Is this possible with a S&W revolver? (Timing Issue)


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lucretia
January 13, 2008, 11:11 AM
Is it possible to cock a standard double action S&W revolver so slowly that the cylinder stop will fail to engage before the hammer is locked back? Or is any failure for the stop to lock the cylinder into place indicitive of the revolver being out of time?

If I sit here and manually cock my revolver as slowly as I can, I find that the cylinder stop won't engage maybe once in ten times.

Isn't it amazing the things that people are compelled to do when they haven't anything else to keep them occupied?

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Redhawk1
January 13, 2008, 11:16 AM
Never been that bored. :)

Neophyte1
January 13, 2008, 11:27 AM
lucretia: Sir;:):eek::):rolleyes::D;) and what will you be having for Breakfast?

The Lone Haranguer
January 13, 2008, 11:29 AM
While you may have a bit too much time on your hands ;), is this not a legitimate functional test for lockup, indexing and timing on the S&W revolver? The cylinder should always fully lock up when the hammer comes completely back all the way into the full cock notch, and the cylinder stop or bolt should drop in slightly before full cock. (Colts work differently.)

Sometimes they can do it on say, one or two chambers but not others. With all this time on your hands anyway, you might devise some method of marking the chambers for indentification and see if this happens consistently on a particular chamber(s). It could be in the early stages of a problem. You didn't mention the model, but if it is for a magnum cartridge and fired a lot with magnums, it is possible that you might have some wear on the mechanism.

pwrtool45
January 13, 2008, 12:10 PM
After being shot a lot the hand will wear. Wear, in this case, means "have less metal than it used to." Same for the lugs on the extractor. As this happens, movement of the trigger (to which the hand is attached) or the hammer (which moves the trigger) subsequently fails to move the cylinder as much as it should (measured arc length is too short).

As this happens, the first thing you'll notice is the firing pin indentations on your fired brass getting more and more off center. (This is indicative of the cylinder stop not engaging the notches.) As you continue to ignore these warning signs which are the equivalent of the revolver screaming "I need preventative maintenance! Help me!" you may eventually notice a louder boom than normal. (It should be said at this point that your noticing said boom is not a prerequisite for its occurrence. You may only learn about it later as you are recuperating in the hospital. In the worst case, you may not learn about it at all.) This is the equivalent of the revolver saying "I bloody told you, I need maintenance!"

You see, with a revolver, bullets are very particular about where they enter the barrel. The center is nice. The sides? Not so much. The consequences of such can range from annoying (shaving lead) to potentially catastrophic (meplat of the bullet hitting the edge of the barrel).

Slowly cocking the revolver, as you say you're doing, will exaggerate these symptoms. Since the cylinder's being moved more slowly, there's less angular momentum to keep the it going once the hand has finished moving. This incidental movement will often/frequently/sometimes/maybe be enough to rotate the cylinder far enough to engage the stop. In turn, it will mask wear on the hand; which is why many timing tests are performed slowly. In any case, your revolver should lock up (cylinder stop engages notch) when the hammer is at full cock (single action) or before the hammer falls (double action). Your revolver is demonstrating signs that it will soon need attention. Either purchase the Kuhnhausen manual and the parts or send it off to a qualified 'smith.

Boulder
January 13, 2008, 12:15 PM
pwrtool45, great informative post. Thank you.

HammerBite
January 13, 2008, 12:31 PM
If I sit here and manually cock my revolver as slowly as I can
Do you cock as slowly as you can when shooting?

JB696
January 13, 2008, 03:10 PM
Some think that as long as the momentum of the turning cylinder moves it into the locked position, that's OK. Sorry, failure to lock up before the hammer locks into position is a mechanical defect, even when slowly cocked. A competent gunsmith can repair this if they have the parts, or if you send it back to S&W they will repair it. It usually involves the fitting of an oversized hand.

Jim K
January 13, 2008, 04:55 PM
While that can be done with a lot of revolvers when "playing", it is nearly impossible to do in normal operation. Yes, if it gets too bad, it can be corrected, at some expense, but what you describe should be no problem in the "real world."

Some perfectionists insist that any such situation is an abomination that must be corrected immediately, and that they could never stay under the same roof as a revolver that was out of time, but most of us would never notice the "problem."

Jim

DPris
January 13, 2008, 06:06 PM
It very much is an indicator of a timing problem, and it's one of the legitimate tests to do before buying a Smith revolver. It can even occur with a new one.
Especially in checking out any used S&W revolver, I cock it very slowly, and if it's correctly timed the cylinder will lock up before the hammer reaches full cock. This is how it should be set up, and if it's not, I either don't buy it or buy it knowing it'll be going in for corrections as soon as possible.

It's not a matter of being a perfectionist, or of being unable to sleep under the same roof with an out-of-time gun, it's a matter of recognising that there's wear that has progressed to a noticeable point, it's going to continue, I don't know what else may be wrong, the action could have been messed with along the way, or it could have been improperly set up at the factory (which does happen). :)

Yes, you can rely on inertia to "throw" the cylinder into lockup, but if it won't lock before the hammer reaches full cock when done slowly, there IS something wrong (most likely hand or ratchet wear, as noted above), and I prefer not to own or shoot a gun in such a condition.

"Most of us" would never notice a number of things that might be problematical, until a major event occurs to draw it to our attention. :)

Denis

Seiko
January 13, 2008, 06:20 PM
Most of the time when I have seen this it has been due to a worn hand, or the part on the ejector where the hand rotates the cylinder.

