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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to detail strip,service, and lubricate an early 1970's Python with a 6" barrel. It has not been taken care of for years. The trigger DA and SA is still smooth and barrel is bright and clean. The blueing has some patches of rust and pitting but it isn't really too bad regarding the finish. Timing is perfect as well as lockup. I've not shot it and I'm sure it has not been shot over over 20 years or maybe more. I wanted to work on this revolver myself. I've done some gunsmith work on my S&W revolvers and done some trigger work on my Model 686 Plus and Model 638. I did order the Colt Shop Manual Vol 1 and was going to use the book for reference. I do have the tools to work on the gun especially the correct size screwdriver bits.

I was wondering if there is any common issues or general service maintenance situations I should look out for when detail stripping, cleaning, and lubricating this revolver. I've watch one YouTube video and it looks like a general guide on how to detail strip and reassemble the gun but I wanted to ask around here before jumping in and working on this classic handgun. Aloha and mahalo in advance.
 

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I am planning to detail strip,service, and lubricate an early 1970's Python with a 6" barrel. It has not been taken care of for years. The trigger DA and SA is still smooth and barrel is bright and clean. The blueing has some patches of rust and pitting but it isn't really too bad regarding the finish. Timing is perfect as well as lockup. I've not shot it and I'm sure it has not been shot over over 20 years or maybe more. I wanted to work on this revolver myself. I've done some gunsmith work on my S&W revolvers and done some trigger work on my Model 686 Plus and Model 638. I did order the Colt Shop Manual Vol 1 and was going to use the book for reference. I do have the tools to work on the gun especially the correct size screwdriver bits.

I was wondering if there is any common issues or general service maintenance situations I should look out for when detail stripping, cleaning, and lubricating this revolver. I've watch one YouTube video and it looks like a general guide on how to detail strip and reassemble the gun but I wanted to ask around here before jumping in and working on this classic handgun. Aloha and mahalo in advance.
I'm sure you know that when you've taken the side plate screws out that you need to lightly tap on the gun butt to loosen the side plate (page 29 of the manual). I've seen so many of the You Tube "Experts" use a screw driver to pry on the side plate - instant damage - usually when I see one of these, I'm done with this "expert." When you take the side plate off, make sure you have control of the cylinder release because there is a spring and pin which tend to fly out.

Just some thoughts and enjoy.

Al Marin
 

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The Shop Manual has pretty much everything you need to know.

When removing the mainspring, make sure to pad the jaws of your needle nose pliers to prevent scratches on the spring that could cause it to break later.
There is a technique of removing the spring without tools by slipping the rear of the spring out of it's seat in the frame and allowing it to swing downward, then lifting the bottom "leg" out and removing the spring.

You may need a special ejector spring bushing removal tool to disassemble the cylinder assembly, depending on whether you have an old style ejector assembly or the new style. Read the Shop Manual for this.
If you have to unscrew the ejector to disassemble the cylinder assembly, I just wouldn't do it.
There's a real risk of it not going back together correctly when you try to screw the ejector back on the ejector rod.
The ejector is staked in place and that distorts the first couple of threads on the rod and that can cause the ejector to cross thread even if you extremely careful.

Buy the tool from Brownell's:

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-...ne-tools/colt-crane-bushing-tool-prod712.aspx

Best option with the old style assembly is to clean it as one piece.
To do so, push the crane forward out of the cylinder and wipe the shaft with a fast drying solvent like lacquer thinner or Acetone.
Push the ejector rod and wipe the underside of the ejector, the ejector rod shaft, and the ejector seat in the rear of the cylinder.
Then apply a good lubricant like CLP Breakfree by adding small drops to the rod and the crane shaft and operating the ejector to distribute the lube.

You can ID which ejector system you have by attempting to unscrew the knurled ejector rod head. If it unscrews you have the old style. If the whole rod unscrews you have the new style, which is far easier to work with.
Before doing this insert three EMPTY cases in the cylinder chambers to support the ejector rod shaft.

After cleaning everything, apply the lube of your choice.
To prevent internal rust I put a few drops of CLP on a clean, soft toothbrush and "scrub" all surfaces inside the frame and all parts.
This will leave a very thin coat of CLP that will prevent rust. Then use whatever lubricant you want to actually lube.

I recommend a little good grease on the hammer single action notch, and both sides of the double action strut.
Add a little grease to both upper and lower sides and face of the trigger's sear area.
Add a bit to the top of the rebound lever where the mainspring sits.
Add a bit to the front and left side of the hand.
The grease will give a smoother trigger action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Mahalo for the info. I really appreciate it. Despite the rust patches and pitting on the exterior finish, the barrel, cylinder, and inside of the frame are in good condition. I know I need to dive in deeper into the internals of the gun to check what is going on. I am hoping it is still in good shape with no rusting internally.

