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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the site , just picked up a colt trooper from a long time customer . I have been waiting on a deal on a colt 357 mag revolver , it was made in 1977. He made me pay the same as he did when he bought it new , just a little over 200$ . I know this is going to be something I hand down to my son .

The only problem I have ran into is the latch to release the cylinder sticks . Nickle is in great shape but needs a good buffing . I love to work on my own stuff , and used to do the with my grandpa before he passed . So I got 2 options , can you give me any tips on what to do ? And has anyone ever sent a colt revolver in for maintenance and a good buffing , if so . How much did you spend ?

Here's a couple pics of the beauty , thank you for any help . And yes that plate with latch is a pain to get back on . :cool:


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My advice for the nickel would be to gently polish with some Flitz or similarly gentle abrasive paste.
Take your time and you may not need to send it anywhere.

Oh, and you know you stole that thing. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Funny thing was I had a grin from the get go , and was a honor to even get it . Glad I found this site , I hope to fix everything myself . But curious about if anyone has ever used their services .

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Colt will do a full service and check of your Trooper III.
I don't know if they've caught up on the big back log of work, but they will soon be taking work.
Read the info on their web site on sending guns in for work.

However, you DO NOT "Buff" the finish.
Nickel is just a plating and you can easily buff or polish right through it.

Attempting to polish out scratches and wear spots often does serious damage and can just polish the nickel right off, exposing the steel under it.
You can GENTLY (note GENTLY) do a little light polishing with a mild abrasive like Flitz and a soft cloth to brighten and blend light scratches.
Heavy buffing or even heavy rubbing with a mild polish can destroy the finish in short order. Polishing of bright nickel is something you do very carefully and you only do it when you absolutely have no choice.
In other words polishing of nickel is something you don't do as normal maintenance or just because you see a tiny scratch.

Ask Colt about what they can do short of a total factory refinish. If they say they can't do anything short of a total re-finish, you'd be well advised to listen.
If you want to do a little like cleanup of the finish, use a mild polish like Flitz and a microfiber cloth.
Rub VERY GENTLY and don't rub much. The black stuff you see on the cloth is polish mixed with a thin layer of the nickel, so you will have removed a thin layer of the finish.
Do this too hard or too often and you'll destroy the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanx dfariswheel , I looked over the web and saw they won't do anymore buffing till this fall , so that's why I kept saying buff out the finish . I thought when I took it apart and cleaned the guts , it would free up the latch for the cylinder . No metal looks damaged , it was just real dirty . But it still is sticking , sorry don't mean to be ocd about my revolver . But I think I have ocd with all my rifles and bows :eek: . Maybe I should have greased the area where the latch rides . Spring looks good . Here is some of the product I used


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Does the latch stick with the cylinder open?

Is the small white nylon wear bushing in the side plate hole?

Is the "zee" spring correct and in position?

Is the roll pin in the latch pin and is it bent or deformed?

Does the latch pin move freely with the side plate off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All parts you asked about look perfect , the latch slides back . It gets stuck in the back position , I don't feel any grinding when I move it back and forth , that's a good thing . Do you think grease or froglube would make that much difference ? Thank you for the help so far dfariswheel , and to all that have commented .

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No need to send your revolver to Colt. (I do not think Colt would just "buff" the revolver anyway.) Polish the nickel with Flitz or a similar polishing medium. Lubricate the cylinder latch and related components and live with it if it still sticks. However, before giving up on the latch, try to determine if the nylon button is too high so as to cause binding. If so, trim it down a bit. Also check for burrs on the latch and in the channel in which it rides. If so, smooth them up.
 

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I've had some stick. Clean the grooves on the sideplate and latch well with a sharp pointed Exacto razor knife and put a very little synthetic grease on a toothpick and put it in the grooves. Alsso as mentioned by chasorob, check that the nylon insert is in the latch. Sometimes these inserts are too long and causes the latch to bind. If it is, carefully trim it with a shard Exacto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Me and my son want to thank all of you that helped us with this colt trooper . After staying up way to late and pissing the wife or mom off we got it !! The groves on the back of the plate had a small amount of 36 year old funk crusted in . And the nylon post was a hair to long , I only lightly filed on the third attempt . And it is working like a champ ! That was a big victory for me and my boy , and high fived like we won the super bowl .

Flitz is on the way to give it some more shine , like my son said last night " It will shoot better now , and it deserves a great shine " . What a fun project , and we got a lot of great info and tips and trouble shooting from all you guys . Thank you guys for taking the new guy in , hopefully I can help someone out in the future .

One more question . Is there a easier way to get plate and latch back on ? A trick to it ?

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There's no real trick.

What you have to do is try to keep the hand and the transfer bar in position and on their pins as you install the plate. The slightest jar and they jump off the pins.
Pull the latch back so it will fit over the roll pin on the cylinder latch pin and make sure the latch pin doesn't move backward and turn so the latch won't fit over it.
Tilt the plate slightly and insert the top of the side plate first and press down on the bottom until the plate seats.
Press the plate down gently while you cock the hammer and insure everything is working, pull the latch back to insure the latch pin is moving and nothing is binding.

The plate will not fully seat until you install and tighten the plate screws. Don't tighten the screws tightly until you again test everything, then tighten fully.
 

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I agree with dfariswheel............there is really no trick to putting the latch and sideplate back on.

I do exactly as dfariswheel says.

The sidelate and latch can be tricky on those MkIII's IMHO.
 

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Got my Flitz in today and wow ! But after research maybe I should have bought the wax also ??

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Most users say the best possible gun wax is Renaissance Museum Hard Carnuba wax.
It's expensive, but a little goes a long way.
It was developed by museums to protect metal arms and armor.

You can buy it from sources like Brownell's.
 
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