In fact I have a 657 that I am sending back to smith because of the ejector being worn causing it to not lock up if shooting single action.

fastbolt
January 13, 2008, 06:34 PM
If you ask S&W, they'll remind you that newer S&W revolvers built without the old-style extractors & extractor pins should be checked with EMPTY, properly sized cases in the charge holes. The extractors are cut differently on new model revolvers, and the cases are important to 'fix' the extractors in position (whereas the older pins used to serve that function). Live cartridge cases serve this function during normal shooting.

DPris
January 13, 2008, 07:04 PM
First I've heard of that one.
Carryup is carryup, and I've never heard of any requirement that the chambers not be empty when checking it. The extractor stars are cut to index themselves, even without the older pins.
The only time empty cases were recommended (in my experience) is when backing out or tightening the ejector rod. :)
Denis

2ndamd
January 13, 2008, 09:28 PM
First I've heard of that one.
Carryup is carryup, and I've never heard of any requirement that the chambers not be empty when checking it. The extractor stars are cut to index themselves, even without the older pins.
The only time empty cases were recommended (in my experience) is when backing out or tightening the ejector rod.


+1

I cock the hammer back slowly when function testing a used revolver as well. Nothing in the chambers when doing this either. I have not heard of this before?

I do use a peice of unprimed virgin brass to check for head spacing.

Pistol Toter
January 13, 2008, 10:02 PM
The condition you describe is indictative or a timing problem in the very earlest of stages; it will with time and higher pressure loads, get progressively worse. It is not a difficult or expensive repair. As ohte have commented as you increase to momentum the cylinder completes its travel a bit quicker. If it get to the stage where it is not locking up before the hammer fails, as in staging the trigger, it can become a dangerious problem.

JB696
January 13, 2008, 10:07 PM
When a S&W revolver fails to lock up when "playing" with it, it's just a matter of time until it fails to lock up when firing. In the "real world" it is a defect. On my guns it started with one chamber and got progressively worse, usually in a few hundred rounds. "FCU" or failure to carry up, as S&W calls it, is a warrantee repair. It's the most common repair work they do on revolvers. Just send it in.

pwrtool45
January 13, 2008, 10:21 PM
AFAIK, Fastbolt is correct. I don't have my ("round") pinned extractor models (up to dash 3 in the 686, IIRC) handy, but my current SSR blaster, a 686-5 ("square" extractor) seems to have more rotational play than the pinned models do. It makes sense, as 6 flat extractor surfaces would have to mate perfectly with the cylinder in order to have zero rotational play as opposed to two circular surfaces (extractor pins) in the older "round" extractor models. Add cases to the equation and the issue would be moot. Also, IIRC, those pins were quite expensive (relatively) compared to the rest of the revolver. Kinda explains why they were deleted.

WRT the other comments/complaints, I guess I'm on their ignore list? :scrutiny: Because it seems I addressed each of these issues in my original post.

lucretia
January 14, 2008, 12:16 AM
Despite various editorial comments about the amount of time I have to spare, I am really, really pleased with the comments everyone posted to my question. :) Thanks! Obviously this timing problem is only going to get worse and it won't be long before my revolver is in really dire straights. I guess I'll call the good folks at Smith and Wesson tomorrow and see what this little endeavor is going to cost me.

fastbolt
January 14, 2008, 12:28 AM
First I've heard of that one.
Exactly my response when I first learned about it regarding the newer production S&W revolvers. ;)

'Does Not Carry Up' is a pretty simple repair for the factory, though. Why not call them? Let them figure out if it's a problem in your gun, and if so, whether the next size up (oversize) hand is necessary, or whether they want to install a new extractor because one spot on the ratchets was cut too generously.

PAAiredale
April 15, 2008, 11:03 AM
I recently purchased a S&W 686 Plus 357 Magnum with 4" barrel. Series number is 686-6. After only about 400 rounds of 38 Special and about 75 rounds of 357 Magnum, I noticed that the timing was off while cleaning the gun. I suspect that this is an out of the box problem. This is a 7 chamber cylinder; 3 adjacent chambers consistantly did not lock into place before the hammer fully locked and then dropped. Didn't even lock after the hammer dropped during dry firing (I don't know about live fire). Happened in both SA and DA with chambers unloaded. Only by snapping the trigger very rapidly in DA did the 3 "bad" positions properly lock into place, but not consistantly.

I took the gun back to the dealer where the gunsmith inspected it (with empty chambers), confirmed the timing problem, and told me it needed to go back to S&W for repair. I asked if he'd ever seen this before on a S&W and he replied, "only once, and only on one chamber...never 3."

Still waiting to get my gun back, and hoping I can get tighter groups after the repair. I was much better with an identical rental gun with proper timing!

SaxonPig
April 15, 2008, 11:17 AM
Waste your money on unnecessary repairs if you like.

There's nothing wrong with your gun.

You are using it in a fashion not intended by the designer when you cock the hammer as slowly as possible.

I bet 9 out of ten perfectly fine revolvers could be made to what you describe by doing what you describe.

Sheesh. Why do some people go out of their way to look for problems?

Boulder
April 15, 2008, 01:51 PM
I recently purchased a Model 21 and one of the six chambers fails to carry up during slow single-action cocking of the hammer. It is always the same chamber and all of the cylinder stop notches look normal. This happens even if I use spent brass or snap caps while testing. However, this does not occur when firing in double-action mode or cocking the hammer back with some gusto.

Hawk
April 15, 2008, 02:11 PM
Good luck with that one, lucretia.

Timing is taking on the aspect of "rifle barrel break-in" where knowledgeable people routinely disagree and the rest of us are left wondering what's up.

