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  #51  
Old 03-12-2017, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LongColt45 View Post
.....although I'll probably at least have a quick look-see under the side plate just to make sure everything's as it should be.
There is sure nothing wrong with removing the side plate to give it a look. I tend to shoot first to see if there is a problem. Here is a N-frame Model 27:



It didn't work as well as it should have worked. It took 30 minutes to tear it down and clean it (I use Simple Green). I lubricated the parts and got it up and running in another 30 minutes.



I'd say just a few older ~1950-1970 S&W revolvers need a quick cleaning. I'd be careful about using something to remove metal from the inside parts as you would be modifying an original S&W revolver.

I'd like to see your pictures when you get it and as you clean it.
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  #52  
Old 03-13-2017, 05:47 PM
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I'd like to see your pictures when you get it and as you clean it.
OK. Photos of the open-up / disassembly will be taken.

I have a feeling there will be at least a small amount of brownish, sticky, dried lubricant in the action and probably in the cylinder components.

The last vintage firearm I purchased was a commercial 1924 Colt Government Model with almost all of the original bluing still intact. However, after a complete detailed strip it took several hours to thoroughly but carefully clean the accumulation of sticky gunk from nearly every part and out of the nooks and crannies. My guess is that the internals of that pistol hadn't seen the light of day in decades.

I don't expect anything like that with the Pre-Model 29. Still, doing the deep clean before shooting certainly won't hurt anything and I'll probably be too curious to resist.

Will photos like these work?

Tear down of 686 to do an action job and plug the Hillary Hole:





Pre- action polishing on my 1986 629:

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Old 03-16-2017, 07:35 PM
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Hey guys, one last question: Is there a general consensus on whether or not to replace any of the springs on S&W revolvers of this vintage?

My tendency would probably be to leave them original unless a problem is observed. Do you recommend replacing any of the springs as a matter of course?
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:39 PM
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Being from the left coast as well I feel your pain.. Not often does one see the older pistols available and then folks think they are made of gold. I have replaced springs in the past and would do so on any that don't seem to feel right. If the SA/DA is good then a good clean and oil/grease. If the trigger pull is too stiff then a Wolf kit is in order for me. Nice find.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:11 PM
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OK. Photos of the open-up / disassembly will be taken....

Tear down of 686 to do an action job and plug the Hillary Hole..
Nice pictures. These are L-frame revolvers. I've never owned one but helped a guy field strip one. The removing of the trigger is much different on a L-frame than a pinned N-frame.

I've never seen the other side of the Lock. Wow and good job.

Quote:
Is there a general consensus on whether or not to replace any of the springs on S&W revolvers of this vintage?
I wouldn't replace them unless there is a problem.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:37 PM
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"Step 1: When I get this revolver home I will strip it down to the pins and springs, ultrasonically clean the non-blued parts, possibly stone the moving internal parts to a mirror finish if wear patterns dictate, and generally get the gun in the best possible shape."
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I personally would not do this. This gun was manufactured to the highest standard, and if it isn't broke, I wouldn't fix it.

I like the shoot it part. I think the front sight is groovy, and would leave it alone (see part one of my answer ). It will never be original again, so what the heck.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongColt45 View Post
It did.

It took a while, but I was able to bargain the price down from $1500 to $1100. Of course, living in California I will have to wait 10 days before I get to take it home.

One aspect of living in California is that gun prices in general are a bit higher than in other parts of the country where many of you reside. Because of the stringent and restrictive gun legislation here, vintage handguns are not readily imported into the state, and when they appear in gun shops they are snapped up with rapidity. Therefore, I have no problem with the price I paid. I will certainly sell the presentation case - where and how, I do not know (any ideas on that, guys?).

I saw several examples of really minty Pre-29 .44 Magnums on Gun Broker in the $3k range. If there was an easy way to get those into California I would not hesitate to pay that for a pristine piece of S&W history. I did buy several off-roster custom 1911s under the now-defunct Single Shot Exemption, but until I figure out the C&R rules and the Single Action Exemption, I will be quite happy with this latest acquisition.

Next Steps (not necessarily in order) ...

Step 1: When I get this revolver home I will strip it down to the pins and springs, ultrasonically clean the non-blued parts, possibly stone the moving internal parts to a mirror finish if wear patterns dictate, and generally get the gun in the best possible shape.

