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Roller Action Bearings

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by sign216, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    As a youth, I remember reading a police magazine, and seeing an ad to retrofit revolvers where the bearing surface(s) were fitted with rollers to make the action super smooth. The tiny rollers were on where the trigger meets the hammer, or a similar contact area.

    It's hard to remember the details. Anyone recall this?

    Joe
     
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  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Not sure about retrofits but Korth revolvers come in such a configuration from the factory. Makes for a super smooth trigger pull, but Korth revolvers are not budget friendly.
     
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  3. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Those were offered for Colt Python from some gunsmiths - I have somewhere a vintage ad from a gun magazine (or it was an article?). That modification will not work on a S&W type firing mechanism. I don't think that Kort uses any bearings at all, at least on the double action sear which was the OP's question.
     
  4. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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  5. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    I remember and HAD (wished I still had them) a couple of revolvers. Walt Sherman in Florida offered these conversions on Pythons and they retained the single action. There was an article by Massad Ayoob in American Handgunner in the early 1990's (Sept/Oct 1992) on Python tuners at the time. The Python I had with a Bullseye spring kit had a double action around 6 lbs that would fire anything. Ayoob mentioned some got the DA down to 4.5 lbs with target loads. Sherman offered the conversion also on K, L and N frames prior to MIM. Here again the single action was retained and I had a roller conversion on a 625 Mtn. Gun. I think, maybe, C&S also had a roller conversion but theirs did NOT have single action capability.

    In the case of the Python supposedly the roller action was to eliminate stacking inherent in the design. On both guns the action was very smooth but I had other tuned N frames that were as smooth and as light. The cost of the roller tune was perhaps about 140% or so of a regular decent action tune by top flight gunsmith. I think in the late '90's this was about $295 but don't recall for certain.

    There may have been several other individuals who offered roller tunes but never saw anything about them although one writer alluded to others.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  6. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    The problem with S&W "modern" firing mechanism (the short action one) is that about 2/3 of the hammer travel the trigger interaction with the DA sear of the hammer transitions to the SA hammer sear strut being pushed by the trigger cam. There you can't have a roller bearing, but it is critical because this is the end of the trigger cycle - the hammer "let off". On Colts and similar long actions the trigger nose keeps contact with the DA hammer sear throughout the whole cycle and a roller bearing makes much more sense. Not to mention, that this modification was made to fight the Colt's famous trigger staking, which the majority of shooters did not like at all. And which S&W short actions did not have...
     
  7. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    Mizar makes an interesting point with respect to S&W. That is perhaps why I noticed little, if any, increase in smoothness on my 625 Mtn Gun compared to a more orthodox approach to tuning. As to stacking in the Colt design there are a number of other ways to reduce or eliminate stacking that various gunsmiths used.

    Speaking of trying to increase smoothness and reduce trigger pull it would be interesting to know if anything was gained by the segmented gear drive in the High Standard Crusader revolvers of years past along with a look at the innards of one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  8. Monac

    Monac Member

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    I think that while High Standard proposed using gear segments in the Crusader trigger mechanism, the Crusaders that were actually made were not built that way. They had a conventional action with levers and so on.
     
  9. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    RugRev, I hadn't heard of the High Standard Crusader so I checked, and ya, they filed a patent for a gear driven double action system. As Monac said, I don't know if they were made that way, but on Gunbroker they are pricey. Not Korth pricey, but still up there.

    Mizar, Interesting that the roller mod was usually offered on the Python. Sounds like "gilding the lily."

    So...the end result is that the mod worked for old style S+W and Colts, but not for new S+Ws, and that no one is offering it now?

    Joe
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  11. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yes, I have one and enjoy it quite a bit. They're not as well-known as some of the other drop-in triggers, but they really are nice.
     
  12. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    "Mizar, Interesting that the roller mod was usually offered on the Python. Sounds like "gilding the lily."

    So...the end result is that the mod worked for old style S+W and Colts, but not for new S+Ws, and that no one is offering it now?"

    I think the rationale on the Python was that is was a way of eliminating the stacking. There are other methods without using roller bearings. All other things
    equal I wonder if there was much reduction in friction? The 625 Mtn. Gun was a modern short action that I had, the last iteration before the MIM guns came out. Due to differences in design the roller action was never offered on MIM guns as far as I know. As Mizar notes the roller action only worked on the first 2/3 or so of the trigger pull. As I noted I had other tuned N frame guns that were as light or lighter. But I was curious being it was offered if there were any noticeable improvement in younger years. At least I'm not curious now. Still curious about the Crusaders, though, as to whether they actually had the gear drive.

    Ah, after looking here is an article with photos of the High Standard innards:

    https://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/HSC/hsc.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  13. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    I don't care if it gains something or not - this mechanism looks like an engineering nightmare and I love it!
     
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  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I got to shoot a Sherman roller action Colt in my PPC days of the 1970s, and it was wonderful when the roller rolled. Every once in a while the roller would bind and skid across the trigger, which would really throw the shot.
    A friend has the C&S roller hammer in a S&W M625 and it is nice but not better than a conventional well honed action job.