First, a digression: if'n it was a Colt, I'd bet on out-of-time and "needs fixed". This is based on this Grant Cunningham entry (http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/229b75bc642617725c68823468bac4b5-162.html).

As to how much, if any, this applies to S&W is anybody's guess. I had one that was timing challenged on all six chambers that I got fixed. I found a local guy that fixed it although it's my understanding S&W will also take care of it for a reasonable fee.

The frustrating part is that, if you follow the link, you'll find Grant Cunningham saying one thing (in re: Colts) while two others are saying the exact opposite - the problem here is that the two others have both forgotten more about revolvers than I'll likely ever know. Hence, you've got diametrically opposed authoritative answers (I hate it when that happens.)

Cunningham's remarks on Colt's are not totally dissimilar from Jerry Miculek's remarks on checking time on a S&W which he did by sorta-slow-cocking in double action on the "trigger job" DVD. My impression was that if the cylinder was locked "right at" the DA break he'll proceed, if it isn't, the timing is to be repaired. Perhaps snag yourself a copy of the DVD and/or contact S&W.

My money's on Miculek which would lead me to believe that yours, if not immediately, will soon be looking to be repaired.

If Fuff chimes in, I'll jump on whatever band wagon he's on.

However,
Didn't even lock after the hammer dropped during dry firing
That just ain't right. Warrantee time unless I am very much mistaken.

Virginian
April 15, 2008, 05:39 PM
I'm sorry but I do not think the definition of the performance described falls under the heading of "opinions". This revolver IS, not is going to be, out of time. In any number of situations something can create a drag on the cylinder and then it is surely not going to be in time when it discharges. The poster will be doing himself a good turn by having this repaired.
The reason there are not a lot of "old wives" tales about stuff that never really hurt anybody is because the perpetrators are either dead, or too embarrassed to shoot their mouths off.
With many Colts (I have not shot or studied any where near all of them) it is possible for the cylinder to stop before locking in slow single action cocking, BUT if it does move into lock before discharging as the trigger is pulled, it is okay.

keyboard commando
April 15, 2008, 06:24 PM
lucretia ; Spray your revolver full of brake parts cleaner,blow it out,lightlly oil it,see what happens, and let us know. Symptoms are typical of old varnished oil.:scrutiny:

MCgunner
April 15, 2008, 06:32 PM
It should shoot fine in actual use, but yes, it's gotten out of time and probably should be looked at by a Smith. You probably won't notice any difference in actual function for a while, but eventually, it won't lock proper before firing.

The Bushmaster
April 18, 2008, 04:53 PM
I just checked all four of my S&W by slowly pulling the hammer back (10 times each) and the cylinder locking bolt set and locked the cylinder prior to the hammer getting to full cock...You might just have worn cylinder hand...

Boulder
April 18, 2008, 05:10 PM
FWIW, I contacted S&W about my particular case and they are having me send it back.

PAAiredale
April 29, 2008, 10:09 AM
Just got my 686 back from S&W. The timing/carry-up problem was fixed as warrenty repair by replacing the extractor. Dry fire timing after repair is very consistant in both SA and DA.

DPris
April 29, 2008, 02:29 PM
Having been through a police S&W armorer school (old guy), dealing with some of the best gunsmiths in the nation for many years, and talks with S&W, I'll say the carryup situation IS out of time, IS out of spec in such a situation on a Smith, and SHOULD be repaired.
Yes, the gun will function as is, and will continue to do so for a while.
But- it is not right, and will only get worse.
If you don't care, it's your gun & your choice.
In talking to a Smith exec recently about a new Thunder Ranch scanditanium .45 ACP I had here, as soon as I mentioned it had two chambers that did not carryup, his immediate response was "That shouldn't happen". This was a guy who's been with S&W for many years & worked his way up from being a fitter to his current position, not just a new college boy hired with a shiny PR degree.
Denis

JB696
April 29, 2008, 10:46 PM
---"Waste your money on unnecessary repairs if you like."---"There's nothing wrong with your gun."---:eek: Sorry. At no time in the long history of S&W revolvers were they designed to rely on the momentum of the turning cylinder to cause the cylinder stop to engage. The gun is designed so that the hand (or pawl) turns the cylinder all the way into position and it locks before the hammer reaches full cock. NO MATTER HOW SLOWLY YOU PULL THE TRIGGER. A worn out or otherwise defective gun may still fire. And some people shoot them anyway and don't know the difference. But that is not the way they were designed to function. Failure to carry up is a DEFECT. :banghead:

easyrider6042004@yahoo.ca
April 30, 2008, 01:08 AM
A revolver is either "on" or "off" time.

Your Smith is out of time and it has to be repaired.:(

ironvic
March 4, 2010, 08:20 PM
I have purchsed a lot (if my wife knew exactly how many, I'd rather take a .357 in the gut...) of S&W revolvers and only on the last two have I had timing problems. The first one was a brand new Model 642 Airweight Centennial that was so off time, I noticed after the first cleaning that there was an odd half moon crescent showing on the left of the barrel at the cylinder face on inspection of the bore with a strong, point light source. The cylinder was about 1/32" off center on every chamber when fully locked up. It's at S&W right now getting fixed under warranty. Rather than being sorry, I played it safe and called Customer Service right away and they sent a FedEx call slip withing a few days.

My backup revolver is an old S&W Model 60 no dash that is showing timing problems, it's a pawn shop purchase and the timing problem just showed up. It doesn't always occur, but many times on closing the cylinder, I'll turn the cylinder to index the stop with the notch and it will skip one or two before finally catching. The gun locks up tight when I pull the trigger in single or double action, it only fails to lock on the one cylinder and sometimes two only when the gun is at "rest".

