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Old December 1, 2012, 04:08 PM   #1
JohnKSa
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Endshake on a Dan Wesson .357Mag

At the last gunshow I attended, I ran across a fellow selling an older used Dan Wesson revolver in .357Mag. While doing a quick checkout, I noticed that there seemed to be a good deal of endshake although the gun didn't appear to have been shot much at all.

What was odd, was that the endshake felt like it was "springy". I could push the cylinder back a significant amount (enough that when looking through the barrel/cylinder gap at a bright light there was an obvious and unmistakable increase in the gap) but it was as if I were pushing against a spring-loaded component and it required effort to get it to move backwards. It would immediately spring foward when I let go of it.

I didn't buy the gun, but I'm not familiar with internal mechanism of the older DW revolvers, and have been wondering since the show if this is somehow normal behavior for them?
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:30 PM   #2
Venom1956
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I believe both my DW have similar traits to the same degree your speaking of I cannot be sure. I always figured it was normal due to the barrel system. you use a shim then when it is removed the cylinder moves forward to tighten the barrel gap further.

It has never concerned me but I would be curious to know why.
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Old December 1, 2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Ok, I got a chance to poke around and managed to find some information. Should have known that Mr. Revolver himself, Grant Cunningham would have something to say on the topic.

http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_...0d2d5-127.html
(Interestingly, the Dan Wesson guns are very robust in terms of their endshake handing; the spring-loading bearing detent at the rear of the frame locates the cylinder at the forward-most position every time, and also serves to absorb a bit of the recoil force of the cylinder.)
So that explains the springy feeling I detected. It doesn't shed much light on how much endshake is allowable in the design, but maybe someone can chime in with more information.

For those who may be wondering what endshake is, and/or how to check out a revolver like you know what you're actually doing, Jim March's checkout thread is a good place to start learning.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:41 AM   #4
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There is a spring behind the ball detent, and it is accessible behind a screw, so if the endshake ever got excessive, I guess it could be tuned with a stiffer spring.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:27 AM   #5
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I just checked my 15-2 in .357 for you. Properly set up (0.005~0.006") barrel to cylinder gap gives me about 0.001" spring tensioned endshake unloaded. It actually reduces slightly with (dummy) rounds loaded.

I'm guessing the old owner didn't know how to set the gap & had it too long then brought the ball in the rear forward to try to remove it?
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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Isn't this any easy fix with the proper tools?
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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It depends on what caused the problem as much as how to fix it.

If its just the barrel & shroud incorretly gapped than yes. You use a .004 & a .002 feeler gauge (or the .006 one supplied if you have it) the barrel nut wrench, & one of the hex keys attached to the nut wrench (assuming the factory wrench). The gun is stripped to access the adjustment screw for the spring & set corrrectly first, then the barrel correctly inserted & gapped the shroud slipped on & the nut tightened.

But if the frame has been stretched by uber hot loads or something else then it's toast unfortunately.
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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The cylinder/barrel gap looked reasonable to me, although I didn't have any feeler gauges on hand.

I guess I'm not following how improperly setting the barrel cylinder gap could allow endshake. Regardless of the size of the gap, if the Dan Wesson design is generally similar to other revolver designs, the cylinder still shouldn't have any significant play along the bore axis. Seems to me that the endshake should be the same whether there's even a barrel installed or not.

I can see how installing the barrel deeply enough could push the cylinder back far enough against the existing play to eliminate it, but wouldn't that prevent the gun from functioning? There would be no barrel/cylinder gap at all since the barrel would have to be in contact with the cylinder to hold it to the rear to eliminate the endshake.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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It's a balancing act between the gap & the spring tension. Both effect each other to some extent thats why the manuals make such a big deal about just touching the barrel when gapping it. Some shoters of DWs even play with the spring tension fo "that little bit extra" even

It could be other things as well, but not having examined it myself I have no way of knowing.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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With my barrels backed off I have some end shack with all mine. Some of that goes away after cartidges are in the chambers. With my barrels set to 3ths and empty chambers it has no persevable shack.

I guy a while back had one that was loose . He bought some shimmimg washers from brownelss and that tighted it right back up.. Look it over again and take a micrometer if you can. If it looks good it probably still worth buy'n. Also besure the cylinder pin is tight.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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I noticed the same thing on my 15-2. Must be normal.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
What was odd, was that the endshake felt like it was "springy". I could push the cylinder back a significant amount (enough that when looking through the barrel/cylinder gap at a bright light there was an obvious and unmistakable increase in the gap) but it was as if I were pushing against a spring-loaded component and it required effort to get it to move backwards. It would immediately spring foward when I let go of it.
Did it do that while it was cocked in SA?
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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It did it both cocked, and with the hammer down and the trigger held back.
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:58 PM   #14
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It is normal. A Dan Wesson has a spring loaded ball in the rear of the cylinder to help keep it in place.. The lockup on a Dan Wesson is imo of the best there is. The guns are proven to be able to digest max loads constantly as well as having superior accuracy as has been shown in silhouette competition. Bottom line I can understand someone being concerned because that kind of play is usually bad. On the Dan Wesson it is part of the design. The best place for Dan Wesson knowledge is: http://www.danwessonforum.com/ A very nice group of people hang out there.
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Old December 5, 2012, 12:34 AM   #15
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Well, that's good to know. Wish I had known it during the gun show!
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