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Old 10-06-2010, 01:46 AM
Recoil Rob Recoil Rob is offline
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Default Cylinder Drag Lines - Prevention?

I have acquired a few high condition revolvers and would like to keep them that way. Is there anyway to prevent or at least minimize the drag line a bolt wears into a cylinder? I seem to remember reading about a collector taking apart a new revolver to polish the bolt to avoid a drag line. Can it be done?


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Rob
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:17 AM
john traveler john traveler is offline
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The cylinder drag line is characteristic of a normal-functioning of a S&W revolver action. Polishing the top of the cylinder stop and reducing the strength of the stop spring are theoretical ways of minimizing the drag line but are not recommended because they may impair functional reliability.

The only way to completely avoid the drag line is to avoid cycling the action.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:07 AM
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Only way to eliminate them is to never rotate the cylinder.

Before I knew about Collector Grade guns a friend handed me his beautiful Smith. Not knowing better, the first thing I did was opened the cylinder to make sure it was empty. Thank God I didn't turn the cylinder. I think he would have shot me.
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzShooter View Post
Only way to eliminate them is to never rotate the cylinder.

Before I knew about Collector Grade guns a friend handed me his beautiful Smith. Not knowing better, the first thing I did was opened the cylinder to make sure it was empty. Thank God I didn't turn the cylinder. I think he would have shot me.
But probably with a different gun.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:06 AM
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Hi:
In the very distant past I shot "Bullseye" revoler matches. A older gentleman that shot in my classfication used Colt Officers Model Match 22 and 38 revolvers. Before each match He applied a drop of oil to each cylinder notch and the cylinder locking bolt. This was his method of protecting from getting a "Turn Line". It worked for him.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:40 AM
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I have a 5-screw k22 that is timed so it doesn't scratch the cylinder. I've never shot it really fast DA, but it seems to function fine. All my other S&W revolvers scratch the cylinder. I've gotten used to it.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:55 PM
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A Colt such as a Python, properly timed, will pop the bolt/cylinder stop up into the first third of the cylinder leadin notch and not create a 'cylinder line'. I would guess that if all the parts that interact to activate a S&W cylinder stop were 'timed', the same thing could be done. It would be an interesting mechanical exercise to try and do it, but not on a revolver you actually have fun shooting.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:58 PM
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I have a new 27 from the factory that has a line on it, I got it new and never shot it.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:12 PM
jepp2 jepp2 is offline
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If you read post #10 under the FAQ sticky at the top of the S&W-Smithing forum, you will see a suggestion for minimizing the line.

I normally lightly polish the top of the stop with crocus cloth and break the sharp edges. This significantly reduces the line for me, YMMV. Key here is to not remove metal, just smooth the surfaces.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:11 PM
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The cylinder stop and the front part of the trigger that interacts with it can be "smithed" so that it allows you to time the stop when it comes up and locks into place. THIS IS NOT FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. You must completely understand the relationship between the front of the trigger and the cylinder stop. I have done this to two of my K 22's and now the stop comes up right at the point where the groove is cut to slide the stop into the notch.

It can be done but it is tricky. My guns work fine in SA or DA mode.

Edit, The trigger/cylinder stop timing is also in direct relationship to the hand and ratchet timing.

John

Last edited by jspick; 10-06-2010 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:06 PM
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For those concerned about the turn line, it can be minimized by polishing the top of the cylinder stop to a mirror finish. This M28 has around 8000 rounds through it. I polished the stop back when it was new and I was a little more concerned about this kind of stuff. The line shows up better in the pic than it does in ordinary daylight.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpsix View Post
A Colt such as a Python, properly timed, will pop the bolt/cylinder stop up into the first third of the cylinder leadin notch and not create a 'cylinder line'. I would guess that if all the parts that interact to activate a S&W cylinder stop were 'timed', the same thing could be done.
The SW is a different design than a Colt. The SW stop is supposed to pop up about 1/3 of the way to the next notch. I wouldn't even try to delay the stop release so much it came up at the notch.

Last edited by bountyhunter; 10-07-2010 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye Smith View Post
I have a new 27 from the factory that has a line on it, I got it new and never shot it.
The factory did, that's why there's a line.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:30 AM
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The factory did, that's why there's a line.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:24 PM
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:54 PM
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I don't concern myself with such things......I wish I had the time to fret about ways to gunsmith my S&W to avoid a line caused by normal operation of the revolver Only a true OCD crank would actually pop off the sideplate and start stoning and filing to try to change the timing of the bolt stop, in other words, make the revolver work in a way other than S&W intended!

It's like asking how can I drive my car without putting any wear on my tires? Should I stop and get out every 2 miles and re-apply a coat of spray on rubber to them?

It is true, my brand NIB 617 had a nice turn line when I bought it, probably from people fooling with it in the store, since this was bought out of the case at Gander Mt. Not much I can do, really don't care since I shoot the heck out of this gun anyway.

I don't have any safe queens or NIB revolvers, all of them are shooters. I think all the things people get way too anal about are things that look good on my revolvers......I love burn rings on the cylinder face,the white circles around the chambers on blued revolvers, a normal turn line. It means the revolver is working fine, is shootable and has been enjoyed

Trying to take extra steps to avoid a turn line in a revolver you shoot is just adding extra worry to life, just shoot them and enjoy, let your great grandkids in 100 years worry about the turn line you put on the revolver while you were alive and enjoying the gun.

