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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I thought I had gotten a real find here at a gun show today in York. A nice 98% finish Lawman MK III with a 2 1/8 in. barrel.
I got the gun home and started to check it's operation only to realize the gun over carries arbitraily maybe 10% of the time. It stops just about between the charge holes. After the hammer drops, you can still rotate the cylinder to be able to have the bolt drop into the cylinder. I thought it was just one one cylinder, so I marked it with a small Avery label. Then to my discuss, another cylinder and then a third. I thought it was doing this only in double action, but again I was wrong, both double and single action.
I oiled the gun well and if anything, the problem might have gotten worse. It seems as if the bolt is acting correctly because if I open the cylinder and work the action, the bolt drops down and the pops up every single time. The hand seems to be operating ok also, but I have no idea if the spring tension is great enough on the hand.
You all know the happiness on bringing home a new gun, only to be discouraged by the weapon not working as it should.
Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be? Is there something I can try, or should I try taking it back to the seller tomorrow? I really do like this piece. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Thank you for hearing me out,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After experimenting a little further, it seems as if the hand is pushing the cylinder at a speed faster than the cylinder bolt has a chance to pop up and lock the cylinder. Could this mean that something is gunked-up? I have never ever had the side plate off of a Colt, but I have had one off of a Smith & Wesson.

As you can tell, I am not a gunsmith - I don't even play one on TV, but I could really use some advice on this matter.

Thanks,
Dennis
 

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We'll think positive . It's a 98% gun , so hopefully it's an internal "gunk" issue and not a mechanical issue . It's not uncommon to find that a revolver oiled/greased 25-30 yrs ago is now gunked up with sticky stuff . People used to use some weird stuff for lubrication .

Don't be afraid to pull the side plate . I would pull it and apply some Hoppe's 9 or other solvent with a nylon "tooth" brush . I'm not saying to disassemble unless you're comfortable doing so . Scrub it out . Flush out the crud with an aerosol cleaner (I like Hornady One Shot because it leaves a dry lube behind) . Then lube with light oil . Put the side plate back on being careful the cylinder latch hooks back up with the corresponding pin ... Work the action and see if it's functioning properly . Hope this helps .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there a secret on how to get the left side plate off? I took the grips off, the cylinder out and the screw out that is in the side plate upper left of the trigger and the screw out from underneath the grips at the rear of the side plate. I am not forcing the issue but the side plate will not come off easily. Do I have to do something to the main spring or do I have to cock the gun? Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I understand your reply about having the book. I looked for the book you are referring to, but could not find it. I do have that author's book on Smith & Wesson revolvers but not Colt. My biggest problem now is trying to get this revolver degunked and reoiled to see if the problem goes away. I've had other guns apart and worked on them such as Smith & Wesson, Glock and Sig, but never a Colt. My problem right now is to try and get this rectified BEFORE tomorrow because it will be my last chance to return it to the dealer. I purchased the revolver with his and my understanding that it was in prefect working condition.

Thanks again,
Dennis
 

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If you're not comfortable removing the side plate , don't . It's your call , but it's not too tough .

By reading your responses , I'm glad to see you didn't try and pry it off . This method will not damage it and works for any revolver with side plate .

With the screws removed , hold the revolver with the side plate facing down in the palm of your hand . Take a std size screw driver and grip it by the shaft . "Rap" the plastic handle on the face down side of the grip frame several times . The side plate will work itself out . It will pop out in your hand .
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Mitch, Everything worked out find. It is very similar to taking the side plate off of a Smith & Wesson revolver which I've done numerous times, but I didn't know if there was anything different with the Colts. I took the side plate off, took the hammer out and loosened the trigger and then sprayed gun scrubber into the mechanism. After using Q-tips to degunk it, I relubed it with gunslick, put the parts back in (almost forget to put the hand in) and then I figured out how to put the cylinder latch back in the side plate properly. It just took a little "rap" from a plastic mallet to fit the side plate back in place.

After working the action now about 100 times, it only acted up slight one time. I guess the grease just needs to be worked through.

Thank you for all your help and support,
Dennis
 

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That's great Dennis . Glad it worked out .
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, we took the Colt Lawman to the range on Sunday to give it a run through. We put a total of about 250 rounds though her. 50 38s and the rest a veriety of different .357s. The only problem at the range was that I short stroked the trigger just one time.

Now here is my problem again. After cleaning the gun, I was dry firing it both in single and double action. If I would pull the hammer slowly it would not time correctly, going past the next charge hole by about a millimeter or so, but other times it would stop just about midway between holes, although not being locked, the trigger could still be pulled and the hammer would fall.

If I would cock the hammer it would basically do the same thing but much more frequently. Like I said firing live ammo gave me no problems at all.

I watched the cylinder bolt and it seems to be engaging correctly but may not be timed correctly as it lowers into the frame when slowly pulling back the hammer. I'm thinking that maybe the hand is already advancing the cylinder just before the cylinder bolt is completely free of the cylinder, thus causing the cylinder to rapidly accelerate going past the next charge hole before the bolt has a chance to engage the cylinder. When pulling back the hammer quickly, the lock engages the cylinder with an authorative click. The bolt has no burrs and the cylinder notches seem well detailed with no signs of wear. The cylinder does not have any visable drag line.

