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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up a nice 1948 Detective Special a month or so back. Found the right Coltwood grips for it but I'm having some timing issues. When I slow cock the hammer for single action, it does not fully go into battery. I turn the cylinder just a hair more and the bolt snaps into place. If I fast cock the hammer or dry fire it in double action it goes into battery. I tried a spare, used and similar vintage, cylinder hand and there was no change. Neither hand is warn. The ejector and ratchet shows no signs of excessive wear either. I'm wondering if I should order a new hand and tweak the length. Or, is there something else I should check first.

Your thoughts???

Thanks,
 

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Another fix for which I've caught a lot of flak. I hesitate to post again because of the flurry I've created elsewhere.

But I've had the same problem with a couple of New Service/M1917s and one Python.

I replaced the trigger. Solved my problem.

The sear part of the trigger had worn, or been polished, to the point it allowed the hammer to go to full cock before the cylinder locked into place. It had not lifted the hand high enough to fully rotate the cylinder.

I'll catch a lot of flak for this and don't suggest you try it, or if you do,and it works, keep quiet about it.

Try this: Clear the gun, and remove the cylinder and crane. Remove the sideplate. Now slowly cock the hammer, keeping the hand engaged in the ratchet. Hold the hammer back and press the trigger (Heaven Forbid) and see if the hand doesn't rotate the cylinder into position.

Bob Wright
 

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This is the most common Colt out-of-time condition.
The Colt specified correction is to stretch the hand.
This can only be done once, after which the hand has to be replaced. Before stretching, check for signs it's already been done once.

NOTE: The hand is not stretched where or how you think it would be. Before stretching, be smart and buy the Kuhnhausen shop manual.
This shows full detains on how to correct Colt timing and stretch hands.

THE COLT DOUBLE-ACTION REVOLVERS - A SHOP MANUAL | Brownells

No offense, but replacing the trigger to correct this is sort of like having a flat tire so you replace the entire axle.
If it works that's fine, sort of over kill but acceptable.
The only problem is these days available triggers are used. Pay money for a trigger and it may be worn also and the gun still won't lock up. You're then money out for nothing.
Again, acceptable but over kill.

And, as long as the gun does lock up when the trigger is pulled you can continue using the gun safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Folks: thanks. I have the manual and read through the stretching process. Neither of the old hands appear to have been stretched. But, since both hands were short I'm wondering if ordering a new one and doing some stoning from there is the bettr move. I'll try stretching the original hand first then spend the $ if needed.
Thanks again.
 

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Factory new hands are essentially not available at all. The supply has been exhausted, and finding one is like finding gold nuggets. They just aren't available.
There are new non-Colt "replica" hands being sold, but these require extensive fitting and shaping before you can even begin to fit it to the gun.

The best option is to stretch the hands. You already have a genuine Colt factory hand and it's already fitted to the gun. All it needs is the standard factory specified stretch to restore function.
 

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rhmc24 has sometimes relayed an interesting method for correcting a Worn or too short Hand -

In which one solders on to the 'tip' of the Hand, a tiny piece of very thin Steel ( cut from a Can, for example ) and, then, shapes that some tiny bit, and, Stones that a little if need be.

Apparently this is durable enough for most expected use there-after, and, can always be un-done if one wants.
 

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If the gun is failing to fully lock, adding metal by any means to the tip won't help, since it's the secondary (lower) shelf on the hand that pushes it into full lock up.
Adding metal to the lower shelf would do it, and that may be what will have to be done now that no hands are available and they get stretched once.

Since Colt's are no longer being made and critical parts supplies have dried up, future pistolsmiths will have to learn techniques like manufacturing press-in cylinder collars, welding up hands, and possibly welding bolts.
 

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If the gun is failing to fully lock, adding metal by any means to the tip won't help, since it's the secondary (lower) shelf on the hand that pushes it into full lock up.
Adding metal to the lower shelf would do it, and that may be what will have to be done now that no hands are available and they get stretched once.

Since Colt's are no longer being made and critical parts supplies have dried up, future pistolsmiths will have to learn techniques like manufacturing press-in cylinder collars, welding up hands, and possibly welding bolts.
Oh!

Thank you dfariswheel.

Somehow I was actually mentally envisioning an S & W Hand, forgetting entirely about the Colt Hand's second 'shelf' or Step.

Duh!


Lol...


Much appreciate the correction there with that.
 

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In fact I will be looking into some of my older, higher-mileage Colt Revolvers now and then, to be finding just this same issue present.

