Bad Colt NM barrel on a Colt Super Stallion?


Peter M. Eick
March 26, 2011, 09:11 PM
I bought a Colt 38 Super Stallion because I wanted a Colt 38 Super with adjustable sights. I was told the Super Stallion was a Colt Gold Cup in 38 Super so I figured it can't be that bad. The gun was like new with the box and while gun was obviously handled it did not look like it was shot before.

Well maybe I was wrong in not checking it more thoroughly.

I have never seen a barrel so rough before. The roughness goes all the way down the barrel but it was easier to photograph it from the front.

The gun has a collet bushing so I understand that I should replace this. My gut reaction is to call Colt and see what if anything they will do. As I am the second owner, I doubt much but I can see.

Otherwise I see this as an opportunity for me to see if I can install my own barrel and use this gun as a "test bed" for me to learn to work on a 1911. I should also say that the barrel link down pin falls out and the slide to frame fit is really loose but coming from a Baer background anything is loose. The trigger on the gun is not that bad at 4 lbs 8 oz but it has this weird "scrunch" feel that I attribute to the series 80 safety stuff.

So, have you seen a barrel this rough on a Colt NM series gun before? Also what would you suggest I do and how shoud I proceed?

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Jim Watson
March 26, 2011, 09:43 PM
I don't think I have ever seen a barrel that rough unless rusted.
Might be a chance to try every cleaning and polishing product available while you wait on a new barrel.

A filler plate would let you try the trigger without the Series 80 firing pin obstruction.
It is possible to get a good Series 80 trigger, though. I had the lawyer levers put back in mine when IDPA got huffy about "safety devices" and with a little extra work by the gunsmith, the trigger is no different than it was without the superfluous parts.

March 26, 2011, 10:00 PM
That does not look like any "Colt" barrel I have ever seen before.

Peter M. Eick
March 26, 2011, 10:05 PM
I thought about rust, but if it was rusted, why would the lands not be rusted?

I agree I could polish the tar out of it with JB paste and make a lead lap and essentially lap it like a rifle barrel.

It looks like a kart easy fit barrel is about $200 so I have a fall back.

Jim Watson
March 26, 2011, 10:13 PM
Oh, I didn't mean I thought it was rusted, just that the only OTHER barrels I had ever seen that rough were. I noted the rough surface is limited to the grooves, but does not LOOK like tool marks from a chattering rifling cutter.

Be sure you get the right hood width on a replacement barrel or you will be doing a lot more filing.
I know a Gold Cup .45 has a narrower hood than a G.M. but I don't know about a .38.

March 26, 2011, 10:27 PM
If I were to guess, I'd guess someone shot some kind of corrosive ammo through it and didn't properly clean it. That said, the lands are pitted, but the rifling is still crisp, and that's the much more important part. I'd say shoot it and get it leaded some. The lead should fill in the pits and even it out. A lot of rifle barrels in similar condition shoot fine until someone thoroughly cleans them. Then they suddenly start shooting like crap because their imperfections are exposed, and continue to until they get dirtied again.

If the gun hasn't been shot, it's also possible the barrel hasn't been broken in yet and it will smooth out once it's been fired.

Peter M. Eick
March 27, 2011, 01:57 AM
Thanks for the tip about the right hood width. I had not considered that and I could easily see that it would be a lot of filing to bring one down to the right size.

While it is possible that it was shot with corrosive I would not know for sure. The slide looked pretty clean on the breechface before I shot it. I put 150 rounds down it and now there is a definate mark so I think I can figure it was at most a magazine to none before I bought it.

I will probably take your suggestion of just shooting for a while if Colt won't do anything. I can then investigate if I really want to try and rebarrel the gun on my own or if I want to find a local Houston gunsmith to do it.

Part of me wants to do it just to learn what is involved, so I need to start rereading my Kuhnhausen books.

Peter M. Eick
March 31, 2011, 07:49 PM
Talked to Colt and they said too old. They would replace the barrel for a fee but for the price of shipping I think I can do it locally and do a trigger job at the same time.

April 3, 2011, 09:31 AM
That's the first I've seen of something like that. I did want to say what a great close up photographic job that was. Hope it all works out.

Peter M. Eick
April 3, 2011, 03:51 PM
Colt said they could not help since it was too long ago.

I am looking to have briley change out the barrel and probably do a trigger job on it while there. I figure I can have them "de-series 80" it and clean it up. Briley is just up the road a bit from the office so I save a shipping fee.

I am still amazed at how loose the slide is on the frame. I am used to modern Baer's and it was a shock to see how sloppy this gun is built. I bought it to get a real Colt 38 Super and now that itch is covered so no big deal, just interesting.

April 3, 2011, 05:24 PM
That could simply be a excessive build up of lead , if the previous owner was shooting a lot of cast bullets thru it.

Try taking a old or new 12 guage brass wire shotgun cleaning brush and ram if down the barrel lubricated with bore solvent, this will remove all lead deposits perfectly in only 5-10 runs thru the barrel. You may hav eto use a 20ga brush it depends on the caliber. Just make sure its a bronze or brass brush

April 3, 2011, 05:30 PM
if you have to get a new barrel send it to wilson's and have them install a new match barrel , cost for fitting is only $150 and you know it will be done right. I have a kimber sis with a custom wilson barrel fitted by them and it shoots 2" groups at 25 yrds.

One other choice is to go with a kart match barrel or have the gun converetd to 9mm its cheaper to shoot and a lot better round overall, all you need to do is to changing the barrel and the mags.

April 3, 2011, 05:53 PM
+1 on that stuff in the barrel being fouling

Peter M. Eick
April 8, 2011, 02:52 PM
I cleaned the barrel with a lewis lead remover several times and then scrubbed it really hard with a full sized brush and then really scrubbed it down with a bunch of patches.

Nothing came out and it still looks the same as before.

I have several SIG210's so there is no point in converting away from the great 38 super to 9mm. It is hard to think that you can convert a 1911 over to beat the accuracy of my 210's but that is another issue.

I have concluded that in the short term I will shoot it a bit more and then I will have Briley swap out the barrel for one of theirs.

April 9, 2011, 01:07 AM
How's it shoot? Before making any decisions, I would shoot 2-300 rounds first. You can always get the bbl replaced, that's not a problem. Just see how it shoots, first...

Peter M. Eick
April 9, 2011, 05:29 PM
I am going to. I figued out there is no point in getting rid of the barrel and collet for at least 1000 rnds. I will try it and see what else I want to do to the gun before I swap it out.

April 9, 2011, 05:49 PM
try some could be working with wheelweight lead there that is very hard.

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