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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 08-07-2013, 07:43 PM
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Default 657-5 loose chambers are bulging cases *(S&W repaired)*

I'd been looking locally for a 629 Classic, 5"bbl. & unfluted cylinder, when I came across a 657-5 Classic Hunter, NIB. Since it's style/look is similar to what I was wanting, I decided it would be a good addition, as I already have S&W magnums on either side of the 41 Mag, & a few other "big(ger) dogs". So after making sure I could find reloading dies, bullets & cases, I bought it. Got excited about having a "different" wheelgun, did some research, found some good articles, then got everything together & made a bunch of different power loads with 170 & 210gr JHPs, & some Berry's 210gr., using (6) different powders & headed off to the indoor range to try it out. Accuracy was great & recoil not much more than a 357, in this heavy gun.

But, no matter what load I shot, light/moderate/full, the cases (all chambers) bulged visibly! They extract from the chambers okay, when you lift them out with the extractor, but they can't be pulled thru the extractor. I don't think there's anything wrong with the extractor, it's likely the right size. It's just that the chambers (measure ~.449" with digital caliper) are obviously too loose. The case neck & base are what I'd expect (.438" & .430") after firing, but just above the web it bulges quickly to .445" & then slowly tampers down toward the neck. I'm so disappointed, I like this gun more than I thought!

Since all chambers do exactly the same thing I got the idea to open the factory's test round envelope & see if the tester had the same trouble originally & overlooked it. Yep! There's a nasty bulged case (nice job tester John H.) in there. How in the heck could they ignore this & send it out the door to be sold!! (I showed a fired case to my son, before I told him about the problem, & he even though he's only been shooting a year now as soon as he saw it he said, "Why does it look like that?"). Guess I'll be calling S&W CS, when they get back from summer break, for a RMA# & shipping label.

What gripes me even more is that my previous gun purchase, a 325NG, had (2) defective chambers that extracted so hard they deeply scratched the fired cases. The factory had embossed some numbers around the face of the cylinder, under the extractor, & got too close on (3) chambers & dimpled the edges. Unfired rounds went in just fine, but had to be pushed out with a wooden dowel after firing. Somehow this defect went unnoticed by QC too & I had to return it for repairs. (My overall experience with that return was not favorable. I also had the front sight changed to a red ramp & they did a disgraceful job on it. This model 657 only comes with black front ramp & black rear blade. I've already bought a red ramp front sight & white outline rear blade to add to the 657 & have decided not to "try my luck" with the factory again on this.)

Hopefully things will go better this time though.

.

657-5 Classic Hunter, 7-1/2 bbl.

(-02a)

.

657-5 Bulged Cases - cylinder defect

(-01a)

.

Last edited by BLUEDOT37; 08-27-2017 at 03:21 AM. Reason: .re-add lost PB pics
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:01 PM
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Holy smoke. That is horrible!!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:16 PM
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I have one unfired m57 that I better test fire quickly plus my other two new n frames too. But I'd be dug in like a tic till they make it right.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:47 PM
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Sorry to hear of your problem. I hope they make it right...I've got a 657-2 Classic Hunter that is a favorite!
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:02 AM
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Looks like a 44 cylinder got pulled and assembled
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:09 AM
Dale53 Dale53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
Looks like a 44 cylinder got pulled and assembled
That was my first thought!
Hope Smith jumps all over this and makes it right...

Dale53
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
Looks like a 44 cylinder got pulled and assembled
That thought passed thru my mind too, but the chambers are a little too small for a 44 case & the throats are about .4105". Just a sloppy reaming job, I think.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:14 AM
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From the beginning I had problems with three new Colts. I switched to ruger and never had a problem. I hope now that I own s&w revolvers my problems don't start up again. I want to use and shoot them.

To me it seems like everyone is getting rid of there quality control departments and it shows lately.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:49 AM
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Sorry to hear about your cylinder - the case in the photo looks horrible. Hope S&W does right and believe they will.

I just keep wondering as I read here and gain more experience in shooting how these kind of QA problems get out the door?

Take good care and keep us informed.

TTFN,

Rachel
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:36 AM
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No one is perfect. The demand is so high in this fast paced hobby things get overlooked and pushed out the door. I wouldn't let this deter me from buying more s&w n frames. But we should be aware of this and check the condition of the fired brass case that comes with the gun when we purchase it.

Let us know how you make out.

I purchased a new remington 1100 12ga shotgun on there anniversary sale. The first one jammed and wouldn't open. The store clerk said it was my fault. The next two new guns right in the store wouldn't open either. The forth one functioned ok but do you trust it hunting birds in bear country? If it jams it becomes a stick. I traded it in. Trust me I feel everyone's pain.

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Old 08-08-2013, 09:45 AM
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This nothing new but this is one of the worst I have seen... Most of my S&W .41 Magnums and the .44s I have had will bulge cases to some extent with hot loads and these are all 60s to 80s vintage guns. The higher the pressure the worse it gets yet I never have difficult extraction.

Fire six hot rounds in a S&W then do the same in a Ruger or Freedom Arms and when measured the cases almost are always very round and the same diameter from the rim to the case mouth on the single action guns...not so on the Smiths.

Had a Ruger Redhawk at one time in .41 Magnum and with hot loads there was not any case bulging either.

Bob
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:52 AM
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Sad, but seems to be a pretty easy fix. Just fit a new cylinder
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:01 AM
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I had a brand new Colt SAA where the front sight was soldered on very poorly, it was pretty noticeable. Returned it to Colt, they fixed the front sight, BUT someone dropped the gun and left a ding in the top strap. Colt had to replace the SAA with a new serial numbered gun. It happens to all manufacturers.
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Old 08-09-2013, 04:08 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

This gun was made in 2008. None of my loads in it were max. so I can't justify the bulging on that, besides, my 29-2, made in 1977, which has gotten some heavy loads (which is why I was looking for a new companion 44 for it), never bulged a case, nor has anything I've ever shot in my 454 Casull or 500 Mag.