In my area, you don't often see a Model 60 without a lock show up on the used shelves and I really like this piece, so as soon as the 642 comes back, I'm shipping my Model 60 to S&W for repair. I was going to use it as a practice gun for learning how to do gunsmithing chores, but timing can be a finicky thing. Might as well keep it running for the next guy that gets it.

SWAddict
March 4, 2010, 10:35 PM
Before a CORRECT answer to your question can be given, you need to provide more information.

Is your revolver an older S&W with two indexing pins on the extractor star or is it of the newer style of extractor star?

Older Style Extractors with Indexing Pins
The older style of extractor with the two indexing pins WILL properly time without shells in the charge holes. If the cylinder stop is not locking into the notch when you slowly pull the trigger, then yes it is out of time.

Newer Style Extractors without Indexing Pins
The newer style of extractor without the indexing pins will NOT properly time without shells in the charge holes. To check the timing, it is necessary to insert empty shells in the charge holes as this will properly center and index the extractor star with the cylinder. If after doing this, the cylinder stop does not engage the cylinder notches, then yes it is out of time.

LHshot
March 5, 2010, 08:19 AM
You've received a lot of conflicting views–take it all with a grain of salt. I have an S&W model 66-1 that does the same thing yours does on a couple cylinders. It's GOOD to be that aware of your gun, for obvious reasons. But don't freak about it. Keep an eye on it, and enjoy your gun.

texagun
March 6, 2010, 10:57 AM
It very much is an indicator of a timing problem, and it's one of the legitimate tests to do before buying a Smith revolver. It can even occur with a new one.
Especially in checking out any used S&W revolver, I cock it very slowly, and if it's correctly timed the cylinder will lock up before the hammer reaches full cock.



DPris is right. If it were my gun, I would get it fixed.

1911Tuner
March 7, 2010, 10:14 AM
When a S&W revolver fails to lock up when "playing" with it, it's just a matter of time until it fails to lock up when firing.

Well...Yeah...if the shooter normally operates the gun slowly, whether thumb cocking or trigger cocking in DA mode. Real-world, most shooters will never notice, as Keenan alluded to. The flywheel-like momentum of the cylinder will carry it well enough unless it's so badly out of time that the gun should probably be rebuilt, or hung on the wall.

I have an old Model 10 that had late timing when I bought it in the mid-70s. When thumb cocked in slow motion, the bolt wouldn't drop on any chamber...but never failed in normal operation. I've fired that gun a lot over the years, and have never had a problem.

I also prefer that my Smith revolvers pre-time for the simple fact that it will allow for a lot of wear before it becomes an issue...if it ever does...but it's not the deal-breaker that many people believe. If the price is right, and it's what I'm looking for, I can live with one that's a little sluggish on the carry up.

If you think about it, the older Colt revolvers operate on the edge, and they do pretty well like that.

So...Pull the trigger. It'll be there.

MCgunner
March 7, 2010, 05:27 PM
If one or two chambers are consistently not locking in proper time, then it's PROBABLY not a hand wear problem, probably a production problem with the cylinder star. But, of course, we know Smith and Wesson can't make and sell a revolver out of time....:rolleyes: If you believe that load of caca, I have some waterfront property in..............

Timing is one of the things I check a revolver for before I ever put money down on it. I don't order guns sight unseen, will not. I don't understand seasoned revolver shooters that don't check a gun out first, frankly. Now days especially, it is a good thing to do.

BTW, I've played with/owned a revolver that would not quite lock in when SA cocking, but had no problem indexing when the trigger were pulled. I guess the hand pushed the cylinder just far enough after the sear broke. In practice I never had a problem with it, was a Rossi 88 I had back in the early 90s. You could pull that hammer as far back past the sear set as you wanted and that cylinder wouldn't lock in, but hold the hammer back and pull the trigger and it locked every time. Weird. It functioned fine. It was one of the guns I ordered when I had an FFL and was a "kitchen table dealer" back in the day. It worked fine, but sitting around playing with such a gun bugs me for some reason. :D

blaisenguns
March 7, 2010, 05:39 PM
Some perfectionists insist that any such situation is an abomination that must be corrected immediately, and that they could never stay under the same roof as a revolver that was out of time, but most of us would never notice the "problem."

So do you ignore your car pulling to the left untill your front end is so worn it needs to be replaced?

1911Tuner
March 7, 2010, 06:41 PM
So do you ignore your car pulling to the left untill your front end is so worn it needs to be replaced?

1. Shall we compare Kiwi Fruit to Kumquats?

2. In case you haven't been here long enough to figure it out, Mr. Keenan probably has about 50 years experience with repairing Smith & Wesson revolvers, among others.

3. Cycling the revolver slowly....like hand-cycling an autopistol...isn't a litmus test of its function. As long as the chamber is there and the cylinder locked under normal operation, it's not dangerous. I've got a Model 10 that's been operating under those same conditions for about 35 years.

fastbolt
March 7, 2010, 07:18 PM
How did this thread get brought back to life? ;)

Hopefully the OP's question has long since been satisfactorily answered.

I can't remember whether I'd been to a S&W revolver armorer class at the time this thread was started, or afterward. Close, either way.

