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S&W revolver issue

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by ctfireman, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I can certainly understand a firearm owner wanting to be able to better diagnose a potential problem. That, and being able to actually make any necessary repairs and corrections, was at the heart of my desire to become a LE armorer.

    I'd had some bad experiences of my own with a few commercial gunsmiths ... and "feeling comfortable" trying to "do something", myself. ;)

    I envied our agency armorer his abilities, skills and experience. I was naturally anxious to be able "fix things" myself on my own guns, without having to wait for him to get around to it, or having to return one of guns to the factory.

    It was also why I worked to expand my armorer training to cover an assortment of different makes/models of firearms over the years. And accumulated my own set of tools needed for a range of firearms (since I realized the day would arrive when I would no longer be able to use the agency armory tools). I wanted to be able to do as much of the simple service, maintenance and repair of my own guns as possible, including after I retired and moved away. ;)

    The thing is that properly diagnosing a suspected problem (or problems) is usually the hardest part. Not recognizing and identifying the actual problem(s) is where things can really start to become frustrating, and create the opportunity for things to really become interesting.

    Trying to pry/lift off the side plate can create the potential for damage that may not presently exist. Side plates are expensive, factory-fitted (and polished with the frame) parts.

    Ditto mixing up the side plate screws. Or cranking down too hard and stripping the threads, snapping off the screw head or cross-threading them.

    Also, once the side plate has been removed, not everyone may be able to properly re-position the hammer block (external hammer models) so it functions normally and isn't damaged.

    Rather than risk adding to whatever condition(s) may exist, why not simply have a licensed local gunsmith open the revolver to give it a cursory inspection? If it's just accumulated fouling, it would be an easy correction. If it appears to involve something else? Then the owner can contact S&W to see what they think (and also presuming he bought the revolver new, after the company had started offering their limited lifetime warranty to original owners).

    Depending on the owner's level of experience and mechanical abilities, and the inclination of the gunsmith, perhaps the gunsmith might be willing to take a couple minutes and demonstrate how to properly remove the side plate? Of course, this creates the potential for someone not being able to resist frequently opening the frame. :whistling:

    As far as someone "feeling comfortable" disassembling a revolver, after never having done so before or having received at least some basic instruction?

    Well, after having been to more than 20 armorer classes, I've seen at least my fair share of new armorers, working on factory-provided guns, feel perfectly comfortable learning how to work on the guns ... right up until the moment they lose parts, damage something either removing it or re-installing it, damage the serial-numbered part of the gun :wow: (the expensive part), etc. :whistling:

    I've occasionally offered a few of our folks some instruction on properly removing the cylinder & yoke of their personally-owned revolvers, so they might lightly clean and lubricate the 2 yoke barrel bearing surfaces. These are folks who I've known for some years, generally being shooting enthusiasts who are revolver owners, and who used to carry issued revolvers. I have a grasp of their level of mechanical abilities. Most everyone else usually realizes they're better off limiting themselves to basic user-level cleaning practices.

    Of course, revolver owners being curious about "how their guns work", and "feeling comfortable" learning how to disassemble them, or making some minor "improvements", "doing trigger jobs" or wanting to start changing spring rates, etc?

    Well, those folks often seem to help keep gunsmiths and factory repair technicians/gunsmiths remain employed. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  2. cphilip


    Oct 17, 2006
    Clemson SC
    If need be, S&W has great customer service. And often will repair for nothing. I sent them a used 60-14 I had just bought that was locking up and not timing right from the time I bought it. Sent it to them and they replaced the entire Cylinder and several other major parts I can't recall off hand without digging out the receipt.. all free and shipped it back to me. All in about 10 days.

  3. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
    THIS ^^^^^ grab on the start and turn the ejector rod, LH
  4. blastfact


    Aug 15, 2011
    I for the life of me have no idea why this thread over board with some of the content posted.

    There are no dark secrets about Smith revolvers and there works under the side plate or within the cylinder and crane. It is one of the most elegant, functional designs offered to a shooter ever... IMHO!

    I encourage Smith revolver shooters to understand the weapon from front to rear and every point between.
  5. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    One thing I didn't see mentioned, especially considering how some claim that it is simple and intuitive to fix these guns, is the fact that empty cases should be put in the chambers when tightening the rod to prevent torque from damaging the star.

    I'm in no way an armorer. I'm pointing this out for two reasons. One is to give a bit of useful info to anyone who is going to do something like this themselves. The other reason is to point out how easy it is to not know a small detail that could prevent a lot of damage.
  6. Soooo, to the OP. Did you sort it out?
  7. gatorboy


    Jul 26, 2001
    It's pretty nice
    Blue LT is fine, just a 1/4 drop or less is needed for any single thread on a S&W revolver. A heat gun will loosen it's grip if you use too much.

    A DIY trigger job is easy, rewarding and saves you alot of money. Stay away from files or stones unless you know what your doing. Cleaning, polishing and very light oil in addition to lighter rebound spring and lighter hammer leaf and/or knocking down and angling the hammer leaf tension screw. Polish outside of rebound spring and hammer leaf spring also.

    Brownells sells an inexpensive rebound spring tool, buy it. Thing is worth it's weight in gold. has the springs and leafs. I like the variety pack of rebound springs. I think 11# is the lightest they sell. For a SD revolver, 13-14# is nice, any lighter and trigger does'nt reset fast enough in DA. 11# is nice for SA hunting, target work. I also prefer stock hammer spring with filed tension screw opposed to the "tinny" sound the Wolff makes. They're also smoother IMO.
  8. ctfireman


    Feb 13, 2010
    Bridgeport, CT
    Just got a response from S&W today. I didn't wanna mess with until they told me what to do. As expected, the ejector rod was loose. Simple fix. It is left hand thread btw.
  9. true believer

    true believer Super Moderator Moderator

    Apr 17, 2000
    drexel hill pa
    its junk..throw it away..i'll send u 7 bucks to ship gun to me...
  10. ctfireman


    Feb 13, 2010
    Bridgeport, CT
    It's on the way, i want my 7 dollars!!!
  11. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    I've had this happen many times over the years. It's easily fixed and easily overlooked to.
  12. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    I bought a 65-3 used and it acted the same way.
    My gunsmith adjusted it back to factory specs and it's perfect now.

    Personally I'd take it to a gunsmith.
    It's like a $25 adjustment.
    And if it'd s carry gun it's nice to have it perfect.
    Might consider having a trigger job while it's being adjusted.
    Smith triggers are good out of box.
    But with a trigger job they are the sweetest thing.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012