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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Fellow Colt Enthusiasts,

Although familiar with classic American rifles - Remington & Winchester - my knowledge and experience regarding handguns is quite limited. I have inherited a nice Colt Army Special in .38 Special. It is blued, has checkered walnut grips, a 5-inch barrel and seems to be both functional and in generally good condition. Its serial number is 484XXX and so it appears to be "born" in 1922. I took it out to shoot yesterday and was quite pleased to get some nice single action groups at 25 yards - 3 inches or less. For a novice pistoleer, that seems pretty good to me. I'll get some pictures up after I finish cleaning it. After mostly avoiding revolvers following some less-than-salutary experiences with a RSS, I've decided to give it another go starting with a S&W 17-3 (K22) and the Colt Army Special which both are much to my liking.

Can anyone give me any tips on the history of this type Colt revolver and how to take off the cylinder for cleaning. Should I shoot it or leave it in the safe? Removing the cylinder for cleaning is straightforward with the S&W but the Colt appears to have a slightly different system. I've always heard that Colts are much more finicky that S&W. The folks at our Club (the real NASA - Northwest Alabama Shooting Association) have lots of S&W revolver skills but very little Colt revolver 'smarts.' I'll continue to peruse the threads in this forum but thought that someone might take pity on me and lead me to the right places to learn more. Thank you for your assistance.

AQBill :D
 

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Hi AQBill!

Welcome to the Forum!


Definitely post some images of your Army Special, we would love to see it.

As far as removing the Cylinder for cleaning, that is new to me, and I have always cleaned, wth the Cylinder on the Revolver, and, with it merely in an 'open' Position, supporting it directly with my left Hand, when pushing a Cleaning Brush through it with my right, so as not to strain the Yoke.

If you want to remove the Cylinder, look to the right side of the Revolver, just above and slighty back from, where the front leg of the Trigger Bow meets the Frame.

There, you will find one slightly round-top 'Plug' immediately next to a roughly same diameter Screw Head.

The Plug is captive to the Screw, and, raises up and out, as the Screw it is captive with, is un-Screwed.

Of course, this operation requires peoper hollow Ground, snugly fitting Gunsmith's type Screw Drivers, in order to respect the Screw Slot.


With the Screw and Plug removed, the entire Cylinder-Yoke subassembly, may then be wiggled out of the Frame, for which, one must align one of the Cylinder Flutes, with that part of the Frame Yoke-Joint-Knuckle, in order for the Cylinder to move forward, and, for the Yoke Axel to slide out of the Frame socket there.

To my mind though, this seems like a lot of trouble to do through, for routine Cleaning...although what you have in mind, is maybe only this one, initial cleaning, since the Revolver is new to you.

On the S & W 'Hand Ejector' Revolvers ( or at least those I am used to ), one can simply un-screw the Ejector Rod or Plunger casually, and, easily dis-mount the Cylinder from the Yoke or Crane.

On the Colt Swing Out Cylinder Models, the Ejector Rod is Screwed into and also 'Staked' in to the Ejector Star, and must not be unscrewed, unless it is to permit some genuinely serious repair where one has to dismantle that sub-Assembly for some 'serious' reason which can not be avoided.

So, on the Colt Swing Out Cylinder Models, the Cylinder stays on the Yoke or Crane, as a sub-Assembly, for any routine or periodic cleaning/lubrication rituals....even when the Crane/Cylinder Assembly as a unit, is removed from the Frame.
 

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If wishing to access, clean, and Lube the interior Mechanism, Side Plate removal on the Colt Swing Out Cylinder Models, is about the same as that of the S & W Hand Ejector Models -

The Side Plate Screws are removed, ( with proper Gun Smith Screw Drivers, of course ) the Stocks are removed also of course, and, one then 'taps' the Grip Frame from the Side Plate side, with a small block of Wood or a small plastic-Head Hammer, and, the inertia then lifts the Side Plate out of it's typically snug fit, where one then merely sets it aside to examine, and access, and lubes, cleand-and-lubes, or dismantles the Mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Oyeboten,

Not yet comfortable with taking the side plate off but will no doubt give it a try when I get the "Colt M-1917 .45 AP .38 .357 Do Everything Manual Police Army" arrives. Here's some pictures - as promised - of the Colt Army Special.
P1010025.jpg P1010027.jpg
 
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