Originally Posted by hogship
That's a pretty good write-up eyescream put in there, and I'll add this:
If you pull the hammer back very slowly, make sure the cylinder locks up BEFORE the hammer does, on EVERY chamber. If it doesn't, you are relying on cylinder inertia to do this, and it's something that could be dangerous, under the wrong conditions. This should be under the "timing" category.
Wanderinwalker makes a good point about cylinder lock-up. Many people put too much importance on a "welded" lock up.....a few thousandths is perfect, but ten or fifteen thousandths should get your attention.
When I test the cylinder timing, I also put a slight drag on the cylinder with one finger while slowly cocking the hammer. I check each chamber at least twice for any hint of a lack of a positive lock up.
You can also get an idea if the gun was shot much by looking at wear marks caused by case head wear marks on the recoil shield and also the chamber mouths by case rims.