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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, this is starting to get irritating. I love my little diamondback, I have shot it over 45,000 times by my best estimates. I have had the gun for 25 odd years and it has been my family shooter for years prior to me branching out.

My Diamondback broke the Bolt screw off today. This is the 3rd time it has had to be repaired in about 5 years. The first time it was spring for the bolt, which was replaced by a local smith. The second time it was back to colt for a retiming, where they retimed it, replaced the hand and the latch bushing and rebound lever.

Today, I was just changing out the grips for another set and I dry fired the gun a few times to make sure it was in good shape and on the 3rd cock, I heard a little "tink" and then the action froze up. I knew this was bad, so I gently worked on it until I could get the action open.

Once I had it open, I carefully took off the side plate (yep, the hammer handle on the frame trick works perfectly!) and I find the bolt head floating around in the action. This is the first time I have ever taken a revolver apart, so I have to say I was dang nervous. It is pretty darn complex in there. So anyway, I fished the screw head out carefully and put the gun back together.

My bet is the local smith I used to fix the bolt spring over torqued the bolt screw and eventually it snapped off. Unfortunately the threads are still in the frame. This means someone is going to have a challenge getting the screw threads back out of the frame before they put a new screw back in.

So, I guess it is another trip up to Colt to get them to fix this one. Since Colt last saw this one, I only shot about 2000 rnds of mild reloads. I am certainly going to get this fixed because this was my first centerfire handgun and it has great sentimental value to me. BUT, do I park it and never shoot it when it comes back or can I shoot it and just rack it up to age.

Also since I am going to send it back to Colt (I assume that is the best spot) is there anything else I should have them look at? I just had it re-timed on 6/11/02 so I assume it is all in good shape.

Thanks for your advise and comments.

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It sounds like you are not too torqued about this since you have only had three minor problems in 45,000 rounds. That ain't too bad, it's not like you have a shot out barrel, cracked frame or defective cylinder or some other major problem like some other brands. Besides one of the last problems could have been caused by an over fisty gunsmith so you aren't doing too bad.
How many times do you have to change the oil in your car or have minor problems, not major like a cracked block or thrown piston in 100,000 miles, you would consider your car a pretty good buy.
I'm glad to hear that the Diamondbacks hold up that well, I only have one that I shoot and the others stay in the safe so they will never break and so far so well, of course I ahven't put any where near 45,000 rounds through it yet.

Good luck and I am sure you will continue to shoot your DB for many more years.
I would tell Colt the history and have them give it a thorough going over.

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Dick

There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
That word is Liberty.
 

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One of the hard learned lessons about the old Colt action is to not let just anyone work on them.
With 45,000 rounds down the tube in 25 years I would say you are getting very good service for just a few minor problems. Like was suggested above, let Colt know the history of the revolver and ask for a complete checkup. It should then be ready for many, many more years of service.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice guys.

I guess I am not so upset as disappointed. Here it is, 20 years with no problems, then now the 3rd trip in for repairs in 5 years. It seems like a lot to me considering how little I have shot it in the last couple of years.

I guess my approach will be to write a letter to Colt, include the prior work orders and numbers and ask for a complete workover and spring replacement.

I just don't like my little baby leaving the safe again.

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Peter M. Eick:


I just don't like my little baby leaving the safe again.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now that I can empathize with.

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Dick

There is a word sweeter than mother, home or heaven--
That word is Liberty.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.

I guess as a long time lurker here, I expected to hear for Dfariswheel by now. I would be curious to hear his take on this thread.

Anyway, I have picked up some feedback that maybe sending it back to Colt is not such a good idea. Do any of you all have any concerns about Colt workmanship right now? Am I taking a risk here?

Thanks again.

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When I needed work on my Colts, my only thought was to send them to Colt, I'm anal like that.

My most recent experience was just about a month or so ago when I sent an Anaconda in for retiming and porting; the work was top notch and the gun works like a charm, couldn't be happier.

Didn't one member send back a Python only to have the repair request denied because it was worked on outside of Colt? Because of this I caution you about divulging to Colt non-Colt work done on the gun. Just my 2¢.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I decided they did the retiming in 02 pretty well and I had no complaints. I decided to take the risk and it is off via Fed-Ex this afternoon. I will keep you all informed.

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"Three times in five years" does not seem unreasonable, since, like vehicle mileage, "times fired" is cumulative. Eventually, something will wear out from the "mileage" (times fired), not the passage of time. Adding 2000 rounds to 43,000 rounds is a lot different than adding 2000 rounds to 500 rounds. It sounds like an easy fix to me. You should have it back in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I understand what you are saying, but its like I heard at chevy the last time I was down getting parts. "whats going to break next?"

I am looking forward to getting it back soon! But I wonder what it will costs.

