Colt Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All...

I'm sure these questions have been asked before but be patient as I have a NEW Colt and have little experience in modifications on Colt SAA. I do have all types of guns(including owning a few Colt SAA) and had a few Class III guns in the past but want some information for a "newby" such as myself!!!

I have a brand new Blue Colt SAA-3rd Gen that's never been shot...yet. About 2 months old new in the box and I'm itching to shoot it.

ABOUT ME:

As with all my guns I clean them immediately after I shoot them....a basic field strip and cleaning, light oil, wipe off and put them away for the next event. Usually once to twice a year I will totally strip the firearm and make sure the entire gun is clean and in working condition. It depends on how long the gun has sat in the safe, but usually, I will lightly oil before I go shooting.

This Colt SAA will be a "range" only gun and be shot maybe 3-4 times a year with each shooting/event about 50-100, rounds of factory 45LC ammo used then cleaned.

1st Question. When shooting lead should the last 15-20 rounds be copper jacket to help blow out the lead and help in cleaning? I have heard this from several guys and read about it but never have I done this with my other firearms. I feel I get the lead and copper out just fine but I see and hear that it helps with the Colt SAA.

2nd Question. I know I need to at least or maybe fire 200-500 rounds to see if I need this..."Action Work". I read and hear that it is good and helps your Colt SAA but the little shooting I will be doing is it necessary or should I have this done to "improve" my Colt? Same as "Forcing Cone" work...does this help and would be an improvement on my Colt? Simple action work and forcing cone is ALL I would do.

Question 1 & 2 is just for longevity and maintenance on my Colt. NO Cowboy Action Shooting, NO fast or hard use shooting, just some range fun or out in the rural area of Oklahoma shooting beer and whiskey bottles off a wooden fence post on my farm.

3rd Question. Now that you know my Colt shooting style would a "Spring Kit" be the best for me? OR would just leaving it alone and completely stock..as is...be what's called for in my case.


4th Question. Has anyone used Joe Perkins/Classic Single Action for the services...question 1-3...that I am inquiring about? Any other gunsmiths that do an excellent job you'd recommend???


Grips:

I use to think I wanted Ivory and in the past talked to Jim at Nutmeg Sports but never went through with it.

1st Question. Sambar...REAL Sambar. Who do you recommend? I don't and won't(because I think I'll screw it up) do my own custom fitting so should I send the gun to the grip maker? What is the care method for Sambar?

2nd Question. Giraffe Bone who do you recommend? Pro and Con on giraffe bone?

3rd Question. Stay away from "animal" grips and stick with plastic and wood??

4th Question. Has anyone used Joe Perkins/Classic Single Action for grips and inlay on their Colts? I'm really starting to like ebony with the snake/man with no name inlay design. https://classicsingleaction.com/antique-finish
Any other grip makers/dealers you'd recommend?

Thank you for your help and recommendations!!! I want this thread to be honest and positive recommendations, suggestions, and answers. Be honest and informative with answers so that I may learn and become empowered with your knowledge and suggestions!!! I know that I'm asking about "Apples and Oranges" but I want a starting point and to be able to have resources!!!

Thanks!!

Cohiba
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Cohiba,

I can't answer all of your questions, but I'm a retired gunsmith who has spent a lot of years working on SAA's. Given what you're going to do with this revolver, I see no "need" to do anything at all.

A spring kit - Absolutely non-invasive modification that anyone can do and undo. If you do, just keep the original stuff. Spring kit will make thumbing the hammer back a little easier, and could improve trigger pull.

Trigger work - If there is an abundance of creep in the trigger, you may at some point want to address that; but it's more personal preference.

Forcing cone - Unless you need absolute nats-azz accuracy, this is a waste of time. If you cast your own bullets, and really want to milk out every last bit of accuracy, then perhaps. But I'll tell you, it costs me NOTHING to do forcing cones, and I don't bother to do it on my revolvers...but that's just me.

Grips - I have owned sambar stag in the past and while the look fantastic, I have yet to have a set that really felt "right" on the revolver. I have elephant ivory on one of my guns and if I had to do it all over, I would just buy some of the better quality synthetic ivory. The better synthetics actually look better, feel is even the same, and of course cost much less. My favorite grips for the SAA are the factory hard rubber; but that's just me.

