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Author Topic: Restoring a Classic Colt  (Read 6892 times)

TINCANBANDIT

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Restoring a Classic Colt
« on: August 06, 2015, 10:27:07 AM »
This one was brought to me in need of some work. The barrel had been shortened due to a bulged barrel, when then they were working on it they snapped off the ejector rod.

The gun was made in 1913, and if that isn't cool enough it has a lanyard loop!



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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 10:28:43 AM »
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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 10:29:17 AM »
While I had suggested something custom (maybe a Fitz tribute?), the owner decided on a restoration, he found the correct factory 7.5" barrel



I got the gun apart, it is entirely possible that I am the 1st person to peer into the internals in 100 years



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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 10:30:01 AM »
I will need to deal with this, the ejector rod does not unscrew like a Ruger or S&W, it uses a threaded bushing in the crane to retain the spring and ejector rod





another ejector rod was purchased from Numrich Arms

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TINCANBANDIT

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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 10:36:56 AM »
My buddy made me a tool for getting the crane bushing out, unfortunately it failed to remove the bushing. I fear I may end up destroying the bushing trying to get it out.


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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 10:38:00 AM »
I finally was able to remove the crane bushing by pulling the ejector rod (the recoil plate side) out enough that I could cut it off with a hacksaw/dremel tool so that when released it would sit below the bushing and allow me to use a screw driver to remove the bushing









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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 10:38:46 AM »
I was then able to repair some of the damage done when the old ejector rod was snapped off (when a previous owner attempted to remove the barrel)


I tapped the metal down with a hammer, and then filed it smooth

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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2015, 10:42:13 AM »
I was able to remove the old barrel from the gun using my standard bench vise



I installed the new barrel but was unable to get to clocked all the way to top dead center. So I have ordered a Wheeler Engineering barrel vise from Midway USA.



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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 10:43:15 AM »
I installed the barrel vise on my bench and inserted the barrel using the small set of oak bushings



after a few tries I have the barrel on straight & true

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MTK20

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 11:43:33 AM »
This is amazing! Thanks for sharing!  :thumbup2

This is embarrassing, but you've taught me something new. I have always wondered what happens to a revolver/revolver barrel when it's life and rifling had worn out. I never realised that they were just as replaceable as their semi auto counterparts :hide.
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 01:40:38 PM »
They are, but its hardly the same as buying a pre-fitted barrel for your 1911 and adjusting the fit by a few thousandths here and there until it all looks good.  Some of those old barrels were tightened to a crush fit to the frame - in fact some constriction of the barrels resulted on more than a few revolvers at the spot where the frame and the barrel threads met.  Getting such a barrel loose from the frame after 70 or 80 years of God only, knows what kind of service and abuse can be a challenge. 

Nice work, tcb.    :thumbup1
Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2015, 05:27:29 PM »
They are, but its hardly the same as buying a pre-fitted barrel for your 1911 and adjusting the fit by a few thousandths here and there until it all looks good.  Some of those old barrels were tightened to a crush fit to the frame - in fact some constriction of the barrels resulted on more than a few revolvers at the spot where the frame and the barrel threads met.  Getting such a barrel loose from the frame after 70 or 80 years of God only, knows what kind of service and abuse can be a challenge. 

Nice work, tcb.    :thumbup1


yep, before rebluing I will assemble and check the fit and barrel/cylinder gap. If the gap is too great we may have to have the shoulder's barrel turned on a lathe, this is no easy process and it must be exact or at least very close so the barrel will be tight when the sight is lined up.
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coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2015, 05:46:46 PM »
Yup.  I wish you luck on that score.  The timing on those old Colts can be a bit tricky as well - how did that one look before you took it apart?
Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2015, 05:55:46 PM »
Yup.  I wish you luck on that score.  The timing on those old Colts can be a bit tricky as well - how did that one look before you took it apart?

the timing was excellent and lock up was like the legendary Colt "bank Vault", I think this is one of those guns that was neither carried nor fired much
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coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2015, 06:14:25 PM »
Excellent.  Naturally, we'd like to see the finished product.   
Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

MTK20

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2015, 07:22:25 PM »
As a student and observer, how does one "fix" the timing on a revolver?

If a revolver is in time when you disassemble it, will you you have to recalibrate it or put it back in time upon reassembly?
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2015, 09:34:07 PM »
Not as a rule - unless you've damaged something during the process.  Timing in a revolver depends on the interplay between the moving and stationary parts.   Mechanical linkages get worn over time and thousands of cycles and occasionally some sort of damage can occur which would affect the function.  When either of those things happens you may have to replace a part depending on where the problem lies.   There are other mechanical fixes for some of the problems such as shims or peening or bending a part to slightly alter its shape but for the sake of this discussion they are not an issue. 

Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

MTK20

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2015, 10:14:45 PM »
Not as a rule - unless you've damaged something during the process.  Timing in a revolver depends on the interplay between the moving and stationary parts.   Mechanical linkages get worn over time and thousands of cycles and occasionally some sort of damage can occur which would affect the function.  When either of those things happens you may have to replace a part depending on where the problem lies.   There are other mechanical fixes for some of the problems such as shims or peening or bending a part to slightly alter its shape but for the sake of this discussion they are not an issue.

Interesting! I know that wheelguns are enjoyed for their reliability, but when described in that manner the mechanism and design sounds almost delicate. I may have to go on YouTube and watch someone disassemble one all the way just for knowledge and mechanics sake.
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2015, 10:36:35 PM »
PM inbound - so as not to hijack this thread.
Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

MTK20

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2015, 10:40:31 PM »
Ok! Apologies, TCB. My curiosity over powered my sense of courtesy  :-[.
Texas
Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2015, 10:37:07 AM »
Ok! Apologies, TCB. My curiosity over powered my sense of courtesy  :-[.

no worries, this is why I share my projects, to help encourage others to learn and try new things....we need to save these old guns and our hobby
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TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2015, 08:51:52 PM »
B-C bluing & Rust remover took off most of the old finish



I kissed the surface with the wire wheel to remove the film left by the acid,  now we can see what we are dealing with



The pitting was worse than I thought



note the pitting where the cylinder release sits, the release has similar pitting on the bottom side



And the sanding begins...I decided to start with 220 grit and sand in all possible directions. This way I can avoid taking too much metal and leaving any deep scratches.


From here on out the side plate and crane will be in place during any sanding or polishing

WashingtonActor portrayal, Action figures sold separately, You must be at least this tall to ride, Individual results may vary, Sales tax not included, All models are over 18 years of age, upon approval of credit, Quantities are limited while supplies last, Some restrictions apply, Not available with other offers, At participating locations only, Void where prohibited, Above terms subject to change without notice, Patent pending.

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coelacanth

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2015, 09:03:35 PM »
Sanding is a tedious but absolutely necessary step in dealing with pitting.  I don't envy you the task, but thanks for keeping us posted.   :thumbup1
Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
                      Robert A. Heinlein ,   Friday

TINCANBANDIT

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Re: Restoring a Classic Colt
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2015, 12:20:58 AM »
Here is the start of the work on the trigger guard area



The bottom of the grip frame also had some dents and pits



 The little black spot in front of the trigger guard is a pit, it was a stubborn one...like the last flea on the dog, it refused to vacate the premises.


WashingtonActor portrayal, Action figures sold separately, You must be at least this tall to ride, Individual results may vary, Sales tax not included, All models are over 18 years of age, upon approval of credit, Quantities are limited while supplies last, Some restrictions apply, Not available with other offers, At participating locations only, Void where prohibited, Above terms subject to change without notice, Patent pending.

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