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"I would be curious to hear his take on this thread".

You poor BABY, it gave you a little trouble after ONLY 45,000 rounds.


Fact is, that's about 42,000 rounds more than all but a tiny handful of hard core shooters ever shoot any gun.

Machines wear, they all need repairs sooner or later.

I would question a bolt screw breaking three times, and I'd wonder what was going on there.
One factor may be that your local gunsmith really isn't Colt-qualified.

In my experience, unqualified repairmen are responsible for a lot of complaints about Colt revolver problems.

While a broken bolt screw isn't unheard of, usually it's caused by an owner who gives it that last "little turn", or an unqualified gunsmith torquing it too tight in an attempt to tighten bolt side-play, instead of properly fitting it.

I would EXPECT you'd have some necessary repairs to your Colt after 45,000 rounds, but continuing broken bolt screws would NOT be one.

One thing I find interesting, is you said you only had it re-timed once in 45,000 rounds.

From the posts on the internet, you'd think Colt never made a revolver that would shoot a box of shells without blowing the timing and needing a repair.

This time, I'd suggest sending your Diamondback in to Colt or to Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters, along with a note about the broken bolt screw history.

Clearly specify that this is a recurring problem, and ask them to take a closer look.

Colt or Pittsburgh will have little problem getting the bolt screw out, depending on where it's broken.

Usually the threaded portion can be "picked" out with a sharp needle-like tool, used to turn it.
Otherwise, a special device is used to turn it, or failing that, to cut it out.

Unless your Diamondback has SERIOUS problems, (very unlikely), there is no reason at all why you shouldn't continue shooting it.

If people are still banging away with 1870's Colt sixguns, there no reason to retire a Diamondback.

Whether you specify it or not, Colt will do a complete check of your gun, and they'll notify you if they find other problems.

It's always nice to hear about high round count Colt's to counter all the "experts" who swear Colt's are "weak".

I often hear people who wonder why the older Colt revolvers lasted so well, and they seem to have so much trouble today.
This is usually ascribed to "Bad workmanship" and falling standards.

The old Colt's lasted so well for what I assume is the reason your's has lasted so well.....YOU TOOK CARE OF IT, AND DIDN'T ABUSE IT.

In the old days, people were POOR. The average working man just flat didn't have the kind of money people today do.

Back in those days, the average pistol owner had ONE. That one pistol had to last him because he couldn't just run out and buy a new one if he felt like it.

When you get one to a customer, you tend to take better care of things.

In those days, you often heard of some old cop retiring after 30 years on the job, and still using the same Colt Official Police he was issued at the academy 30 years before.

Back then, police departments didn't replace pistols ever few years, and you DAMN well BETTER take care of your gun.

Today we hear of people using all kinds of weird "expedient" cleaning methods on their guns for no other reason than they're in a hurry, OR just don't place a very high value on their property.

These people spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on the gun, obsess over the "right" holster, agonize about the best lube.....then shoot "Boris's $1.95 per 100 rounds" of ammo, and shove steel wool and weird chemicals down the bore to save a few cents.

In short, guns used to have HARD lives but lasted because most people just couldn't afford to buy replacements for guns THEY'D abused.

If we handed you ONE pistol, and told you that was the only one you could have for the next 20 years, do you think you might be a little careful with it?



[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 01-03-2005).]
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Dfariswheel, I was sort of looking for your expert insight.

Yes I am a BABY, I admit it, and to a certain extent I am proud of it. This little diamondback is my personal little pride and joy and I bought it the first day I could and have kept it when EVERY other gun had to be sold to put food on the table. I baby it carefully and shot it a lot for years and years.

I will say I agree with you about how many rounds get shot. I am currently on a campaign to only keep guns I have at least 3000 rnds down them. I figure after 3000 rnds if I don't like the gun a lot, I need ot sell it. I was asked by a fellow shooter this weekend about a "glock" I decided to sell and he was shocked that I finally decided to sell it after over 3500 rnds. To him that was more shots then he had taken in his lifetime. To me that was just enough to decide plastic guns and I don't get along.

Anyway, I did send my little Diamondback back to Colt. I put a nice letter in with it and enclosed the prior paperwork from the other trips back to Colt. They got it this morning, so I expect to hear from them soon.

Yes I did take care of my little diamondback because it was all I had and I shot it often. Not often as I would like, but you have to eat. I think you hit the nail on the head about the internet and weak Colts. I never knew anything about weak Colts till I hit the web. My little diamondback shot its little 158 grn SWC's day in and day out for years. A 50 rnd box of reloads or two was a normal outing and then a careful cleaning.

I will keep you all informed on what Colt has to say and when I get it back.

Thanks again for your insight and comments.

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