NM Blackhawk; cylinder radial play, how to fix it?

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Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
Recently purchased used NM Blackhawk, actually blue Bisley 44 magnum. Revolver is in VG shape, just some minor bluing wear on a muzzle and ejector rod housing. However, i noticed some radial play of the cylinder. From I could see, play is mostly between latch and sides of its slot in the frame.

At the first moment, I was thinking about Power Custom Oversize Cylinder Latch http://powercustom.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=784 . Any idea what is the thickness of this latch? I measured (using caliper) locating slots in the cylinder, and they are about .093". The question is, if latch is thicker than stop notches in a cylinder, how to reduce latch thickness to make it fit into cylinder? Should I remove material from both sides equally?

Also, I found somewhere that Bowen created some sort of shim (or shims) that's inserted and fitted in the frame slot from bottom side to prevent latch play. Any article or picture how it's done?

Is anything about radial play addressed in a book THE RUGER SINGLE ACTION REVOLVERS: A SHOP MANUAL, VOLUMES 1 & 2, by Kuhnhausen? FYI, I started process of getting this manual, hope to have it within 2-3 weeks.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to test revolver's accuracy, and I wouldn't be able to do that for a while. Corona just skyrocketed in my area, and new restrictions are pending.

Thanks
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
First be sure the cyl latch is not actually slipping out of the notch when you turn the cyl. Then check to see if the latch window in frame is not burred over or cracked in the corners from heavy loads.

Shoot it first, it may not even have an accuracy proble; recognize that cyl play is essential for accuracy. The bullet needs to be able to align the cyl when it enters the forcing cone for maximum accuracy on any production gun. The cyls are not line bored.

The custom feature your referring to is a 'bolt block'; mostly for quick draw guns but also for very heavy loads. Just google it or check here: http://www.fastdraw.org/fd_faq.html
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
Hondo44 said:
First be sure the cyl latch is not actually slipping out of the notch when you turn the cyl. Then check to see if the latch window in frame is not burred over or cracked in the corners from heavy loads.

Shoot it first, it may not even have an accuracy proble; recognize that cyl play is essential for accuracy. The bullet needs to be able to align the cyl when it enters the forcing cone for maximum accuracy on any production gun. The cyls are not line bored.

The custom feature your referring to is a 'bolt block'; mostly for quick draw guns but also for very heavy loads. Just google it or check here: http://www.fastdraw.org/fd_faq.html
No latch slipping, latch window looks OK.

I checked link you posted. Unfortunately, this is all I found "Blocks are also added inside the frame to strengthen the cylinder locking bolt...".

I would appreciate if somebody has more info about this feature.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,005
Re=read this;

"First be sure the cyl latch is not actually slipping out of the notch when you turn the cyl. Then check to see if the latch window in frame is not burred over or cracked in the corners from heavy loads.

Shoot it first, it may not even have an accuracy problem; recognize that cyl play is essential for accuracy. The bullet needs to be able to align the cyl when it enters the forcing cone for maximum accuracy on any production gun. The cyls are not line bored."

Hondo has give excellent advice.

Rugers are known to have some play. As long as the movement you mentioned isn't excessive & actually allows the cylinder to get out of alignment, shoot it first. You describe the gun as in VG shape, so it may not be a problem.
Due to manufacturing tolerances,, and the method of manufacturing,, as noted by Hondo,, some movement is required to allow the cylinder to align as the bullet leaves it,, and enters the barrel. Unless a barrel & cylinder are line bored, (think custom build here,) you will have some movement.

The power custom oversized latch is often used to "tighten" the locking of the cylinder. BUT,, I've also seen where it caused poor accuracy & lead spitting as it stops the cylinder from allowing alignment.

Shoot the gun first,, (Unless it's badly worn, & sloppy,) to see how it shoots.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
My first Ruger SA revolvers were 357 and 41 Bisley, and they had about half of radial play this 44 Bisley has. Contrary to that, my second SBH, 5.5", stainless, locks almost solid, never seen (except FA revolvers) such tight lockup on any other SA revolver.

Yeah, I was thinking shooting it first and see how it will group. If groups consistently, I might try to shim latch from both sides equally and see would be any difference. If that makes group worse, I will just take out shims. Just bothers me to see that play.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,005
We do understand the feelings when you expect a gun to be one way & it isn't.

I've seen some sloppy stuff shoot well, and some tight stuff shoot lousy. As the saying goes; "The proof is on the target."
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,773
keep in mind , many revolvers should be checked when the firearm is actually "In battery" ( time of fire) trigger back, hammer forward, pawl engaging the ratchets, this alignment says it all ....a revolver just setting there "in neutral" will tend to be a looser feeling cylinder.......... 8) :roll: :wink:

...." and so it goes..." RIP Wil Terry :wink:
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
rugerguy said:
keep in mind , many revolvers should be checked when the firearm is actually "In battery" ( time of fire) trigger back, hammer forward, pawl engaging the ratchets, this alignment says it all ....a revolver just setting there "in neutral" will tend to be a looser feeling cylinder.......... 8) :roll: :wink:

...." and so it goes..." RIP Wil Terry :wink:
As a matter of fact, I did check cylinder play when revolver was "in neutral" and "in battery". Couldn't see any difference. As far as I know, lockup on SA revolvers does not depend on timing regarding fitting of the pawl, since it's attached on hammer.

I tried the same test on S&W 686. When in "in neutral", just VERY small play. When cocked, or when trigger pulled with hammer down, solid lockup in both instances.
 

RSIno1

Hunter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
2,156
Write it off as manufacturing tolerances. With a little play it allows the bullet to easily move the cylinder into alignment as it enters the forcing cone.
 

DougGuy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
171
RSIno1 said:
Write it off as manufacturing tolerances. With a little play it allows the bullet to easily move the cylinder into alignment as it enters the forcing cone.

^^^^^^THIS.... If you tighten the Ruger cylinder, without throats being line bored to the barrel, it will either wear the forcing cone on one side more than in the center, and it may just shoot itself loose again despite your attempts to get it to lock up like a S&W,

The cylinder is brought into alignment by the bullet pushing the cylinder as necessary to achieve the least resistance in the forcing cone. It will easily outlast several generations of your family left in exactly the condition it is in now, with it's factory installed tolerances.
 

Silcott

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
21
I bought a NM 6.5" Blackhawk 357 magnum at a swap meet about 15 years ago for $200. This gun has what I consider to be horrible radial play. The latch is loose in the cylinder notches, and loose in the window. You can hold the gun in your hand and twist it back and forth, and you can hear how loose the cylinder is.

I bought the gun for a 454 conversion. So it didn't matter how bad it was. But, I had to shoot it first. Needless to say, it's still a 357 magnum. It's probably the most accurate 357 handgun that I currently own.

I added a O/S base pin, and worked the trigger a little.

If I do my part, it'll put every round in a paper plate at 100 yards with lyman 173gr SWC over 2400.

Justin
 
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