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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I told you previously about the aquisition of a NIB S&W Model 15 in my post "Lemon Masterpiece" and about the problems I encountered initially. All of these are now ironed and the Masterpiece deserves the name.

Last sunday I experienced a strange failure: after a few cylinders of Magtech 158 grs FMJs, I reloaded for another serie and closed the cylinder. When I tried to pull the trigger DA, the action was frosen. I couldn't cock the hammer either.

I searched for a high primer but couldn't find. Finally I checked every six rounds in the cylinder and isolated the culprit. It had a tiny flat on the rim that extended slightly in the groove: you could see the flat but the bulge was almost unnoticeable. A few strokes with the file of the swiss army knife and the problem was solved.

That day I learned something... I'm not very experienced with wheelguns, having shot mainly autos for 15 years, but the sweet action, accuracy and gentle lines of the Combat Masterpiece is changing my mind on handguns.

Bye.

L.
 

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Howdy Mr. Larry,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us sir. Since you noted your experience with revolvers is growing, I will make you aware of another issue you may encounter one day. But to be honest, for me it has been rare. In 37 years of shooting revolvers professionally, I have only encountered it with one lot of ammo, which I feel was responsible. But it can happen.

A single unburned flake of powder can become trapped under the extractor in your cylinder and will also bind the action totally. I encountered this during a federal firearms instructor training course, and as noted, this was the only time I have had this issue. But we had it repeatedly over the two week course. I think since they knew we were revolver experienced, they elected to let the folks in training to become instructor shoot up the crummy ammo.

The "cure" is to use a thin sheet or plastic or even a dollar bill (or piece of paper), and place it between the forward end of the extractor rod and the locking notch in the frame. Doing so will free the cylinder. Once the cylinder is open, unload your rounds, and use a brush to remove any unburned powder form under the extractor.

I suspect many shooters will never encounter this problem, but I wanted to mention it, just in case it saves someone's time on the range one day.

I also agree with you too sir on the revolver's appeal. It was the first weapon I learned to shoot professionally. I normally carry pistols these days. But there is simply something about the feel of a Smith and Wesson revolver in my hands that just feels "right".

Enjoy your revolver time, and please continue to share your experiences with us as well.

twoguns
 
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I have had my revolver bind twice on two different revolvers. The first time I could never find the culprit. The second time I simply had not closed the cylinder completely.
 
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Your welcome. BTW I have a well used Smith Model 15 that was a range revovler for the local sherrifs department. It is a wonder weapon. Accurate, smooth trigger pull, and easy to see sights. I am sorry that you had issues with your model 15 and I am glad that things have improved.
 

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Hello Larry,

I am really happy to hear that you diagnosed and fixed the problem at the range and continued shooting knowing that you have increased the M-15's reliability by 100%!

If it sets your mind at ease, I had a similiar problem with a new manufactured S&W 642-2 at the range several months ago. As Mr. Twoguns pointed out, the problem was solved by cleaning under the extractor star in the this case and I have resorted to cleaning the cylinder with Gunscrubber or Brake Cleaner depending what is on hand.

Some day, I am going to purchase a small electric air compressor to keep on hand for such "cleaning chores".

Best and thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Chris
 

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Doesn't this show the necessity of making sure that the cylinder will rotate through the full cycle after reloading? I've always been of the opinion that doing so will reveal "high" primers, etc. Holding the hammer at the half-cock position will enable one to manully rotate the cylinder. Of course, this assumes that you are in a range situation and not under combat conditions . . .

Thanks!
 

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I had the same problem that Twoguns mentioned with my Colt Cobra 2nd issue model about 4 yrs ago. Now that was the only problem I've had with a wheel gun so fvar in my life.
 
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I'm new here, but seems the message is an old one; 'cleanliness is next to Godliness'. My Smith revolvers have been 100% reliable, but get 'the full treatment' every time they are shot.
I expect to be shooting a 'new gun' at every outing, so, maintain them accordingly, regardless of 'round count'!
Some of my 10 series revolvers have seen well beyond 40K rds, and function like greasy snot!
Clean is good; otherwise, not so good.
 

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I keep an old toothbrush in my range bag and brush under the ejector star every fifty to one hundred rounds or so.

One thing that will lock a gun up "tighter than a drum" and cause it to not fire is an ejector rod that has "backed out". At least, according to my Brother, this is what I hear. He had this happen to him in a gunfight. That time he learned that the Model 28 makes a good "club". ;)

I lock my ejector rods down with LokTite, hasn't been a problem for me.

Biker
 

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Howdy folks,

I don't want to take Mr. Larry's thread off topic at all, but we are talking about unusual failures with a Smith revolver, so hopefully he will not mind. On the ejector rod working loose, yes sir, that will also cause the action to lock up. I have seen that problem maybe 6 times in nearly 40 years of revolver shooting.

The solution is the same as I mentioned above intially - using a thin sheet of plastic or even a dollar bill to free the lock up in the forward end of the ejector rod. Then it can simply be tightened back by hand, finger tight.

I have not seen it even in weapons that have fired thousands of rounds. But that is one of my items I always check while cleaning a Smith revolver - before replacing the cylinder, I always insure the ejector rod is tight.

If you want to use lock-tite, that is your choice. But personally I am not sure it is necessary. But if you do, you should note the color/number of the lock-tite used. If you ever need to give your Smith revolver to a smith to repair and he needs to remove the ejector rod - he needs to know lock-tite has been used, and which version.

I am an agency FMO, field maintenance officer, which is basically a field armorer. There are many tasks I can perform in my office, rather than having to ship the weapon back to the firearms unit for repair by their armorers - who trained me. For what it is worth (and one of our unit armorers retired from S&W), even when we carried issued Smith revolvers, they never used or advocated lock-tite on the handgun.

There is a standard procedure most smiths will use to remove the ejector rod, and unless they know ahead of time that lock-tite has been used, they may encounter some problems which will add to the repair costs.

I just wanted to mention that about lock-tite. If it makes anyone feel more comfortable, I do understand why it would. But just be aware, that most smiths do not expect to find it on the ejector rod when they begin disassembly.

Hope the fix for a backed out ejector rod may help someone on the range as well. Of course I do understand why Biker's brother could not use it during the gunfight. To me that is just another example of how much Mr. Murphy seems to love working with LEOs. I would also agree, while not intended for that role, the model 28 would make an excellent club when required in your brother's scenario too.

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank all, for those very good advices up here. I write in gold letters 2guns' trick with the plastic card and Pip's cycle check.

L.
 
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