Cylinder Design Question

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Steve S., Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    When viewing a revolver (especially a used one), an (what I would call) “eyesore” is a drag mark connecting the approaches - a put off for many reasons. I understand that some revolver designs purposely ride the cylinder lock on the circumference, some are timed differently so as a drag mark will not appear over much use but eventually, most revolvers will develop a drag line.
    The question: why not a drag slot machined at manufacture to minimize the appearance of this wear - it could be an appealing aesthetic if designed correctly. I am just wondering, drag lines have never appealed to me whereas a dragline design might. You thoughts?
     
  2. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    When I evaluate a revolver my criteria includes function, function, and function. Never aesthetics. Therefore a "drag" line has no effect on my consideration about whether the firearm will appeal to me or not. Same goes for the grips, etc. When I carried my GP100 in Yellowstone park I had no concern about how "pretty" it was.
    Not that others may prefer beautiful guns; they are entitled to whatever they want. Just not me.
     
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  3. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    I agree that a "beauty ring" is evidence of - a timing issue, poor handling practice and or poor design. The Ruger NM S.A. is the most prominent of the latter in that not only is the hand spring and plunger rather animic (allowing at will demonstrations of throw-by) but the loading gate feature that allows one to spin the cylinder with the bolt against the cylinder after closing the gate is another. It's so common that "beauty rings" are accepted as "normal" on Rugers. That being said, I wouldn't want one designed as a "feature" from a manufacturer. There are some revolvers that have an approach that starts almost immediately after the locking notch that pretty much does what you are suggesting.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  4. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I grew up in coal country. I’m good with the idea of re-engineering a cylinder, but please don’t park a dragline on any of my guns. I’m just old enough to remember these being around in the Madisonville Ky area and standing in the bucket during a field trip in elementary school.

    91EBF9B2-A0BD-4461-A1FA-1437F92D79CA.jpeg
    image borrowed from a google search
     
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  5. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    You don't see those big electric, walking drags anymore. I don't see the trail cable for that one. We had a couple Marion's sitting around up in Pa when I still lived there.
    I don't mind seeing a drag line on my cylinders as long as it isn't unsightly. I have a 1958 S&W that I shot a lot and it just has a small line. I have seen other guns that look like someone used a dull lathe bit on it. Those I mind and steer clear of.
     
  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Someone told me that cylinder drag lines were “bad” many years ago when I first started shooting. I have even naively passed up buying revolvers years ago that had drag lines.
    All of my revolvers have some hint of a drag line but I never really notice them when looking at my revolvers. I look at the whole revolver and it’s reliability and it’s accuracy. I would be concerned if a drag line progressively got worse but all my revolvers have acquired light drag marks that have gotten no worse over time.

    I look at wear as a badge of honor on my revolvers. I do not abuse them or treat them in a way that hurts their appearance but over time a gun that is used will show some indications that it has been and is being used. A gun in my safe that doesn’t get used isn’t there long. I don’t buy them to look at. I buy them to shoot. ;)
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Part of the drag line is timing and fit.
    Part is the smoothness of the cylinder stop - bolt "ball."

    Early double action revolvers had generous freeing grooves between stop notches. Guess the makers decided they didn't need them as designs improved.
     
  8. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Since all of my revolvers have one to one extent or another, I don’t really notice it much.

    Some engravers will do their magic to minimize the appearance of one.

    7BCB8CE8-F530-48B3-BF88-FEF874871606.jpeg D73939C6-6CD2-4680-B3B7-116D5629D077.jpeg 20D8390A-210C-4A6B-807B-9E97CF5B39DD.jpeg

    Stay safe.
     
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  9. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    New Model Rugers are designed on purpose so the bolt rises early. I don't know about 'throw by' (yes I know what it means), I have never tried to make this Blackhawk that I bought brand spanky new in 1975 throw by. I can tell you Ruger purposely makes the bolt rise early on these, about halfway to the teardrop shaped lead to the locking notch, and there is no way to avoid generating a turn line over time. I can also tell you that Ruger machines the locking slot in the cylinder slightly off center on the chambers, so the thinnest spot on the cylinder will not be the bottom of the locking slot, as it is on just about every other revolver. Anyway, that is the cylinder ring that developed on my old Blackhawk from over 40 years of shooting it, and it does not bother me a bit.

