View Full Version : Anaconda Failure to Fire

March 25, 2001, 12:49 PM

I have two Colt Anaconda .44 Magnums,one six inch,one eight inch,both purchased used.

One of them is giving me problems with light hammer strikes. This only happens when firing double action. I have traded parts from one gun to the other(and back again) in an attempt to solve the problem. These parts include the grips,the mainspring and guide,the safety connector(that strikes the firing pin),and the hammer. I have also cleaned the works thoroughly and oiled it well,including the area the firing pin and spring occupy,without removing the recoil plate or recoil plate pin.

Carefull examination of the gun shows some buggering around the recoil plate pin not evident on the other weapon. It also appears that this pin has a front and a back,and is installed backwards. This makes me think that at some point the pin was removed to allow access to the firing pin/spring. I'm thinking that to solve my problem,this pin may need to be removed again either to clean the firing pin housing or to replace the firing pin and/or spring.

I do not have a competent gunsmith within sixty miles of me,so I do things like this for myself. I do have a few questions before proceeding,though. If I drive the pin out,flip it around,and drive it back in correctly,will it be loose,requiring me to replace the pin? Is there a keeper of some sort I need to remove before driving the pin out? I don't see any on the parts diagram. Once the pin is removed,does the recoil plate,etc. pop right out,or does it unscrew? Do you think the pin being in backwards could cause the problem,or do I need to look in the firing pin cavity for gunk or an obvious flaw?

Sorry this is so lengthy. I figured the more details the better. Any advice or direction you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time.

George Stringer
March 26, 2001, 08:11 AM
AR-10, I don't think the pin is the problem. It sounds more to me like either a short firing pin, excess headspace or as you mentioned gunk in the firing pin recess. Reversing the pin may or may not result in a loose fit. I wouldn't expect it to but you never know. The recoil plate should come out but I don't remember if they are threaded or not. I don't think so but you might want to check with Colt first. Before all that load your cylinder, get a feeler gage with removeable leaves and insert the .005" leaf between the forcing cone and the front of the cylinder then measure with the feeler gage leaves to determine how much distance there is between the cartridges and the recoil plate/shield. If this exceeds .008" you have excess headspace and it needs to be looked at by a smith. George

March 26, 2001, 06:56 PM

Thanks for the reply. I checked the headspace as you suggested. With a guage of .005 between the forcing cone and the front of the cylinder(a tight fit) I could slide a guage of .003,but not .004 between the recoil plate and the cartridge in the cylinder. With no leaf at the forcing cone, I could slide a leaf of .006 between the recoil plate and the cartridge. Does that sound about right?

I tried tapping the pin out,but it stopped after a very small amount of travel,so I guess I,m going to do a little more reading on it before I progress from tapping to pounding.

I appreciate the help you have given me.

George Stringer
March 27, 2001, 08:18 AM
Your headspace sounds fine. George

March 27, 2001, 09:09 AM
Have you checked the firing pin protrusion? That would tell you if it is too short. I believe that these are also transfer bar type guns ( like Rugers). Measure the thickness of your transfer bar & the relief cut in the hammer face. The cut may be too deep or the bar too thin. That would lessen the energy transfer to the firing pin & total FP protrusion. Someone should be able to give you the factory spec for these dimensions from their reference material. It may be the same as the MKIII/MKV revolvers. Those specs are in Kuhnhausen's book. I'll look it up there when I get back home.