Revolvers are not perfect...Colt jammed at range.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by evan price, May 16, 2016.

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  1. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I was in a discussion on another forum with someone who asserted revolvers were superior to semi auto pistols because they didn't jam or have magazine problems.

    At the range, I was shooting a 1918 Colt Army Special 38. It's an old, tired gun but still shots well. The trigger pull suddenly got gritty and stiff and locked up. Could not move hammer, could not move trigger. Luckily I had fired the last cartridge.
    Opened it up yesterday to discover the trigger pivot pin had snapped off. The trigger moved enough the safety lever link came out of the trigger engagement pin. This discombobulated the mechanism enough to lock up the action.
    This is a hard stoppage, no way to clear it up in the field without gunsmithing.
    Looks like all I need is to drive the pin out of the frame and replace it. Anybody got one?
     
  2. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    So what you're saying is it only took 98 years to get to it's first jam.
     
  3. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    LOL! Nicely put.
     
  4. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you let the eject rod back out on some they will cause problems too.

    If it's mechanical it can malfunction, even includes single shot firearms. If you went 98 years without any other single issue, you have just about every semiauto I have seen beat by a good margin and a lot of other firearms as well.
     
  5. UncleEd

    UncleEd Member

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    I thought the OP was being ironic about jams.

    Had me laughing. :D
     
  6. shafter

    shafter Member

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    But when it did jam tap and rack didn't fix it. If he wasn't shooting paper, he would have died.
     
  7. savit260

    savit260 Member

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    Tap and a rack doesn't cure every semi auto malfunction either.
     
  8. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    Hence a good reason to retire Great Grandpa's gun after the 3rd generation has used it and buy a more modern revolver.
     
  9. midland man

    midland man Member

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    heritage big bore 45 mine hasn't acted up yet but its new and well only perfect was jesus! all things made even colts have problems!
     
  10. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    FWIW, I once had a broken hammer stud (hammer pin) on a near-new S&W, and I had the hammer of a Colt OM break in half at the thin part. The Colt was only a couple of years old. In my limited experience, autoloaders have more failures, but they are more easily fixed; revolvers have few real failures, but those they have tend to require the services of a gunsmith or the factory.

    To directly answer the OP's concern, IIRC those pins are pins, not screws, and if one can't be found they are easily made on a lathe. Further, the pin extends through the frame and is rounded on the end so there is no need to blend it into the frame as there would be on a modern S&W. Just round the end, polish it, and add a dab of cold blue before driving it in. It doesn't need to be a tight fit, just enough interference fit to keep it from turning. Nor does it need to be especially hard, plain drill rod will do, without any heat treatment unless you want it.

    BTW, please use a concave punch to drive out the pin so as to not batter up the frame of that old Colt.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  12. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Let's see.

    I have had the trigger/bolt spring break on a Colt Single Action Army. This, along with the hand spring is probably the most common failure in the old SAA design. In fact, way back around 1968 the same part in my old Uberti 44 caliber, brass framed 'Navy' broke. This and broken hand springs are why Ruger replaced all the leaf springs in his revolvers with coil springs.

    broken%20bolt_zpstrr4xbao.jpg

    I have had the tip of the firing pin snap off on the same gun.



    And the bolt broke once too. Hopefully not as common as broken trigger/bolt springs and broken hand springs. The replacement part had to be custom fit to the gun by a smith.

    broken%20bolt_zpsxvupigyx.jpg

    That all happened within about a ten year period.

    Just yesterday I was shooting a string at a CAS match and my other Colt got a little bit stubborn to cock the hammer. Turns out the cylinder pin had slipped partway forward out of the frame. Not the first time that has happened with that gun.

    Have occasionally had a S&W get stubborn about letting me open the cylinder because there were some flakes of powder under the extractor star.

    That's about all I can come up with right now.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You have had worse luck then I have.
    (But you probably shoot more then I do any more.)

    I broke a bolt spring on a new 3rd. Gen Colt SAA about the second week I owned it.

    I lost the thumb piece off a S&W 625 in the weeds once. (But it didn't put it out of action.)

    I have had the ejector rod unscrew on old S&W's but that isn't a deal breaker if you know what's going on.

    Neither of those things can possibly happen now, after I found out about Blue Lock Tight 30 years ago.

    Other then that, no revolver failures in over 50 years.

    I cannot say the same about auto-pistols over the same time period.

    Many more broken parts and too many malfunctions to count.

    (As for the oP? Name me one other thing besides a 100 year old firearm that could even be used enough to fail.)

    rc
     
  14. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    I had the collet bushing shear off one finger on a Series 70. The gun was, for all practical purposes, welded shut.

    Had a firing pin retaining block crack in half on another govt model.

    If we include parts breakages in the reliability equation, I think the revolver will turn out to be even more reliable than an auto.

    Generally, good autos are pretty reliable. However when something goes wrong while you are shooting, it's generally during the feeding or extraction phase of the operation.

    That cannot occur while shooting a revolver as those two steps are taken care of before and after shooting the gun.
     
  15. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Was shooting factory 357mag PMC loads in an ID PA match of of my 19-3, bullets kept jumping the crimp and binding my cylinder I bowed out after the second stage. I couldn't make it through a full cylinder and I needed those rounds!
    Very eye opening to alot of things.

