cylinder repair

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Reaper61, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Reaper61

    Reaper61 New Member

    185
    0
    0
    My Mother-in-law gave me an old S&W .38spl. However the cylinder barely rotates, how do I fix this. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    11,488
    0
    0
    I'm guessing it's the hand. We're gonna need pics.
     

  3. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    18,658
    1
    0
    Pull the hammer halfway and spin the cylinder. If it spins without resistance, the cylinder itself is fine. If not, gunsmith.

    Now, letting the hammer down, cock it fully. If the hammer cock rotates the cylinder, your hand is "functional". Meaning it works, but due to age, it likely needs replacing anyway. Gunsmith.

    Does the hammer come back, but only under EXTREMELY stiff trigger pull? Pop the side plate off, clean thoroughly. If that don't work, gunsmith.

    If the trigger pulls, but the hammer doesn't come back, something's broken. Get thee to a Smith.

    Sorry. I don't know how much you know about Smith and Wesson revolvers, so I recommend a Smith. However, Larry Potterfield of midway USA has a full YouTube series of how-to gunsmithing videos on Smith and Wesson revolvers. There isn't much you CAN'T learn from them. The Smith and Wesson revolver is pretty simple to work on, so if your brave and mechanically inclined, you should have no problem at all.

    Give us some detailed close ups, and browse his videos, between us all, we should be able to get it worked out in no time at all.

    Hey, a video of exactly what it's doing could be really helpful too.
     
  4. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,444
    555
    113
    Guys about covered it. Would clean with some gunscrubber spray, light lube, make sure ejector rod is tight (left hand thread). If that does not fix it, likely either the hand or the star of the rear face of the cylinder is worn and needs replacement.
     
  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    19,847
    3
    0
    It's obviously old, worn out and dangerous. Just send it to me to be on the safe side.






    ;)
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    Left hand thread asuming it is a three screw. 5 screw guns were right handed threads. Don't get me to lying about the 4 screw versions.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,444
    555
    113
    4 screw is when you lost one from a 5 screw, right? :p
     
  8. Reaper61

    Reaper61 New Member

    185
    0
    0
    It takes some serious trigger pull to get the cylinder to rotate. So I opened the cylinder and rotated it with my hand and it was super tight. To top it off on closer inspection the firing pin on the hammer is slightly bent and really loose...this might have to go to the LGS
     
  9. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    18,658
    1
    0
    Chill with the firing pin for just a moment...

    A mounted firing pin is GOING to look bent on a Smith and Wesson, it's the way they're designed. Looking bent upwards is normal. If it's bent down or to either side, then you have a problem.

    Also, they flex. They're spring loaded. If you can very easily flex it upwards, and it returns to a downward motion easily upon release, that's normal too. Some exceedingly small side to side wobble is also functionally ok. If it shakes and wobbles freely when moving the gun, then you can worry. Just a broken spring, and it probably won't even affect the function.

    You say the cylinder is hard to turn by hand when the cylinder is released? Could be dirt, other debris, or even rust. Remove the front lower screw on the right side of the frame, remove the cylinder, yoke and all, unscrew the ejector rod, inspect, clean, and reassemble. Look above at the direction to unscrew the rod based on the number of screws in the side of your frame.
     
  10. trip286

    trip286 New Member

    18,658
    1
    0
    Also, PICS! Help us help you brother.
     
  11. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    21,444
    555
    113
    Could be 50 years of dried gummy lube in there.
     
  12. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    4,910
    2
    38
    As mentioned, it could be any number of issues. Most of which can be fixed without a lot of drama. I happen to be of the opinion that, any firearm I acquire, gets a thorough cleaning, inspection and lubrication. It's a good way to learn about your new friend.
    Worth remembering as well, Illustrated parts breakdowns and how-to videos are a simple internet search away. Some are horrible and some are excellent, you just have to wade in and sort them out.
    Also, before I forget: Pics ?? :)
     
  13. mauserwouser

    mauserwouser New Member

    3
    0
    0
    Take the cylinder assembly apart and clean it and while you're at it take the side plate off and clean all that too.
     
  14. Old_Crow

    Old_Crow New Member

    990
    0
    0
    I would spray it liberally with WD40. Let it sit for a few days before I did anything. If it wasn't spinning freely after a good bath in WD40 I would take it in to a good gunsmith who loves S&W.
     
  15. Reaper61

    Reaper61 New Member

    185
    0
    0
    My camera is busted right now or I would put pics up...the cylinder I'm pretty sure I can fix, but the firing pin in bent to the side...
     
  16. Unimproved

    Unimproved New Member

    10
    0
    0
    Mix up a batch of Ed's Red, remove and disassemble the cylinder, find a suitable container and lay the cylinder assy. plus the rest of the gun minus the grips in it and cover with Ed's.

    Forget about it for a few days. Scrub everything you can with a brass brush, rinse repeat. Scrub the bore and charge holes thoroughly and blow everything out with compressed air.

    Reassemble and dry fire a 100 times or so, if accumulated crud was the problem, voila you'll be amazed. If it doesn't help....off to the gunsmith.

    Google Ed's Red and decide which recipie works best for you...use caution as some recipes are flammable. Hope this works for you, enjoy your "new" gun!!