View Full Version : Colt timing problems

April 30, 2009, 12:27 AM
How hard is it to fix/diagnose timing problems on Colt v-spring revolvers? They look pretty intimidating, but to be fair I've been a long time S&W man (grandfather was a cop for 34 years :)) Any advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

April 30, 2009, 10:01 AM
Ist clean gun and lube, that means disassemble the gun completely and clean not only the parts but the frame every hole, crevice etc...
That removes and hidden crude which can cause problems, next look at all the parts for dents, burrs, shinny spots, excessively worn or damaged parts. V spring can be worn causing some of the problem. but worn hand and other parts can do it as well. If you don't feel comfortable disassembling and assembling the gun take it to a smith. I have owned my own shop for many many years but when I have a handgun I send it to teddy Jacobson of actions by Teddy http://www.actionsbyt.com/ Teddy's work is some of the best around.

4V50 Gary
April 30, 2009, 10:11 AM
Send it out. Colt revolvers require old world workmanship and there's plenty of things that can go wrong. Fix one thing, screw up six others.

It's more complicated than a S&W, Ruger or other modern revolver. You'll find a description of how the parts interact with one another right here:How a Colt Works. (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=20347.)

How to take one apart is right here: Colt Disassembly (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19606)

BTW, to fix one Colt Detective Special's timing, I bent the gun by banging on the handle with my sidehandle baton. :eek: This is especially one of those, Kids, don't try this at home.

April 30, 2009, 12:01 PM
It's more complicated than a S&W, Ruger or other modern revolverActually, Colts are remarkably simple (this is one of those Zen-like statements about simple being complicated), but require proper fitting of parts to make them work right, which is where most smiths go astray. I also recommend sending it to someone who knows Colts and works on them regularly.

April 30, 2009, 01:38 PM
kscardsfan which model is it?

Colt still supports many of their DA revolvers, but not all.

April 30, 2009, 02:41 PM
Well it was going to be a new service, but it got sold out from under me, so no real loss on that. But I also have an older detective special that is currently under the knife at one of my smith's shops, so this is interesting to me just as someone who enjoys mechanical things and tinkering with them.

James K
April 30, 2009, 03:01 PM
Scorch, you are right in that there are relatively few parts, but the way those parts interact is a real nightmare. It almost takes a book just to describe the way the rebound lever works and the things it does.

The S&W and Ruger revolvers are more complicated in that they have more parts, but each part has a definite purpose and generally parts will drop in with little or no fitting required.

As to finding a pistolsmith who "who knows Colts and works on them regularly", lotsa luck. They are thin on the ground, and Colt will not work on those guns any more due to lack of parts and skilled workers.


May 7, 2009, 04:52 PM
The V spring Colts are not a nightmare to work on and I don't know from old world. I have fixed a slow timed detective special and more recently fixed poorly fitted bolt...would turn backwards after lockup. The info on Colt DA use to be readily available 35 years ago I bet if you post what you need done someone will know how to do it. Oh and uh .. jim keenan would be my go to guy for gun smithing advice....but if a pinhead like me ...etc.

May 12, 2009, 09:08 PM
Fixing a timing problem on a V-spring Colt can be as simple as 'stretching' the hand but beyond that, the many interacting parts can create repair/maintainance problems not found in a typicle S&W. The Python was the last of the Colt V- springs and it has been out of production for almost 5 years now, so even the Colt factory expertice is on the wane, though I thing they still service them. www.grant cunningham.com is a highly regarded Colt gunsmith, but I would quess his wait time is probably a year. Good luck.

June 3, 2009, 01:37 AM
With all due respect, the advice on how to take apart the python has bad information. Pythons (and more generally I, E, and D frames) have hand fit, typically *very* tight sideplates. Prying is absolutely a bad idea unless you are trying to mar the gun / bend the sideplate. I'm really surprised dfariswheel hasn't jumped in on this.

The accepted method by colt smiths is to use the technique that the link says you do not do: rap on the frame handle with a wooden handle of a hammer (e.g., the one you use to peen the hand). While doing so, hold the plate and the latch with your thumb --- that is how you avoid losing the latch and spring and/or dropping the sideplate. For very tight sideplates you may need to use the handle of a screwdriver so you can have sharper vibration.

Before you take apart your gun I'd buy the Kuhnhausen shop manual.

The v spring action is elegant, but there many different causes lead to the same symptom and often the obvious fix makes things worse. And, confounding things further, even the correct fix can expose other problems that were being masked.

For most things, sending the gun to colt is a good idea. They can fix most problems in about an hour of shop time ($85) and you can also have them do an actions job, which will really make you appreciate the gun :)