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Old 06-02-2006, 08:44 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2
need parts for colt official police

recently reblued a colt official police for a customer. it was in very bad shape - i need to replace crane, ejector, and ratchet and spring. it was rusted so bad i damaged :evil: the ejector and ratchet in disassembly. the crane is warped from what i do not know but needs to be replaced for proper lock up.

I checked numrich, brownells, and midway. i hardly ever work on revolvers - does any one know where i can aquire these parts?

any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-02-2006, 09:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,685
There's going to be some BIG problems with this.

First, revolver parts in general and Colt parts in particular DO NOT "drop in". Almost ALL Colt parts are individually hand fitted to a specific gun, and DO NOT fit any other, in most cases.

Next, most of the available Official Police parts are USED. This means they were already altered to fit some OTHER gun, and are unlikely to be a proper fit on a different gun.

The cylinder and ejector are fitted AS A UNIT. Unless you can find a new, unfitted ejector ratchet you're almost certainly not going to get a fit, since a used ejector ratchet will be too "short", and the gun will not have proper head-space.

When refitting a Colt ejector, a new ejector is fitted to the cylinder, then the rear of the ejector is machined to give the proper head-space.
Then the cylinder may need either stretching of the collar on the cylinder front or trimming of the collar to fit end shake.
Stretching requires a special hydraulic tool that's custom made and is NOT cheap or easy to get.

Since you'll also be needing a crane, this means things are made even more difficult since the crane also plays a major part in all this, and the crane too is hand fit at the factory, and may not be a proper fit in another gun.
Cranes are even polished while on the gun during finishing, so a used one isn't going to match up very well.

All this is why Colt's are a real headache for gunsmiths.
Used parts very rarely work, and new parts are VERY difficult to impossible to get.

To to top it all off, Colt Official Police parts CHANGED over the years, especially the ejector assembly. You not only have to find good parts, you have to find the right VERSION of parts.

With all that said, here's the top Colt parts sources, with the warning that you'll likely be wasting money because the parts will almost certainly not fit properly and can't be made to fit.
Some help: If you don't have it, buy a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's book "The Colt Double Action Revolvers: A Shop Manual, Volume One".

This has the best info ever printed on how to fit Colt parts. This will be the best money you ever spent.

First, Gun Parts do carry the crane, and complete cylinder and ejector assemblies.

Where a lot of pros shop first is Jack First:
He's a little harder to shop with because there's no online catalog. You have to email or call for availability, but he's the best.
They have SOME new Python parts, and many of these will fit later model Official Police revolvers.

Last, this place may have factory new OP parts, since they used to be a Factory Authorized Repair Station.
They also do factory level repairs if you need help.
Pittsburgh Handgun Headquarters
1330 Center Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
(412) 766-6100

Bottom line: Sorry to say, but you're in real trouble with this. Colt's are THE most difficult revolver there is to work on.
My best advice, buy the above book before you do ANYTHING.
Otherwise all you'll likely do is dig yourself in deeper.

No BS, I was a qualified Colt DA gunsmith for 30 years, and I know how tough this is.
Old 06-03-2006, 06:08 AM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2
thanks for the help

this gun came in to me in pieces. i am not even sure its all there. it was rusted badly but the customer wants the gun for sentimental reasons. i was afraid i was going to have to make this part from scratch - i really dont want to spend that much time at my lathe and mill but i have done it before. the gun simply is not worth that much.
Old 06-03-2006, 09:15 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 17
Dfariswheel is on the money, particularly with regards to the recommendation about Kuhnhausen's book. Doing any Colt work without it, particularly without prior revolver experience, is strongly contra-indicated.

The only thing I'll add is that finding a crane to fit a existing cylinder has always been difficult, and now it's darned near impossible. If the cylinder has any wobble on the crane, the lockup and timing will never be right.

In that case, the only cure is to bore the cylinder for a new press-fit collar, and then bore the collar (concentric, of course) to fit the crane. After that, the length can be adjusted (in concert with a replacement ratchet) so that headspacing and endshake are correct.

Of course, once all of that is done you'll need to fit a new hand and retime the gun - at minimum.

This is not going to be an easy - or cheap - job.

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