S&W 638 Issue!

This is a discussion on S&W 638 Issue! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by jtyler05si It seems my gap is okay and since it was the first time to shoot the gun, I don't imagine there ...

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Thread: S&W 638 Issue!

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtyler05si View Post
    It seems my gap is okay and since it was the first time to shoot the gun, I don't imagine there could be much dirt under the extractor. It really felt like the gun was swollen. I haven't been able to find a single story of someone having the same issue. I'm not really sure what to do.
    Clean the gun, get a different brand of ammunition and see if it happens again.
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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsrule View Post
    .

    My guess is that after 35 rounds of inexpensive ammo there was just enough junk on the cylinder face / forcing cone to hang it up.

    You might also have a minimal cylinder gap on your 638.

    Try wiping the cylinder face inbetween reloads and see if it still happens...
    I suspect it's an issue with the cylinder gap. I had the same issue with TWO different Taurus revolvers years ago. It certainly is not normal, you should be able to fire hundreds of rounds without having that sort of problem.

    It sucks to run into trouble with a brand new gun. The good news is S&W has awesome costumer service and in my experience quick turn around.

    Hope you get everything sorted out soon, I've owned a 638 and they make for a great carry gun.

  4. #18
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    So all I can say is that my gap is between .009 and .015 which from what I am reading is not that small of a tolerance.

    That shouldn't be a problem? OK - Now you have me stumped.

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    S&W uses an alloy in their frames they call Scandia. I don't know for sure if it's used in your 638. They've had some frame cracking issues with their Scandia frames. I would certainly have it checked out as I assume it's still under warranty.

    That being said, small snub nosed revolvers are usually carried concealed for many yrs. with very little range time. My EDC is usually a S&W 342 that looks pretty much like yours except it's made with titanium. I have never fired more than 5 shots at any one session and never in rapid fire. I'm not exactly saying it's not made for that but it's not likely that it will ever be necessary or practical to do that in real life. Perhaps you are expecting too much out of a personal defense weapon that's designed for deep concealment. I'm just sayin'....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GunGeezer View Post
    That being said, small snub nosed revolvers are usually carried concealed for many yrs. with very little range time. My EDC is usually a S&W 342 that looks pretty much like yours except it's made with titanium. I have never fired more than 5 shots at any one session and never in rapid fire. I'm not exactly saying it's not made for that but it's not likely that it will ever be necessary or practical to do that in real life. Perhaps you are expecting too much out of a personal defense weapon that's designed for deep concealment. I'm just sayin'....
    With respect, I have to vigorously disagree with this mindset. Guns that are "hard to shoot" should actually be practiced with more than guns that are easy to run. You are going to need to make fast, repeated, and accurate hits - and that takes practice. If the gun and/or you cannot take that kind of practice/training, then it may be best to switch to something else.

    Another option is reduced/standard power ammo - I carry standard pressure 158 gr SWCs in my .38 LCR - not super-duper "gotta prove I'm a man and impress my friends" Buffalo Bore +P nonsense...

    OP - sounds like a call to S&W might be in order.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunGeezer View Post
    S&W uses an alloy in their frames they call Scandia. I don't know for sure if it's used in your 638.
    It is not. The 638's frame is an aluminum alloy which is not a Scandia alloy.

    The 638's cylinder is made from stainless steel.

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    Thanks for the help guys! I will purchase some other type of ammo and give it a try soon. If problems still exist I will contact S&W.

  10. #24
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    Check your extractor rod to see if it's coming loose. I had a 438 that would start to unscrew a little after firing making it difficult to open and close the cylinder.
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  11. #25
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    I have the gun in front of me now. I haven't learned how the extractor comes apart yet so I am not sure what I am looking for. Does the rod unscrew from the cylinder housing?

    Oh by the way, probably important info that I failed to mention, but the distance that the cylinder failed to close was literally only 1/16". This was pretty much exactly at the point where the extractor was meeting the spring-loaded "locking pin" at the end of the barrel. I know this is filled with incorrect nomenclature, but I will get up to speed with the wheelgun crowd soon enough.

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    I've had range sessions with my S&W 442 Airweight where I've put 250 rounds through it as fast and hard as I could load them without cleaning it and it functioned flawlessly. I think you have an issue that needs to go back to Smith.
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    I've had range sessions with my S&W 442 Airweight where I've put 250 rounds through it as fast and hard as I could load them without cleaning it and it functioned flawlessly. I think you have an issue that needs to go back to Smith.
    I have had similar 250 round sessions with my S&W 638-4 with none of the problems the OP is reporting. In particular I don't understand the cylinder heating. (I believe the OP, I just don't understand the mechanism, as I have never experienced cylinder heating with my own 638.)

    I suggest wiping the front face of the cylinder with a lead-removing cloth (e.g. Kleenbore) to remove any possible lead and residue build-up.

    I suggest carefully cleaning the under-side of the extractor star, as that is where flakes of powder accumulate that cause difficulty closing and turning the cylinder.

    I suggest another range session, using only jacketed ammunition.

    If the original problems persist, call S&W.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtyler05si View Post
    I have the gun in front of me now. I haven't learned how the extractor comes apart yet so I am not sure what I am looking for. Does the rod unscrew from the cylinder housing?
    Yes, and it is a left-handed thread. Lefty-tighty, righty-loosey. In other words, turn the extractor rod counter-clockwise (as viewed from the muzzle end of the revolver) to tighten it.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtyler05si View Post
    Oh by the way, probably important info that I failed to mention, but the distance that the cylinder failed to close was literally only 1/16". This was pretty much exactly at the point where the extractor was meeting the spring-loaded "locking pin" at the end of the barrel. I know this is filled with incorrect nomenclature, but I will get up to speed with the wheelgun crowd soon enough.
    Put a small drop of oil onto that sliding, spring-loaded ,beveled pin that locks the front of the extractor rod in the housing under the barrel. The beveled pin must slide freely in its housing. With the cylinder open you should be able to effortlessly slide the beveled pin into the housing against its spring. If the beveled pin is not moving you have found your problem, and a drop of oil on the beveled pin should cure your problem. (I don't think that a stuck extractor locking pin is your problem, but we are eliminating possibilities one by one.)
    Last edited by marcclarke; September 4th, 2012 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Fix typo.

  16. #30
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    Nope, not a gap issue, atleast not tight binding but when the gaps are as big as .009 up to .017 it is way beyound sloppy and out of square baddly. use to be 3 to 7th's was good today s&w well like them slid at 4 to 10th's. Yours should go back. Do you use any lube on the pawl that rotates the cylinder. And even a drop of lube on the "ball that holds the cylinder in place, "thumb release". Hard to figure was up with your revolver when the problem only shows up when its hot when hot and the gap is that big. Because of all the slack between the cylinder and barrel I would call SW CS and talk it over, get a shipping label from them and send it back along with a note for the smithy telling the ammo used and rounds fired before it jambs up, about. Let them do what they need to do. Yout revolver my simple be a bad one of those turds that slip by today with more small issues then any single one should have.

    I Know with any new to me pistol I tend to disassemble to clean and lube. On a revolver that would be the trigger group too as some times there is metal shaveings in the trigger group and just simpley dirty and not lubed. That does not seem to be your issue be keep it in mind when you get that one back.

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