View Full Version : Problem with Colt Python

April 21, 2002, 02:58 PM
Got out my trusty Colt Python the other day to give it an inspection prior to going to the range and I noticed a problem. I had opened the cylinder (safety first!) and when trying to close it the back edge of the cylinder catches on the top of the leading edge of the cylinder latch, rather than just sliding past it.

Searched this forum for ideas on what could be the problem, and found disassembly instructions. Took off the side plate and all looks well, except for a worn nylon cylinder latch buffer (which I intend to replace).

HOWEVER I don't believe I've yet arrived at the cause of the problem.

What can be causing the latch to move too far forward when the cylinder is opened?

Thanks for any help!

April 21, 2002, 07:52 PM
Could be a broken or bent latch pin. The pin in the center of the breech face has another pin that interlocks with the cylinder latch finger piece. Although I've never seen or heard of one giving trouble, this is all I can think of that would allow the latch piece to move forward.

Another possible cause: The cylinder stop lug on the sideplate may be worn or undersized. This will allow the cylinder to move back over the lug, and hit the latch piece.

April 21, 2002, 08:46 PM

The pin looks OK, although its' fit into the cylinder latch finger piece is rather loose. The pin has a nice tight fit into the latch pin itself (by latch pin I mean the piece that moves back and forth through the frame and engages that center rear of the cylinder).

Question: is the pin that connects the latch finger piece to the latch pin supposed to be a separate piece? Or is it supposed to be permanently attached to the latch pin? I have a schematic that makes it look as though it's one piece.

I hope it's not a problem of wear on the sideplate, but I'll look that over as well.

Thanks for the help!

April 22, 2002, 12:27 AM
The latch pin is a one piece assembly. If the pin is loose or deftctive, replace the whole thing.
The fit of the pin into the latch finger piece normally is rather loose.

Normally a defective sideplate cylinder stop lug is a factory defect--it was a manufacturing error.
Or, I did see one once that a refinisher got carried away on, and polished off too much, but that was a special case.

Please let me know what you find, I've never heard or seen this one before.

April 23, 2002, 08:23 PM

Well, I found out from Brownell's that the Colt factory is no longer shipping replacement latch pin assemblies. Looks like I'll have to repair the one I've got.

Should I use epoxy? Loctite? Silver solder?

One advantage of using an adhesive is that I can repair the latch pin assembly in place, versus having to pull out more of the firing mechanism so that the reassembled latch pin assembly can be put back into place.

I also get a little worried about HEATING up hardened parts with a propane torch.

April 23, 2002, 09:19 PM
Gun Parts Corp at: www.e-gunparts.com
and Colt Firearms both stock the latch pin.
You can order from either online.

To do the job properely, you will have to disassemble the gun. Attempting any of the following fixes while the gun is assembled can damage the gun.
Before buying a new one, try tapping the pin in farther with a hammer. The pin MUST be out of the gun. Tapping on it while in the gun can deform the pin hole in the frame. Since the pin is a friction fit, likely this will fix the problem.
If this doesn't work, I'd recommend ordinary soft solder, NOT silver solder. I buy spools of a silver BEARING, SOFT solder at Walmart. This is NOT silver solder/braze, it's a soft solder with about 3% silver content, which prevents the solder from tarnishing. This melts around 450 Deg. and won't damage the part. Get a good solder flux also.

I would not recommend epoxy. This probably wont hold, unless you pull the pin all the way out, degrease and apply the epoxy into the hole.

To get the job done right, I'd order a new pin from Gun Parts or Colt, and save the effort. I'd recommend buying a copy of Jerry Kunhausen's Book of Colt Gunsmithing on the Colt "D and E/I" guns, which includes the Python. This will allow you to properly disassemble the gun, and is one of the best sources of Colt info there is. Every Colt DA owner should have a copy.

4V50 Gary
April 24, 2002, 10:42 AM
Sounds like the latch pin is OK to me. So long as the pin is rigid, it's fine. Consider cleaning the sideplate and the latch and the latch spring. Buildup of dirt, grease and grime can cause this assembly to be sluggish. One deputy's Python wouldn't lock up because he never cleaned it properly.

May also have to disassemble the cylinder to clean that too. I guess I should complete the instructions on how to dissassemble that.

April 24, 2002, 02:55 PM
Completely disassemble the revolver (use Kuhnhausen's book if you have it) and thoroughly clean each and every piece prior to reassembly. Disassemble the cylinder and crane as well. The cylinder latch spring and plunger (these are very tiny pieces) may be dirty not allowing the latch to fully move to the rear and accept the cylinder's return to battery. Lubricate all parts upon reassembly. Let us know how you solve the problem.