Concern about revolver "jamming"


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kdave21
August 29, 2011, 09:54 PM
I have a Colt double action revolver. I bought it new unfired. I have had ZERO problems with it except this:

Two separate times when I was aiming, I pulled the trigger back very slowly. For whatever reasons, I eased off the trigger, or somehow backed off the pressure, and then increased the pressure and attempted to fire. These two times that it happened, the cylinder basically locked up. To cure the problem, you just have to hit the cylinder release, let the cylinder fall out and then close it.

I have tried to recreate this but cant do it. I am trying to get it to screw up, but now I cant.

Im not really worried about it, cause I know the times it has happened was when I was doing screwy stuff with the trigger, and in a defensive situation would never shoot like that. None the less, has anyone heard of this before?

The revolver is clean and well maintained. There are no modifications or action jobs done to it.

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Iggy
August 29, 2011, 10:15 PM
Sounds kinda like the feller that went to the Doc and said. "Doc, it hurts when I do this."
Doc sez, "Well, don't do that!":evil::D

kdave21
August 29, 2011, 10:22 PM
Sounds kinda like the feller that went to the Doc and said. "Doc, it hurts when I do this."
Doc sez, "Well, don't do that!"

:) Very true. Probably the best advice there is. :)

Chuck Dye
August 29, 2011, 11:10 PM
My first inclination is a detailed strip, thorough cleaning and inspection, lube and reassembly. You may turn up something broken, loose, or worn, or perhaps more likely in the case of an intermittent problem, fouled. Not knowing Colts at all, I would go heavy on the research first to determine if I should tackle the matter or haul it into a 'smith. Although I wish they were more thoroughly indexed, I am glad I own the Jerry Kuhnhausen books (http://gunbooks.com/catalog.html) for those guns I own. Note that there are two volumes for Colt double action revolvers, each covering different models. I prefer to buy such things at my local gun shop if I can.

Hoppe
August 29, 2011, 11:29 PM
I would sugest you strip it down and clean the trigger group.

just for fun
August 29, 2011, 11:44 PM
got this 586 that did the same thing back when I first got it. Took it back tothe shop where I purchased it and they had it for a week before it was "ready". Took it out that weekend and it did the same thing! Went back and explained to another gunsmith what was going on. He cocked the hammer back a few times and commented, "I know what's wrong with it"! Went to his work station and about 15,20 minutes at the max, handed it back to me and said, "fixed it".That was in the mid 80's and it would be hard to even guess how many thousands of rounds that gun has sent down range, without ONE glitch. I do not own one auto that I can say the same thing about. Place, Tucson, Az Shop, Jenson's

Jim K
August 30, 2011, 08:16 PM
I am not sure what was wrong with that S&W but I think I know what is wrong with the Colt. Trouble is that it would be almost impossible to describe the problem or tell how to fix it to someone who is not a Colt expert. I think Colt will still work on those guns, so I would give them a call. If they can't help, come back and we'll try to work something out.

Jim

Remllez
August 30, 2011, 09:01 PM
Iggy,

That joke never gets old! :)

Krispy
August 30, 2011, 09:13 PM
I have a Colt double action revolver. I bought it new unfired. I have had ZERO problems with it except this:

Two separate times when I was aiming, I pulled the trigger back very slowly. For whatever reasons, I eased off the trigger, or somehow backed off the pressure, and then increased the pressure and attempted to fire. These two times that it happened, the cylinder basically locked up. To cure the problem, you just have to hit the cylinder release, let the cylinder fall out and then close it.

I have tried to recreate this but cant do it. I am trying to get it to screw up, but now I cant.

Im not really worried about it, cause I know the times it has happened was when I was doing screwy stuff with the trigger, and in a defensive situation would never shoot like that. None the less, has anyone heard of this before?

The revolver is clean and well maintained. There are no modifications or action jobs done to it.
Try some snap caps for your new unfired revolver..500 DA cycles might help loosen-up the action..do not lubricate until you have gone thru 500 cycles..factory lube will suffice,,in fact a little dirt will wear-off the high spots from the machining processes used to produce the parts. After that a good cleaning and lube is necessary..anyway Iggy is correct anything mechanical doesn't like to be put in Reverse halfway thru its designed cycle..

kdave21
August 30, 2011, 09:35 PM
Thanks gentlemen. This gives me some possible routes to take. Im going to think about sending it to Colt, and in the meantime, maybe Ill try the snap caps and see if I can figure out when its happening (if I can get it to happen again) so I can accurately describe what is going on, and at the same time maybe smooth out the action. It literally has not had very many rounds through it, and is, in my opinion, barely broken in. I wouldn't think it would be gummed up yet.

anything mechanical doesn't like to be put in Reverse halfway thru its designed cycle..

