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Old May 27, 2013, 09:47 PM   #1
ninjaamt
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Cylinder "Rings"??

I have a S&W model 19 .357, and it is in overall good condition, an oldie but goodie! I don't fire it much, and keep it clean. I notice that the bores of the cylinder have rings of sorts where the bullet would meet the cases. I tried scrubbing these out but they seem to be worn right into the metal. Is that unusual or abnormal? Can they be honed out, or just left alone? Thanks!
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:17 PM   #2
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Oh man! I just went through a lo-o-ong discussion where I asked the same thing! I bought a Model 66 (a close cousin of your Model 19) in excellent, spotless condition. Took it to the range once and then noticed the rings after the cleaning. It drove me crazy because I thought it was a carbon built that I can not clean off.
After all I was told that this is how cylinder chamber is made. Look up a long cleaning related topic under my name, you'll see... and leave these rings alone, they are there by design
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Old May 27, 2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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It seems like those are supposed to be there.

They MAY be carbon rings from firing .38 specials (which are shorter than .357s) and may be scrubbed out.

Generally, if they aren't hurting anything don't start honing things!
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Old May 27, 2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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Those are the cylinder throats and they guide the bullet to the barrel forcing cone. Leave them alone, unless they're undersized for the barrel groove diameter, but that's a different thread.
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Old May 28, 2013, 12:19 AM   #5
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In front of the where the bullet itself would fit into the chamber, the chamber in a revolver is tapered. You should be able to see this taper if you look carefully into the chamber with it lighted properly. That's normal and isn't a problem.

However, there's a second feature that can be visible in a revolver chamber.

Where the case mouth sits in the chamber, a ring of fouling will usually accumulate. Normally, we don't notice this because if we always shoot ammunition with the same length cartridge case, the fouling rings are too far forward in the chamber to cause any issues. In addition, normal cleaning keeps them from building up too much.

However, if you shoot ammunition with shorter cartridge cases (say .38spl ammunition in a .357Mag revolver) the fouling ring from the shorter cases can build up to the point that it causes difficulty chambering or maybe extracting .357Mag ammunition since the longer case needs to slip in past the rings. If it gets to be a problem, some extra work cleaning the chambers will get rid of the rings. If they're not making it difficult to chamber and extract the cartridges then don't worry about them.

To clean them, you can use a bronze cleaning brush with solvent and some patience or some folks recommend belling the mouth of a fired .357Mag case slightly so it's a very tight fit in the chamber and using it to scrape the rings out.
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Old May 28, 2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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I put a brass/bronze brush in a section of rod and chuck it into a cordless drill dip brush in solvent with drill on slow move brush back & forth in the cylinder.

Brass/bronze is much softer than ordinance steel and it won't hurt the cyl.
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Old May 28, 2013, 12:44 PM   #7
ninjaamt
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Hi guys! Thanks for the tips. Now I can rest easier. I was going nuts about those rings. The gun is very clean so I'm sure it's not lead fouling. I do shoot .38 specials out of it mostly and sometimes .357s, but always clean it after each range session. I never had it apart, is it difficult? Is there a procedure, or do's and don'ts? I know, leave it alone! But it's not in my nature, just don't want to make it worse! LOL Getting the wheel out would be a great first step for easier cleaning.
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Old May 28, 2013, 12:49 PM   #8
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I think John nailed it, that's part of the chamber. Back when cartridges used heeled bullets like the .22LR, the bullet was the same diameter as the case and so the chambers were bored straight through. The .44Russian was the first cartridge where the bullet was seated down inside the case and thus, smaller in diameter. Hence the step in the chamber. Which is when we went from a true .44 caliber to what is actually closer to .43.
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Old May 28, 2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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You can take it apart, the S&W side plate makes it easy. An old manual will help. I'd do it once to wipe off old boogers and check for preexisting wear and tear.
If it's blue finish, the ring is there to stay. No need to attack it. Those appear early on and don't mean a beat up revolver.
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Old May 28, 2013, 01:35 PM   #10
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I get the feeling we're not all talking about the same ring.
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Old May 28, 2013, 01:51 PM   #11
LED
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No we are not. I didn't read the OP well enough.
He said carbon rings. I have dealt with some stubborn residue from 44 Russian also. Try Kleenbore lead cloth on a bronze brush.

