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Old 04-06-2009, 10:03 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Just like Ruger SA guns, even with perfectly timed actions, by engineering design, the bolt on Smith DAs is raised too early in the cylinder rotation cycle. Eventually you will get a line on DAs and Ruger SAs, 1/2 way to the next cylinder notch. But it should never be completely around the cylinder; that's a timing and/or handling problem.

Having said that, I got tired of accepting those lines on any of my guns Single or double actions.
The single most important preventative action I suggest and the 1st thing I do on any revolver I obtain, new or used is to pull the cylinder (or open it, in the case of DAs) and polish the cylinder bolt! They all come with file marks just waiting to carve out a line and groove in your cylinder finish!! With a VERY FINE abrasive wheel in your dremel tool, polish out the file marks and then with a felt buffing wheel and white rouge (for stainless steel) put a mirror finish on it. Don't forget to mask off the frame and breech face all around the bolt with duct tape because the dremel will slip off the bolt. And don't over do it unless it needs reshaping anyway to better fit your cylinder notches. If you do nothing else, this is something you can do to avoid that ugly cylinder ring or at least delay it for a long time!

I'm getting less patient in my old age and more sophisticated in my solutions. Since I tune Smith's all the time I decided to tune up the "engineering'. The "trigger hook" (official name) on the front end of the trigger operates the cylinder bolt by engaging and pushing down on the "point" of the cylinder stop/bolt. Anyone who has ever taken off a sideplate and pulled the trigger has seen it. No doubt, the too early "bolt drop" was engineered in years ago for good reason: during rapid and hard double action shooting, no one wants 'cylinder bypass!

By experimenting with new unfitted parts, and extending the bolt point and/or trigger hook with tig welding (like used in rebuilding Colt single action hammers) the bolt drop can be delayed. All I wanted was to delay it long enough to drop into the approach ramp to the cylinder notch instead of the cylinder surface. It's obtainable without compromising reliability.

Starting with Model 29-3E in 1987 by 1990 the Model 29 enduarnce package was completed with the final addition of deeper bolt notches. This I think makes my remedy even more reliable on 29s.

I'm surprised gunsmiths don't offer this 'tune up' as far as I know. Probably just a lack of market demand. There's a similar solution that has been devised (not by me) for Ruger SAs which is even simpler. However I have too many Smiths and too little time to tune the cylinder bolt on all of them and polishing the bolt is an 85% improvement...100% on guns used less often.
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