How bad is this? Please help...


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ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 06:59 PM
I purchased a Colt Python and didn't notice this problem until I got home with it. I have to say I probably would have still bought it even if I did see the problem ahead of time since everything else is so nice and the price was decent.

The barrel isn't screwed on straight. :(

Photos are below. I would really appreciate your thoughts on how bad this is and what I can do to correct it. Really hoping for some good news...


http://i.imgur.com/ZTtSB.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/D4lWM.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/d5rkk.jpg

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scramasax
October 15, 2011, 07:12 PM
The barrel being turned makes me wonder how and what damage might be to the frame?

From your pictures the crain seems to be OK. I'm sorry I cannot give you the place to send it unless it"s Colt or Cylinder& Slide.
btw it looks straight just not screwed in complete.

Good luck ts

Old Fuff
October 15, 2011, 07:18 PM
If they didn't do it right in the first place, they'll fix it on their dime. Call Colt's customer service department.

ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 07:29 PM
If they didn't do it right in the first place, they'll fix it on their dime. Call Colt's customer service department.
It was a consignment item at a local shop. The revolver is very clean, shows little signs of use. There is some light powder residue around the forcing cone, and I have to assume it was fired by the previous owner. When I bought it the factory plastic plug was in place and the action was zip-tied with a red tie.

Other than two very tiny, light scratches there isn't barely a mark on it. It's super clean. Even the walnut grips are perfect without the slightest nick or scratch. So I can't imagine it was abused in any way to cause this. Think it could have come from the factory this way?

RDCL
October 15, 2011, 07:33 PM
That sucks. I think it is outrageous the seller did not indicate this issue to you first hand, even though you'd have probably still bought it.

What Old Fluff said ......Call Colt.

Old Fuff
October 15, 2011, 07:57 PM
It probably did come that way. Somebody should have caught it, but didn't.

But that's the reason they'll fix it on their dime, and likely pay shipping going both ways.

And while they are at it, they'll look for any other problems, and if there any they'll fix them too.

ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 08:00 PM
That sucks. I think it is outrageous the seller did not indicate this issue to you first hand, even though you'd have probably still bought it.

What Old Fluff said ......Call Colt.
I mean, honestly, who knows if anyone ever noticed? I gave it a good look over at the shop and didn't see the problem. I even looked down the sights and it didn't catch my eye. Although, that is how I noticed it at home, by looking down the sights at a white wall in my den. I think the contrast was better and I could tell something wasn't straight.

Any way to tell what you would look for in a revolver that has only been fired by the factory? I'm new to revolvers and can't tell the difference between 6 firings and 100.

ColtPythonElite
October 15, 2011, 08:08 PM
There is very little doubt in my mind it came that way. It was common on Colt's DA's in the last few years. I have one I bought new in 1990. It was my first revolver. The barrel is crooked just like that. I never knew for years that it shouldn't be. It doesn't affect how it shoots......I would guess Colt would fix it on their dime unless they could prove the gun has been worked on by an outside source. Personally, I don't find the fix worth is since shipping would likely set you back nearly 100 bucks.

Walnut grips? It appears to be a stainless gun. I would have came with rubber grips.

Old Fuff
October 15, 2011, 08:08 PM
Go to:THR > Tools and Technologies > Handguns: Revolvers.

At or near the top you will find a checklist that works well for Colt revolvers, such as the Python.

ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 08:17 PM
Go to:THR > Tools and Technologies > Handguns: Revolvers.

At or near the top you will find a checklist that works well for Colt revolvers, such as the Python.
Thank you, I appreciate all your help!

ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 08:21 PM
There is very little doubt in my mind it came that way. It was common on Colt's DA's in the last few years. I have one I bought new in 1990. It was my first revolver. The barrel is crooked just like that. I never knew for years that it shouldn't be. It doesn't affect how it shoots......I would guess Colt would fix it on their dime unless they could prove the gun has been worked on by an outside source. Personally, I don't find the fix worth is since shipping would likely set you back nearly 100 bucks.

Walnut grips? It appears to be a stainless gun. I would have came with rubber grips.
Interesting. Fortunately I do love the walnut. Do you think that since the Elite's were from the custom shop that the vendor could have requested walnut? It would be a shame if Colt didn't offer anything other than rubber on such a nice revolver.

