Need Help. I Think My Colt Cobra Is Broke.
I was doing some target shooting this evening when I pulled the trigger and nothing happened. After waiting awhile I opened the cylinder to remove the shell. The shell did not even have a dent in the primer. I did this two more times with the same result. I finally got it to fire and ran another cylinder full through with no problem.
Is this an indication of something going south? It has been about one box of shells since it's last thorough cleaning. This is my CCW, so I really need decide if it has an issue or not. Thanks for any help.
If it was me I would consider it as having an issue until such time as I was certain why it failed to fire.
A carry gun that goes click instead of bang is less value than a rock.
Something, dirt maybe, is rattling around in the works. The most likely culprit: A chunk of something interposed itself between hammer and frame for a while, and kept the hammer from contacting the firing pin (or, if the pin is attached to the hammer, as in older Colts, kept the firing-pin's nose from contacting the cartridge).
It's possible that the "chunk of something" is a piece of an interior part, but it's unlikely.
The best thing you can do is take the gun to a gunsmith who knows something about revolvers, tell him what your problem was, and then let him open the sideplate to investigate.
Without experience, you probably should not take the gun's sideplate off yourself.
Well, my Dad and I did some looking at it today. The firing pin is rivited into the hammer and is very loose, both up and down and side to side. I read an online article on replacing the pin and it said that the pin was supposed to have some movement, not sure what for, but mine is really loose. It looks like the slot that the pin goes through has a nick or dent on the right side like it has been struck by the pin. If you let the hammer down slow while lightly pushing to the side with a pocket knife it will contact the side of the slot. After I got home this evening I pulled out the empty cases that I had fired and looked through them. I remembered a shiny spot on the one I had trouble with yesterday. It has a perfect dent from the pin on the headstamp kind of in the groove by the primer and lightly denting the primer. This is in addition to the dent on the primer where I finally got it to fire. I looked through the rest of the box of empty cases and noticed that the dents in the primers seem to be all over the place. I also noticed one that had two dents in the primer??? Yesterday was the only FTF I have had.
I believe that I have found the problem, now what to do? Is this a common issue or what might have caused it? Is it repairable? I'll have to hunt for a good gunsmith. How much should I expect to pay for the repair?
This kind of shocks me considering how tight the gun is and how good of a shape it is in.
The firing pin should be loose in the up-and-down direction, so it can self-center in the hole through which it has to pass.
But it should not be loose in the side-to-side direction. As you've already noticed, this is the cause of your problem.
I'm not sure how this difficulty would be resolved. It might be as easy as carefully forcing the slot in the hammer, into which the pin is riveted, to be a little narrower. Or, it might require installation of a new, wider firing pin.
In any case, it's a job for a gunsmith with revolver experience.
I have no idea about the possible cost, but the job should not be terribly expensive.
Before you turn the gun over to a 'smith, ask him (nicely and with interest) to tell you exactly how he proposes to go about the repair. His answer will tell you whether he is competent and careful enough to do your work.
No play AT ALL side to side? Just want to make sure.
I did some reading on the COlt Forum and found a guy with a very similar problem and sent it back to Colt. They said it was out of time. Mine seems to lock up fine in either SA or DA. But if I don't hold the trigger back hard I can get a little movement. I didn't notice this when I bought it, but I wasn't being as ubber anal rententive as I have been trying to find my problem. Any chance this might be my problem or contribute?
If it is just the loose pin, would this have been a manufacturing defect or would something else in it's life have caused the issue?
I know nothing much about it's history, but it has seen probably around 300 rounds since I have owned it, all standard pressure, most of them Remington 158 gr LRN.
On a bright note, The guy that sent his back to Colt had the timing, an over rotation issue, and trigger job done for $112.50. I'm sure that shipping probably ran around $50 both ways, but not terrible.
Here is a link: Need Help with Cobra Misfires - ColtForum
What I found so similar was the off center primer dents.
1. The firing pin has to have a little wobble, side-to-side, or it wouldn't be free to move up-and-down. But it shouldn't be really loose.
2. "Out of time" sounds right, since the firing-pin hole in the frame otherwise would have to be awfully worn out, to allow the pin's nose to strike as far off-center as you report.
3. Sending it to Colt for repair seems like a very good idea.
Obviously, the Colt Forum was the right place to go. Glad you found, and accessed, it.
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