Step 2: Letter the gun. I want to be sure that the original purchaser did not factory order either the non-relieved target stocks or the Patridge front conversion. I know that both are highly unlikely but I have read, on this forum no less, that stranger things have happened with both special and standard order S&Ws.

Step 3: Shoot, shoot and shoot some more. I really like .44s and have a mess of them. Now I have one more!

Step 4: Sell the case. I will almost certainly keep the non-relieved targets, even if I do buy a ridiculously priced set of Cokes online somewhere (which I am sorely tempted to do). The decision to buy Cokes may depend on if I decide to get the gun refinished. If I can get S&W to do the work I may go for it.

Step 5: Document Online. When I get the gun cleaned up and reassembled I will do a photo shoot and publish the spread here. I will also shoot the gun in my Ransom Rest at 25 yards using NRA testing protocols and publish results and target photos here as well.

Sorry for the ramble, just sharing my passion. Knowing that there is a community of folks like you out there just makes everything more fun for me.
Vintage handguns are readily imported into the state. It's very simple: C&R guns are exempt from the roster. If a gun is pre-model number, it's C&R, and all it takes to get it into the state (other than maybe paying for shipping) is to provide the seller with your chosen receiving FFL info.
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  #58  
Old 03-18-2017, 05:46 PM
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I doubt you really want S&W to reblue the gun. Their current method is not up to par with the blue of yesteryear.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:15 PM
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Default Bluing a Vintage Smith & Wesson?

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I doubt you really want S&W to reblue the gun. Their current method is not up to par with the blue of yesteryear.
Please see this new thread I just posted on this topic.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:16 PM
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Pickup date for the .44 Magnum is tomorrow. Rain is forecast for all day, so the plan is to do the complete tear down and deep clean first, then perform function test firing and Ransom Rest testing on Thursday.

In the meantime, here are more shots of plugging the internal lock hole (aka the Hillary Hole) on blued and stainless frames:



[IMG]

[/IMG]

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  #61  
Old 04-08-2017, 11:52 PM
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Default The Big Tear Down

As requested, here is the disassembled Pre-29.

It is actually cleaner than I expected. No gooey, sticky, molasses-like congealed oil/carbon/powder residue. Just a bit of fouling to clean off.

Someone has been inside, although there are no readily observable repairs or modifications, at least none that I can detect. Also, all the parts are bone dry - no hint of lubricant anywhere.

There are a couple of issues that I will need to resolve, however. Because this revolver is going to be a shooter, I intend to remedy them now.

The first is that the front of the cylinder is just beginning to rub against the forcing cone. I will probably fit a shim to increase the barrel/cylinder gap clearance to ~0.005".

The second issue is that the timing is just slightly late on two of the cylinders. Lockup is perfect on the other four. I am hoping that careful fitting of an over-sized hand will ameliorate the anomaly. However, the hand measures a consistent 0.095, so there could be some wear at the frame window. I am really hoping that the root cause does not involve the extractor star contact points.

C



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Old 04-09-2017, 12:50 AM
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Your work looks great to me.

I've noticed that you didn't remove the springs from the parts, and the main spring looks a little flat to me. Have you already adjusted it?

IMHO, I'd just inspect the springs to be sure that they are working, and then lubricate all of the parts in the re-assembly. I'd try it again then.

You are talking about a very little shiming, and you could go the wrong way. O.005"? that is well within factory specs.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:36 AM
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Hi GA, fancy seeing you over on this side of the fence! Didn't know that you were also a S&W revolver guy...

Yes, that photo was taken with some of the smaller springs still resting in their component parts. I am debating on whether to fully disassemble the hammer, or just ultrasonically clean it as-is. I will tear down the cylinder assembly tomorrow.

The springs all seem OK. I haven't touched the main spring. Haven't really done anything yet. Lots of options on the springs. The internals look pretty darn good, though. The only part I would consider mirror polishing would be the rebound slide.

And I agree with your recommendation to lube everything and try it again. I have experienced a situation where very minor late timing was resolved with a thorough cleaning. However, that was with the timing equally late on all cylinders, not just two. And the action of the Pre-29 is not at all gummed up, although it is really dry. Not sure a cleaning and new springs will fix this particular problem. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves.

Note that the .005" is my goal. Right now the C/B gap is zero at rest, so I need to set it back to spec to prevent wear over the next several hundred rounds.
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