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  #1  
Old 10-02-2011, 03:45 PM
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Default Blew up my compensator!

I was shooting my 629 PC v-comp, and after firing it the front part of the compensator blows apart! How could this happen?

I was shooting Hornady FTP over 2400, then some over 300MP. No problems. Then I was shooting some lead 200 RNFP over 21 gr 2400 with federal lp. I have shot plenty of this load before without leading or other problems. And then boom and the comp is broken.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? The rest of the gun seems fine, although I stopped shooting it for the day.

Any ideas? I will call S&W tomorrow for replacement part, or will they want to inspect the entire gun? It seems ok.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:50 PM
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Pressure vs. Steel. Pressure won. New part, shoot some more.

Hmmm, compensator came loose, and bullet hit compensator. Now, why didn't I think of that :e
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:09 PM
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People shoot the comps of their firearms all the time.

By the time the projectile got past the first couple of ports the pressure had already dropped considerably.

Hard to tell from one small image, but it looks like you had an impact.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:49 PM
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I was wondering that, but how could the bullet come out of the muzzle sideways? I cleaned the gun and it seems fine. I had no sticky brass, no trouble opening the cylinder or other problems. The muzzle looks ok as well.

So how could a bullet break apart as it leaves the muzzle and then fly up at an angle to strike the comp? I'll upload some more pics later.

I'm really thankful no one got hurt. I hope this is a fluke, since I bought the gun (and a 627 v-comp) to shoot and not just look pretty. It's strange, the other ports look clear.

I also shot my chronograph today, but that one is all my fault. Just one of those days I guess. I'm not superstitious, but I was at firing port 13. Maybe that was the problem.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:56 PM
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Default V-Comp Problems

Looks like bullet separation from a hot load.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:04 PM
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Looking at your picture it appears that the bolt that holds the comp on is bent. The top of the comp looks like it is a bit away from the frame. That is consistent with an impact.

Odds are the projectile did not break apart.

Have you ever had a flyer that you were sure was not your fault?

You say that this happened with lead projectiles. I bet they were cast and not swagged.

All it takes is a cast projectile that did not fill out the mold or had an air bubble in it. Obviously the weight would not be distributed evenly. So it will begin to wobble as soon at it leaves the rifling.

Similar things happen with swagged and jacketed projectiles as well but cast are the most common by a large number.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:18 PM
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You're right, the comp was slightly ajar. Could it be that the screw loosened from the factory strength loads I was shooting and the comp wasn't perfectly centered? I still can't believe a bullet could break apart st the muzzle.

These were the Dardas hard cast bullets. I've fired thousands of them in different calibers.

I guess things just happen.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:46 PM
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Any chance these had gas checks on the lead bullets?
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:54 PM
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The compensator got loose, out of position, and a bullet struck it, just that simple. All the "bullet came apart" nonsense is just that. Call S&W tomorrow and order a replacement and new bolt for it. Either that, or remove it and do without, won't hurt a thing just get a bit more muzzle climb. Remember the old adage that the simplest, and most obvious, explanation is usually correct? Well, this is one of those cases.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:28 AM
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+1 for comp bolt coming loose. I have the exact same 629 PC V-Comp and my bolt started to come loose one day at the range and I noticed it. I knew if I shot it more the Comp would catch the bullet so I put it down. Got home, loctite and tighten. Never a problem again. The real issue is, why would these Comp's be placed on a revolver without some type of loctite?

Both of my V-Comps - 627 and 629 had many loose screws and such that I had to loctite down. They both have been flawless since.

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Old 10-03-2011, 09:49 AM
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I agree with the loctite, but don't the comps need to be removed for cleaning? Maybe tightening the screw every X number of rounds? I had put maybe 70 near factory strength loads through it and I guess that loosened it up. Of course I was flinching terribly (I wanted to chrony them so oh well, I got centered again with my 1911 afterward)

Guess I'll be bringing an Allen wrench to the range with it from now on.

