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Old 09-28-2017, 10:15 PM
gunsrfun1 gunsrfun1 is offline
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Default M38 Bodyguard - Once repaired, twice shy?

This isn't a "right" or "wrong" question; I'm just looking to get some different perspectives:
I had my Model 38 no-dash Bodyguard at the range about a year ago, and I noticed at some point that I was able to turn the cylinder without it locking up when the hammer was down. However, if I pulled the trigger in DA mode, it also turned the cylinder and functioned.
Obviously, I knew that the cylinder should lock up when the hammer was down, so I returned it to S&W for repair (at my expense, since it is not covered by the lifetime warranty due to its age.) Not exactly sure what they did, because the repair order was vague.
In any case, the gun works fine since I got it back. But I have always had this nagging doubt in the back of my head about carrying it, because I wonder if something else might go wrong at an inopportune time. (If this were a range gun, I wouldn't care.)
I could sell this one and buy another ... but this gun has a great DA trigger, unlike the newer models. Plus, it doesn't have the dreaded internal lock. Plus, of course, I could end up buying a new lemon.
My question for you: Do you consider a gun "tainted" if you have to return it for a repair, and would you be reluctant to carry it? Or, assuming you've had it repaired by a reliable source, do you have no qualms about carrying it after a repair?
I really like this gun. Just having some "marital" issues with it because of its past behavior.
Thanks

Last edited by gunsrfun1; 09-28-2017 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:29 PM
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chief38 chief38 is offline
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Guns wear as they age and get shot more and more. Sometimes they need new parts and have to get repaired. Sometimes they were not fit correctly when they were built and need to go back. As long as your repair was done properly (not a big repair job and presumably S&W knows what they're doing) then it should be as good as or better than new. If you shoot a lot and were to sell a gun every time it needed tweaking or a new part - you would be selling a lot of guns.

Again, as long as it locks up properly now and if the Cylinder does not rotate at the "neutral position" then you should be good to go.

The only time I'd reject a gun is when it goes back for repair multiple times and the same problem does not get fixed. As you stated this is not so in your case.

Last edited by chief38; 09-28-2017 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:41 PM
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Bosquebass Bosquebass is offline
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If it were mine I would fire 200-300 rounds through it and if the gun functioned 100% I would say it was fixed and just forget that it was ever repaired.
There is no way that I would sell a favorite firearm just because it had a minor repairable malfunction.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:22 PM
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No, no and no.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:13 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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Spent the better part of a day with my FIL and me messing with my wife's chevette aka the blue brick. After swapping out the starter and alternator and doing a oil change and tuneup and test driving it around the block a bunch of times she wouldn't take it to work the next day. Put her in the car and she rode around with me to show her how it much better ran. So the car went to her job. What got me ticked off was she always had the station attendant check the oil and they always added a quart. She'd tell me and I'd go out and drain a quart out of the crankcase. And I'd tell her why. Next week or so back to square one. Frank
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank46 View Post
Spent the better part of a day with my FIL and me messing with my wife's chevette aka the blue brick. After swapping out the starter and alternator and doing a oil change and tuneup and test driving it around the block a bunch of times she wouldn't take it to work the next day. Put her in the car and she rode around with me to show her how it much better ran. So the car went to her job. What got me ticked off was she always had the station attendant check the oil and they always added a quart. She'd tell me and I'd go out and drain a quart out of the crankcase. And I'd tell her why. Next week or so back to square one. Frank
To the OP..NO NO and also NO.
To Frank 46...they stopped making Chevettes in 1987. Maybe it's time to buy the Mrs a new car and that's why she won't really drive it!
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:04 AM
Model520Fan Model520Fan is offline
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Revolvers, particularly S&Ws, are fairly simple in most aspects of their operation, so simple that most of a function check can be done without even firing the pistol. You had a simple problem, probably cylinder stop or its spring or cleanliness of that area, and it got fixed. No reason to believe that one is not over.

I did once have a firing pin break on a C*** Diamomdback .38. I replaced it, and fairly soon the new one broke. I inspected and reinspected that gun for alignment problems, read Kuhnhausen VERY carefully. Learned nothing. Bought a whole new hammer assembly (mine was bobbed) and sold the gun. I put a new firing pin in the original hammer assembly, and it is still working just fine in my C*** Agent.

My case is not like yours. I never really solved the problem, and it would be reasonable to question my carrying the Agent (I did use that gun quite a bit on the range before I eventually carried it). In your case, it seems obvious that S&W fixed the problem, and it probably wasn't very complicated.

As you now know, even revolvers can malfunction, so you should probably carry two. Not a bad idea, anyway, even if they never malfunctioned. One for each hand? "New York reload"?
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:14 AM
white cloud white cloud is offline
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I would fire it some more. If the revolver functioned properly, I would quit worrying about it. I have sent various revolvers back to their makers for repair. Years later, they are still shooting fine. I bought one M649 used. It wouldn't hit the primer hard enough when shooting double action. I got that fixed. It is my primary CCW gun.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:20 AM
S&WsRsweet S&WsRsweet is offline
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Yea I'd go with the fire a couple of hundred rounds if it works call it good but always have a backup plan as anything man made can break
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:52 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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Mbliss57, probably got the name wrong regarding the model. But we got married in 1984. Still amazed me that after all that work and digging out three tool boxes with SAE and metric wrenches (yeah chevy liked to throw out their dual inch and metric stuff) changing out both started and alternator, tune up and oil change. And driving the darned thing around the block several times. Used to be a pretty decent wrench turner buy my FIL was way ahead of me. Frank
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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Do you plan to trade cars after needing a brake job? All mechanical devices need occasional maintenance. Once repaired by S&W I would have no hesitation of it, but would go out and run a couple hundred rounds through it just for fun.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:17 AM
kaaskop49 kaaskop49 is offline
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Your gun is a Model 38. That's the aluminum frame lightweight version. I agree with above posters on firing the gun to make sure everything is copacetic. However, I would restrict that range session to standard pressure, lead round nose service ammo.

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Old 10-04-2017, 01:53 PM
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That's one reason I carry Two Snubs. If one breaks I have a back up.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model520Fan View Post
Revolvers, particularly S&Ws, are fairly simple in most aspects of their operation, so simple that most of a function check can be done without even firing the pistol. You had a simple problem, probably cylinder stop or its spring or cleanliness of that area, and it got fixed. No reason to believe that one is not over.
Agreed. Sounds like it was a cylinder stop / spring type issue. Simple problem to correct. Also, I note that you sent it back to S&W. In my experience, S&W will usually inspect and replace any internal parts that look out of line. It's been refurbished in a sense. I would have a lot of confidence in that revolver.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:59 PM
JGR_LV JGR_LV is offline
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I'd be fine with it. Most used J-frames have been carried, frequently in a pocket, purse, glove box or some other environment that makes a holster look friendly, hence the rubbed edges, minor dings and other cosmetic issues. On the other hand, very few have been fired a whole lot, in part, at least, because I've never met anyone who claimed to really like shooting one. As a result, they're usually in mechanically good shape. The OP didn't mention whether he even took the sideplate off to look inside. If not, it's quite possible it was nothing more than dirt or congealed lube gumming up the bolt. On the other hand, if you make a habit of stripping a gun down to its component parts, it's not really hard to kink that tiny bolt spring. A gun carried in a pocket or purse collects a lot more internal crud than one carried in a holster, most times. That was brought home for me when I dry-fired a Model 60 that had been living in my pocket for months and saw a visible puff of pocket lint fly out around the hammer when it fell.
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