SW 317 .22 Jamming Problems
Hi folks -- just got a brand new 317 revolver and it jams up after firing one or two rounds. It looks like the bullets "bulge" and jam up the cylinder. SW replaced the cylinder but it still reacted the same way: jam after one or two rounds fired.
The dealer replaced the gun with a different 317 and it (the second gun) did the exact same thing. I tried it with CCI's, Blazer, Federals, and Winchester Wildcats. The Wildcats actually worked in the sense that I could fire all 8 rounds, but after several cycles, I can no longer extract the spent rounds. The gun is now sitting in its case with the 8 spent rounds in it and I can't get them extracted at all (maybe with a hammer?)
Any idea what may be going on here? Both guns exhibiting a jamming problem with three different types of ammo and the one type of ammo that does work eventually starts jamming when attempting to extract.
I called SW last week and they said they would send out an envelope to ship the second gun back to them but so far no response from them. Gonna call again, but just wondered what anyone else's experience with the 317 were.
There are a few things to entertain here before getting closer to the answer. I have questions:
Did you clean the revolver before shooting it?
Was the cylinder free from excess oil and just clean shiny metal before firing?
Did the extractor function properly before firing?
Can you post some pictures?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I have shot a 317 and it was a pleasure. I suspect you may be contending with something other then a manufacturing defect, but I may be wrong.
Howdy -- I had heard good things about the 317 too. Here are the answers to your questions:
a) yes, I cleaned the gun before firing
b) yes the gun was clean and shiny
c) yes the extractor worked fine when empty and before shooting anything
d) I'll post a photo of the bulging cases
What is really strange is that this happened on two different guns.
.22 rimfire ammo is pretty dirty when fired, and just about every double action .22 LR revolver I have owned (which is a fair bunch, Colts as well as S&W's) gets more and more difficult to eject the empties as I shoot it. It even gets to where it takes a bit of finger pressure to seat the new rounds fully.
I have a friend that had a 617 that did the same thing. He returned it to the factory who replaced the cylinder which did the exact same thing. The cases would bulge near the rim which looked like the extractor star was machined improperly. Without a solution, he sold the gun.
+1 on what Buff said. My 317 will start getting hard to extract after about 30 rounds...by 50 rounds its almost unworkable. So I typically let it sit and cool and then wipe under the extractor and over the recoil shield with a CLP soaked rag. It then runs fine for another 30 rounds or so. I have come to consider this normal operating procedure for this gun.
I did have a spent case bulge enough to tie up the cylinder once. The bulge was at the primer end of the case directly across from the firing pin. This locked the cylinder up tight. I quit using cheap Remington bulk ammo and its never recurred.
Maybe I am misunderstanding your problem. Any chance to see some pictures of the bulged cases?
Would definitely make it easier to help with figuring the problem you are having.
Here is Jeff Quinn's review of the 317 from 2002 in which he states that he fired "several hundred rounds" of different ammo through the gun with no malfunction.
Smith & Wesson Model 317 .22 Kit Gun
I once had a few bricks of Federal from a bad lot. The cases were covered in a waxy/gummy lube and were almost impossible to extract as they would glue themselves into the chambers of my 617. I resorted to putting a handful of cartridges into an empty ammo box and hitting them with a shot of WD-40. That did the trick like magic, but I always shot the entire handful up for fear of the WD-40 creeping into the cases over time and killing the powder/primers.
Since you have tried a number of brands it is probably not the wax problem. I would also suggest some underlying problem beyond the cylinder, but it is strange it happened to two different guns.
317 jamming - photos posted
Yah, two guns with the same problem is weird. I posted a few photos of the spent Federal shells, the breech of the gun, and the cylinder with the clogged Winchesters.
They are also posted at Flickr: cobinrox's Photostream
spent_federals_bulge | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
cyl_w_spent_ammo | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
This one is the most interesting. Is it normal for the breech to be so beat-up looking? Also I can actually see imprints (?) of the shell casings on the breech.
breech | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Finally, this is a video showing the "slack" on the extractor rod:
Quote from an engineer friend of mine when he saw the photos:
Two bad things jump out at me from the picture…the powder burns around the firing pin indicate the casings are actually rupturing…not just distorting…there should be little to no powder burns there, especially in a .22 using storebought standard ammo. Unsupported casings are failing…you could get bits in the back of your hand, in your eye, or hitting people around you on the firing line.
