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Colt .38

1470 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Bruce Specht
Friend has a Colt Snub nose in .38, states that after shooting 3 rounds the cylinder stops truning? In as much as Colt was just sold he's leary of sending it to Colt as suggested by a locla "gun smith" here in the NW corner of IL., comments or suggestions?
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Has to be out of time, so bad, lead is building up on cylinder face that much, that quick? I once had a S&W27 freeze up after one day of 600 rounds of semi wad cutters and I thought I had problems, but mine was not out of time, just a very small gap. I would send it back or find a different pistolsmith.
 

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Four tests to make, requires proper tools. First, use a barrel rod to check frame to barrel relationship. The point on the end of the tool should go in firing pin hole or be very near.

Second, use the range rod to verify timing. The Colt's revolver uses the cylinder hand to push the cylinder against the cylinder bolt. The rod should push through the cylinder without resistance. Keep trigger pulled during testing on the older design Colt's revolver. A newer one? Does not matter.

Third, use the forcing cone gauge to make sure the forcing cone is correctly machined. I once bought a Colt's Diamondback that did not have a forcing cone. After several shots, the cylinder would lock up. A little time with a Ron Power forcing cone reamer, and it became delightfully accurate and reliable.

Last but not least, check barrel-to-cylinder gap with a feeler gauge. Snubbies like a little gap, .006", +/- a thousandth or so.

Make sure proper ammo is used.

A good revolver 'smith will have these tools, or they can be bought from Brownell's.

1739084
 

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Colts are notorious for going out of time. On a colt the hand that rotates the cylinder engages the cylinder and stays touching the cylinder when the gun discharges therefore wearing the face of the hand quickly. On a Smith the hand rotates the cylinder then pulls away when the locking bolt engages. Much better design.
On a Smith and Wesson revolver the tightness of the lock is solely on how tight the cylinder bolt engages in to the cylinder. There is always movement because the tight fit that would stop movement will make lock up unlikely.

Then which model Colt are we talking about? Ever since Colt dropped the "V" spring mechanism, close to or over 40 years ago the gun locks up just like a Smith and Wesson. The V spring Colts with all movement stopped I fail to see any wear from the hand pushing the cylinder against the stop so that as the revolver fires everything is in a solidly locked state. My older then myself well used Colt 357 (and that is the actual model, if you have to look it up) locks up tighter than any Smith and Wesson ever will. It as Bill Jordan has been quoted as saying "is worth ten extra points in a shooting match to me." Three or more friends all shooting 357s and trading them off each stage the stage winner was shooting my 357.

But what has bugged me about this thread is ...........
There are almost as many models of Colt double action revolvers as Smith and Wesson models. There are three very distinct and very different types of mechanisms two of which are commonly found. I have stayed away from this thread because there just isn't enough information to go on. And AMMUNITION, simply ammunition can cause more assumption of mechanical fault then any real break down has caused, to many countless times to waste a comment on such a vague Original Post.

My rant

Al
 
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On a Smith and Wesson revolver the tightness of the lock is solely on how tight the cylinder bolt engages in to the cylinder. There is always movement because the tight fit that would stop movement will make lock up unlikely.

Then which model Colt are we talking about? Ever since Colt dropped the "V" spring mechanism, close to or over 40 years ago the gun locks up just like a Smith and Wesson. The V spring Colts with all movement stopped I fail to see any wear from the hand pushing the cylinder against the stop so that as the revolver fires everything is in a solidly locked state. My older then myself well used Colt 357 (and that is the actual model, if you have to look it up) locks up tighter than any Smith and Wesson ever will. It as Bill Jordan has been quoted as saying "is worth ten extra points in a shooting match to me." Three or more friends all shooting 357s and trading them off each stage the stage winner was shooting my 357.

But what has bugged me about this thread is ...........
There are almost as many models of Colt double action revolvers as Smith and Wesson models. There are three very distinct and very different types of mechanisms two of which are commonly found. I have stayed away from this thread because there just isn't enough information to go on. And AMMUNITION, simply ammunition can cause more assumption of mechanical fault then any real break down has caused, to many countless times to waste a comment on such a vague Original Post.

My rant

Al
I was also referring to the older V spring colts. They did have issues and I personally have fixed a ton of them.
 

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I was also referring to the older V spring colts. They did have issues and I personally have fixed a ton of them.
I have fixed tons of them also. In order of problems
Bad ammunition is far and away the biggest problem
1st very dirty from loose in a pocket carry
2nd running them dirty and dry
3rd running them dry

I have fixed as many S&W revolvers for the same reasons. Also keeping in mind that V spring model Colts are now 40 years old and older.

An advantage that hasn't been talked about is the offset cylinder stop in the colt that lets the cylinder be lighter with the same strength as a S&W. The S&W cylinder bolt cut being centered on the chamber requires a heavier cylinder to give strength at the cut.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Colts are notorious for going out of time. On a colt the hand that rotates the cylinder engages the cylinder and stays touching the cylinder when the gun discharges therefore wearing the face of the hand quickly. On a Smith the hand rotates the cylinder then pulls away when the locking bolt engages. Much better design.
Thanks for the info
 
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