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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Forum,

I inherited a nice I.J. Target 55 from my father-in-law. It didn't have any pitting or scratches, however most of the original color was gone and the cylinder was not cycling. So, I disassembled, cleaned and re-blued the frame and other appropriate parts. The revolver looks fantastic, but it still does not operate properly.

I am concerned the issue may be the trigger spring or sear spring. Or, perhaps I am just reassembling the trigger/sear group incorrectly. I looked for a YouTube tutorial on reassembling a similar revolver, but haven't found a decent one.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The cylinder not rotating on a Model 55 (or any other I.J. revolver) is usually one of four things.

1. Weak, broken, or improperly installed hand spring. The Model 55 the hand spring is a wire type "V" shaped (bottom of "V" has an almost full circle bend in it) and the short arm of the spring has a small bend 90 degrees to the side. The long arm of the spring goes into a tiny hole in the back of the cylinder hand. The loop on the bottom goes around the pin on the cylinder hand so that it's between the cylinder hand and trigger. And the short arm is positioned so that the little bend presses on the front of the lifter (side of lifter that faces the barrel).
A quick test is to point the barrel of the revolver down and cock the hammer then do the same thing with the barrel pointed up. If the cylinder rotates when the barrel is down but not when it's up, you have a hand spring problem. Another quick check is to remove the cylinder and cock the hammer back. You should be able to see the cylinder hand sticking out of its slot in the frame and it should be sticking out fairly high in the slot. If you push in on the hand with a finger, it should spring right back out when released.

2. Worn or broken cylinder hand. The tip of the cylinder hand should come to a nice point. If it's rounded over or the end has broken off, it won't engage the ratchet teeth on the cylinder.

3. Worn or damaged ratchet teeth on the cylinder. This usually shows up more often when the cylinder is "hit or miss" on rotating but I've seen them worn so bad the hand won't engage any of the teeth.

4. A weak trigger spring can cause the lock works to not fully reset which results in the cylinder hand sitting a little high in it's slot and the tip of the hand resting on top of one of the ratchet teeth instead of engaging a tooth. Push forward on the trigger and listen for a little "click". That "click" is the hand dropping into the next notch on the ratchet.

A less common problem that I've seen mimics #4 but is actually when the trigger guard interferes with the trigger fully resetting. That one is usually from a bent guard or shows up when a trigger or guard have been replaced. Filing the guard down a little where the trigger hits it is the easier fix.

The attached page is from W.E. Goforth's book and shows the lock works of the various I.J. solid frame revolvers. Yours should match the picture on the right hand side, second from the bottom. Note the shape of the cylinder hand and position of the hand spring. The one boo-boo in the picture is the trigger return spring is shown upside down.

Font Organism Elbow Chest Illustration
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The cylinder not rotating on a Model 55 (or any other I.J. revolver) is usually one of four things.

1. Weak, broken, or improperly installed hand spring. The Model 55 the hand spring is a wire type "V" shaped (bottom of "V" has an almost full circle bend in it) and the short arm of the spring has a small bend 90 degrees to the side. The long arm of the spring goes into a tiny hole in the back of the cylinder hand. The loop on the bottom goes around the pin on the cylinder hand so that it's between the cylinder hand and trigger. And the short arm is positioned so that the little bend presses on the front of the lifter (side of lifter that faces the barrel).
A quick test is to point the barrel of the revolver down and cock the hammer then do the same thing with the barrel pointed up. If the cylinder rotates when the barrel is down but not when it's up, you have a hand spring problem. Another quick check is to remove the cylinder and cock the hammer back. You should be able to see the cylinder hand sticking out of its slot in the frame and it should be sticking out fairly high in the slot. If you push in on the hand with a finger, it should spring right back out when released.

2. Worn or broken cylinder hand. The tip of the cylinder hand should come to a nice point. If it's rounded over or the end has broken off, it won't engage the ratchet teeth on the cylinder.

3. Worn or damaged ratchet teeth on the cylinder. This usually shows up more often when the cylinder is "hit or miss" on rotating but I've seen them worn so bad the hand won't engage any of the teeth.

4. A weak trigger spring can cause the lock works to not fully reset which results in the cylinder hand sitting a little high in it's slot and the tip of the hand resting on top of one of the ratchet teeth instead of engaging a tooth. Push forward on the trigger and listen for a little "click". That "click" is the hand dropping into the next notch on the ratchet.

A less common problem that I've seen mimics #4 but is actually when the trigger guard interferes with the trigger fully resetting. That one is usually from a bent guard or shows up when a trigger or guard have been replaced. Filing the guard down a little where the trigger hits it is the easier fix.

The attached page is from W.E. Goforth's book and shows the lock works of the various I.J. solid frame revolvers. Yours should match the picture on the right hand side, second from the bottom. Note the shape of the cylinder hand and position of the hand spring. The one boo-boo in the picture is the trigger return spring is shown upside down.

View attachment 259747
Thank you so much. Ironically, it was #4, but not a weak trigger spring, just not inserted properly. Everything is tight, I have the half cock back….everything works perfectly now. The 55 looks like it came from the factory; now it will shoot like that too. I appreciate your time and expertise! GLT63
 
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