The shiny scar where the cylinder center pin has wandered in a crooked line across the backplate tells me our suspicions on the cylinder pin being not properly supported are confirmed…the end of the pin should track in a smooth arc to the center hole…there can be some wear there, but this is too much and not in the right place. The pin is shifting or bending when you close the cylinder. A few other nicks on that back plate also indicate the cylinder is not being properly supported or aligned…it should not be scraping the back plate the way it appears to be.
Send that photo to Smith/Wesson (head gunsmith, warranty department, or someone who understands legal liability), and tell them it’s clearly a manufacturing defect and a safety issue…it needs repair or replacement under warranty.
If the cylinder goes enough out of alignment and the gun fires, bits of lead or brass can go in all directions. "
Thanks for posting those pics. Incredible.
Mine has the same casing marks on the recoil shield/breech but none of the odd scuffing and scrapping. And my spent cases have never looked like that.
I agree with your engineer friend, you need to have S&W fix that. As for two guns in a row from the same dealer having the issue, they must have been from the same production line batch. Amazingly bad luck, but hopefully good luck from now on.
I wouldn't be concerned about the powder debris on the recoil shield, my 617 does the same thing and it functions perfectly. I suspect it's nothing more than blowby down the case walls.
IMO the bulged cases tell the tale, the cuts in the extractor are oversize and not supporting the casehead properly.
I hate to hear this re the current 317's - I thought one was in my future. My 4" 617 and 5" 63 were both bought new in the last two years - and have been delightfully troublefree and reliable, both with lighter hammer & rebound springs. Their ammo has been the bulk packed el-cheapo Federals from WallyWorld. In one spree, I tried to see how long they could go without cleaning - the 63 made it to over 500 rounds and the 617 made it longer - before I gave in and cleaned them. Yes, they are SS - and easier/more forgiving to clean than Al. Still, 30-50 rounds - that's 4-6 cylinders full - good grief!
Sorry for your problems. If S&W would get off their butts re the 3" HiViz equipped 63 they've advertised since winter and make the thing, it'd be a winner, even if it is nearly twice the weight of the 3" 317K. The 2" 632, also new in the 2010 catalog, is in the same boat - hype only, no production. The 317, of course, is available.
It looks to me like you have two problems:
The extractor star cutouts are oversize and not supporting the case head just in front of the rim.
There is a headspace problem. It looks like the case heads are bulging out to fill the gap. (Although this may be an artifact of the close-up lens).
The extractor star moving like in the video is normal if on the high side of the tolerance. It is locked into alignment by the pins (in older guns) and by the eccentric cutout (in newer guns).
Try turning the extractor rod when the star is in the firing position, there should be almost no movement then.
Update: just got the gun back from S&W. They swapped out the cylinder. I can now shoot a few cycles (full 8 rounds) with the Federals and Winchesters but the CCI's jam. After about 100 rounds, the Federals jam and the extraction of the Winchesters becomes very difficult (I have to pull them out with my fingernails).
I also notice that i have to physically push the ammo into some (but not all) of the cylinders to seat them fully. I was wondering if that is considered normal?
Sally, it is not normal to have to push ammo in ,it should drop in like any other.
My wife has a 317 and shoots it often normally 250 to 300 at a session and has never had a problem and its never been cleaned except between sessions.
I hope you can get the problem resolved soon it's a fun little gun.
So far I've run 2 different ammo's through my 617, Winchester Xpert HV and Federal Bulk.
With the Winchester after 50 to 75 rounds downrange fully seating a cartridge in the chambers start to require a firm push. Also when this happens the misfire rate skyrockets. Obviously a result of a round not being fully seated. Cleaning the gun is also 1 hour task an minimum, however I do admit to liking to have the 617 looking pristine.
With the Federal bulk, I have yet to experience any issues seating rounds in the chambers, they just fall in. However, I normally only run 50 to 100 rounds thru my 617 at each range outing. Cleanup is also much much easier.
Obviously the copper washed Federal is a much cleaner shooting ammunition. The only downside is the 617 will group 2 inches at 100 feet with the Winchester and with the Federal it groups about 2.5 inches at the same distance.
