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Old 10-22-2015, 07:15 PM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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Default Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P

Is there a "simple" way to delay the drop of the cylinder stop on a 5 screw M&P so that it does not leave a drag line on cylinder? Thanks in advance. Ron
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:33 AM
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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The only way is to not shoot it. People have been known to put small strips of scotch tape on the cylinder to protect it, I have no idea how successful this might be. If you try it be sure to remove it and clean the residue off routinely, and let us know if it worked for you.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:41 AM
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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Default cylinder stop timing

Smith & Wesson cylinder rotates counter clockwise. If you rotate the cylinder, by hand, the opposite direction, it will increase the wear line. If you check the sing right, left and center, spin the cylinder in the correct direction and it will reduce the wear line.

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Old 10-23-2015, 05:53 PM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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I seem to remember reading someplace that you can peen the front edge of the cylinder stop where it is released by the trigger in order to lengthen the stop a small bit and thereby delay its release. Is this feasible or is the stop too hard to allow this? Thanks, Ron
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:32 AM
rct269 rct269 is online now
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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A few perhaps interesting FACTS:

Once upon a time, April of 1960 to be exact, I sent a matte blue K-22 back to the factory----because I wanted the "bright blue" finish. As is my wont, I asked them to give it to their very best craftsman---to go through it and make it as perfect as can be----and that I didn't care how long it took or how much it cost. It was back inside of two weeks, and I don't remember the cost, but it was next to nothing.

I still have that gun. It still looks like new. It's had about a half a box car full of ammo run through it----and it has NO TURN LINE (except for a very faint line about 3/32" long at the scalloped lead into the cylinder stop notch at each chamber). They altered the timing of the bolt/cylinder stop----which is child's play for any good gunsmith. (It goes down and stays down---until 3/32'' before the lead.)

You will hear such is ill advised (I heard it from Jinks.), because such an alteration will cause the gun to skip chambers during rapid double action use. About half of that half a box car full of ammo was consumed during rapid double action fire----during my efforts to emulate McGivern (which failed). It has NEVER skipped a chamber.

I have a "Roper Custom" (Colt Officers Model 38) with the same alteration----and NO line. I have a Colt SAA prepared by Bill Oglesby with the same alteration----and NO LINE. The Oglesby gun had everything done which can be done to a SAA. Sounds expensive doesn't it? $210 in the mid 90's.

Ralph Tremaine

It's worthy of note that I did not ask to have the timing altered to negate a turn line on either the K-22 or the SAA. I asked that the K-22 be as perfect as it can be----period. Oglesby had three "package deals" ranging from just a trigger job to everything---had names for them. I don't recall the first two---Road Agent might have been one of them. The top of the line was "The Shootist". I asked what that was. The answer---everything that can be done. That sounded good to me as is---no need for a laundry list.

Last edited by rct269; 10-24-2015 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:58 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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Two things are true: The cyl stop is designed in such a way as to eventually leave a cyl ring half way between each pair of cyl lock notches. And any revolver can be fine tuned to avoid making a cyl ring although with anything but conscientious handling it will usually develop anyway.

The cyl turns counter clockwise, and the left edge of the cyl bolt is the leading edge which would appear to be the edge that causes the cyl ring. However there's more to this than may be immediately apparent.

As we know, the Smith cyl lock bolt is centered in the frame and the upper surface is square (not slanted like a single action which uses an offset cyl bolt). Therefore the flat top surface of the DA bolt meets the cyl surface almost squarely. Almost because, considering the curvature of the cyl, technically only the center of the bolt's surface contacts the cyl. The top surface of the bolt rubs against the cyl, not the left edge. That's why roughness or tool marks in the surface of the bolt does the line inscribing. The left bolt edge never has the opportunity to contact the cyl surface, certainly not by itself to cut into it.

So the leading left edge of the cyl bolt also encounters the cyl notch approach ramp first. The approach ramp is on an angle lower than the surface of the cyl, right? Therefore the left edge gets even farther from contact with the cyl as it enters the ramp. Then the center surface of the bolt loses contact as the right side half of the bolt surface rides over the edge into the ramp until, at the beginning edge of the ramp, the right edge alone makes contact with the cyl.

