Here's a few tips that will help you keep your single action looking and performing like new.
Hate all the marks that get on your cylinder, no matter how carfully you replace it in the frame after cleaning? Have you had someone scratch your cylinder by trying to remove it with the hammer down?
Never try to remove the cylinder with the hammer down. I know this is a "no brainer", but I am suprised at how many people do just that. In the field or at home, always carry a cylinder sling, made from a one and a half inch by eight inch strip of bond paper. It folds up in your pocket, and it costs nothing. Simply place the hammer at half cock, slip one end under the cylinder, through the frame and then back over the top of the cylinder, so that it is cradled in the paper. Now, remove your cylinder pin and lift out the cylinder by holding the ends of the sling together. Lift it out with the gun on its side, and you will never mar your cylinder finish again. Reverse the procedure to install the cylinder back into the frame.
TROUBLE LOADING 44-40'S?
Why this is such a big problem is beyond me, but, three factors improve loading this cartridge.
1. Keep an eye on case length. Trim them as necessary before each loading session.
2. Clean the sizing die frequently with bronze wool to keep bits of brass and grit from scratching your shells. Wrap some around a bronze brush and chuck it in a drill, then run it at slow speed in and out of the die until clean. Use some auto polishing compound on a patch to brighten it and your ready to go.
3. Always taper crimp your rounds, forget about the roll crip. Roll crimps are responsible for all the case crushing headachs and feeding problems, especially in revolvers with tight or dirty chambers. Rifles for the most part, both antique and modern, have larger chambers at the neck, but don't take it for granted. You may not want to incure the additional expense of a taper crimp die, but what would you pay to shrink your groups over 100%? That's right, 100 percent or more. I've tested it against roll crimped rounds of the same configuration, and the results were dramatic. A five inch group at 25 yards shrunk to 2 inches. Of course, this is with all things being in good order, like chamber bore alingnment, 11 degree forcing cone, and a sand bag rest. Try it, you'll like it!
AND BLOWN UP FRAMES
Check out future issues of Shoot magazine for my article about light springs and blown frames. Too much to discribe here, but it is your safety that is at stake. Always insist on factory weight springs in your Colts. I'll reproduce the article here when it is published.