Diamondback in the rough


October 1, 2012, 08:15 PM
I bought a Diamondback in need of some serious help because it was the right price. It's not even that old, so I don't know where all the bluing went, but that's not the problem. The sideplate was on crooked when I bought it. I figured I could remove it and put it on properly, but it's not fitting right. The edges all fit in, but it's acting like there's a pivot point in the middle so i can get one of the three corners to fit flush at a time only. The other two lever up like a seesaw.

Turning the gun over, I noticed this:
http://i.imgur.com/EdVYI.jpg (http://imgur.com/EdVYI)

On all my other Colt revolvers, that shallow hole is filled by a pin or bolt just barely protruding from the side, but here it is about 1mm deep instead of protruding. Is this as simple as me needing to push something in further under the sideplate to make the sideplate fit? I hope?

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October 2, 2012, 08:17 PM
You have trouble.

That pin is the hammer pin.
It's pressed in place with a special press device. DO NOT attempt to hammer it in, you'll deform the frame.
Send the gun in to Colt to get it properly repaired. If you want, they'll re-blue it to look like brand new while they have it.

The pin is a very tight press-fit so it's probable that someone attempted to either remove the pin for some reason, or attempted to install a new pin for one damaged.
You need to check the frame closely for a bulged frame around the pin hole.
Hopefully whoever did this didn't ruin the gun.

Also check for a bent side plate.

Again, don't attempt repair yourself or allow any local gunsmith to attempt repair.
The pin must be a very tight fit and installation requires a special press and special support dies to prevent frame damage.

People who do things like this to expensive guns should be shot with them.

October 2, 2012, 08:36 PM
Listen to dfariswheel.... He knows his Colts.

October 2, 2012, 09:01 PM
I agree with dfariswheel. That is a crime against gunmanity.

October 2, 2012, 09:37 PM
SEND it to Colt, likes been said, dfaris knows what he's talking about, get a new re-blued piece outta the deal, then let us know how it shoots!

October 2, 2012, 09:39 PM
dfariswheel is correct, and if you doubt his sage advice ask oldfuff. But I bet you get the exact same reply.

October 2, 2012, 11:50 PM
Was basically waiting to see what dfariswheel could tell me. The frame looks pretty straight all around to me. Everything on the gun mechanically seems to work fine, by some bizarre miracle. It doesn't sounds like too costly a repair, so even if I go for the reblue with the price I paid I shouldn't have done badly.

My Python has needed to be retimed as well. I guess I'll have them do both at the same time and save on shipping. Thanks a lot for the info.

Old Fuff
October 3, 2012, 12:20 AM
dfariswheel is correct, and if you doubt his sage advice ask oldfuff. But I bet you get the exact same reply.

Indeed! You are dead on, and so is dfariswheel.

Besides the obvious, Colt can inspect and check for undetected damage. As for refinishing, it's something that won't get less expensive, and it is a classic revolver that's not likely to be duplicated in the future. Think of it as a junior Python.

October 3, 2012, 12:27 AM
Have then get rid of the horrible rubber thing hanging off the grip frame too ;)

October 3, 2012, 06:10 PM
I halfway wonder if that revolver was in a fire and then stored underwater.

October 3, 2012, 08:50 PM

I feel for you.

I too am a sucker for old Colts but it had better have been REALLY cheap.

This is no cheap fix

Hopefully Colt will have the parts.

Best of luck...

Keep us informed.

October 4, 2012, 04:56 PM
It's on its way to Colt now. Going to ask them to service it and royal blue it. Hopefully the fix.is a matter of dissassembly and competant reassembly, which it should be since all the parts are there and the gun works fine. If it takes more than that I'll just tell them to do what they have to. It's going to be a beauty again.

October 4, 2012, 07:37 PM
Another question:

Are these the original style grips for a 1984 vintage and is that a reasonable price for them?

October 4, 2012, 08:39 PM
Those TYPE of grips are correct for a 2 1/2" Diamondback, but not a 4" or 6".

Those specific grips are not totally "correct" since by the early 1980's Colt had stopped using Silver medallions. By 1984 all Colt's had Gold medallions.

Price-wise that's a steal these days for genuine Colt factory grips, *IF* those are genuine factory and not a replica.

November 29, 2012, 10:21 PM
Got the report letter back from Colt. They didn't mention anything being a problem. They said they'd restore the gun to factory spec, reblue, and test fire it all for the cost of the reblue alone. I sprang for the Royal Blue for 325. Even if that's not the original finish, it'll make it look like a perfect sidekick to my Python. Already phoned in my payment info. Now we play the waiting game.

I bought those ebay grips too. I'll be in it for just a tad more than I wanted to be overall, but I don't think I did too bad and I expect this will be one of my very favorite guns if everything works out from here on.

