The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 1, 2013, 03:39 AM   #1
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
Colt Lawman Mk iii problem...?

I recently (as in Sunday) picked up a Colt Lawman mk iii. My friend came over today, and upon him handling it for a bit he said that the holes in the cylinder for the bullets looked a little small for a 357/38. I didn't have any live ammo to try, but I took some spent 38 casings and upon trying to slide them in I discovered they refuse to go. I tried numerous casings, but no luck. I am kind of concerned at this point... I am not the best with revolvers, so I don't know of this is normal or what. Is my cylinder messed up or something? I checked to make sure the plunger wasn't loose and blocking the holes. Any advice???
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:29 AM   #2
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,965
Happy new year.

The Colt Lawman came it 4 different flavors, 22 Long Rifle, 22 Magnum, 38 Special and 357 Magnum. (Edit: Note post #10 informs me that the Lawman only came in the centerfire versions and not the rimfire. Sorry about that, all. I got the Trooper and Lawman models mixed up.)

The "holes" (properly called "chambers") in the cylinder should be obviously 22 or 38/357. (22 LR is ever so slightly smaller than 22 Magnum, also called 22WMR) and either of these is easily distinguished from the .357" diameter chambers of the 38 Special and .357 Magnum. If the size of the chambers don't tell you, there should be markings on the side of the barrel that does.

Can you post pictures?

There must be an interesting story behind how you came by this gun. C'mon. Share.

The Colt Lawman series are excellent revolvers in any chambering.

Would you post what is written on the back of the 38 casings you tried? They might be a different 38. There are 38 Super, 38 S&W (which is a tad larger than 38 S&W Special) and others using the digits 3 and 8. Anyone who invents a cartridge can name it anything they want. Some of the inventors gave better names than others.

It is pretty hard to mess up a revolver's chambers. Almost impossible to make them SMALLER. Unless they need cleaning so badly that a proper cartridge won't fit. Far more likely is that the casing you tried to fit were fired in a gun whose chambers were slightly oversized. (Just a fact of life that some manufacturers, go large and some go small, even though they are within SAAMI specs)

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; January 2, 2013 at 03:01 AM.
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:44 AM   #3
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
Actually I got it at a gun show this past weekend. I have the guy a s&w M&P40 that I paid $475 new. He gave me $540 for it and wanted $40 ontop of. I gave in and did it. The casings are Federal 357 and a Sellier and Bellot 38. I will get pictures up sometime here soon. My phone won't allow me to upload them, and my computer is being fixed. Broken cooling fan...
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:48 AM   #4
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
I may have gotten my phone to let me post pics. I had 3 but its only letting one work.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image.jpg (242.0 KB, 54 views)
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 04:51 AM   #5
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,965
So, what does is say on the side of the barrel?

If the Federals go into the chambers most of the way but stop about 1/8" short of all the way, you probably have a 38 Special rather than a .357 Magnum (unless a lot of 38s have been shot in the .357 chambers) and the "crud ring" is stopping the cases. Through cleaning will fix that.

I looked at your other posts between the time I posted (#2) and you posted (#3). I see that you are more familiar with centerfire arms than I first thought and would certainly know the difference between the 22s and the centerfires.

Do the casings go in partway or can they not get in at all?

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 05:03 AM   #6
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
It's got "357 magnum" stamped on the barrel. The 38's go in about halfway. The 357 casing I just discovered is bent. Almost like somebody stepped on it. I think that's part of the reasoning for it. But the chambers look pretty clean. Although it appears as though there is a ring of crud. I will have to clean it, and scrounge up some 357 casings.
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 05:25 AM   #7
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,965
I like my revolvers, but I only have one Colt revolver. Trooper Mk V, nickle with an 8" barrel. Trigger as smooth as warm butter.