GP100man
October 15, 2011, 08:26 PM
If ya gonna shoot it see if it shoots to POA , it probably does`nt but if it does don`t worry `bout it .

If it does`nt then call colt as there the only people with a few parts left for the Python.

Bet it shoots left though .

ChazHollywood
October 15, 2011, 08:39 PM
It was common on Colt's DA's in the last few years...

This is reassuring, thank you.

ColtPythonElite
October 16, 2011, 12:41 AM
Interesting. Fortunately I do love the walnut. Do you think that since the Elite's were from the custom shop that the vendor could have requested walnut? It would be a shame if Colt didn't offer anything other than rubber on such a nice revolver.

I didn't realize your gun was an Elite. If so, it should have wooden grips. If it is an Elite, it is kinda of sad that a gun with a crooked barrel would ever leave their "custom" shop.

rondog
October 16, 2011, 01:22 AM
Probably put together late on a Friday.....

ChazHollywood
October 16, 2011, 01:27 AM
I didn't realize your gun was an Elite. If so, it should have wooden grips. If it is an Elite, it is kinda of sad that a gun with a crooked barrel would ever leave their "custom" shop.
Yes, it's an Elite. Well, good to know those are the correct grips.

David E
October 16, 2011, 02:59 AM
Take out the cylinder, pad the barrel, put it in a vise, put a 3/4" dowel rod thru the frame window and geennnnntly unscrew the barrel the 1/32nd of a turn to line it up.

I once tightened a Colt Diamondback barrel exactly that way. Worked great and took less than 5 minutes beginning to end.

I know you won't do that and everyone is going to say not to, so decide if you can live with it as is, or send it back to Colt, so THEY can do the dowel rod thing.

WardenWolf
October 16, 2011, 03:04 AM
David E, sounds like a good way for him to mess up his gun in a way that Colt won't fix it for free. Just send it back to Colt. They'll take care of it. It definitely was factory because the finish is still pristine.

gvf
October 16, 2011, 03:09 AM
I purchased a Colt Python and didn't notice this problem until I got home with it. I have to say I probably would have still bought it even if I did see the problem ahead of time since everything else is so nice and the price was decent.

The barrel isn't screwed on straight. :(

Photos are below. I would really appreciate your thoughts on how bad this is and what I can do to correct it. Really hoping for some good news...


http://i.imgur.com/ZTtSB.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/D4lWM.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/d5rkk.jpg
If you paid by Credit Card, file a complaint, get gunsmith to write letterhead note confirming the problem, send in copy of bill of sale, any paper-work etc. You should get your $$ back

ColtPythonElite
October 16, 2011, 04:32 AM
If you paid by Credit Card, file a complaint, get gunsmith to write letterhead note confirming the problem, send in copy of bill of sale, any paper-work etc. You should get your $$ back

I don't see that....It sounds as if he bought the gun in person and had a chance to inspect it. If that is the case, IMO, the seller is free and clear on this deal. It's not like there was hidden damage.

ChazHollywood
October 16, 2011, 11:18 AM
I don't see that....It sounds as if he bought the gun in person and had a chance to inspect it. If that is the case, IMO, the seller is free and clear on this deal. It's not like there was hidden damage.
This, plus even if I had seen the problem I would have bought it anyway. I now see that this is a factory issue rather than an abuse issue, which makes me way more comfortable about the whole thing.

ChazHollywood
October 16, 2011, 11:22 AM
Take out the cylinder, pad the barrel, put it in a vise, put a 3/4" dowel rod thru the frame window and geennnnntly unscrew the barrel the 1/32nd of a turn to line it up.

I once tightened a Colt Diamondback barrel exactly that way. Worked great and took less than 5 minutes beginning to end.

I know you won't do that and everyone is going to say not to, so decide if you can live with it as is, or send it back to Colt, so THEY can do the dowel rod thing.
Thanks. I always appreciate the DIY type answers because that's usually the way I handle things. But in this case there is no chance I'm going to try this myself. The only ones who I would let work on this gun is Colt.

Quick question though. The way I read your post it sounds backwards to me. Do gun barrels thread in backwards? Never considered that.

SWAddict
October 16, 2011, 11:27 AM
take out the cylinder, pad the barrel, put it in a vise, put a 3/4" dowel rod thru the frame window and geennnnntly unscrew the barrel the 1/32nd of a turn to line it up.