Having been to a number of armorer classes for various pistols, rifle/carbine and shotgun I finally decided it was high time I attended a revolver armorer class. (I own and carry enough of them, if nothing else. ;) )

Imagine my lack of surprise when I discovered that just as with the other types of firearms for which I've been trained to service as an armorer, that much of what passes for 'knowledge' on the internet regarding revolvers is incorrect (and sometimes to the point of being dangerous). Of course, I'd been fortunate to have been working alongside a very experienced and senior S&W and Colt LE revolver armorer for some years before and had been forced to learn some basics from time to time.

Many of the things that some folks think are 'problems' on the internet aren't really problems ... and some of the things they think aren't problems are really problems.

The trick is determine the difference. ;)

That's where a good gunsmith, or the factory, can ally someone's concerns before they attempt to 'fix' a problem which isn't a problem, and end up creating a problem where one didn't previously exist.

Ever see one of those signs in a repair shop where one price was quoted to repair a problem ... and a much higher cost was quoted to repair a problem which the owner had tried to fix first themselves? :)

Jim K
March 7, 2010, 07:31 PM
There is a fundamental difference between the way an S&W revolver cylinder is turned and locked up and the way a Colt ("classic") works.

In the S&W, the single tip hand engages the ratchet and pushes the cylinder around until it eventually slides up PAST the ratchet point. If you think about that, you will realize that even a tiny amount of wear can keep the hand from forcing the cylinder fully into the lock position IF the cylinder is held back or the gun is cocked extremely slowly.

The Colt system uses two steps on the hand. The first starts the cylinder around, then goes past the ratchet point, while the second (lower) one engages the next tooth of the ratchet at a 90 degree angle and forces the cylinder into alignment. But that only happens when the trigger is pulled all the way. Now, again with some thought, it is clear that there must be enough space between the hand and the ratchet tooth to allow the trigger to be pulled, so slowly pulling the trigger or slowly cocking the hammer will not result in full lockup until the trigger is fully back. But the Colt system also has a drawback which can result from wear - the hand can force the cylinder PAST the alignment point. With enough force, the cylinder bolt (stop) can be bent or the cylinder notches deformed.

The tests to which S&W revolvers are subjected as mentioned here are, IMHO, unrealistic situations and not seen except when someone wants to "prove" that S&W revolvers are no good. And yes, I think those who insist there must be no play are over-perfectionist. Certainly there is a point where any revolver will get out of time due to wear, but if a revolver works OK in normal use, I see no reason to subject it to "tests" that it was not made to meet just because some "expert" thinks he knows it all and any gun that is not up to his standards of perfection must be corrected or it will do awful things.

Jim

fastbolt
March 7, 2010, 08:13 PM
IF the cylinder is held back or the gun is cocked extremely slowly ... Certainly there is a point where any revolver will get out of time due to wear, but if a revolver works OK in normal use, I see no reason to subject it to "tests" that it was not made to meet just because some "expert" thinks he knows it all and any gun that is not up to his standards of perfection must be corrected or it will do awful things.

Nicely stated.

When you get the chance to meet someone who has actually assembled and fitted revolvers, or hand built them, I'd think it's not a bad idea to listen to how that person thinks about this sort of 'timing' subject. I had that opportunity during a couple of armorer classes taught by long time assemblers of old-style S&W revolvers and another gentleman who used to work for another company who produced custom, hand-built revolvers. The things they showed me and how they showed me to check for normal function just aren't the same as many things touted by some folks among internet firearms forums.

They made checking for normal carry up seem relatively easy and simple, and didn't make it seem as though it was necessary to test for it as if it involved working on some bank vault mechanism or Swiss clock.

Also, any 'test' which could be done so that it could make virtually any revolver 'fail' probably isn't one that will serve folks well. There's a manufacturing and operating tolerance often involved when it comes to machinery, you know. ;)

I also like much of what DPris posted in his last posting in '08. If a S&W revolver doesn't appear to fall within the expected operating tolerance, when checked by someone who knows how to check for such things, then it ought to be brought within normal factory spec by someone who knows what they're doing. Sometimes something slips through normal QC, or wears to the point that it requires attention.

MCgunner
March 7, 2010, 08:24 PM
How did this thread get brought back to life?

I just noticed that when I saw a previous post I'd made already. DUH. :rolleyes: Oh, well, I'm getting old and can't be expected to remember a thread this old.

But, in the last couple of posts, I'm learning something, anyway. That little Rossi always went bang. Maybe it was ME that was the problem. :D

drag80
December 7, 2010, 08:02 AM
Well quite an old thread but I guess sometimes threads years old can also help someone out. I am going to reply to this thread coz the problem mentioned here is very common and innocent people like lucretia are often mis guided by people saying '' O U HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEM UR REVOLVER IS USELESS SEND IT BACK BLA BLA BLA.''

After going through each and every post on this thread, I have come to feel that people expect too much perfection from their revolvers. These small things dont matter in real life. I mean who is going to pull the trigger damn slow in real life that would effect the timmings.

Any person who knows the actual working of a revolver knows that the problem mentioned in this thread is not a real problem. It will never effect the revolver while actual shooting. The timmings on a revolver is not done by CNC machines. Yes parts are made on CNC but timmings are manually set by human beings and humans can never be prefect as machines.

I have closely monitored and studied the working on a revolver. A hand which is attached to the trigger engages the teeth of the extractor and rotates the cylinder. At a point the bolt in the bottom catches the cylinder and locks it into place. At this point the hand should stop rotating the cylinder. If not, the hand will be subjected to extra stress and it would wear really quickly. For that purpose the teeth on the extractor have to be manually and individually filed to stop the movement of the cylinder at the precise time when the bolt locks the cylinder. The filing work will be different on all the teeth coz they are fitted and timed up individually.

