?Mistreating? a Single Action? (what *NOT* to do?)

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MacTech

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
19
I'm a newbie to SA revolvers, and I love them, but I have a few questions about the proper way to take care of them, I don't want to be inadvertently damaging/abusing my new "toy"....

From what I've been able to gather....

Spinning the cylinder; does it hurt anything to give the cylinder a rapid spin and enjoy the clickety-ratchety sounds? I know "Hollywooding" is bad for DA revolvers, as it can prematurely wear/knock the crane out of alignment, but if I drop the loading gate on my NMBH and give the cylinder a good spin, enjoying the "VZZZZZZzzzzzz...." noise, am I hurting anything?

Preventing the "drag line"; From what I can gather, the best way to prevent/reduce the dragline on a new-model 'Hawk is to center a chamber under the barrel before closing the loading gate, don't just close the gate anywhere and manually turn the cylinder to the next lock point, that's what causes the dragline

Dry-Firing; it's okay for centerfire SA, but *BAD* for rimfire, my solutions? for centerfire, I use snap-caps, call me paranoid if you must, but I'd rather err on the side of caution, for rimfire, I keep my fired .22LR brass and use them as consumable snap-caps, they're generally good for about four dry fires per use as long as you rotate them to keep "fresh" brass under the firing pin

Handling a blued gun; after handling, I wipe all blued metal parts down with a silicone cloth, it may be obsessive-compulsive, but I have yet to see a fingerprint-shaped rust spot

Lubrication; a little goes a long way, a single drop of CLP/Breakfree on the hammer pivot keeps things smooth

Cleaning; after every range trip, the cylinder and barrel get a quick Boresnaking, then an oil-patch, it also allows me to closely inspect the gun for any mechanical issues/problems, thankfully, I've never had an issue, spending a little quality time now beats troubleshooting a negligence-induced failure later

Any other hints for the revolver newbie, SA-specific or otherwise?
 

Luckyducker

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
199
Location
Ft. Morgan, CO
M/T, you should never "spin" the cylinder of a single action revolver. Other than that you are good to go. BTW, I dry fire my single action CF Ruger SA's frequently as this causes no harm whatsoever to them.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,311
Location
Dallas, TX
No problem with spinning the cylinder. That is why I bought my New Model Vaquero, it's a lot smoother than the Blackhawk. All Ruger single action are safe to dry fire, it says so in the manual.

It's also not a good idea to "fan" the gun when you are shooting. I don't do it, but I believe "fanning" is holding the trigger in the firing position and at the same time activating the hammer with your free hand.
 

Bozack

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
107
Location
Commack, N.Y.
You are on the right track. Spinning a Rugers cylinder is not something you want to get in the habbit of doing. I don't think it will hurt the gun once in awhile, though. And just to let you know, I have seen rust in the shape of a fingerprint. It is not pretty. Keep your guns clean and oiled and you will be much happier.
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
Incessantly spinning the cylinder is a big no-no and will garner a stern reaction in a gun shop. Folks that do it to my guns don't get the chance to do it again.

Fanning is the worst thing you can do with a factory sixgun, aside from dragging it behind your truck.

There's no way to prevent the cylinder ring on a New Model, without modifying the action. In short, don't worry about it.

Dry firing is okay for New Model centerfires but never a good idea on any rimfire, even a New Model Ruger. Just returned a Bearcat to Ruger because every chamber was peened over from firing pin strikes. Use snap caps or empty cases.

On Old Models, Colt SAA's and replicas or any sixgun with a traditional half-cock action, NEVER lower the hammer from the half cock notch. ALWAYS draw the hammer all the way back to the full cock position before lowering it, slowly. Lowering from the half cock notch is what rings the cylinder on an otherwise properly timed single action.

Don't forget to periodically put a drop of CLP on your basepin.
 

ProfessorWes

Hunter
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
2,664
Location
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Question: Does "fanning" also ring the cylinder on a traditional SA (like the OM Ruger or classic Colt SAA)?

