Q for those really familiar with S$W wheelies bout' lock up and such

Q for those really familiar with S$W wheelies bout' lock up and such

This is a discussion on Q for those really familiar with S$W wheelies bout' lock up and such within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; OK, have a 65-3 3" old police gun. Outside is really clean..95% or better. When I put the pistol in full lock-up I have a ...

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Thread: Q for those really familiar with S$W wheelies bout' lock up and such

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    Apr 2009

    Q for those really familiar with S$W wheelies bout' lock up and such

    OK, have a 65-3 3" old police gun. Outside is really clean..95% or better. When I put the pistol in full lock-up I have a very little bit of front to back play, very little, less than 1/64 inch (don't have a feeler gauge) and more side to side, maybe 1/32 inch. How far off is this from new? I'm sure this seems like a really useless question but I'm curious.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Well, you do want that feeler gauge. I suspect you're well within tolerance given the very subjective measurements, but...

    Side to side, as in the cylinder may be partially rotated with the hammer dropped, that much, or the cylinder on the crane moves that much? Either way, 1/32 would be a bit much, but different fixes.

    Again, I doubt it's needed, but if it is: cut the crane and use endshake bearings(can be "stretched," but I'm not personally a fan of that); fit an over-size hand and/or cylinder catch to take up the lateral play.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    This is why you need a "feeler guage".

    I'd take the gun to a reputable 'smith and have them check it out and then base my decision, on what I would do in regards to the gun, on that.

    Finding a "reputable" 'smith and not a "parts changer" is the hardest part.


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  5. #4
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Without personally handling your revolver I'd say it is within tolerances. All my usin' Smith & Wesson revolvers have detectable play and had some when they were new. Just the nature of the design. Thirty-something years ago I worried about it. Now I've shot the hooey out of some of the same thirty-something year-old revolvers and they've not come "unhinged" or suffered from degraded accuracy or velocity with favored loads.

    Just last month I finally put a shim in my old favorite 1971 vintage Model 10 Heavy Barrel .38 Special in order to reduce what I decided was excessive endshake even though the revolver wasn't spitting, dragging, or giving trouble. The revolver has had heaping piles of .38 Special ammo fired through it over the years along with acting as a test bed for factory performance loads and heavy experimental hand loads. It's had what could be termed as "much endshake" for years.

    Presto, fixed! Easy gunsmith fix or you can obtain packets of shims from Brownells in different thicknesses to be used as needed.

    Side play may be from a worn cylinder stop, worn/peened cylinder stop notches in the cylinder, or even from a battered cylinder stop opening in the frame. Again, my old gun has sustained a good deal of rapid double action usage and it is still fine. The gun would have to be really abused or perhaps suffer from an unfortunate blow when dropped to cause excessive side play.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  6. #5
    Ex Member Array LSP972's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    The way to check endshake is pull the trigger and HOLD it... THEN try to move the cylinder fore and aft. Just moving the cylinder back and forth with the hammer at rest tells you nothing

    That's called endshake cylinder. There is also endshake yoke, which is checked with the cylinder open at various points of the yoke travel. That's YOKE, not "crane".

    S&W revolvers are surprisingly tolerant of wear/endshake. The Reader's Digest version is, if it shoots every time you pull the trigger, don't worry about it. Excessive endshake cylinder will indeed cause misfires, but it has to be pretty bad first. Yours sounds quite normal, as brother bmcgilvray noted.

    The "side play" (rotational, as opposed to axial which is what endshake is) again was partially explained in post #4. A little bit is to be expected, but too much is bad. Your first clue is "spitting", where the charge hole is not completely lined up with the barrel and a bit of the bullet is being shaved as it leaves the cylinder and enters the barrel forcing cone. This is a timing issue, and is much more complex to fix than endshake. Your basic Billy-Boob 'gunsmith' may- or may not- have a clue how to do it. Best to let Springfield handle that one; or someone you KNOW is a factory-trained S&W revolver mechanic

    Again, your revolver sounds normal here, so if it isn't spitting, don't worry about it.

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