The M1877's early double-action mechanism proved to be both intricate and delicate, and thus prone to breakage. The design had a reputation for failure and earned a nickname as "the gunsmith's favorite". Because of the intricate design and difficulty of repair, gunsmiths to this day dislike working on them. Gun Digest referred to it as "the worst double-action trigger mechanism ever made". Typically, the hammer spring would fail and this would reduce the revolver to single-action fire only.
Colt seems to have gotten off on the wrong foot with double action revolver designs right from the get-go.
The early models were highly complex designs with tiny working surfaces. Virtually every part was had fitted at the factory.
Due to the design and small working surfaces the guns actions were fragile and broke or got out of order easily.
Repair was not easy, and these and later Colt DA revolvers were always considered to be "A watchmakers gun".
Colt continued with "Rube Goldberg" DA designs through the New Army & Navy models, and the later Colt's like the Army Special/Official Police, Detective Special, right up to the Python were only slightly better.
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