View Full Version : Colt Det. Sp

June 25, 2005, 08:33 PM
What can be done with a Detective special that shoots way left. Groups well (for a snubby) and timing and trigger all in good shape.

June 25, 2005, 11:01 PM
This was a common fault on Colt Detective Specials, especially the post-1972 Heavy, shrouded barrel models.

The "usual" problem is, the barrel just wasn't properly indexed at the factory during installation.

If you look closely, you may notice that the front sight is off to the right.
In other words, the barrel wasn't screwed in far enough.

This makes the gun group to the left.

The "fix" is to send the gun in to Colt or Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters to have the barrel indexed properly.

DO NOT, try this at home and DO NOT allow a local gunsmith to try it.

To do this without damaging the gun requires a special set of barrel vise inserts AND the all-critical frame wrench with a set of Colt "D" frame inserts.
Local gunsmiths almost never have the right tooling.

Trying this with "expedient" equipment WILL damage the frame.

Some years ago a customer needed this done and was unwilling to wait until I was back from a trip.
He took it to another gunsmith who assured him that he had all the right "factory-approved" equipment, and was willing to do it while the man waited.

The man went through the shop to the restroom and found the "gunsmith" with the Colt's barrel locked up in a common bench vise with two wooden blocks, and was in the process of shoving a hammer handle through the frame to twist the frame off.

The man canceled the job on the spot, and decided to wait for me.

In addition to re-indexing the barrel, after it's properly set, the barrel-cylinder gap will likely need resetting, and the forcing cone may need to be re-cut.

June 26, 2005, 11:06 AM
25 or so years ago, I had a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Spl. that did this. The factory itself had twisted the frame in manufacture, which was easy to do on these light guns. In the event of a twisted frame, only the factory can legally destroy the original and re-issue the serial number on a new one (assuming they are avalilable). So wherever you send the gun, be sure frame distortion is checked for first.