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I have 2 Detective Specials. Both are the shrouded ejector rod variety. One shoots very high and to the left. The other shoots high but on center. Does anyone know of any way to correct these problems? Is this a trait of the Detective Special? I am shooting standard fmj 130 gr. factory loads at 25 feet from a sand bag rest. 158 grain round nose lead ammo dosen't change the point of impact much.
 

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Depending on how you rest your handgun on the sandbags can affect the point of impact. Try resting your wrists on the bags.

More important, where does it hit firing in a Weaver or Isosceles standing position?
 

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Point of impact is the same. About 8 or 9 inches high at 25 feet on one and about 10 inches high and 4 inches to the left on the other. I do not have this problem with any other pistol that I own so I don't think I am causing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Standard wood factory grips.Have you heard of any other people that have had a similar problem?
 

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There have been some previous topics about instances, but they are hard to find because the search function doesn't work as well aws it should or like most boards. You just have to remember that there was something and find it /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Since I seem to still be able to do that /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif here is one and I will try to find a couple more.
http://www.coltforum.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=11995&an=0&page=21#11995
One: http://www.coltforum.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=11694&an=0&page=23#11694
 

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Just as a thought, have you had other folks try shooting the gun and does it have the same problems?

Also, have you tried more then just 130 grn and 158 grn rounds? Different manufactures etc?

Finally, any indication that the barrel is not perfection at 12 oclock position up and down?

I am no smith, just a curious bystander.
 

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It's beem my experience over an extended period of time that this is often typical of fixed sight guns, and that there ain't no easy fix--other than buying a gun with adjustible sights.

The best half-derriered solution I've found is to paint an off-center colored stripe on the front sight to compensate for the windage problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Same problems exist when others shoot the guns. I will try contacting Colt. Thanks for all of your ideas.
 

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The left or right point of impact can be corrected by wacking the barrel on the appropriate side until there is sufficient movement to make that small shift in point of impact. While that will sound silly to some and unacceptable to others, I understand that is how Fitz would correct such problems at matches where he was the Colt man on site to handle problems with Colts. Obviously, the amount of barrel movement will have to remain small with this method, or the cylinder gap will become too uneven, but the amount of movement required will be very small. You also could try bending the front sight to one side or the other too, or turning the barrel slightly in the required direction. Again, it will not take much.

The high or low impact can be adjusted with bullet weight and velocity, which varies barrel time. The shorter or longer barrel time determines how far the barrel has risen before the bullet exits, which in turn affects the point of impact. A rest will also change the barrel rise compared to off-hand shooting. Faster barrel time is why light, fast bullets usually shoot lower compared to heavier, slower bullets. The other way to adjust vertical placement is to alter the height of the front sight or the depth of the rear sight notch, neither of which is probably acceptable.
 

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For whatever reason, Colt seemed to have problems in post-1960's Detective Specials with getting the barrel indexed properly.

MOST of them with a problem shot high and left, and this was due to the barrel being off to the right.
In other words, the barrel wasn't screwed in quite far enough, and that tiny amount off is all it takes.

The factory fix, is to re-index the barrel properly to 12:00 top-dead-center.

Often, this also corrects the shooting high.

If it doesn't, the factory fix is to use a special hydraulic tool that squeezes the sides of the front sight.
This actually stretches the sight slightly higher.

This correction works well, but does leave a slight impressed groove on both sides of the sight.
 

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Pardon, but I just registered and read this thread. A couple of basic questions, please. Caliber? I assume .38 Special from your cartridge description. Barrel length? I assume 2" snubby.
My DS is as above. I solved my shooting high problem by simply concentrating on sight picture. I was not getting the bull, blade and notch just right. Short barrel makes teeny variances big downrange. Assume you are doing this but had to ask... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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My 1982 DS was shooting "high and left" in comparison to two other Colt's (Cobra's), two J-Frame Smiths (49 & 638), and even my real old Charter Arms Undercover.

I got them all out just to compare because I couldn't believe my new (to me) beautiful nickel DS was that inaccurate.

It was.

Now, after a trip back to Colt it shoots poa and I'm well pleased with it. POA for me is kinda a weak reference because I don't shoot at 25yards with a snubby, more like 5 yards. Consequently for me the DS still prints a bit high at that close distance but I feel it would be right on further out.

My concerns for my concealed carry snubby is that when I pull it out, point and shoot it at a very close range the bullet will wind up someplace relative to where the end of the barrel was pointing when I pulled the trigger.

Before the DS was sent back for a tuneup when I pointed at center mass I was getting constant patterns high and left.

Now I'm happy, before I wasn't.

Gotta love the old DS and Cobra's.

Best Wishes,
JP
 
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