I once tightened a colt diamondback barrel exactly that way. Worked great and took less than 5 minutes beginning to end.

I know you won't do that and everyone is going to say not to, so decide if you can live with it as is, or send it back to colt, so they can do the dowel rod thing.

Do not do this!!! Without the proper tools, this will more than likely ruin the frame and/or barrel. Do the smart thing and send it to colt to fix.

loadedround
October 16, 2011, 11:32 AM
I had a friend that had a similar problem with a large frame Colt ( not a Python) that he purchased new. Considering the cost and time involved to send it back to Colt, he took it to an old local gunsmith who fixed in in 5 minutes and charged him ten dollars. To this day he is still shooting that revolver w/o a problem. The problem is an easy fix for a good 'smith. I woudn't try it myself for fear of springing the framr. Good luck.

Steve H
October 16, 2011, 11:50 AM
Back in the early 80's I bought a new 8" Python. It shot very well for about 12 years. One day while at the range my groups started "shifting". I looked at the barrel - frame alignment and found that the barrel was unscrewing itself as I shot. Sent to the factory and had it back in no time and without any charge to me.

David E
October 16, 2011, 12:52 PM
David E, sounds like a good way for him to mess up his gun in a way that Colt won't fix it for free.

If he's a total fool and complete klutz, I suppose you're right.

It is an egregious fitting fault and I'm amazed it wasn't spotted before purchase. Kinda like buying a car with a flat tire on the front drivers side.....

David E
October 16, 2011, 12:54 PM
Do not do this!!! Without the proper tools, this will more than likely ruin the frame and/or barrel. Do the smart thing and send it to colt to fix.

LOL!

How do you think the "good smith" fixed it?

ChazHollywood
October 16, 2011, 01:06 PM
If he's a total fool and complete klutz, I suppose you're right.

It is an egregious fitting fault and I'm amazed it wasn't spotted before purchase. Kinda like buying a car with a flat tire on the front drivers side.....
Very funny.

I'm not ham-fisted by any means, but if you think I'm going to attempt some bubba gunsmithing with no prior experience or proper tools on a collector gun with a perfect finish you would be wrong.

I agree that in retrospect it seems like a big error, but in-hand it's not as glaring as you make it seem. If the factory can miss it, I don't feel bad about missing it, not one bit. I wasn't looking for a tilted barrel, didn't even occur to me, and it's not noticeable unless you go looking for it. I was looking for clean bore, cylinders, lockup, and overall finish. Those checked out and it looked great overall so I bought it. I'm not sorry that I did.

motorcycle-charlie
October 16, 2011, 01:12 PM
i would definitly send it in. now that you know it is crooked, it is the first thing you will see every time you pick up the gun. i am a toolmaker by trade and work with close tolerances daily, so that would really catch my eye whenever i pick it up. i actually saw a brand new smith 686 at gander mtn. the other day with the same problem. it was lookin right at me through the case. good luck with whatever you decide.

skidder
October 16, 2011, 01:16 PM
You gamble doing it yourself for strength and accuracy. One other problem with doing it yourself is the blemishes left behind from where the barrel was turned. That is why I think it was a factory job. I don't see any scratches on the surface where the shroud should be. Unless, someone refinished it after the damage was done, but I doubt that was the case. They will match the finish after it is turned. A nice gun like that makes it worth the wait.

ChazHollywood
October 16, 2011, 01:16 PM
i would definitly send it in. now that you know it is crooked, it is the first thing you will see every time you pick up the gun. i am a toolmaker by trade and work with close tolerances daily, so that would really catch my eye whenever i pick it up. i actually saw a brand new smith 686 at gander mtn. the other day with the same problem. it was lookin right at me through the case. good luck with whatever you decide.
Yes, it's one of those things where one you notice it, it's all you see. But I handled it a fair amount at home while wiping it down and it didn't catch my eye. It was only when looking down the sights at a white wall that I noticed it.

I'll be calling Colt tomorrow. Why risk it when they will likely take care of it?

Haywood
October 16, 2011, 01:17 PM
A Gunsmith with a Barrel Wrench can fix it in no time. I have had that done.

skidder
October 16, 2011, 01:34 PM
David, you are correct in many ways. I'm hoping these gunsmiths are not moonlighting from Taurus. I will never send a gun back to them even if the barrel fell off. I posted my last comment counting on the Colt gunsmiths to be reputable.

motorcycle-charlie
October 16, 2011, 02:09 PM
Yes, it's one of those things where one you notice it, it's all you see. But I handled it a fair amount at home while wiping it down and it didn't catch my eye. It was only when looking down the sights at a white wall that I noticed it.

