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Help me out with a revolver question. I have a new SP101 and an old GP100. Both shoot just fine, but when you cock the hammer to single action the cylinders are not 100% rigidly held in place. There is just a tiny bit of movement to them. Is that considered a tight lock-up? What's it supposed to do?

I'm asking mainly so if I'm shopping for a used revo, I can tell if it's good or not.
 

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Yes, that's what it's supposed to do. The Ruger's have triple lock-up, a forward locking tab, a rear locking pinion, and the indexing locking bolt.

The endshake - the slight movement of the cylinder at full lock up - is designed to have a LITTLE "wiggle room." Revolvers have forcing cones to allow the bullet to align the cylinder chamber to the barrel bore.

Revolvers should have small enough endshake to keep their headspace within specification at both ends of the travel, and keep the chambers aligned within the forcing cone, AND keep the forward face of the cylinder from contacting the barrel tenon (not a lot of negative consequence for that, other than drag marks).

Shims can be used to tighten up some degree of endshake - basically, they hold the cylinder rearward, fixing headspace.
 

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To check for tight lockup, cock the gun, pull the trigger, but hold the trigger all the way back and back, firmly - do not release it. Then check for tightness as you hold the trigger, back. A little wiggle is still acceptable, here. You want it firm, but it does not have to be bank vault tight. Check all six chambers, though, for consistency of tightness. A chamber or two that is noticeably different than the rest is a red flag.
 

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To check for tight lockup, cock the gun, pull the trigger, but hold the trigger all the way back and back, firmly - do not release it. Then check for tightness as you hold the trigger, back. A little wiggle is still acceptable, here. You want it firm, but it does not have to be bank vault tight. Check all six chambers, though, for consistency of tightness. A chamber or two that is noticeably different than the rest is a red flag.
With all due respect (since I seem to step on toes at this site at every turn, whether I'm actually wanting to or not), this method doesn't apply to Rugers. It's the advice that everyone gives, but it's outdated for almost all current production revolvers.

Holding the trigger back doesn't change anything for a Ruger, Smith, or Taurus's lock up (or Rossi, Charter, etc etc). This method dates back to the old Colt days, but if a Ruger, Taurus, or Smith lock up with the trigger at rest, they lock up the same with the trigger back.

Old Colt's used to rely upon the hand/pawl to press the cylinder rotated against the locking bolt - these other models do not function in that way.

Everybody still does the test the old way with the trigger back for some reason, but it's not actually necessary, and does nothing for any model but a Colt - does nothing for a Ruger. The pawl has disengaged the indexing ratchet before the sear breaks, so it does not offer any lock-up alignment or support.

Ruger's triple lock up alignment can be checked in any state, cocked hammer, fired with trigger back, or both at rest.
 

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With all due respect (since I seem to step on toes at this site at every turn, whether I'm actually wanting to or not), this method doesn't apply to Rugers. It's the advice that everyone gives, but it's outdated for almost all current production revolvers.

Holding the trigger back doesn't change anything for a Ruger, Smith, or Taurus's lock up (or Rossi, Charter, etc etc). This method dates back to the old Colt days, but if a Ruger, Taurus, or Smith lock up with the trigger at rest, they lock up the same with the trigger back.

Old Colt's used to rely upon the hand/pawl to press the cylinder rotated against the locking bolt - these other models do not function in that way.

Everybody still does the test the old way with the trigger back for some reason, but it's not actually necessary, and does nothing for any model but a Colt - does nothing for a Ruger. The pawl has disengaged the indexing ratchet before the sear breaks, so it does not offer any lock-up alignment or support.

Ruger's triple lock up alignment can be checked in any state, cocked hammer, fired with trigger back, or both at rest.
We went round and round with this a couple of weeks ago I even had a nasty PM sent to me telling me I didn't know what I was takling about.

I could not agree more with the above quoted post, almost sounds like my old post.
It is correct.
End shake is one thing with it's own set of problems and fixes.
Cylinder rotational movement is another thing, and yes some play is needed to enhance bullet entry into the forcing cone.

The lock up is determined by the cylinder locking bolt,
That's the little part that protrudes from the bottom of the frame window.
It's spring loaded and you can press it down and it will pop back up.

As the cylinder turns the locking bolt rides against the cylinder, it makes that little ring around the cylinder that a lot of people hate. When the cylinder is in line with the bolt it should drop into the notch in the cylinder. As the hammer moves back and the cylinder starts to turn it should be free of the cylinder for a short time. this allows free movement of the cylinder. Then it rest again against the cylinder until the next notch come along.

