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Is putting in a cylinder an easy task?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by rayman, Feb 19, 2011.

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  1. rayman

    rayman Member

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    Hey, what goes into fitting a cylinder to a revolver? Is it something a DIY'er can do with basic tools or does it require a skilled/experienced gunsmith? I want an unfluted cylinder on one of my S&W's.
     
  2. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    it require a skilled/experienced gunsmith.
     
  3. dnovo

    dnovo Member

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    It do, it do. Dave
     
  4. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    Skilled Gunsmith work.
    The star, or hand, needs to be in perfect timing for each shot.
     
  5. DPris

    DPris Member

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    You have both headspacing (horizontal axis dimensions) and rotational timing issues (cylinder stop/bolt, ratchet teeth, hand) that have to be correctly set up.
    The fact that you're asking (which is good) indicates that you don't know enough about it to do it.
    If you value your gun, have a pro do the work.
    Denis
     
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I've done it. Faced with the same situation today, I'd turn the job over to a skilled gunsmith: there's simply too much that can go awry.
     
  7. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Here's a (very) brief explanation of cylinder fitting.

    It depends on the brand of gun. S&W, Ruger and similar guns are easier than Colt's due to how the guns work.

    First is to get a cylinder and/or ejector that are of a compatible era to fit the frame. These parts changed over the years on all brands.

    First step is to fit a new ejector to the cylinder. You usually have to have a new ejector or a new cylinder and ejector assembly that are a factory fitted unit.
    Due to manufacturing differences, you usually can't just install the old ejector in the new cylinder, because the assembled unit will be too short to fit the frame. Also, ejectors often don't fit the cylinder correctly without fitting and adjustment so the ejector aligns with the chambers, the cylinder alignment pins, and the splines in the cylinder.

    The cylinder/ejector assembly is fitted to the cylinder crane or yoke shaft.

    The assembled cylinder/ejector/crane is fitted to the frame by using a milling machine or a precision surface grinder and a special holding/gage fixture to machine the end of the ejector down to set the head space.
    If the assembly is too short for that particular frame, the assembly can't be used at all.

    Other checks or adjustments after head spacing the assembly are:
    Cylinder end shake.
    Barrel/cylinder gap.
    Barrel/chamber alignment on all chambers.
    Cylinder timing on all chambers.

    Bottom line, cylinders don't drop in.
    Just because the cylinder assembly closes into the frame doesn't mean it really fits.
    People who have managed to get a cylinder to drop in and claim it fits like new are embarrassed when a pistolsmith gages them and shows the owner just how much isn't right.
    Unlike automatics, revolvers are "old school" guns that are mostly hand fitted.
     
  8. springfield30-06

    springfield30-06 Member

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    Is it ok to take off the cylinder/yoke/crane to clean and then replace on the same gun?
     
  9. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Yes, as long as you don't use power tools to do it.
    Denis
     
  10. rayman

    rayman Member

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    Thank you all! I guess my gun is going to a gunsmith...
     
  11. chute2thrill

    chute2thrill Member

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    OK a little thread hijack.. Why does a modern revolver has to have a cylinder fitted but you can buy all the replacement cylinders you want for a blackpowder revolver and they just drop right in?
     
  12. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Because:

    Black powder revolvers don't have fitted ejectors and don't need the head space set.
    The barrel/cylinder gap is controlled by the wedge and barrel fit.
    The alignment and timing aren't as critical.
     
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