hammer drops when pushed forward


May 22, 2004, 12:26 PM
i just got a 1932 colt official police, before buying i looked at the cylinder lockup, timing, etc but forgot to check the hammer. after firing it, the single action pull is very light and it shot great, but i just noticed that if cocked, you can push the hammer and it will drop. is this easily correctable or are we talking $$$?

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May 22, 2004, 12:56 PM
That depends. Does the trigger move? It could be a bad trigger return spring.

Cock the hammer. take a popsickle stick or a q-tip stem or something similar and put gentle pressure on the rear of the trigger. Can you still push fire the hammer?

An old trick to lighten the trigger pull is to reduce the trigger return tension. It's real easy to reduce it too much.

May 22, 2004, 01:24 PM
Sounds like the SA notch is worn. Probably the result of some ham-fisted kitchen table guy with a dremel. Fix can be fairly cheap for a smith to recut the notch. Depends on how much grinding the guy did. I just picked up a 1974 vintage 6" S&W Model 28 that had the same problem. It took a new hammer. The new hammer, fitting, an action job, and Wolff springs cost me $90.

4v50 Gary
May 22, 2004, 01:27 PM
Push off. You need another hammer fitted.

May 22, 2004, 02:35 PM
4v50 Gary has it right.

The Colt hammer and trigger cannot be "re-fitted". If the trigger's sear surface or the hammer's cocking shelf has been altered, the only "fix" is parts replacement.

Nor is this a question of a too-light trigger return spring, since the Colt doesn't HAVE a separate trigger spring.

Occasionally, the S&W develops "push off" after an action job, and this can usually be corrected by a TINY amount of work on the trigger surface.

In ALL cases, if the hammer of a DA revolver has been altered AT ALL, the part needs to be replaced.

So, the bottom line is, your Colt needs the services of a pro pistolsmith who's qualified to work on the older Colt revolvers.
Unfortunately, these people are very rare today.

I can recommend Cylinder and Slide, and Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters.

May 22, 2004, 04:55 PM
True the older Colts have a V-spring that acts as both mainspring and trigger return spring.

My point was that if this spring has been altered or has weakened to the point to be unreliable then spring replacement is easier and cheaper than trigger/hammer replacement.

I have seen several Colt V-springs that have been ground narrower in order to lighten the pull.
I have also seen budda action jobs where they tried to squeeze the V-spring in a vise to lighten it. That will just flay out ruin a spring in no time.

If the engaging surfaces have been altered or damaged then it should still push off even with light tension applied to the trigger.

May 22, 2004, 11:04 PM
crap, i should have printed out the revolver check before i paid for it. anybody have any idea on the availability of a new hammer for a 72 year old revolver, or a ballpark pricetag?

Old Fuff
May 22, 2004, 11:33 PM
Before buying parts you need to have the gun examined by someone that is knowledgeable about these Colts. It may be that the parts you have can be corrected, or that the trouble is caused by something other then the hammer (perhaps the trigger?).

Numrich/The Parts Corporation (www.e-gunparts.com) will likely have parts, but be sure to include the gun's serial number because these parts have undergone minor changes over the years.

May 23, 2004, 01:02 AM
From Numrich

Hammer $37.45
Trigger $21.40
Mainspring $8.25

May 23, 2004, 01:01 PM
ok, thanks all for the help. i'll probably put a few more rounds through it before sending it in. i'm a little surprised that only colt-specialty gunsmiths are recommended, is the action really that complex?

Old Fuff
May 23, 2004, 01:11 PM
BluesBear is right. But those are probably used parts that have been recovered from otherwise junked guns. In my experience they usually work, or can be made to do so. But the bottom line is that they are still used. Again I would advise having the gun examined before buying parts.

I had a similar revolver with the same condition, and was lucky enough to be able to correct the problem by slightly altering the trigger. Whole job only took 15 minutes.

But of course it doesn't always work out that way.

In some ways the action is very complicated, and the number of gunsmiths that have worked with old Colt's is getting fewer and fewer. However adjusting the trigger pull isn't particularly difficult - IF the parts have not been abused to the point of no return.

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