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S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3-Screw PINNED Barrel SWING-OUT Cylinder Hand Ejectors


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Old 01-03-2020, 05:11 PM
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Default 1973 Model 66 Problems

Iím having light strikes on random chambers in the cylinder, the cylinder sticks a bit when I try to open it & the cylinder does not spin freely when out of the frame.

I picked this gun up from the original owner who purchased it in Ď73, fired 5 rounds and put it back in the box until I got it last year. I lubed it, checked the strain screw (itís tight) and the ejector rod works perfectly (not bent & tight). I ran 100 rounds of factory range ammo through it today and experienced two light strikes. Both primers had a good dent and the rounds went on the second try. I plan to try some factory self defense ammo but wondered what I might be overlooking before seeking out a gunsmith. Iím a very experienced revolver shooter so this has me stumped.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:18 PM
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A good flushing with aerosol brake cleaner followed by a light lubrication. There may be 46 years of crud in there.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:41 PM
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When you say you "lubed it" does that mean
you took the side plate off, removed the cylinder, etc.

I suspect Murphydog is correct that it is just jammed
with dry oil that the previous owner may have
too, too liberally applied.

Revolvers need very little to no oil. I recommend
Rem Oil if you open it up and clean it out and
wipe off all the main parts. A few drops on contact
points is about all that's needed.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:52 PM
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Thanks, I have not removed the sideplate and am a bit nervous about that (I’ve watched a few videos). I did clean the gun a few minutes ago and the cylinder now moves freely but the light strikes are still a concern. I doubt the previous owner over-oiled the gun since it was bone dry when I got it. Next range trip I’ll shoot up a box of factory hollow points, +P & .357, to see what happens.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:57 PM
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A “good dent” in the primer indicates ammo issues as a start. A light indent would indicate strain screw backed out as first thought and go from there.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:16 PM
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Default My Model 66-1 with Warm Loads

My first center-fire revolver was a Model 66-1 with six-inch barrel purchased in 1980. I shot various bullet weights including some warm .357 reloads. One day it lost the timing and I sent it back to S&W for repair. It got a new non-recessed cylinder; they said one of the chambers was swelled. Not really noticeable to the naked eye. Back in the late 80ís, it cost over half the purchase price for the repair and probably reduced the current value by half as well.

I Got a 686 and considered that a more robust solution. I retired the Model 66 and havenít shot it in over 20 years.

Anyway, enjoy the Model 66, from my experience, I would avoid .357+P.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken158 View Post
A ďgood dentĒ in the primer indicates ammo issues as a start. A light indent would indicate strain screw backed out as first thought and go from there.
Iím not sure what a good dent vs a light dent in a primer is but the impressions from the firing pin look alike on all six casings. As to the strain screw, itís tight so if it was ever backed out I canít tell and it will not tighten down any more than it already is.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:01 AM
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First, I'd give the gun a normal cleaning and light lube. I use Break-Free CLP.

Then, I'd use new commercial ammo. I think that "range ammo" is probably your problem. Never try a new gun first with questionable ammo!
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:11 AM
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One other possibility is that someone shortened the main spring strain screw trying to get a lighter trigger pull.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
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One other possibility is that someone shortened the main spring strain screw trying to get a lighter trigger pull.
Perhaps someone "over-shortened" the strain screw as this is the correct technique (as per the S&W Armorers manual) to adjust the mainspring setting. For .357 the service weight is 56 oz. and properly polished and tweaked internals from the Performance Center were reduced as far as 42 oz. Just weight the hammer pull and adjust as required.

Stu

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Old 01-04-2020, 08:54 AM
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I'd give the lockwork a good cleaning and proper lubrication first, the old lubricants may have turned to gum.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:36 AM
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Thx for the info re: shortening the strain screw, I would not have considered that. I called the original owner, a retired cop I used to work with, he said the screw was not changed. He purchased the gun, test fired 5 rounds and put it in a safe in 1973. I measured the double action pull @ 9 lbs.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:02 PM
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Experienced an issue of the cylinder not spinning freely after firing lead handloads in a new J frame. Soft lead fragments gummed it up. As alluded to by others, I'd give it a good cleaning before doing anything too invasive.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:22 PM
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DA pull at 9 pounds.