Adding a little Air Hardening Steel Alloy, via the 'TIG' method of Welding, to that second 'shelf' would be the ideal I suppose...with that then being dressed back or down and so on, to be the proper fit and tolerance or height.


For which my own intention would be to get a few old 'bad' or worn Hands, which others have discarded, and, to learn via working with those, and to make the changes to one of those Hands, for it to fit and function well in the Revolver ( rather than to begin right off, with the Hand that happens to be in the Revolver I am wishing to correct ).
 

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That's probably what it's going to come down to.
But...that's for the next generation of Colt pistolsmiths.

One question:
Years ago most precision welding was done with "Heli-arc" welding. Now all I hear about is Tig.
What happened to Heli-arc?
 

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I do not even own a Welding outfit yet! And I have only a tiny bit of plain old Arc welding ( Buzz Box ) experience...but, I have long wanted to get into it, and go from there.

So I can only speak from way in the back of the Class -

Heli-Arc is now generally called 'TIG' being the initials of 'Tungsten Inert Gas', meaning, the Current is carried to the 'Arc' one is making to weld with, by a more or less durable ( or not used up in the Welding Process ) Tungsten Wire, with the Weld in progress being bathed in an inert Gas, such as Helium or Argon or possibly other 'inert' Gases, depending on the Work.


So, "Heli-Arc" is "TIG".


The advantage with this, is that no Flux is needed, since the inert Gas prevents Oxidization, and, also, that one may use whatever one can prepare for the Welding Rod proper, which will be what is supplying Material for the Weld

So the range of Alloys is infinite, compared to having to buy Fluxed or Unfluxed Rods of a finite variety of Alloys for traditional Arc Welding, or, being limited to the variety of Alloy in the Wire which is used in 'MIG' aka "MGAW' aka 'Gas Metal Arc Welding', aka Wire Feed Welding ( which also use an inert Gas ).

Thus, the 'TIG' or 'Heli-Arc' is the most versatile of all...but, requires Both Hands, since one Hand is managing the Arc, and, the other Hand, is feeding the material into the Arc, to produce the Weld.

Autogeneous Welds of course can be done also, where no Material is being added.
 

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I have a small supply of Genuine COLT factory new old stock "D"Frame parts, ie-- Hands, Triggers, Mainsprings, Hammers, Rebound Levers.
Was COLT authorized repair and parts for many years prior to my retirement.
I can be reached at [email protected].
Robert
 

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I do not even own a Welding outfit yet! And I have only a tiny bit of plain old Arc welding ( Buzz Box ) experience...but, I have long wanted to get into it, and go from there.

So I can only speak from way in the back of the Class -

Heli-Arc is now generally called 'TIG' being the initials of 'Tungsten Inert Gas', meaning, the Current is carried to the 'Arc' one is making to weld with, by a more or less durable ( or not used up in the Welding Process ) Tungsten Wire, with the Weld in progress being bathed in an inert Gas, such as Helium or Argon or possibly other 'inert' Gases, depending on the Work.


So, "Heli-Arc" is "TIG".


The advantage with this, is that no Flux is needed, since the inert Gas prevents Oxidization, and, also, that one may use whatever one can prepare for the Welding Rod proper, which will be what is supplying Material for the Weld

So the range of Alloys is infinite, compared to having to buy Fluxed or Unfluxed Rods of a finite variety of Alloys for traditional Arc Welding, or, being limited to the variety of Alloy in the Wire which is used in 'MIG' aka "MGAW' aka 'Gas Metal Arc Welding', aka Wire Feed Welding ( which also use an inert Gas ).

Thus, the 'TIG' or 'Heli-Arc' is the most versatile of all...but, requires Both Hands, since one Hand is managing the Arc, and, the other Hand, is feeding the material into the Arc, to produce the Weld.

Autogeneous Welds of course can be done also, where no Material is being added.
Thanks, that makes sense, but I wonder why the name change.
I had Heli-arc work done back when and it was beautifully smooth and without splatter or the roughness of arc welding.
 

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Thanks, that makes sense, but I wonder why the name change.
I had Heli-arc work done back when and it was beautifully smooth and without splatter or the roughness of arc welding.
Heli-arc was the trade name given to the system by the company that developed it (I can't remember the name of the company right now, but I can look it up when I get home this evening), a little bit like Kleenex for facial tissue or Xerox for photo copies.

Best regards,
 
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