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Old 04-25-2018, 04:38 PM
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Default Parts for a S&W 38 Short Safety Hammerless 4th model

Guys, my dad left me this old "Lemon Squeezer" and the cylinder stop is worn to the point that it won't even catch at all. Other than that the gun works fine. Any ideas on where to find a cylinder stop for that gun? In the pic it is the one on the bottom if that helps any. The gun on the top works perfectly but is a 32 S&W 3rd model I think.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:06 PM
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First off, grips off and blast with cleaner or soak in the magic formula.
Just be gentle taking the grips off, pls. You may have alot of gunk from pocket carry.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:20 PM
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I have had it disassembled, checked and cleaned by a qualified local gunsmith. He said everything but the cylinder stop is working properly. He said the cylinder stop wasn't broke, just worn down by age and use. That is what he said, I have no idea, lol
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:24 PM
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First, do what Mike says to make sure the cylinder stop is not just stuck or dirty. If not, give us a serial number, so anyone who might have parts can match it up with your era or production. If you are thinking of replacing the cylinder stop, you should be able to take off the sideplate to get to the stop to make sure if it is stuck. Removing the stocks and soaking it in a mixture of acetone and Automatic Transmission Fluid for a couple of days might do the trick.

The image you supplied looks like the Safety is in fine nickel condition. I notice the image is from 2010, was the revolver working at that time or has it always needed parts? The revolver looks to be in much too good of condition to have a worn cylinder stop???

Lastly, the caliber is simply 38 S&W, with no Short.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone.
Serial Number is 138184
My father died in 2000 and neither gun has been fired since then. That is why I used the old pic, they just sit in the safe. The cylinder stop hasn't worked for as long as I can remember (40-50 years). The 32 S&W is in awesome condition and perfect working order. The 38 has been refinished I think. I'm not sure but the S&W logo on the gun doesn't seem to be as deep and crisp as on the 32, that is my only reasoning for saying it has been refinished at some point. So early in its life it might have been used some or a lot? A gunsmith says the stop is worn down. I hope he knows what he is talking about. He cleaned and lubricated it and it still didn't work.
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:39 PM
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I am not a gun smith and don't even play one on TV. In my limited experience playing around with older guns I have seen and read a lot of stories about weak or broken springs.

Is it possible that the stop is activated into the stop position by a spring that has lost its power???????

I know that as I age things do not work as they once did so just a random thought.
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:20 PM
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I can only add that I believe it was refinished. Without the revolver disassembled so as to see the parts; we can only speculate: Weak or broken spring; yes. Bent cylinder stop; yes. Gunk in the cylinder stop notch; yes. Replating buildup in the slot for the cylinder stop affecting the operation; most likely. Plating on the cylinder stop; possible cause.

Pull the revolver apart and look at these areas. I feel that your headache is caused by excess plating or plating on parts that never had plating from the factory causing an interference fit that will hang-up the operation. Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:59 PM
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I would agree with Mike's observations & suggestions. I disagree with the gunsmith that told you the cylinder stop was worn. Very unlikely that the gun has been fired enough to wear down the cylinder stop and not show a lot of wear in other places. Ed.
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:58 PM
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Before I take it apart myself, is there anywhere I can download a parts diagram so I will know what I'm looking for and more importantly, how to get it back together?

Are there any specific questions I should ask the gunsmith that had it apart to help me move forward. I can call him tomorrow if that would help.

Also, are there gunsmiths on here that specialize in this type of old gun that I could send it too?

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Old 04-26-2018, 12:06 AM
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Use your cell phone camera and take lots of photos as you remove each part. Besides that's why Al Gore invented cell phones in the first place.
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:08 AM
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If after you do some more checking you end up needing a cylinder stop I should have one in my parts stuff. I tend to agree however that the stop should not be worn out . PM me if you need one and I will see what I have.

I can also send you a break down drawing for the gun if you need one.