Standard for Smith is around 12 pounds.

At some time someone was inside and
changed springs or something and at the
same time probably over oiled it.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:19 PM
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Replace the mainspring and mainspring tension screw with new ones
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
DA pull at 9 pounds.

Standard for Smith is around 12 pounds.

At some time someone was inside and
changed springs or something and at the
same time probably over oiled it.
Maybe, the standard is not carved in metal. I also attended the armorerís school and saw trigger pulls all over the scale. It may just be one of those good pulls thatwe often hear used to be standard.

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Old 01-04-2020, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken158 View Post
A ďgood dentĒ in the primer indicates ammo issues as a start. A light indent would indicate strain screw backed out as first thought and go from there.


Good point. Iíd remove the grips and make sure the mainspring tension screw is snug. If itís loose, thatís probably the problem ( and a common one, since itís an easy way to lighten the DA trigger weight ).

Either way, lube and a little cleaning is needed for the moving parts on an old gummed up revolver.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:21 PM
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Go to the hardware store, buy a 1/2 gallon of mineral spirits & a
empty 1/2 gallon paint can. Pour mineral spirits in the paint can
til it's half full and after you remove the grips put the revolver in
it barrel up. The lock work on the revolver should be submerged
from the forcing cone down.

Let it sit for a few days. Remove it, shake out the excess mineral
spirits. Put the gun in the sun to dry. After it's dry, try it again.
Only thing you may need to do is hit it with a few (very few)
drops of light oil remembering that most gun oils are just glorified
mineral oil if you can read the safety data sheets required by law
to be available from the peddlers.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:53 PM
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Do all rounds slide in the chambers freely?

No expert, but I can imagine cruddy chambers letting a case sit Ďalmostí all the way in, and then the firing pin hit pushes it the rest of the way home (and soaks up some of the firing pin energy doing that), resulting in a weak hit.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:43 AM
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Do all rounds slide in the chambers freely?

No expert, but I can imagine cruddy chambers letting a case sit Ďalmostí all the way in, and then the firing pin hit pushes it the rest of the way home (and soaks up some of the firing pin energy doing that), resulting in a weak hit.
Yes, all rounds (.38 and .357) slide into the chambers w/o sticking. Gun only had five rounds fired before I got it.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:01 PM
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I've bought a couple of revolvers and shotguns with the same problem and cleaned up several other. In fact, I look for revolvers with that problem to pick up cheap. Can usually pick them up for a decent price. What I've found is people have used WD-40 to clean and lube them, squirting the stuff into the lockwork. The liquid carrier evaporates leaving gunk. Take them apart, clean out the WD-40 gunk, lube and good to go.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
DA pull at 9 pounds.

Standard for Smith is around 12 pounds.

