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Old 08-29-2017, 07:09 PM
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Default To repair or to not repair, that is the question

A little while back I described a Model 28 that a friend of mine owns, gold lettering on the barrel, lazy ampersand, purchased when this woman was trying to be come a Dallas police officer.

Anyway, she really broke it at the range. The cylinder locked up, the hammer locked back, etc. My gunsmith has it - it took a lot of effort to get the cylinder open and to remove the 4 live rounds in it but they got it done. Now, the crane is bent, the hammer is loose, and maybe a few other interesting items are wrong.

Advice solicited - have the gun repaired at the LGS or ship it to Smith & Wesson?

Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:10 PM
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Well best to ship to Smith....sounds like it needs some real help...

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Old 08-29-2017, 07:31 PM
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You simply have to save it one way or another. Did your gunsmith give you an estimate range. That is the real question. Where is going to make economical sense at to get her fixed up?? N-frames are not getting any cheaper these days so it will probably be cheaper to fix than buy another? I don't think I have given many answers just more questions?
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
A little while back I described a Model 28 that a friend of mine owns, gold lettering on the barrel, lazy ampersand, purchased when this woman was trying to be come a Dallas police officer.

Anyway, she really broke it at the range. The cylinder locked up, the hammer locked back, etc. My gunsmith has it - it took a lot of effort to get the cylinder open and to remove the 4 live rounds in it but they got it done. Now, the crane is bent, the hammer is loose, and maybe a few other interesting items are wrong.

Advice solicited - have the gun repaired at the LGS or ship it to Smith & Wesson?

Thanks.
If that damage was done by the gunsmith while getting the M28 unloaded, there ain't no way I'd let him touch it again!

All he had to do, was wrap a leather shoe lace around the hammer, back off the strain screw and take off the side plate. Sounds like the ejector rod unscrewed.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:43 PM
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What was the initial problem? What are the additional problems. What is a loose hammer?

Like others have mentioned, we need to know more info to make a decision. Other than the fact it sounds like your gunsmith doesn't necessarily sound like he knows what he's doing so maybe it'd be best to get him away from it regardless.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Sounds like the ejector rod unscrewed
That was NOT the problem. That might have been a part of the problem but the owner screwed that puppy up pretty good. The gunsmith is top notch, trust me.

The hammer was locked back. The trigger was locked. The cylinder was locked. She told me it had been failing to fire sometimes, too, so something was amiss from the get go and she didn't have it looked at until it was too late.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:27 PM
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[QUOTE=Muley Gil;

All he had to do, was wrap a leather shoe lace around the hammer, back off the strain screw and take off the side plate. Sounds like the ejector rod unscrewed.[/QUOTE]

Muley, I'm not picking at your dissasembly tip at all; and while I do understand the part about strain screw and side plate, I am a little lost about the leather shoe lace use ?
Can you add a bit more info ? Thanks
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:32 PM
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The shoelace is to prevent the hammer from unexpectedly falling and setting off one of the live bullets still in the gun.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
The shoelace is to prevent the hammer from unexpectedly falling and setting off one of the live bullets still in the gun.
Give that man a cigar!
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:40 PM
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I'm missing something here. I pretty much understand the accusations against the gunsmith, but exactly what did the owner/operator do to the revolver?


???
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
That was NOT the problem. That might have been a part of the problem but the owner screwed that puppy up pretty good. The gunsmith is top notch, trust me
You , the owner, and gunsmith are surely aware that the ejector rod is reverse threaded into the cylinder. Screwing that puppy up pretty good in the wrong direction would really lock things up. In fact, the bent ejector rod might be the result of excess force needed to force the action open. Just a guess FWIW.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:44 PM
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You seem to be very vague about the problems here? I've read of bent ejector rods being straightened. Any knowledgeable gun smith would have known the proper way to disassemble this gun. Please post some pictures of this firearm?
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:01 PM
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Maybe I'm reading too much into this "loose hammer" bit, but it makes me wonder if the "hammer locked back" to "loose hammer" transition is the result of a broken mainspring. A weakened (maybe modified at some time in the past?) mainspring would account for the previous failures to fire and if it then broke that might jam the action up something fierce. I had a hammer nose break and fall into the works on a M28 once with the same symptoms: hammer and trigger locked, cylinder stopped just short of locking.