Keith
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:21 AM
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Numrich (gunpartscorp.com) has a parts layout for the safety hammerless. You can identify the parts with this but it doesn't show how they fit together.
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Old 04-26-2018, 12:44 PM
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Thanks very much for the parts diagram. That should help a lot. And if I can definitely determine the problem I will be back for needed parts. Thanks for all the help
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:06 AM
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I purchased a 38 top break a couple of years ago (from member opoefc as a matter of fact!) and it came without a cylinder stop. I called Jack First and they actually make cylinder stops for Smith top breaks. It needed to be fitted, but it works fine.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akc47 View Post
Thanks very much for the parts diagram. That should help a lot. And if I can definitely determine the problem I will be back for needed parts. Thanks for all the help
I would like to weigh in on something about this that I have learned the hard way before I found this forum . There are very few working gunsmiths today that truly understand the workings and intricacies involved in any DA revolver but especially the older ones .My advice is buy the proper tools and take the time to learn this firearm and how to work on it yourself ,the satisfaction of that is almost as enjoyable as the shooting and you are in the right place to start.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for the advice, but I am very much an idiot when it come to mechanical things. I can change the oil in my car but that is about it. I tried to work on two guns in my life (more than just cleaning) and had to pay someone to put both back together. That is why in one of my above posts I asked if there was a “qualified” gunsmith on here for that type of gun. I would rather pay to have it done right than pay someone to mess it up worse or me mess it up worse. My other option I guess is sell it, but I hate to do that since my dad loved this little gun. But it bugs me that it doesn’t work everytime I open the vault and see it laying there. I would have to learn too much to do this myself and then buy the right tools. Then, I would be afraid to even pull the trigger to see if I did it right. LOL. Not sure what I will do. Keep the ideas rolling.
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Old 04-27-2018, 06:01 PM
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I am sure that there is someone here on the forum that you could send it to and have it looked at. No different than sending it to a gunsmith but some folks her know S&W’s better than gunsmiths.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:05 PM
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To your very first question; "where to" on parts.

"Jack First" in Rapid City S D.
They now have a web site that may or not show your S&W because it's just now a few months in the making, but, if there has ever been a more knowledgeable group of people to talk to about older gun parts I have yet to come across them.

I almost know they have most anything you need for that little Smith, and with a proper gun ID on your part,(( year, series, S/N )), just a word description of the wanted parts will be all you need.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:02 PM
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Does he repair guns or just supply the needed parts?
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:02 AM
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"Does he repair guns or just supply the needed parts?"

I believe they are a parts supplier only . By the way - I would not consider selling it if I were you. First of all you will be real lucky to get $100 for it as is. Then there is the family history tie which may not mean much to you now, but it may in the future. Or to your kids or other relatives.

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Old 04-28-2018, 09:05 AM
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Where are you located? You may find a knowledgeable forum member nearby who would be willing to help you. Also, early on, you said you had it disassembled and cleaned by a qualified gunsmith who ID'd the cylinder stop problem. Why couldn't he/she replace the CS?
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Old 04-28-2018, 05:37 PM
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He said he couldn't find one for the make and model of my gun. I feel sure he didn't look in places like this. He probably called the guy or guys he always calls and they said they didn't have it.
I'm in central Alabama.

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Old 04-29-2018, 05:04 AM
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Jack First Gun Parts – Jack First Inc. makes replacement parts for a lot of guns. Also, eBay is a very good source for parts. If you will PM me your location, I'll look in my S&WCA roster to see if there is a member nearby you can contact for help.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:02 PM
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I can help but I am going to Indiana for a week or so. My Dad is in ill health. If you want help when I get back send me an email and I can help. Everything from over the phone or send it to me. I have helped many members here and have a few parts.
My email is tlay1956@gmail.com
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:40 PM
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Just a short update. My local gunsmith said he contacted First Jack for a cylinder stop and he didn't have one for this gun.
Also, with the top broke open, when I pull the trigger you can see the cylinder stop moving up and down but it never clears the floor of the frame enough to make contact with the cylinder. Visually the end doesn't look worn, but I could be wrong. So, there seems to be something wrong with the cylinder stop (bent, worn, broken) or with another part (spring?) that pushes the cylinder stop up. I took the side plate off and can't really tell anything since I'm a newbie. I still want to pursue fixing it, but I'm not 100% sure a cylinder stop will fix it. I'll let you know if I get any further. tlay, let me know when you are back. Thanks everyone.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:14 AM
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Look on eBay and Gunpartauction.com, Gunparts original. Com
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:01 AM
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One possibility is that the stop could be bent. If you look at the schematic for a 32 Safety below, you will see a stop that part number 450 and it is very long and thin. The 32 and 38 Safety revolvers had similar stops in all models. I assume that your gunsmith did not disassemble the gun? When the spring pushes the stop up into the channel, it rests on the underside of the frame. If the thin arm is bent down, the stop will not rise to the proper level.

