Buying a Revolver


January 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
Just curious as to how many of you fully check out a revolver before purchasing it.

You see the gun in the display case and it's either just for display (with others in the back), or the display model is the only one in stock.

Do you go with the proper gauges and bore scopes? Do you carry a few bullets to drop into each chamber -- or better, a caliper? (Jacketed bullets should catch in several chambers, or at least show some resistance in the throats...and they should never be pushed through.)

I ask because of the complaints I read about revolvers people buy that don't function properly. It makes me wonder why they buy them if they're out of time or the cylinder gaps are excessive.

If you buy a handgun through an Internet auction, do you think it's proper to ask the seller for the cylinder gap measurement, and other info, and if so, what do you ask? I ask this because many people who have out-of-spec revolvers end up selling them, especially if they've been back and forth to the factory a few times.

So what are your thoughts? I'm sure some of you have been burned. But how is this possible if you thoroughly check a revolver out?

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January 27, 2011, 06:57 PM
I check the lockup, visually inspect the forcing cone, general check to make sure everything is there, and sometimes try out the trigger if it is not a collector piece. I then make my offer and buy it or walk.

Many sellers will never have shot whatever guns they are selling. Some may not have even picked it up except to give it a visual checkout.

January 27, 2011, 07:57 PM
If DA open and close the cylinder a few times look over inside and forceing cone. The most important thing to me is the lock up and end shake of cylinder. Just a good visual inspection.

January 27, 2011, 08:28 PM
It's a good idea to hold the gun up to a light and check out the cylinder gap, as well as slipping a spent case into a chamber and checking the space between the case head and the revolver frame.

Those are the basic things to check. But I've found that companies like Taurus have a real problem with chamber throats. What happens if you take six jacketed bullets (not cartridges) and drop one into each chamber -- only to discover that they just plunk through without even slowing down? It'll give table top accuracy, but not much else. I tried three Model 66s, which were beautiful guns, and none could hit the broad side of a barn. The problem was the chamber throats, which were virtually non-existent. It was like the holes were drilled right through without any throats to stabilize the bullets. (I have a Ruger Speed-Six that were originally .38 Specials. The gunsmith I have it to to convert it into a .357 gave me precise .357 throats. The result was two guns that are the most accurate .357s I've ever shot! I have a 686 6-incher, first issue, that have precise throats as well. It, too, is extraordinarily precise! Most of my Ruger Security-Sixes catch about four out of six bullets.)

Each chamber should be checked, too, by cocking the gun six (or seven) times while checking for alignment and end shake.

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