Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
[...] What you are not seeing, but should, is the shutter closing before it releases.
Not when looking through the rear.
In fact, if you do, you know for sure that something is wrong.

Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
You can test the lens by removing it from the camera and releasing it. The release is a small pin in a semi circular tube next to the cocking axle. just press it sideways not inward.
Sometimes you need to help the shutter a bit more, starting it by 'manipulating'/prodding the slotted axle. (But never rotate the thing more that a fraction of a degree. Just prod.)

You will of course ony see the second part of you number 3.

Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
If I remember correctly, the timing for this is controlled by the gear in the shutter but it has been far too long since I've worked on these. I think that if it was the cocking shaft that you wouldn't be able to mount the lens without damage.
The camera controls the timing of the release cycle (the only timing it does not is that of how long the shutter in the lens opens). Which you can tell when you release the shutter with the lens off the camera: everything happens at once.
The axle is not just a cocking shaft. It is the control mechanism that synchronizes camera and lens.
You can mount a lens without damage because there is that little catch you mentioned above that will keep the axle from rotating, and because camera and lens must be/are 'synchronized' when you do. No problem.