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Old March 26, 2006, 04:30 PM   #76
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It works......

good stuff and thanks
Have a nice day at the range

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Old August 15, 2006, 07:00 PM   #77
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This thread is as good as I remembered it 5 years ago.

Good to be back!
And good to see a lot of familiar screen names.
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Old September 2, 2006, 11:39 AM   #78
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Now this is why the search feature is great!

Jim -

Great advice. Hadn't entertained the idea of purchasing a "wheelie" before, as I've always been the semi-auto type.

Not knowing a danged thing about revolvers was extremely disheartening when looking at a used specimen - until I found this article. As the progeny of a old world craftsman and first class mechanic, the mechanical aspects are well understood - just needed to know what to look for.

The purchase of a NIB/NNIB Dan Wesson Model 15-2 VH (6 inch) was made with more confidence than trepidation. Now if I can just get myself to shoot this beauty - it's almost too beautiful to shoot - I'll really be a happy camper!

Thanks for a great article.

HP'ing Along
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Old September 5, 2006, 02:59 PM   #79
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very helpful...Thanks
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Old October 14, 2006, 10:27 AM   #80
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Great info. I bought a used S&W model 33-1 that was under some ones front seat or other place and looked like [email protected] I checked most of the items above and bought it. Look good on inside but still [email protected] on out side, almost new inside. Just because it looks bad, it still might be a good gun.
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Old October 25, 2006, 09:20 PM   #81
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As part of a revolver-oriented family, I wish we had this checklist years ago!! Would have saved us a lot of money.

Thank you for your time and effort invested in helping the rest of us. Highly appreciated.

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Gun-Loving Liberal Democrats...rare, but we do exist.
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Old December 17, 2006, 01:22 PM   #82
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Original article?

Sorry to come in late, but where is this checkist located?
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Old May 25, 2007, 06:40 AM   #83
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Handgun function

You don't need snap caps. Cock the revolver after making sure it's unloaded, put a wooden pencil down the barrel, eraser against the firing pin, and pull the trigger. The pencil will "jump". The test is really important for a semi-automatic where you can't tell if there is a firing pin in place or not.
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Old August 16, 2007, 07:46 PM   #84
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Please help

I am new to guns so I would really need your help guys. After having gun next my head last Saturday night, I've decided I want to buy a gun for home defence. I went to several gun shops around and read some info online. I like revolvers more than pistols since it's easy to operate and maintain. I don't have much money to spend at the moment so I was hoping to find something between $200 and $300. In one shop I was offered used Taurus 85 / .38 Special in blue for $250. The salesman said that its a good gun in a good shape. As I checked the outside, the gun was showing some use. He mentioned something about the flame cut, that its low, but I don't know how it should look and what is low and what is high. I have read the guide here what to look for while buying an used gun but since I have never seen gun before it's not easy for me. Is there something in particular I should check with this Taurus and is it considered to be a good gun anyway? Is there someone in Texas City, TX who could help me with my decision. Thanks a lot for any kind of advice.
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Old August 16, 2007, 11:44 PM   #85
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cptmclark: the checkout is first page, first post, this thread.

MichalG: $250 is high for a used Taurus 38. If there's flame-cutting in the topstrap of ANY sort I would say "avoid".

Here's why: it normally takes a lot of 357Mag ammo to make a topstrap erode. It happens right above the rear end of the barrel and is best seen with the cylinder swung out.

You do understand that 357Mag is basically a much more powerful version of the 38Spl round? All 357 guns can shoot 38spl ammo but 38 guns must not shoot 357 ammo - and to prevent that, the 357 case was made about 2mm longer so it wouldn't fit (usually) in 38s. Follow?

I've honestly never heard of flame-cutting in the 38Spl caliber. One of three things is going on: the gun has been shot a HELL of a lot, or was fired with way overloaded ammo, or the topstrap metal was softer than normal from the factory. I have no idea which is going on here but all three are big trouble.