    I've also had the proverbial powder flake under the extractor star issues here and there.
     
  16. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I bought the old Colt as a basket case years ago and got it into firing condition. Any machine will break especially one that's a hundred years old!

    All I was trying to say was that despite what one person or another will say about revolvers vs semi autos BOTH of them break. IMHO revolvers break less often but when they do it's not usually something you can fix on the spot and get the gun back in service. At nearly 100 years old I'm sure there's plenty of wear and fatigue. But it's not carried, it is a fun gun that I collect.

    How many other 100-year-old machines are there that are not only still in service, but still have parts available to fix them?

    I saw Numrich has the pin for about $5 plus whatever shipping I just was curious if anyone has a junker laying around.

    I figure I will spot grind the end of the pin on the outside of the frame flat, hit it with a small pin punch and drive it out. Then just drive the new one in and put some Oxpho-Blue on the pin head. Easy peasy. The whole revolver is Oxpho-Blue anyway.
     
  17. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    A well worn topic , but always enjoyable.

    My current handgun compliment is 22 , 14 revolvers and 8 auto loaders as best as I can recall off the top of my head.

    Of all of the autos , 2 have not jammed. One is a WWII Femaru which I only test shot once , so it does not count. The other is a Beretta Cheetah in 380 , so slick that it cannot seem to do anything wrong. So , in practical terms , 1 out of 7 has been failure free.

    Of all of the revolvers , I have had 1 "jam" , a crimp jump situation in a J frame. So , 13 of 14 have been failure free.

    Anecdotal but true.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Like a 1911?
     
  19. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I can only speak for my own experience. Of all of my semi-autos, the only one that hasn't really experienced some kind of FTF over the years is my 92. I'm not saying they have frequent issues but, out of thousands of rounds down range in all of them, they all have missed a beat at some point.

    I say "Really" because even the 92 had some FTFs after it slid out of my holster and fell about 20 feet. I was hiking, lost my footing and rolled down a rocky trail. It goobered up the magazine release. They don't shoot so well with the mag release spring poking out the side:)

    Anyway, none of my revolvers have missed a beat. I know it happens and have no illusions as to them being 100% reliable all of the time but, in that hypothetical situation where I only had 3 rounds and one gun to choose, it wouldn't be one of my semi-autos.
     
  20. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I was thinking "guns", period.
     
  21. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I don't think I've ever had a revolver jam, and after 30+ years, the list of issues with semi-autos is very short.
    I had an out-of-spec round of Brown Bear (Russian steel case) 9mm get stuck HARD in the chamber of a Glock 26, but once cleared, never had another issue. I had a couple failures to go into battery with a Ruger P345 and a Rock Island 1911, but I attributed those to early teething issues, but i did end up selling them.
    More recently, I had a handful of ejection failures with a CZ75, but I got that back from the CZ mothership just last week, and it's run 100% ever since.
    That's the entire list,for me.
    I've had 2 semi-autos from IMI, never a problem. Several Glocks, had only that ammo-related one with the g26. Had a couple Sig's, never an issue.
    Had 3 Beretta 92's, never an issue, another CZ75, never an issue.
    A Colt and a Springfield 1911, never an issue. S&W Shield, never an issue, a gen2 and several gen3 S&W's, never an issue. Four Walthers, never an issue. I'm sure there's more, i forget.
    I find that quality automatics functioning 100% to be the norm, not the exception, and I have even more confidence in revolvers.
     
  22. yugorpk

    yugorpk member

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    Ive got one "old" Vaquero in 45 Colt that wont turn worth a damn with reloads and since thats all I shoot its not the most useful gun for me. It flat locks up sometimes . Its just too tight between the cylinder and the frame for the slightly expanded cartridge bases. Factory rounds are no problem and there is no amount of die adjustement that will get reloads to sit low enough. I'm sure I could pull the cylinder and machine the back side a bit for more clearance but its not something I worry about. Ruger would tell me to pound sand if I brought it up to them. None of my other guns have the same issues.
     
  23. bsms

    bsms Member

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    My S&W 22 LR kit gun came with a gap of 0.006 on one side and 0.001 on the other. Until I took a metal file and evened it out, it jammed all the time. That was somewhere around 1980, so I guess S&W had imperfect QA 35 years ago as well - just no Internet for me to complain on! But I still have the gun, and two of my kids are waiting for me to die so they can claim it as their own.

    I've had a Dan Wesson 357 jam from dirt...sprayed some gun cleaning goop inside to fix it.

    I've had a primer pop partway out and jam the cylinder from rotating.

    And I've had a loose screw cause light primer strikes.

    That is about it since 1970. Guess that means I ought to give up on carrying a revolver and stick to fixed blade knives for defense...
     
  24. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I had a hand spring break on a friend's high mileage Colt Frontier Scout once.

    Once.
     
  25. stchman

    stchman Member

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    How many people are going to use a nearly 100 year old gun as their self defense firearm?

    I've been shooting revolvers for years and never had one mess up. Revolvers are almost mess up proof if using proper ammo.
     
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