Thats my one concern with sending it to Colt. If its just because Im the one causing it to act screwy, then maybe its my fault and it is to be expected...

Dr.Rob
August 30, 2011, 11:23 PM
Is this a recent production Colt or an older gun?

There is a specific mention of this in the SF-VI/Magnum carry manual.

Lucky Derby
August 31, 2011, 01:55 AM
You don't mention which model you have. Colt made several different DA designs over the years. What gun do you have?

kdave21
August 31, 2011, 06:34 AM
This is a Colt detective special, I believe 90's era. I will check the manual to see if this is mentioned...

kdave21
August 31, 2011, 08:28 AM
Checked the manual, nothing mentioned on this one. This is not a SF-IV, but I wonder if it is the same deal? If you have the information from the manual, would love to hear it.

MartinS
August 31, 2011, 08:55 AM
Maybe you are, in effect, trying a second pull without letting the trigger reset..."or somehow backed off the pressure"...somehow as in letting the trigger go forward a bit?

4thHorseman
August 31, 2011, 09:01 AM
It sounds like to me you are "short stroking" the gun. Colts Det Spec have a very low spring tension return spring. It is part of the main spring. I often short stroke mine and that is why I don't CCW with it. Just my own feelings on it.
The return spring may be weak.
If you decide to take it a part, pay attention to how it comes a part, so you can put it back together again. The old Colts have more ****** in them than a Christmas turkey. :)

sugarmaker
August 31, 2011, 10:00 AM
Timing on a revolver can be tricky - new ones and old ones are mis-timed, very common. If you're not a tinkerer, a gunsmith is your best bet. If you are, a supply of parts like hands, hammers, and triggers in different thicknesses etc. and lots of patience are required as it's easy to ruin these. You can eventually get really good at tuning - I tune mine and I'd say I'm as good as any smith. I also have a box of (somewhat expensive) ruined parts I made while learning.

Clean and lube is always the place to start, if that doesn't work get the right set of screwdrivers and disassemble. Clean gunk off. Look for rust and carefully POLISH (do not grind or remove any metal - hand polish using 1600 grit cloth or finer), staying away from the ratchet, hand ends, etc.

If it's still off you may need some parts, like thicker hands, hammers, trigger, what have you. and some skill and tools to fit them. This is where it gets tricky and expensive.

PRM
August 31, 2011, 11:36 AM
If you don't know how to take it apart ~ don't home-smith it. You can mess the side plate up if you don't remove it properly. It comes out with vibration not forcing it.

Mike1234567
August 31, 2011, 12:24 PM
Don't get 'er started then back out or she may very well lock up on ya'. That's bad form anyway, dude.:evil:

Maximumbob54
August 31, 2011, 03:22 PM
As you pull the trigger, the hammer will go back and the cylinder will begin to turn to the next chamber. If you then decide not to finish pulling the trigger then the hammer will ease back down but the cylinder will stay inbetween chambers and not be in a stop notch. Try to either spin the cylinder in either direction without applying much pressure at all. If it is indeed stuck then you may have to open her up. You aren't allowing the timing to get the full motion.

Remllez
August 31, 2011, 06:28 PM
I'm with 4thhorseman....sounds like a classic case of short stroking to me. I wouldn't make a habit of trying to recreate this condition. I would take the grips off spray the insides with degreaser and get some fresh lubricant in the action. Then dry fire it a few hundred times....with or without snap caps.

kdave21
September 1, 2011, 05:57 AM
Great thoughts guys. I think 4th Horseman is right.

I did try to recreate this again today (dont worry, I will stop on the whole recreation thing, I got it out of my system), and found I could create a similar situation if I didn't let the trigger out far enough in between shots. I think "short stroking" is exactly what was happening. I was so focused on my sight picture and keeping my gun steady I guess I wasnt letting it reset. I am new to revolvers and still learning a lot (I had to look up the definition of short stroking).

This gun was sold to me as unfired NIB, and I have put less than 500 rounds through it, so it "shouldn't be" too dirty. I know nothing about cleaning internals of revolvers. I know how to clean out the cylinder, bore, and thats about it.

I would take the grips off spray the insides with degreaser and get some fresh lubricant in the action. Then dry fire it a few hundred times....with or without snap caps.

