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Old July 24, 2009, 05:10 PM   #101
10 Beers
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If you get the chance to do it without getting in trouble, shoot a 357 at night. you'll see plenty of orange fire come out of the muzzle but you'll also see two scary balls of fire on each side of the gun from the cylinder gap. Keep this in mind when you come up with some new interesting way to grip your revolver. The front of the trigger guard is as far as flesh goes, period!
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Old July 30, 2009, 05:46 PM   #102
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It is a testament to the value of this information that this thread is over 8 years old and still is living. It was likely written on dial-up over a 56k modem, now here with are now with 10mbs cable connections.

Thanks again to the OP.
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Old July 31, 2009, 02:51 AM   #103
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great post. can you post somthing like this for autoloaders mainly 1911
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Old October 17, 2009, 04:49 PM   #104
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EXCELLENT THREAD. I have three firearms, all new. I was hesitant about buying a used revolver but feel more confident about it now. Just picked up a set of standard feelers so now I'll look a lot less like a newbie.

Thanks so much!
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Old October 17, 2009, 05:52 PM   #105
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For the record, I'm working on a 2009 re-write. Some contemplated changes including pulling the grip panels to look for rust (recently an issue with NEW Rugers as a few seem to have skipped the "thoroughly clean the bluing salts off" step!) and a discussion on how some wheelguns want to tightly lock the cylinder in place while some want to include a bit of rotational slop.

Also more gun/make specific notes. Stay tuned.
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Old October 26, 2009, 03:43 PM   #106
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Suggestions for rewrite

Regarding Jim March's rewrite...

What does everyone think of adding FAQ-style answers to a few basic make-specific questions that pop up repeatedly?

I'm not suggesting anything outrageously complicated, such as engineering revision dash number explanations for every gun in the S&W lineup. I'd also steer clear of anything controversial like the S&W ILS. I'm thinking of more basic stuff. Examples:
  • Explanations of the 2 types of S&W hammer blocks and how to identify a revolver without one
  • How to distinguish round-butt and square-butt S&W grip frames
  • Where to find the serial number on a S&W revolver (would mesh nicely with removing the stocks to check for rust)
  • Where to find the model number on post-1957 S&Ws
  • What "pinned and recessed" means
  • A basic explanation of the older Ruger SA hammer block retrofit program
Thoughts?

I'm willing to contribute explanations of the S&W questions.
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Old November 21, 2009, 12:19 PM   #107
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dan wesson 357

i need help to find out what model this is and find the rest of the barols and to because i gess you can change them out new to this please if you can help lett me no
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Old December 2, 2009, 12:56 PM   #108
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Great thread,,,

This type of thread is why I enjoy this forum,,,

Great information that I can use this weekend when I hit the Tulsa gun show,,,
I'm looking for a .22 snub-nose revolver.

There are really only three new ones out there,,,
S&W 317, Taurus 94, and Charter Pathfinder.

I've always been very apprehensive about buying a used firearm,,,
Unless I knew the previous owner and the guns history.

Thanks for the lessons guys,,,

Aarond
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Old December 4, 2009, 09:03 PM   #109
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I'd like to add a check for single action timing test

I’d like to add another timing check to the evaluation criteria.

Do the following to check for timing lockup in single action operation.

After completing all the SAFE HANDLING CHECKS checks…

With the gun closed, hammer down and empty, hold the gun firmly and slowly pull the hammer back for single action. You are looking for the bolt to engage the cylinder and lock up completely BEFORE the hammer engages the sear and locks back on the sear. The bolt must engage the cylinder and lock up before the hammer locks back on the sear, otherwise it is out of time.

If this test fails, then there is the possibility that when the gun fires it could/would

1) shave the bullet on the front of the barrel as it enters the barrel, serious and bad.

2) cylinder could rotate slightly and cause a catastrophic problem where the bullet could not exit the cylinder because it had struck the rear of the barrel, very serious and very bad.

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Old December 4, 2009, 09:52 PM   #110
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Quote:
With the gun closed, hammer down and empty, hold the gun firmly and slowly pull the hammer back for single action.
Okay, I will go ahead and post it anyway. I was going to ask how slow because I have one that if I go very slow it doesn't go, BUT... I realized it was just a matter of not actually pulling the hammer back far enough because I hear the trigger fall into position before the end of the full hammer retraction. Now that I know about that; it locks every time, even when I grab the cylinder while cocking it.
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Old December 4, 2009, 11:33 PM   #111
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How slow

Quote:
ask how slow because
You want to go slow enough so that you can detect the bolt engaging the stop in the cylinder before the hammer/sear lock up. Ideally, the cylinder should stop turning and be in full lockup with the bolt just before the hammer is caught by the sear.

After doing this with a few revolvers you'll kind of get a feel for it and even be able to discern differences in different revolvers.
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Old December 10, 2009, 11:43 PM   #112
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Expand on # 3 please

Quote:
3) With the trigger still back all the way, check for cylinder wiggle. Front/back is particularly undesirable; a bit of side to side is OK but it's a bad thing if you can wiggle it one way, let go, and then spin it the other way a fraction of an inch and it stays there too. At the very least, it should "want" to stop in just one place (later, we'll see if that place is any good). The ultimate is a "welded to the frame" feeling.
1) Can someone please explain spinning the cylinder while the trigger is still back (holding the cylinder in lockup) or am I missing something.

