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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else ever had a problem with their python hitting the primer really lightly or not at all? I received my Python from my cousin, understanding it had not been fired much at all, and it certainly looks to be true, but this last time I took it out for a bowling pin shoot, I had problems with light hits on the primers, and a couple of rounds that didn't look touched at all! Any hints or explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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There are a number of reasons a Python will give light firing pin strikes.
1. A broken, altered, dirty, or chipped firing pin. OR the spring replaced with the wrong spring, or the correct spring installed backward.
Use a punch to push the pin forward. Look for a broken tip, or a pin rusted, or gummed in place. The pin should move forward, and retract fully and smoothly.

2. A weak or altered mainspring. It's possible an attempt was made to lighten the trigger pull by bending the "vee" shaped mainspring. This IS one of the steps in a action job, but if it's bent too much, you get mis-fires. The spring might be fixable, or since they aren't expensive, just replaced with a new one.

3. If none of the above, and you're getting occasions of NO firing pin hit on the primer AT ALL, the gun could be "throwing by".

This is an out-of-time condition in which during double action firing, the cylinder is turning TOO FAR, and not locking up at all. This will give either no firing pin hit on the primer at all, or off-center hits, sometimes all the way off onto the case head.

To check Colt timing:
Watch the bolt in the bottom of the frame window, as you SLOWLY cock the hammer.
The bolt MUST start to drop the INSTANT the hammer starts back, and MUST be completely clear of the cylinder notch BEFORE the cylinder starts to rotate.

The bolt must drop back with a clean "click" without being 'mushy'. It MUST drop onto the leed or ramp in front of the actual cylinder notch, and MUST drop into the MIDDLE 1/3rd section of the leed.

The bolt MUST drop into the actual lock notch BEFORE the hammer reachs full cock.

The most common Colt mis-time situation is the hammer cocks before the bolt drops into the lock notch. (Hammer is cocked, but cylinder isn't locked).

In my experience, most Colt's leave the factory with the bolt hitting a little late into the leed, but usually wear in to correct timing. If the bolt drops onto the cylinder early, no real problem but a little extra finish wear.

*****If the bolt drops late (closer to the lock notch) the cylinder may "throw by" or rotate TOO far in double action.***** This can give off center hits or mis-fires. In this condition, occasionaly the trigger is pulled with just the right speed to get the cylinder rotating, but not far enough to allow the bolt to drop fast enough to catch and lock the cylinder. The cylinder rotates PAST the bolt and it drops onto the cylinder PAST the lock notch. In this position the cylinder is not locked, and the firing pin will either strike the primer off center, or even off the primer entirely.

For this reason, the Colt E&I frame (Python) guns need to have the trigger pulled through without hesitation at the begining of the stroke.

The mainspring is the most likely cause of your problem, since this is the classic Python mis-fire reason.

I strongly suggest you buy a copy of Jerry Kunhausen's book Gunsmithing the Colt Double Action Revolvers, Volume One. These aren't expensive, and give VERY complete details on checking and correcting the above problems, yourself. Every Python owner should have a copy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the wealth of info. I am taking it out again tomorrow and will take the time to look for what you mentioned here. Thanks again!
 
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