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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oyeboten's Autumn Project, one could say...

Circa 1920 'Army Special' with numerous small Cracks in the Forcing Cone, and, some other minor troubles too.


It just arrived to-day, and, I just now got it taken apart for some inspection, cleaning, and study.


Note how the Forcing Cone is also 'flared'..!


Revolver Shotgun


Bicycle part Automotive exhaust Auto part Rim Exhaust manifold
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to make an image showing the whole Revolver, but, it looks just like an honest-enough old Army Special, from 1920 with low ( very low ) Original Blue, no rust or pits enough to be worth mentioning, and, needing some proper Stocks.

The forward Side Plate Screw was 'buggered' and frozen in place, so, I heated it for a few moments with a nice little hot Flame from a small Oxy-Acetylene 'Tip', quenched, and, by golly, it un-screwed perfectly then, with no strain whatever...no further buggering.

Some signs of rust-sludge and debris inside, but, no parts appear to be pitted or harmed, and, I expect the internals will clean up nicely.


Anyway, was thinking to make some Jigs, and, to unscrew the Barrel...and, wondering if the 'flared' Forcing Cone end will even make it out as is, or if I will have to grind or file it down, for it to pass through the Frame...we shall see.

If anyone has any old 'dud' or 'bulged' or Cut Down Army Special Barrels in .38 Special, let me know?

I am thinking this one is yearning to be a Snubby.
 

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What I find interesting is trying to figure out HOW the forcing cone got flared out,I've never seen that before,just about the time u think you've seen almost everything something like this comes up.
 

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What I find interesting is trying to figure out HOW the forcing cone got flared out,I've never seen that before,just about the time u think you've seen almost everything something like this comes up.
You'll never know for sure but....
Really hot loads with over sized bullets?
Cylinder end shake bad enough the cylinder was impacting the barrel?

As for the crud inside, it's interesting. Sort of like being an archaeologist. You're probably the first person to see the inside in 100 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
What I find interesting is trying to figure out HOW the forcing cone got flared out,I've never seen that before,just about the time u think you've seen almost everything something like this comes up.

I am guessing someone fired quite a few Military Surplus 'Hard Ball'...or if not that, then I just have no idea.

Proper Lead Bullets would not do this, unless, maybe, with enough persistent over-charge behind them? - and, of course, Bullet diameter would be limited to what would slide into the Cylinder.

I have only seen maybe a dozen examples of cracked or missing-pieces Forcing Cones, and, most of those were in images on Gun Broker ( and most of those, the Seller did not mention it in the description! Lol...but you could see it in the images if you looked close or were on the alert somehow TO look close ).

I bought this one being fully advised by the Seller, that it had cracks in the forcing Cone, and a 'stuck' and 'Bubba'd screw'.

Now, to just think aloud here a moment - in theory ( or I have read about it being done ) one could vee and Weld the Cracks with an appropriate Alloy, carefully amend the overage of Metal from that process, and of the flare, in a Metal Lathe, and, re-install the Barrel, and, come out just fine. And or even reduce things by one Turn of the Barrel Screw, to get back a little and re-cut the interior of the Forcing Cone for it to be unaffected by the flare aspect.


Or, one could also heat and 'Dolly' the end 'in' a little, then weld the cracks, then Lathe off the extra material, re-cut the interior of the Forcing Cone, and, come out alright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You'll never know for sure but....
Really hot loads with over sized bullets?
Cylinder end shake bad enough the cylinder was impacting the barrel?

As for the crud inside, it's interesting. Sort of like being an archaeologist. You're probably the first person to see the inside in 100 years.

No contact appears to have occurred between Cylinder and Forcing Cone...no endshake to speak of, Mechanism all told seems quite good, not much wear.

Cylinder to Forcing Cone 'gap' seemed alright.

Once clean, I will re-assemble, and look critically some more to these details, and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Got the innards clean, and back together...and lubed up.

No endshake worth mentioning, no signs of 'Peening' from the Ejector Star on the Recoil Shield area.

Hand could be a little longer and be alright with me, and, the Bolt could come back up a little later, and, be alright with me...but, all in all, not too bad as-is.


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I have enjoyed your rebuilding posts. Part of me wants to purchase a 'cheap' Colt DA just for disassembly and reassembly so that I can study the action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you already have a Colt DA, you can obtain the Kuhnhausen Manual, take your time, learn the basics of proper Screwdrivers, methods, how-to, and, dis-assemble and study the mechanism on the one you already have, with no harm whatever to the Revolver.
 