Bottomline, different ammunitions will have different levels of fouling and in the 22 caliber revolvers a fouled cylinder will cause problems.
IMO you have 2 options to address this.
One is to purchase a pistol brush for a 22 and pack it in your range bag. It only takes a few minutes to dry brush the chambers so they'll free up. If you want to have them well cleaned, get a small bottle of M Pro 7 and do a quick brush followed up with a bore snake rund through each chamber.
The second option is to find a relatively clean shooting ammo that doesn't require cleaning as frequently.
Now, for Sally's issue. I hate to say it but I think that another trip to S&W may be necessary. Because this has been a continuing problem I suggest that you take a somewhat different tack. Ask them to test any repair with a minimum of 100 rounds downrange and offer to provide the ammunition for this test. Then choose the most balky ammo you've found to send with the gun for the test. Perhaps this will get them to put enough ammunition through your 317 to see the problems you've been having. Previously I suspect they've just run one or two clinders through it and haven't seen what you've been dealing with.
I think if I were sally, I'd cut my losses and ask for a full price refund, then go look for something else.
Called S&W and they are sending another pre-paid envelope to send the gun back to the factory. They implied that it should not jam up nor get so sticky after so few rounds and they seemed kind of dumb-founded at the extractor rod jamming up and that not all of the ammo sinks into the chambers without some push. I'm heading out to the range one more time and will re-clean and then count how many rounds I can get thru before issues start cropping up so I can relay that back to S&W when I send the thing back again. By the way, the shells are still bulging, but I don't know now whether that is normal or not. At first I thought that was the reason for all of the problems, but now I don't know if that is a cause, an effect, or just normal behavior.
Anything I should take note of or try out this weekend (I'd rather than do the cleaning thing at 20-30 rounds since S&W seemed to think that was not needed and I've read where people have gotten several hundred rounds through cleanly)?
By the way - S&W said that I could request a replacement or refund but it would be at their discretion whether they would honor that request or just try another repair of some sort. I'd like to stick with the 317 because it fits my hand well and is light weight and it took me a long time to research and find it.
Have you shot the same ammo in another gun? All the 22 revo;lvers I owned both Colt & S&W will expereince stiff extractrion after firing ca 75 to 100 rounds. The 22 LR is quite dirty when fired and one does get buildup of residue in the chamber. I only use SV ammo in my revolvers but have never experienced the level of difficulty nor the bulged cases shown in these photos.
Thanks for keeping us updated Sally. I am now really interested in how well S&W can back up their 100 round no-stick claim.
I "HAD" a 317 No Dash that would get carboned up with rubbish after 4-5 cylinders full of ammo..
But after cleaning it was fine again..
I never used a brass brush on the cylinder being it was aluminum, only a plastic brush & Hoppes #9 on a Q-Tip..
I wonder how you are cleaning the cylinders bores??
Just a thought..
Good Luck getting it fixed or replaced again..
@TSquared: no, I have not shot the ammo through another gun, this is the only gun that I have, so was not sure what to expect or what is normal.
@Roca: I'm wondering the same, there was a nice review written up on the 317 awhile back where I believe the reviewer said that he had shot several hundred rounds through it.
@HeadKnocker: I'm using a slip of fabric with solvent as a cleaner.
I've seen a lot of revolvers get a little "sticky" when trying to eject spent rounds, including my S&W 17 and 617. Like others have already said, it gets worse the more you shoot, and pulling a boresnake through the cylinder holes or wiping down at the range can help. On the other hand, I can usually shoot a box of Mini-Mags without much trouble.
If this was my gun i would send it back to smith. Attn Gene in the p.c. dept.Ask him to check out the cyl. our if he could roll it out.He did this for me years assago and my gun is a o.k
I have fired a gazillion rounds through several S&W 38 and 357 revolvers without one single jam or misfire. (I have also used a Taurus 44 special revolver and a Colt Python 357 revolver without one single jam or misfire.) However, my new S&W 317 cal 22 revolver jams, or binds up, or has difficult extraction quite often. (I also tried a Taurus model 94 cal 22 revolver with similar, but worse, problems.) This tells me that either something is wrong with today’s 22 rimfire ammo, or today’s gun makers need to learn that designing a revolver for 22 rimfire is different from designing a revolver for centerfire ammo.
