How do I smooth up the chambers of a 22 Revolver?


Peter M. Eick
January 3, 2003, 08:36 PM
I recently bought a used Dan Wesson 722 revolver (stainless steel) that is very nice, but the chambers and star are a bit rough. Since I am the second owner, I do not expect DW to fix this problem, but the chambers are a bit rough.

With conventional hi-vel. 22lr rounds, extraction is easy and the shells just drop out with little effort. With cci-stingers, rem-yellowjackets or the like, it takes a few sharp raps on the ejector rod to get the shells to come free and most show some striations on the cases. I interpretation of this is normal shells are lower pressure and the cases rebound enough to not jam. Hyper velocity shells do not rebound as much and jam.

What I think I need to do is lightly polish off the finishing marks in the chamber and around the star. Is this correct? If so how do I do it, and what tools does it take?

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Old Fuff
January 3, 2003, 10:56 PM
Frankly, before I decided too do anything else I'd contact the Dan Wesson company and see what they had to say. It's a pretty good outfit and I wouldn'y be suprised if they fixed you're problem.

George Stringer
January 4, 2003, 07:40 AM
I too would contact DW. Usually though this is a symptom caused by dry firing or other abuse. If that's the case the chambers would have to be swaged to eliminate the dryfiring bulge at the mouth. If it is roughness due to neglect, crocus cloth wrapped around a dowel rod and used with a hand drill will polish the chambers nicely. George

Peter M. Eick
January 4, 2003, 12:08 PM
I looked at it again, and to the best I can see it is not due to dry firing. There is no lip on the recoil sheild or the like.

When I sight down the cylinder, you can note very fine radial marks up and down most of the cylinders. These marks just roughten up the surface of the cylinder. Also, when I look at the star, there is a gap which creates several sharp edges where the shells seem to be expanded into. It is also interesting to note that the chamber does not appear to be stainless steel, but is of a different color of steel, a blued steel.

I will take your and others advice and just not touch anything till monday and call the factory. I will go shooting this afternoon and see how it does after another 500 or 1000 rnds.

Thanks again for the input and I will let you know what it does today.

Peter M. Eick
January 4, 2003, 05:58 PM
I shot another 350 rnds down it today. The chamber is starting to smooth up a bit. I think just using it may be the solution. Extraction is still sticky but better then before. Accuracy is good but I am shooting very vertical stringing groups with it. I do not do this with my old 5-screw k-22 but it has target grips. The grips on the 722 are finger groove and very small for my hands.

Anyway, I will call the factory monday, but in the meantime I will just keep using it.

January 5, 2003, 04:59 PM
When I smooth up chambers I use a Sunnen Precision Honing Machine with the proper sized mandrel and very fine grit stones. A little honing goes a long, long way. You can also use an expanding lap and a very fine abrasive like ffff pumice, but there is no way to keep track of your progress. The Sunnen has a dial that reads out in ten thousandths and it is easy to split a tenth. What is not easy is keeping the cylinder straight; you have to build a special fixture or obtain a factory fixture that is very expensive.
If you plan to lap a chamber, read "The Amateur's Lathe" by L. H. Sparey. He tells how to make your own laps and how to use them. Book is out of print, but can still be obtained on
Lacking all of this, you can wrap a piece of croc;us cloth around a short length of drill rod, roll it up and work it back and forth after lubing the chamber with an appropriate cutting oil. I use Shaler's Rislone, available at any auto supply store.

January 14, 2003, 08:02 PM
I would call the mfg. first also. That said, like Pistolsmith, I have
used the rolled cloth method with great results. Be sure and not go too far into the chamber. Sometimes the material to be removed is at the very lip of the chamber.

Peter M. Eick
January 15, 2003, 10:06 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions. DW basically said if it is a problem send it back. By the time I talked to them I had already seen a lot of improvement by just shooting it. I now have over 2000 rnds out of the gun and extraction is definately improving. I think it is just borderline rough. Another 5 to 10 thousand rounds and it will be perfect. Maybe by late summer????

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