Okay, if any of you remember I'm restoring a Colt MKIII Lawman that I got on the cheap. I want to either hard chrome it or do it up in electroless nickel, both of which I'm setup to do myself. The only problem is that everywhere I look it says that the firing pin cannot be removed by anyone except the factory. Does anyone know exactly why? From the exploded diagrams and from just looking at it it seems that it's a single pin holding everything in there. I really don't want to send it back to Colt simply for them to remove it, and I don't want to pay for them to refinish it since I can do it all myself. Anyone got any ideas?
The firing pin and bushing is much more complicated than that, and it's easy to really ruin a frame if you try it the wrong way.
Using a hammer an punches is definitely the wrong way.
The bushing is pinned in by a cross pin through the frame.
That pin really needs to be pressed out, not driven with a punch. Using a punch inevitably winds up scarring up the frame and the pin itself.
Next, the bushing is pressed in and a very thin "skirt" of steel around the hole is riveted over the bushing with a special punch that works down the barrel. Most people never even notice the skirt.
In order to get the bushing and firing pin out, you need a special press with contoured punches to press the firing pin and bushing out.
This press device has a "table" with a hole through it that fits through the frame window with the breech face resting on the table.
The press has a contoured punch installed and the press is used to push the firing pin and bushing out of the frame.
Once the old parts are out, a new pin and spring is installed and the bushing is VERY carefully aligned so the slot will align with the frame pin. The press holds the frame while another punch is used to press the bushing back in.
This is done by installing a different table in the press without a hole. A larger hollow punch is used to press down on the frame around the firing pin, and the table pushes the bushing back up into the frame.
Where you have to be very careful is in dealing with that thin skirt of steel around the bushing.
Some people think it's just a burr and file it off, others don't even notice it and get part or all of it caught by the bushing and pushed into the hole.
Once the bushing is in place, the frame pin is pressed back in, then another special punch goes down the barrel and is used to re-rivet the skirt back around the bushing.
For full detail and pictures, buy a copy of the Jerry Kuhnhausen book "The Colt Double Action Revolver: A Shop Manual, Volume TWO".
If you're going to work with or own one of the later type Colt revolvers, this is the best money you can spend.
This is a real gunsmiths shop manual written for use as a training aid for new gunsmiths. You could make an expedient tool from a shop press, which is what I did when I was in business.
SOME POSSIBLE HELP:
The Kuhnhausen manual states that blued models can be re-blued with the firing pin assembly in place, but a neutralizer solution must be used to "kill" the bluing chemicals and prevent "bleed out" of bluing salts.
I'm going to assume the firing pin hole in the frame, and the rear of the pin could be masked off or plugged to allow plating without removal of the parts.
The firing pin spring is stainless steel.
Thanks a lot for the info. I have a few of Jerry Kuhnhausen's books and have already ordered his book on the Colt DA's but they haven't arrived yet. Once I get the book and can get a visual I'm sure I can make up a jig of some sort. But if I can't I guess I'll just have to figure something else out. You wouldn't happen to have any drawings of the jig you made on hand, would you?
Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
I changed my original post.
I "disremembered" the press I used.
The Kuhnhausen book shows enough that you can make one.
Awesome, thanks for the help.