I was looking over a USFA Colt in .45 in a local gunshop the other day. Nice looking gun; high-polish blue, case-hardened frame, walnut stocks. The only problem was that it had a truly horrible turn ring literally engraved into the cylinder; even the locking notches looked worn.

The shop wanted $999 for it. It looked too abused to take a chance on at even half that price...
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
554
Location
Nevada
Howdy!
Fanning is not holding the trigger back while repetitively cocking the hammer with your off hand thumb and letting it 'slip' foward. That is called "slip-hammering" actually, and is common in cowboy action shooting among very fast shooters. Rough on the gun? Probably a bit, but those that do it probably care more about winning than prematurely wearing out their sixguns. Rugers, I suspect, handle it better than the Italian clones with their less robust construction and materials.

Fanning is using your off hand palm to 'fan' the hammer back forcefully and quickly while pulling the trigger back at the same time so the gun fires. That quick jerk on the hammer wreaks havoc on the hand/pawl and hammer and is not a recommeded way to fire the revolver. It is also leads to quite inaccurate shooting in my opinion (but looks good on film).

Sacramento Johnson, an old slow CAS shooter...
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
554
Location
Nevada
Howdy again!
As for spinning a Ruger Vaquero or Blackhawk cylinder (after opening the cylinder gate to free it up), I don't see why not. They are not as fragile as Colts or Colt clones, and don't need a cylinder pin bushing. Just line up the cylinder hole/flutes before locking the gate (after the cylinder stops spinning) to prevent the cylinder line from forming. I put a little general use red grease on all my sixgun cylinder pins (unless I'm shooting black powder; then I use non-petroleum based grease). I also grease the rear cylinder notches and the front cylinder bushing where it meets the frame.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Location
Land of the Pilgrims
Howdy

My cousin Sacramento Johnson is correct about the difference between fanning and slip hammering. Slip hammering is a controlled way to fire the gun, the gun is held in two hands and sighted normally. The dominant hand holds the trigger back while the thumb of the other hand yanks the hammer back and releases it. Nothing in this process will damage the gun. In truth though, if you ask really fast Cowboy shooters, very few of them actually slip hammer the gun, most are just incredibly fast at working the hammer with their off hand and pulling the trigger with the other hand.

Fanning is done from the hip. The gun is held in one hand only. The trigger is held back and the palm of the other hand slams the hammer back and releases it. This is a much more aggressive way to shoot the gun than slip hammering. Whether or not it actually damages the gun is up to debate, but the violent slamming of the hammer all the way back will definitely put more stress on the lockwork than slip hammering will. Fast Draw shooters often alter the shape of the hammer spur to facilitate fanning. Fanning is often done by Fast Draw shooters with blanks, accurate shooting with fanning is just about impossible since the gun is violently whacked every time it is fired. Most Fast Draw shooters who practice fanning beef up the lockwork so it is not damaged. Exhibition shooter Joe Bowman was able to get off three rapid shots by rolling his palm and striking the hammer with his thumb and two fingers, I have seen him do it. He used a pair of Three Screw Blackhawks that had been welded up to look like Colts.

As far as spinning the cylinder is concerned, a little bit of spinning once the gun has been loaded won't hurt anything, many CAS shooters spin their cylinder to check for high primers. Like anything else, done to excess it will cause undue wear.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
CraigC":1xi5p7mp said:
Dry firing is okay for New Model centerfires but never a good idea on any rimfire, even a New Model Ruger. Just returned a Bearcat to Ruger because every chamber was peened over from firing pin strikes. Use snap caps or empty cases.

Hmm, that's a new one on me! I guess I've not "fiddled with" my New Bearcats since they are all "Safe Queens".