That's when a sharp right side edge of the bolt in contact by itself starts cutting at the entrance edge of the approach ramp and continues its cutting action all the way across the approach ramp, the bolt continuing to rise as it gets deeper until the right bolt edge slips over, cutting the right notch edge as it goes, finally popping up into the notch.

Hence the importance of breaking the knife edges of the bolt, but particularly the right side edge! Breaking the knife edge on the left edge of the bolt is good too and helps prevent cutting, rounding or chipping of the left side edge of the cyl notch when the gun is cocked.

The fine abrasive wheel I advocate only for removing tool marks in the surface of the bolt which can be pretty rough, works very well in experienced hands and it's quicker; about 5 seconds. But never for breaking the sharp side edges. Another 5 seconds with the cotton polishing buff wheel w/rouge will give a mirror finish to the bolt surface and break the sharp side edges at the same time w/o ever focusing directly on the edges with any tool.

So I feel everyone is free to make their own choice of tool usage based on their own experience. If they feel more comfortable to do it by hand I don't tell them not to and I also don't tell them not to use a Dremel tool.


"S&Ws answer to the cyl ring: Someone else posted these the other day, but I can't find the thread to credit the person who posted them. They are useful for threads like this. It appears that S&W's were designed to have a drag line long before the '70's. by Gun 4 Fun"
Photos of documentation in this thread: Model 29 turn line


There are several aspects to the cylinder ring issue:

#1. POLISHING THE CYLINDER STOP BOLT: For all SA and DA revolvers - the single most important preventative action you can take and the 1st thing I do on any revolver of mine, new or used is 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!! This is especially true on stainless which is relatively soft and therefore similar to aluminum when it is machined in that it has a tendency to gall like those little cuts or chisel marks seen on SS cylinders from a sharp edged Cyl stop.

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 overdo it unless it needs reshaping anyway to better fit and center in the cylinder notches. If you do nothing else, this is the single most important thing you can do to avoid that ugly cylinder ring! And it has delayed the bolt from even wearing all the way thru the bluing on a new gun after years of shooting on some of mine.

#2. NEW MODEL RUGER SAs: Mostly you have to rely on #1. I have blue Ruger SAs with barely a noticeable line not even thru the bluing after hundreds of Cowboy Shooting matches. The Ruger bolt, by engineering design, rises up far too soon to hit in the approach ramp to the cylinder notch. Before closing the loading gate on new models, make sure to turn the cylinder by hand so the notch is aligned above the bolt to minimize the bolt rubbing on the cylinder surface.

#3. COLTS, RUGER 3 screws and Similar: First priority: proper handling of these old design SAs is the secret. Then rely on #1 above for insurance especially for Rugers; again by design the bolt comes up too soon! Most do not realize that once you cock the hammer of a properly timed SA, you MUST COMPLETE THE CYCLE!! Never drop the hammer from safety notch or half cock; always cycle all the way thru the full cock position and then let the hammer down. If you don't, you get the same effect of the new model Rugers above: the cylinder has not been moved thru its full cycle which allows the bolt to pop up on the cylinder surface. Also, bolt springs on these older design SAs are always too strong! Use an after-market lighter spring. Just don't go too light or under hard and fast cocking, you can slam the cylinder notch right past the bolt with potentially ugly results when the trigger is pulled. I have Colt's that I've shot for years with no ring on the cylinder at all; only a shiny spot in the approach ramp to the cylinder notch.
UPDATE: Last month I tuned up a newly purchased, brand new out of the box Colt SAA. I was amazed to discover that the cylinder bolt had a mirror polish on it from the factory. I also noticed the hammer spring was tapered and of lighter weight. The factory confirmed the new spring is now standard issue. I don't know about the polished bolt yet but at least one smithy at Colt got the idea!