So if one of the cylinders has SLIGHT late timings, it means the tooth has been slightly over filed while adjusting the timmings. After all they are humans doing it not CNC machines or robots. nothing to worry about.

cock the gun with a little more speed and it will lock in place. Thats how guns are used practically and thats how they are checked at factory. gunsmiths dont just sit and start cocking the revolvers in super slow motion. they check it for what they are made. shoot.

1911Tuner
December 7, 2010, 08:40 AM
After going through each and every post on this thread, I have come to feel that people expect too much perfection from their revolvers. These small things dont matter in real life. I mean who is going to pull the trigger damn slow in real life that would effect the timmings.

It seems that 4 out of 5 people who responded agree with that.

A final point that bears mention is that sometimes the timing can be a tick slow with the chambers empty, but the cylinder will carry up and time just fine with ammunition present. So, if you have one that doesn't do to suit you...check it again with empty cases in the chambers. It may be just fine...real world.

drag80
December 7, 2010, 10:21 AM
Dear 1911Tuner. I see that you are a senior member from this forum website so what u r telling must be having some practical experience with it.

I have also heard that the timings improve when catridges are in cylinder. Can u please shed some light as to how the presence of catridges improve the timings ? What are the reasons ?

Old Fuff
December 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
In Smith & Wesson hand ejector revolvers the hand that rotates the cylinder is attached to the trigger, so it is the trigger that advances it causing the cylinder to rotate and “carry up.”

As the hand moves upward it pushes on a ratchet tooth rotating the cylinder until the tooth rotates far enough so that the hand can slide by it and continue upwards as the trigger continues to be pulled backwards, or the thumb-cocked hammer cams it backwards.

“Back when…” the final assembler would check to be sure that when either thumb-cocked or double-actioned the cylinder would rotate far enough to be locked by the cylinder stop. If or when this didn’t happen adjustments were made, or at least they were supposed to be made.

During certain times, especially during the Viet Nam war era, Smith & Wesson rapidly expanded, and had to hire many new and less experienced employees. This being the case, the precise hand fitting didn’t always happen. So the first thing I’d look at is, “when was the revolver that is the subject of this discussion made?

Another cause is that while the hand isn’t worn (hands are very seldom worn) the window in the frame through which the hand passes can become worn because the frame is much softer then the hand itself. When this happens the hand can engage the ratchet too far outboard, in which case the cylinder won’t fully carry up.

The same thing can happen if the yoke (the hinge part the cylinder swings out on) is slightly or substantially sprung, in which case the hand will both push the cylinder/ratchet outward as well as upward, and the cylinder will fail to carry up.

Regardless of how fast or slow the hammer is cocked, or the trigger pulled in the double-action mode, the cylinder should rotate on each chamber until it is locked by the cylinder stop.

As can be seen, when it doesn’t there can be several reasons why, or a combination of them. Correcting the problem is seldom a fix-it-yourself sort of thing. I can’t say why the “revolver in question” is doing what it is, but I will strongly suggest that it be sent back to the factory where they will determine what needs to be done, and do it – probably as a free warrantee repair.

DPris
December 7, 2010, 02:12 PM
Drag,
Regardless of how much you think you've studied S&W "timmings", the fact remains that if a Smith does not lock its cylinder in place (by the bolt rising to engage the notch) BEFORE the hammer reaches its full rearward arc, when slowly cocked, something is wrong.

The term for that is carry up, as Fuff mentioned, and it's one of several tests the revolver should pass on leaving the factory, and/or in remaining in service.
The action is designed to do that, and while inertia will continue to rotate the cylinder into its final locking position on each chamber when the action's operated faster (either by DA trigger cocking or SA hammer cocking) loaded or unloaded, and the gun may fire, something is still out of adjustment somewhere.

A hand may need replacing through its own wear or to compensate for wear in its frame window, occasionally a ratchet tooth may need adjustment or the star may need to be replaced. And so on.

Continuing to shoot the gun will continue to advance whatever the problem is, can cause undue wear in areas affected by the faulty part, as Fuff also noted, and it's roughly similar to driving 40,000 miles with one bad sparkplug in your car's engine.
The car will run, but not correctly, and that one cylinder will cause the rest of the engine expanded effort & wear in making up for it, along with decreasing mileage.
You can do it, but most of us prefer to have both our revolver and our engine running the way they're supposed to run.

In my S&W armorer's school way back when, and in working with my long-time local S&W certified gunsmith and talking to people at the factory, checking for carry up is one of the basics in determining whether the gun is "right" or not. Easy to do, and if it doesn't check out, it should be addressed by a professional.

If you choose to ignore it, that's up to you.
But

fastbolt
December 7, 2010, 02:30 PM
Carry up on New Model S&W revolvers (which don't have pinned extractors) is checked with properly sized dummy rounds (or empty cases) in the cylinder charge holes. The case heads are what position and hold the extractor in the proper position for the hand to engage the extractor ratchets (which is accomplished with the cases of live ammunition when the gun is actually loaded and being fired).

A new extractor is also cut with dummy rounds in the charge holes so the ratchets are cut with the extractor held in the cylinder as it will be when live ammunition is used.

Checking a new model S&W revolver without dummy rounds in place (or with missing or broken pins in the old model revolvers) can allow the extractor to shift and not give an accurate indication of carry up.

DPris
December 7, 2010, 03:02 PM
Good point, good to differentiate.
There can be enough slop in the newer pinless extractor/cylinder fit to skew carry up checks.

In the pinned versions, there's no need to use dummy rounds or empty cases to add additional weight to cause the cylinder to carry up properly.

