View Full Version : Noobie Revolver Question
June 26, 2010, 08:30 AM
Is the ring wear on the cylinder just a fact of life or can it be lessoned?
June 26, 2010, 02:15 PM
If you're referring to a wear line around the outside of the cylinder between the indexing notches, it is an indication that the revolver is out of time and raising the stop latch too early, letting it drag on the cylinder outer surface ILO into the notch's leade.
A revolversmith should be able to remedy the timing, but only a cylinder refinish will remove the evidence.
June 27, 2010, 12:01 AM
All that is true, but I've yet to see a well used blued revolver with out the ring marks. Regardless of make.:o
June 27, 2010, 12:21 AM
all my SS S&W revolvers have "ring around the cylinder", all are in time and all are very accurate, when i do my part.:D
June 27, 2010, 01:16 AM
It is something a good revolver smith can cure but you will have to spend the money.
It is just a fact that this occurs on almost all revolvers and has no detriment on the life of the gun.
June 27, 2010, 04:58 PM
Haven't seen a S&W revolver yet that didn't get a light ring from the cylinder stop after a few dozen rounds. Too much pressure on the stop can cause excessive wear on the stop and cylinder but light pressure is normal.
June 27, 2010, 05:09 PM
Not doubting Petewh but I have never seen a used revolver that didn't have the 'ring'.
June 27, 2010, 06:39 PM
Virtually all modern double action revolvers will quickly develop the ring.
This is due to the fact that the cylinder locking bolt is specifically designed to actually "ride" on the cylinder for most of it's rotation.
When metal rubs metal, you get a wear mark.
Slowly cock a modern revolver, as the hammer comes back, you'll hear a distinct "click". That's the cylinder locking bolt dropping back onto the cylinder. The bolt will ride on the cylinder for most of it's rotation.
You can also see this process. Hold a revolver up to the light and look between the bottom of the cylinder and the frame "window" as you cock the hammer.
You'll see the cylinder locking bolt retract, the cylinder start to turn and the locking bolt dropping back onto the cylinder. The bolt will maintain contact with the cylinder as it turns.
The only modern DA revolver that doesn't necessarily get the wear mark is the old Colt action like the Python and Detective Special.
These are designed so the bolt doesn't ride the cylinder.
However, from opening and closing the cylinder and normal use, these too will get the wear mark.
In short, the wear ring on a revolver is a feature of the design and is entirely normal.
June 27, 2010, 07:42 PM
[The only modern DA revolver that doesn't necessarily get the wear mark is the old Colt action like the Python and Detective Special.]
Well, although my 1966 DS is certainly sans ring, FWIW so is my 1970's Charter Arms snubbie, & a 2y.o. Charter Pathfinder - none of which are safe queens.
June 27, 2010, 09:52 PM
"If you're referring to a wear line around the outside of the cylinder between the indexing notches, it is an indication that the revolver is out of time and raising the stop latch too early, letting it drag on the cylinder outer surface ILO into the notch's leade."
On Smith & Wesson DA revolvers, that is a sign of normal operation of the action. It absolutely is NOT a timing defect. Anybody from Smith & Wesson will verify this including the smiths in their Performance Center. That said, there are ways to minimized but not eliminate that type of wear. On revolvers of different manufacture, the story is different.
June 28, 2010, 07:32 PM
On S&W revolvers, that ring is a fact of life; don't worry about it.
Some revolvers, like the Colt SAA and the old Colt DA's can be timed to drop the cylinder bolt (stop) in the leade (that triangular shaped cut ahead of the stop notch). One reason is that the spring on the bolt on both the SAA and the DA's is very strong and will mar the cylinder if the bolt drops too soon. As a practical matter, that doesn't make any difference, but some users get so worked up that a timing job on those guns usually involves both modifying the drop point and reducing the bolt spring tension.
On most other revolvers (except Colt SAA clones), there is no problem except a purely cosmetic one.
June 28, 2010, 07:46 PM
One thing about single actions, if you let the hammer down from half cock it will ring the cylinder. Always bring it to full cock before lowering it.
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