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I have a few questions for the group. I took my 1969 Detective Special shooting the other day and the front face of the cylinder leaded up fairly bad. It looked like I had plated it in lead. I finally got my feeler gauges out and the face of the forcing cone is not cut parallel to the face of the cylinder. The top has around a .007 gap and the bottom near the cylinder pin is .019. I’m thinking I found the problem.

What is the standard gap dimension?

What are my options for correcting this? Have the barrel turned and re-cut? Any other options?

Needless to say I’m a little disappointed. Any suggestions on a gunsmith would be appreciated as well.

Thanks,
 

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The Searcher
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The barrel/cylinder gap spec is .003" - .008". It is, of course, tied to headspace and cylinder end play specs. The end play spec is .003" max. The headspace spec is .060" - .065". The face of the forcing cone obviously should be square with the bore and cylinder face. It sounds like it was filed by hand at some time. Yes, it would most likely be best remedied by requalifying the barrel. Colt would be the best suggestion for that because they could set the end play if necessary by stretching the cylinder collar as part of the barrel fitting. :(
 

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The barrel/cylinder gap spec is .003" - .008". It is, of course, tied to headspace and cylinder end play specs. The end play spec is .003" max. The headspace spec is .060" - .065". The face of the forcing cone obviously should be square with the bore and cylinder face. It sounds like it was filed by hand at some time. Yes, it would most likely be best remedied by requalifying the barrel. Colt would be the best suggestion for that because they could set the end play if necessary by stretching the cylinder collar as part of the barrel fitting. :(
Not to get off topic, but I've seen endplay commonly listed at .003" as a maximum. However my experience is that they are typically around .003-.005; I've yet to see one come in under .003 (this is between several Pythons, original Troopers, and a Detective Special). None of the guns exhibited excessive wear or had any flame cutting. The Trooper and one of the Pythons were in exceptional condition consistent with not being fired much. I realize that it's best to strive for as little endplay as possible but my real world experience with a handful of guns says that they are not that tight.

Thoughts? Maybe I'm measuring wrong or pushing the cylinder forward/backward too hard?
 

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Colt factory specs are that end shake over 0.003" is out of spec and needs repair.
I only remember a handful of Colt's that were that or over from the factory, and those were in the big strike years when quality was troublesome.
The vast majority of Colt's I dealt with that were factory new, were almost always nearly unmeasurable the end shake was so tight.

Used guns are a crap shoot and depend on how much they were shot, what they were shot with, and how well they were taken care of.
Of the used Colt's I saw end shake varied so wildly you really can't make any definite statements. I saw Colt's that looked like they'd been used to death that had tight end shake and guns that looked like new had had excessive end shake.

I've got a lot of rounds through the two stainless Pythons I kept, and both are still at close to unmeasurable end shake.
 

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Thanks for the comment. It just seems to me that excessive endshake could only results from heavy use with hot ammo; which would also knock timing out of whack and I'd expect to see some flame cutting. I think that based on the condition of the revolvers I've seen that they almost had to ship from Colt with the endshake I measured rather than developed it over time. Unless, of course, they're much more fragile than I'm assuming?
 
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