Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default detective special problem

    I have a '49 detective special and though it has obviously been a long time shooter with a fairly worn bore and finish. It has never really given me problems as far as function is concerned but here is what I saw when I was checking it out today. I always thought the cylinder locked up pretty well but I felt today that on 2 different chambers (opposite one another) when I pull double action my cylinder doesn't always go fully into place. Normally at the range I shoot most in single action and when the cylinder is in the same place when the hammer is back it goes into position but can easily be turned out of position by turning the cyoinder by hand. Is that dangerous? What is the cause? I would think since it only happens in 2 positions it must be the edges of those grooves being worn down more than the others? what do you all think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Delta,

    It's time for your revolver to go in for service. You are correct = it should not be possible to rotate the cylinder when the hammer is back. What you describe is a easy job for a pistol smith to sort out.

    Personally, I have shot one Colt Trooper near to the point you are at. It took 40-50,000 hot .357s to get there. Some say the smaller frame guns are a bit more fragile - encountering the symptoms you see sooner than a stouter heavy frame revolver.

    By the way, I sent my Trooper back to Colt. I was impressed with their service - and the price was not hard to take.

    Ray

  3. #3
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    She only gets shot once in a great while anyhow but if I could find the parts and service for a nominal price i would love to fix this very sweet gun up. Does that sound like the cylinder grooves have worn too much to you? Oh and by the way do troopers lock up on more thsn one place?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaThunder View Post
    when the hammer is back it goes into position but can easily be turned out of position by turning the cyoinder by hand. Is that dangerous?
    If the hammer is locked back, you should not be able to move the cylinder, and the cylinder bore should be locked in line with the barrel bore (forcing cone). There is usually a little play so there is no bullet shaving (with a super tight cylinder, the cylinder bore and the barrel bore must be perfectly aligned or shaving of the bullets will occur).
    Last edited by harold63; January 22nd, 2012 at 05:37 PM.
    BCM and Glock...for a bigger pile of 'cold dead hands' brass.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Something you can check is the pawl at the bottom of the cylinder frame (it is under the cylinder when it is closed). Be sure it is functioning correctly. You should be able to push down on it and it pop back up. If it is gummed up or the spring is broke, it could explain the problem you are having.
    BCM and Glock...for a bigger pile of 'cold dead hands' brass.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Is the pawl you are talking about the tab that locks the cylinder in place? Yes when I lock the hammer back it will lock the cylinder in all chambers but 1 and when checking in double action 2 will do it. 1 can be turned and locked into place and then it locks and the other can be spun right to the next chamber with not much resistance. Could that possible be a lockwork issue or is it all in the cylinder?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaThunder View Post
    Is the pawl you are talking about the tab that locks the cylinder in place? Yes when I lock the hammer back it will lock the cylinder in all chambers but 1 and when checking in double action 2 will do it. 1 can be turned and locked into place and then it locks and the other can be spun right to the next chamber with not much resistance. Could that possible be a lockwork issue or is it all in the cylinder?
    When you pull the trigger DA style, and you feel it go just past half cock, the cylinder can rotate by hand to the next chamber. If you are talking about it doing it when the hammer is all the way back, then you have an issue somewhere, but not the ratchet on the cylinder as it does nothing to hold it in place. Without looking at it, the only other thing that comes to mind is it needs to be retimed.
    BCM and Glock...for a bigger pile of 'cold dead hands' brass.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    If you move the hammer to the full cock position, the cylinder will move slightly when you wiggle it-

    If you then pull the trigger, the cylinder should be tight and exhibit no wiggling.

    If the cylinder will not lock on DA- it is likely the top hand is too short. It is a fairly straight forward operation to adjust the timing in those guns.
    Crusader's local #556 South Central Asia chapter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaThunder View Post
    She only gets shot once in a great while anyhow but if I could find the parts and service for a nominal price i would love to fix this very sweet gun up. Does that sound like the cylinder grooves have worn too much to you? Oh and by the way do troopers lock up on more thsn one place?
    Sounds to me like the bolt spring may be weak or broken. Don't start buying parts until you figure out what's wrong.

    As noted above, it could also be the hand. However, when you report that one cylinder can be skipped right over, it would certainly appear that the problem is in the locking (the bolt and notches) rather than the turning (the hand).
    Last edited by Greywolf; January 23rd, 2012 at 12:32 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: detective special problem

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaThunder View Post
    I have a '49 detective special and though it has obviously been a long time shooter with a fairly worn bore and finish. It has never really given me problems as far as function is concerned but here is what I saw when I was checking it out today. I always thought the cylinder locked up pretty well but I felt today that on 2 different chambers (opposite one another) when I pull double action my cylinder doesn't always go fully into place. Normally at the range I shoot most in single action and when the cylinder is in the same place when the hammer is back it goes into position but can easily be turned out of position by turning the cyoinder by hand. Is that dangerous? What is the cause? I would think since it only happens in 2 positions it must be the edges of those grooves being worn down more than the others? what do you all think?
    I would suggest you pass it along to one of your close friends who would truly enjoy that particular firearm. Most likely someone in the market for a wheelgun that would carry it daily instead of some plastic glock

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