Last edited by LED; May 28, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old May 28, 2013, 02:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
I didn't read the OP well enough. He said carbon rings.
I am sorry, but I don't think you read it correctly again. OP never said carbon rings. He said "bores of the cylinder have rings of sorts where the bullet would meet the cases. I tried scrubbing these out but they seem to be worn right into the metal."

According to the description these are cylinder throats rings. I recently went nuts trying to "clean them off" thinking they may be carbon. Until MrBorland and few other more experienced members explained to me these rings are part of the design, not a residue. Even though I fully believed them and left these rings alone next time I went to the range I asked to see a brand new, unfired 686 and saw same rings my gun had...
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Old May 28, 2013, 02:49 PM   #13
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What, missed again?
This kind of residue likes to appear when a shorter headspace cartridge is fired from a longer chamber, especially wadcutters and SWC. The most I've seen was in fact after 44 Russian was fired from a Colt Anaconda. Carbon or lead, it will eventually give up to patches of heavy lead cloth wrapped around a one size smaller bronze brush head.
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Old May 28, 2013, 05:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjaamt
I never had it apart, is it difficult? Is there a procedure, or do's and don'ts? I know, leave it alone! But it's not in my nature, just don't want to make it worse! LOL Getting the wheel out would be a great first step for easier cleaning.
ok, first lemme say that there's absolutely no need to take your revolver apart for routine cleaning. But, I get the sense you're itching to do it anyway, so I'll offer some tips so you don't damage the damned thing.

To get the cylinder off, carefully unscrew the screw above and forward of the trigger. Use a correct hollow-ground screw driver for this. Do not use a standard screwdriver - you'll bugger the screw and it'll look like bubba did a hack job on it.

Anyhow, after removing the screw and carefully placing it somewhere where it wont get lost, then carefully open the cylinder. At this point, the whole assembly can fall off the front of the gun and onto the floor, so hold the cylinder and gun, and set the gun on a table right side down with the cylinder sticking up. While holding the cylinder, carefully slide the yoke off the front of the gun. Voilá. Cylinder is removed. Don't go any further trying to get the ejector rod assembly apart. And be very careful when handling the cylinder assembly at this point, as a bent ejector rod will certainly affect the function of your gun.

And yes, I'm with AID_Admin on this one - sounds like you're looking at the throats. The throats are critical to the accuracy of your fine 19, so treat them as you'd treat the muzzle crown (i.e. carefully). If .357mag ammo drops right in, your chambers are clean enough.
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Old May 28, 2013, 05:45 PM   #15
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I am too "green" to make real suggestions, but... One thing I want to add to Mr.Borland's instruction... before you apply a pressure on the screw, make sure your gun is secured on the table. Because of the cylinder's shape the gun will not be laying flat. Thus when you apply the pressure it's possible that the gun may tilt, screwdriver slips and... there comes a scratch. So, make sure the gun is secured!
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Old May 28, 2013, 08:18 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone! This forum is great! LOL
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Old May 31, 2013, 11:13 AM   #17
ninjaamt
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Do other makes, models and calibers have the cylinder throats also?
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Old May 31, 2013, 11:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Do other makes, models and calibers have the cylinder throats also?
yes, if properly made. It may not be as visible in some guns as in others, but the throat should be there. In some calibers there is a pronounced "ledge" or "ring" visible. In others its more subtle.

A .38 Special should have a ledge at the front of the chamer. This is not just normal, its the correct way to make the cylinder. The chamber "mouth" ledge (ring) prevents a longer cartridge (like the .357 Mag) from chambering, thus protecting both the gun and the shooter. Some of the cheapest made poor quality .38s don't have that ledge, and can (DANGEROUSLY!) accept a .357 round. This can result in damage to the gun, and damage to the shooter if the cheap gun lets go from the high pressure magnum round that it wasn't made to take.

In an SA revolver, this ring also fuctions as the headspace point when chambered for a rimless auto pistol round, such as the 9mm Luger or the .45ACP. DA revolvers in the same chamberings are also made the same way, but common practice is not to use this ledge as the headspace point, but to use some version of moon clips instead, to ease extraction.
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Old May 31, 2013, 04:40 PM   #19
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OK thanks for the info! I do see this in my Colt detective special also.
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