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I once shortened a barrel by cutting it off at the threaded end, cut to new length & turn a new thread on it, funnel in a new forcing cone. It was a little Pocket Positive .32. Same fix could work for you, either shorten it about 1/8" for a near original length or cut it to a new snub length.

Some old Colts have a tapered barrel thread, like a pipe thread but not so severe. If yours is one of those its a tedious job getting something approximating the taper.

We seem to have the same urge trying to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" but I doubt I get very close to 'silk purse' level. Keep up the good work!!
 

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depending on how far the cracks go, it could be a candidate for a re-qualified barrel. Colt only allows one additional turn for requal but if that is not enough maybe 2 turns and lock tite red and see if it will not unscrew. What have you to loose? Its anybody's guess as to why it cracked in the first place if the gun was properly time but one area I keep a close watch is the forcing cone area building up lead since I shoot so many cast bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I once shortened a barrel by cutting it off at the threaded end, cut to new length & turn a new thread on it, funnel in a new forcing cone. It was a little Pocket Positive .32. Same fix could work for you, either shorten it about 1/8" for a near original length or cut it to a new snub length.

Some old Colts have a tapered barrel thread, like a pipe thread but not so severe. If yours is one of those its a tedious job getting something approximating the taper.

We seem to have the same urge trying to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" but I doubt I get very close to 'silk purse' level. Keep up the good work!!

Well, just to make it a reliable Sow's Ear is enough for me!

I am not into any re-finishing, though I am interested in modifying some things maybe.

And or really, I have been interested to be learning and thinking and wanting to work with some of their problems in order to have a better understanding.

I could just leave it as-is and be fine, especially with the amount of shooting I expect to do with it.

I have a nice low mileage 6 inch Throw by 36 inch Way South Bend Metal Lathe dating to 1934, which has spent near all it's life sitting idle or in Storage, where it sits presently.

Kind of a big hassle to bring it here where I could run it, and, I am expecting to Move before too long anyway. I figure once I finally do the big 'for real' Move to a setting where I can have my Workshop again, I would set the Lathe up then ( rather than setting it up in a Bedroom or Living room in this House I am in for the time being).

So...hmmmm...I might be tempted to send it out to have a turn or two taken off the Barrel and for the Forcing Cone to be re-cut and the Cylinder-Cone Gap re-regulated.

I can Snubbify then if I want ( and I kinda do want! )
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
depending on how far the cracks go, it could be a candidate for a re-qualified barrel. Colt only allows one additional turn for requal but if that is not enough maybe 2 turns and lock tite red and see if it will not unscrew. What have you to loose? Its anybody's guess as to why it cracked in the first place if the gun was properly time but one area I keep a close watch is the forcing cone area building up lead since I shoot so many cast bullets.

My suspicion is either lots of Hard Ball, or, home-loads which were using Hard Cast and also a little too spunky.

Cylinder Forcing Cone Gap is nice ( .004 or so ) so, does not appear to have stretched the Frame anyway...no peening from the Ratchet on the Recoil Shield. End Play of the Cylinder seems next to nothing.

Probably too much Hard Ball...( but, indeed, who knows? )

Timing and Lock up seemed alright prior to cleaning, so, likely those have been alright for a long time.

Cracks are fairly evenly distributed around the Cone, so, does not seem to have been eccentric force doing it.
 

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Putting a taper on the barrel shouldn't be difficult if you have a taper-attachment for your lathe.
 

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Putting in a .44 cal piece of barrel blank into a 1904 Colt New Service, I have a 1974 Logan lathe about 8 x 36" with 1 3/8" bore chucks & spindle & can do tapers but couldn't do a tapered thread. So I turned a thread that would screw in about 1/8" by hand and tapered it with a triangle file ground flat on one side. I would run the spindle backward with the file cutting below so it would cut & run off the end of the thread. By fit & try I got it tapered so it could be turned in by hand all but about 1/4". Then I put wicking Locktite on it and seated it by brute force. See gun below. Next I have to prep & polish it for a new finish.

If anyone knows, please share with me info about which & whether various old Colt have tapered barrel threads. I put a 1883 SAA barrel into a 1917 frame with no indication of distress.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I am not aware of Colt having used a Tapered Thread for the Barrel-Frame screw-together.


Seems like that would be a nightmare!

I have a few old Colt SAA and PP/PPS and New Service Barrels, I could mike to see if any of them show a taper to the Threads.

I do not have any Barrels though which would fit an Army Special ( or Official Police ).
 
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