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


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Old 01-25-2020, 04:34 PM
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Default 18-3 Issues

Picked up an 18-3 today at a local pawn shop, not in terrible shape, has some light freckling and holster wear on the barrel you would expect. Matching grips with no diamonds, so 1968 or later. Got it pretty cheap, but with another known issue, and thatís where I need some help...

After opening and closing the cylinder, the hammer will lock and wonít come back, a slight wiggle/movement of the cylinder frees it up. But as soon as you open/close the cylinder again it locks up, again. Iíve included some pictures with the side plate removed, but my smarts ainít smart enough to see whatís wrong.

Not sure this would have anything to do with it, but there is virtually no gap at all between the front of the cylinder and the forcing cone. But there is some slop, I can move the cylinder quite a bit with the hammer down, in fact thatís what seems to free up the hammer.

Sure hope you gents can provide some insight, nice gun.
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18-3 Issues-49bd67e2-4393-4348-8837-9ac430f859e2-jpg   18-3 Issues-b75d32f1-49b2-4e6f-aa26-1ddc40797be1-jpg   18-3 Issues-ebeb5ef6-9417-40c5-b1e3-4304a563aec5-jpg   18-3 Issues-154a5fdd-44f1-4a58-9a11-d0230599eca1-jpg  
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:15 PM
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I would start with a complete tear down and a very thorough cleaning and lube. There's a good chance that will fix your gun. If the bolt hang up it will stop the hammer from being pulled back. You can see the hammer block attached to the bolt in your second pic.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:30 PM
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I would suspect the bolt is not completely entering the cylinder stop slot. It could be someone placed some shims in the cylinder to correct end shake and got too many or too thick and moved the cylinder too far foreword for the bolt to completely enter the slot.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:41 PM
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I would suspect the bolt is not completely entering the cylinder stop slot. It could be someone placed some shims in the cylinder to correct end shake and got too many or too thick and moved the cylinder too far foreword for the bolt to completely enter the slot.
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You may be right, Iíve discovered that I can manually pull the cylinder slightly to the rear and free up the hammer, I can see the gap on the cylinder/forcing cone increase when I do this.
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Old 01-25-2020, 05:44 PM
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Though I can't provide any help with your problem, I would like to mention something. I have been told in the past to never cock the hammer with the side plate removed. All of the spring tension is then directed toward the one end of the hammer pin that is in the frame and could cause it to break.

Nice looking 18. Hope you get the problem resolved.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:01 PM
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I would second the warning in the earlier post about cycling the action under spring tension when the sideplate is off. This can result in damage.

If the front barrel cylinder gap is zero, then you probably have considerable end shake. (either on the cylinder, or on the yoke, or both)

End shake on cylinder is the condition where the cylinder can move front to back when the cylinder is closed. The movement of the cylinder forward can tie the gun up for a variety of reasons. After replacing the sideplate, (without the screws is ok) can you close the action and while holding the cylinder to the rear, try pulling the hammer back. See if it works normally while holding the cylinder to the rear.
End shake on the yoke is due to improper fitting or wear on the yoke button, at it's interface with the yoke screw. When the yoke is properly fitted to the yoke screw, and it is closed, there will be no noticeable movement of the yoke forward or aft. This check is best done with the yoke installed in the frame without the cylinder assembly, and the yoke screw fully screwed in. The yoke should rotate in and out of the frame with minimal resistance, and should have no movement front to back.

If you have a set of feeler gauges, the measurement between the breechface and the rear of the cylinder should be .008" - .010". If the cylinder assembly has developed severe endshake, there are cylinder shims available that will restore the proper gauge. (move the cylinder back)

As others have said, start with a good cleaning first, especially the cylinder assembly and the extractor, and then check the gauge on the cylinder. Excessive end shake may be the problem.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:52 PM
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I would second the warning in the earlier post about cycling the action under spring tension when the sideplate is off. This can result in damage.

If the front barrel cylinder gap is zero, then you probably have considerable end shake. End shake is the condition where the cylinder can move front to back when the cylinder is closed. The movement of the cylinder forward can tie the gun up for a variety of reasons. After replacing the sideplate, (without the screws is ok) can you close the action and while holding the cylinder to the rear, try pulling the hammer back. See if it works normally while holding the cylinder to the rear.

If you have a set of feeler gauges, the measurement between the breechface and the rear of the cylinder should be .008" - .010". If the cylinder assembly has developed severe endshake, there are cylinder shims available that will restore the proper gauge. (move the cylinder back)

As others have said, start with a good cleaning first, especially the cylinder assembly and the extractor, and then check the gauge on the cylinder. Excessive end shake may be the problem.
Thank you both for the side plate warning, I certainly did not know that.

The problem is the bolt is not being pushed into the slot sufficiently to allow the hammer to rotate. To fix this, I can 1) pull the cylinder slightly to the rear or 2) pull the thumb piece to the rear which allows the hammer to rotate.

It seems the extractor tip is not pushing the bolt far enough, or something is amiss with the spring on the thumb piece, at least thatís what it seems to me.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:01 PM
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This is due to end shake on the cylinder. The center pin is not being allowed to push the bolt back enough to get it out of the way of the tail of the hammer.