2) I didn't find the "we'll see if that place is any good" farther down.

Thanks, 4D5
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Old December 11, 2009, 01:28 AM   #113
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OK. Yeah, this IS scheduled for a re-write . I'll try and get to it this weekend.

The #3 "rotational slop" check means you put the gun in "full lockup" as described (hammer down, trigger back, just like you'd do when firing it) and you check to see if it spins just a bit. NOT enough to jump from the cylinder bore - if it does that, something is WAY wrong. No, you're checking for minuscule amounts of rotational play. On a Colt double action, early Charter Arms or other "tight lockup design", there'll be no play at all. On S&Ws, Rugers, Taurii and most others, there'll be some but it shouldn't be excessive - if the outside edge of the cylinder moves more than a millimeter or so, that's too much. This latter class is supposed to have a bit of rotational slop though, unless it's been custom gunsmithed.

Right, so assuming the cylinder is being locked in pretty tight, a later step involves making sure the barrel lines up with the cylinder bores via the flashlight trick or other methods. THAT is what tells you if the cylinder is being locked into a good place, or a bad place. This is more critical in the "tight designs" like the DA Colts that try and hold the cylinder dead firm. If it holds it firm in an out-of-alignment position, the gun tries to tear itself apart in short order...the bullets slam on the edge of the barrel's rear end because the alignment isn't right. In the S&W/Ruger/etc. "loose" types, as long as the alignment is "close" the bullet can spin the cylinder a tiny bit to create a proper alignment on firing - it's not quite as accurate, but it's more reliable and means fewer trips to see a gunsmith over the life of the gun.

Does that help?
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Old December 11, 2009, 08:50 PM   #114
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Does help

Thanks Jim,

That does help, confirms what I thought. I guess when I think "spin" I'm thinking like when the hammer is pulled enough to spin the cylinder. For the check I'd think the idea would be more like "rotational movement of the cylinder when in lockup".

Did you see my post, a few back, about the timing check for making sure the bolt engages well before the hammer is captured by the sear?

Thanks, 4D5
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Old January 1, 2010, 10:30 AM   #115
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Is this the same procedure for rimfire revolvers?

(Also, is there any danger in dry firing them?)
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Old January 1, 2010, 12:03 PM   #116
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Rimfire works the same. You want to avoid dry-firing as much as possible but fortunately dry-fire isn't necessary in these tests unless you have a totally-conceal-hammer model - and those are extremely rare in rimfire.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:32 AM   #117
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Jim:
I am looking for a good used Ruger LCR.How do I put it in full lockup to do the various tests.

Thanks

Ken
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Old January 10, 2010, 01:36 PM   #118
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Ken: dry-fire it. It's the only way. Fortunately Ruger rates their stuff for unlimited dry-fire.
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Old February 22, 2010, 06:21 PM   #119
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Thanks and Help!

Jim, I appreciated your article and ran the tests. Found a nice S&W 15-4 ser # AJD2XXX. I have tried to date it but have failed. Options would be nice. Pegasis
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Old May 16, 2010, 08:22 PM   #120
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Sorry it took so long to get back to this...
Quote:
Ideally, the cylinder should stop turning and be in full lockup with the bolt just before the hammer is caught by the sear.
So if the sear clicks before the cylinder stops? Would the fix be different for DA/SA than SAO? Would it be a fix that I can do, or does it involve new parts?
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Old July 8, 2010, 09:21 PM   #121
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Thanks so much for all this information!

I recently inherited a S&W Model 67-1 from my father who passed away in December '09. He was a gun enthusiast for as long as I can remember. Some would have said he was obsessed. I was one of 5 sons, we were all tought to shoot many varieties of firearms from age 8 and upward. By the time I was 16, I had learned to shoot anything from a multitude of .22's (rifle and pistol) to all shotgun gauges, to most pistol and rifle choices, I even had the pleasure of shooting an Uzi 9mm. He loved them all and shared them with his boys.

To get back on topic... I put the revolver I just inherited to all the tests outlined in this thread, and I'm not surprised that it passed every test, even considering that it was made in 1987. This thing is tight(not too tight). He knew his "stuff" when buying this weapon, I have no doubt. The rifling looks like new. I can only wish he was still here to share my good fortune.
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Old July 23, 2010, 05:30 PM   #122
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S&W .38 special CTG

Great information. I have a S&W .38 special CTG that I just inherited. I am not familiar with revolvers and your post was most helpful. One question - with the cylinder closed I can rotate it off the cylinder keeper with minimal effort. All other tests you mention seem to be OK with this revolver. Is this normal? I think the gun is about 50 years old but looks to be in excellant condition. Thank you for the information.
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Old August 31, 2010, 10:20 PM   #123
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While I personally lean toward pistols, your article was an excellent effort, quite likely to save some from upset, possibly from damage too.

If I understood correctly, you mentioned a follow up/follow on comment. Look forward to that.
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Old September 14, 2010, 05:14 PM   #124
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Jim - thanks for taking your time posting this timeless info. I will be applying it on my next buy.
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Old October 16, 2010, 06:27 AM   #125
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This really is brilliant advice. Used it when i bought my Python the other day.
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