Leading & jacketed bullets - I can remember a time when people would tell you that was a no-no. But after inspecting a bore with a borescope after shooting jacketed following lead; I say its the best way to clean out your bore. If you're really anal about it, you will still have some leading, but it will be FAR less, and way easier to remove.

As for full detail cleaning - Taking the gun apart on a regular basis will cause its own "wear"; so just be aware of that.

I'm jealous...I'm SAA-less at the moment, and I wish I had your problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Just getting started with the SAA's myself but can address your leading question from experience.
Years ago a buddy of mine and I shot thousands of rounds through 44 magnums. When we were done
shooting the lead bullets we always fire a cylinder or two of jacketed bullets. IT HELPS TREMENDOUSLY.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
821 Posts
I can speak to Joe Perkins at Classic Single Action. He does FANTASTIC grips work. I've had him do 1 piece wood on about 4 of my guns and they all turned out perfect, way better than anybody else I tried. I also had him do action jobs on a couple of guns and he does great work! His prices are also very reasonable. And he's a really nice guy to boot!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,937 Posts
For every 'new-to-me' piece that comes into my hands - where new or used - I detail-strip 'everything', clean and re-lube it prior to firing, and while I'm at it, I'll look for burring or roughness and will stone it away.

This allows me to start fresh, knowing I don't have solidified detritus lurking somewhere.

In the case of your questions, 'I' would first do that, then, I'd run around 500 rounds through it before I would check trigger pull and action smoothness - in 500 rounds, you learn quite a bit about both the piece, as well as how 'you' handle it, so it's money well-spent in shooting and accuracy work.

The SAA is not the tack driver that an adjustable-sighted weapon can be, but it is accurate, so do a bit of measured-distance shooting from the bench to verify your sight picture, and pay attention to the basics of pistol marksmanship so you have something to measure against.

Accuracy can markedly change with various loads, and that's where consistency pays off.

For 'my' preference, I shoot the .45 S&W load because that's what the original military load was, and because it behaves exactly like .45 ACP - and I have a cylinder for that round, as well.

This is what 'I' do - others may do something different, but this is simple and pays off for 'me'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Joe Perkins worked on a SAA I own. The grips are amazing! The action is the best I’ve handled! I highly recommend his work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
If it functions well- I would pretty much leave it alone, if it needs a tune up Jim Martin or Lever action Bill would be the men to contact.

To much working over on new guns can lead to disaster, Colt SAA's a'int cheap anymore. If I am buying one I would prefer "stock" condition much as possible most times.

I like Black Eagle grips. Of course, what you do with your new Colt, stock to no limit- is up to you.

Welcome to the Colt forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Anyone have any tips on disassembling these guns? I have a 7 1/2" SAA of recent manufacture that has a slight drag line on the cylinder (due to my own carelessness) so I'm keen to strip it down and see how everything comes apart and goes back together. It is a shooter so I'm not as concerned if I bugger something up slightly in the process. Obviously, I will try not to bugger it up and I have the correct screwdriver set for working on these guns and a nice gun cleaning station setup in my garage so I think I'm ready to do this but any tips and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've only disassembled S&W revolvers and some of those can be tricky to put back together so I've been hesitant on tearing into my beloved Colts.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,366 Posts
I installed a Wolff hammer spring in my 2019 SAA 45 and all I can say is wow, nothing else needed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
Anyone have any tips on disassembling these guns? I have a 7 1/2" SAA of recent.
SDR: the S&W is a lot “scarier” than the SAA.

Remove Cyliner and pin.
3 back strap screws.
3 trigger guard screws.
One trigger/bolt screw retaining the flat trigger/bolt spring.
Don’t worry nothing goes flying through the air.
Screws on side of frame
One bolt screw.
One trigger screw.
one hammer screw.
pull hammer down through frame and you’ll see the hand with spring attached.
Reverse for assembly.


No need to remove the screw that retains the spring for the loading gate. It’s the one thats flush with the bottom of the frame after you take off the trigger guard.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
80 Posts
For action work, I'd highly recommend Alan Harton. He has worked on three of my Colt Single-Action revolvers, including one caliber change and complete rebuild. All have been perfect in every way in my estimation. He's very knowledgeable and meticulous in his work, and very easy to talk to.