I see that relatively big flakes of unburned powder remain in the cylinder of my 317. That makes me think that 22 rimfire ammo is designed for complete burning in longer barrels. Those unburned flakes seem to cause the cases to bind up sometimes. I have wondered if doing a very quick clean out of the chambers in the cylinder with a q-tip would help. Maybe that is needed after firing every couple of cylinder’s full. I am going to try that next time.
I have both a 317 and 63. The 63 has never had problems after one visit back to S&W to fix an incorrectly installed barrel. The 317 will get a little sticky to eject after about a hundred rounds. I found the hotter the 317 gets, the more sticky it is to eject. When I put the 317 down to cool off and shoot the 63 for a few hundred rounds or so, until it is too hot to handle, the 317 has cooled down and works fine. In other words, stainless 63 gets hot and works fine, alloy 317 get hot and then is sticky to eject. I think thermal expansion of the 317 alloy is causing the stickness. This isn't a problem because for the 317 self defense back up gun, the first eight are all really care about. The 63 is a range gun and I only stop shooting it because it is too hot to touch.
The following comments (concerning tight .22 chambers) were copied from another forum and I thought they could be helpful here. The author is an incredibly knowledgeable gunsmith. I hope I have not broken any forum rules by posting this information here. My own M34-1 suffers from this problem as well.
Enlarging the chamber just makes things worse. The more the brass expands, the harder it will be to extract and you could even risk case ruptures. I have a S&W Mod 18 with chambers so tight, I have to literally force the 22s in place, even when the cylinder is sparkling clean. After they are fired, the spent cases extract with ease. Some of my Ruger Single-Sixes are like yours and also eject a little hard. As long as I can push the case out with the ejector rod, I'm not going to make any modifications.
You have one of two conditions ... both being quite common in Ruger SAs. First, do a close inspection of the chambers and look for machine marks that almost resemble threads. When a round is fired, the case swells up and literally locks into the chamber's "threads". If you see "threads" try some 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper rolled up on a rod. Instead of a rotary motion, go in and out like ... well you know. This will remove some of the "tread effect" without enlarging the chamber too much and will help extraction. Do all 6 holes and make them as uniform as possible but don't over do it.
Second ... The wall of a 22 case should be straight .. no taper at all. If the chamber is also "straight" and smooth, the cases will extract just fine. The following condition is not repairable without installing a new cylinder (if bad enough). It is a condition caused by the reamers being worn when the chamber was made. If the chamber has a reverse taper where the chamber diameter is larger at the case mouth than in the middle, there's no way a case will eject easily. When a round is fired, the mouth of the case is allowed to expand more than the middle of the case, thus hard extraction. If you reamed the chambers to make them straight, they would end up being way oversized. A careful inspection of your spent brass will confirm this condition. Next time you go to the range, save several of the spent cases that ejected hard. Use a precision caliper to measure the OD of the cases. They should be the same diameter from rim to mouth. If the mouth is slightly larger than the body, you found the problem (even if the mouth is only .0005" larger).
Another issue is oil .... chambers should be bone dry ... no oil at all. Oil picks up powder residue and actually increases extraction friction. If you previously oiled your chambers after cleaning, try shooting the gun again starting with clean dry chambers.
I guarantee ... one of the above is the culprit.
@FRAN: Will do, thanks for the tip. Sorry, but what does "roll it out" mean?
@cjWils: very interesting observations re rimfile and residual powder,
but the Winchester's *seem* to fire ok (but they get stuck when it comes to extraction) . Please
let us know what your test with the q-tip trick reveal and which ammo you used.
@2krkrider: I thought the same thing, in fact I waited a whole week till I re-fired my 317 (actually that's really the only way I can test it out -- one weekend at a time), but even after cooling for a week the jamming still occurred.
@HAM: Thanks for posting, I was wondering about the use of a stiff brush to clean the chambers and therefore essentially "enlarging" the chambers.
@ALL: anyone think all these issues may be due to the "scandium" material?
A few days ago, I mentioned that I would try my 317 while clearing the cylinder chambers with a q-tip each time to get powder residue out. I tried that today, and it didn't make much difference. I used Winchester 36 gr hp, CCI 40 gr, and Federal 40 gr. All about the same, except that the Winchesters might have loaded and extracted sightly better when the gun was hot.
