Stretched crane on new Ruger revolvers.

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My Toy

Bearcat
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Jan 28, 2012
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57
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People's Republic of Maryland
I bought a factory new SP101 several years ago and upon disassembling it found that the crane had been stretched at the factory I guess to get the endshake within proper specs. I recently purchased a used Gp-100 /w 4" barrel that the seller said only had 2 boxes of ammo through it and judging by the condition of the gun he was telling me the truth. When I took this gun apart for a thorough cleaning I found the crane had been stretched. The stretching job looked exactly like it was done with the same tools that were used to stretch the crane on a used 6" GP-100 I returned to the factory for excessive endshake. I have a number of GP-100s and SP-101s and most were purchased new and didn't have the crane stretched. A don't really have a problem with this but just find it a little strange to find it in a factory new gun. I have a lot of Smiths and never saw one come from the factory with a stretched yoke. Anybody else notice this and may know what gives?
 
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comes under the realm of "hand fitting" and making it come within 'specs' at the time it was built, OR , if done later on during any "service" or warranty work...and yes you look long enough , and many years, you will see S&W's and others the same way.......with better CNC work etc, and closer to size ( specs) of any and all parts, the LESS "fitting" will be needed, companies do NOT want a lot of "hands on , time wasting" fitting for every gun.
They all used to make the the 'parts" all LONG to begin with , and then cut them down ( fit) to size and specs......if needed we either cut it down or stretch it to 'specs', we NEVER have and NEVER will use "spacers or washers"..........................
 

My Toy

Bearcat
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Messages
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People's Republic of Maryland
rugerguy said:
comes under the realm of "hand fitting" and making it come within 'specs' at the time it was built, OR , if done later on during any "service" or warranty work...and yes you look long enough , and many years, you will see S&W's and others the same way.......with better CNC work etc, and closer to size ( specs) of any and all parts, the LESS "fitting" will be needed, companies do NOT want a lot of "hands on , time wasting" fitting for every gun.
They all used to make the the 'parts" all LONG to begin with , and then cut them down ( fit) to size and specs......if needed we either cut it down or stretch it to 'specs', we NEVER have and NEVER will use "spacers or washers"..........................

That explains it. I replaced an extractor on a later model of S&W 686 (the previous owner butchered the one originally on the gun-I still don't know what he was trying to do) with one I got from Brownells; it was virtually a drop in part with the CNC machining. With the new extractor the gun was in perfect time and it would pass a match range rod in all chambers. The extractors on older model Smiths where a return to the factory deal for fitting. Thanks for the reply.
 

My Toy

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
57
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
rugerguy said:
comes under the realm of "hand fitting" and making it come within 'specs' at the time it was built, OR , if done later on during any "service" or warranty work...and yes you look long enough , and many years, you will see S&W's and others the same way.......with better CNC work etc, and closer to size ( specs) of any and all parts, the LESS "fitting" will be needed, companies do NOT want a lot of "hands on , time wasting" fitting for every gun.
They all used to make the the 'parts" all LONG to begin with , and then cut them down ( fit) to size and specs......if needed we either cut it down or stretch it to 'specs', we NEVER have and NEVER will use "spacers or washers"..........................

Actually now that you bring it up endshake shims are widely used (in fact I have used them) and some sources believe they are actually superior to crane stretching. I have never had a problem with them and have never worn one out. Out of curiosity you seem very knowledgeable about Ruger practices (perhaps you even work or have worked at Ruger ) - I was wondering what you think are the downside of endshake bearings?
 
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nope do not work at or for Ruger, I trained at a couple of factories back in the 70's yes, when the 'final fitting' was all done by hand, Dan Wesson, High Standard and visited ,and spent time over a couple of weeks with Fran Longtin, the S&W service shop manager, so between him, Dan Wesson, yes THAT Mr Wesson, and Bob Shea , the master gunsmith of High Standard, we earned a lot, also trained at classes for Marlin, and Remington, soooo got my fingers & hands wet more than a few times...our shop did warranty repair work for DWA and HS, worked on many PD ,LE and government guns , refinishing was our specialty.............so being for the most part, many were in fact "duty", or service guns, we did it the way they were supposed to be done, and the early "shims" ( bushings,bearings,washers what ever one want s to call them) these could AND would 'split', wrap around the ejector rod, jam up the works, NOT a good thing for a "duty, self defense" firearms, many others in the business had the same issues back then, so as I noted, stayed away from them, did it the way they were built, "stretched" , though actually it is "swaged". ever so slightly to make up the "space" that was "lost or worn", and properly 'set' the headspace, B/C gaps, etc. It is very simple and easy enough. Been 'retired' now since 2002, so today lots of "new stuff and improvements, like I noted, the CNC and material used to build guns, and their working parts. It is NOT "rocket science", folks been doing it and much of it "by hand" for over 200 years............
 

Tallbald

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
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I too don't know what a stretched crane looks like. If photos could be posted it would help me make better informed decisions in the future. Thanks. Don
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
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Jan 5, 2012
Messages
971
Location
Seymour, CT
Please explain how you know that the gun was exposed to crane-stretching. Especially, include some pictures. Right now, most of us are very skeptical.
 

mustang99

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
180
I don't have a picture of a crane that has been stretched, but I can try and explain why you do it and what it looks like. Basically it will have a perfect circular groove "scribed" into it about 1/8" or so from the end of the crane stem. We all use different words for it, so I'll say, "The part of the crane that the cylinder actually sits on to allow the cylinder to fit in the cylinder window properly and with the correct amount of endshake".

If the crane is too long, you can't get the cylinder closed. If it's too short, you have endshake, and most likely can't hold the barrel gap. Then you have to "stretch it" to make up the gap that is left between the end of the crane and the inner face of the cylinder that interfaces with it. When you do this, you "roll" the crane stem, under pressure, to force a circular impression in the stem. Tools may vary but think of two wheels on the bottom and one on the top. Enough space in between to fit a crane stem, and an adjustment knob to adjust the distance between the wheels. Move the wheels closer and the top wheel (metal, & thin) will begin to indent the crane, then rotate the crane 360 degrees. Crank them even closer, the effect is increased, etc... By moving this crane material down towards the center of the stem diameter, the end of the crane HAS to move towards the end due to physics. Thus the term stretching. This process leaves the circular groove that My Toy is seeing when he takes his cylinder off his gun.
 

k22fan

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
713
A crane or yoke stretcher is a tubing cutter with a blunt roller instead of a cutting wheel. I bought one from Brownell's but haven't used it yet because I'm unsure if I need a close fitting drill rod inside the crane barrel to prevent crushing it. This might have been better asked in the Ruger smithing forum but can one of you experienced users offer advice?
 

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