    I used to have a link to a site showing various Colt plumber treatments, including rollers.
    I think this is it.
    http://coltpython.blogspot.com/2009/07/forensic-photos-sherman-roller-action.html#more
     
  15. Monac

    Monac Member

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    RugRev, thanks for the link to the Unblinking Eye article. That's an excellent website, and I had not read that piece.
     
  16. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    Monac, glad you got something from the article. Some nice photos of the innards along with production history. I see there is a .45 Colt Crusader on GB for $995 currently.

    Jim, appreciate all the detail. When I got my Python back from Sherman the double action was up near 8 lbs as measured on a Chatillon gauge. Putting in the Bullseye spring kit dropped it down near 6 lbs. From other reading it appears that if one wants to fire magnum primers reliably 6 lbs is about as low as one can go on a tuned Python (this was before the age of ultralight hammers and such). I think the 4.5 lb range might be for game guns with Federal primers. Seems to me some also modified the firing pin spring and perhaps the firing pin to lighten the action.

    Aside from curving the trigger shelf (??) to remove the stacking did come across 3 other approaches. One used by Austin Behlert was to cut a groove in the trigger shelf for the hammer strut to ride in with a curve. Another approach I saw suggested was to braze a sheet of metal underneath the trigger shelf to increase thickness and lengthen the trigger shelf and then milling a curve to elminate stacking using the increased thickness. A third approach an APG member suggested was modifying the end of the strut itself as to length and curve at the end. I seem to recall over at the Colt Forum probably 10-15 years ago a discussion by a member who was purchasing examples from all the master Python tuners of old to see what they did inside and trying to replicate it. Don't know if this is still up but it was in a number of discussion strings. Here is a string on the Behlert approach and efficacy:

    https://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/18799-austin-behlert-non-stacking-experiment.html
    and another:
    https://www.coltforum.com/forums/co...-what-s-da-trigger-pull-your-best-python.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  17. PWC

    PWC Member

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    As to stacking in the Colt design there are a number of other ways to reduce or eliminate stacking ......

    What is stacking please?
     
  18. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My PPC Python is a Colt Custom Shop job, reportedly done by or under the supervision of Don Tedford. It is strictly a Federal primer gun even at 6-7 lbs. A friend who was a good handtool gunsmith studied it and did four that I know of before he was killed in a wreck. They are at least as good. One got the trigger welded and shaped wider. Not as wide as a Smith Target, though.

    I got on the renowned Jerry Moran's waiting list. I waited five years only to learn he had gone to tinkering with Contenders instead of Colts. Phooey.

    Much later, I sent a 4" to Reeves Jungkind for IDPA. It is not as fine as the CCS and local copies, but it will fire all primers.


    PWC, "stacking" is an increase in weight of pull as the trigger comes back, much more apparent in a stock Colt than Smith. Full house action jobs almost eliminate it, the trigger just comes back smoothly and evenly.
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I'm impressed. That's three of the Big Four Python tuners. Wasn't the last one Fred Sandusky (sp?)

    I was also hoping to sample a Moran Python but alas I was too late. I was able shoot a Jungkind Python some before it's owner sold it during the real estate bubble burst. It was nice, but I thing I expected more...his welded trigger stop was beautiful

    I understood that he offered two levels of tune, with the lighter one only guaranteed for Federal primers

    I had my favorite Python tuned by Paul Crow who used to work out of Bill Davis' shop in West Sacramento. It served as my duty gun for a while before being pressed into service as my PPC Distinguished gun
     
  20. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    IIRC Bill Davis offered ball bearing actions for his Smith PPC revolvers. As I remember they were said to be awesome, but it was Many beers ago.
     
  21. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    I think who you were looking for was Fred Sadowski. I think he had a gunshop in Colorado. Another was Grant Cunningham. For a while in Arizona Dave Berryhill did Pythons before moving into 1911's. Others that come to mind are Cylinder & Slide, the aformentioned Jerry Moran and Reeves Jungkind along with Frank Glenn and Austin Behlert. At one time there was an APG member in SC, George Wessinger that tuned them.
     
  22. PWC

    PWC Member

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    PWC, "stacking" is an increase in weight of pull as the trigger comes back, much more apparent in a stock Colt than Smith. Full house action jobs almost eliminate it, the trigger just comes back smoothly and evenly.

    Thanks Jim; didnot understand how tolerance stacking would cause the problem.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It doesn't, it is not a matter of tolerances. The action is redesigned, modified, and retimed. A lot of work.
    People who rave about stock Python triggers are hard for me to understand, I'd rather have a good Smith than an unaltered Colt.


    Yes. By the time I got in touch, he was semi-retired and only doing the Duty job.

    Trivia: I spoke to him on the phone and asked how to pronounce his name properly.
    He said he went as spelled, Jung-kind, but his son had gone Germanic, Yunkin.
     
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