Mississippi Gun Owners banner

Re-timing Revolvers

10888 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Doug Bowser
Had an interesting conversation with a friend today. We were discussing the frequency with which it would become necessary to re-time a revolver.

His take was about every 1500 rds....I took issue with it based many upon the fact that most revolvers I've had have way more than that through them without any issues.

So my question is

1. What are the symptoms that you see from a revolver...telling you its time to go see the smith? Lead blowback while firing? I guess that's telling you that the cylinder is not properly lining up with the forcing cone?

2. How many rounds does this typically take? For example...I would imagine an ICORE shooter would have to be real good friends with a gunsmith if this needed to be done every 1500 rds...As I'd imagine 500 rds a month would be pretty average for usage

For the sake of discussion...we'll say S&W revolvers

What say ya'll?
1 - 2 of 11 Posts
From what I understand timing is the locking of the cylinder bolt into the recesses in the cylinder. When the hammer is drawn back the cylinder lock should engage the cylinder recesses before the hammer is all the way to the rear. To check cylinder alignment, use a field rod bought at Brownell's. This alignes the cylinder to the bore. The crane has to be bent to do this in some revolvers. The major reason for misalignment is slapping the cylinder itno the frame, like a private eye in a B grade movie. This action bends the crane and causes the misalignment.

To check for timing, unload the revolver , lightly hold the cylinder between the index finger and the thumb, cock the revolver slowly and when the hammer is all the way to the rear, rotate the cylinder slightly and see if the cylinder lock is in the notch on the cylinder. If it is not, you will hear a slight click.Try this on all chambers.

The S&W revolvers made before 1980 are hard to get out of time. My K38 model 14 has been fired tens of thousands of times and it is still in time. I have fired that revolver 80,000+ times with lead bullets and it is in time as well as it is VERY accurate. The use of jacketed bullets in a revolver wears the throat excessively and can cause a frame cut to appear on the frame above the cylinder gap. This is especially true of hot loads. I have a 1904 mfg S&W Hand Ejector and it is in perfect time.

To correct the timing on a S&W revolver, replace the hand. This is the part that turns the cylinder. It is necessary to fit the hand to the cylinder.

On a Colt older style revolver, the hand (pawl) is relatively soft and can be lengthened by Striking it on an anvil with the pein end of a ball-pein hammer. Just lay the hand on the anvil flat wise and lightly tap the hand below the notch in the hand. This works well when the timing is very close to being OK,.otherwise, replace the hand.

One of my objections to Colt's revolvers is, they get out of time easier than S&W. Yes, even the Python.

The hand or Pawl, is made softer than the star or extractor assembly. It is cheaper to replace a hand than the extractor.

The newer Colt's revolvers (Lawman Series etc.) must have the hand replaced to re-time the cylinder

See less See more
You can hardly wear a pistol barrel out with lead bullets.

1 - 2 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.