Still puzzled why your 38s won't fit in the chambers. When you get some live ammunition and make sure the chambers are clean we'll know. Sometimes carbon buildup can look really smooth and metal-like.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 05:30 AM   #8
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
I just cleaned it, but the casings won't slide it. I suppose I will wait and see if live ammo is any better. I suppose the 38 ammo could have expanded once shot? Maybe. It's brass, and I've only heard of that with surplus steel casings, but I guess it's possible with this stuff to.
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 06:03 AM   #9
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,965
Like I said, if the 38s were fired in a gun whose chambers are larger than yours, they may not fit. They were fireformed to those chambers, not to yours.

Happy new year. Good night.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old January 1, 2013, 08:34 PM   #10
Dfariswheel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 6,819
The Colt Lawman Mark III was only available in .357 Magnum, not .22LR, .22 Magnum, or .38 Special, although like any .357 you can use .38 Special in them.

Only the Colt Trooper Mark III was available in .22LR, .22 Magnum, and a few special order .38 Specials made for police departments.
The .38 versions of the Mark III were the Metropolitan Police, the Official Police Mark III, and 496 Colt Officer's Model Match Mark III target revolvers.

First, I'd suggest buying a Brownell's bronze chamber cleaning brush and cleaning the chambers.
If the gun has been fired with much .38 Special ammo there may be a ring of fouling in the chambers that will prevent a Magnum from seating.
Use the brush by hand.

http://www.brownells.com/gun-cleanin...-prod1287.aspx

Second, get some factory loaded live ammo and try that.
Dfariswheel is online now  
Old January 1, 2013, 11:55 PM   #11
warningshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 7, 2009
Posts: 995
Dirty chambers. See Mr. Lewis Lead Remover on YouTube.
warningshot is offline  
Old January 2, 2013, 12:43 AM   #12
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
Will do. Thanks for the advice guys! I was quite worried there for a bit. The guy I got it from traveled from Neosho to St. Charles. That's about a 4 hour drive, so I doubt I could have had him do any thing about it.
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 2, 2013, 05:09 AM   #13
Mikef262
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 173
Well after picking up some Federal 357 magnum bullets, an scrubbing the chambers senseless it works. The bullets slide in nice and smooth. Now all that is left is to shoot it. Thanks for all your guys' help!
Mikef262 is offline  
Old January 2, 2013, 02:51 PM   #14
DFrame
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2008
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 451
It's possible your spent 38s were fired in a gun with loose chambers. Have they been resized? If not, size them and try again. The Mark III revolvers are of high quality, extremely durable, and usually VERY accurate.
I've never heard of one with chambers so undersized that it was apparent from a visual.
__________________
Mark Lane to William Buckley: "Have you ever referred to Jessee Jackson as an ignoramus?"
Buckley: "If I didn't, I should have"
DFrame is offline  
Old January 2, 2013, 03:18 PM   #15
drail
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
It sounds like someone spent a few years firing cheap dirty .38 spl. loads and never cleaned the chambers. If you shoot .38 spls. you really have to stay on top of the chamber fouling. A bore brush is not quite big enough. Either buy a .38/.357 chamber brush or a lewis lead remover. If you know soemone who reloads have them give you a couple of empty .357 cases that have been slightly flared. They make a good chamber wall scraper and won't hurt the chambers.
drail is offline  
Old January 4, 2013, 05:18 PM   #16
DFrame
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2008
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 451
Good idea drail. Hadn't thought of that.
__________________
Mark Lane to William Buckley: "Have you ever referred to Jessee Jackson as an ignoramus?"
Buckley: "If I didn't, I should have"
DFrame is offline  
Old January 5, 2013, 11:36 AM   #17
savit260
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2006
Posts: 686
Brass shot out of Smiths and Rugers sometimes/most of the time won't slip into my Colts untill they've been resized. Colts seem to have tighter chambers than S&W & Rugers.

Try some live factory ammo. I'd bet dollars to donuts they'll fit just fine.


That's a fine revolver. I doubt there's anything actually wrong with the chambers.

Last edited by savit260; January 5, 2013 at 03:58 PM.
savit260 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10105 seconds with 10 queries