I turned the gun upside down and shook it while gently manipulating the hammer until the tip fell out (muzzle down range). A larger part farther into the works might be harder to dislodge.

Bent crane, though - this does not compute, Will Robinson.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:06 PM
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Ya, bending the yoke isn't impossible by any means, but it does take some force.

I like the shoelace trick. Simple and effective. But, I would have first checked out what is going on with ejector rod, then off with the side plate, trying to force a cylinder open will not have good results.

But, back to the question at hand, yes I would fix it, a yoke shouldn't be that hard tto find. I might have one in my parts pile. Hammers and triggers the same, heck even model 28 cylinders are relatively easy to come by.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:44 PM
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I live in Dallas, and from the paucity of good gunsmiths here I'd definitely send it to S&W. I don't trust anyone local.

From your description, some parts may need replacing rather than repair. The gun probably needs a factory opinion as to whether it can be restored.

I shudder to think what it must have endured.

Last edited by Texas Star; 08-31-2017 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:15 PM
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If you can find someone who is recommended-by all means go talk to them and see what they look/sound like. I would be slow to send it to S&W because of the poor communication, and questionable results that show up here on the forum. The best result I had with them was by e-mail. I got one individual, and dealt with him from start to finish. If I could do that, getting all of my questions answered, then I might proceed with S&W. JMHO.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingflapjack View Post
If you can find someone who is recommended-by all means go talk to them and see what they look/sound like. I would be slow to send it to S&W because of the poor communication, and questionable results that show up here on the forum. The best result I had with them was by e-mail. I got one individual, and dealt with him from start to finish. If I could do that, getting all of my questions answered, then I might proceed with S&W. JMHO.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:43 AM
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Safety should be the first consideration when handling any firearm. I have known two people that have had plastic surgery to their hands due to unloading a gun. The first was a gunsmith that was trying to unload a Winchester 1911 shotgun. This long arm had knerling (sp) on the barrel and you had to grab that section of barrel and pull to the rear to open the action. This shotgun was designed when Browning/FN held the patent on the bolt handle. Any way, he couldn't get it open the proper way and put his hand hand over the muzzle and pushed down. BOOM!!

Another friend was unloading a Colt .45 and tried to catch the cartridge. The primer hit the extended ejector and BOOM. Brass in the hand took a long time to heal.

I knew a "gunsmith" that would do a tune up on Smith & Wesson revolvers. His first step after opening the side plate was throw away the hammer block. He NEVER touched my guns after I saw that.

A couple of weeks ago, a forum member bought a revolver that was missing the hammer block. I sent him a spare that I had.

The morale of the story is SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!!!
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:55 PM
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IMHO, the OP's "Gunsmith" while might be a really good "gunsmith" is definitely not a "Pistolsmith of Smith and Wessons". Again, IMHO, that handgun could have been taken apart and unloaded without damage to the yoke or frame. Using undue force on a locked up Smith and Wesson revolver is usually a slippery slope to damage. ......
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:06 PM
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Maybe his gun smith didn't get his hands on it until after the orginal owner or some "helpful" idiot tried to get it open.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. mordo View Post
The shoelace is to prevent the hammer from unexpectedly falling and setting off one of the live bullets still in the gun.
Bingo. I do the same thing with frozen 1911s and a variety of sometimes-improvised materials. Then it's grips off, MSH pin out, MSH out, and the gun is more or less deactivated (although I'm still paranoid and like to have the firing pin protected).

At that point, turn the pistol upside-down (magazine up, sights down), before unsticking the barrel.

Why? The barrel is almost certainly stuck because a bullet is jammed in the rifling. When you get it un-stuck, about half the time the bullet will pull from the case and dump powder all over.

By holding the gun upside-down, you keep that powder away from the lower and contain it in the easy-to-clean slide.

If you did it right-side up, oh, I dunno...powder would get in everything from the hammer and sear to the trigger shoe and bow, to inside the magazine assembly. And you would have to completely strip the lower, give each tiny part a bath in a little jar of solvent, and then use that solvent to flush all the powder off of the frame.

And if that sounds awful specific, ask me how I know.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:51 PM
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There is either information being withheld or the gunsmith is an idiot.

Turned a minor problem into a major one.