But the good news is that my 317 functioned much better today than it had before, whether I cleaned the cylinder or not. (It is new, this is only the 3rd time I have used it) The first time I used it, before I fired 100 rounds, it had bound up so tightly that I had to stop. The second time I used it, that problem happened by about 50 rounds. However, today, I went well past 100 rounds without being forced to stop. A few times, it bound up slightly, but I could still shoot.
This makes me wonder if my 317 simply needs a break in period. Maybe some key parts are too tight, and bind up when hot; but will get looser with more use.
The fact that the frame, barrel, cylinder, etc are mostly aluminum might mean that binding up when hot is more problematic than with a steel gun. If you check the thermal expansion factors for various metals at Engineering ToolBox, you can see that aluminum alloys all expand more when hot than the steel alloys do. Titanium expands significantly less, but the 317 seems to be aluminum alloy only, no scandium or titanium.
I will try it a few more times to see if it continues to get better. Maybe I won't try to return it after all.
When a metal gets hotter it expands. When a plate with a hole in it gets hotter both the plate and the hole gets bigger - counterintuitive, but true. A cylinder is nothing more than a thick plate with a bunch of holes.
Therefore as it gets hot the cylinder chambers increase in diameter slightly.
I'm back after shooting my new 317 for the 4th time today. As I mentioned above, the first 2 times I shot it, it bound up badly and was unusable before 100 rounds. The 3rd time I shot it was better. I swabbed out the chambers occasionally with a q-tip, which may have helped. Extraction and trigger pull got tight after awhile, but I was able to shoot 100 rounds without total lockup.
Today, the 4th time, it shot pretty nicely for well over 100 rounds. Trigger pull was smooth almost every time. On about 4 shots out of more than 100, the trigger pull was noticeably tighter. But oddly today, extraction was difficult every time, even after the first 8 shots. Previously, extraction did not become difficult until I also felt the trigger pull binding up. I used 3 different brands of ammo and had tight extraction with each. I swabbed out the chambers with a q-tip occasionally, but it didn't seem to make much difference in the extraction.
Previously, I thought the problems might be heat related, but I did some research on the issues that gr7070 mentioned above, and I now agree with him that heat is not the likely cause of my problems. Anyway, this gun never gets hot. Even after dozens of rounds in quick succession, it is only slightly warm.
So, I wonder if the aluminum cylinder is the problem. Is it possible that aluminum binds to warm brass after shooting in a way that steel does not? Is it possible that aluminum holds on to powder residue more than steel does? Could it be that the inside of my chambers is not smooth enough? Anyone have any comments on those issues? I have never called S&W customer service, but I wonder if I could get a straight answer from them on those issues.
I have a 4" 10-shot 617. I just got back from the range with it. I put about 175 rds through it tonight. Its previous trip to the range had at least 150+ rds. It was not cleaned between. No issue whatsoever in about 350 rds.
I believe I have put easily 500+ rds through it in one trip before without issues, multiple times.
I would have posted earlier but I was going to the range soon and wanted to pay particular attention to this issue.
Ejecting and loading I have never noticed added difficulty.
Edit: my 617 is a new one, SS cylinder. I wouldn't expect slight metal property differences to matter enough that one would cause significant issues. They're good questions, though, and maybe they play a factor??
Today I shot my new 317 for the 5th time. I continue to be puzzled, but I think I am making some progress in finding a solution, as well as finding what does not work.
Before I shot, I cleaned the chambers very thoroughly with powder solvent and then wiped them well. After I was done cleaning, the inside of the chambers looked pristine. I thought that would help solve my problems with jamming and difficult extraction. BUT IT DIDN'T. I had difficult extraction almost immediately, and after 30 rounds or so, it started to bind up, eventually reaching a condition in which double action trigger pull was nearly impossible, and opening the cylinder took all the strength I had in my fingers.
I had been shooting a variety of ammo, but all of it was copper jacked high velocity stuff, such as CCI mini mag, Win 36 grain HP, and others. So, as a last resort, I tried some standard and low velocity, solid lead bullets; and they all worked perfectly! I used American Eagle 40 grain lead and CCI standard velocity 40 grain lead. No jams, no binding up, no difficult trigger pulls.