    pl0UmxFCj.jpg




    Colts and their replicas are a different story. With a properly timed Colt Single Acton Army (or replica) the bolt should pop up as the lead to the locking notch passes over the window in the frame where the bolt resides. That way, the only wear that should happen will be to the surface of the tear drop shaped lead. With a properly timed Colt (or replica) a ring appears when somebody lowers the hammer from half cock. This allows the bolt to rise and rub against the cylinder about halfway to the lead. This 2nd Gen SAA left the factory in 1973, and has clearly been shot very little. Not only is there no ring but there is no wear to the lead. This SAA is in immaculate condition.

    posDjxy8j.jpg




    This 2nd Gen SAA left the factory in 1963. It has seen a little bit more activity than the one pictured above. Notice the wear not only on the lead in the the locking notch, but in the notch itself. Also, at some point during the last 58 years somebody lowered the hammer from half cock, causing a little bit of a cylinder ring. Obviously these minor cosmetic details did not stop me from buying this revolver. One of the reasons I bought it is the colors on the Case Hardening are still vivid.

    pmMO5geqj.jpg




    It is virtually impossible to prevent a cylinder ring from forming on a Smith and Wesson revolver. When the cylinder is opened, the cylinder stop (that is S&W lingo for the bolt) is always in the raised position This has been true of S&W revolvers with swing out cylinders since 1899 and has not changed. So to prevent a ring from forming, every time the shooter closed the cylinder, he would have to make sure the cylinder stop lined up with one of the locking slots. Trust me, nobody does that. This 38 Military and Police Target Model shipped in 1917. The ring is pretty normal for a S&W revolver that old.

    poNNQx1Ij.jpg




    This nickel plated Model of 1899 shipped in 1899. The cylinder line that has been buffed onto the platng in all those years is pretty minimal. It certainly did not prevent me from buying this revolver a few years ago.

    pndLBGSEj.jpg




    All the wear on this K-22 Outdoorsman that shipped in 1932 certainly did not stop me from buying it. It was a bargain because of the wear, and it is the most accurate 22 rimfire revolver I own.

    pm2Yy9rVj.jpg




    This K-32 Masterpiece shipped in 1954. A relatively rare revolver, the teeny, tiny bit of turn line certainly did not prevent me from buying it a few years ago.

    pmLHRNCtj.jpg




    Bottom line: Create a phony turn ring to mask a genuine one? What ever for?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  10. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    If, when rebuilding a revolver after bluing, you take a moment to mirror polish the sliver of cylinder stop that contacts the cylinder, the formation of a turn ring will be reduced by 90%.

    I still tuned the stop to drop early, for reliability. A turn ring is a sign that someone used the revolver for what it's for.
     
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  11. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Doesn't bother me a bit. I don't have any revolvers that are for looking at, all are holstered, fired and well used. I also really like the looks of a super redhawk so maybe I'm not the guy to comment on aesthetics :rofl:
     
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  12. tark

    tark Member

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    I think the most "drag line" conscious people in the world are Colt SAA collectors. Years ago my rich collector friend in California paid a ton of money to obtain a new in box, cylinder had never been turned, 7 1/2" gun. He warned me several times not to cock the hammer. Then he made me put on cotton gloves and gingerly handed me the gun. Since we are old friends and loved to prank one another, I immediately reached for the hammer with my thumb.

    "I'll kill you!" my friend said, ominously...... I think he was serious! I told my thumb to stand down.....
     
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  13. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    According to the Kuhnhausen book on Ruger S.A. Revolvers, the OM Blackhawk action timing mimics the Colt action parameters as would be expected since it is a Co!t type action. Where things get blurred is with the NM actions. There seems to be so many "possibilities" of "tollerance variances" that "ballpark timing" among the different models is "correct" timing. This (to me) is the design aspect that I listed. There is no denying that the NM S.A. is an excellent and robust to say the least S.A. revolver but, this thread is about turn lines (beauty rings) being acceptable or not. Depending on the type of action (Colt or Ruger NM ) the turn line tells a story. Many of the competition guns I get (unless new) have beauty rings which denote "running problems" which is why they are here!! When they leave here, they won't be contributing to the already present ring!! (And they won't break either!!)

    I learned a lot from Bill's revolvers and I adapted a lot of his ideas in my services, which is why they run (and last) like they do!!!

    So, no change in my opinion. If your car doesn't "run right" . . . something's wrong . . . if a Colt style action is telling you something's wrong, it is . . . if it doesn't matter, keep driving!!!

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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