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I have a Colt Python that I purchased new in early 1982. The gun was manufactured in 1981. I have fired less than 1000 rounds of full power .357 in it since new and nothing else. The gun has .003 endshake. I never really checked the endshake until recently when it was talked about on this forum so I don't know what it was when it was new. I've only shot factory ammo and some lead handloads that were below maximum in the loading manual. Is .003 considered excessive?

Another thing I don't understand is with the trigger held back and the hammer dropped (as in the moment of firing) there is no endshake at all and the cylinder is rock solid in all directions. I understand how the cylinder is rotated into the cylinder latch when the trigger is pulled all the way to the rear for a positive rotational lockup but I fail to see how this would eliminate the endshake as well.

Experts comments?
 

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Re: Another Python end shake question

The correct way to check end shake is with the action "at rest" or un-cocked.

.003 is the maximum allowed, so if it gets worse, you're looking at a trip to either the factory or Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters for a cylinder collar stretch.

There is no standard on how many rounds will cause an end shake problem, and often it's more seating of parts than firing ammo.

Some of the later Detective Specials were bad about developing end shake from seating of the cylinder collar and the frame.

I once had a case of a Detective Special with a mis-cut frame.
The area where the cylinder collar seated was apparently cut with a dull cutter that torn rather than cut the metal.
The unevenness of the area meant that very little shooting caused the cylinder to seat into the uneven frame and develop end shake.

After a cylinder stretch, the cylinder again seated into the uneven frame, and quickly developed end shake again.

Finally, the customer gave up on it and apparently passed it on to some unsuspecting buyer.

As to why everything tightens up when the trigger is pulled, the hand does exert pressure against the ratchet, and this causes minor true end shake to seem to disappear.

Right now, you're OK, but you might want to monitor the end shake and get it corrected if it goes over .003.
 

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Re: Another Python end shake question

dfariswheel, thanks for the informative answer. The gun is a very tight .003 and maybe closer to .0025. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it. I wish I had looked at it years ago but like most people I learn more all the time and didn't know what to look for back then. It's quite possible it "seated" in after a very few rounds and was on the loose side when new. I normally only shoot about 40-50 rounds a year with the Python and reserve the heavier shooting to my easier to fix and less valuable guns.
 

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Re: Another Python end shake question

At that rate, it'll be a LONG time before you need to worry about it.

To help make it last, each time you take it shooting, put a dab of grease on the frame where the cylinder collar seats.

This will lubricate it and help prevent wear.
 
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