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Old 02-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default Used Revolver inspection question

Hi all,
I am in the market for a GP100 and I thought I would check out a local gun show this weekend just to see if I can come across one, or a similar .357, in a really good used condition at a better price than new. I'm in no immediate hurry and will buy new if I don't find anything that knocks my socks off, but thought it would be worth a try since it's a local show.

Can anyone please help offer some of the things that I need to check on a used revolver to make sure it's in good shape? Is there a good way to quickly check the cylinder to make sure it's in good shape? How about checking the timing, etc? I admit I'm a bit new to revolvers, and I know the GP100, if I can find one, is about as rock-solid as they come, but I still would be a bit wary about buying a used gun without knowing a bit about what I'm looking for.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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When it comes to revolvers I always check for cylinder play. Put the gun in battery (cock it) only after making sure its unloaded, And check for movement for and aft as well as side to side. A revolver in good shape should have very little movement. That's my two cents. Good luck.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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Also check for cylinder movement at what would be the moment of ignition (trigger held back and hammer at rest). Make sure you walk it through a complete cycle of the cylinder by thumb cocking, riding the hammer down with your thumb, repeat. If the "star" has a damaged you'll feel it quickly. Was checking a supposed like new S&W 617 last week and it failed this test...

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Check the forcing cone, muzzle, run a jig through the barrel to "feel" if there are any bulges that you cannot see.

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:01 PM   #5
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Also check the cylinder rod and make sure it's not bent. Open the cylinder and roll the rod along a flat surface and look for wobble.

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #6
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I take an unsharpened pencil. After you are certain the gun is unloaded squeeze the trigger. When the hammer falls keep holding the trigger back. Put the pencil in the barrel. You should be able to push it all the way back into the cylinder without hitting anything. Rub it against both sides and the top and bottom. If it is out of time you will feel it.

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Old 02-17-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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There are some stickies on other boards about the whole process for inspecting used revolvers. Or you can just review this: Revolver Inspection: How to tell if the specimen is any good.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:12 PM   #8
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Picked up a brand new GP100 tonight! I could only find one in the entire city, and found it on sale. My regular dealer said none of his distributors had one for him to order, so I figured I should jump on it. Thanks for all of the advice!

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