Unfortunately, I still had moderately difficult extraction, but not as bad as with the jacketed ammo. As a final test, I tried some 22 shorts, and they extracted so easily that they almost fell out by themselves.
So maybe standard velocity lead bullets are the answer, if I can live with moderately difficult extraction. But still I wonder about the extraction. Is it possible that the aluminum cylinder on a 317 simply cannot extract well with even standard velocity 22 long rifle ammo? Is aluminum simply a bad choice for a revolver cylinder, even in a 22?
Even though in my post of Nov 2 above, I said the situation seemed to be better, I continued to have difficult extraction with all ammo except 22 shorts. So I decided to send it in for repair. I called S&W and they sent me a shipping label right away. From the day I shipped it, it took only 19 days to get it back to me. I got it back today, along with a a note from S&W saying they replaced the cylinder. I hope to try it within the next few days, and will report my results.
Following the cylinder replacement by S&W, I went to the range today and fired about 150 rounds, including several types of ammo. Mostly semi-rapid double action. I worked rapidly enough that the gun got rather warm, although definitely not "hot". (I don't really think that heat makes much difference, but I mentioned it because way above in this thread, someone said he occasionally let his model 317 cool down.) I am happy to report there was not one single jam and not one single difficult extraction. The new cylinder seems to be a little bit looser than the old one; I say looser because inserting the bullets is easier. On the whole, I am pleased with the way that S&W handled my problem. I should have returned my 317 sooner.
My only gripe about S&W is they won't e-mail you a shipment notification. Yes, they say "signature required" on the shipping label, so you should come home to find a Post-it on your door, but I have always found UPS is very accommodating and will leave the package on your doorstep to save you a trip to their yard. (Other shippers like FedEx are more careful about getting a signature, but not necessarily from the intended recipient.) That happened with my Walther P-22 when it went back for warranty, and that is handled by S&W. Everybody else does shipment notification these days, which is nearly automatic and requires only minimal effort from the vendor. I complained to no avail, and even wrote the CEO, and did not receive an response. I would think shipment of a firearm deserves a little more attention to detail than a new pair of shoes or fancy, overpriced basket, and the simple e-notifications the major shippers have been using since the mid to late '90's provide that extra detail, at least for me.
my nib 317 has the same issues, in addition to misfires. misfired shells would fire in another gun.
filing .001 off the cone solved the jamming.
I still have misfires. I suspect the spring is weak and will try C&S extended firing pin and a new 12 lb spring
I have had much difficulty getting warranty service.
Before you go changing the spring, you might want to do a little more research. There could actually be a headspace issue or something else. If you had to file the cone (which sounds like the chamber end of the barrel to me) you may wind up increasing headspace by adding to cylinder endplay. Since .22's headspace off of the rim, you will then get light primer strikes due to an endplay problem, and a new spring won't help that. A heavier spring also increases trigger pull.
Every qualified source I have read or talked to advises against extended firing pins. A firing pin protrusion gauge from Brownell's can help with determining if that is even a problem. You also need a micrometer to measure the gauge before and after. Also, getting the firing pin in and out could be a real PIA and may require a special pin punch. With a new gun, that is probably the last of your worries.
I recently picked up a 6-shot 617 at a gunshow, and had misfires about one round out of each cylinder. Since I was not the original owner, S&W wouldn't promise warranty coverage, but offered to take a look at it. Since I don't like their stubborn refusal to communicate return shipment, and I like learning how to fix things, I tackled this one on my own. I first noticed what looked like file marks at the forcing cone end of the barrel. That filing was probably done by somebody like us trying to loosen up the fit between the barrel and the cylinder, which was very tight. What they also did was leave behind burrs on the edge of the barrel, both inside and out; and create excess cylinder endplay. [You need a set of feeler gauges to really tell if it's bad enough to cause you a problem.] In my case, there was too much endplay, and a 0.004" shim took care of my problem. There could be more to your problem, so look into it, or take it to a gunsmith.
If you haven't taken a sideplate off of a S&W revolver, go to Midway and look at Larry Potterfield's S&W project videos. There are some very helpful hints that aren't exactly intuitive to the hobbyist and will make your job easier. He makes it look incredibly easy, especially replacing the rebound spring. Replacing the rebound spring is difficult, even with the right tool. If you don't have a rebound spring tool, you will need to buy one or make one.
