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Old 10-17-2010, 12:12 PM
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Default 629-1 cylinder failure to rotate when firing.

I recently traded for a 629-1, manf date early 1988.

I do not feel as smart today as I did, Lets say a week ago when I was getting a great deal.

Prior to purchase I did the basic tests including finger pressure when turning the cylinder, both SA and DA. It all seemed to work correctly. It is in the box with all papers and the flat screwdriver taped to the inside top of the lid. It was fired very, very little.

This is not my first time to the well, I check every gun I buy very closely. I fired it yesterday with 240 gr in 2 brands. The same 2 cylinders end up with the fired cylinder back under the firing pin.

With very heavy finger pressure I can cause the same two cylinders to fail or rotate backwards every time.

I pulled the side plate and cleaned it last night. It worked for 1 or 2 revolutions under finger pressure and started failing again.

I did the paper work research last night and found many references to this problem. One was on this forum prior to my joining. Another referred to a John Taffin article that lays it out.
Smith &Wesson's .44 Magnum

I have a 629-4 that does not have this issue. I wanted a lighter 29 or 629 for back up when hunting. This 629-1 is very accurate and if it was to be used for Whitetail or target shooting only it would be no issue. I do, when finances allow, hunt Elk and bear in the Rockies.

Some folks on this forum have had a faulty 629. These are the people from whom I would really appreciate follow up.

What specifically did you do to have the issue corrected?
Was S&W successful if you had them corrrect it?
Did any of you correct the problem yourself?
What did you do to correct the problem?
If you corrected it what parts did you use?
Some mentioned a shallow notch and or weak push up on the notch lock. If your 629 had this what did you do?
Any failures after correction?
Cost of correction?

Thanks to all who will take the time to respond.

Last edited by model70hunter; 10-17-2010 at 12:15 PM. Reason: spellen
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model70hunter View Post

The same 2 cylinders end up with the fired cylinder back under the firing pin.

With very heavy finger pressure I can cause the same two cylinders to fail or rotate backwards every time.
Does the cylinder not move at all when pulling the trigger on those two?

Or does it come up short before it locks in and you can manually rotate it backwards?

If it is not turning at all or not turning far enough, it sounds like a problem with the star or the hand. Is the hand spring holding the hand with secure tension against the star ratchets?
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:54 PM
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First, dragging the cylinder while checking the timing is NOT correct for a S&W revolver, in almost any case this will cause a failure of the lock engaging. These are Combat revolvers, not precision target guns. They are intended to function well even after many years of neglect. To that end, the lockwork is designed with a certain amount of slop to insure function when they are not well maintained. One of those features is that the hand will disengage from the ratchet before the stop locks in. Another feature is that the stop drops early in the rotation, which is why any S&W that has seen use will show a drag line. By design the S&W lockwork is designed to rely on the inertia of the cylinder to carry it completely into lock, it's not driven into lock because that can create a hand/lock bind and freeze the trigger completely. It's why the owners manual advises against staging the trigger. Yeah it can be re-timed a lot "tighter", however failure to keep the lockwork in tip top condition can result in problems with function. Basically, your method for checking the timing is wrong and I don't care what you've been told, it's still wrong.

That said, once locked the cylinder should not come out of lock during firing or with any amount of reasonable finger pressure. There has been a history of this problem with the 44 Magnums and it was addressed with the durability enhancements in the ? late 80's. As I understand it, the stop notches were extended and I suspect the stop spring was also made a bit stronger. I would advise that you compare the length of the stop notches in your 629-1 to those in your 629-4. If there is an obvious difference in length, give S&W a call and see about having your 629-1 "enhanced". At one point this was a warranty repair, today with your 629-1 being pre-1989 you may have to pay for it. I would also suggest that you check your 629-1 for End Shake, another common issues with the Magnums that have seen use, that won't be covered by warranty as it's considered normal wear. BTW, End Shake will aggravate this problem, so it's possibly a factor in your gun.

Basically, your 629 is due for a tune up and it's time for a trip home. Good news is that your's is so close to the cutoff for the lifetime warranty that S&W may do it on their dime, however you won't know that unless you call. Even if they won't pay to fix it, their pricing for these services is very reasonable and every report I've seen indicates top notch professional service.
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:18 PM
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Thanks for your responses.

Bountyhunter, I am not yet sure if it comes up short of the 2 notches or due to a weak spring doesn't lock, it can be manually rotated back.

Scooter123. Yes it does have end shake. I have bearing sets and have used them on several other used Smiths I own. It will be the 1st step.

What I can see is, the stop is shorter and the stop notch spring is very weak in comparison to my other N Frames.

Thanks for the information on cylinder finger pressure. Your other observations are in synch with what I also observe.

I will correct the end shake and go from there. I know the stop spring also needs to be stronger. Again thanks for the input gentlemen.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:47 PM
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I think a stronger bolt spring is all it needs.

What I think is happening is this:

When the gun recoils, the muzzle jumps up. The inertia of the bolt makes it want to pull out of the notch in the cylinder. At that point the cylinder is free to rotate either direction.

On shot #1 out of a full cylinder, there is nothing to make the cylinder want to rotate. But on shots #2 thru 6, there are empty cylinders on the left side of the gun. When the muzzle jumps up, the inertia of the live ammo on the RH side of the cylinder puts a clockwise (as viewed from rear) torque on the cylinder. If the bolt simultaneously gets pulled out of the notch, the cylinder rotates backwards.

Should be an easy fix. Stronger bolt spring.

Have you ever noticed it doing this with shot #1? If so, my theory may be blown out of the water.

edit: I also think that a ported gun would not have this problem as the muzzle jump is reduced quite a bit.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:40 AM
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I would install a new stop spring first. Check the cylinder notches for peening or burrs that could be keeping the bolt from locking well on the suspect cylinders. That is quite common on N frames (and L and K frames too, but worse on N because of the heavier cylinder mass).
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:19 AM
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Interesting thread. Have had my 29-2 reverse rotate on a few occasions. Couldn't hardly believe what I experienced. Will try a new spring. Too bad that I just sent in a Brownell's order on Friday...
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:50 AM
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Your dash 1 was before the endurance package and there was some reports of this happening to those guns with full power loads. I had that happen before myself. After the endurance package guns came out I never had it happen again. 629-3 and after all had the endurance package. Actually It was 629-2E if I remember correctly.
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