For grips, I've found none better than Joe Perkins. He has made four Colt Single-Action one-piece wood grips for me and I could not have wished for better. I know he does make grips of giraffe bone, and although I've no personal experience with that material, I'm sure Mr. Perkins would make a fine grip of it. There are several well-known grip makers out there who charge more than he does, but at least in my experience, none can surpass his work.

I'll echo the comments of Ugly and Dark Lord to the effect that "action jobs" can be very easily overdone to the detriment of the revolver. I'll mention that one job done for me by Mr. Harton involved undoing an overzealous action job perpetrated by a well-known gunsmith. I'd also second their cautions about overly aggressive cleaning regimens.

Before becoming too authoritative and smug, I'd point out that what sort of "action tuning" you might want for your revolver is at least partially dependent on how you plan to use it. My own Colt Single-Action shooting is mostly solo semi-formal with a certain annual amount of slow-fire match shooting at relatively long ranges (up to 75 yards). My objective, and that of my fellow shooters, is largely to see just how accurately we can shoot this particular type of revolver. I am not a Cowboy Action shooter, so I'm not that fond of light springs. Neither am I too concerned with rapidity of fire. (Nothing wrong with CAS, and if I was a participant in that discipline, I'd likely be very concerned about these matters.) On the other hand, you're darned right I'm concerned about the forcing cone being properly configured and polished. While I most definitely do not like especially light trigger pulls, I do want a trigger with minimal creep. At least checking for any roughness in the frame's hand channel is a good idea. (I do not do any of my own gunsmithing. Parts replacement only.) I agree that trying different spring combinations is usually harmless and possibly beneficial. I've done it, and found it instructive. I did, however, have a couple of instances of cylinder over-rotation ("throw-by") when trying a light wire trigger/bolt spring. That is potentially disastrous. Many will disagree, but I want nothing to do with that type of trigger/bolt spring. Mainsprings are a different matter. While I don't own any First Generation Colt Single-Actions, the mainsprings in those seemed "about right." Those in my Second Generation Colt SAs seemed to have been salvaged from 1940s Hudson touring cars--very heavy and probably eventually destructive to hammer notches. They all got replaced. Mainsprings on most of my Third Generation Colt SAs seemed, if anything, rather light. I don't recall replacing any of the latter. I once tried a very light after market mainspring in a Second Generation Colt SA, and it did fail to fire some primers, so such springs are out there.

On the matter of cleaning, I'd just advise moderation and a bit of common sense. Yes, I do clean my Colt SAs after every range session, to the extent that I remove the cylinder to do so. I fire only black powder cartridges in my "Colt Frontier Six Shooters," and I'm especially thorough in cleaning them. I might delay cleaning for a day or two if forced to do so, but I try to clean the revolvers as soon as I return home or to the motel room if on the road. Depending on how much individual revolvers are used, I will completely disassemble them for cleaning. Unless one got soaked in a pouring rain, even those fired with black powder get completely disassembled about once a year, at most. I've never had any problems with internal rust. Unlike cap-and-ball revolvers, I've found that very little fouling gets into the internal mechanism of cartridge revolvers. I'll mention that I'm retired military myself with a lot of small arms experience before stating that the testosterone-fueled mostly military wannabes one often encounters at the range who can't wait to get home to "tear [their] weapon down" cause me to cringe, as I know from experience that they're probably doing more harm than good.

There's more of an answer than you ever wanted. Now go enjoy that classic sixgun.

Hold Center--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
I prefer to shoot the SAA with factory springs. I will lightly stone the action to remove burrs. Once properly lubricated you won't need to lube again for years.

Leading can be minimized with matching the bullet to the gun. First you need to measure the cylinder throats. Then use a bullet that is .001 larger in diameter. Use a bullet that is in the BHN 12 range. Do not use ammo with hard cast bullets. Lead removal is not difficult with the proper tools. I use Shooter's Choice Lead Removal and a bronze brush wrapped with coarse grade bronze wool, which can be obtained at a hardware store or by ordering through Home Depot. A few strokes and the lead is gone.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top