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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a colt trooper .357 from 1966 the gun works flawlessly with .357 and .38 ammo in single action mode, but will not fire at all in double action. Cylinder works fine but no bang.

What could be the issue here? Is this a common issue? Is it worth fixing?

Serial number is 527XX

I'm in central Pennsylvania are there any recommendations on gunsmiths in the area to possibly take the gun to if it's going to be a complicated fix?


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W.E.Coyote Acme Computer Genius
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Take the grips off and spray oil the action until the oil drips out of it.

Let it drip dry and wipe it down with a cloth and reinstall the grips and try again.

The grease in the old guns gums up and causes problems, So do that and see if it fixes your problem.

Then it's time to dig deeper if the problem remains.

P.S. The hammer falls farther in single action than in double action.
 

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When you pull the trigger with the hammer down, does the hammer cock and drop? In other words, is the double action function working? If so, what do the primers look like on the unfired cartridges? Are there light primer strike marks? As stated above, it may just be a gummed up action and/or a weak hammer spring.
 

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A common problem with the old Colt action is that people bend the mainspring to get a lighter trigger pull.
They often get it too light, and the classic symptom of that is the gun is reliable in single action but fails to fire in double action.

You may be able to detect this by removing the grips and looking at the "vee" shaped mainspring.
Often, you can see a downward bend or kink in the top "leg" of the spring.

Bending the spring IS a valid pistolsmith technique to lighten the trigger pull, but most people fail to use the correct procedure and just stick a pin between the legs and cock the hammer. That's correct as far as it goes, but proper procedure requires a trigger pull gage to insure not going too light.

My suggestion is to take it to a GOOD gunsmith for repair. You may be able to simply re-bend the spring, or it may be necessary to replace it.
Most available Colt Vee springs are replicas made by the Jack First Company.

If you'd like it repaired to factory specifications and standards, you could send it to Frank Glenn.
He's one of the few pistolsmiths still working who really understand the Colt action and uses Colt factory repair techniques and specifications.
His prices and turnaround are excellent, and his quality of work is perfect. While he has it, he'll inspect it for other possible issues developing and clean the action.

Frank Glenn-Glenn Custom Complete Gunsmithing Service Glendale AZ

Be VERY careful who you let work on a Colt. Almost no gunsmiths today know anything about the action and few understand how to repair even minor problems without damaging the gun attempting to correct something without actually knowing what the correct repair even is.
 

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Before tearing into it, remove the stocks and blast the interior parts with a can of Brake Cleaner. Let dry and lubricate thoroughly. Does wonders on gummed up actions.
 

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Probably about 1/2 of the smaller D frames such as detective special and police positives that I have acquired from the 70’s and earlier were erratic on double action ignition with hard CCI primers. I have had pretty good luck bending some mainsprings back, but some just had to be replaced. On the bigger trooper size guns, it was rarer if that occurred. I would believe most of the cops of the day knew the trick or knew someone who did. As stated, a trigger pull gauge is a must when bending springs to know if a little is enough. My final “gauge” is firing all six chambers double action with CCI blank cases charged with CCI primers. If the Colt is a .357, then it’s charged with magnum CCI primers.
 

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Unless the Trooper is totally ruined and trashed it's well worth the cost of repairs.

These are fine guns, and the closest you can get to a Python.
The Python was really nothing more then the Trooper or 3-5-7 Model fitted with the Python barrel, given a Royal Blue finish, and a much more tuned action.
The Trooper and 3-5-7 are often called a "Poor man's Python" for that reason.

They make great shooters and are becoming more valuable.

For an idea of value, do a "finished auction" search on Gunbroker to see what they currently sell for.
I don't keep up on prices but I think a good Trooper 357 sells around $500 and up.
 

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That Trooper is WELL worth the costs of repair.

The only down grade is that it doesn't have the original grips.
Most likely it shipped with Colt Second Type Target grips, but some 6 inch versions did ship with Service type grips.
An upgrade to value is that it has the Colt Target hammer.
 

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The Colt Trooper Mark III does not have a "V" main spring system, but uses a coiled spring. The inner workings are not made similar to a D frame or python but with a newer system initiated by Colt to get away from hand fitting parts; they are designed to simply replace. The idea of lubricating the inner mechanism is the best for this type of gun - including lubricating the firing pin mechanism on the frame. There may be "gunk" built up inside simply from age which is probably causing the problem. A replacement main spring from Numrich Gun Parts might help. I have both types of revolvers (New Service, Det. Spl, Python and Trooper Mark III) and when I purchase one, I always go through the mechanisms to make sure all is right - timing has been a big issue with the older "V" spring revolvers - and gunsmith work on these take a lot more patience and work than the Trooper. Just some thoughts which I hope may help.
Al Marin
 

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The Colt Trooper Mark III does not have a "V" main spring system, but uses a coiled spring. The inner workings are not made similar to a D frame or python but with a newer system initiated by Colt to get away from hand fitting parts; they are designed to simply replace. The idea of lubricating the inner mechanism is the best for this type of gun - including lubricating the firing pin mechanism on the frame. There may be "gunk" built up inside simply from age which is probably causing the problem. A replacement main spring from Numrich Gun Parts might help. I have both types of revolvers (New Service, Det. Spl, Python and Trooper Mark III) and when I purchase one, I always go through the mechanisms to make sure all is right - timing has been a big issue with the older "V" spring revolvers - and gunsmith work on these take a lot more patience and work than the Trooper. Just some thoughts which I hope may help.
Al Marin
The Trooper mentioned in the OP is one of the original Troopers made on the I frame. So it has the same V spring action as the Python and D frame models.

The Jerry K. shop manuals are the best resources for these guns. Volume 1 is the V spring and Volume 2 is the MKIII and later designed action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but yes this does have the V shaped mainspring. I found the main spring part from a link that someone listed above. How hard is it to take out the old one and swap in the new main spring?

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Since "crakkajakka" won't respond to questions as simple as does the hammer rise and fall, wouldn't it be funny if he had a single-action only revolver? ;) An unlikely reason, but not barred by the physical laws of the universe.
 

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Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but yes this does have the V shaped mainspring. I found the main spring part from a link that someone listed above. How hard is it to take out the old one and swap in the new main spring?

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It's not hard, but there is a specific procedure needed to prevent damaging the side plate.
My best advice is to just buy the Jerry Kuhnhausen Shop Manual Volume One.
This shows in great detail how to do pistolsmithing operations like disassembly and installing a mainspring.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-...revolvers-shop-manual-volume-i-prod25720.aspx

The price is well worth the knowledge on how these models work and how to determine if it's working properly and what to do to correct any problems.
This will serve you better then some long explanation that fails to cover some unexpected issue.

Also, buy a couple of Brownell's Magna-Tip gunsmiths screwdriver bits that fit the screws. This will prevent dinking up the screws, which is a sure sign of a gun butcher.

You'll need the following sizes to fit most all Colt DA revolver screws.....
.150-3
.180-3
.210-3
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Since "crakkajakka" won't respond to questions as simple as does the hammer rise and fall, wouldn't it be funny if he had a single-action only revolver? ;) An unlikely reason, but not barred by the physical laws of the universe.
Don't get your primers in a bunch bullet bill...It's a DA. Read the OP. The gun functions normally just not in DA you can tell the hammer striking energy is reduced compared to that in single action. It has to be that mainspring.

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