Tell Me About Turn Rings


November 14, 2004, 09:11 PM
I know that cylinder turn rings are a necessary evil, or rather an inevitability, but is the severity of the ring an indication of anything? I seem to remember reading that the ring shouldn't actually be present on the full length of the space between cylinders, only the last third or so. Any truth to this? What is the recommended means of smoothing the cylinder stop without reducing its effectiveness? Thanks in advance for any info!!!

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November 15, 2004, 06:24 AM
The turn ring is usually an indicator of how much the gun was used. The more wear, the more it was used. On most revolvers, there should be almost no turn ring near the area where the cylinder stop would be retracted as the cylinder begins to rotate during the firing process. Although, if the cylinder is closed and a chamber is not lined up and the cylinder is rotated to line up a chamber with the barrel, the turn ring will be worn into this spot. On older Colt revolvers like the Python and New Service there should be no turn ring except in the middle 1/3 of the approach relief to the stop notch unless the gun is improperly tuned or was mishandled.

Jim March
November 15, 2004, 08:18 AM
Depends on the gun. A *lot*.

OK. Take the Colt Python. Great gun, finiky hand-tuned action. When it's right, it daintily holds the bolt up until it's JUST RIGHT and then drops it in the cylinder notch right as it spins into position, or a fraction before. In proper tune, won't produce a turn line. And with that reduction in drag, trigger feel is greatly improved.

Now take a Ruger GP100. Similar size gun, same caliber, even looks a bit similar (esp. with a full lug barrel). But it's designed to drag the bolt.

Downside: trigger feel. Although with some wear (about 2,000 dry-fires does nicely) it ain't half bad. The upside to this rude, crude, stone-axe-engineering approach is that the bolt WILL drop into the cylinder notch every freakin' time. Can't hardly help it. Reliability goes up as it can't possibly turn past the right point to go boom.

For a woods gun or other tough-conditions, gotta-work situation, I'll take a GP along before a Python even if I'm made o' money and can afford either.

Anyways. Know the gun you're dealing with. Turn rings mean different things on different guns.

November 15, 2004, 08:34 AM
Nice analysis, Jim. Thank you.

Jim March
November 15, 2004, 07:36 PM
Let me add one more thing:

We didn't discuss turn rings in "the checkout" because very, VERY rarely does a turn ring indicate the gun is no good. By the time the bolt is wearing a freakin' groove in the cylinder, lots of other things will be going wrong. The Python and it's relatives such as the Officer's Model Target and the like are an exception.

"The Checkout" also isn't designed for picking out "safe queen collector guns". It's there to net you a good shooter and while not perfect, it's a damn good start. If the gun otherwise passes the checkout, it would be a very unusual circumstance for ME to turn down a gun over a turn ring.

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