so it’s sure to come with the minimal amount of metal (ugggh) removed from the frame slot.
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    All SAA Colt work; Action Work, Tune-ups, Barrel Rotation for Accuracy, Custom grips, Cylinder fitting. Coltsmith: Bill Fuchs

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    Good advice, thank you for that I really did not want to file on frame as I told myself I would do no harm that could not be easily fixed. I think I will continue to work on smith bolt until it fits and send back other bolt for refund. I will start saving pennies and look for new cylinder (man I overpaid for this gun lol).

    I also have new trigger to fit in the coming days, the k book has been very helpful but I still might have some questions.

    Thanks again,

    shawn
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    Welcome to the forum! As others have suggested best answer there is get a cylinder in much better shape. I would never, like ever, cut up the frame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeverActionBill View Post
    A 1904 isn’t proofed for smokeless.
    I sure would like to see a few citations concerning this.
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    "Proofed" means fired and a proof mark put on the guns.

    Colt first proofed the SAA with smokeless powder at 192,000 but the safe and prudent cut-off is at serial number 196,000. Colt also converted literally thousands of black powder Single Actions to smokeless simply by fitting new steel cylinders, starting around 1900. They also proofed the gun when they were done. It should be obvious that Colt thought the converted revolvers were safe.
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    The Smith Enterprises bolts are made oversize on purpose to fit worn cyls,in your case if it won't go thru the frame but fits when it's placed in the lockslot w/the cyl out of the gun , the front face above the stop ledge of the SE bolt may need to be moved back because it's longer from front to back than other bolts & it may be hanging up there rather than on the sides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharab85 View Post
    Ok I have a delema, I have a 1904 Bisley that has seen a lot of use and I am trying to get it back in shooting shape. I have determined that it needs an oversized bolt and I have two currently one smith interprises that I have already fitted to cylinder that now measures .1545 and an untouched Superior Industries bolt that is .150. My problem is that the bolt that fits will not fit through slot in frame the .150 bolt seems to just barely fit. So my options are accept the play I will get with smaller bolt(will be down cost of smith interpose bolt), slightly enlarge slot in frame, or find cylinder that is less worn and try and match appearance.

    So what would you do?

    Thanks!
    I would not tamper with that lock bolt slot thru the frame. It would probably be better to look for another cylinder.

    Many years ago I had a 32-20 x 7-1/2" Colt SAA in the 320xxx range. Someone had widened the lock slot thru the frame, apparently trying to make the chambers line up with the barrel. I welded up that frame slot, and recut the slot to original width. Now the cylinder locked up tightly, but sure enough the chamber throats did not line up with the bore. Not even close! I grabbed another 32-20 cylinder, and it aligned perfectly! I threw that old bad 32-20 cylinder in the trash can. Colt should have rejected it. And someone nearly ruined a good frame over a bum part.

    Someone else in this thread said something like "alter the lesser value part". That is probably good advice in this case.
    Last edited by victorio1sw; 09-04-2019 at 12:24 AM.
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    Ok well progress has been slow but I think I have it lined out, the new trigger was very fun to fit and I ended up making up a jig so I could see how the hammer and trigger fitting was going. I can't tell you how much I wished I had X ray vision. I also had to shorten both the top and bottom fingers on the hand to compensate for the correct trigger length. I can tell the trigger is made of very soft metal because of how easily it was to file so I plan using some brownells surface hardening compound to try and get some life out of this repo trigger. The cylinder still has some wiggle because I had take the bolt down to .150 to fit through slot and I also have a very generous barrel gap of .018 so I am still on the hunt for a new 38-40 cylinder.

    Here is link to a video of the timing to see what you guys think of the timing, this is my very first SAA so I have nothing to compare it to.

    https://youtu.be/ZCfFSghCJos

    Thanks again,

    Shawn
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