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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I Guess I need to buy one of those old Hanging in-line 'Fish Scales' to test DA ( or even some SA ) Trigger Pulls.


What is considered normal DA Pull Through in Pounds, for a Police Positive Special?

For an Army Special?

For a New Service?

And, or did the various series Colt DAs differ much in their Pull-Through in DA Pounds rating?

Did Colt ever offer extra Heavy Springs?

I just tried a circa 1913 Police Positive Special, and it is at least as heavy in DA as any New Service I ever tried. Mechanism is clean, well lubed, smooth feel...but, wow, it's a surprisingly 'heavy' one in DA!

Maybe I am just used to 'tired' Springs? ( LOl...)
 

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There were specifications for Colt revolver trigger pulls, but I don't think anyone has the specs for the New Service.
Since the Army Special became the Official Police, I'd assume the spec was the same.
As far as I know Colt never offered heavier mainsprings. These can be made heavier by bending the spring.

Here's the spec for the Police Positive Special, which became a "D" frame gun after WWII. Again, I assume these specs were the same before the war.

"D" frame Single action, all calibers.
Min 3.0 Pounds, Max 5.0 Pounds.

"D" frame double Action:
Max 14 Pounds.

"E" frame single action: (This would include the Army Special)
Single action, all calibers
Min 3.0 Pounds, Max 4.5 Pounds.

"E" frame double action:
Max 14 Pounds.

Note: "I" frame guns like the Python were different.
 

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I think that the early Colt DA revolvers may have had heavier springs than the later models. I base this on a couple of parts kits which I bought over the years, of old Police Positive Specials and I have found a couple of mainsprings that have a small tab on the base of the spring, similar to the one that shows up on old Colt New Service mainsprings. These springs are somewhat more muscular than the springs I am used to seeing in the D frame revolver. I recently purchased an “Official Police” mainspring that has such a tab (although it could be a New Service spring that is mismarked) and it is definitely heavier that run of the mill (1950s era) Official Police mainsprings. I’m really not a collector, so I really can’t say when the springs may (if ever) have changed.

I also think that the thickness of the spring stock that Colt used, at least on the D frame guns over the years, may have varied. This of course would affect the strength of the spring. I have a D frame spring of what appears to be contemporary (1980s) manufacture, which is a bit thicker and gives a heavier trigger pull (although within the specifications Mr. dfariswheel kindly posted) than other D frame mainsprings I have encountered. I buy Colt DA mainsprings whenever I encounter them, as they are getting a bit hard to find anymore.

When I first started working on my DA revolvers, I tried to measure the DA trigger pulls using a spring, fishing type scale that RCBS sold years ago but it did not measure the pulls reliably. I ended up making a weight type measure from an old coffee can and lead ingots. I would like to get a Lyman electronic trigger pull measure but it’s a bit pricey. If you wish I can post some pictures of my coffee can rig.
 

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The old tabbed springs were actually forged springs.
The post war springs were bent flat stock springs.

The forged springs were thicker, but they seemed to be more limber and were the same power as the later bent springs.
 

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When I first started working on my DA revolvers, I tried to measure the DA trigger pulls using a spring, fishing type scale that RCBS sold years ago but it did not measure the pulls reliably. I ended up making a weight type measure from an old coffee can and lead ingots. I would like to get a Lyman electronic trigger pull measure but it’s a bit pricey. If you wish I can post some pictures of my coffee can rig.
I have a Lyman, but it met it's match when I tried to measure the DA pull on my 74 Python........the Lyman will not measure more than a 12lb pull. But my Python's single action was only 2lbs 13oz :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The old tabbed springs were actually forged springs.
The post war springs were bent flat stock springs.

The forged springs were thicker, but they seemed to be more limber and were the same power as the later bent springs.
I had noticed - the old Springs were wonderfully made, a proper forging, machined on the 'claw' end...lovely.

Later Springs, are just a bent piece of tempered Steel Fettuccine Noodle, with the 'claw' end, merely being a bent minimally into shape detail also...totally depressing from any classical engineering Romance sort of view.
 

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My '75 Python SA pull is 2lbs., 12 ozs., the mid '90's I had was 4.5 lbs., it was a 6" matte stainless. I sold it a couple years ago, but wish I hadn't. Prices then weren't crazy like they are, now. My rule of thumb now, are don't ever sell a Python!
 

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What were the specs for the Python's?
The Colt "I" frame specs as used on the later original Trooper, the 3-5-7, and the Python were:

Single Action:
Min..2.5 pounds, Max.. 4.5 pounds.

Double Action:
Max...12 Pounds.
Note that both DA and SA trigger weights were lower on the "I" frame guns than the "E" frame guns. This is somewhat contrary given the harder .357 Magnum primers.
 

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The Colt "I" frame specs as used on the later original Trooper, the 3-5-7, and the Python were:

Single Action:
Min..2.5 pounds, Max.. 4.5 pounds.

Double Action:
Max...12 Pounds.
Note that both DA and SA trigger weights were lower on the "I" frame guns than the "E" frame guns. This is somewhat contrary given the harder .357 Magnum primers.
Thanks defariswheel for providing that info.
Looks like my 74 Python is within spec.
 

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Interesting. I have a teens PPS in the box which looks barely fired and it is definitely a much harder pull in DA. Insides are perfectly clean and lubed.
 

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I have a Model 1895 DA .38 and I have to put both index fingers in the trigger guard to pull that trigger more than 3-4 times!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How interesting!

Maybe the era of the so called 'Hard Primers' tended to have stronger Hammer Springs than more recent times have.
 

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I have a New Service in .45 Colt, and a 1917 in .45 ACP, and they are both heavy. I don't know exact weights, but I would guess 10-14 in DA and 3-4 in SA. Could they be lightened with a spring kit from Wolf or someone and still be reliable (I'm not sure Wolf even makes springs for them but maybe)?
 

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From what I remember data shown in old gun catalogs, double action pull was shown to be twelve pounds, and single action pull two to three pounds. This was the same for both Colt and Smith & Wesson guns. I don't know the source, or if those were just advertised figures.

Bob Wright
 
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