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Old 05-14-2017, 09:38 PM
captain5 captain5 is offline
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Default Help finding manual

Hi all. I have a 38 revolver made in 1902. Smith and wesson. Any idea where I might find a manual for it. I need to break it down for a good cleaning but I'm an auto kind of guy. My dad carried it in the 30's with the LAPD. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:46 PM
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Go online and find a copy of David. R. Chicoine's book called
"Antique Firearms Assembly/Disassembly", ca. 2005. That
should help you.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:01 PM
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You may want to consider not removing the side plate at all, especially if you don't have a nice proper fitting hollow ground screwdriver.

Most have good luck squirting a product known as break free in to the innards and leting them soak then flushing again with the break free.

The idea is to dissolve the old hard grease or what not, then blow it dry with compressed air.

Then squirt in a good all around lubricant like CLP.

Then try the action, I bet it be butter.

Youtube is an excellent resource, all kinds of content, like cleaning, breakdown, trigger jobs, etc, for your particular gun.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:29 AM
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Sorry, but I have never had good luck loosening grease and debris with Break-free other than as a penetrating oil for stuck screws. it doesn't have the heavy duty solvents found in products like Carb-n-Choke cleaners.

There is nothing as effective as disassembly and cleaning of individual parts unless the gun is just dried out and dirty, and gunnails is absolutely correct that you should have specialized gunmakers screwdrivers (turnscrews) that are made for these narrow screw slots found on firearms. With most standard screwdrivers, you will find they do not fit into the slot or are taper ground to allow the blade to jump out of the groove. I have a few that I have hollow ground myself and they work, but not near as well as the factory turnscrews. Also, after 50 years, all those screws may well be frozen and will require long term soaking before they can be removed. For the cost, you might just want to find a competent gunsmith to do the job and it will be done right.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:39 AM
Eddietruett Eddietruett is offline
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Midway USA has a good book on S&W Revolvers. Not sure of the name. It has lots of drawings and schematics and instructions how to perform certain tasks
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass! You might try this site Heritage Gun Books - Gunsmithing, Repair and Maintenance Manuals (or Amazon) for books written by Jerry Kuhnhausen specifically for the S&W revolvers. Keep in mind that the Model 1902 had several engineering changes to the trigger return and hammer rebound functions. Your gun does not have a rebound slide like modern S&W's and, instead, those functions operate differently than later guns. Parts are hard to come by...especially the trigger return spring.

You might Google "Ed's Red Gun Bore Cleaner" for a recipe for making your own CLP. It contains acetone and auto trans fluid both of which will penetrate varnish, gum and old oil from these old guns. It is also substantially cheaper to make than buying commercial cleaners.

Why not post some pictures? We love to covet old guns.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:31 PM
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I take the grips of a lot of DA vintage revolvers and put them in
Gunk in a sonic cleaner over night. Then give them a bath in
boiling soapy water, then boiling clear water. Air hose them out
then oil. It is not as good as tear down but reduces the chance of
parts breakage and screw problems. If I was dead set on tear
down I would give it the Kroil treatment several times before
tear down. A sharp tap on gun with a plastic or wood hammer
also helps free up screws.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:13 PM
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I guess we will have to wait for a reply, since we do not even know if this is a top break 38 Double Action or a solid frame 38 M&P??
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:46 PM
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I kinda stuck my neck out and reasoned if his dad carried it as an LEO with the LAPD in the 1930's, it probably is a hand ejector. You know what they say about 'assumptions.'
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