At some time someone was inside and
changed springs or something and at the
same time probably over oiled it.
Iím not doubting you but I can only speak from my experiences. My other K frame is a M10 snub, a former service revolver, both have 9 lb. triggers and neither was worked on (altering a city weapon could get you fired). Could there be that much difference in factory stock guns?
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:57 PM
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Our first issue weapons were model 66's back in the early 70's. Before that we bought our own. We went to the range for familiarization training and over half of them had problems. We sent all of them (around 65) back to Smith and they came back repaired and we had no further problems with them. I didn't know much about guns or problems back then and don't remember what the problem was. Same thing happened several years later when we went to 686's but by then we had a range officer who was able to correct the problems. I've got a 686 with a "M" stamped on it but I don't remember if they did this with the repaired 66's.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
Thanks, I have not removed the sideplate and am a bit nervous about that (Iíve watched a few videos). I did clean the gun a few minutes ago and the cylinder now moves freely but the light strikes are still a concern. I doubt the previous owner over-oiled the gun since it was bone dry when I got it. Next range trip Iíll shoot up a box of factory hollow points, +P & .357, to see what happens.
Don't get me wrong or take offense but, you say you are a"Very experienced revolver shooter" yet you are nervous about and had to watch a video about removing the side plate? I started shooting revolvers in 1976 and one of the first things I learned was how to detail strip, clean and lube an S&W revolver.
Learn to take off the side plate, remove the main spring and hammer at the very least. Clean it, lightly lube it and see if your problems continue.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
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Don't get me wrong or take offense but, you say you are a"Very experienced revolver shooter" yet you are nervous about and had to watch a video about removing the side plate? I started shooting revolvers in 1976 and one of the first things I learned was how to detail strip, clean and lube an S&W revolver.
Learn to take off the side plate, remove the main spring and hammer at the very least. Clean it, lightly lube it and see if your problems continue.

No offense taken. Iíve been shooting revolvers since Ď68 but am not mechanically inclined so thatís where my reluctance comes from. Iíll screw up my courage and dive in. The worst that can happen is Iíll have to take the gun to a pro to put it back in working order.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:39 PM
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The hammer fall may be slowed by the hammer rubbing the frame, at times? Power Custom Hammer Shims from midwayusa, may be useful? Power Custom Hammer Sideplate Shims S&W K L N-Frame .002 Pack of 10

Better to ask about repairs in the gunsmithing forum.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:01 PM
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To test main spring.-

A test for a Smith and Wesson revolver, model 28, 357mag., may work on other guns also<> Gun empty.
Dryfire gun and hold trigger fully to rear.
Cock hammer with thumb.
Hook a weight around the hammer (for example 3 1/2 LB minimum weight for 357).
The hammer must not move rearward when the gun is lifted.
The hammer should lift 3 1/2 lbs without going into the cocked position.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:56 PM
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Default light strikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
Iím having light strikes on random chambers in the cylinder, the cylinder sticks a bit when I try to open it & the cylinder does not spin freely when out of the frame.

I picked this gun up from the original owner who purchased it in Ď73, fired 5 rounds and put it back in the box until I got it last year. I lubed it, checked the strain screw (itís tight) and the ejector rod works perfectly (not bent & tight). I ran 100 rounds of factory range ammo through it today and experienced two light strikes. Both primers had a good dent and the rounds went on the second try. I plan to try some factory self defense ammo but wondered what I might be overlooking before seeking out a gunsmith. Iím a very experienced revolver shooter so this has me stumped.
I just took a gun to Alex Hamilton of 10 Ring Precision yesterday that was getting some miss fires. His conclusion was too much end shake in the cylinder, in other words when the firing pin hits the cartridge the cylinder moves forward cushioning the blow. With the cylinder closed see how much it will move front to back. If that is the problem, they make shims to correct the problem.
I hope this helps.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I just checked the cylinder both w/the trigger at rest, and in the firing position, and the movement is imperceptable.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:34 PM
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gunblue490 and Potter MidwayUSA have videos on disassembly of S&W revolver .
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:17 PM
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You have a lot of advise to weigh but your problem will be corrected by disassembly, clean each part in solvent, oil lightly ( it needs oil inside the side plate where most all movement occurs) and reassemble. There are tricks to removing the side plate (never pry it) and internal parts if you are not comfortable doing the cleaning have an accomplished person show you how. Keep track of the screw location and put the same one back where it was removed from...very important.. I was fortunate enough to get scheduled for three revolver and two auto courses through the years “so I can keep up with changes” I told the Chief.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:24 AM
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I still think cheap reloads are the first thing to consider.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
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I still think cheap reloads are the first thing to consider.
Thanks, the rounds Iím shooting are all factory, in the box, standard pressure loads. I have some +P and .357 Iíll try next.
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