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Old 05-29-2013, 09:53 AM
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Default model17 problem

Looked at and shot a 17 no dash model. It shot great but sometimes after a reload the cylinder/hammer and trigger would be locked up. This required the owner to open and close the cylinder a couple of times,fiddle with the rounds and ecject mechanism then the gun would cycle.
It did not look dirty.

Can every problem be repaired?
S/W service told me they only repair back to about 1975.
Should I buy it?
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:16 AM
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I would ask the owner if you can take it to a competent gunsmith for evaluation before purchasing. If the gunsmith says it can be repaired for a reasonable price, you have that as bargaining power.

There are many reasons why this problem could occur. Sometimes the mechanism is either lacking proper lubrication or is gummed up with oil and debris and a simple cleaning can take care of the problem. Other options are that the hand spring may not be working properly or is broken. The ejector rod assembly might be loose, resulting in the cylinder binding on the frame. Lastly, it could have worn parts that need replacing, which could be an expensive repair.

Almost any S&W revolver can be repaired to bring it back to proper function, but it is all about the extent of repairs needed and whether the seller is willing to offset the price to give you a reasonable purchase price when you include those costs.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:47 AM
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. . . This required the owner to open and close the cylinder a couple of times,fiddle with the rounds and ecject mechanism then the gun would cycle.
Based on the corrective action taken to make it cycle again, I would also check for powder residue between the extractor star and the cylinder.

Russ
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:57 AM
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I don't mean to over-simplify, but my personal feeling about older, functioning S&W revolvers is: If you give it a good shake, and the barrel doesn't fall off, buy it. Any one of several things can contribute to the symptoms you've described. All of them are fixable. The model 17 is a beautiful machine. If the price is right (allowing for a little smithing), go for it. Just my personal feeling.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:32 PM
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Can every problem be repaired?
S/W service told me they only repair back to about 1975.
Should I buy it?
1) Maybe not "every" problem, but most can be.
2) I believe they will repair any model numbered gun, which should include everything from around 1956-57 on.
3) Yes, as long as both the condition and the price are reasonable.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:40 PM
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I agree, almost any old Smith is repairable within reason unless torched in half.

I can't guarantee this is the problem and several good possibilities have been mentioned, but in my experience, if the thumbpiece release bolt for the cyl is not returning to the rear when the cyl is closed, it will exhibit your exact symptoms. The reason could simply be a gummy, dirty, bolt or more likely a sticking front barrel lug locking bolt at the front end of the extractor rod. If the front bolt sticks or the rod is bent or not engaging the bolt completely (extractor rod slightly unscrewed*), the thumbpiece bolt is not pushed to the rear sufficiently to release the interlock with the hammer, which locks the action.
* NOTE: Model 17 right hand thread; model 17-1 left hand thread.

Very simple to diagnose. When the action is locked up, check that thumbpiece is all the way to the rear. If you determine that is the problem, negotiate the price and it's a do it yourself repair when you get it home. Or if the price is "right", just take it as is!
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:07 PM
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Thanks to all for the info. I paid for the gun today and now the 10 day wait begins.
It is beautiful. If the trigger was any nicer I could fire the gun in single action by just thinking about it.
Since the gun is out of town I arranged for the owner to bring it to a smith of my choice. He did not identify the lock up problem but checked the alignment and spcecs and told me it was good.
The lock-up problem only comes after several rounds have been fired.
Also you have to push the rounds into the cylinders. I figure worst case a gun smith with a reamer can fix the tight round problem.
Thanks again to everyone.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:41 PM
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Default paid for the 17 today

Now it is just a matter of the 10 day wait.
I want to thank everyone for the info. I posted a quick reply but did not see it come up on the thread.

I will clean and inspect the gun better when I get it.
It is a little hard to get the rounds into the cylinders.
A local gun smith told me it was a nice gun. He checked the alignment and specs to be o.k.


It does shoot great and is beautiful.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:06 PM
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You're going to love it. I hope you'll post pics once you have it in hand.

Can you tell us the serial number? Use xx for the last couple of digits if you don't want to be completely forthcoming, but the first part of the serial number, including the alphabetical prefix, will let us give you an idea of when it left the factory. (We already know it is likely to be between 1958 and 1961 as a no-dash 17.)

