Numbering revolver chambers

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Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/14/2017, 9:20 am

I been reading a lot of old DR post and ammo for the same.  There is many mentions of certain chambers in their guns shoot better.  Being petty new to revolvers at least to the point of accuracy, I have own them for years, how are you all marking the cylinder so you can use just one for slow fire?  Don
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by james r chapman on 6/14/2017, 9:28 am

Number stamp, punch spot, sharpie, scratch mark,
Some say it's needed, some say it's not.
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Jon Math on 6/14/2017, 12:18 pm

I have a hunting revolver that has one cylinder that is head and shoulder above the rest more accurate, and because I have the option assuming a solid rest and using a scope when I hunt I do prefer to use that one cylinder for my first shot, so I marked it.  I also have to judge distance in the field, unlike a known distance target course, so I take every  advantage available when taking a life.

Target revolvers are shot 5 shots at a time.  Unless I had a cylinder that was especially bad and did not want to use that one I don’t see the need to mark them.  Am I missing something?
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/14/2017, 1:21 pm

Jon Math wrote:I have a hunting revolver that has one cylinder that is head and shoulder above the rest more accurate, and because I have the option assuming a solid rest and using a scope when I hunt I do prefer to use that one cylinder for my first shot, so I marked it.  I also have to judge distance in the field, unlike a known distance target course, so I take every  advantage available when taking a life.

Target revolvers are shot 5 shots at a time.  Unless I had a cylinder that was especially bad and did not want to use that one I don’t see the need to mark them.  Am I missing something?

Jon yes I think you are missing something that being said in a friendly way.  I am sure you shoot fine no matter what cylinder you fire, me not so much.  When you are shooting as bad as I am every little bit helps, but maybe not.  As I could pull a shot and have the flyer hit the X but that isn't to be considered a good shot and one sure wouldn't want his score to count on that.   I am more concerned with knowing that #? shoots the tightest group for testing loads.  I will use a center punch a deface this fine 25-2 because a Sharpie mark doesn't last.  I am not going to be here when she gets sold anyway.  Don
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Rob Kovach on 6/14/2017, 1:42 pm

I was able to do thorough testing of my K-38 with my Lee machine rest and I was able to find that I had 2 really accurate 50 yard cylinders, but they didn't go through the same hole. I just identified my #1 cylinder and found that #1 is best for 50 yards and all but #2 work consistently for the short line.

If I shoot the #2 cylinder, those shots go about an inch up and left from my called point of aim.

The mark I made was a simple line scratch lightly through the bluing.
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/14/2017, 1:47 pm

Rob Kovach wrote:I was able to do thorough testing of my K-38 with my Lee machine rest and I was able to find that I had 2 really accurate 50 yard cylinders, but they didn't go through the same hole.  I just identified my #1 cylinder and found that #1 is best for 50 yards and all but #2 work consistently for the short line.

If I shoot the #2 cylinder, those shots go about an inch up and left from my called point of aim.

The mark I made was a simple line scratch lightly through the bluing.

Rob that what I think I will do as a scratch can be touched up a punch mark is forever.  Don
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by LenV on 6/14/2017, 1:57 pm

No need to punch that 25-2. The shell ejector has a pin in only one spot. Empty hole in the other side. Small but easy to see if your looking for it.
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/14/2017, 2:07 pm

LenV wrote:No need to punch that 25-2. The shell ejector has a pin in only one spot. Empty hole in the other side. Small but easy to see if your looking for it.
Len I see the holes but on my gun both are open as they fit down over pins on the cylinder.  If I was to remove the bluing on the ejector on the cylinder that I want as #1 it would be hardly noticable.  Don
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by LenV on 6/14/2017, 2:17 pm

I only have 1 pin on my 25-2 and my 17 no dash. Makes it easy to call it number 1. But a small scratch works also. My 19 has a 2 marked on one of its cylinders. Never have figured that stamp.
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by oldsalt444 on 6/15/2017, 11:17 am

Marking a chamber seems to be the poor man's method of getting accuracy from a revolver.  A time tested accurizing technique is to have a gunsmith ream all of the chambers throats to the same diameter. Generally .001-.002 over bore diameter works best.