The stop moves so easily that even a weak spring should still push the stop up in place. If you push down on the stop, does it rebound or remain in place? Also, if you remove the stocks, you can see the stop spring (#454) pinned to the front of the butt-frame. You can see the spring and the back of the stop move if you push down on the stop. If the spring rebounds, the stop is bent. You can also take a small screwdriver and lightly lift the spring to see if it moves without taking any parts out. At rest, the stop should be about .060" high in the channel. Check these issues out and give us a reply.

Lastly, maybe Tom can clarify what actually moves the stop? Is it trigger or hammer actuated?
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:46 AM
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OK As we work through this, the gun may have several problems. LOL
Took the grips and side plate off.
As I played around with the trigger, the stop is at its high point when the trigger is fully pulled and it is then high enough to almost catch, but not quite. It will scrape the bottom of the cylinder. As soon as I release the trigger it falls back down to its "normal" low position.
I tried to push the stop down with a screwdriver and it wouldn't move at all when it was already down. With the trigger pulled and the stop "high" i could push it down and it would return to "up" when I released the trigger. Just not up enough to catch and hold. I'm assuming the stop is trigger driven because one I hear the hammer fall, the stop stays high as long as i keep the trigger pulled. Once I release the trigger it falls.
Then something else happened. The trigger froze up and as I played around with the trigger and the stop, 1/2 of a part fell out. LOL From the diagram you supplied it looks like the left end of part 468 (split spring). I don't know what happened to the other 1/2 or if it is still in there somewhere. Could the split spring be the whole issue, or just another problem to fix?
Thanks

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Old 05-03-2018, 11:31 AM
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The split spring is the Achilles Heel in the Safety Hammerless. The other half is probably still in the revolver. This spring is pinned and pivots with the cylinder stop. As the hammer moves to the full cock position, a nib on the bottom of the hammer depresses the split spring and unlocks the cylinder. Upon firing, the nib slides between the ears of the split spring leaving the cylinder locked. Sadly, the split spring is almost impossible to find and very expensive to make. I suggest finding another beat-to-death, but working, revolver to use as an organ donor.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:07 PM
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So, is that spring the likely reason the cylinder stop isn't working properly or are there likely two or more issues I have to solve?
Thanks
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:29 PM
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I don't know if that is all your issue. But, the good news is Jack First sells the split spring. I recommend getting the book Gunsmithing Guns of the Old West by David Chicoine even if you never plan to work on another old Smith. It's fun to read how they made these guns work. Remember, the first top breaks made after the tip ups had fully automatic spent hull ejection. That mechanism is very sophisticated even today.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:35 PM
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The split spring is anchored by a small pin to the cylinder stop and you can see the hole in the schematic. It assists the stop in the down position, so it was probably cracked and not fully performing its function.

