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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered Jerry Kuhnhausens books (Vol 1 & 2) and what I'm reading on pg 48 of Vol 1 is that any sort of visible ratchet peening is unacceptable. I'm trying to get a feel for what is normal and what is considered excessive. What do you guys think of these pictures; the gun is in good shape overall, my only concern is the slight peening. Is it garbage?


 

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That doesn't look excessive.
When you can definitely feel an indented impression of the ratchet and the gun has end shake, that's real peening.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No offers to properly dispose of this unusable firearm?
Haha; you're the first in line ;)

Has anyone ever witnessed cylinder/forcing cone contact and what type of mark it leaves on the cylinder? Is it a physical indentation or just a light "contact" mark? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm young (23) and am trying to learn about these old Colts as they really fascinate me.
 

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End shake has to be really bad to get actual barrel-cylinder impact.
Colt specs call for no more then 0.003" end shake, and a barrel-cylinder gaps of around 0.004" to 0.006" with 0.005" being about perfect.

Impact can be difficult to discern from the carbon and leading rings left by firing.
Signs of contact can range from light "almost not there" faint marks to actual impact dents.
In a gun in which everything else is perfect, you'll see indented impact rings the size of the barrel in the cylinder faces around the chambers and impact marks on the rear of the barrel, although these are often not as easily detected unless the impact is not square.
In guns in which various things are not quite perfect, you may see partial impact circles on the cylinder and off-center impacts on the barrel.
For whatever reason, these partial half-moon or less impacts are often on the outer portion of the cylinder instead of toward the center and on the top or side of the barrel.

The best way to be sure you're seeing actual impact is to thoroughly clean fouling from the cylinder face and the rear of the barrel, then use an automotive feeler gauge and your Mark One Eyeball to check for actual contact.
Note that it's common to have the contact on one side or the top due to a barrel that's not quite square or a slightly sprung cylinder, both of which allow partial contact.
With the areas clean, you can usually see impact marks.

If you're seeing actual contact, the gun is WAY overdue for a trip back to Colt for repair. If the contact isn't too bad that's all that may need to be done, anything worse and the cylinder may need to be re-surfaced and the barrel set back one thread, along with re-setting the barrel-cylinder gap and re-cutting the forcing cone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
dfariswheel; thanks again for the thorough and technical response. This gun definitely shows no signs of barrel/cylinder contact but at least now I know what to look for, since Kuhnhausens books did not talk much about what you'd see (other than stating that any contact was unacceptable). I appreciate you taking the time to run through this for me; I know so much more about inspecting used revolvers than I used to.
 

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You're not supposed to inspect Colt firearms, you're supposed to BUY them.
If you intend to play around with Colt's, get used to eating candy bar lunches and putting off that operation for an inflamed appendix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're not supposed to inspect Colt firearms, you're supposed to BUY them.If you intend to play around with Colt's, get used to eating candy bar lunches and putting off that operation for an inflamed appendix.
Haha don't worry, I'm doing a pretty good job of buying them....just want to avoid anything problematic.
 
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