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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Froneck on 6/15/2017, 11:46 am

Generally it is impossible to get a 6 holes to line up exactly the same with the barrel. There will always be a variance. Therefore for a long time the cylinders were numbered or otherwise marked. If anything not using the one that shoots the worst makes sense! Of if one seems to be outstanding then using it for slow fire. Most accuracy jobs on revolvers include numbering the cylinders.

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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by oldsalt444 on 6/15/2017, 12:44 pm

Froneck, I agree about the alignment issue.  Nothing you can do about that.  But reaming throats does work, and it works well.  Even just polishing the throats with a dremel tool helps. Most people don't realize how much difference there can be between individual throats. It can also help alleviate a slight misalignment.  Not a cure-all, but it helps.

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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by CR10X on 6/15/2017, 1:32 pm

Not that I'm an expert on gunsmithing revolvers or anything, but when Jerry Keefer tuned up my .38 years ago, among other things I got back was a test target with individual groups from each of the six cylinders and a group using all cylinders.  All the cylinders were numbered and one was marked for slow fire.  I shot it just like Jerry marked it, using the marked cylinder for slow fire and used the other 5 for timed and rapid.  I figured if Jerry did it, there must be a good reason.  Yea, I did eventually get DR.

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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Bigtrout on 6/16/2017, 8:09 am

I've spent many, many 9mm rounds characterizing each chamber of my 986 last fall and winter.   After about 60 rounds through each chamber with dummies in each of the other 6 clip positions and single shot mode, each chamber seems to have equivalent accuracy at 25 yds. from a manual benchrest.  I chose chamber #1 at random and kept that choice throughout the tests.  My range rod says chambers 6 and 7 to be slightly skewed to the right, just kissing the left side with the hammer cocked.  I did have the cone and barrel throat polished before the testing.
I fired one round in each of 7 targets, repeating 9 times in each range session, then transferred each bullet hole from each session to 7 master sheets.   I did have a few flyers in each chamber that I attribute to my aged eyes or just plain lack of personal consistency.  I use a Sharpie to mark the chamber id after every cleaning.


Last edited by Bigtrout on 6/17/2017, 7:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by james r chapman on 6/16/2017, 8:27 am

You could also use a Dykem white metal marking pen for a semi-permanent marking.
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/16/2017, 6:20 pm

Update on my cylinders.  I received my ball gage set today and checked the throats and all 6 measured .457 so I can stop worrying about that.  I have Federal Match ammo on order and will then check each cylinder for groups at 50yds as I also ordered a insert for this revolver so I can use the RR.  I also have paint pens coming so I think I am good.   When I finish with this gun I got the 17-5 I got the other day to do.  Good thing I love testing.  Don
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Re: Numbering revolver chambers

Post by Magload on 6/22/2017, 2:12 pm

Grouped tested all cylinders today at 50yds with the RR and Federal Premium Gold Medal 185 FMJ-SW.  I just random picked one cylinder as #1 and marked it with a white paint pen.  Cylinder #3 was the best with a nice round group of 3 1/8" but had a flyer out to 4 1/4 from the center of the group.  all cylinders had 1 or 2 flyers out of a 10 shot group.  I would have expected better then this off a RR but the wooden bench is 10 shooting positions long and had other shoots using it.  It is just 3/4" boards and is a really nice covered shooting line but not a good Ransom Rest mounting platform.  I still was able to get the data I needed and now know cylinder #2 sucks and #3 is best.  If you over look flyerws they all except #2 and ok and better then I can shoot.  #2 is now marked red and #3 gold.  Other then being 90 degrees and high humidity it was a nice morning at the range.  Don BTW my Zero 185 JHPs with 4.2 BE shot as good as the Federals.
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