I took apart one of my 38 Safeties to find how everything works. The split spring makes contact with the small knob on the bottom of the hammer (not shown on the schematic) that pushes down on the spring to drop the stop as you start the trigger pull. The small "ski jump" on the end of the split spring passes under the hammer knob and when clear as the hammer reaches full cock the stop pops back up.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:23 PM
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Do you think this broken spring could keep the cylinder stop from rising up high enough to keep the cylinder from being locked by the cylinder stop?
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:25 PM
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Did anything change after half the spring dropped out? The split spring is there to push down against the flat cylinder stop spring at the rear of the cylinder stop. If it is not working, the stop should be in the raised (locked) position all the time, so back to the possibility that the stop is bent. The best bet is to get the spring from Jack First and disassemble the gun. That should allow you to test if the stop can rise fully or if it is part of the problem? Try to get a measurement of the height of the stop. It should be .060" or 1/16" high.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:09 PM
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Thanks Gary. No nothing changed. My guess is it was already broke and happened to fall out when I took the grips and side panel off. Free spins when hand not on trigger and barely touches when trigger fully depressed. Maybe more of the broken spring is in there preventing the cylinder stop from working? Your suggestion to buy the spring is a good one since I know it is broke.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:15 PM
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I am back in town. I sent you an email with my phone number. Please call me and we can work out the details. Since this was your Dads gun I won't charge you anything but parts to fix it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:31 PM
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I received the gun today. For info it is refinished. I will take it apart tomorrow and let you know what I find.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnrivrat View Post
If after you do some more checking you end up needing a cylinder stop I should have one in my parts stuff. I tend to agree however that the stop should not be worn out . PM me if you need one and I will see what I have.

I can also send you a break down drawing for the gun if you need one.

Keith
If you have a cylinder stop for this gun please let me know, we now believe that is one thing it does need. Thanks
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:52 PM
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The cylinder stop in this model runs through the trigger and is actuated by a short stiff spring. It has been ground down and will not stop the cylinder when the trigger is a rest. When the trigger is pulled it will come out enough to stop the cylinder but it doesn't take much pressure to move it out of the stop. There is no split spring in this model so I don't know where those pieces came from. Some times people put them between the strain screw and main spring trying to stiffen it. The extractor does not work and only comes out part of the way, but that is an easy fix. I have a couple of cylinder stops but only one for a 38 but it is in no better shape. If anyone has one for a 38 safety hammerless and want to do some trading, let me know! I also have other parts I can trade. Even some hard to find firing pins!!
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:37 PM
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Well, Tlay did some amazing repair work and got this little revolver working again! It had a lot of problems but he found a way to get it working again. He test fired it yesterday! It hasn’t fired a shot in 50 years until yesterday! And now when I open the safe and see this gun sitting there, I can hear my dad say “well done son”. Thanks to all for the help, especially TLay.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:27 PM
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First off; congratulations to you and tlay for having the nerve to fix this revolver. Good job! I am, however, interested in hearing about: "There is no split spring in this model so I don't know where those pieces came from.". Anyone care to clarify that comment for me?
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:43 PM
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I don't know what anyone is calling a "split spring". It has many flat type springs, one for the safety that blocks the hammer, one for the cylinder stop, a V spring for the trigger return, a coil spring for the firing pin, a V spring for the latch for the barrel, a main spring, a coil spring in the cylinder for the extractor, and a small flat curved spring for the piece that helps to raise the extractor. I don't know of a split spring in this model.
I forgot the small flat spring for the advancing mechanism. Can't think of the name right now, Friday is wine and cheese day!!!
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Last edited by tlay; 05-18-2018 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:06 PM
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Oh! My wife and I will be over in a half hour. We'll bring a nice bottle of La Creama; do you like Gruyere cheese?

The spring that I was inquiring about is number 468 in Gary's parts diagram in post #27 above. From your response and the "fix" I surmise that that it was present and intact. That is very lucky indeed.

"Can't think of the name right now..". I'm sure you'll think of: 'Hand Spring' in the middle of the night; don't call me... please.

Again, nice work!
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:38 PM
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“for having the nerve to fix this revolver”

The nerve to fix it or to fire it after he was done, lol
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:18 PM
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I tried to answer last night but lost the stupid internet! If the small piece off of the cylinder stop that is actuated by the nub on the hammer is a split spring then I apologize. It sure does not look like any split spring I am familiar with. But anyways it was there.
The problems with it were someone ground the cylinder stop down, probably the same person who renickeled it so they wouldn't have the line, and a broken trigger return spring.
I test fired it and everything works ok. But the extractor is sometimes slow to return all the way down. It will work as is. I took one of my guns apart for the parts. It is the least I can do for his Dad. I know how he feels because my Dad is not doing well. I would do it again!
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