View Full Version : Diagnose that colt #1!

08-11-2009, 10:01 PM
I was going over a m357 I'd tuned for my dad, correcting some issues. I replaced the rear sight with one of the very nice kensights (clone of the elliason) available from brownells and, since the sight was off, just to be thorough I went to take off the firing pin plate to clean out the recess.

As my dad watched, I had an incredibly hard time getting the firing pin plate off. And then it was just about impossible to get it back on.

This, of course, should never happen. A child with a punch can get the plate off and on --- there's really nothing tricky, nothing to go wrong. If you see anyone having a hard time with it, they really must not know what they are doing.

When I took the pin and spring out the plate would go in w/o any issue.

Any guesses for what the deal was? It was kind of amusing. Kuhnhausen has a warning about such things, but I always skip it thinking "irrelevant information."
One of the other issues was that when reblueing, the person couldn't be bothered to take the bolt off, and essentially sheared the end of the bolt screw down to a flat with the buffer. This seemed to cause it to come loose under fire.

Answer below after a bunch of line feeds :)

So, after having all the difficulty, it eventually dawned on me that the only real reason it could be hard to get in w/ the firing pin in place but not without it removed was that the spring must not be compressing enough. Well how could that be? Oh, did they ... ? Yes they did!

Here's a stock firing pin spring and bolt screw on the left, and the spring we have in place and the sheared bolt screw on the right:

You can see the coils on the spring in the gun are thicker than stock preventing the same degree of compression. I don't know why they replaced it, but it ain't right:

And here's the sheared bolt screw: takes not a bit of time to get it off before buffing! The people who worked on this gun before were halfwits:

Whenever I get to the warning in the Kuhnhausen colt book about checking the correct firing pin spring I skip right over it. Who the hell would do that??

08-12-2009, 10:54 AM
i think Kuhnhausen was/ is a pretty bright guy. I have read his 1911 books, and boy does he know his stuff. I am going to have to look into what else he has books on now.

Is that where you learned most of your colt stuff?

08-12-2009, 11:00 AM
His shop manual is always a good place to check. I went out to work with Frank Glenn twice, which was a big help. And Cunningham has answered a boatload of questions. Also taking apart worked on colts clarified some things. (But you have to be careful, some common techniques are not correct.)

Here's my copy when it was cleaner :)



08-12-2009, 11:09 AM
"The people who worked on this gun before were halfwits:..."

You know, I think I've bought a gun owned by those same people.

What a coincidence!

08-12-2009, 11:12 AM
"The people who worked on this gun before were halfwits:..."

You know, I think I've bought a gun owned by those same people.

What a coincidence!

The wonders of franchising!

They seem to work on a large number of guns these days. Impressive that they can handle so many types, brands, and models yet always achieve such consistent results :D