View Full Version : Colt Black Powder help!

December 16, 2010, 09:00 AM
Greetings, new to this forum, and I need some advice.
I have a reproduction Navy Colt, that has somehow become locked in it's presentation case, and now the keys have dissapeared!
I have a four year old son, and he swears he did not take them; I suspect otherwise.
I do not wish to bugger up the lock to get it open, so my first question is do any of you fine gentlemen know where to get a key that will open this, or are they all different?
Second question actually is dependent on getting the darn thing opened.
I have fired this pistol in the past, and it is a fine shooter. I have not fired it for several years.
I would like to do so, however it has a very annoying problem. Every time I fire a round, the loading lever unlatches from the barrel lug, and falls down.
I clip it back in, and it does it again, every time.
Since the original manufacturer is apparently no longer in business, returning it to them is not an option. Does anyone know of a sloution, or reputable repair person who could fix this problem? Easy to slip the barrel off the thing and ship it, or does that constitute a firearm, and is restricted by the goobermint?
Thanks in advance to any/all respondents, feel free to contact me via my email.
God Bless America, and Happy Christmas to all!

Doc Hoy
December 16, 2010, 09:22 AM
You came to the right place.

December 16, 2010, 09:38 AM
A locksmith will be able to open the case with no damage and provide a key.

Check to see if the spring in the loading lever latch is working and then check the angle of the latch stud. See if the two parts mate properly (close fit). If not, you can fix it with a few file strokes and some cold blue.

Doc Hoy
December 16, 2010, 09:44 AM
.....I would take the pistol case (with the pistol inside) to a locksmith and pay him to open it for you. If you do it soon, the locksmith may be overcome by the spirit of Christmas and not even charge you for it. Then get him to make you are key. It is probably a standard key that he may have in stock.

Falling levers come from two problems.

1. Weak lever spring.

$3.50 from Dixie Gun Works. I would buy a lot of stuff from them in the order because their shipping charges are kind of high. You will pay more for shipping of the spring than the spring costs. Carefully drive out the retaining pin, remove the latch, take out the old spring, put in the new one, put the latch back in place and then drive the retaining pin back into the loading lever. Any person with three hands can do this operation easily.

2. Improper mating of the latch to the barrel catch.

If the pistol is very new, it is possible that the catch was not properly alligned when the pistol was manufactured. The flat of the catch should be perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. If the pistol has a little wear on it, the mating surfaces of the latch and or catch may need some work. The surfaces may be worn in such a way as to prevent a positive engagement of the two parts. If the latch is worn, replace it. (4.50 from DGW) If the catch is worn, carefully file it.

I recall that some Pietta revolvers were sold with a deformed catch. The end of the catch was bent causing the device to come undone.

December 16, 2010, 10:38 AM
Thanks, the pistol is "new" in that I bought it new from Colt, and it has always been like that that. I fired 6 shots out of it, cleaned it and put it away.
Once I get the case opened, hehe, I will give it a good visual inspection and see what I can see!
Thanks again to all who replied.
God Bless America, God Bless our troops, & Happy Christmas!

Fingers McGee
December 16, 2010, 01:04 PM
Take the case to a locksmith. They can open it in about 2 seconds and will have the right key to fit it. Last keys I bought for a case cost less than $3.00 each.

The latch is another matter. The 2nd Gen and Sig Series 1851 Navies all have the thin lever catch on the barrel that was found on originals up until about 1862. Most other replica 1851s have the improved thick catch that was used on the 1861 Navies and 1851s after about 1862. The thin catch does not have as large a bearing surface to keep the latch conected when firing. I have a couple 1851s that used to drop the lever every now and then. The easiest fix is to put a heavier spring behind the latch - or stretch the existing spring - but that's only temporary, depending on how much you use the gun. Filing the ledge on the catch so the latch engages deeper also works. On one of mine, the catch was loose in the dovetail, and was not perpendicular to the barrel which allowed the lever to pop loose. A shim and locktite solved that one. The only sure fire way to fix it is to install the improved thick catch on the barrel, which involves enlarging the dovetail.