Failure to fire: What would you do? - Kimber Forum

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Old 05-04-2019, 12:08 AM   #1
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Failure to fire: What would you do?

Colt .22 Magnum/LR revolver, 1976, purchased used in 1979.

The dude I got it from was sort of a hot dog. It came with a cowboy-style quick draw rig. The gun is in good shape, though. I can't remember how many rounds are though it, but it's probably 500-2000 total.

Initially, I had periodic failures to fire. I took it to my gunsmith, and he saw nothing wrong, but installed a new firing pin. It was 0.002" longer than the original. The gun ran fine after that, but eventually I lost interest in .22 rimfire.

Fast forward several decades...

I took the gun out again, and got quite a few failures to fire. I attributed it to old ammo. I still have thousands of rounds from 1979 and later. However... I just took out another .22, shot the same ammo, and had zero misfires. Clearly, the problem lies with the Colt.

Everything looks good on the gun. There's no wear, no dirt, and everything operates freely. What's next?

Like I mentioned, the gun came with a cowboy rig. I think some cowboy shooters will de-arch the hammer spring in order to get a better trigger pull. The trigger on this gun feels stiff, so it doesn't appear like any trigger work has been done. But I have no way of being sure.

Should I give the spring more arch, hoping for a more robust hammer strike? That's the only idea I have, so I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:45 AM   #2
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I don't know enough about that gun to offer any technical advice... but. Even though the ammo worked in another gun, unless the strikes are crazy light I'd try a couple different kinds of new production ammo before I started fixing things. CCI would be one on my list.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:09 AM   #3
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I agree with Phil and will add. To function properly that revolver requires that the shooter be wearing a proper (Cowboy Hat). Was you wearing correct head gear at all times during your test session? If not there is your problem.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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When I was doing cowboy action shooting I had a pair of Uberti 45 Long colt Cattlemans. To make cocking the hammer easier I took out the hammer spring and ground both sides of the spring down so it was a little thinner and faster and easier to cock. Doing that, you can go to far and get a weak strike. Those 45s had the firing pin attached to the hammer just like the originals. I don't know the way yours is set up but I would look into that firing him also.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:24 AM   #5
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One other thing. I had a similar problem 40 years ago. Turned out to be an invisible crack in the top strap right over the barrel. Would give just enough to produce soft firing pin strikes. Once I found it, I noticed I could take my hand and actually flex it so you could see the crack, but the crack fit so tightly it was simply impossible to see until you really started looking with a magnifying glass and bright light. Ditto for a somewhat sloppy cylinder fit that lets the cylinder move fore/aft any amount at all, as this can absorb part of that firing pin energy and cause misfires.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Thanks, guys.
I'll look over the gun more closely, clean it again perfectly, and give it a go with different ammo. Before I dress up like a Kansas City Fa... uh... well... let's just say I'd sooner give away my guns and take up fundraising for the DNC.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:42 PM   #7
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Rusty, you may also consider comparing the firing pin strikes on cases fired in the Colt vs. your other gun of the same chambering.

It may be due to a light primer strike. If so, you'll at least know what to address, as you've already eliminated an ammo issue.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:20 PM   #8
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Groo here
Dose the gun have a 22 mag cylinder??????
Option ,,, Remove grips , put gun in a bucket of K-1 [clear] for a day or so.
Drip dry or use air.
try again.
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:37 PM   #9
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If you know you have a good firing pin and you know the ammo shoots in other guns without issue, I would consider just getting a new main spring instead of trying to fix a modified spring. Shouldn't be that hard to find or cost much. I'm bettin' that fixes your problem.

My uncle used to bring one of these to deer camp when I was a kid. A bright nickel piece that looked like something for Roy Rodgers. I shot it a bunch. It was one of the first handguns that started my addiction to the sport.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:56 AM   #10
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Thanks... I wasn't able to find anything from Wolff, but I think I found the right spring from Numrich. Gonna pull the gun out of the safe later, just to confirm. Twelve bucks plus shipping is better for my peace of mind than taking the gun out, experimenting, and never being certain.
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