I have found Patrick Sweeney's book on gunsmithing for handguns to be especially helpful, and he's funny, too. (I don't have the exact title in front of me but can dig it up if you need it.)
If you don't have a bunch of tools, don't want to become a "frequent flyer" at Brownell's, don't really like fixing things you haven't properly learned how to do, then take it to your local 'smith or send it back to Smith. If it were my brand new S&W, I'd send it back to them.
I'm surprised you've had trouble getting warranty service from S&W. They really are pretty good about that, though I think I had to stay on them to get the shipping paperwork.
Sally, your engineer friend has a sharp eye......
K22, thanks for the well written post.
sounds like a shim may solve the problem. I plan to buy headspace guages to see what is actually going on.
What do you mean? :)
I bought headspace gauges, and they didn't really help me. I needed feeler gauges so I could tell how many thousands were in the gap before and after the shims. There's nothing wrong with having a set of headspace gauges on hand if you shoot a lot through one firearm or buy used ones. When the cylinder is "locked up" in the revolver, does it move fore and aft? (That is end play.)
Last night I was thinking about how you have to take the cylinder apart to insert the shims. Look at the Potterfield videos - he shows a technique for removing the ejector rod, which is left-hand thread in modern S&W's, that will help prevent bending it. Brownell's has a nifty little jig for that, but if you already have a bench vise of some kind you can save the money. He also shows putting in some shims. Like I said, he makes it look way easier...
The book is Gunsmithing Pistols & Revolvers by Patrick Sweeney - the same guy that does a lot of G&A articles. The book doesn't turn you into a gunsmith; at a minimum, it will help you understand what is wrong and how to communicate with your gunsmith when you finally need service. (The latter point has already paid for the book.;)) The Publisher is Gun Digest Books (Gun Price Guides, Gun Value Books, Firearms Pricing Guides - GunDigestStore.com)
Earlier this year I picked up a new 317 and went through my pre-firing, new gun, cleaning ritual, which I do to make sure there aren't any wayward chips left hanging around from the machineing process. After that I went out and ran 8 rounds through it and repeated the process just in case the vibration from fireing it might have knocked loose any chips I might have missed. This is done in order to prevent any undue wear, especially to the rifleing in the barrel.
The next day my wife went out to shoot it and by the second cylinder it started cramping up (jamming), every time after five rounds had been fired. My initial thought had been that it could have something to do with the firing pin indentation on the spent cases coming in contact with the breech face side of the frame and binding things up. We worked through the 42 rounds left from the box of 50 that I opened when I fired my 8 the day before and then I took the gun in and looked it over closely.
When I looked down the bore with a light it was filled with metal chips, which prompted me to sit the gun down and tell my wife, let's go! We went back to the gun shop and purchased a Taurus Model 94, the first of two, both of which have performed flawlessly so far.
The next day I called S&W and had a pre-paid shipping label sent.
The gun was only gone about a week & a half and here is what the repair order had listed when I got it back.
To be honest I have yet to fire the 317 after getting it back, which has been months ago now, something I need to do just to see if it's fixed. Been running the 94's, Model 18 as well as a K22 and the 317 has been sitting in the safe...............
It seems like the brunt of these problems are occurring with the newer generation, (HI-VIZ front sight), 317's.
My old 317 purchased new in 1998 has no such problems. It was a little tight loading and removing cases, (like all rimfire Smiths), but soon loosened up. I can shoot it all day with no problem.
I was interested to see ogilvyspecial's comments regarding his 317 and Taurus 94. My 317 problems seem to have been totally fixed in a short time by S&W. However, before that, I bought a new T94, which was a complete piece of junk. The very first day, it totally jammed after about about 30 shots. Jammed so badly that it was almost impossible to swing the cylinder open, let alone cock it for another shot. When I ran a patch through the bore, metal shavings came out. I sent it back to Taurus. They had it a lot longer than S&W had my 317, and when I got the T94 back, it was only partly fixed. It didn't totally jam, but I still had occasional difficult trigger pull, and frequent difficult extraction. Even though Taurus said they fixed it, I still think it's a piece of junk, so I sold it back to the dealer at a big loss. I continue to be happy with my 317 after it was fixed. And, I must add that my 62 year old Colt 22 rimfire, (an Official Police model) has never jammed or had difficult extraction.
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