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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this OM a few weeks ago, the top one in this photo (I wanted a non modified gun and really liked the wonderful grips on it). It's in great shape but the cylinder, when swung open and spun by the hand, has significant resistance. Like a few other pre war guns I've bought, I found some parts were lubricated internally with grease. I'm not sure if that is to blame here but it could be.

The thing I am considering is using a strong solvent and allowing it to travel down the ejector rod and hopefully remove whatever might be binding it up, then re-oiling it.

I don't think it's bent or has any mechanical issues but certainly could be wrong.

Thanks in advance.

 

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What you're describing is not uncommon...lubricants inside the ejector rod channel are often congealed from age. What I do is remove the crane/cylinder assembly and that makes it much easier to clean and lube it. Use a proper screwdriver made for the purpose or you can all too easily bugger the screw slot. If you don't have the proper driver just do it the way you described. Don't expect them to spin really freely after cleaning and lubrication...there will still be some resistance.

BTW...those aren't original stocks on those revolvers...or at least I've not seen them before.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK so it sounds like I'm on the right track. You're probably right about removing the crane and cylinder making it easier. I do have the recommended Brownells bits but even then I sweat when I remove the screws

Yes the stocks are not original so I should have been more specific. What I meant was the gun itself minus the stocks was unmodified. The OM on the bottom has a modified hammer.

What I find interesting in somewhere in the 30s, between the top gun and the bottom, Colt made the front sight a little bit longer front to back. There's a lot of little details that changed over the years.
 

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I like to use Eezox. Remove the stocks. Spray it liberally into the small openings on both sides of where the trigger enters the frame, into the frame through the opening in the back of the gun, hammer in the cocked position, up inside the revolver where the main spring enters the "guts" under the sideplate, throughout all moving parts, and coat the entire gun, inside and outside with the Eezoz, then wipe it clean. If you have compressed air, spray into the inside of the revolver.

I have freed up many "jammed" revolvers this way, their insides gummed up with old, coagulated lubes and greases.

Eexox has a potent solvent, a rust preventative and lubricant, all in one. Do not inhale the toxic fumes.
 

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The older Colt's cylinders don't free wheel like S&W or the later Colt's made after 1969.
Due to the cylinder and ejector design the cylinders will always have some resistance and typically won't rotate much more then 2 or so revolutions.

I'd recommend starting by putting a couple of drops of CLP Breakfree or Kroil into the front of the cylinder where the crane shaft enters.
Rotate the cylinder a few times and give it a few hours to penetrate.
If it's still resistant, then removing the assembly and cleaning it may be needed.

There are several ways to do this without disassembling the cylinder and crane.

DO NOT attempt to disassemble the cylinder and crane assembly.
This is always risky and requires some special tools.

One method is to push the ejector rod to raise the ejector then wiping the ejector rod front and back with a patch with solvent or CLP.
Pull the crane forward and wipe the shaft with CLP. "Pump" it in and out while wiping.

Another method is to drop the entire assembly into a container full of cheap paint thinner and operate the ejector and pump the crane in and out to get the solvent inside.
Allow to soak however long you want, then drain the thinner out of the assembly, shake or blow with compressed air, then use a hair dryer to warm the assembly to fully dry.
(NOTE: Hair dryer, not torch or heat gun).
After the assembly is FULLY dry, inject a good lubricant of your choice. Good lubes like CLP Breakfree will penetrate and "creep" into all areas given some time.

An ultrasonic cleaner will do an even faster. better job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
CLP didn't seem to do anything after a few hours but I'll check it again today.

I have an ultrasonic. If it's still stiff I'm going to use hot water with simple green and give it a shot this weekend.
 

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Problem with using water is that will not evaporate when trapped in the cylinder. Follow dfariswheel's instructions and soak in solvent. Mineral spirits, paint thinner, turpentine paint thinner are all safe to use. If you use water, you will have to disassemble the cylinder to get the water out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
After removing the crane I found that cleaning the thick part of the crane 'sleeve', not sure what it is called, fixed the resistance. I think the CLP liquefied the grease over the last few days so a cloth is all that was needed.

This is a 1932 gun. I've had 3 OMs from the 30s and all have had some degree of grease. This one had the most. You can see the grease built up in this picture.

Also I found the V spring has a piece of steel at the bottom of the V. Not sure what it's doing but the action feels nice with it and no light strikes or anything so it stays for now. The grips are relieved so that they fit inside the grip itself. I have a few odd maker stocks but nothing cut like this.



 

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I think someone placed that there in an effort to reduce the "stacking" feel inherent in the V-spring design. It's possible it might over stress the spring and cause it to break.
 

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What I do with a "gummy" cylinder is to place a quarter-inch or larger spacer between the front face of the cylinder and crane, and between the extractor and back face of the cylinder. I then put the cylinder assembly in solvent for a day or two. With the crane pulled away from the front of the cylinder and the extractor pulled away from the back of the cylinder, solvent can penetrate easily and dissolve the gum. I then use compressed air to blow out the center of the cylinder from each end. When done, all gum will be gone. Lubricate with non-gumming lubricant and the cylinder will be as free as possible, considering the Colt "clamping" design.
 
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