Would it be advisable to tear down the gun to the bear frame and barrel? I'll leave the barrel screwed on the frame that is. But regarding all parts that is mounted on the frame should I strip off all the parts completely to inspect and clean the parts? I do have an ultrasonic cleaner and Hoppes MP-7 Pro gun cleaner that I was thinking of using on the internal parts.

One more thing. I am thinking of having the gun refinished. I've heard of a couple good refinishers that are able to justice to a Colt Python. No plans for selling the gun but to restore it and maintain it.

Sent from my HTC6545LVW using Tapatalk
 

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If you have the Kuhnhausen Shop Manual and the correct Magna-Tip screwdriver bits there's no reason why you can't do a total strip and close inspection.
Since the gun probably hasn't been serviced in many years, if ever, it might be smart to do so, just as long as you feel comfortable doing it.

The ultrasonic cleaner can be used for parts you really don't want to disassemble, especially the rear sight which can be a real bear to reassemble without loosing the extremely tiny spring and balls in the elevation screw.
If you do use the cleaner on the sight, you need to use some method of preventing the cross pin that passes through the sight leaf and retains the elevation screw from coming out.
It tends to come out very easily and that allows the elevation screw and the spring and balls to fall out.
Even if you don't use the cleaner on the sight, as soon as you remove it from the frame immediately wrap some tape around the sight leaf to hold the cross pin in place.

Be careful who you trust to do a Python refinish. Way too many will botch the job even though they may have good local reputations.
We can recommend some known expert refinisher services who can do a Python Royal Blue job correctly.
 

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The ultrasonic cleaner can be used for parts you really don't want to disassemble, especially the rear sight which can be a real bear to reassemble without loosing the extremely tiny spring and balls in the elevation screw.
If you do use the cleaner on the sight, you need to use some method of preventing the cross pin that passes through the sight leaf and retains the elevation screw from coming out.
It tends to come out very easily and that allows the elevation screw and the spring and balls to fall out.
Even if you don't use the cleaner on the sight, as soon as you remove it from the frame immediately wrap some tape around the sight leaf to hold the cross pin in place.
Ultrasonic cleaners are great, but they can strip paint in a heartbeat so I would not use it on a white outline sight. Same thing with white dot sights, red safety markings etc, they can easily come loose and disappear. Don't ask me how I know. :rolleyes:

My favorite method for cleaning the rear sight is to wet it good with gun cleaner (Hoppes, M-Pro 7 etc) and use an acid brush with the bristles cut short to scrub it clean. Once the dirt is loose, blow it off with compressed air, rinse with some more cleaner and blow it dry. Just don't blow that little pin out, if the elevation screw falls out you'll be very sad. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for all the great information.

dfariswheel:
Could you please recommend to me a Colt Python revolver refinisher that I could send the gun to? I really would appreciate it. Aloha!

Sent from my HTC6545LVW using Tapatalk
 

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Based on what I currently know from posts here, here's some refinishers who can do a Python Royal Blue refinish and do it without botching up the gun by over-buffing or using improper equipment.
Note that I have NOT seen any of these sources recent work and these recommendations are base on past work I did see.

First option is to contact Colt and ask who they'd recommend for a factory level Python Royal Blue refinish. If Colt would give a recommendation that's who I'd use.

Glenrock Blue
Glenrock is a well known shop who offers trade shop high end work for custom gunsmiths.

https://www.customshopinc.com/
The Custom Shop IS NOT affiliated with Colt Firearms and there have been some questions about them. Some members report excellent work and the pictures on their site look good.
However, I've never seen any of their work so I can't give a recommendation one way or another.

https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/
Doug Turnbull is THE top firearms restoration service and can make an old gun look like the day it left the factory.
Full restoration is shockingly expensive, but rebluing its not so bad. However, last I heard they were no longer doing Python Royal Blue work. You might contact them and ask.

https://www.ronsgunshop.com/
Ron's is a well known firearms restoration service who offers most of the old type gun finishes including modern hot salts as used on the Python.

https://www.fordsguns.com/
Ford's USED to be famous for a wet-look Python Royal Blue finish that was top of the line...... HOWEVER, in the last year or so some forum members sent in Pythons for work and got back guns totally ruined.
Apparently they hired a new man who was a gun butcher.
I've not heard anything about them since then so I don't know if this was a temporary anomaly or that was going to be their standard from now on.
Hopefully someone with more recent experience will post, but right now I DON'T recommend using Ford's.
 
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