Question about cylinder on H&R The American DA

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by marcodelat, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Should the cylinder on an H&R The American Double Action revolver "spin free" when the hammer is down.

    This firearm - judging from the markings on the barrel - is made for smokeless powder, so I believe the cylinder should only move (spin) clockwise with the hammer down, but should not turn counterclockwise.

    I know that with black-powder revolvers it's normal for the cylinder to spin free with the hammer down - but with this one?

    Anyone have a guess, or know what could be the cause for this malfunction if the above described spinning is not the proper as designed function of said firearm?

    Here's pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    No you should only be able to spin it one way. Your cylinder lock is not fully enguaging
     

  3. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Yep - this is what I thought spin clockwise (when viewed from the rear) if it's a revolver made for smokeless ammo - BP spins free I hear.

    when you say "cylinder lock" do you mean the hand - is not protruding far enough with the trigger down to catch on the ratchet teeth, stopping the cylinder from rotating "backwards" (counterclockwise when viewed from the rear).

    Guess that would mean that the lever (hand) spring might be weak?
     
  4. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    the hand turns the cylinder (the ratchet teeth you speak of)
    The cylinder lock in below the cylinder, above the trigger. Its a half circle that protrudes out of the frame into the cylinder were the slots are cut. This is how it all works. When you pull the trigger slightly the cylinder lock drops out of the cylinder allowing it to spin. About half way through the trigger pull the cylinder lock goes back up into "locked position" even though the cylinder is still rotating by the force of the hand (revolver hand, not yours) This is why the cylinder has the slots tapered on one side. When the cylinder gets to its next position (called range) you will hear a audible click and the cylinder should no longer turn.
    You cylinder lock is not coming back up to the lock position. Most likely cause is a broken spring but it may just need to be cleaned. I just got done with a H&R 999 sportsman with a similar issue. They collect a lot of junk and fouling down there.
    I hijacked your picture but take a look
     

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  5. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    all the comments have some truth but none are 100% correct. from day one in 1883 until the last day in 1942 the H&R american double action had a cylinder that was "free wheeling". what this means is the cylinder lock is not engaged when the hammer is down and the trigger is in the forward position. this is accomplished by making the cylinder stop a permenant and intergal part of the trigger.

    when new and has no or very little wear the cylinder stop (which is part of the trigger) will protude thru the bottom of the frame just enough to keep the cylinder from turning backwards (counterclockwise) but does not stop it from turning clockwise. on free wheeling cylinder revolvers the only time the cylinder stop is fully engaged is when the trigger is fully to the rear. this method is effective and acceptable but subject to a lot of wear and over the years even a revolver designed for smokeless powder can get out of time or not lock up properly. the fact that an american double action is a first (black powder) model or a second (smokeless powder) model has no bearing other than the first models tend to show a lot more wear today.

    all H&R double action solid frame revolvers manufactured between 1883 and about 1938 have a free wheeling cylinder. in the H&R top break revolvers the small frame premier (after about 1900) and the hammerless models have an "automatic cylinder stop (engaged until trigger is pulled)". the early permiers (1895-1899) and all the large frame Auto-Ejecting model (1890-1942) have a "free wheeling cylinder". the first solid frame H&R model to have an "automatic cylinder stop was the model 922 first model 4th variation intorduced in 1938.
    bill
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  6. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Thank you Helix and Bill.

    I am pretty sure that I have read somewhere that with a blackpowder revolver, with the trigger "at rest", the cylinder will rotate in both directions, clockwise and counterclockwise, but with one made for smokeless powder the cylinder will only spin clockwise.

    You've already answered that one Mr. Goforthth - thank you! :)

    ... yet:

    Looking at my Young America .32, with the hammer down, the cylinder will rotate clockwise, but not counterclockwise.

    Its plainly visible that with the trigger down, the cylinder stop is not protruding thru the bottom of the frame or catching on the cylinder at all.

    Now, my question is what is stopping the counterclockwise movement?

    I think the only thing that could be doing this is the tip of the hand that protudes out from the frame - catching onto the ratchet.

    Here I am assuming that the function of this small frame Young America revolver, is the same as the function of the large frame The American revolver.
     
  7. b.goforth

    b.goforth New Member

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    on some revolver the cylinder hand does protrude through the frame enough to restrict conuterclockwise movement, but not all. the cylinder hand is another critical part prone to wear. how much counterclockwise movement a cyclinder has is dependent upon the amount of wear to cylinder hand and trigger/cylinder stop. it will vary revolver to revolver.
    bill
     
  8. marcodelat

    marcodelat Member

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    Thanks again Mr. Goforth... :)