Once the cylinder bolt is in place you do not get any more lock up, that's it.
If the rotational play is excessive it's because the cut out for the cylinder bolt is to big,
or the bolt is slightly undersized.

Rugers fix is a bolt that is a little fatter and offers less side to side movement in it's cut out.

Rugers will NEVER have a solid lock up with no movement, ain't going to happen.

OK ! so how do I know if mine has excessive play:
If it's very bad it will be obvious, OR you could be shaving bullet metal from a bad cylinder to forcing cone relationship.
 

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If someone can show me what is supporting the cylinder when the trigger is back that is not so when it's forward, then I'll learn something and change my opinion.

My experience has been that if there's any difference in lock-up in a non-Colt model between the trigger back and trigger forward, then it's only because the pawl is wedging between the frame window and indexing ratchet - enlisting additional trigger drag and binding against the cylinder. That should not happen, and should be fixed.

Nothing changes for the forward locking tab, rear locking pinion, or cylinder locking bolt whether the trigger is back or forward. If the pawl affected the the cylinder at lock up, then Ruger wouldn't claim triple lock up, they'd claim quadruple. Everything that is touching the cylinder is the same whether the trigger is forward or back.

I'm always happy to learn, so if anyone has evidence to the contrary, I'm happy to change my opinion and change my posts. I've delved deeply enough into rebuilding Rugers, Taurus's, and Smith's and have understood their function to doubt any merit to the old Colt style test for them.

EDIT: I went and found that thread - there's no evidence of function cited in that thread. Ruger hands do not support the indexing ratchet when firing - they don't lock up like a "bank vault".
 

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If someone can show me what is supporting the cylinder when the trigger is back that is not so when it's forward, then I'll learn something and change my opinion.

My experience has been that if there's any difference in lock-up in a non-Colt model between the trigger back and trigger forward, then it's only because the pawl is wedging between the frame window and indexing ratchet - enlisting additional trigger drag and binding against the cylinder. That should not happen, and should be fixed.

Nothing changes for the forward locking tab, rear locking pinion, or cylinder locking bolt whether the trigger is back or forward. If the pawl affected the the cylinder at lock up, then Ruger wouldn't claim triple lock up, they'd claim quadruple. Everything that is touching the cylinder is the same whether the trigger is forward or back.

I'm always happy to learn, so if anyone has evidence to the contrary, I'm happy to change my opinion and change my posts. I've delved deeply enough into rebuilding Rugers, Taurus's, and Smith's and have understood their function to doubt any merit to the old Colt style test for them.

EDIT: I went and found that thread - there's no evidence of function cited in that thread. Ruger hands do not support the indexing ratchet when firing - they don't lock up like a "bank vault".
I agreed with you once and I will happily do it again.
 

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It ALL depends on the fitting of the hand (pawl) and the ratchet teeth.

For example, I have my .45 ACP-LC Redhawk, that has a hand fitted "tight", meaning when the hammer is cocked and the trigger is all the way back, the left side of the tip of the hand pushes on the ratchet tooth, causing 0 movement and a Colt-like lockup.

It's not an advantage or disadvantage, just that the Ruger tech fitted the ratchet teeth and hand tight. It will likely eventually break in and loosen up. Also have a Vaquero that does this, when the hammer is cocked that cylinder is rock solid.

Most of my GP's and Sixes have movement on lockup, it's 100% fine. I used to be super OCD about endshake, worrying about shimming any revolver with any slop in the endshake, then I realized if they are working fine as is, it will probably take 10's of thousands of rounds for the endshake to develop into a problem...........in other words, probably 10's of thousands of rounds more than I'll ever put through it.

In fact in a defensive gun I WANT a little bit of "slop", about .002-.004 endshake and some sideplay is just fine for a carry revolver. That way you know that under heat expansion, maybe with some dirt or grit in the revolver, it will still function when Mr. Murphy is doing his best to make something go wrong. I don't want a piece of lint and some unburnt powder jamming my gun at the moment of truth.

S&W fitted their .45 1917's and other WWI-WWII era revolvers a little sloppy and late in the carryup on purpose, so that they would work when they were dirty. You don't want a super tight "match fitted" weapon on the battlefield.
 

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I have only owned 5 revolvers and everyone including my brand new SP101 as some movement, not a lot....My 1985 Rossi Model 68 has it.....I have read several forums even S&W forum and everyone says its the norm...
 
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