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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, my name is Rick and it's great to be here! Anyhow, it's been at least 12 years since I last owned a Python and I only recently have had the pleasure of getting another one. This time a 6 incher from '67 in very decent overall external shape. The timing is off a bit though and right now I'm having a great local gunsmith who is more than familiar with Colt DA actions take care of that problem so I'll be able to shoot the gun and further evaluate it's overall shape before I send the gun to Colts for a complete reconditioning and rebluing. I don't mind the extra expense of having the gun retimed locally in the least as I'll be able to judge how good the smith is with Colt actions, and because even though the gun is probably still shootable I realize that shooting a Python out of spec only accelerates wear and tear on the action. One question I have concerns the face of the the cylinder which faces the forcing cone. On about half of the cylinder face is a slight drag mark. Not sure how it got there but my gunsmith said it's not because of frame stretching, bent crane or anything like that. He tested the gap with a feeler guage and at .006" the cylinder stops turning at the point where the drag mark starts. The guns endshake is minimal, almost not there really and there is no excessive headspacing either. Any idea why the drag mark on the cylinder face? My only thoughts are that maybe at one time the gun had a lot of lead or powder fouling buildup and someone kept shooting the gun even as the action got stiffer. At any rate, the gunsmith said the gun hasn't been abused at all and that when he does his action job and retuning he'll address the drag mark issue as well. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice in the matter.
 

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Sorry, I can't answer your question, but welcome to the forum. But have no fear, as a bunch of very Colt-savvy folks are here who can help.
Again, welcome to the forum!
 

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How far out of time is this revolver? Why have it tuned and retimed when you are still going to send it to Colt for a rework? Who says this local gunsmith is great with Colts? I would make sure of his work before working on my gun because if he's not that good you could end up paying Colt a lot more than expected to put that Python back into shape.
 

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timing the gun{stretching the hand} is a pretty simple job given a basic knowledge of how the action works. the tuning part scares me. the python does not require tuning and any altering of mainspring tension ,sear angles, ect. is asking for trouble.the ONLY acceptable tuning on a python is the polishing of working surfaces to reduce drag. ANYTHING else is risking a ruined gun.i would be to the point and ask the smith what a tuning implies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Majic, that was your 666th post. Whadaya trying to jinx me or somethin'? Anyhow to reply to yer questions the gun is out of time only to the point that when you slowly cock the hammer back all the way the bolt is not sitting in the cylinder notch other than in on spot out of the 6 notches. The gunsmith I'm having do the work (actually he and his father who is now long retired) is on the Handgunners top 100 list of gunsmiths in the country who also belong to the American Pistolsmith Guild. They have a long history of working on Colt DA revolvers as well as other makes going back to the 50s and are reputed by many retired and current police officers in the area as doing nothing but top notch work on their own revolvers, Colts or otherwise. The tuneup price is quite reasonable, about twice what he charges to work on S&W or other revolver actions and frankly, I want to find out for myself how good he is. If it turns out he's not that good I'll know to be very carefull not to tear up any future Colts I may purchase as I'll have no choice but to send them to Colts even for minor retiming. If the work is good then I wont be afraid to take my Colts to the range more often and actually shoot them intead of polishing them and putting them back into the safe only to put a box or 3 through them each year. I'm sure the work will be fine but in 3 weeks or so when I get it back I'll post gladly whether or not I'm happy with the work done. My other reason for having the work done is that if the work can be done now, and it can, then I can shoot the gun and enjoy it for awhile before I send the gun off to Colts for the reconditioning. Yes, I'm paying a little extra for the double work on the gun but, I also knocked $190 off the already decent sale price when I got the gun so the money is a non issue. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
icdux1, I've already discussed at length with my gunsmith what may or may not get done to correct the timing of the gun. By retuning I actually meant retiming. The gunsmith informed me that the gun may need a new hand fitted to get the timing right and that the action was more than acceptably slick and nice as it was. My discussion with him proved that he is respectful of the Colt gunsmiths original work and that what he is most interested in would be getting the gun functioning correctly, timed correctly and to leave everything else that is right alone. He's a fan of the old Colts and gave me a nice lecture about how they were fitted and put together by real gunsmiths and not just factory parts assemblers. He described in some detail about how each part must be fitted and how each part is responsible for more than one function. If he screws it up (which I highly doubt) then I'll pay whatever extra to have it done right by Colt and that's just the chance I took.

But I will say that you guys are starting to worry me about not just letting Colt handle all the work from the git-go. You're probably doing me a favor as well and I appreciate it. Now what excuse to give the smith that I need the gun back before he works on it?!! Darn. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The latest.

Well, after reading the advice here and searching back and finding threads about horror stories involving local gunsmiths working on Colts and the poor results thereafter, I got myself down the the gunsmiths shop and picked my Python back up and told him I couldn't afford to do the job at this time. He'd probably have done a nice job but heck, why be a guinea pig and find out I just threw almost a grand down the chute and ruined a nice 39 year old Python?

In two weeks I will ship the Python home to Colt's and request that they check it out to see whatever it needs to function properly and like new. Not interested in an action job really but that's a possibility. I shall also request that the re-application of Royal Blue be applied to the total cost of the job and will anxiously await the call to give me a price for all of the work needed. Now that I have the gun back I can tell you that the drag mark on the front of the cylinder goes all the way around but it's a little more pronounced over three of the cylinder holes. I'm sure Colt will take care of it whatever the problem is and thanks again for getting me straight about who can and who cannot get to work on a Python. You may have saved me from a making a huge mistake. At any rate, when the gun is returned from Colt I'll give a full report. Thanks again.
 
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