My shooter Single-Sixes, in both OM and NM configurations, have been dry fired with never a "off timed" strike of the cylinder with the firing pin.

flatgate
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,311
Location
Dallas, TX
Well, I had no idea there was this much controversy over spinning a cylinder, however, I just can't believe it is that hard on a gun. After all, a person won't really spin the cylinder that fast, or often. Especially if you have a solid base pin in place, what kind of problem will it cause?

As far as fanning the gun, I stand corrected, as I posted earlier, I don't do it at all. I also, remember a while back there was a thread about fanning the gun. Oh, wait, that was twirling the gun, which I wouldn't do of course, as I'd be the one to drop it.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,733
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Most Fast Draw shooters who practice fanning beef up the lockwork so it is not damaged. Exhibition shooter Joe Bowman was able to get off three rapid shots by rolling his palm and striking the hammer with his thumb and two fingers, I have seen him do it. He used a pair of Three Screw Blackhawks that had been welded up to look like Colts.

Let me ad that his Old Model 3 screws were stock inside other than being VERY VERY smooth. This did allow for a lighter hammer spring. They DID NOT have any hammer stops.
It didn't seem to hurt his guns by fanning. Could be that you really don't slam the hammer back that hard. After watching him hit what he was shoooting at. It was a smooth movement.

Also they were not really made to look like Colts it was because Ruger had not made the Vaquero and the OM 3 screw was the best for the job.

Jim[/quote]
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,228
Location
So. Florida
Kevin":1ijxdl2h said:
Well, I had no idea there was this much controversy over spinning a cylinder, however, I just can't believe it is that hard on a gun. After all, a person won't really spin the cylinder that fast, or often. Especially if you have a solid base pin in place, what kind of problem will it cause?

As far as fanning the gun, I stand corrected, as I posted earlier, I don't do it at all. I also, remember a while back there was a thread about fanning the gun. Oh, wait, that was twirling the gun, which I wouldn't do of course, as I'd be the one to drop it.

Heck man, I seen those gunslingers twirl the gun throw it in the air and catch it in their holster. I think the truth is it is pretty hard to hurt a new model, that is unless you are deliberately abusive towards it. A little spin now and then, rotating the cylinder after closing the gate, and dry firing just isn't a problem for a gun that is a shooter. It wont wear it out, it wont mark it up and it won't hurt it, it's a Ruger. Give it a good cleaning once in a while, a few drops of oil and a good wipe-down with an oily rag and you are good to go. :D :D

...my opinion, Jimbo
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
Sacramento Johnson":1ynw8zz3 said:
As for spinning a Ruger Vaquero or Blackhawk cylinder (after opening the cylinder gate to free it up), I don't see why not.
It puts undue wear on the hand and ratchet for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You can certainly do so if you like, just as you can drag it behind your truck if you like but the video is a very good example of why it is a very bad habit to get into. It's akin to flicking the cylinder closed on a double action. Not a good idea, especially with a sixgun that does not belong to you.

Slip hammering does cause undue wear as well if the sixgun is not equipped with a hammer stop. My Old Model Single Six has withstood lots of slip hammering and the bolt notches show it.

Closing the loading gate with the bolt over the notch leede is not gonna prevent the cylinder from becoming ringed on a New Model.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,370
Location
Butte, MT
A little spin now and then, rotating the cylinder after closing the gate, and dry firing just isn't a problem for a gun that is a shooter. It wont wear it out, it wont mark it up and it won't hurt it, it's a Ruger. Give it a good cleaning once in a while, a few drops of oil and a good wipe-down with an oily rag and you are good to go.
+1. Just the way I think! I don't dry fire much though. Rather let the hammer down on a 'live' one :) . Oh yeah, they are all shooters.... ;) .
 

desertrat

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
225
Location
the high desert
CraigC":7cxxslaz said:
......Closing the loading gate with the bolt over the notch leede is not gonna prevent the cylinder from becoming ringed on a New Model.

+1
I agree. Rings are also caused by the normal cycling of the cylinder. It has to do where & when the cylinder lock engages the cylinder prior to indexing lockup.
 
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