What parts does my Police Positive need?


Grey Morel
September 20, 2010, 07:18 PM
The timing on my 32 Colt Police Positive is partially off.

Before we continue on, let me state that I am WELL aware of the popular opinion that NOBODY can fix a Colt unless they have already done it (:rolleyes:) and that even a revolver god can't help me unless he has a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's book handy. *

I will send it to a real smith. I'm not going to do it myself. :o

Here is whats up:

1) The gun is 'welded' tight on every chamber when put in 'full lockup' - no play in any direction.

2) Despite good lockup, 4 of the 6 chambers will not advance far enough for the bolt to latch when cycled slowly. The bolt DOES latch on these chambers when cycled quickly.

3) The chambers that exhibit retarded cycling don't align with the forcing cone, even when advanced to the point that the bolt catches.

4) The 2 remaining chambers cycle and advance as normal - they also align perfectly with the forcing cone.

I have examined the gun for obvious signs of ware. The hand exhibits no obvious or excessive ware, but the ratchet exhibits some small burs on its gears, and the bolt exhibits a sizable ware spot.

Obviously, the gunsmith will make the final determination as to what parts are needed... but I would like to know which parts are likely to need replaced before I get into it, so I can purchase them now, as the parts can take time to find.

At the moment I have my eye on the ratchet, the bolt, springs, and the hand for replacement. Is this a reasonable parts list?

I can provide pictures if needed.

* Sorry for the initial disclaimer, and the length of the post. This is all an attempt to avoid the non-answers that have plagued all of the archive threads which deal with this subject.

If you enjoyed reading about "What parts does my Police Positive need?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 20, 2010, 07:38 PM
The hand and ejector are the most likely problems.
The original hand "may" be able to be stretched.

Where you run into problems is in finding new genuine Colt hands, and there are no new ejectors outside of whatever Colt has, and they won't sell you one. What they have, they're retaining for use on customer guns.

You have to have new parts because these are very much fitted parts and once fitted to to a gun, they don't fit another one. This is due to the fact that these parts had to be hand fitted in the old Colt's.
By going out and buying used parts, you're very likely waisting money, since they may not be needed, and almost certainly can't be used anyway.

The fact that several chambers don't align even when fully locked indicates a possible bent or sprung cylinder crane. This is something that's usually repairable without new parts.

Before I spent money on parts that very possibly can't be used, I'd send the gun in to a good gunsmith and them determine what needs to be replaced.

One good source of Colt repairs is Cylinder & Slide Shop. They're good Colt revolver people, but slow and expensive.
Another source of repairs that's gotten some good reviews is Heffron Gunsmithing.
I haven't seen their work so I can't give a recommendation:


Grey Morel
September 20, 2010, 07:53 PM
Thanks for your input.

Since Colt has the original parts, is it worth it to just send it to them, and pay the $50 per hour they ask?

September 21, 2010, 07:51 PM
I don't think Colt will repair these older models any more.
They appear to have stopped working on guns older then the early 1950's due to a lack of parts for older guns.

You could call them and ask, just to be sure.
Be specific as to whether you have a Police Positive or a Police Positive Special. They'll want to know the serial number so they will know when it was made.

If they won't, you could have Cylinder & Slide Shop do it. They're a top custom and Colt shop, but they have a waiting list, and are expensive.

You could also talk to Heffron's. I've heard good reports about their work, but I haven't personally seen any so I can't give a recommendation one way or another:

Cylinder & Slide, Inc.
245 E. 4th Street
Fremont, NE 68026
(402) 721-4277


Jim K
September 22, 2010, 10:22 PM
Dfariswheel and I have been around this one before. The fact is that many of those Colts, new from the factory, won't fully lock up when cocked slowly, especially in DA, UNTIL the trigger is pulled, then the cylinder locks into place before the firing pin reaches the primer.

If, in normal firing (not holding the cylinder back with a pipe wrench), the firing pin strikes are centered, I wouldn't worry about it. Also, believe it or not, chambers out of alignment are pretty common and were even more common in days past.* Again, if there is no lead shaving, I wouldn't worry about it.

If you do choose to have the gun repaired, Cylinder & Slide is the only place I would trust to do the job right, but "slow and expensive" applies.

FWIW, I recently bought a like-new .32 Colt PP for $250, so repairing one might not be cost effective. (BTW, that gun does not lock up when cocked slowly in DA, and I doubt it has ever been fired.)

*I know about the "precision" of the old time craftsmen, but modern CNC machinery really does turn out better and more consistent work.


If you enjoyed reading about "What parts does my Police Positive need?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!