I called S&W and they're sending out a replacement. The gun seems fine. The muzzle/barrel look fine, and the rounds slipped out if the chamber no problem. What else could I check on to make sure it's safe to shoot again?
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:29 PM
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I could be wrong but I never took my Comp off for cleaning - as the Comp does not extend the barrel as it only provides the projectile with an open space once it leaves the barrel. I only clean the inside of the comp with a small brush and some solution but never taken it off.

The crud build up in the Comp will / should never reach that intensity to affect the bullet leaving the barrel.

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Old 10-03-2011, 06:48 PM
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Leave the comp on there long enough without cleaning it and it will completely fill the ports.

Even sooner if lead is used.

Bob
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:57 PM
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I'm glad it's being taken care of and wasn't more serious.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:43 PM
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I had a comp on a 1911 that I normally shot (major) cast bullets. I have a set of steel dental tools that I clean the inside of the comp with. Scrape the accumulated lead deposits out. Spraying with break free, or other lube before shooting makes the cleaning easier.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:56 PM
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I've been using a brass scraper and bronze brushes to keep the comp ports clean. That hasn't been a problem, even with lead rounds.

From now on I'll be bringing an Allen wrench and checking the tightness, especially after warmer 44 magnum. It must be the power of the 44's recoil, because shooting pretty warm 357 loads (125 jhp over 16.5 of 2400 or 158 LSWC over 14.5 of 2400) in the 627 did not shake it loose. And I put hundreds of magnums through it one day, no problem. An N frame shooting 357 magnum really soaks up the recoil!
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:31 AM
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Bolt on comps were never a very good idea. On a firearm anything that can loosen from repeated impact will, eventually. Ask anyone who has shot a Charter Arms revolver very much. You have to constantly keep retightening the screws. Loc-tite will help some but won't eliminate it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:10 AM
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Default Threadlocking Compound

I use Vibra-Tite which is a threadlocking compound that I got from MSC Corp. It is used differently than Loctite in that you apply it to the threads, allow it to dry for 30 minutes and then reassemble. It is designed to allow the screws to be moved or removed but not vibrated loose. It works for me for compensator bolts, sideplate screws or shotgun choke tubes.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:55 AM
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I am curious about what type of ammunition S&W recommends. I wonder if lead bullets and comps are a no-no?
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:10 PM
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When I spoke to customer service they didn't comment about it
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:14 PM
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Default Me too!

Hi,

I just purchased a brand new $1,500 US ($2,000 Canadian) S&W 627 V-Comp here in Toronto, Canada. As I took the gun to the range for the first time , within my first 8 shots I felt a noticeably stronger recoil and my group on the target was awful. As I proceeded to unload the spent cases I noticed that the tip of my compensator was missing. It's been torn off just like yours. I was using factory ammo - Remington UMC - 125 grain .357 mag. I don't reload and never use anything but factory ammo. I had to send the revolver to the warranty repair shop all the way across Canada, to BC. Although their customer service was superb, and I had an opportunity to speak to the actual gunsmith who repaired the gun (by replacing the blown-off compensator) - he did not have an answer as to why did such occurrence take place. He speculated that the comp was not tightened up properly in the factory, however I do not subscribe to this theory. Maybe the hotter loads do have a separation issue and a fragment did hit the comp upon exiting the muzzle of the barrel. Although the firearm was returned to me with a brand new compesator installed and no damage to the barrel, I lost confidence in using it with the comp due to the comment by the gunsmith that repaired it himself, and that is that I should be checking if the part (comp) is on tight after every series I shoot, which I find to be ridiculous. I simply took the compensator off altogether. The gun might not look as pretty, but at least I am not risking getting a piece of hot metal blown off and potentially hurting either someone standing close to me or myself. Too bad.
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:36 PM
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If the gun has screws you should be checking them to see if they are tight.

Screws shoot loose. It would be a good habit to check them regularly .

Bob
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:59 PM
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I own several Smiths with the V-comp and actively shot them. Eventually all the slits in the comp filled with lead. I removed it and soaked it in old Hoppes #9 which softened the lead so I could get it out. I then called S&W and asked for a plain nose cap which I would pay for. I was told they had no such thing so I hung up. Called again until I got a knowledgeable rep who sent me a FREE nose cap which I use exclusively.