Last edited by stantheman86; 10-11-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:28 PM
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I did notice that my S&W's and Rugers varied greatly as to where the cylinder latch popped up to engage the notch. I have a 17-3 that hasn't been fool with,(to my knowledge), and the cylinder latch pops up IN the cut groove leading to the cylinder notch. I took it apart and saw the relationship between the latch, trigger , hand and saw that it varied a lot in several of my guns. I had a 629-1 that also had a very short turn line on the cylinder. A 200th year SS Blackhawk has no turn line and I have shot it a lot. No two are alike. It is possible to time and it will work like the factory meant it too.

I have only done the one as I really don't care either.

John
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspick View Post
No two are alike. It is possible to time and it will work like the factory meant it too.
The factory meant the stop to pop back up about 40% of the way to the next notch. You can look at any cylinder on a used SW: the drag line is heavier on the latter 60% of the circumference and light on the first part. The first part gets a lighter line from closing the cylinder and then turning it by hand to index to a notch. The heavy drag line is from the stop riding the cylinder during trigger pulls.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2010, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
The factory meant the stop to pop back up about 40% of the way to the next notch. You can look at any cylinder on a used SW: the drag line is heavier on the latter 60% of the circumference and light on the first part. The first part gets a lighter line from closing the cylinder and then turning it by hand to index to a notch. The heavy drag line is from the stop riding the cylinder during trigger pulls.
Yup, you can polish the cylinder stop but it will wear into the bluing. If you don't want a ring don't turn it. You can do some amazing things with cold blue and 0000 wool. Warm the cylinder first and plan on several coatings.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:18 PM
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It's different with on all revolvers. I have some that the line is as thin as a needle even after a few hundred rounds, then some start thick and become thinner as it reaches the next notch, and two are very pronounced. They all shoot very accurately but then again it usually the shooters ability...
Keeping the internals and notches clean and oiled might keep the line from becoming more pronounced.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:26 PM
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I have found that if you close the cylinder with a hole aligned with the barrel you don't have to index the cylinder to latch it. It takes a little practice but it is easy to do. I don't really care about the turn line on my revolvers but I do try to keep them to a minimum.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:42 PM
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If you own a Smith and you shoot it, you will quickly develop a drag line. Just the way it is. They are all like that.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:21 PM
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The "less flat" ( more rounded) with a ever so slight angle to the top of the cylinder stop, the "thinner" the line...nature of the beast.
a said above, a bit of oil on it, when you are gonna shoot it, does lessen the 'wear' ....its when this 'line' is zig-zig, interupted, skips ,etc , . then there is a problem..........the line should be the same , the entire length, as there is no additional pressure on the 'stop' during the cycle, once it unlocks (jumps/releases) the spring keeps the pressure upward, and the nose of the trigger is angling down, and away from the face of the 'stop'.
Really 'neat' the thought that went into this design............
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:38 PM
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Mr. Smith is correct. Most S&Ws come from the factory now with drag lines. I surmise the assemblers aren't as careful as in years past. One of the few S&Ws I've bought without a drag line was a Model 686 CS-1. I carried and shot this gun for years and it never showed a drag line. An old Smith dealer once showed me how to avoid the drag line. Normal cycling with a properly times Smith won't cause a line. It's usually from opening and closing the cylinder , then turning the cylinder to index it. This gentleman showed me how to index the cylinder while closing, and after doing so for many years it has become second nature. Still no drag line on my CS-1 so this works.
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Old 05-27-2018, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman86 View Post
I don't concern myself with such things......I wish I had the time to fret about ways to gunsmith my S&W to avoid a line caused by normal operation of the revolver Only a true OCD crank would actually pop off the sideplate and start stoning and filing to try to change the timing of the bolt stop, in other words, make the revolver work in a way other than S&W intended!

It's like asking how can I drive my car without putting any wear on my tires? Should I stop and get out every 2 miles and re-apply a coat of spray on rubber to them?

It is true, my brand NIB 617 had a nice turn line when I bought it, probably from people fooling with it in the store, since this was bought out of the case at Gander Mt. Not much I can do, really don't care since I shoot the heck out of this gun anyway.

I don't have any safe queens or NIB revolvers, all of them are shooters. I think all the things people get way too anal about are things that look good on my revolvers......I love burn rings on the cylinder face,the white circles around the chambers on blued revolvers, a normal turn line. It means the revolver is working fine, is shootable and has been enjoyed

Trying to take extra steps to avoid a turn line in a revolver you shoot is just adding extra worry to life, just shoot them and enjoy, let your great grandkids in 100 years worry about the turn line you put on the revolver while you were alive and enjoying the gun.
Thank you so much for the eye opening insight. Just inherited my Dad's Python, and was "upset" about the turn lines. You made me realize these are the proof of how he loved and shot the gun! Your insight has given me new meaning to the lines - and I now appreciate seeing them!
Thank you,
Fred
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:00 PM
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I'm so glad to hear all the knowledgable and honest opinions here.
In the past, on "other" forums, I'd ask about the cylinder scoring on my own gun and I'd get bombarded with "your revolver is out of time"...along with claims that their own revolvers didn't have any score marks. That used to annoy me, because if that were true, then every revolver I've ever owned, handled, or only seen must have been "out of time" because they all had the score mark. Even the Italian repro percussion revolvers. It is just a wheelgun thing, it's what they do.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:04 PM
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The cylinder line is an inherent kinda thing.........



.

My engraved N frame doesn't show much of a line....

The engraving camouflage's it.




.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:14 PM
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I like my drag lines. It shows that I shoot the revolvers.
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