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Discussion Starter #1
I forgot to mention that my cylinder bushing on the 1883 saa is also seized in the cylinder. The bushing is a soft metal so i don't want to punch it out and risk damage. I have read that soaking it in atf and acetone works but will this ruin the patina? The pistol has never been refinished so i don't want to damage the cylinder patina. Any suggestions on what i can use to loosen up the bushing?
 

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I've used a product named Blue Creeper for many years on such projects. Last February I bought an old Colt Frontier Six Shooter that had a stuck bushing. Each time I had it apart I put a tiny bit on each end. Each time I tooka brass punch the OD diameter of the bushing and lightly tapped the bushing with a light hammer - with the cylinder supported on a block. Finally I seen that it moved a few thousands of an inch. I then drove it on out and cleaned up the rust. Slides in and out easily now.

Why? Because I shoot black powder and like to clean all under. Too, the cylinder has some endshake and I'll put a spacer or two behind the bushing to take up the space.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm assuming that if i do get it out and clean and lube it, the cylinder will turn more freely around the bushing and base pin. Why would colt put a removable bushing in the first place? My 2nd gen seems to turn better than my 3rd gen fixed bushing saa.
 

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Sounds to me like you might want to replace the bushing and refit a new one to tighten things up a bit? If so, use some penetrating oil liberally and let sit for a few days/week, then take a round wooden dowel(diameter of, or slightly smaller than base pin hole)at ratchet end of cylinder and gently try to tap it out. May need to repeat the oil treatment for a few day until things loosen up, but be patient.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. I will try that bibbyman. This being a black powder frame, i'm assuming it has rusted do to 137 years of bp fouling.
 

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Zenk to give some background to my answer and opinion.

Yes the cylinder bushing should rotate within the cylinder, but don’t forget this was firearm made to be used against renegade Indians (and others) so everything had to be 100% perfect - because as someone was bearing down on a soldier the last thing they wanted to fail was the hardware. The military didn’t want any excuses why so-and-so got an axe to the ribs and his scalp carved off because his sidearm failed. People failing in battle is bad enough.

Now follow along with me here.
As far as blackpowder goes, you can only get so much black powder residue in and around the bushing. Excess can be scrubbed and wiped off easily. So as Bibby states wanting to clean it; you still can, the finite residue in the minimal space between the bushing and inside cylinder is minute. Same goes for a spacer in the bushing. That’s pretty much a one-time installation thing for 99.99% of guys owning and shooting a particular Colt.

As a gunsmith I see far too many guns damaged in the event of “trying to clean” more than anything. Along with scratched finish from screw drivers skipping along and shiny areas now buff because of over cleaning.

A guy brought a $7,000 Dakota Arms single shot last week that he had ruined the head on a screw on the recoil pad. The Rifle has NEVER been fired! He wanted to remove the pad to diligently clean everywhere. Now someone tell me how would dirt get between a factory fresh recoil pad and a AAA Exhibition walnut stock? It doesn’t. Never would. Nevertheless he was determined to clean it. After ripping up the two tiny holes in the butt pad he managed to mangle a screw head after 4 or 5 turns.

The cylinder should freely spin around the cylinder (base) pin - regardless if the bushing spins or not.
The cylinder bushing should be well fitted to the cylinder which is by way a great deal less of a tolerance than the bushing spinning on the cylinder pin. In an ideal world it should spin. But the gun is 140 years old. And things like bushings get stuck.

Take out your cylinder pin and cylinder and spin it. Does it whirl freely?

Im not saying don’t remove it - I’m saying it’s not 100% required and potential damage to it or the cylinder are greater than the stuck bushing. Here’s a case where the cure can be worse than the illness.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You're right leveractionbill. If i don't get it out with a good soaking in something, i'm gonna leave it alone. I plan on using it cuz i don't buy safe queens. I just wanted to clean out the gunk before fouling it up again.
 

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The ATF mix will not harm the finish. It is almost as good as Kroil. I had a mangled bushing that I replaced, someone had tried to remove it with pliers. If you have to remove it stand the cylinder in a cup with enough penetrant to keep the one end wet. Cover the cup to slow evaporation. The oil will wick up the bushing. Soak for a week, and add more oil if needed to keep the end wet. Then you need to make a punch slightly smaller than the bore in the cylinder. Mount the cylinder in a padded vise and drive the bushing out. Mine took two solid blows with a 3 lb. hammer. Without the proper tools you will do more harm than good!
 

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I'm assuming that if i do get it out and clean and lube it, the cylinder will turn more freely around the bushing and base pin. Why would colt put a removable bushing in the first place? My 2nd gen seems to turn better than my 3rd gen fixed bushing saa.
And what is the difference if the cylinder AND bushing revolves freely around the base pin Vs the cylinder and bushing revolving around the base pin? Old mechanical engineers want to know. BTW new 3rd gen SAA with removable bushings find the bushing won't come loose if the gun has been fired a lot. My theory is the bushing becomes peened after the gun has been fired numerous times. Contrary to most forum members I even question why a removable bushing is necessary. But go ahead and beat that bushing out.
 