The first Model 500 Magnum I bought had the slotted comp and was worthless. A member here wanted my gun badly so I sold it to him and bought a newer 500 with a real comp(which actually works).

I too recommend locktite on the comp screw.

PS Did you prescribe some Xanax when you got home after the blow-off?
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:57 PM
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Your comp appears to have rotated clockwise. This would have accounted for the hit on the left side.
Is it possible for the comp to rotate?
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:49 PM
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OTHER THAN ON THE ULTRA LARGE CALIBER HANDGUNS, I FIND THAT THE COMPS HAVE NEGLIGIBLE VALUE, AS FAR AS CONTROLLING RECOIL OR MUZZLE RISE. IF YOU LOVE THE "SPACE GUN" LOOK THEN HAVE AT IT. PERSONALLY, IF I DID END UP WITH ONE OF THESE REVOLVERS, I WOULD REMOVE AND KEEP THE COMP, AS AN ORIGINAL PART TO THE GUN, AND REPLACE IT WITH A PLAIN END CAP......
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:00 PM
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The same thing just happened to me. The comp was clean. The locking washer was in place and the bolt was tight.

I was shooting factory remington .357 125 grain JSP.

I'm a little concerned about any damage to the barrel.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:29 PM
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Smith and Wesson should forget about all the toys, and nonsense, and 'Make Guns Great Again!'
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:34 PM
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I think that even though there is a lock washer, I will put some loctite on there in the future.

There was no loctite on the bolt when it arrived from Smith & Wesson. I assumed they didn't put any on the bolt because of the lock washer.

I'm really bummed.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:43 PM
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Loctite might not perform well, due to the extream heat at the muzzle. Heat, is what used, to soften Loctite, when removing screws, and parts, that have been treated with Loctite.

This is why Mag-na-port, might be a better option. No parts, nothing to come lose, fall off, etc.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:52 PM
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The more complicated the mechanism....
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAC View Post
Loctite might not perform well, due to the extream heat at the muzzle. Heat, is what used, to soften Loctite, when removing screws, and parts, that have been treated with Loctite.

This is why Mag-na-port, might be a better option. No parts, nothing to come lose, fall off, etc.
Good point.

I only fired 8 rounds before I noticed - during a reload. It was on tight and the lock washer was in place. I'm pretty bewildered.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrinkMD View Post
You're right, the comp was slightly ajar. Could it be that the screw loosened from the factory strength loads I was shooting and the comp wasn't perfectly centered? I still can't believe a bullet could break apart st the muzzle.

These were the Dardas hard cast bullets. I've fired thousands of them in different calibers.

I guess things just happen.
Always use blue Loctite on the compensator bushing. I had mine come loose on my 929
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:44 PM
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I think I found out why the bolt loosened after only 8 shots.

The lock washer doesn't have a lot of "lock" to it. Its pretty much flat.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:59 PM
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We had a customer who had this happen. Of course it came loose while firing. He sent to Smith FOUR times before it was right. No idea, but I think the engineering on that sucks.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by army-eod View Post
We had a customer who had this happen. Of course it came loose while firing. He sent to Smith FOUR times before it was right. No idea, but I think the engineering on that sucks.
Agreed. The engineering leaves a little to be desired.

I think a good lock washer would have prevented this.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:36 AM
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Default This just happened to me

This just happened to me on my Brand New, first owner 627 VComp. Less than 150 rounds through it.

Factory Ammo - 357 Mag - Speer

Screw was tightened, possibly just gas pressure?
Im going to call SW in the morning and see if they can send a replacement. The metal appears very "brittle" pieces fall apart on my finger.

Its also possible that the compensator doesn't sit centered as there is a little play when loosening the bolt. I'm going to have the gunsmith I ordered it from take a look at it tomorrow
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:15 AM
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Don't tell S&W that you are shooting handloads as that will void any warranty!
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:52 AM
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Seems like maybe a poor design.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:26 AM
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I would agree that it appears to be a poor design. But folks, it pays to remember a truth here -- with any mechanical device held together with screws it pays to check the tightness of those screws on a regular basis. It is the nature of screws to loosen with vibration over time. Some screws will stay tight forever; others will walk in a heartbeat, and you'll never know which is which unless you are paying attention. That's just the nature of the beast.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:56 AM
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Just my opinion, but after reading most of this, I can tell you what I will never own. Jut my .02
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithman View Post
Seems like maybe a poor design.
It wouldnít affect the loosening problem but Iíd think those slots should have been machined with a full radius in the bottom.