Sidenote: there is ammo floating around out there marked "38" that should never be fired in anything less than a 357 gun. The most infamous examples were "police only" 38+P+ stuff from the '70s and (sometimes) '80s. The damned things were part of a scam: everybody knew they were really meant for 357 guns and were almost as potent. They were made for just one reason: so that police could lie on a witness stand and say "oh no, we don't shoot that evil MAAAGNUM ammo, we use nice mild civilized 38Special same as Eliot Ness used" or whatever. That Taurus could have been owned by a cop with access to that crap, or was shot by somebody who got ahold of some surplus.

Or it was fed psycho handloads. No telling now.

If you're not sure about what you're doing here, look around for a used Ruger. Do the checkout, but the thing is, they're so stone-axe tough you're unlikely to find one beat to hell. It's not impossible of course but even THEN Ruger's fix-it-free-forever policy (barring things like blowing it in pieces with crazy ammo) will usually cover you.
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Old February 13, 2008, 07:24 PM   #86
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Not bad but I could sell you a gun without a firing pin 'cause you never looked to see how far it stuck out.
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Old February 13, 2008, 09:02 PM   #87
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This is BY FAR the best thread I've ever read. Lots of great info, intelligent comments, and NO mud-slinging. Kudos to everyone and double kudos to Jim for putting it all out there. Thank you.
Trigger control: The skillful manipulation of the trigger, which causes the weapon to fire, while maintaining sight alignment and sight picture.
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Old February 19, 2008, 11:23 PM   #88
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Just what I was looking for...

I started to write a post last week looking for advice on finding a decent new or used revolver and what I should look for (I know just enough to look like someone who's pretending to know more than he actually does to an expert observer) so this post is perfect. Thanks!!!

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Old February 20, 2008, 04:48 PM   #89
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10 Beers: first good news is that a screwed-up firing pin on a revolver isn't that common. Second good news is that either hammer or frame mounted isn't an expensive fix and can be home-brew fixed in a pinch.

This is all about raising your odds of getting a good gun.

Jim March
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Old February 23, 2008, 02:35 PM   #90
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Quote from Jim March:'10 Beers: first good news is that a screwed-up firing pin on a revolver isn't that common. Second good news is that either hammer or frame mounted isn't an expensive fix and can be home-brew fixed in a pinch". end quote.

First Jim I just read your buying a revolver sticky for the first time and want to add my thanks for that info which I have copied to my "Tips' book. (Large binder now).

Second with regards to the quote above I recently had trouble with my newly bought used gorgeous royal blue Python where the firing pin would get stuck in the forward position on a test dry fire without snap caps in place. The first gunsmith (good rep and well known) I went to gave me a dire diagnosis. He said that the area around the firing pin hole was "dished" from firing super hot magnum loads and was unfixable. I got a second opinion and found out the firing pin was slightly out of round for an unknown reason. A new one was installed with labour for less than a hundred bucks and no problem since. I guess the moral is if you do get faced with worst case scenario it pays to get a 2nd opinion. Also it gives me an excuse to post this pic...

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Old March 22, 2008, 05:52 PM   #91
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Safirarms Industrial Co.
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Old March 26, 2008, 06:13 PM   #92
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Really helpful!!!

I just acquired a couple of nice Merwin Hulberts and am going straight to my bench to check them out per your article. Thanks!!!
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Old March 20, 2009, 12:32 PM   #93
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thank's jim

that was very informational, i do like wheel gun myself, however i traded my orig. rossi snub for a beretta 96d centurian, did i make a mistake?????? i still have my s&w snub thanks,ps what would be a good alt. carry piece, i also have a kel-tec p3at just looking for change off's
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Old April 16, 2009, 06:02 PM   #94
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thank you

thank you. good data.
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:29 PM   #95
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A bump and a thank you. I have been looking for advice an a good wheel gun. I am familiar with semiautos and haven't purchased a larger caliber revolver because I didn't know what to look for. You have taken away my reluctance and will be buying the "Right" gp 100 as soon as I find her.

