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Old August 16, 2013, 03:39 PM   #1
9ballbilly
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need advice on colt police positive repair

The gun is a Colt police positive special .32-20 revolver.
The problem is that as the hand turns the cylinder it pushes it forward until the cylinder face binds with the rear of the barrel and will not rotate completely to line up a chamber and the barrel.
Any help or repair info would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old August 16, 2013, 04:48 PM   #2
James K
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It sounds like the cylinder collar is really bad. Do you know if someone has tried to replace the cylinder and gotten a bad one or maybe messed with the collar and taken too much off?

It would take a lot of use to wear and peen that collar to create the condition described. The collar can be stretched, or a good machinist could ream the hole and install a removable collar like the old SAA's have, but it would not be cheap.

In any case, unless you are a gunsmith or a machinist, it is not a DIY proposition and I don't know how many gunsmiths today would want to tackle it, since the cost would probably exceed the value of the gun.

You might check with Cylinder & Slide (www.cylinder-slide.com) and see what they say. I know Colt won't work on those old guns any more.

Jim
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Last edited by James K; August 16, 2013 at 04:56 PM.
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Old August 16, 2013, 05:14 PM   #3
9ballbilly
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Thanks, as far as I know the gun is all original. I picked it up for next to nothing. Always wanted a .32 and I like old revolvers. It was a police department issued service weapon at some point so I don't doubt it has seen some rough use. There does seem to be excessive "play" in the collar. Still, I'm not ready to give up on the old girl and will check with cylinder and slide as you suggested.
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Old August 16, 2013, 06:03 PM   #4
Dfariswheel
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Another, and possibly cheaper option is Frank Glenn in Arizona.

http://www.glenncustom.com/

The cylinder collar on the Colt's is machined as part of the cylinder.
The factory repair is to use a special hydraulic "pincher" device and a support stud inside the cylinder to stretch the collar.
This can only be done once, and only if it's not too bad.

One possibility with the old Colt's is that it may be possible to make a shim washer that will fit over the cylinder crane shaft.

None of the repairs possible will be anything like cheap, and will likely exceed the value of the gun.
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Old August 16, 2013, 07:12 PM   #5
9ballbilly
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Thanks for the ideas and advice. Since I basically paid nothing for the gun I don't mind paying for a repair, as I said earlier I like the old thing (don't even really know why).
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:52 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
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Had the same problem with a S&W revolver. At a certain point, the cylinder would stop rotating and it was slightly out of time. The cause? The barrel was over-rotated onto the frame.
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Old August 16, 2013, 11:54 PM   #7
James K
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The problem is that without seeing the gun or at least having some good, clear pictures, we are basically guessing. The shim suggestion is a good one and should not be very costly, but it is also possible that the frame is stretched to the point that repairing or shimming the collar could leave too large a barrel-cylinder gap. And trying to repair that would almost certainly be much more than the gun is worth, if it could be done at all.

Jim
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Old August 17, 2013, 05:00 AM   #8
9ballbilly
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Sorry for the lack of pics, no functional camera at the moment. I wasn't expecting you folks to have a pat answer for me without seeing the gun, just wanted a shove in the right direction. Now that you mention it, can you tell me how best to measure for frame stretch? Are there specs available so I can mic it? Truthfully I never even considered that as a possible cause for the problem and it is exactly why I wrote this post. My thanks again.
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Old August 17, 2013, 11:17 AM   #9
Dixie Gunsmithing
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If you have a set of feeler gauges, push the cylinder back, and measure the gap between the cylinder and barrel.

Also, if you have a way of holding the frame and cylinder crane still, open the cylinder, and use a dial indicator to see how much end play the cylinder has on the spindle. That will tell you how bad it's worn out, and how much to make up. You might want to check side play on the cylinder too.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:09 PM   #10
Dfariswheel
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One possibility with the old Colt's is that it may be possible to make a shim washer that will fit over the cylinder crane shaft.

So I don't confuse anyone.......

The older Colt's made years ago had a flange on the cylinder crane. The cylinder collar seated against the flange.
This makes it at least possible to install a thin washer to correct end shake.

Newer Colt's did away with the flange and space the cylinder collar directly on the frame just under the barrel.
You cannot install a washer on the newer style cranes.

Also, in NO Colt DA revolver can you drop a washer into the cylinder shaft hole like you can a S&W.
Putting a washer in a Colt cylinder will wreck the cylinder and possibly the frame.
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Old August 19, 2013, 10:09 AM   #11
9ballbilly
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I found a qualified gunsmith here in Florida who can repair the revolver. Lucky me! On a side note, my revolver also has a crane bushing between the collar and flange. In my old 3rd edition manual of exploded gun drawings this part is shown and numbered so I know it's supposed to be there. Don't have any idea if this feature will make the repair easier or not just wanted to share the info with you folks as a way of thanking you for your help. FYI My revolver was manufactured approx. 1925.
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