I'll be calling Colt tomorrow. Why risk it when they will likely take care of it?
good for you. i think that is a wise choice. it will probablly help you sleep better at night. i know it would for me. i hope it all works out for you.

David E
October 16, 2011, 04:48 PM
I'm not ham-fisted by any means, but if you think I'm going to attempt some bubba gunsmithing with no prior experience or proper tools on a collector gun with a perfect finish you would be wrong.

Not saying you are, just telling the other poster that IF you were, it would be beyond your ability and you'd screw it up.

I fully understand the trepidation of NOT wanting to do this on your own, I'm just saying it's not difficult in the least.

Send it back to Colt and let them take care of it.

ChazHollywood
October 17, 2011, 12:25 PM
Well, I called Colt this morning. They said it wouldn't be covered because I'm not the original owner. I can send it in for service and they can get me a quote. Turnaround is typically 90 days...

:|

By the way, they did tell me that based on the serial number the production date was 2004.

MrBorland
October 17, 2011, 01:35 PM
I called Colt this morning. They said it wouldn't be covered because I'm not the original owner.

I hope this doesn't tempt you to try The Dowel home repair method. Even if someone else got lucky...

BTW, AFAIK, Python barrel threads are right handed, so aligning the barrel by simply turning it would tighten, not loosen it. Excess barrel material at the base of the threads would add tension to an already-tensioned area. Yours looks to only need a degree or 2 or 3 of rotation, and at 36tpi (newer Python thread, IIRC), may not add significant tension, but OTOH, it may, and a tiny bit of barrel at the base of the barrel may have to be removed. Or the barrel replaced.

Looks like it'll be on your buck, anyway, so I'd send it to Colt, but I'd first want to chat mano a mano with them about it. They might just replace the barrel. If they shrug and say they'd just tighten it up, though I'd want a second opinion from another Colt expert. I'd recommend an email to Grant Cunningham (http://www.grantcunningham.com/). He's waaaay backed up on his own work load, but he'd likely be able to tell you whether it's a more detailed fix than a simple tightening. I'd be curious what he thinks about the dowel trick, too. ;)

rondog
October 17, 2011, 02:58 PM
It's still a Python in beautiful shape, I'd send it to Colt anyway, unless you personally know an excellent gunsmith you trust. JMHO.

David E
October 17, 2011, 03:13 PM
Colt should fix it, since it wasn't tightened correctly in the first place and never should've left the factory back in 2004

Talk to a supervisor.

MtnSpur
October 17, 2011, 03:16 PM
I'm going to assume you paid a "pretty penny" for that Python and with that said I'd definitely send it to COLT for the proper repair. I believe that any barrel issue will require Colt to test fire after repair and supply you with the resulting target. Should your Python have any issues after they have done their due diligence then another trip back to them is on their dime. Best of luck.

JohnBT
October 17, 2011, 04:32 PM
"If he's a total fool and complete klutz, I suppose you're right."

He is right. Don't put it in a vise and twist it with a freaking stick. Let someone with the proper tools do the work. The proper tool is a frame wrench.

Some people just shouldn't be giving advice.


Fwiw, my father bought a Python around Christmas of 1990 and it had to go back to have the barrel refit. It wasn't off much, but once he got it in bright daylight it was off.

skidder
October 18, 2011, 01:31 AM
The odds are this is their mistake. They should fix it....End of story.

JohnBT
October 18, 2011, 11:16 AM
www.midwayusa.com/Find?userSearchQuery=Revolver+Frame+Wrench

Out of curiosity, I looked up the cost of a frame wrench and an insert.

$92 for the wrench and $37 for the Python insert.

brnmuenchow
October 18, 2011, 12:03 PM
I have a Python from the '70's with very high quality, now I have heard from several individuals saying that some of the Pythons made in the '90's have had some quality issues. I can't imagine it being unfixable, however I don't know about on their dime.

David E
October 18, 2011, 12:12 PM
"If he's a total fool and complete klutz, I suppose you're right."

