View Full Version : Repairs for a Thunderer???

August 14, 2010, 11:00 AM
My dad was cleaning out his safe and gave me a couple of old weapons. One is a Colt Thunderer that is in pretty decent shape, but the trigger doesn't reset after being fired. I've been told that these are tempermental and hardly anyone will repair them. In reality, I want to get it repaired and then put it away. Anyone know a reliable gunsmith that will work on one???

August 14, 2010, 01:40 PM
For 1877, 1878 Colt Double Action work, Alan Harton recommended Larry Ronchette in San Leandro, CA.

I don't have any firsthand knowledge about Larry, but Mr. Harton is a well known single action gunsmith, FWIW.

August 14, 2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks, I'll give him. It would be good just to find someone who will even consider it. Most folks I've talked to just laugh and ask why I would bother.

If anyone has had any work done by him, I'd appreciate to hear folks 2 cents. Or any other tips....

August 15, 2010, 09:32 AM
Sounds like a simple spring problem to me & shouldn't be 'rocket surgery' to fix. It would be nice if the gunsmith would merely admit that he wasn't familiar with the firearm as opposed to making smart ass, dispariging remarks.

August 15, 2010, 02:56 PM
Yes, call Matt Harens 1-605-224-1371
And I have first hand knowledge about him.
I will see him to day and ask him if he still works on them.

The last time I looked he had a lot of parts for them too, barrels, frames, hammers, triggers, cylinders.

They are temperamental and sometimes completely worn out so that a simple problem like needing a new trigger return spring doesn’t work when the screw that the trigger pivots on is worn flat in an egg shaped hole.

Good luck

Mike Irwin
August 16, 2010, 08:44 AM
The Lightning and Thunderer are frightfully complex compared to a modern revolver.

There's a great story that when Frank Pachmyer was starting out in his father's gunshop he was working on one of these and became so frustrated that he threw it out the window and into the street.

His father made him pick it up and finish fixing it.

August 16, 2010, 10:36 PM
I remember reading the story about Frank Pachmayr years ago. They are tricky, I had one years ago, actually managed to disassemble and reassemble it correctly. They are what I call a Cold Winter Night project.