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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 10-18-2020, 01:17 AM
Scootdogg2123 Scootdogg2123 is offline
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Default Cracked backplate on my Governor

I was cleaning my Smith and Wesson Governor and I opened and closed the cylinder many times while cleaning it. I went to close the cylinder for the final time and it wouldn't close and lock in place properly. I did not drop it. Somehow the inside of the backplate where the internal cylinder release button is cracked, and the cylinder will no longer close. What can I do about it?
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:21 AM
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I would think that needs to go back to Smith & Wesson. There is nothing you can do to fix that, if I'm seeing it correctly.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:27 AM
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Thank you. I'll give them a call Monday Morning. I was using some Hoppes gun bore cleaner and I opened and closed the cylinder many times while cleaning it, and then that last time it just wouldn't close and I see the crack. It's such a beautiful gun and so much fun to shoot.
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:51 AM
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Did the tip of the cleaning rod hit it?
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:00 AM
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I was just using a paper towel with hoppes on it on the backplate. Unless I misunderstood you, I think it may have been the round ejector rod but I never took that off. I'm still puzzled.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:25 AM
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Welcome and sorry. When you contact customer service be sure to offer to enclose/send photos of the crack; it is obviously a flaw in the metal forging and they 'should' offer you a new gun.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:15 AM
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I agree with Murphydog, and can't imagine this being from anything, but a flaw in the original billet it was forged from. Most likely the billet had a slag inclusion in it. I don't think you could do that if you hit it with a big hammer.

Forgings are every bit as likely to have internal flaws as MIM
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:30 AM
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The crack seems to correspond to
where the cylinder pin drag line
would be.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
The crack seems to correspond to
where the cylinder pin drag line
would be.
That is what I thought I saw at first too, but I think it is just under the hammer nose bushing.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:07 AM
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I can't see the crack. I see the drag line from the cylinder pin and what looks like powder residue around the cut for the ratchet.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:57 AM
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The more I look at it the more
I'm convinced it's just the
cylinder pin drag line.

At the edge of the recoil shield,
the crack should be more evident
by feel with a finger nail, tooth
pick, etc. Also a probe with a
finger nail or tooth pick should be
able to pick up some actual
depth to the crack.

But the edge looks intact to me.

Something stuck under the ejector
star stops closure? Cylinder pin
stuck? Does the cylinder release
button work normally when
pushed forward or can it be
pulled back a bit? Where exactly
does the cylinder stop when
an attempt to close it is made?

Yes, then let Smith take a look;
send it back.
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Last edited by UncleEd; 10-18-2020 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:15 AM
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I think he is talking about right under the firing pin bushing.

The slightly arched line from the center pin hole to the outside of the recoil shield is just a normal drag line from the center pin riding there as it is supposed to. m


Here is a crack check trick. Clean the area good with a solvent. then take some transmission fluid and dab it on the crack, let it sit a minute then wipe the surface dry with a rag. Now lightly dust it with something like corn starch. If there is a crack some of the oil that seeped into it will be sucked back out by the powder and show up the crack line. No line no crack.

Poor mans dye penetrate test. Won't do as good a job as the actual spray cans of test medium you can get from many welding supplies. First can sprays some red dye, second can a white substance, any crack will show the red sucked out of crack. I keep a couple cans of the dye and developer around my shop.

They sell a cleaner to, but you don't really need that. Carb cleaner work fine.

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Old 10-18-2020, 10:03 AM
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Hopefully, OP will come back and point out exactly what he's seeing as a crack. I'm thinking it's that giant chasm running horizontally under the firing pin bushing. But that is probably exacerbated by shadows.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:32 AM
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The shell ejector rod in the cylinder moves freely when I push it up and it goes right back down where it's supposed to. I bought it used from someone on Gun Broker a couple months ago, but it was in pristine condition. He said he had only put fifty rounds through it at the most. I keep it in a holster in a latched foam interior gun case inside my gun safe with a humidity rod at the bottom of my gun safe. I clean my guns after every major trip to the outdoor range. Earlier that day, I put fifty 410 through it and fifty 45 long colt. Thank you everyone for the help.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:10 AM
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Default Governor crack