Cocked & Locked
November 30, 2012, 12:01 PM
Sounds like a real deal to me! You made a good decision that you won't regret. I'm ready to see some pictures! I'd love to have a 2.5" Diamondback someday.:(

May 18, 2013, 01:30 AM
So I still haven't gotten my gun back, but nor have I heard of any problems springing up. I sent the Diamondback at the beginning of November, received the letter and paid it at the end of October. It's been almost eight months since I sent the gun, six since I paid for the work. Is this normal? Should I call to see if the problems dfaris pointed out are as bad as I was afraid of? I'm more than willing to continue to wait patiently if that's just how long it takes.

Has anyone refinished a revolver with Colt recently? How long did it take to get back?

Cocked & Locked
May 18, 2013, 02:20 AM
My curiosity would have me calling.

May 18, 2013, 06:16 AM

Maybe it required more work or parts than they originally estimated. I don't see a problem with contacting them to find out the status of your gun. Hope they at least give you some sort of timeline for when it will be finished.

May 18, 2013, 07:58 AM
I'd email them first and then call if you don't hear anything in a week or so. You don't want them to loose it.

May 18, 2013, 09:21 AM
I'd have to call and ask,i'm sure its just because everyone is swamped with work right now but i'd have to atleast ask them.

May 18, 2013, 11:54 AM
I agree; treating a classic revolver like that is criminal.

May 18, 2013, 07:16 PM
Colt is WAY behind on repairs and refinishing.
However, it can't hurt to call and check.

Just be prepared to wait a LONG time on the phone. The phones are also jammed from the time they open to the time they close.

May 18, 2013, 11:19 PM
I'm in the same boat with Smith & Wesson. Sent a Highway Patrolman in for refinishing in early March. They told me at that time that turnaround was about 12 weeks as they're really backlogged. But I'm sure it'll be worth the wait as will be your Colt.

May 25, 2013, 02:11 AM
A very nice and helpful lady said they were very behind in their repair queue but are actually managing to catch up with it. She took my e-mail and offered to personally check on it and expedite it if it wasn't on the way already. The next morning I got this email.

Following your status check, your Diamondback is in queue at Polishing with an expedited status. At this time, I was unable to obtain an ETA for your repair; however at this point in the process, turnaround is fairly quick. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or concerns.

So I certainly can't complain any about the folks at Colt. You think it's finally safe to assume my little abused snake should be in the clear as far as serious defects if it has reached the polishing stage without raising any flags?

Old Fuff
May 25, 2013, 11:01 AM
The quality of any blued finish is dependent on how well the metal is polished, not the bluing process itself - which once started is fairly quick. What tkes time (and skilled labor) is the polishing, and it should be done with care, not speed. This is particularily so if the surface was pitted in the first place.

If they are about to do the polishing you should be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. At this point the revolver is completely disassembled. When they put it back together they'll address any mechanical issues.

May 26, 2013, 05:22 AM
Since they have to polish the gun with the sideplate on straight, though, my hope is that it's safe to assume they worked out that particular ill-fitting sideplate kink.

May 26, 2013, 07:14 AM
You're going to get back an essentially new gun. Not bad.

May 26, 2013, 07:16 AM
I have been following this thread since it re-appeared, and I'm really excited to see how it turns out. When you get the gun back, do the right thing and post LOTS of pictures!! :)

Old Fuff
May 26, 2013, 09:46 AM
Since they have to polish the gun with the sideplate on straight, though, my hope is that it's safe to assume they worked out that particular ill-fitting sideplate kink.

Undoubtably... If necessary they'll fix it by replacement....

From your side of the picture it's only more money. :uhoh:

May 26, 2013, 11:23 AM
Just tagging for future as I LOVE "Before and After" restoration pics of old or abused guns :)

May 26, 2013, 11:43 AM
Can't wait to see how that D frame turns out. One of my favorite revolvers.

Peter M. Eick
May 26, 2013, 02:43 PM

Just for the fun of posting a nice picture of a few Diamondbacks.

June 5, 2013, 04:46 PM
Sadly, I didn't take many "before" photos so these two will have to suffice.



Sadder still, I'm taking these with a damned telephone but I will get my photographer friend to whip up something better tonight.


I should keep some anti-venom around with this many snakes in my house.


June 5, 2013, 04:52 PM

Long time to wait, but what a gorgeous gun it turned out to be!

June 5, 2013, 05:00 PM
My pictures aren't doing it justice. There were deep dents in it before--gouges even, and they are completely gone now. And yet the marks and stampings are completely intact. Whoever they have working the buffing wheel at Colt is an artist.


Cocked & Locked
June 5, 2013, 05:43 PM
Very Nice Looking! :what: I'd like to have one of those someday...someday...someday...someday...maybe. :scrutiny:

June 5, 2013, 06:07 PM
I believe they restamp during the refinish, an advantage the factory has......

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