Can you go into a bit more detail on this? Is the action accessible without removing the side plate? When you say the "insides" are you referring to the spring that is in the grip? I really want to learn how to maintain this properly as it is a daily carry and back up gun and am relying on it to always be faithful and true to me. Also, is the consensus that it is okay to fire without snap caps? The manual says dry fire is OK.

Don't get 'er started then back out or she may very well lock up on ya'. That's bad form anyway, dude.

Agreed. That will not be happening again.

The old Colts have more ****** in them than a Christmas turkey.

:) Good stuff.

Cop Bob
September 1, 2011, 04:05 PM
The pistol was not designed to lock up when short stroked.. there is a problem, probably minor... In my mind it is a safety hazard if this is pistol that you stake your life on... HOWEVER>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Outside of the factory, there are only about three pistol smiths in this country that I would trust a Colt Revolver too... and most of them are well into thier 80's and there is a long waiting list to get anything worked on... SEND IT TO COLT...

The basic problem it the design philosophy of Colt in their revolvers,,, For every part there is a function, for every function, there is a part..

You crack the side plate on a Colt Revolver and you will have so many little parts come jumping out at you it is not funny, I think total there are about 57.. and they ALL must be fitted and timed properly... It is not a job that I would recommend to someone with a screwdriver and a manual...

Smiths, not problem, can do em in my sleep, with a bit of time and an interpreter, I could teach a monkey to work on a Smith... they have a whole different design philosophy, for every part there are multiple functions, therefore there are way fewer parts under the sidecover of a Smith... and they are somewhat forgiving..

Colt's no way...Send it to Colt.. you will not be sorry...

PRM
September 2, 2011, 01:01 PM
S&W has fewer parts??? Hum?


I've been carrying Colt Revolvers for right at 35 years. During that time I have taken them down, worked on them and changed out hammers, trigger, springs ... Sometimes the parts dropped in, sometimes they took some fitting. With a basic knowledge of gunsmithing and a good shop manual the basic stuff is easy.

I have also used the Colt Custom Shop and those guys are very good and reasonable on turn around time and cost.

Old Fuff
September 2, 2011, 04:15 PM
While the Colt's in question get a lot of bad press, the truth is that most of them were introduced around 1908 and remained in production into the 1970's and some beyond. They were widely used by law enforcement organizations and our military services. Over that time they saw some minor modifications but no major ones.

Now it would seem obvious that with that kind of record they couldn't have been as bad as some make out.

The real problem is that they have now been discontinued for some (give or take) 40 years, and in some cases parts are difficult to get, as are the skilled and experienced craftsmen who are necessary to service them.

Those that have examples that are in good condition, and keep them that way, know (as I do) that they are exceptionally accurate and reliable revolvers.

Jim K
September 2, 2011, 04:35 PM
Hi, Cop Bob,

Actually, the situtation with Colts is the reverse. One part often does several things and trying to correct one problem can often lead to several others. The perfect example is the rebound lever, which 1) rebounds the hammer, 2) provides trigger return, 3) tensions the hand, and 4) operates the cylinder bolt. It is in turn operated by the mainspring, which 1) powers the hammer and 2) powers the rebound lever.

S&W's, in which most parts perform a single function, are easy by comparison.

Jim

Deaf Smith
September 2, 2011, 09:47 PM
I have a Colt double action revolver. I bought it new unfired. I have had ZERO problems with it except this:

Two separate times when I was aiming, I pulled the trigger back very slowly. For whatever reasons, I eased off the trigger, or somehow backed off the pressure, and then increased the pressure and attempted to fire. These two times that it happened, the cylinder basically locked up. To cure the problem, you just have to hit the cylinder release, let the cylinder fall out and then close it.

I have tried to recreate this but cant do it. I am trying to get it to screw up, but now I cant.

Im not really worried about it, cause I know the times it has happened was when I was doing screwy stuff with the trigger, and in a defensive situation would never shoot like that. None the less, has anyone heard of this before?

The revolver is clean and well maintained. There are no modifications or action jobs done to it.
What you did was you turned the cylinder till the ratchet was in a position to block the paw from advancing.

The cure?

Pull the trigger like you are supposed to.

Deaf

bikemutt
September 3, 2011, 06:26 PM
Check the s/n here: http://www.guncollectorsclub.com/detective.htm

Nothing listed after '78, but there was the DS II, not sure when those were produced.

kdave21
September 6, 2011, 06:31 AM
Lots of good thoughts guys, I enjoyed hearing the feedback and information about this gun, thanks all.

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