Thanks again,

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Old May 17, 2009, 07:37 AM   #96
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Nice Python BC Mike, looks just like mine which I bought in '85 for $350, they say if you die without a 6" blued Python in your collection you'll have to smoke a **** in pergatory to get into heavan. Actually, what you want to do is look in there right after you lowered the hammer with the trigger held back to check the cylinder play to see how far it sticks out. Then, when you release the trigger, watch to make sure it pulls it's little turtle head back into the frame which verifies the hammer block/transfer safety bar is woking right. It only takes an extra .863 seconds to do this. All these parts work in concert, even the cylinder stop and pawl, and a hiccup in any of them indicates internal problems. Imagine your pride as you handed that Colt back to the dummy who was trying to sell it to you. One last thing, sometimes you'll see a beautiful old revolver in perfect condition and after buying it you find out the action doesn't feel good/right. It probably looks so nice 'cause it hasn't been fired in 20-50 years and the guts are just gummed up. A few months ago I bought a "drop dead gorgeous" 1664 Colt Trooper 357, nickel plated with hand carved mother 'o pearl grips and a Florida Highway Patrol s/n on the butt. I was at the range shooting it single action and when I went to cock it for the next shot the hammer wouldn't pull back. I was just about to get a stick to see if the bullet was stuck between the chamber and the forcing cone (barrel) when I noticed the trigger was still back. I pushed it forward and everything was fine. By the way, remember the stick thing, guns blow up when bullets get stuck.
I got a fever, and the only cure is more guns. Ya wanna go shootin' tomarrow?
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Old May 17, 2009, 07:40 AM   #97
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By the way BC, if you PM me the s/n of the Python I'll tell you what year it was made.
I got a fever, and the only cure is more guns. Ya wanna go shootin' tomarrow?
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:42 AM   #98
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Holdin that post is from Feb-08 and since then I have sold the blue '92 and picked up this 1974 unfired nickle python

which drove me crazy because I didn't have the heart to shoot it, sold that and now have another shooter grade 6" 1958 blue one
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Old May 23, 2009, 02:15 PM   #99
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Wow! The checklist that started this thread is *cool*. I really wish I'd found this a few months ago, when I was buying my first gun.

I grew up around guns, but I'm middle-aged and just bought my first gun. I know the basics, but I was simply not qualified to assess the condition of a used gun unless it was clearly falling apart. Fortunately the used S&W Model 60-10 I bought was from the dealer who sold it new to a customer, then bought it back when that customer's collection got a bit too large. I just ran this checklist on it for the heck of it, and breathed a sign of relief. :-)

What I *did* know is that I was dependent on the dealer's skill and honesty, and so I had to check those out well before I bought. Since there are a lot of first-time gun owners and buyers out there, I thought I'd add my own list of things to check before buying from a particular dealer. So -- if you are a first-time gun buyer and (for whatever reason) are considering a used gun, here are some recommendations:

1) Buy from a dealer who has been in business for at least five years.

2) Check the dealer's record with the local Better Business Bureau. If they know nothing about the dealer, or if they are less than enthusiastic about the dealer's business practices, don't buy a used gun from that dealer.

NOTE: Buying a new gun from the same dealer may be OK if you're sure about the gun's manufacturer -- Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Colt don't make junk. With a used gun, however, a novice buyer must depend on the dealer to be both knowledgeable and honest because the novice can't reliably assess the gun's condition themselves. The BBB won't know how knowledgeable a gun dealer is, but they do usually know how a business treats its customers.

3) Call the local NRA affiliate and check the dealer's reputation with them. If they know nothing about the dealer or are less than enthusiastic, don't buy a used gun from that dealer.

4) Google that dealer, both by business name and owner name. If you find a pattern of complaints, avoid that dealer. (One or two complaints among a bunch of compliments probably just means the dealer had a couple of looser customers, BTW. Use judgment here.) :-)

I hope this helps.
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Old June 13, 2009, 11:48 AM   #100
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I was looking at a new S&W 64. When I was reading the tips I noticed the section on cylinder gap and was reading that the 64 has a huge gap and to be careful or side flash. Is that common in revolvers in general or just a concern for that model?
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