In the current guns, use of either of the above is not a matter of adding weight, it's a matter of replacing the function of the pins in older guns to anchor the ratchet star in position.

Denis

fastbolt
December 7, 2010, 03:30 PM
There can be enough slop in the newer pinless extractor/cylinder fit to skew carry up checks.

Yep, and it can vary a bit, too.

I was told that it was considered acceptable for the new model revolvers to exhibit carry up where the stop just barely snapped into the stop notch before the hammer fell in DA or reached the cocked position in SA.

I've seen some new ones where the carry up was fine when checked with or without dummy rounds or empty cases in the cylinder, and I've seen some others where the carry up was right at the far end of being acceptable, even with empty cases in the holes. I've been told that this is considered acceptable for the new guns.

I had to cut a new extractor for one of my new J-frames because the carry up on one hole just didn't consistently result in lockup before the hammer fell. I could have returned it for repair but I decided to correct it myself.

I tried a couple of new oversize hands S&W sent me but they still didn't correct the DCU condition to my satisfaction, with the larger of the two being too large (and I didn't want to touch that alloy frame window).

I finally decided to simply cut a new extractor since I had the armorer cutting arm and had done it in the revolver armorer class. I did it under the watchful eye of a long time revolver armorer, just to make sure. I've been an armorer for many other firearms for some time, but was still fairly new as a revolver armorer, after all. ;)

The new extractor I cut gave me the carry up I desired.

At first I thought it was odd that S&W no longer went to the trouble of pinning the extractors. :scrutiny:

Then I finally decided that the new method was fine in the real world. It did away with the potential for broken, bent or otherwise damaged pins ... and live ammunition would be in the charge holes when the gun was being fired, anyway, which would serve the function of aligning and holding the extractor during live-fire, after all.

1911Tuner
December 7, 2010, 05:37 PM
Fastbolt and DPris beat me to it. Fuff mentioned the sprung crane issue, and that's spot on. I was going on the assumption that there was nothing else wrong with the gun. I had to straighten a crane on a Model 19 just last week. Shoulda thought about it.

To answer drag's query...case rims basically reduce any backlash present in the ejector star and...as noted...properly align and orient the assembly to the hand.

I do not care for the new design cylinder assembly, Sam I am. I much prefer the old, pinned design...but they didn't consult with me before forging ahead.

Old Fuff
December 7, 2010, 07:00 PM
...but they didn't consult with me before forging ahead.

That's my problem - they never ask me anything. :banghead: :D

DPris
December 7, 2010, 07:20 PM
An obvious & severe oversight on their part!
Denis

drag80
December 8, 2010, 03:16 AM
Dear Dpris.
U said either a gun is ok or its not ok. Now after reading this post I spent some time checking one of my revolvers(havent checked it so keenly before). Although I have fired300+ rounds without any problem but while checking i noticed that while pulling the hammer back in super slow motion one of the cylinder is slightly late on timmings. All the other 7 other cylinders lock up perfectly in time.

Now heres what happened on the slow cylinder(empty with no dummy cartidges). If if check it in super slow motion, 9 out of 10 times it locks up prefectly in time before the hammer locks into rear position. only once in ten times it is slightly late. How late ? I think thousands of an inch. So slightly that even If i move the gun slightly, I hear the click of bolt locking the cylinder. and it locks perfectly everytime in DA.

Now what do u say about this situation ? Is this gun ok or not ok ?

It fires perfectly and is very accurate. Now this particular gun of mine does not have any problem but now I am trying to forcefully find a problem in it.

1911Tuner
December 8, 2010, 09:52 AM
Drag...some revolvers will do just as you describe. In this case, I'd say that the gun is fine, and needs no attention. I have a Model 13 that is consistently slightly slow on two opposing chambers when cycled in that manner, but never fails when cycled normally due to the cylinder's momentum carrying it.
This, whether the chambers are loaded or not. It's an older model with the pinned ejector star.

Since you're a new member, you may not have had time to catch onto a few things.


It's apparent that you've studied the workings of double-action revolvers and understand how they function...however, there are several highly experienced and skilled gunsmiths...both active and retired...included in the membership. Jim Keenan is one such, and he likely has had more "wrench time" on Smith and Colt revolvers than any three of us combined. Old Fuff is another who not only has practical experience, but is also recognized as our resident historian. The 1911 platform is my main focus, but I've also been into a number of revolvers over the years...the most recent just over a week ago when I straightened up a crane that had been sprung from flipping the cylinder open in Too-Cool, Hollywood Private Dee-tective fashion by the owner's brother in-law.

Welcome aboard, and enjoy your stay!

Old Fuff
December 8, 2010, 10:57 AM
Remember that the hand that rorates the cylinder is attached to the trigger, not the hammer. When you pull the trigger in the double-action mode you move the trigger all of the way back as far as it will go. When you cock the hammer the trigger doesn't go all of the way back because it still has to have enough travel to release the hammer. In some revolvers you can release the hammer without pulling the trigger all of the way back, and while the difference is small, it may be just enough if the hand hasn't moved the cylinder quite far enough to have the cylinder stop lock it.

This condition isn't very common, and is most often seen in revolvers that have some kind of a trigger backlash stop. In any case it's something that should be corrected.

As a side-note: If you go back far enough before World War Two you will find that the extractor star had one arm that was notched for a little key that was machined into the cylinder's extractor's cutout in the rear cylinder face. This was in addition to (usually) two pins to keep the star positioned when there were no cases or cartridges in the chambers. It represented a neat job of machining at a time when CNC advocates claim they were using chipped flint to make cutting bits. :rolleyes: Of course they won't do that kind of work now. :uhoh:

drag80
December 8, 2010, 01:06 PM
Ok now lets say if I want to correct this situation, what should I do ?

