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Old 09-15-2019, 10:37 PM
desertmoon's Avatar

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The case of the mysteriously non-operational Match Target Slide stop

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Ah, where to begin.

Recently, I purchase a well used, slightly monkeyed with but fully restorable Colt Woodsman Match Target ( 6 inch ) 3rd Series from 1969.

I presume that the original trigger was not up to par and someone seriously monkeyed with the sear and sear spring to try to give it an optimal pull. They failed. Spectacularly. Some other things were dickered with a bit and, among other things, the gun had been re-assembled incorrectly in more than one way.

That being said, the main chassis of the weapon was in good condition if a bit holster warn and nicked up.

After purchasing several NOS or excellent condition components, I have her running like a top. I now have a very good, crisp, clean and safe trigger pull. The hammer strut was assembled onto the hammer correctly, ( long story there...it was like that when I got it and that it ran in that condition speaks to the monkeying that had been done to the gun initially ) and I replaced the sear, cut very nice clean engagements on it and I replaced the "tweaked" sear spring. Lord...it seems like a simple job...but it was not. I also had to replace the mag latch spring as THAT had been "toned down" to make the mag easier to release. WHY? I do not know.

Anyhow...an already long story short; she runs like an angel. Just as smooth as you please.....but for one thing.....

.....the slide stop will not engage when the gun runs dry.

Yes, the new spring is installed correctly, it is not bound up into the shoulder of the bolt like the original was when I got it. The side plate is clean. It was binding on the slide slightly (how did the original owner not figure that out????) but is now dressed and fitted to let the slide run free like it should have originally. Funny how I think that this original condition may have been what led to a lot of the future monkeying around.

Anyhow, the SIDE of the side plate is clean and in good order, the spring is new and installed properly, the slide stop rotating is without burr or bind....

If I manually cycle the slide, the lock works perfectly. Yet, no matter what mag I use ( all of mine are in excellent condition but DO sport original springs ) it will not lock open under fire.

I have only one and one half theories, to make sure that I was double insured when installed the slide lock assembly, I used red gun grease to help hold the spring in place ALONG with my technique of keeping pressure on the slide lock, lock screw and spring assembly as I place it into position. I did use a fair bit of grease. The "half theory" is that ALL (?????) of my EXCELLENT condition Woodsman mags have weak follower springs.

Those of you who work on Woodsmans full time know of what I speak.

All other things being excellent and equal, do you think that the grease is slowing the stop enough to render it "non functioning" in that it just can't rise fast enough? NOTE: the slide is not being gouged in any way by a "miss" of the stop as though the stop is almost but not quite making it. It's a clean miss all the way around. Again, I did not skimp on the grease, I will be honest. I know I am probably answering my own question...but everything seems so smooth...I just have to ask it anyway!!!!

Of course, I will try doing a greaseless install this week and try to test it on Thursday.....

...but in case I might be missing something, I thought I would ask.

Thank you to everyone for your time and forgive me for the long post.

Last edited by desertmoon; 09-15-2019 at 10:44 PM.
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