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Cleaning / Lubing Colt double action internals

8208 Views 44 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RDak
Recently acquired a Colt OMT and wanting to know how to properly clean / lube internals. The trigger is very heavy / stiff and am wanting to make sure everything is as it should be inside.

First, I know that disassembly is not recommended. I know how to properly and correctly remove sideplate. Is there a way I can clean out and lube all the parts without further disassembly (than just removing the sideplate)? I am convinced that a good cleaning will improve the trigger. If this was a more recent gun, I would probably leave it alone. Being as how it was made over 70+ years ago, who knows what crud, or residual grease is caked onto the moving parts. While I dont mind shooting the gun in single action, it seems a shame for such a fine firearm to be at 50% capacity.

My idea (subject to change) is to spray out the inside of the internals with eezox to hopefully remove all crud and gunk. Then to gently blow out excess oil with air compressor. A light coat should still remain even with blowing it otut. Then I got some good grease from Brownells called Action Lube Plus in the mail today. I want to put this on the parts that should be greased.

First of all, is my idea of how to proceed a proper one?

Second of all, if it is, where I should I put the grease?
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Grease points for Colt DA revolvers are as follows:

On the front and back side of the DA strut on the hammer.

On the single action notch of the hammer and the flat ledge just above it.

On the rear area of the hammer skirt where the rebound lever rebounds the hammer.

On the top, bottom and sear face of the trigger.

On the front edge and outside of the hand.

On the slot inside of the hand where the rebound lever rides.

On the top of the rebound where the lower leg of the mainspring rides.

On the two hooks of the mainspring.
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Sorry your pictures don't work.

Apply just a dab of grease to all areas. You just need a light coat.
I use a small pocket screwdriver as a grease applicator.
You got it.

Technically the double action strut is called the "hammer strut" by Colt, the mainspring link on the rear is called the "Hammer stirrup"
If you'd like to do it, I'd recommend buying the Jerry Kuhnhausen shop manual on the Colt's DA revolvers, volume one.
This shows everything.
I'd also recommend buying a 6 inch ceramic stone.

If you ask A1A he'll do a search for the post on what to smooth up, although I didn't go into all that much detail. The book is much better and about the best money a Colt owner can spend.
Buy it from Brownell's or Midway.
That one doesn't look good, I'd be thinking of replacing it.

The "right" modification to the bottom front of the bottom leg is to lightly round it off and polish it. I've seen tuned guns from other smiths in which they put a very slight upward bend on the very end of the spring.

Personally, I thought the slight polish and rounding was less stressful for the spring.
The bolt is powered by the tiny spring, check to see if it's in place. The screw in the bolt should be tight, but not to the point where you risk breaking it.

The bolt is activated by the rebound lever. Unless the pin at the rear that holds it in the frame is out of place, simply installing a new main spring shouldn't have affected bolt function.

Make sure the front of the rebound is properly in place under the hand. Often during disassembly the hand slips outward and the rebound slips off the ledge in the slot on the back of the hand. The rebound and thus the bolt will not operate correctly.

To check bolt function with the side plate off, put a finger on the hand to prevent it from slipping outward and out of place.
With the side plate in place just look up inside the frame as you operate the hammer.

In either case, the instant the hammer starts to move back the bolt should begin to drop.
You can view the operation of the bolt "tail" as the tiny triangle surface pushes the tail upward, which caused the front of the bolt to drop into the frame.

This should allow you see WHY the bolt isn't operating, which will likely be something out of place which is preventing the tail of the bolt to be engaged by the rebound.

When the hammer is cocked far enough, the bolt tail will slip off the rebound with a clean "click".
When the hammer is lowered again, the tail of the bolt should snap back onto the triangular surface on the rebound.
If something is out of place or "whatever", the tail of the bolt will not snap back onto the rebound, and the action will operate without operating the bolt.
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Repairs in order:

1. Send it to an expert for an expert repair.

2. Lower the rebound. This is shown and discussed on pages 102 through 106 of the Kuhnhausen manual, and the actual bending process is shown on page 164 and 165.

Pay close attention on WHICH WAY the rebound needs to be bent. It's opposite of what seems it should be bent.
If the rebound is too high and the bolt isn't resetting, you need to FLATTEN the rebound to lower it. Arching the rebound raises it.

Note that it doesn't take too much to affect bolt reset when it's close. Bend in very slight mounts to prevent having to bend it back and work hardening and possibly breaking the rebound.

What I found is that the less work you do on a bolt the better. Other than fitting the front to the cylinder notches and bending the rear tail to correct timing, it's best to not touch anything else.
One other point..... don't bend the tail while it's in the gun. Bolt screws can snap off in the frame if you bend while it's in the gun.
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Bending the bolt tail will only work if that's the reason it's not resetting.
If even with the tail bent in more the bolt can't be picked up by the rebound, then bending isn't going to fix it.

This is one reason the old Colt action can make you crazy. The major problem is diagnosing exactly what the problem or problems really are, and not "fixing" something that isn't out of order.
Best thing to do is LOOK.
Even if the bolt tail is bent away from the rebound you can see whether the bottom of the tail is above or below the ledge on the rebound.
If the tail is below the ledge no amount of bending of the bolt can correct that.

If the bolt tail is level with the ledge but too far away then and only then will bending help.
If the tail is below the ledge, "probably" the rebound needs to be lowered.
Again, these things can be difficult to diagnose.
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