Mr. Old Fuff Sir, where I live there are no gunsmiths. Please tell me how can i correct this myself. Is it possible to make a new extractor so that I can tune the timming myself ?

I am asking this coz the valuable information provided can be useful for many other people having this problem.

So Please advice.

DPris
December 8, 2010, 01:49 PM
Drag,
As I mentioned, the carry up is a longstanding function check done by Smith & Wesson & those who work on them.
The guns, if correctly set up, should lock the cylinder in place before the hammer comes to a full-cock position, when cocked slowly.
That's how the design was intended to work in a Smith.

There are undoubtedly thousands of older Smiths running loose around the world that don't exhibit perfect timing & correct function and don't pass the test.
They still fire, and inertia will still carry the cylinder around to full lockup when cycled rapidly. In terms of firing, there's a fair amount of wiggle room in some areas for tolerances & relationships to be out of spec.

But- there's still something wrong, whatever it is won't fix itself, and the problem will tend to get worse as wear & use aggravates it.
If you want to leave such a gun as it is, that's up to you. If you HAVE to leave it as it is, then your decision is made for you.

In my case, I have access to a very good local gunsmith and S&W itself, and I choose to have such problems corrected. I don't want them to wear prematurely with a known & fixable "illness".

Is your gun "OK"? I gave you my best info. I told you what it should do, as described by the company that makes it.
Forcefully finding a problem? Performing a function check & finding the gun doesn't pass as it should isn't forcefully finding a problem, in my mind. It's just keeping equipment maintained.
When I buy any Smith, new or used, it gets that carry up check.

Your gun WILL function, it just doesn't function entirely as it was designed to do.
If you don't understand how the timing (not timmings) works on a Smith, there's no chance you can correct the situation on your own, and you can't "make" a new extractor yourself.
S&W may sell you one, but again- if you have no idea how the timing is set or how to work on the action, it's not likely to be very successful and extremely likely to come out much worse. The extractor is not a drop-in part.
Denis

1911Tuner
December 8, 2010, 03:28 PM
Drag...Timing is corrected by either fitting an oversized hand...a new star/ratchet, or both...or if the gun isn't causing a problem in normal use...just leaving it alone works out pretty well. As DPris noted, the parts aren't drop-in, and it not only takes knowledge...it requires the right tools for the job.

More...The new star design can't readily be adapted to work in an older smith revolver, even if the whole cylinder/star assembly is used. While it will physically fit the gun...the hand is also apparently different, as the mismatch will cause the cylinder to time so early that the gun won't make a full cycle. The hand must also be changed, and I'm not familiar enough with it to know if the new-style hand will even work with the old lockwork. Someone else may be able to shed some light on that question.

Smith & Wesson revolvers pre-time. That is, they're designed to lock the cylinder before the hammer reaches full cock, or before the trigger rolls the hammer back far enough to release it. That pretiming will vary from one gun to the next, but as long as the cylinder is locked in before the hammer falls...it's all good. Colt's older revolvers timed as the hammer broke, and they performed quite well for a lot of rounds. While it's true that they'd go out of time earlier than a Smith...to the point of firing out of battery...even when they were out badly enough to require the attention of a revolversmith...when fired normally in DA mode...they functioned well enough to remain serviceable due to the cylinder's momentum.

Old Fuff
December 8, 2010, 04:42 PM
drag80:

I can't answer your question concerning the timing, because several things could be causing the carry up problem, and because I can't actually handle and examine the revolver I can't tell exactly what is causing it.

When a qualified gunsmith isn't available (and sometimes when one is) the best answer is to send the revolver back to Smith & Wesson. If you call their Service Department they will send you a pre-paid shipping label, so all that you have to do is box it up and attach the label. I would wait until the Christmas rush is over though. more information is available at: www.smith-wesson.com

I suspect they will fix it for free (and anything else they find that's wrong) and then ship it back to you - again pre-paid. Under these circumstances you don't have to go through an FFL dealer. As previously point out it's unlikely you can fix it yourself, and new extractors have to be individually fitted in each gun.

NX1Z
October 16, 2011, 11:33 PM
If you ask S&W, they'll remind you that newer S&W revolvers built without the old-style extractors & extractor pins should be checked with EMPTY, properly sized cases in the charge holes. The extractors are cut differently on new model revolvers, and the cases are important to 'fix' the extractors in position (whereas the older pins used to serve that function). Live cartridge cases serve this function during normal shooting.
This is an EXCELENT point!

I know this post was made a while ago, but I needed to thank you for pointing this out. I bought my M686 brand new and noticed a timing issue that was not very consistent. But when at the range it would always lock-up when I "stage" the trigger. So, at home I tried with empty cases in the cylinder and never see the timing issue. I didnt figure out why until I saw your post. Thanks! The answer is so obvious now...LOL. This is probably the cause of people seeing timing issues on NIB S&W wheel guns, but its not a real issue.

fastbolt
October 17, 2011, 03:50 AM
De nada.

This new design, while probably unsettling to folks used to the older pinned extractors (it took me a while to become used to it) does eliminate having to replace a bent or broken pin in the old style cylinders.

Having some small extra degree of clearance at the ends of the extractor arms does seem to let the extractor re-seat into the cylinder recess easily, too. I've come across my share of older S&W revolvers where the extractors were sharp, especially at the ends, and they could catch and hang up momentarily when letting the extractor go back forward after ejecting empty cases.

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