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Portland Gunsmith for my '52 Colt Woodsman?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by teflon97239, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    It's probably one of the most accurate handguns I've ever shot. A clean, crisp trigger is a big part of what I like so much about it (completely unlike the sloppy, uneven, gritty feel of a brand new Ruger - more on that resounding disappointment some other time).

    Anyway, back to the Woodsman.

    It jams on the feed ramp 10% with High Velocity ammo and probably 20% with Standard. Sometimes actually bending the next round. Ramp needs polishing? Maybe tired out spring tension? Who knows? At 60 years old, it could be any number of things, and I don't want to guess.

    So who's the ultimate Woodsman smith I should take it to in/near Portland to help make it feed everything?

    Thanks in advance for leads!
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Does this happen with different mags?
     
  3. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that was the first thing I checked. And they behave in my friend's Woodsman.

    A fellow I work with recommended today that I try Wolff Springs online. It'll cost me next to nothing to replace the springs. I'll also hit the local hobby shop and get a 22 round shaped felt dremel tip to clean up the ramp a little.

    Maybe I won't need a smith after all (let's hope), but it would still be cool to know who's trustworthy in Portland to work on older pieces like this one.

    I'll also polish out the magazine openings a bit even though they all act the same, 60 days old or 60 years.
     
  4. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You might want to check out your extractor. It might be part of your problem. Try cleaning everything in the slide and a light lubrication might make the problem go away.
    I do know that you don't mess with the feed ramps with High Standard pistols, because ammo feed problems are always in the magazine feed lips adjustments.
     
  5. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    It needs to be cleaned really well and new springs installed. Seen it many times in Woodsmans and High Standards.

    Those feed lips are very fragile and if they are bent out of shape, bent them back and they will only hold for a few rounds. Im betting 60 year old springs!
     
  6. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi All,
    You need to check and clean the Exractor and face of the bolt. Also check and clean the ejector. This could be the problem. have you taken the whole
    gun apart and cleaned it well? You may have to fit the exractor. Check and see if the Exractor will hold a round to the bolt face with out the round falling off.
    If you don't know these tests or how to fit the Exractor, come by and I will show you.
    Tony Portland, Oregon Area
     
  7. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    I don't know anything to help but wanted to get into the conversation. What year did the Woodsman come out with stronger recoil springs to handle the High Velocity .22 rounds? I shoot subsonic .22 because mine is 89 years old.
    Good luck and stay safe,
    Mike
     
  8. eganx

    eganx Kingston WA Active Member

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    Some pre wars can shoot HV ammo if the have the paralleled lines engraved into the frame instead of checkering. But 1933 was when they changed so all could shot the HV.
     
  9. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Velsey, I polished the ramp with a pencil eraser and felt dremmel wheel, resulting in no misfeeds with a couple mags of HV bulk ammo. I'll do a little more on the ramp and smooth the mag lips (gently) too, then try SV ammo, which was less reliable than HV.

    For good measure, I'll also order springs from Wolff - less than $10! At 60 years old, the original springs might be getting tired. Here's the link.
    Springs for COLT WOODSMAN, HUNTSMAN, & TARGETSMAN Semi-Auto Pistols

    Now to place the order, I have to specify if mine is the "early" or "later" Woodsman, and I have no clue. I got 1952 from a website based on the serial number. And it's a series 2. Can you point me to a reference that'll confirm early or later so I can order the correct spring combinaton? Thanks in advance.

    Then I can experience the notorious joy of taking it apart and putting it back together. I have a friend who owns one and wants to be here when I do it (probably for a good chuckle).
     
  10. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Happy update.

    After I mildly smoothed the ramp with a cloth wheel on a Dremel, it chambered everything really nicely. But suddenly it wasn't cocking, even though it was cycling the ammo. A half pull (not enough to eject and rechamber) would cock it so it would fire. Then the same thing after each shot - chambered but not cocked. (WTF ???)

    D*uched it liberally with Rem Oil, let it soak, then hosed it one more time right before I took it out again last weekend. Pop, pop, pop! Seems to work 100% with SV and HV ammo now (even those little Federal faux hollow-points).

    So it was originally just the ramp that needed smoothing. Maybe it collected some polishing medium (toothpaste) causing that temporary cocking malfunction, but that's all better now too.

    My new unused Wolff Springs ($9) will sit in the reserve parts box until I wear out the stock ones that are now 60 years old.
     
  11. zeppelin

    zeppelin Benton County WA Active Member

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    Had the exact same problem on my Series 3 Woodsman Match Target. It would fire one but fail to cock when chambering the second round. Mine would also double sometimes (fire two with one trigger pull) with standard velocity match ammo. This is a sear spring problem. As you probably know these guns can be a bear to detail strip and reassemble, expecially putting the mainspring housing back on top of the sear spring without it falling out. If you don't do it right the sear spring will get flattened out resulting in the problem you are having. Get a new sear spring from Numrich Gun parts on line (you have a series 3 it should have an S in the serial number and the magazine latch on the bottom of the grip). It cost 10 bucks plus shipping. Let me know if can't locate it and I will send you a link. All you need to do then is put it in without bending it. If you have problems let me know and I can guide you through it. After I did this mine ran perfectly and was also a bit easier to take apart. Go figure.
     
  12. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Numrich offers free shipping if you call their 1-800 order line, jot down the free shipping code of the day, and then order your parts online with the code.
    They just revamped their web site, and it's going to take awhile to get used to the new look.