You can fix the end shake easily by installing shims inside the front of the yoke barrel cavity. The shims will move the cylinder back to it's proper position, by shimming and extending the rear facing end of the barrel of the yoke. (Be sure to rule out/fix any end shake on the yoke itself also)

Shims are available here: TriggerShims Brand Shim Kits

Installation of the shims will require disassembly of the cylinder. (removal of the extractor rod and the internal components) You will need to insert the proper size shim, or shims, into the yoke cavity inside the cylinder, and then re-assemble the cylinder as usual. You probably have at least .004" - .006" of end shake, so if you decide to do the repair yourself, be sure to order a sufficient number and thickness of shims to complete the repair.
If you are not familiar with the proper disassembly of the cylinder, I would seek the help of a qualified gunsmith or S&W armorer in your area.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NavySCPO View Post
Picked up an 18-3 today . . . Matching grips with no diamonds, so 1968 or later.
I know this has nothing to do with the problem you are having. Others have helped you with that. But I want to share some info that I find interesting.

I have a Model 18-2 that shipped in January, 1968. It wears its original numbered Magna stocks. They do not have the diamond. So at least one .22 Combat Masterpiece was fitted with non-diamond stocks in 1967. I'm sure there were many other revolvers that received the same treatment. This just happens to be the earliest confirmed K frame with non-diamond stocks I have personally encountered.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
This is due to end shake on the cylinder. The center pin is not being allowed to push the bolt back enough to get it out of the way of the tail of the hammer.

You can fix the end shake easily by installing shims inside the front of the yoke barrel cavity. The shims will move the cylinder back to it's proper position, by shimming and extending the rear facing end of the barrel of the yoke.

Shims are available here: TriggerShims Brand Shim Kits

Installation of the shims will require disassembly of the cylinder. (removal of the extractor rod and the internal components) You will need to insert the proper size shim, or shims, into the yoke cavity, and then re-assemble the cylinder as usual. You probably have at least .004" - .006" of end shake, so if you decide to do the repair yourself, be sure to order a sufficient number and thickness of shims to complete the repair.
If you are not familiar with the proper disassembly of the cylinder, I would seek the help of a qualified gunsmith or S&W armorer in your area.
Thank you again! A wealth of information here. I plan to do the cylinder disassembly myself, love to learn how to do these things. Iíve done similar jobs in the past, patience and a good amount of reading makes the task worthwhile and rewarding. Nothing will substitute for experience, and thatís where experts like you provide so much great information. Thank you again, sincerely appreciated.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:29 PM
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I know this has nothing to do with the problem you are having. Others have helped you with that. But I want to share some info that I find interesting.

I have a Model 18-2 that shipped in January, 1968. It wears its original numbered Magna stocks. They do not have the diamond. So at least one .22 Combat Masterpiece was fitted with non-diamond stocks in 1967. I'm sure there were many other revolvers that received the same treatment. This just happens to be the earliest confirmed K frame with non-diamond stocks I have personally encountered.
Thank you Jack, very interesting. Iíll get a ship date from Roy, but I have to wait a couple of days and not violate the Ďone a weekí rule.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:43 PM
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There is a really good video on the Midway website on how to fix endshake with shims.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:02 PM
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Default Thanks!!!

Thank you all again, the cylinder disassemble is complete, and I have new springs and an assortment of shims ordered. The Midway video and others, along with great advice here, made this a reasonably simple project. With a bit of luck, should have her up and ready to shoot in a week or so.

The guy I bought it from was convinced that something had broken off and was jamming the action. I couldnít see anything to confirm that so I just took a chance.

BTW, I paid $375 OTD. Didnít go looking for an 18, but couldnít turn this one down.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:53 PM
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That's a great deal on an 18 or any other k22. Unless there is major frame, clyinder or barrel damage most of the time they can be brought back to life fairly easy if one has knowledge
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:33 PM
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The first thing I saw was how gooped-up it is in there. I would get that bolt out and clean the channel, the bolt and the spring thoroughly and then see if you need shims. It's still possible, but I'm having a hard time thinking how a .22 will have enough abuse to have an issue with end shake.
Not an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:44 PM
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The first thing I saw was how gooped-up it is in there. I would get that bolt out and clean the channel, the bolt and the spring thoroughly and then see if you need shims. It's still possible, but I'm having a hard time thinking how a .22 will have enough abuse to have an issue with end shake.
Not an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
It was nasty!!! Holy Toledo was it ever nasty! Cleaned it thoroughly, and the big problem was the cylinder pin was so gummed up it could not come forward with the spring enough to depress the bolt and clear the hammer.

It works beautifully now, and I can barely get a .004 feeler gauge between the cylinder and forcing cone, I have some .002 shims, but it just doesnít seem necessary with that small a gap. Have to adjust the sights a bit, but it shoots just fine, 4 of 6 into the narrow side of a 2x4 at 25í in the backyard. Next Iíll get it to the range with a proper rest and Target before I adjust anything. I did remove that nasty red paint someone put on the front sight.

Thank you all again for the great comments and advice, sincerely appreciated!
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