Overall, it doesnít appear to be the best design. I do not own one of these guns but have seen them in shops. Iím curious. How is the comp indexed radially? Without some sort of stop or key between the comp and the barrel, attaching it with only one screw definitely is asking for trouble. I would certainly use Loctite. Unless the gun gets to a temperature well beyond too hot to handle the Loctite should be effective.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:25 AM
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Seems like maybe a poor design.

Maybe they've improved in the seven years since this happened . . .
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:38 AM
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Doesnít look like it. (Post Nr. 36)
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:42 PM
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Smith and Wesson should forget about all the toys, and nonsense, and 'Make Guns Great Again!'

Agree, kinda like GM making electric cars...
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by RCO View Post
This just happened to me on my Brand New, first owner 627 VComp. Less than 150 rounds through it.

Factory Ammo - 357 Mag - Speer

Screw was tightened, possibly just gas pressure?
Im going to call SW in the morning and see if they can send a replacement. The metal appears very "brittle" pieces fall apart on my finger.

Its also possible that the compensator doesn't sit centered as there is a little play when loosening the bolt. I'm going to have the gunsmith I ordered it from take a look at it tomorrow
I called Speer on some ammo I got. They said not to use it on all compensated or ported barrels.
If you used speer, that most likely was the culprit. I spoke to a tech in Wisconsin?
I forget how I got their customer service. Maybe through their website?
Idk if you want to tell Smith and Wesson, you used that ammo....

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Old 01-12-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Maybe they've improved in the seven years since this happened . . .
Obviously since the latest posts show the same issue, they haven't improved.
I was shooting with a friend last summer who had a brand new one, and his compensator blew off the gun, breaking the screw.
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Old 01-12-2019, 01:04 PM
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I love how people say they would never own a firearm or a poor design!
This is an ammo problem- not a design problem!
So many years comps/ports have been around and tested.
But go ahead. Jump to conclusions.

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Old 01-12-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lou_the_welder View Post
I called Speer on some ammo I got. They said not to use it on all compensated or ported barrels.
If you used speer, that most likely was the culprit. I spoke to a tech in Wisconsin?
I forget how I got their customer service. Maybe through their website?
Idk if you want to tell Smith and Wesson, you used that ammo....
Must be why I get boogers in the comp holes of the Magnum Hunter. I use Summers bullets, not Speer but it hasn't affected accuracy. Ain't no fun to clean out though.

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Old 01-12-2019, 02:13 PM
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Must be why I get boogers in the comp holes of the Magnum Hunter. I use Summers bullets, not Speer but it hasn't affected accuracy. Ain't no fun to clean out though.



I get the lead in the most craziest places!
Yeah, that comps got some lead boogers in there.
Mark, you know those PC ones I've been using.....they lead the force cone bad , and before the throats. I may switch back to , hard plated or jacketed on those 44s. I didn't ever have this bad of a time.
It was an interesting conversation I had with that tech in Wisconsin tho. I was calling on some of those speer ones I purchased on bulk and saw that warning. He mentioned that the coats on those speer bullets and CCI (their parent company) were unsafe in comps. Having peices fly off and hit shooter or bystander. And also that those pieces fly off as an explosion in a comp or port. Regular barrels didnt have the problem. I haven't purchased their bulk ammo since.

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Old 01-12-2019, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_the_welder View Post
I love how people say they would never own a firearm or a poor design!
This is an ammo problem- not a design problem!
So many years comps/ports have been around and tested.
But go ahead. Jump to conclusions.

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Bullets hitting the comp are a gun design problem and thatís what this thread is about.

If you shot lead through a comp youíll have to clean it out eventually. Not really a big deal in my book.
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