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Stiff cylinder on GP100

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by WrongHanded, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    I'd been using my 6" blued GP100 with handloads pretty regularly for a few months, but for the last 6 weeks or so it's been sitting in the safe. I went to it recently and found that the cylinder, at first didn't want to turn, and was then very stiff. Stiff enough to effect cycling the action.

    I was pretty surprised because I clean all my guns after shooting, especially those that I shoot handloads through. I cleaned it again and dropped some oil down between the cylinder and the axle/spindle (not sure of the correct name). As the oil returned through spinning the cylinder, I found it to be a thick and muddy brown. Same for the ejector rod on both ends.

    It's functioning correctly now, but I'm curious as to what caused the issue and how to better prevent it. I'm wondering if some combination of the powders I've used for handloads and it being a carbon steel gun are part of the problem. I know some people recommend that revolvers have dry rather than oiled internals. Perhaps these areas also need to go un-oiled?
     
  2. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    Dirty powder is one thing for sure. If your are using a load at the bottom end of the particular powder's range they tend to burn dirty and create a bunch of soot.
    This soot gets in between the cylinder and the crane and gums up the bearing surface where the cylinder rotates. Dropping a little oil in there will help loosen it up but there are a couple of things to prevent it on a more longer term.

    1) Switch to a powder that is more suited to the loads you are shooting. If you are making very light loads with something like Unique it will burn very dirty. Try either upping the loads to closer to the mid or max ranges based on the powder/bullet combo or switching to a powder with a faster burn rate, which will be more suited to the velocity you are looking to achieve

    2) Switch to grease for lubing the bearing surface between the cylinder and the crane. The thicker grease will help keep out the infiltration of soot and keep things running smoother for a longer period of time.

    Between these two tips you should be able to solve the issue.

    NOTE: When you start to feel your gun binding up, stop shooting it and clean it. It puts undue stress on the trigger components to try and use them to force a cylinder that is dragging.
     
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  3. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    The powders were definitely producing a lot of soot as I was working up loads learning how to reload. I'm burning cleaner now as I've worked the pressures up close to maximum.

    Regarding the grease, I did recently get some thicker gun oil, but I can't remember the brand. That's been squirted in there as best I can. But perhaps this weekend I'll have to break the gun down to thoroughly clean out that area, and grease it.
     
  4. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Brake cleaner is the friend you need for those hard to reach places... But, if you have rust in there it's better to fully disassemble and clean thoroughly.
     
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  5. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Member

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    I've been befuddled by the same thing. I'll get a revolver so clean I could use it in an operating room, do fifty rounds, and find horrendous filthy black gunk on the rod. Lucky for me, I kinda like cleaning 'em.
     
  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I like brake cleaner, but I rarely use it on firearms because of the time out takes to re-oil all the surfaces I might have degreased. A gun should never be degreased unless you're doing something (finishing) that requires such,and then you need to find another way to protect it. A truly clean carbon steel surface will rust surprisingly quickly.
     
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  7. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I have noted the same problem, but since the cylinder rotated freely enough before cleaning, later noted to be sluggish, I concluded that it was caused by the cleaning solution gumming up as it dried. Working a drop of light oil in there has seemed to be the trick. However, I don't own any blued double actions, so can't comment on the rust possibility. This is easier for me to take the cylinder apart on a Smith than a Ruger to really get in there, so I pretty much rely on just the oil. I stay away from dirty loads as much as I can.

    On the issue of grease, I have noted the report of Frog Lube gumming up as the medium dries out, so I don't use that on something I am not cleaning regularly like I do my cowboy guns. EWG seems to be a good product.
     
  8. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I like the Birchwood Casey synthetic safe aerosol cleaner for those hard to reach places followed by CLP.
     
  9. Johnnu

    Johnnu Member

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    I keep my guns very clean and lubed.... clean after each shooting. Several years ago, I took a Ruger Single Six out for a spin. It had not been touched in 4 or 5 years. It was locked up so tight that nothing would move; like cement. I took it completely apart, re-cleaned and lightly lubed and it functioned perfectly. Also, years ago, a S&W tech suggested cleaning a Mod. 41 by simply leaving it (without grips) soaking in Kerosene for a week, then blowing it out with an air gun. Never tried it, but it would probably clean and lube in one procedure. J.
     
  10. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    Taking the cylinder and crane apart for a thorough cleaning on a GP-100, Redhawk, or Super Redhawk is not rocket science. Plenty of diagrams and youtube videos to guide you through it.

    I recommend the grease for the cylinder/crane forward bearing surface as it seems to do a better job that oil for keeping the hot gas and soot from the B/C gap from getting in the forward bearing surface. I use the red Mobil 1 bearing grease and am happy with it...that and a tub will pretty much last you the rest of your natural life if used only for greasing your guns.
     
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  11. jimeast

    jimeast Member

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    I found this youtube video a while back on how to properly oil and lube firearms. It's long, but the fellow making the video has the credentials that warranted an hour of my time.

     
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  12. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I don't know how old your gun is, but the brownish color to indicates that it was old packing grease you flushed out. Powder residue is usually black. Probably a mixture of the two.

    I don't buy many new guns, but you should probably give them a good flush with Gunscrubber or some product like it when you first bring them home. Which you may have done for all I know. I do it with every used gun I buy. I don't take them down to the last part, I just spray the stuff anywhere I think it needs to be sprayed.

    I'll do it after than from time to time.
     
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  13. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    This evening, I disassembled the cylinder to the point where I needed a specialized forked tool, and stopped there, just short of removing the extractor star. There was no rust, but it was certainly dirty. I cleaned everything as well as seemed necessary and chose to try greasing the main bearing surfaces.

    After reassembly the cylinder spins more smoothly, and everything functions as intended. Pretty easy work after checking out some videos.
     
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  14. Shane in MT

    Shane in MT Member

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    Sometimes unburned powder or carbon can build up under the extractor star, and bind the cylinder. Usually brushing it out with a toothbrush or similar is all it takes.
     
  15. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    Mine got so sticky it would barely cycle. I thought a reload swelled up the cylinder it. I detailed stripped it and found a tiny piece of sticky lead under the star. At the time I was shooting lots of .38s. I had to look and look for it.

    What are you loads?
     
  16. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Member

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    I'd been loading 158gr polycoated LSWC. First with IMR 4227, then when I could find 2400 I switched to that.

    I've had the same issue with dirt under the extractor star. This was different because it was still stiff with the cylinder swung outside of the frame.
     
  17. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    That sort of thing along with many others assumes good short term memory; which, trust me, is not to be taken for granted. Taking guns completely apart and then getting them back together without a struggle is not for everyone. Once you know you might have issues, you lack confidence in attempting such things, which is not to say you couldn't muddle through it yet with some resolve to never try it again.
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Is what Break Free CLP turned to in my 337pd. Flushed it out with WD-40, been ok since. (Please no WD-40 debate) .
     
  19. JohnhenrySTL

    JohnhenrySTL Member

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    Ruger has a detail strip video on the web sight for the GP. I used it with success.
     

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