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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad (age 85) bought one in need of repair at a yard sale. Handed to me to make functional again. This one was made in 1901. I have had a good deal of luck but still have a couple of questions.
1) The forend is definitely not original... but it works. I am finding originals RARE. I think I could finish a repro to look ok. My question is about the shape of the repro. Some slant all the way to the front end. Others have a "flip" at the front that kind of matches the shape at the back. Which is correct for this issue? Any supplier you might recommend?
2) The firing pin seems to be striking the back end of the case too far away from the edge to activate the rim fire "primer". Its a good strike but not close enough to the edge. Ideas?
3) The firing pin seems to just float in the bolt. No spring to keep it back. I have a book with an explosion and don't see any mechanism to hold the firing pin back before it is struck by the hammer. Is there something I am missing?
Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Trapp55
I read and used your post some time back when I was figuring out how to disassemble and reassemble the Colt. It was very useful. The reason I did not include pictures is because I didn't think they would help.
1. From your description and the photo in your article, I believe the forearm in the your picture is the deluxe. I will go with the "plain Jane".
2. The dent in the bottom of the shell casing caused by the firing pin strike is too far away from the "rim" to make the primer "go off". Do you need a picture of the bottom of the shell casing?Any ideas of how an adjustment could be made so that the strike would be closer to the edge? Maybe bend the business end of the firing pin down slightly?
3. The picture attached shows the parts that comprise the bolt. Top is the firing pin. Below is the bolt. The bolt. Locking brace pin. Locking brace. Those are all of the parts that I know of that comprise the bolt (except for the extractor and extractor pin which I left in place). The locking brace goes through the bolt and into the slot on the bottom of the firing pin. That is all that holds the firing pin in place... it allows the pin to slide back and forth inside the bolt freely but for a small distance. No spring to hold the pin back until the hammer strikes.
Am I missing something on how this goes together?
IMG_2303.JPG
 

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That forearm is a Deluxe, but didn't come from Colt with it. The Deluxe from what I gather, came with a straight buttstock, or pistol grip, and that forearm. Both were checkered, and a better grade of walnut. Most I've seen have a Lyman tang sight on the rear, and a folding Beech sight on the front.
I have seen both versions of the forearm un-checkered, but original to the gun, so either it must have been an option, or they ran out of one, and used the other.
Maybe it's the pic, but something doesn't look right with your firing pin. Does it look like the pin was repaired where it meets the pin body?
Post me 3 pics, the fired case, one of the bolt face with the pin sticking out as far as it will go, like pic #9 in the link, and one looking straight at the bolt face.
The tip of the pin is beveled on one side, so the dent in the case should look like a half moon.
Does the extractor move up and down in the slot cut in the bolt?
Where they sit on top of the bolt, moisture can settle in there and rust it to the bolt. It looks fine, but it's not working as it should. If it doesn't have enough "give", it'll force the case rim down over a worn cartridge support = firing pin misses the rim.
Post those pics and we'll figure this out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow... you are one early riser!!
I am including four pix that I hope will help
Closeup of the firing pin. Doesn't look to have been messed with over time. I compared it to your picture and the place where the pin meets the body and they seem the same. This extra picture is so you can see if you agree

The second image is of the shell casing. You will note it has two firing pin marks. The lower mark is from the actual firing by another gun. I inserted the spent casing in the Lightning. The gun is apart, so I put the bolt in place and struck the rear of the firing pin to make the second upper mark. If I had reassembled the Colt, the mark would have only been slightly (very slightly) less deep.

The third image is of the bolt face from the side with the pin out as far as it will go. The extractor is one of the parts I had to replace. There is a small spring underneath the "tail" that was miraculously still in place. I can move the "hook" up and down with my finger. And the tiny little spring does hold the front down.

The last image is head on of the bolt with the pin extended as far as it will go.

Thank you for taking so much time. I sincerely do appreciate it
A Firing Pin.JPG
B Shell Casing.JPG
C Bolt Side.JPG
D Bolt Face.JPG
 

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I built one of these from parts, and unfortunately there is not a lot of information out there on these. I will tell you the action is very stiff when compared to a Winchester 1890/1906 or a Stevens visible loader. I really have to pump the action to the bolt guide up to the barrel.

