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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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  #1  
Old 01-15-2016, 02:43 PM
noonster noonster is offline
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I have an early 20's k-frame in decent shape. 38 Special. Main problem with it is when shooting it in single action. I really have to reef the heck out of it to get the hammer into the final aspect of full cock position. It runs real nice in double action - no problem there. Is this normal with them in single action? My other k-frames are nothing like this. What's going on?
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:59 PM
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Check it with the grips off. I have see the mainspring run into the grip screw. Shouldn't happen on factory grips. While the grips are off first check that main spring is centered in frame notch, then spray a bunch of carb or brake cleaner into the frame openings while cycling the action. After doing that for a bit a few drops of oil through same openings and it may improve.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:07 PM
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If you're used to K frames from the last 65 years you will not a difference in how far you have to pull the hammer back to cock it. The older revolvers have a longer hammer stroke than the newer ones.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:37 PM
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to the OP, help me out on "...reef...". Not familiar with the term.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:05 PM
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Reef is a term I hear in relationship to put out an above normal amount of force. I have heard that it was originally a slang usage that started in Australia.

The normal usage as a verb is to reef or take in a sail. Probably got transferred because in high winds a sail would take extra force to reef.

I really had to reef on the wrench to get that nut.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:29 PM
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Reef: we used that term on a number of ships I worked on over the decades. Means like Steelslaver said. Lots of extra force. I can pull it back "normal" enough till I get to the last say 3/16 of an inch then I have to crank up the power to get the thing fully cocked. Seems weird. Haven't run into one that takes so much beef to cock fully. Grips look to be original, but who knows with an almost hundred year old piece. Will pull them off and sniff around inside --- nope, same with the grips off.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:44 PM
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Okay - on a lark I pulled off the side plate - looks like the mainspring is touching the rebound slide before it's fully cocked. Is this a big deal? I don't know the innards of S&W's.
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:01 PM
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Ya, that isn't right. Something wrong. Can you post a picture.

Hey check to see that the strain screw is tight. Thats the one at the bottom of the grip. Possible if real lose to let spring work wrong.

I guess someone could have stuck in the wrong main spring at some point.

Last edited by steelslaver; 01-15-2016 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:17 PM
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Correctly working early K actions are longer than post-war short actions but are still as smooth as butter. It should not take extra force to reach full cock. Make sure the mainspring strain screw is fully seated and that it hasn't been cut off in the past. Some early shooters would modify the mainspring screw length to lighten the double-action-only action. A replacement mainspring strain screw is cheap.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:01 PM
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The problem you mention can occur if the spring tensioning screw has been shortened or is not screwed in all the way. For a shortened tensioning screw, some use a fired primer cup over the tensioning screw tip to effectively lengthen it.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-17-2016 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:53 PM
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Okay - took some photos this aft of its innards. A couple (three) in sequence to show the (?) bad guy:

Well, that didn't work out so well... I hafta read up on sticking pics in here...

Last edited by noonster; 01-17-2016 at 06:54 PM. Reason: made a mess
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:13 PM
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I'm no expert, but it sounds like reefer madness to me. The main spring, whether it's been bent in the past by a do-it-yourself smithy, or is confined in its travel by a non-factory grip screw, is rubbing against something. Trial & error by someone created the problem. Trial and error can solve it. Try a new spring, new grips, new strain screw, and make sure the rebound slide stud isn't broken or loose. You can have fun fixing those old-timers, provided you don't make them worse. They're almost fool-proof. Be patient. You'll get it.
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Last edited by Mike McLellan; 01-17-2016 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:18 PM
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Two photos of the inside works (okay this one seemed to work - have more pics, laid the piece on my chest to take the photos:

http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1453072739
http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1453072739
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full cocking pre-10-p1060017-jpg   full cocking pre-10-p1060005-jpg  

Last edited by noonster; 01-17-2016 at 07:20 PM. Reason: add written stuff to accompany the photos
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:28 PM
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Try the trick of putting a fired primer cup over the tensioning screw tip to see if it helps. What I see from your picture is exactly what I would expect with a shortened or loosened tensioning screw. Or you might want to buy an new hammer spring and tensioning screw, as they are not expensive.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:20 PM
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Looks to me as though you have an aftermarket mainspring, possibly not arched the same as factory. First, try the primer cup under the strain screw, and make sure you tighten the screw fully. If that doesn't solve your problem, replace the mainspring and strain screw with factory items. NOTE: If all this fails, you can CAREFULLY grind a SMALL chamfer onto the rebound slide where the contact occurs. Please do keep us posted.

Larry

Last edited by lebomm; 01-17-2016 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:07 PM
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I agree that the hammer spring is an non S&W part. The originals were nicely tapered from bottom to top, and straight when removed from the gun. The taper, along with a proper length strain screw gives the spring an arch that will clear the rebound slide.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:05 PM
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Aha! If that is an aftermarket ribbed Wolfe replacement mainspring, then I've had the same binding when putting them in pre-war guns. The little legs that hook on the stirrup get in the way on pre-war actions. You can either put an original flat mainspring back in it or carefully grind the tips off the leg hooks on the aftermarket spring.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:38 AM
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I agree that it looks like a non original spring, or at least not the original bend under tension. Try what has been mentioned and let us know what works.

I am also in Ne Ohio. PM me with where you live. If close by, I might be able to stop and look at it. I have rebuilt a few S&Ws in my time as a RO with a Police Department.

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Old 01-18-2016, 09:32 AM
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StrawHat: see you Friday. A big thanks to the rest of you. I won't be able to work on it till later in the week - will keep you posted on any progress.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:05 AM
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I had a chance to look inside this revolver and the mainspring does not look like a S&W. The spent primer trick did not help.

Where can we get an old style "K" mainspring for him?

Kevin
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Last edited by StrawHat; 01-24-2016 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:46 AM
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I don't think the K-frame spring has changed over the years. You might look on eBay or Gun Parts, Inc.(Numrich).
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:51 PM
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If Firearm Parts & Accessories | Military Surplus | Numrich Gun Parts doesn't have it, a Victory mainspring from eBay should work.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:24 PM
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There are a number of Wolff K/L/N spring paks on eBay, also see one S&W spring there.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:39 PM
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PM me your address and I'll send you a spring, but I don't have a correct strain screw. You need a longer one and I don't think the primer cup is enough to help.
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Old 01-25-2016, 04:02 PM
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After swapping a mainspring from one of my 32 WCF M&Ps, the situation resolved itself with no needed adjustment to the strain screw. So, the mainspring was not correct for the old 38 Special.

I sen a PM to H Richard and he is sending an old mainspring out to the OP and I will install it when it arrives.

Many thanks and much appreciation to H Richard.

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Old 01-25-2016, 09:54 PM
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A big thanks to all from me, too. Looks like I'm gonna have a real fun shooter with good springs.
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