How to tell is a revolver has a bent crane?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by John Joseph, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I was shooting a .38 snub in a timed combat course.
    While reloading with a speed loader the cylinder refused to lock closed.
    I forced it to no avail and had to reload using different speed loader to finish the course.
    Afterwards I discovered one of the cartridges from the first loader was defective---no cannelure and the rim was deformed from being forced into the frame where it didn't want to go.
    I don't remember how noticeable the mating surfaces between the crane and frame were, but they are noticeable now although the surfaces mate precisely. I see no damage to the frame where the cartridge rim would have deformed, or the crane it's self. The cylinder still locks up tight as a drum.

    The revolver shoots fine, is accurate, and looks to be OK, but it worries me that I might have damaged something(you know how intense combat courses are!)
    How can I tell for sure if everything is on the up and up?
     
  2. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Range rod is a tool used to check cylinder alignment. I just make them but,they might be available from Brownells?
     
  3. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    If the frame to crane fit is still tight and even, then it's fine. Take the cylinder off and check the crane fit at the front too. But likely it's fine there too.

    If you force your cylinder closed, most of the pressure goes on the offending cartridge and not the crane. It could have some brass marring on the recoil shield but shouldn't incur any damage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
    4Baldy likes this.
  4. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Thanks!
     
  5. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    If the gap between the yoke/crane and the frame is still the same on the front end and the cylinder pin still drops easily into the breech face hole then you should be good to go with a straight yoke/crane. You still need to verify carry up and bolt lock as the cylinder rotates into position.
     
  6. Armorer 101

    Armorer 101 Member

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    Multiple checks for the cylinder / ejector rod and crane, empty gun always:
    1) Check the cylinder face to see if there are obvious drag marks on one portion of the face.
    2) Hold the empty closed cylinder/ forcing cone gap up to a light, cock the hammer, repeatedly, watch the gap for closure as it turns.
    3) With a piece of paper with a line on it, open the cylinder, put the butt on the paper with the rod aligned with the line and spin the cylinder. If the rod wobbles it is probably bent.
    4) Examine the joint of the crane and frame from the front, the opening when closed should be minimal and even top to bottom.

    On a Smith or any of its clones, the ejector rod can easily be bent by striking it off center when in a rush to eject fired cases. I ran Smiths for years in competition and had extra rods just because of this.
     
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