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Dusty Tagalon:
Purchased at an online auction, sometime in its life was nonprofessionally shortened, barrel isn't square or crowned. At 15' bullets hitting target sideways. Anyone know of a smith willing to take on a 32/20 from 1896?

Very cool!

Black River Smith:
You may want to take a second look at that Colt.  I do not see an ejector rod housing guide on the frame.  Unless you are already aware of it but this looks like an Original Storekeeper Model.  I guess it could have been professionally filed or cut off but...l.  Now that is not saying that the original <4" barrel was not cut but... I would be very careful about what you do to it.

If the gun is not an original storekeeper model,  I would first slug the bore to determine if the keyholing is undersized bullets.

the 1927 "Modern Gunsmithing" and a number of other older gunsmithing books cover how to square up with a file, then crown with a brass ball and grinding compound. 

4D Reamer Rentals have tools as well.

Not really a difficult job if you are reasonably handy and patient.

Dusty Tagalon:
.313 bullets have to be forced through. My guess as to key-holing, barrel not square, as bullet leaves barrel, all the sudden pressure is release on one side before other & the pressure change causes bullet to tumble.
If it is a true Sheriffs/Store Keeper, or fake, only way to know for sure, send money to Colt Historical.
This gun is rough, no where near collector grade, frame & trigger guard sn same, grip about 3000 newer. Cylinder, only thing I can make out V 3. So, if I were to go to colt for letter, I would use frame/trigger guard sn.



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