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Old March 30, 2013, 01:43 AM   #1
privateside
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Cylinder trouble with Ruger Security Six

I was honored to inherit a bicentennial Ruger Security Six. It is now one of the jewels of my collection, or would be if the cylinder would not bind up after the third reload. The space between the barrel and forcing cone is increadibly tight and actually meets the barrel with very little fouling present. My question is will I need a gunsmith or could I fix this problem at home?
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:44 AM   #2
CajunBass
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I had one that would do that. I had a couple of revolvers do that actually, but one was a Ruger Speed-Six.

I sent the Speed-Six back to the factory. It was brand new so I went ahead, packed it up, the dealer shipped it off, and I got it back in a week or so. It was a long time ago, but IIRC the letter I got back said they adjusted the barrel cylinder gap. I never had a problem after that.

The second one, was an old Colt Official Police. What I found with that was the forcing cone was dirty and had a buildup of lead on the ends of the barrel. I gave the forcing cone and cylinder face a good cleaning with Hoppes and a cloth. It doesn't take much lead/fouling to shrink that gap down. I never had a problem with the Colt again either, but I didn't shoot it a lot. It would however go through a couple of boxes of ammo afterward, where before it wouldn't get through one.

I'd try giving it a good cleaning first before I got too worried about it.
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Old March 30, 2013, 07:27 AM   #3
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The barrel gap and should be between .004” and .008” with .006” being optimum. If you are good with a stone you can correct this with out removing the barrel.

How's the endshake? It should be .001 to .004”. If endshake is too tight, the gun may bind up when you shoot it. If too loose, it could affect other functions of the gun such as cylinder timing, light primer hits, and cylinder lock-up.

The above is from the Security Six IBOK.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:46 AM   #4
James K
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The problem is not dirt or gunk, it is heat. When a revolver is fired, the cylinder expands from heat, lengthwise as well as in other directions. If the barrel-cylinder gap is too tight, the cylinder binds.

I recommend finding a gunsmith who has the special tool to trim off the end of the barrel and reset the forcing cone, but you can do it yourself if you are very careful. Cover the bottom of the top strap above the forcing cone with masking tape or metallic tape*, put the barrel in a padded vise straight up and down, then use a good, flat file to file the end of the forcing cone. It won't take much, so don't overdo it, and keep the file perfectly level at all times (that is why you want the barrel perfectly vertical).

You want the gap to be even and about .006"-.007".

*A safeside file is best, but not easy to find except from specialty suppliers.

Jim
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Old March 31, 2013, 12:03 PM   #5
g.willikers
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If there's sufficient clearance between the rear of the cylinder and the frame, how about shimming the cylinder back a little?
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Old March 31, 2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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That can be done, but shims can create problems in themselves and cause excess wear on the cylinder ratchet. (Endshake shims push the cylinder forward, the opposite of what is needed in this case.)

Jim
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Old March 31, 2013, 02:14 PM   #7
privateside
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I have taken the gun through several range trips and subsequent cleanings. Though it does help to scrub the fouling off during cleaning the revolver will still only work smoothly for three or four cylinders at the most before binding again. Firing double action quickly becomes impossible.

I haven't laid hands on a set I feeler gauges yet but will be very soon. I need a pair for my Dan Wesson anyway. It appears that the cylinder is farther forward than it should be which allows the rounds enough room to slide back and forth abouy 1/32" with the cylinder closed. There is definitely more space between the rear of the cylinder and frame than between the cylinder and forcing cone.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:24 PM   #8
James K
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There needs to be more space between the rear of the cylinder and the frame than between the front of the cylinder and the forcing cone. The former is called headspace and there has to be room for the rim of the cartridge.

Don't try to move the cylinder. If you are not sure of what is going on, take the gun to a gunsmith or send it back to Ruger.

Jim
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Old April 3, 2013, 10:56 PM   #9
privateside
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Thank you all for your advice. I think that I will be taking this to a gunsmith of good repute since I don't want to mar such a special piece.
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Old April 4, 2013, 11:28 AM   #10
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Two Rugers went to the factory with prepaid shipping and no charge for repair. The cylinder of my Security Six would spin freely and, instead of finding a gunsmith and paying for repair, I phoned Ruger and off it went. About two weeks for turnaround and I had a revolver that functioned as new.

Can not beat Ruger's unpublished but implied warranty.
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