Any ideas would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks, Dennis
 

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Here's my instructions on how to check the Post-1969 transfer-bar Colt revolvers:

These revolvers use actions that are more like a S&W than the older Colt's, and the timing is MUCH less critical.

These guns include:
The Trooper Mark III/Lawman/Metropolitan Police/Official Police Mark III.

The Trooper Mark V/Peacekeeper/King Cobra.

The Anaconda (possibly).

The SF-VI/DS-II/Magnum Carry (possibly)

BOLT RETRACTION AND DROP.
In these guns, the bolt retraction and drop is judged by TRIGGER movement.

The bolt should begin to retract within 1/6 to 1/4 of the triggers total movement and drop after about 2/3 of it's total arc.
This is NOT 1/6 to 1/4 INCHES, it's total trigger movement.

BOLT ACTION.
Open the cylinder and look at the small "lug" in the lower frame window.
This is the cylinder locking bolt.

Slowly cock the hammer and watch the bolt as it retracts.
When the bolt begins to retract, it should move smoothly in, then pop back out with a clean "SNAP".
There should be little or no mushy or hesitant movement.

BOLT DROP.
Close the cylinder and slowly cock the hammer.

Watch the TRIGGER.
The trigger should move between 1/6 and 1/4 of its arc before the bolt begins to retract.
What's critical here is that the bolt MUST be retracted enough to be completely free of the cylinder locking notch BEFORE the cylinder begins to rotate.

BOLT DROP.
Again, the standard for bolt drop is based on TRIGGER movement.
The Bolt should drop after about 2/3 of the trigger's total travel.

What's critical here is, the bolt should remain retracted away from the cylinder while the cylinder rotates past the locking notch, and then drop back onto the cylinder before the trigger gets too close to the end of it's movement.

CYLINDER LOCKING.
Before the hammer is cocked, the bolt MUST drop into the cylinder locking notch, locking the cylinder.

Unlike the older Colt actions, there's a wide range of adjustment allowed, and the bolt DOES NOT drop into the lead to the cylinder locking notch.

Since the bolt rides the cylinder for most of it's rotation, these Colt's will have finish wear almost all the way around the cylinder like S&W's do.

The design of the hand in these revolvers is also more S&W-like, in that LENGTH is NOT a factor, WIDTH is the critical dimension.

For this reason, these revolvers seldom develop "hammer's cocked, but cylinder isn't locked" problems.

Unlike the older Colt's, these guns are designed to have parts replaced, and CANNOT
be re-fitted or re-tuned. If they have a problem, new parts are installed.

Also unlike the old Colt's, parts cannot be altered or even polished much. The parts are sintered steel with a thin, glass hard coating. Any attempt to polish, heat and bend, or alter parts will break through the coating, destroying the part.

These timing instructions should be good for these later Colt's but I'm not 100% SURE they hold for the later Colt SF-VI/DS-II/Magnum Carry, or the Anaconda.

The Colt SF series guns seemed to all have a slightly different bolt action, in which the bolt dropped VERY soon after the cylinder started to rotate.

In the few versions I saw, I was concerned that any seating or wear would develop a condition where the bolt would drop right back into the locking notch, before the cylinder would rotate.
They were THAT close.

As you can see, the timing is MUCH less critical here, and you live with what ya got.
There's little tuning beyond spring kits, and no re-fitting of worn parts.

To make up for all this, you get what Master Gunsmith Jerry Kuhnhausen believed was the strongest mid-frame revolver ever built, including the Ruger's.

So, the bolt should retract before the cylinder begins to rotate.

The bolt should drop back onto the cylinder before the trigger gets too close to the end of it's movement.

The bolt should lock the cylinder before the hammer gets even close to cocked.
 

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I noticed that my SF bolts drop way before the lead in and I was going to ask about that. Glad you mentioned it. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

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DFW, thanks for the extensive writeup; tomorrow I am gunna see if I can't print that out and tuck it away...

Thanks again!


Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you dfariswheel for the in-depth reply to my problem.
This is an intermittent problem where the cylinder spins past where it should be locked. The thing is I tried what you recommended, with the cylinder open, the bolt does drop at about 25% arc of the trigger and does pop back up with a click. With the cylinder closed it also acts correctly if I pull the trigger or hammer fast enough. If I pull the trigger or hammer slowly, thats when the cylinder overtravels beyond where the bolt should catch the cylinder notch.

I have a total of 4 Colts now, a Detective Special, a Colt Cobra, a Python and now my little 2" Lawman. This is the only one that exhibits this problem. I hope to get it repaired because my girlfriend just fell in love with this little gun at the range, but I don't want it to be dangerous to shoot.

Thanks everyone again for your advice.
Dennis
 

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I have 2 of those, and the round-butt design is just perfect. Adding a T-Grip made it worse! But one of those has the front sight machined crooked, aiming off to the left. It is obvious when looking at the barrel in an even, all around light. So the barrel is rotated so much in the frame that the ejector shroud sticks out past the frame on the left side. That's to get it to shoot straight.

So do I have a chance of getting Colt's to replace the barrel on their nickel, lots of nickels actually?

Bart Noir
 
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