He is right. Don't put it in a vise and twist it with a freaking stick. Let someone with the proper tools do the work. The proper tool is a frame wrench.

The method described has been used successfully for years by reputable smiths. But it does require a non-Neanderthal to do it right.

Old Fuff
October 18, 2011, 06:31 PM
The method described has been used successfully for years by reputable smiths. But it does require a non-Neanderthal to do it right.

It's also caused a fair number of bent/warped frames because the frame wasn't supported at the front in the weak area under the barrel where the crane/yoke cutout is made. Less often you may end up with a bent topstrap if the frame is of the fixed sight kind, and weakened by a deep groove down the middle, or in an older gun that has a fouling cup on the bottom at the front.

Good gunsmiths, and of course the maker's factory, will have special blocks that fit and support both the frame and barrel. It's true that the correct tools are both expensive and model specific, but it would beat taking a chance on ruining a $1000 + revolver.

David E
October 18, 2011, 09:43 PM
You're not supposed to crank on it hard enough to bend anything.

But yes, proper tools are always best.

ChazHollywood
October 18, 2011, 09:51 PM
You're not supposed to crank on it hard enough to bend anything.

But yes, proper tools are always best.
I think the force required to bring the barrel into alignment would also be sufficient force to bend the frame if being torqued by the handle. Being careful and slow isn't the issue, it's improperly applying torque to the wrong part of the frame.

ColtPythonElite
October 18, 2011, 09:55 PM
It takes huge amounts of torque to properly crush fit a barrel...certainly enough to damage a frame with a hammer handle stuck thru it. Unless a local gunsmith can show me the proper tools he isn't going to be turning barrels on my Colts.

JohnBT
October 18, 2011, 11:15 PM
"The method described has been used successfully for years by reputable smiths."

We obviously have a different definition of reputable. I'd call them hacks.

ChazHollywood
October 19, 2011, 12:58 PM
Follow-up question for you guys. Do you think that the proper cylinder gap will be affected by having a smith tighten the barrel into place?

My guess is no because the threads are fine and it's such a small amount, but wanted to get your thoughts.

MrBorland
October 19, 2011, 01:13 PM
Do you think that the proper cylinder gap will be affected by having a smith tighten the barrel into place?

My guess is no because the threads are fine and it's such a small amount, but wanted to get your thoughts.

I started to answer that earlier, but got sidetracked:

Yours looks to only need a degree or 2 or 3 of rotation, and at 36tpi (newer Python thread, IIRC),

I doubt it'd do anything to the cylinder gap to a degree that mattered. If my math is correct, turning 36tpi 3 degrees will reduce the cylinder gap by by only 0.0002". Pythons are tight, but I'd find it hard to believe that 0.0002" would matter from a cylinder gap perspective. The added stress on the barrel/frame joint might be another matter, and maybe Old Fuff could chime in there.

ChazHollywood
October 19, 2011, 09:36 PM
UPDATE:

I visited a highly recommended local gunsmith today, Matt Babb of Bentwood Gunsmithing here in Las Vegas.

He fixed it up for me while I waited. He had a proper frame wrench with the model specific nylon insert for the Python and gently bumped it into place.

Barrel lines up perfectly now, well worth the $30 shop fee.

4v50 Gary
October 20, 2011, 08:17 AM
glad you got a local guy to fix it

Stainz
October 20, 2011, 08:54 AM
I love a happy ending! Now - shoot the nasal drippings out of that thing... enjoy it.

Stainz

PS Never use a hammer's handle to support a frame... you'll just have to whack it with another hammer. Besides, no one wants to damage a hammer's handle - as if a proper shadetree 'smith has two hammers...

RDCL
October 20, 2011, 07:55 PM
Good for you Chaz!:)

Glad it went well.

motorcycle-charlie
October 20, 2011, 08:47 PM
i always like giving the local guy my buisness whenever possible. glad it all worked out.

Sam Cade
October 20, 2011, 09:01 PM
Barrel lines up perfectly now, well worth the $30 shop fee.

I wonder if the smith has managed to recoup his tool cost yet?

ChazHollywood
October 20, 2011, 09:24 PM
I wonder if the smith has managed to recoup his tool cost yet?
Good question. I think the wrench is about $90 and the inserts are $30-$40 each. Although he said he has gotten several Pythons in the shop over the past couple weeks, so I imagine that particular tool has paid for itself.

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