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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt Firearms (Moderator: St. George)  |  Topic: Colt 1878 d.a 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Judge Roy Bean
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« on: October 24, 2015, 07:42:16 am »


Where is the best info for the Colt's 1878 d/a , the pros & cons please .
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 08:00:19 am »

Judge, so far the best I've found is Wilkerson's book.

http://smile.amazon.com/Colts-Double-Action-Revolver-Model/dp/0961787643/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445691418&sr=8-1&keywords=colt+1878

As a matter of fact about all I've found dedicated to just that revolver. Also a good point of contact is Sal Lanara, Dave's brother who is to the '78 what Dave is to SAA's.

Good luck, I've got three, one of which is the 1902 that I'm rebuilding.
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St. George
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2015, 09:57:17 am »

I'll second that advice.

The biggest problem with them is that no one wants to work on them, so they languish on tables.

Scouts Out!
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2015, 12:31:25 pm »

And if you find one that works they want an arm and a leg for them. I picked up the Philippine model of 1902 for a great price  Grin but it had been 'cleaned' within an inch of it's life and almost all the markings are gone. Worked till about the third time I cocked it and it locked up, two broken springs.  Shocked So now it's in pieces while I try to find parts to get it back in working order. For the moment, they are available, but expensive. After that I may see if there is someone with the proper dies to get it remarked and refinished. Or I may just enjoy shooting it till it breaks again. Wink
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Judge Roy Bean
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 03:24:02 am »

Thank's for all the replies and advise I have always liked this gun , and wanted to own one . I thought it was the 1877 that was the weak one and they improved  78 model .
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 06:53:11 am »

Judge, if you can get one, do it, they're a lot of fun. As far as it goes the 1877 is the one prone to breakage, the 1878 is more robust, just keep in mind that the springs are not the always in the best of condition after 110 years or so and may give up the ghost at the most inopportune of times. Always good to have a couple of spares, if you can find them.
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St. George
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 12:42:19 pm »

The springs on both are the weak part, and were 'always' prone to breaking.

Had they licked that metallurgy, the revolver would have enjoyed a wider popularity.

Today, not only is the making/finding of springs more trouble than it's worth, but finding guys who understand the workings of Double-Action revolvers is getting harder and harder to do, as the older, 'true' gunsmiths retire, and their ranks are left empty.

Scouts Out!
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 04:38:37 pm »

Well my youngest is studying to be an engineer, maybe I can convince her to design some newer, more reliable springs for the old ladies and let us keep shooting them. Grin
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St. George
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2015, 05:05:20 pm »

Just making the same style of original springs - but with a better metallurgy - will fix the problem.

It always has in the past.

Making 'new and improved' ones isn't a guarantee of success.

Scouts Out!
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Montana Slim
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2015, 10:10:02 pm »

Springs are no problem....

http://www.wisnersinc.com/model/1878/

As far as gunsmithing, DIY is best advice...

Slim
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Judge Roy Bean
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 04:25:05 am »

A new question what size bullet  do I need and a light black powder load ?any help please .
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2015, 09:43:05 am »

Depends on the caliber, .454 for a 45 Colt, .427-.428 for a 44-40, basically whatever is correct for a first gen pre 1900 SAA is correct.

38-40 or 38 WCF would be a .401 bullet around 180 grains.
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Judge Roy Bean
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 08:17:36 am »

Sorry I should have put what caliber its 38-40 or 38wcf if that helps .
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Texas & Miss Lilly.
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2015, 10:43:45 am »

In my 1st Gen Colts I shoot 32 gr of 2F and use the Lyman 401093 (not sure if that is the correct mold number for the original 2 groove bullet) lubed with SPG.  Shoots good with moderate recoil.
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Judge Roy Bean
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2015, 03:12:58 am »

Thanks guy's it all helps .
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Texas & Miss Lilly.
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2016, 02:11:08 am »

   Greetings!

   Some years back, I found a Colt 1902 for under $400: someone had given it a "Buffing-Wheel Refinish".
Mechanically, it's great, but has a little 'salt & pepper' in the bore. It's quite accurate with BP reloads, and
no cycling issues at all. It came with a "Cowboy" holster. Probably someone's "carry gun".
   I wish that SOMEONE would introduce a replica, in stead of these SAA "Thunderer" concoctions...

           M.T.Marfield
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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2016, 09:30:41 am »

I'll second that advice.

The biggest problem with them is that no one wants to work on them, so they languish on tables.  Scouts Out!

I have an 1878. I ahve heard of problems with the 1877 models, but remarkably little about the 1878. Mine was purchased by the Canadian army in 1885 and used up and including the beginning of the Anglo-Boer War.

I shot a cylinder full of .45 Schofield reloads. BP, of course!
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2016, 09:47:21 am »

Sir Charles, I love you gave the old lady a workout. My first 1878 has the London Pall Mall address on it and was shipped in 'CAL 45B'. Don't know if it was reamed out or not but chambers all the way up to 45 Colt. Somehow this London gun ended up in the hands of The Western Costume Company (has WCC stamped on it 3 or 4 times) so I look for it to turn up in old westerns. Grin Nice old gal to take out and enjoy from time to time. The serial number on the butt was 'scrubbed' sometime in the past, so if it were cataloged the only number on it is 985, which is on the loading gate, the assy number. It does show all the early features so who knows, maybe it is that early a number. It's missing the lanyard, has a plug, and it had some terrible homemade ivory type grips on it when I got it. Has to have been reblued a couple of times at least while in the hands of Hollywierd, but I assume it was originally case and blue. They are definitely fun when they work, so enjoy getting her out time and again.
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Coal Creek Griff
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2016, 04:09:14 pm »

Just yesterday I was re-reading this older article about collecting movie guns.  It's kind of interesting.

http://www.truewestmagazine.com/from-silver-screen-to-gun-room/


CC Griff
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Judge Roy Bean
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2016, 09:51:02 am »

One more re-quest dose the  board know where I could find a set of grips in ard rubber not plastic worn , don't mjnd if they are worn,thank you.
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Texas & Miss Lilly.
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mtmarfield
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2017, 09:56:23 pm »

   Greetings!

   Judge: Try Dixie Gun Works; I believe that's where I found replacement grips for my 1902.

                M.T.Marfield
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Colt Fanning
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 10:37:07 am »

Howdy,
I have an 1878 in 44-40 that I got cheep and tuned up so that it shoots fine in single action.  I shoot it in NCOWS matches.  In double action
it moves the hammer back only about 3/4 of the distance for single action and this is not enough fall to fire the primer.
What does one do to cause the hammer to release later in a DA?
Regards
Colt
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