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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I recently picked up a nice '59 Python with some blue wear but otherwise a sweet shooter. It's going to Colt's for a refinish and I plan on having them set the timing and action to factory specs. But there is a somewhat troublesome issue that comes up when shooting and even cleaning the gun after shooting. For some reason the cylinder will get harder to close than usual and the gun will resist being able to be cocked with the cylinder closed. The first time I noticed this I found a wire from an old bore brush had gotten between the star and the cylinder rear and was keeping the cylinder tight in the frame and cylinder movement in the frame was stiff. I got the wire piece out and everything was fine. Next time I went shooting and was cleaning the gun afterwards again and the cylinder resisted closing and I checked under the star, checked the ejector rod wasn't loose and it wasn't. I kept scrubbing and eventually it went back together again no problem but I could not figure out what the problem was that was keeping the cylinder from closing. I took the gun shooting again and for the most part it worked fine but a couple of times I had the resistance to cylinder movement. I opened and closed the cylinder a few times and when it was freely rotating I finished my shooting session with no further problems and I encountered no further problems with the gun after I got it home and cleaned it. All I can figure is this one is very tightly fitted with zero tolerance for the odd unburned grain of powder or other form of fouling. At least that's how it has behaved. One other issue is the sideplate screw coming loose just above the trigger guard. It's gotten loose enough the first time that it put a very slight marking around the cylinder. Since then I keep my eye on it but, will Colt torque that screw down to the proper specification that it will stay put or am I going to have to try some sort of thread locking formula to keep it in place? Thanks!
 

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The gunsmiths at the factory will no doubt replace the screw withg a new one and torque it properly.
The work they do is of the finest order.
Most refinish jobs come back to the owner as good as or in many cases better than when the revolver was new.
 

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Your binding problem is often caused by particles of burned powder caught under the extractor.
To help prevent this from happening, when ejecting fired rounds hold the gun with the muzzle upward.
This will allow the fired cases and any grit to fall free.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your binding problem is often caused by particles of burned powder caught under the extractor.
To help prevent this from happening, when ejecting fired rounds hold the gun with the muzzle upward.
This will allow the fired cases and any grit to fall free.
Thanks dfariswheel. Do you think this is a case of tolerances of this python being on the tighter side of the normal range of tolerances for this revolver? One other thing I'll mention because I observed it. The cylinder gap is vanishingly small. I can barely see light between the cylinder and the forcing cone when shut. The gap is there for sure, I don't have the right gauges but I've seen bigger gaps. When I pull the trigger and hold the trigger to the rear I see the cylinder tilt somewhat ever so slightly making the gap tighter yet. I know that there's the second hand that holds the cylinder still just before the hammer drops and why but should the cylinder stay absolutely straight or is it common for them to tilt up from the rear of the cylinder when holding the trigger back? Thanks again guys.
 

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Colt always held specs tighter then other makers.
In the old days, S&W held pretty tight specs too but over the last 20 to 30 years, things have slipped badly compared to the old days.

I'd suggest checking your Python for proper factory adjustment.

1. Cylinder end shake.
End shake is the amount of back and forth movement of the CLOSED cylinder in the frame.
To measure, get an automotive feeler gauge set at Walmart or any auto store.
All measurements are with the revolver UN-cocked and with the action at rest.

Push the cylinder to the rear and hold it there while you use the gauge set to gauge the gap between the barrel and the cylinder.
Then push the cylinder forward and hold it while you gauge the gap again.
(You don't want to push with any real force, just use gentle pressure to make sure it's all the way back or forward)
Subtract one measurement from the other and that's how much end shake is present.

A Colt revolver should have NO MORE then 0.003" end shake. If it has more it requires a trip back to Colt for repair.
Unlike the S&W and many other revolvers, the Colt's cannot have washers installed into the cylinder to correct end shake, it's a factory-ONLY job. There is no owner or local gunsmith repair possible.

2. Barrel/cylinder gap.
The correct barrel/cylinder gap for most any revolver, including Colt is "about" 0.004" to 0.005" which is considered to be perfect.
The barrel/cylinder gap is measured with the cylinder pushed to the rear, same as when doing a check for end shake, so the measurement can be used for both checks.

Most Colt's in good condition will usually have barely measurable end shake if any, and usually about perfect barrel/cylinder gap.
Colt has always held these specs, but in the last 20 years or so, S&W's specs seem to be on a sliding scale that keeps sliding.
The S&W specs have slipped badly. These days, S&W will call barrel/cylinder gaps of as much as 0.012" as "in spec", and as long as a S&W has end shake of "about" 0.006" S&W says it's good to go.

In almost any revolver with normal end shake even tiny bits of fouling under the ejector will cause binding.
Classic symptoms of binding caused by fouling under the ejector is binding on one or two chambers only, and binding that comes and goes.
Note that some git can actually embed into the ejector or cylinder from firing pressures and can be not only extremely difficult to see, but can be hard to get out.
A brass "toothbrush" works well but watch out for bits of the brush getting broken off and lodging in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again dfariswheel! I will get the feeler guages and check and report back sometime later. My '59 Python will be going back to Colt's in a few weeks to get the Royal Blue refinish and I will request the gun be put to specs and any worn or out of spec parts replaced. I don't think they will have to replace anything this time though because the timing is still perfect as any of my rebuilt Pythons (by Colt) ever were. I do notice the trigger pull in double action is a bit heavier that I've experienced with Pythons but the single action is about right and the glass on oil smoothness is there in spades. Either this one never went out of time or had a very good gunsmith who really knew Colt actions set it straight at some point. Hopefully they will find a way to lighten the trigger pulls without too much trouble. Here's a few pictures I have taken of it to compare with later when she's all refurbished.












 

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Colt will set your Python up to factory specifications.

If you want an even better trigger action Colt offers Custom Shop trigger jobs that bring it to an even higher level.
You do need to be specific about what you want.
As far as I know, Colt offers two levels of trigger work. The highest level is for target shooting with .38 Special ammo ONLY.
The gun will NOT be reliable with any .357 ammo.
The lower level job gives a much better pull than standard, but is reliable with all .357 ammo.

Colt used to call these the Match or Service trigger job. You need to talk to them about the details.

Being the careful, slightly paranoid type, I wouldn't send your First Type Target grips in with the gun. If these were lost replacing them would cost hundreds of dollars.
 

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Had exact issue cylinder hard to close. crane bushing was loose. You could spin the cylinder and it would tighten back and be perfect. Maybe that helps you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tip about the grips. Truth is I think these are functionally the least favorite Colt grips I've had yet. It's impossible to use a speedloader and you even run into a bit of a snag ejecting the empties with them in place. They do have a cool look and I'll probably hang onto them since this is a four digit serial no. Python but I'd much rather a later style set of factory grips. I will ask about the lower level action job and get some details about it.
 
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