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Old Colt .32 out of time?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by ATLDave, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    My mother has a very old Colt DA revolver chambered in .32 S&W Long (it says so on the barrel). I have no real experience with Colt revolvers, and understand they work a bit differently than S&W's. With this one, the cylinder does not fully rotate into place when the hammer is cocked (for SA fire). You can either rotate the cyliner by hand a little further, and then there is an audible click, or you can pull the trigger, which generally (perhaps always) seems to get it to roll the rest of the way over and get that same click. Is this out of time/failing to carry-up on a Colt, or is this normal?

    FWIW, I'm taking it to a gunsmith to have him look at a few things... would just prefer to have some idea of whether there's a timing/carry-up issue at the outset. Any wisdom the citizens of the Road wish to bestow is appreciated!
     
  2. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    There is a major difference in the lockwork between Colt and S&W revolvers. With Colt the cylinder bolt drops into the stop notch virtually the same time as the hammer is in it's most rearward position whereas with S&W revolvers the bolt drops slightly before the hammer is in it's most rearward position. Pull the hammer back smartly in SA and see if the bolt drops into the cylinder notch If the gun has not been used for a long time it can be a lubrication or corrosion isue.
     
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    ATLDave,

    Take the grips off and spray it with brake cleaner or similar product.

    Work the action repeatedly.

    Blow it out with an air hose. (can of air for blowing out computers works in a pinch).

    Lube it up with a high quality product.

    see what happens.

    Sometimes old revolvers have a lot of dried, nasty gunk in them that is clay-like.

    A good cleaning can go a long way.
     
  4. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    And wear eye protection if you are blowing solvents around.

    Don't ask me how I know.
     
  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Thanks all for the advice! Any others with thoughts are very welcome to chime in.

    MikeJackmin, your post stings my eyes just reading it. I used to do a lot of airbrushing of model airplanes and tanks, so I know about blowing solvents around!
     
  6. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Probably the most common Colt out of time condition is the hammer can be slowly cocked and the cylinder doesn't lock up fully.

    This is usually due to wear of the hand that advances the cylinder.
    Repair could be as simple as stretching the hand, or it may need to be replaced.
    The hand in the Colt's is considered to be a normal maintenance item in well used guns.

    Note that the hand is stretched on a one time basis and it isn't stretched where or how you might think.
    If the hand has been stretched once before, it has to be replaced.

    Also note that very, very few of todays local gunsmiths have any idea at all of how the old Colt action is repaired, or even of how it actually works.
    It's not at all unusual to take a Colt in to a local and get it back with the original problem not corrected and other problems caused by inappropriate attempts at repair.
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    +1 on what dfariswheel says about old Colts and gunsmiths. Yes, the gun is out of time, but if it carries up when the trigger is pulled, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Still, you might consider buying a newer and possibly more reliable gun for your mother.

    Jim
     
  8. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    Timing wear is VERY common on older Colts. I quit buying Colt for that reason.

    A very famous gunsmith told a pal of mine that he could tune a Python and it'd likely be out-of-time within 500-1000 rounds of .357 ammo.
     
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Yes, something is wrong: As it is the hand isn't turning the cylinder far enough, so it fails to "carry up," or fully rotate from chamber to chamber. This can be caused by a number of things including a fore-mentioned worn hand. However it may also be caused by the crane (the part the cylinder swings out on) is sprung or bent, or the pivot pin on the hand is bent so the tip of the hand pushes too far out on the ratchet tooth. On a number of occasions I have corrected this condition using nothing but a hammer with a plastic head.

    Under no circumstances take this revolver to any (so called) gunsmith unless they have proven experience with these Colt revolvers. Otherwise you will get back a paperweight. :banghead:
     
  10. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    OMG Guillermo, do you think it needs... the dreaded DIP?

    P.S. I do not agree with LoneStar at all!
     
  11. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Listen to old fluff, btw what model is it? I do not believe I have ever seen a colt that actually says s&w on it instead of 32 new police.
     
  12. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I'm honestly unsure. The finish is in rough shape - I suspect it was nickel-plated at one point, but that's almost all gone. I believe it's a Pocket Positive. "Pocket" is still pretty clearly visible. The reference to "S&W" is on the barrel.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Thanks much for the warning! I know a gunsmith who does a great job on S&W's and Rugers... I'll be sure to interrogate him about his knowledge/experience with Colts. He may well tell me that, given the condition, it's not worth fixing.
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    it most probably is well worth fixing.

    FYI
    Colt still works on the old stuff, but their parts supply is waning. Giving them a call is in order.

    800-962-colt (2658)
     
  16. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    At this point I'm not sure what the "Old Colt .32" that you have is exactly what model, but the likelyhood is that it was made between 1908 and 1940. From that perspective I can presume that (1) finding parts to repair it would be difficult, if they were available at all - and we won't bother to discuss the cost. (2) Colt won't touch it because of the age, and they don't have parts either. (3) These revolvers are a law on to themselves, and mechanically have no relationship to today's Smith & Wesson's or Ruger's. (4) Most of the gunsmiths that had any experience with them are either retired, or passed on and gone.

    It would be far wiser to leave it as it is, then let someone who didn't know what they were doing, "try to fix it." The key word is "try." :uhoh:
     
  17. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

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    I was shocked that OF did not make an offer
     
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