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Mount the cylinder in a padded vise and drive the bushing out. Mine took two solid blows with a 3 lb. hammer. Without the proper tools you will do more harm than good!
I didn't get nearly as brutal. I positioned the exit end of bushing over a hole in a Wheeler Engineering bench block. I used a brass punch and a small brass hammer that weighed maybe 8oz. I took measured blows in the range of cracking an egg. Once I seen it had moved, I hit it a bit harder.
 

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Ya, no reason to ACTUALLY fix anything on a SAA and have it work as designed.

And people actually liked that answer?

No offense to the original poster. He came here asking for help. I have seldom seen such bad of advice on the Colt Forum. Bushings are easy enough to get out even the worst of the stuck ones. Many here have done it on their own guns and lots of threads here on how that can be accomplished. Leaving a stuck bushing in a Colt is just being lazy or clueless of the design.
 

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Ya, no reason to ACTUALLY fix anything on a SAA and have it work as designed.

And people actually liked that answer?

No offense to the original poster. He came here asking for help. I have seldom seen such bad of advice on the Colt Forum. Bushings are easy enough to get out even the worst of the stuck ones. Many here have done it on their own guns and lots of threads here on how that can be accomplished. Leaving a stuck bushing in a Colt is just being lazy or clueless of the design.
Exactly, well stated above sir. Nice that at least one competent gunsmith chimed in!
 

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And people actually liked that answer?
Been a while since I quoted myself or felt the need. But gotta think anyone that liked "leaving it as is" knows better.

It is a BP Colt. Which I suspect will be shot again with BP as the OP commented, "I plan on using it cuz i don't buy safe queens." Good on ya BTW. Lots of guys here shooting the holy black. They are a great resource.

The SAA was designed for BP which is why there is a redundant set of bushings on the cylinder...so the dang thing will keep running/turning with little care and cleaning while shooting a steady diet of BP.

There are some really good folk here on the forum. A good many of them know more about a SAA than the typical run of the mill smith claiming to be a "professional". Ask a question here and usually 20 answers will fill in the cyber space. Likely all 20 answers will work. How ever, some might well work better than others :)
 

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I think Coz is actually a politician just pretending to like Colts.
Just to be clear, this comment is just teasin and not intended to insult Coz or anyone
Mac
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the reply jesse. Are you sure the atf mix won't harm the old patina? Acetone and atf are powerful liquids. Btw, does anybody know why the bushing was made to be removed?
 

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ZENK MAN said:
…. does anybody know why the bushing was made to be removed?
Hi Zenk. As you already know black powder is pretty nasty stuff for the metal and or gun when not cleaned properly. Best to clean it right after using the gun if you can. The guys that designed the SAA and the US Army demand at the time for a new gun used every trick they could come up with to keep the SAA running with poor cleaning and a poor maintenance schedule all while shooting only black powder. The cylinder pin, the bushing and the cylinder bushing give the Colt a couple of chances to keep running if one "bushing" fails from debris or fouling jamming the gun. If one of those "bushings" fail you can still move the cylinder and the gun will continue to function. Cylinder pins get jammed up too, just like the cylinder bushing does. Just one of them down? A SAA will keep running just as yours does now. The 1st Gen frames are also cut in several places to avoid BP debris from jamming up the gun at the barrel throat. The cylinder pin bushing is designed specifically to avoid the same.

You know for sure if the cylinder bushing is stuck or the cylinder pin is stuck, the gun is long over due for a good cleaning.

Colt left the removable bushing out of the earlier 3rd Gen guns to lower parts and labor costs. About the same time Colt also started suggesting that the SAA was only a show piece and not for actually shooting. Of course few prior to the founding of SASS actually still shot BP loads or shot a SAA 10 of thousands of rounds a year.

The over riding reason the Colt SAA was the most popular handgun in the USA prior to 1900 was because it was reliable and easily fixed if broken. That is the result of great design work. Good enough that Colt in all its wisdom eventually went back to the original Colt design of a removeable cylinder bushing. Several reasons for that change.....but one is simple. Reliability.
 

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Zenk , I bought a super clean 1956 sea . 2 months later I got around to inspection . The bushing was stuck . Some say why remove , well an easy fix for one and a better second is on mine there was not only crud but rust . I don't like rust on a few things of mine .
Try lighter fluid , sounds odd but it about the lightest oil in the world . I have a bench rest rifle with a 2 oz. trigger ( too much fun ), that's the only lube that touches that trigger . Good luck man , use a soft wood dowel , worse you'll do is wreck a dowel .
 

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Thanks for the reply jesse. Are you sure the atf mix won't harm the old patina? Acetone and atf are powerful liquids. Btw, does anybody know why the bushing was made to be removed?
I've always understood it was considered a "wear item" and could be easaly replaced. Even the "no bushing" Colt SAA cylinders have a short bushing that can be replaced.
 
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