I'm sure CS will be busy next week, once they get back from break, so I'll give them a couple days to settle down before I call. Will keep you up dated.

PS: I went ahead (got brave) & installed the new red ramp front & white outline rear sights, I had ordered, the other night & now she looks like she should, from my "target eye's view".
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:44 AM
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Default Update:

I recently purchased a Mdl. 357NG from a forum member (thanks jjbrewst1 !!) & put the first rounds thru it today. It shot great & had no such problems as the 657. Just for the heck of it, I tried to put one of the fired 657's bulged cases in the 357NG. I thought it would go part way in & then hit the main bulge & stop, but I was surprised to find that I couldn't even get it started in a chamber. Even the mouth is expanded too much. Shot the same ammo in each gun & the 657's chambers are just too loose & bulge the cases, but not the 357NG. Oh well.

PS: I did find an awesome load that shoots great in the 657 though. I just got some Rim Rock cast .411" 240gr Keith SWC-FB & loaded them with 8.8grs of Power Pistol, W-W cases, CCI300, 1.675" OAL. I shot all but nine I had loaded in the 357NG & put four in the 657 to see how they'd do. At 12yds. freehand I had one elongated hole. I thought that was pretty lucky & then shot the last five. Ended up with eight in one elongated hole & one just outside of it. I was shocked. Loose chambers & all! The same bullet with 8.5gr/Unique was good, but not as good. They both should be in the 1100fps neighborhood.
.

Rim Rock bullets 41 SWC & 357 DEWC
.

(-01a)

.

Last edited by BLUEDOT37; 08-27-2017 at 03:27 AM. Reason: .re-add lost PB pic
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:58 AM
Packrattusnongratus Packrattusnongratus is offline
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Will send you a PM with my FFL address in it. I might be able to find a good rest home for the oversize cylinder gun. On a serious note have you tried to see if a .44 Mag case will go in a chamber? Obviously don't close the gun. I'm wondering if it is a 44 cylinder.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packrattusnongratus View Post
On a serious note have you tried to see if a .44 Mag case will go in a chamber? I'm wondering if it is a 44 cylinder.
That thought passed thru my mind too, but the chambers are just a little too small for a 44 case but the throats are about .4105". Just a sloppy reaming job, I think.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:27 AM
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Default RMA requested

Well, finally got around to calling Customer Srvc today. Only had to wait <15mins to talk to someone. CSR/Mel listened to the problem & said he'd get a shipping label emailed to me in <72hrs. So good start for step #1. He said turn-around would "hopefully" be 15 days or less. Hopefully they have an unfluted cylinder in-stock just waiting for my 657 to arrive.

Last edited by BLUEDOT37; 10-03-2013 at 12:28 AM. Reason: .
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:10 AM
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Thumbs up Returned from S&W

Good news! Sunday I received an automated call from FedEx advising they had a delivery for Monday requiring an adult signature & the it's tracking number. (Last time S&W sent me an email with the tracking# as a heads up.) FedEx actually came before noon (surprise, they usually make me wait until much later). The gun looks good. They replaced the unfluted cylinder, chamfered the chamber openings (I asked if they could) & apparently test fired all (6) chambers & cleaned it up before sending it out. So, fast warranty repair time for me, this go-around. They received it 10/9 & shipped it back out on 10/17!

The timing/lockup are good & the throat/chamber dimensions check good, with my pin gages. One thing is amiss though. I noticed it has endshake it didn't have before (it had very few rounds thru it). It seems to be about .003"-.004", easily noticeable & visible. I'm sure they used the same yoke assbly. & the new cylinder required fitting that was missed? So, I guess I'll order some shims/bearings from Midway with my next order. My 29-2 (got it new in '79) has had it's share of use & I can split the pack between them & tighten them both up.

So anyway, looks like a happy ending. Just need to get to the range now & try it out.
.

PS: Went ahead a ordered the shims/bearings from Midway. I got the ones that are .002" thick. Installed one in my 657 & now the endshake is gone, nice & tight like it used to be. (My 29-2 needed two.)
Power Custom Endshake Bearings S&W K L N-Frame .002 Package of 10
.

Last edited by BLUEDOT37; 11-02-2013 at 12:33 AM. Reason: PS:
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:34 PM
RocNYRunner RocNYRunner is offline
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Great thread. I have the same gun, and notice a similar issue. I think it's time to get some calipers. Do you know if there is a spec or what the limits are?
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:41 AM
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Default Measurements & specs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RocNYRunner View Post
Great thread. I have the same gun, and notice a similar issue. I think it's time to get some calipers. Do you know if there is a spec or what the limits are?
Sorry to hear you may have the same problem.

A caliper is definitely a good tool to have, for multiple jobs. You can do some things well with it & others not as good. You can get in the ballpark for throat/chamber measurements with one but I finally broken down & bought a pin gage set to do such items, which is the way to go. A set just made better sense, for me, than buying a couple individual pin gages, & I'm glad I did. The chambers, for example, have a tapered cut, even though it's a "straight case" & the pin gages will allow you to see that better, though my gun's were obviously not uniformly tapered. The 657-5 chamber openings (case head) measured .447" & the opposite end (case mouth) measured .440" while my 357NG has .438" & .437" respectively. Here's a related post: Plug Gauges you can afford...

As for spec/limits I used those from the "SAAMI Ammunition Specs & Standards pdf you can download from their site. Attached is the 41 Mag drawing with specs/limits.

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