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Old July 14, 2012, 07:49 PM   #1
StukaJU87
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Need help with a Colt SAA

First let me start off by saying that I know very little about the construction of the Colt SAA. With that said, I need help with a possible issue. I recently started using my grandfather's Colt SAA that my father gave me. I have put close to 100 rounds through it. The first 40 rounds were Winchester Super X 225gr. lead round nose, with no issues. Then 24 rounds of Magtech Cowboy Action Loads, 250gr. lead flat nose, that's when I started noticing a difference. About 1 out of 6 rounds would throw a lot of smoke and some powder out the sides. My first thought was the ammo, so then I tried 18 rounds of American Eagle 225gr. jacketed soft point. I had better results, only 2 of 18 threw powder. When I went to clean the pistol, I noticed a small indent above the barrel inside the frame. I hadn't noticed it before, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there, like I said I am new to the Colt SAA. Is this normal? or should I be concerned?



I was told it could be powder erosion but it looks too uniform.
Sorry for the horrible pictures.
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:49 PM   #2
m.p.driver
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Milled in there to prevent flame cutting the top strap.
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
James K
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It is called, for obvious reasons, the "thumbnail". S&W once put them in also for the same purpose, which is as driver says. Then it was found that flame cutting went only so far and stopped and would never cut enough to be dangerous, so they stopped it.

Jim
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Old July 14, 2012, 10:47 PM   #4
StukaJU87
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That's what I thought it was for, since it looks milled. I wasn't worried about it until someone told me it might be signs of damage. Since it was my grandfather's, I didn't want to be the one to destroy it. Then I got even more nervous when I couldn't find any images that matched mine. Glad to hear everything's ok. Thanks for the quick replies, now I can rest easy.
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:46 AM   #5
Ideal Tool
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Hello, StukaJU87. A greater concern is the age of that Colt..is it a 1st. gen., or 2nd.? If I were you, I would ask the folks over on the Colt forum about its serial #. If it were a 1st. gen, & mine, I wouldn't be putting jacketed ammo thru it.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:07 AM   #6
UtopiaTexasG19
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Place a feeler gauge between the front of the cylinder and the back of the barrel. Many of these old Colt SAA's are worn and the gap becomes too large and lets a lot more gas out between the gap. Many can be fixed with a new bushing in the cylinder. Also, as someone else stated you need to determine the age of the pistol because those made before 1901 generally only use black powder loads and those early ones after 1901 are generally shot with "cowboy" loads that run under 800 fps. You never, ever want to use some of the more modern "hot" loads in these older guns. Go to the Colt forum for specific advice. Many of the folks there are collectors and experts on the Colts. Out of all the pistols in my collection my 1903 Colt .45 SAA bought originally by my greatgrandfather is my favorite pistol to shoot.
http://www.coltforum.com/forums/forum.php
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Old July 15, 2012, 11:10 PM   #7
StukaJU87
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According to the serial# it is a 1st generation made in 1915. From what my father told me, my grandfather used it a lot and at some point replaced the barrel. I had no idea jacketed soft points would be bad. Thanks for the info, I'll check out the other forum.
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