Colt SAA, trigger pull is too light... - Pistolsmith

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Old 04-15-2018, 06:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: stilwell
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Colt SAA, trigger pull is too light...

I just bought a Colt SAA, made in 1976, at the Tulsa gun show...the trigger pull is too light, I just took the gun apart I find the following issues,
All screws are damaged due to using improper screwdriver in its past...I will order new and replace.
The back strap of the grip is scratched up due to wrong screwdriver...I will have to have it reblued or live with it.
The trigger pull was lightened by hammering a small amount of metal on the side of the hammer even with the full cock notch restricting the amount of notch available...I think it can be set right by using a small stone to remove preened metal.
The best news is the insides,cyl,and barrel are like new all case hardening is perfect. I need to replace the Colt plastic grips with walnut more proper to the 1870's US Army, any ideas??? TIA hvymech
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
The 1870's SAA used one-piece type walnut grips.

These are easily made by using a kit that has two sides and a spacer that's glued inside the grips while the backstrap and trigger guard are assembled to the frame.

You can buy a "kit" here:

Colt Single Action Army Walnut Grips, Oversize, 1 Piece

Tombstone Grips sell a kit made of plastic and I show it only so you can see how the spacer is shaped:

Tombstone Gun Grips: Colt Generic 3-pc SA Smaller (81c)

To do this, assemble the trigger guard and backstrap to the frame.
LIBERALLY coat EVERYTHING with a release agent.
I recommend Johnson's Paste Wax.
You can buy big yellow cans at most any hardware store, some grocery stores, and most Walmart's.

Apply a medium thick coat of wax to everything so there's no surface left uncoated that epoxy will stick to anywhere even close to the frame and grip frame.
Don't wipe the wax off, just let it dry 30 minutes.

Use tools to shape the spacer like that shown in the Tombstone link.
Sand the side so the filler is EXACTLY the same thickness as the backstrap.
When the grips are held on the backstrap there should be no gap between the grips and the backstrap and trigger guard.

Roughen up both sides of the filler, and the areas on both grips here the spacer will fit. If necessary use a drill to drill a bunch of shallow holes or use a tool like a Dremel bit or wood chisel to make areas where the epoxy can form "locks". These will allow the epoxy to bond INTO the wood and prevent them from breaking under recoil.

Use a good epoxy. A five minute type will work well but you have to work fast.
I've never used it but it's possible a really good wood glue like Tightbond II might also work, and would be easier to work with since it doesn't stick to metal very well.

Once you're ready, put the filler into the back of the backstrap and down onto the bottom. Use some sort of brace to force the filler into place so it can't shift out of place.

Apply the glue to the sides of the filler and the inside of the grips where the filler will fit.
Make sure the roughened areas are filled with glue.

Put both grips on the grips frame and push them into place, firmly seated at the top of the frame and aligned with the backstrap and trigger guard.
use big rubber band

Use big rubber bands or other means of tightly clamping the grips in place.

Allow the glue to cure fully.

Disassemble the backstrap and trigger guard and the grips will slide out of the backstrap.

Clean up the parts to remove wax and dried glue, then you're ready to final shape and fit the grips to the grip frame.
Use fine sand paper wrapped around a file or wood stick to sand the edges close to the grip frame.

Original grips were put on the gun during final polishing for bluing so they were perfect fits.
You can get close, but one slip and you'll scar the bluing.

Original grips had a dull oil finish in the wood.

If standard two piece wood grips secured with a screw will do, there are a number companies that make them:

Last edited by dfariswheel; 04-16-2018 at 04:57 PM.
Old 04-29-2018, 02:53 PM   #3
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YosemiteSam's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: EARTH
Posts: 10

alot of people think colt saa have too heavy of a cock, and there were several ways to
adjust that, yes, id stone that part down and add a drop of instant blue to the spot. once dry, rub a bit of grease on it and wipe it off, excellent repair completed.
The scratched backstrap can be repaired, the scratches need to be burnished , that moves the metal back into the scratch, then peened lightly with a steel hammer (very small) then sanded smooth, redone as needed till it looks smooth, OR.. A BIT OF WELD MIGHT NEED TO BE ADDED TO THE SCRATCH AREA, THEN GROUND DOWN, SANDED AND POLISHED.. it jsut depends on how deep the scratches are...
once repaired correctly, it can be reblued and look like new. and yes, new screws.


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