I'm pretty sure that the owner didn't "really break it at the range" unless she bashed it with a tire iron.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:59 PM
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Of course, I'd get it fixed. I would say there are likely some (probaby retired) armorers from the revolver era who could do this job... if you could find them.
It used to be yokes were often sprung by wanna-bees, copying bad gun handling from movies/TV.
As hairy as it is to disassemble a loaded gun, it is doable, slowly and carefully.
I wonder if the mothership would even have new parts now.
The gun was working until it wasn't... so I don't think there was originally a major breakage. Somebody made it worse by goingto work before diagnosing the failure... & correct remidy.

I'd be curious if there was a squib load or dislodged bullet stuck in the forcing cone. (It happened to me with issued reloads in training. I was judged "dead on the scene" due to this. Rookie that I was then, I didn't know about range rods & the training didn't allow bugs.)
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:52 PM
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Sounds like one of those 'the gun got broken' storys so you never get the full story about what really happened to it, who did what, when and under what circumstances.
It really doesn't matter,,damage is done, trying to unravel the timeline and story is not worth the effort.
Trying to pin blame for the damage on any one person or persons isn't going to get the gun fixed though it may give you personal satisfaction.

Considering the number of hands involved in damaging it and the possibilitys of what it has been subjected to,,send that baby back to the factory and let them go over it and check & rebuild it back to spec as necessary.
JMO of course.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:21 AM
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All of us except the owner/shooter know how to work ejector rods, how to tighten them, even loctite them. I learned that so many years ago some of y'all weren't born yet!

She told me, after the original post was written, that she was getting misfires. So that makes me guess a timing issue, plus a stuck ejector rod, and then those are followed by a locked back hammer.

I do not know what she did, i was not there, but it was shooter induced, no doubt about it. I could not open the cylinder (the hammer was tied back; I am not crazy; this is obvious stuff guys) - it seemed to me that there might have been sufficient play in the ejector rod but you cannot open a cylinder when the hammer is back, anyway!

Flaming the gunsmith is silly - first, the boss is top notch, second, there are three or four, all top notch, third, they do warranty work for some top American gun makers, etc. Piling onto their work based on my non-skilled remarks is a waste of time and electrons. Jus' sayin'..........
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:42 AM
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I saw exact same results a few years ago. Misfires, jammed hammer, etc. Someone (no one would fess up, a mystery of life) had run out the strain screw to the point the mainspring jammed the hammer when cocked. Locked it up like described. Before that was getting light hits and misfires. There was absolutely no need to bang on the cylinder. Absolutely no reason. Remove the side plate and easy fix.
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Old 09-05-2017, 02:56 PM
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I didn't say anyone banged on the cylinder. I have no idea what was done or not done to get it open.

We shall see.

I spoke to S&W myself. They will work on it but there is no warranty. I will let the owner decide. I have no dog in this fight.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:20 PM
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You don't bend the crane just by pushing on it by hand, no matter how much 'substantial force' by hand.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:07 PM
MikeLeitner MikeLeitner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I didn't say anyone banged on the cylinder. I have no idea what was done or not done to get it open.

We shall see.

I spoke to S&W myself. They will work on it but there is no warranty. I will let the owner decide. I have no dog in this fight.
You put a dog into the fight when you took the gun to an idiot.
And it's going to cost the owner a lot of money.

Last edited by MikeLeitner; 09-05-2017 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
You don't bend the crane just by pushing on it by hand, no matter how much 'substantial force' by hand
I agree! I asked her is anyone flipped the cylinder closed like you see in the movies and she said no but I bet that's not true!

Quote:
You put a dog into the fight when you took the gun to an idiot.
And it's going to cost the owner a lot of money.
Nope. It's still not my problem. Since S&W won't warranty it but I am sure they will fix it the cost would include shipping PLUS the repairs and I bet that would be a lot of money. My gunsmith, who is not only not an idiot but has been in the business for decades and knows exactly what he is doing, why folks keep piling onto him I don't understand, will only be charging the owner $220.00 to fix it. In my mind that's pretty reasonable.

As a side note, my gunsmith is rebuilding a Model 19 with a 2" barrel that S&W refused to fix. Then it comes to me! Yes, he is that good!

Last edited by ISCS Yoda; 09-08-2017 at 04:07 PM.
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