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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello y'all,

I have been going through J Kuhns book to thoroughly inspect my revolvers.

I have a pair of Police Posi Specials in .38 and .32-20 that needed some love. One issue I have had difficulty understanding is the bolt and cylinder notch play. J Kuhn mentions not peening the cylinder, and seeking a new bolt to correct the issue and if that still doesnt work, seeking a new cylinder.

Of course, as far as I have noticed, not even GPC seems to have bolts or cylinders.

My inherited DA 45 meanwhile has almost no play. Nice to have an idea of what "perfect" looks like. But even still, how much is too much play, and what can be done for revolvers where spare parts cannot be located? Thanks for the insight,

Logan
 

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it's a gamble, but you could order a parts kit from everygun parts and hope the parts you need is in better shape than yours. they usually have 10 or 15 percent off, and 10 percent off your first order. jim
 

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I had the same issue with a 1935 S&W M&P .38. Brownells had an over size bolt that took some fitting, but now it locks up just like a new one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
it's a gamble, but you could order a parts kit from everygun parts and hope the parts you need is in better shape than yours. they usually have 10 or 15 percent off, and 10 percent off your first order. jim
I appreciate the recommendation. Not a website that was on my radar previously. However, the price for the kits is more than I paid for the gun! Admittedly, I could marginally improve the look of certain parts, assuming they fit well and gamble on a bolt simultaneously, but I think its not going to work for my budget on these particular pieces. It's nice to know its there assuming I have no luck elsewhere though
 

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First, figure out where the problem is. Four parts are possibly in play: cylinder, bolt, bolt window in the frame and hand. The hand is not in play until the weapon is at full cock. Have you tried that? It might be that the hand tightens up the rotational play. If so, then it may not be a problem. Hold the trigger to the rear and check. Release the trigger and check again. If the problem is still there, measure the width of the bolt and the notches in the cylinder and see if they are within tolerance. If so, insert a feeler gauge or similar between the cylinder and frame to preload the bolt against one edge or the other of the bolt window. Check rotational play then. If it has not decreased much then the window may still be within spec. This all might lead you back to the bolt, as they are highly stressed components and subject to wear. But, nothing worse than to throw the wrong parts at it. About all you can do is save a search for it in eBay, or possibly GB, as well as checking regularly at Jack First or Numrich. Don't know if Bob Snapp's gunshop remained open after his passing in 2019, but that "might" be a source, or it could be long closed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First, figure out where the problem is. Four parts are possibly in play: cylinder, bolt, bolt window in the frame and hand. The hand is not in play until the weapon is at full cock. Have you tried that? It might be that the hand tightens up the rotational play. If so, then it may not be a problem. Hold the trigger to the rear and check. Release the trigger and check again. If the problem is still there, measure the width of the bolt and the notches in the cylinder and see if they are within tolerance. If so, insert a feeler gauge or similar between the cylinder and frame to preload the bolt against one edge or the other of the bolt window. Check rotational play then. If it has not decreased much then the window may still be within spec. This all might lead you back to the bolt, as they are highly stressed components and subject to wear. But, nothing worse than to throw the wrong parts at it. About all you can do is save a search for it in eBay, or possibly GB, as well as checking regularly at Jack First or Numrich. Don't know if Bob Snapp's gunshop remained open after his passing in 2019, but that "might" be a source, or it could be long closed.
I appreciate the walkthrough. I have already replaced the hands on both as they were timed slow. Both are now on time. Both also successfully lock up nice and tight, but only when the trigger is fully depressed. Is this sufficient?

Going back to the OP, I really am not sure when slack is appropriate and when it is not. J Kuhn seems to articulate that any slack beyond that necessary for proper bolt function is too much. With that said, if fully pulling the trigger giving a tight lockup is what I am aiming for, then I'm good to go. But admittedly, there is noticeable slack when the action is at rest
 

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Pythons are timed like this. If you have access to one, check cylinder rotational play when fully cocked, finger off the trigger. You will note some play. But! They are not actually fired like that. Critical is the tightness and position (ranging) of the cylinder at the moment of firing. Now, pull the trigger, hold it back and check the play - there should be zero. Let the trigger move forward about 1/8" and you will see some play. Normal and as per design. Timing like that requires precision and hand fitting.

From what you say, I do not think you have a problem. The proof is in the pudding. How does it target?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pythons are timed like this. If you have access to one, check cylinder rotational play when fully cocked, finger off the trigger. You will note some play. But! They are not actually fired like that. Critical is the tightness and position (ranging) of the cylinder at the moment of firing. Now, pull the trigger, hold it back and check the play - there should be zero. Let the trigger move forward about 1/8" and you will see some play. Normal and as per design. Timing like that requires precision and hand fitting.

From what you say, I do not think you have a problem. The proof is in the pudding. How does it target?
That is good news. Unfortunately for me, I dont have a Python laying around! I actually purchased one of these revolvers from a fella that "didnt know much about it", and rightly so as he, or someone else, had reassembled it incorrectly!

The second one I bought from a local gunsmith who seemingly had just gotten ahold of it and possibly is not at all familiar with Colts. Either way, both needed some TLC, which I wanted to provide prior to firing. I've just been going page by page through J Kuhns book fixing things as needed. Knowing that this is one more non-issue, I'm getting closer to range day 😁
 

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^
I've replaced a few Colt hands, got lucky buying older Colts I guess, and the "test" for me is feeling a hint of rub when lowering the hammer by thumb, keeping a bit of pressure on the trigger. Unless I'm wrong, that "rub" is the sear just barely clearing the sear notch as the 2nd stage of the hand presses up against the ratchet, stopping the travel of the trigger as it locks the cylinder in place.

If you swing out the cylinder, cock the action, you can visualize the 2nd (lower) stage of the hand as it would rotate and lock the cylinder in place.

It sounds like the hand replacement went well. If you give best pressure on the trigger and the hand locks up the cylinder straight away I'd say you're OK. If there's alot of trigger travel after the hammer is released, that indicates the hammer could be getting to the primer before the hand butts against the cylinder ratchet, pressing the right side of the cylinder bolt notch against the right side of the cylinder bolt. But again, sounds like all is well.

FYI, I've ordered from Jack First - excellent quality stuff and service. (y)
 
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