#4. DA REVOLVERS: Rely on #1 above! Like Ruger SAs, even with perfectly timed actions, by design, the bolt on DAs is raised early in the cylinder cycle. Eventually you may get a line on the cylinder but it should never be completely around the cylinder; only 1/2 way to the next cylinder notch. A simple habit when you close the cylinder, with your left hand grasp it around the bottom of the frame with thumb and forefinger in opposing flutes positioning them at 3 and 9 o'clock when closing the cylinder will prevent scribing and becomes so natural after a while, one doesn't even have to think about. This works on five shot cylinders as well by positioning two flutes at 4 and 8 o'clock. Once closing the cylinder in alignment becomes a habit which is like after the 2nd time you do it for most of us, it's no "effort" what so ever; or about as much effort as remembering to breath. This WILL mitigate a full cylinder ring and at least limit it to an interrupted ring.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:50 AM
BibleronKJV BibleronKJV is offline
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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Ralph and Jim, Thank you so much for your extensive answers to my question. I have heard about polishing the bolt and this seems to be a good "simple" answer to the problem. I have a nice prewar 38/44 HD which has a small turn line and I want to prevent it from getting worse so I will begin by polishing the bolt as advised. Thanks again, Ron
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:25 PM
RVRSMITH RVRSMITH is offline
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Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P Cylinder stop timing on 5 screw M&P  
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Unfortunatly if you delay the cylinder stop "return timing " you induce the risk of throw by, where the cylinder "misses" the window of oppertunity to stop the cylinder While shooting double action. The tape idea is a great idea for what i hear you guys talking about, never heard of it! Safe shooting
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:13 PM
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Jim, Hondo44, explains in great detail. Thank you, Jim. Your post is very impressive.

On a 1948 production K38 Masterpiece, I had owned for many years, the cylinder stop arm broke. Note: this is the ONLY S&W I've owned in all my years that broke the cylinder stop arm other than a "very" well used .44 American. I immediately noticed the broken arm was very narrow ... not from wear but rather as originally manufactured in 1948. Also, the block that the arm is part of was smaller than other pre-model number, 5 Screw K38 Masterpieces.

After ordering what I thought to be the correct arm to get 2 incorrect arms as I had asked for a 5 screw, pre-model number. I also noticed the "block" it is part of has very minor shape and size variations. So slight you cannot see by eye, and can narrow it down by stacking the replacement over the broken block but needed to get the calipers out to precisely choose the correct arm.

In disgust I looked in my bag of tricks to determine the arm was exactly the same arm that was from an old Victory. I had several of these cylinder stops in my bag of tricks, 3 being identical. In short, I had the exact spec-ed part all along but never considered it would interchange with a Victory as the K38 was a new model after WWII. Evidently, prior to the modifications implemented in the 1950 (or thereabout) variation, S&W likely used up all the Victory and 1905, 4th parts until there were no more.

it seemed these arms were stamped out with no detail or care for sharp edges with only the "block" part of it being machined and somewhat polished. Before re-installing the new / used (from an old Victory) arm, I lightly buffed (with fine rouge and a solid / compressed cotton small dremel wheel) the outer side rough edges of the pop-up and just a light buff on the pop-up "bump" flat area. I noticed that is now slips easier then my next, closed year (about a 1950 year of production) and locks up just as tight.

I thought ... what a great idea to do on a newer gun to prevent or lessen the drag marks ... but I never got around to doing such on any of the others chiefly because of the time and patience it takes to do it.

I don't know about anyone else but I'm extremely methodical in my dismantle and reassembly procedures on anything, so it likely took me 3x the amount of time it would take an experienced gunsmith but was very rewarding knowing that I had accomplished something I had never before endeavored on this model.

Had it been a newer model with a factory new "drop-in" part, I may not have felt as dramatically concerned to measure and compare as if I had OCD. However, scrounging for parts out of the old 100-year bin, you have to make sure you have to make triple sure the part is "iiiiiiii-dentical" [Lane Smith as Prosecuting Attorney in My Cousin Vinny]

PS: If you think I'm bad, I once asked Charlie for a few .44 American parts. He responded asking precise dimensions to the thousandths of an inch.

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Last edited by model3sw; 07-18-2018 at 06:03 PM.
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