A lot of the barrels I came across have been shot out, so check the diameter of yours. Also, these are chambered in .22 short and .22 long. .22 LR was not created when this rifle was created.

Your firing pin appear to have a worn tip. I tried take a photo of mine. They were made from brass, and fairly soft.

20190804_074239.jpg
20190804_074259.jpg
20190804_074235.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This quote from Trapp55 made me investigate:

"Does the extractor move up and down in the slot cut in the bolt?
Where they sit on top of the bolt, moisture can settle in there and rust it to the bolt. It looks fine, but it's not working as it should. If it doesn't have enough "give", it'll force the case rim down over a worn cartridge support = firing pin misses the rim."

As I mentioned above, the extractor is one of the parts I had to replace. The little spring underneath the tail of the extractor was still in place.
When the "hook" of the extractor is pushed up by hand, only about a fingernail or so of the top front extractor becomes exposed. The spring keeps the downward pressure on the "hook" pretty strong.
There is a little vertical "play" in how the bolt fits in the receiver. The extractor hook will not flex over the shell casing rim if the front of the bolt is at the bottom of the play. If the bolt is pushed up to the top of the play, the hook will go over the casing rim with an audible click.
Does this sound like there isn't enough "give" in the extractor? If so, how does one correct that?
Thanks again for your input!!
 

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"A picture is worth a thousand words"
Your firing pin broke, was repaired, but wasn't lined up in the original position, and wasn't "clocked" in regards to the original tip orientation. It may have worked, but....corrosion has opened up the hole in the bolt face, and/or the diameter of the pin has been reduced. Try to bend it, and it'll break. The pin tip should be right on top of the support to hit the rim.
Word of caution, these pins are made from phosphor bronze, and the fumes from brazing them are hazardous.
Directly under the hole is the cartridge support, and it has a lot of wear too. The bolt, head spaces on the support and the protruding tab at the bottom. They stick out too far, you get case ruptures. Too little, and the round goes off when chambered, a "slam fire".
The support gets worn down from the extractor pressure forcing the cartridge rim against it when chambering. You can see it in Sheks photos too, his isn't as bad as yours though. That's why I asked about the extractor moving freely. That can be alleviated by polishing the the forward curved edge of the extractor hook.
These rifles are just like Colt revolvers, every damned piece has to be hand fitted!
When everything is in spec, the extractor hook and cartridge support will hold a loaded cartridge firm on the bolt face, and sticking straight out.
Colt re-engineered features from the 1873 Winchester in the Lightnings. One of the most common problems I've had to repair on the 1873 is a broken cartridge support, caused by the same thing.
Tom, the bad news, your FP and bolt are in real bad shape. I could repair that bolt, but the man hour cost just wouldn't be worth it. I know parts are like trying to find hens teeth, but I do see bolts on ebay occasionally.
The pin I repaired from the overhaul I did was in spec and working, but the owner already had the steel pin and insisted on using it. So if you come up with a good stripped bolt body, I can help you with a pin. I'll check some sources for a bolt as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well... Trap55... I ordered the bolt body and man did that hurt my billfold. Looks like that will be dad's birthday for certain. You mentioned helping with the firing pin. I will hold my breath and be sitting down when you let me know how much that will set me back.
Honestly, thank you for all your help... although my pocket book is crying.
 

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On the bright side, rusty, no finish, beat up, and most times not working, they still bring $700. Cleaned up and working like the one I did, bring $1200 to $1500.
 

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Tomcat got another bolt from Numrich, and they pulled their usual BS and sent him one in the same condition as the old one. Get rid of the junk, then up the price on the good ones left in the bin. Sent it back and got one that had all the important parts intact.
It had it's share of nicks and dings, so I had to peen, hone, de-burr, and polish everything back into shape. Tuned up/polished the extractor, made a new extractor pin and spring, and got the firing pin fitted. I'll post some pics in a bit, camera is on the charger, and I'm too cross eyed from working on these micro parts to see the camera settings anyhow.
 

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I don't think Colt ever got the memo about mass produced "interchangeable" parts. New or used, if it didn't come with that gun, it's got to be hand fitted no matter what!
I'm still trying to figure out wth happened to the bolt face "ears" on this old bolt.
Old and new:

 
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