Congratulations on what sounds like a great score.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:25 PM
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Default 17 sn

The serial number is K3968xx.
S/W told me it was built in 1960.
I guess it a 17 no dash. It came with a box but the info tag showing specific gun info has been removed from the end of the box.

I will try to figure out how to post pictures. I hope it dosent have to go to S/W to get it right. The turn around time there is about two months.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:37 PM
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Most of the 22 revolvers I have will shoot about 30 rounds before the chambers get dirty and resist cartridge insertion. This can change depending on the brand of ammo. I always take a 22 bore brush and spin it in the chambers when they get sticky. I would wager that a good thourough cleaning will fix your problems.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:20 PM
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Listen to Hondo; that is the most likely cause of the hang-up.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:58 PM
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I do plan to check everything Hondo suggested to the best of my ability.
Need to get a good manual for the gun soon.
Is there anything to watch for when removing the side plate?

My only pistol experience is with my Ruger MarkII.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:22 PM
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These two videos are very good:
SMITH & WESSON MODEL 10 SERVICE REVOLVER PART 1 - YouTube
SMITH & WESSON MODEL 10 SERVICE REVOLVER PART 1 - YouTube

SMITH & WESSON MODEL 10 PART 2 - YouTube
SMITH & WESSON MODEL 10 PART 2 - YouTube
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
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I do plan to check everything Hondo suggested to the best of my ability.
Need to get a good manual for the gun soon.
Is there anything to watch for when removing the side plate?

My only pistol experience is with my Ruger MarkII.
If you do not have experience with sideplate removal:

Do not pry on the side plate. Once the stocks and sideplate screws are removed, tap the gripframe with a screwdriver handle and it will vibrate the sideplate right up.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:47 PM
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Scouring out the chambers with a brass bore brush would be the first step. Then blast out everything you can with spray carburetor cleaner (using the skinny red plastic tube). Remove the stocks first. I usually remove the sideplate, disassemble the works and soak everything in mineral spirits if nothing else helps.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:22 PM
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The videos were great!
Thanks,

Frank
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:52 PM
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Can someone verify the mfg. date serial number K3968xx?
S/W told me 1960 in which case I should have -1 with one less screw and left hand eject rod threads.

Thanks,

Frank

Last edited by Aviator; 06-06-2013 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:35 PM
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Can someone verify the mafg. date serial number K396842?
S/W told me 1960 in which case I should have -1 with one less screw and left hand eject rod threads.

Thanks,

Frank
Based on known ship dates, I would estimate yours shipped in mid-1960.

Russ
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:44 PM
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According to my info in 1959 it should have lost the trigger guard screw,gotten left hand ejet rod threads and became a -1.
It does have the fourth screw.
Maybe it sat around a long time before it was shipped.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
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According to my info in 1959 it should have lost the trigger guard screw,gotten left hand ejet rod threads and became a -1.
It does have the fourth screw.
Maybe it sat around a long time before it was shipped.

Thanks,

Frank
Your right Frank. It was in process already with the old parts (frame drilled for 4th screw, etc.) and already stamped Mod 17. This is not uncommon. Nor is being stamped with model and new dash # but not having the new engineering change and also the reverse. At least your model # stamping is consistent with the eng features on your gun.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:51 PM
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Just an update. After I cleaning the lock up problem went away. I did spend 3 full days scrubbing the cylinder and it is still not perfectly clean.
The gun shoots great and I am looking for another one.
It does have some etching on the forward area of the chambers but that dosent seem to effect operation or accuracy.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
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Just an update. After I cleaning the lock up problem went away. I did spend 3 full days scrubbing the cylinder and it is still not perfectly clean.
The gun shoots great and I am looking for another one.
It does have some etching on the forward area of the chambers but that dosent seem to effect operation or accuracy.
Bravo!!

Recognize that under recoil, while the gun recoils backward, the cyl locking pin tends to not move with the gun: "a body at rest tends to stay at rest...etc."

The pin is under forward tension from the thumbpiece spring countering the tension of the cyl lock pin's return spring and plunger in the barrel lug. So if the pin and the thumbpiece do not return rearward completely after recoil due to dirt, crud, etc., the thumbpiece will lock up the action as mentioned in my post #6 above. That's why the problem went away after your thorough cleaning.
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