Based on your description? Ammo.
This is a discussion on Model 36 FTF within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Seeking some opinions, I took my Smith and Wesson Model 36 to the range the other day and had 5 FTFs out of roughly 200 ...
Seeking some opinions, I took my Smith and Wesson Model 36 to the range the other day and had 5 FTFs out of roughly 200 rounds of Ultramax reloads 158 Grain SemiWadcutters from Midway. All of the FTFs fired with a second strike. Prior to discharging the dud's I looked at the primer and noted a light indentation, all the empties which fired had all solid primer strikes nicely centered which makes me think it's the ammo not the gun. I could fire several cylinders in a row and not have an issue then I'd have one out of 5, never had multiple FTF's in a cylinder full... I also fed Remington +P158 grain +P and Hornaday critical defense which all fired without a hitch. Just curious if you all think it's a firearm issue or an ammo issue. I cleaned the gun and lubed it nicely afterward. Let me know.
Based on your description? Ammo.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken
yes, i t sounds like an ammunition issue-
deep seated or hard primers. not a common problem with the m 36 that i have ever heard.
Six for sure...Uh, I mean Five. Five for sure..
"all the empties which fired had all solid primer strikes nicely centered which makes me think it's the ammo not the gun."
You nailed it.
if you have not done any trigger/spring job on the gun then it is a ammo problem.
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Confirm your suspicions - try a box of factory-new ammo.
The other thing is that if your gun was bought used, a previous owner may have done a trigger job. The common route to a lighter trigger pull is a lighter hammer spring, with the tradeoff of lighter striking force. With hard primers, reliability may be less tan 100%. And if your M36 has a LOT of rounds through it (I'd say over 10K), the spring may just have weakened with use and is ready to be replaced.
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I wouldn't rule out the gun. I had a 686 that had light strikes (I know, the 686 has the leaf spring, not the coil of the j frame) and would fire on the second strike. But the failure wasn't the ammo. I bought the gun used and someone had turned back the strain screw on the leaf spring. I tightened it and it's 100% reliable now.
You might also want to take off the side plate and make sure there are no dust bunnies lurking in there. Maybe there's a gunk of crud impeding the hammer. YOu'll know from the visual. Also, how many rounds have been through the gun? Do you know if it has reduced springs? Etc.
If this is your carry gun, and your life may depend on it, you may want to replace all the springs with OEM replacements, or send it to SW for service.
I ordered a new mainspring today, stock weight, any thoughts on excess headspace? I don't have feeler gauges, the lock up is tight and theres virtually no cylinder play side to side of front to back of the gun.
Sometimes your mainspring can loosen up. Have you taken your grip off and checked?
Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!
I have removed the grip I wouldn't know how to check if it's loosened up. Any tips?
Just put the new one in when you get it and see if it solves your problem. If it doesn't, get one of these: https://apextactical.com/store/produ....php?pid4.html (if you don't have a hammer mounted firing pin).