Since I have a Governor, I am more than casually interested in this post. I "blew-up" the photo, and it doesn't appear to be anything but a large crack. Yes, it roughly corresponds to the drag-line, bit it is certainly appears to be an unmitigated crack. Gee, it's a lightweight alloy, why is everybody so surprised that it cracked ? Unless it's x-rayed before it gets installed, things like this are inevitable - hopefully rare, but inevitable.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:11 AM
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If you are talking about the arc mark from the center pin hole in recoil shield to the outside made by the tip of the rod riding on it that is 100% normal. If there is a crack under the cut just below the circle where the firing pin comes through the frame and it is not a shadow in your photo there is a problem.

Keeping it in a holster is NOT a good idea. The holster can hold moisture and chemicals and attack the finish. I don't even like foam around my guns. Same thing can hold moisture. I have a Ruger 77 that looks like ****, my lesson about foam line cases.

Your gun is an Aluminum alloy and stain "Less" not stain "Never" steel. Both stainless and aluminum can corrode worse than blue steel under the right conditions.

Last edited by steelslaver; 10-18-2020 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:39 AM
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Scootdogg—could you throughly clean and scrub the recoil shield (backplate) with Hoppes And post another close-up picture?
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
I can't see the crack. I see the drag line from the cylinder pin and what looks like powder residue around the cut for the ratchet.
Not seeing any crack, either.

The relieved area for ratchet seems to have schmutz
along the 90* angle. Run a toothpick along it and see
the "crack" disappear?
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:57 AM
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There is a crooked little line between the top of the recess for the ratchet and the center pin. Is that the "crack"?
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:57 AM
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Lighting and shadows can do weird stuff to pictures, but that looks like a crack to me.



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Old 10-18-2020, 12:17 PM
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Yeah it's completely pushed in right there at that red arrow. The cylinder won't close completely.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:35 PM
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I took another picture. I hope this helps. I almost thought I somehow caused that indent on the outside left side of the recoil shield, but I went on gun broker and saw that's how they are made so the cylinder can easily go back in. Scared me for a second.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:50 PM
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Ya, it looks like it is broke along the inside of the recess for the ratchet. No way to fix that. Back to S&W and they should sent you a replacement. Call them and explain and they should send you a shipping label so you can send it directly to them.

I don't have a govenor, but I do have some scandium and other airweight guns and all off them have been fine

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Old 10-18-2020, 01:16 PM
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Cracked backplate on my Governor-gov-3-jpg

That doesn’t look like a crack to me. It looks more like accumulated gradoo in the corner of the recess. Your cylinder stop notches also have some dark crud in them.

Hit it with a toothbrush and some solvent and then try to scrape it with a toothpick. See if that magically fixes the “crack”!
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:47 PM
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I used a cleaning tooth brush and got all the gunk out of it. It still won't shut closed. The indent on the recoil back plate below the firing pin and next to the internal cylinder button wasn't there before.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:23 PM
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Get some good cleaner and spray and scrub the corners of the recess well with a tooth pick. I have a couple off alloy N frames which except for the length of the cylinder are very similar. Looking at my 325 the inside corner of that area is pretty square. Studying it I can see how some goo could look like a crack and much of it that had hardened could stop your cylinder from closing. But the tip of a tooth pick will not hang up in the corners. Will a tooth pick hang up in yours?

Here is the same area on the 325 that is my carry gun



Last edited by steelslaver; 10-18-2020 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:41 PM
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I'll take a wag............

Looking closely at your pics I see that opening and closing your cylinder a great many times has caused a deepening of the center pin groove on the rear frame face. It also looks to me that the cylinder lock bushing on the rear face is a bit proud. I think your cylinder center pin (due to the now deepened center pin groove) is now impacting the proud cylinder lock bushing moreso and may be stopping completely or is attempting to ride around cylinder lock bushing instead of slipping over it and locking up as normal.

It looks as though I see a tiny shiny spot where the cylinder's center pin has been impacting the flat side of the cylinder lock bushing. Due to the now further deepened cylinder center pin groove on the rear face I don't think your cylinder center pin is actually impacting the beveled edge of the cylinder lock bushing first, but rather it is striking the flat side of the cylinder lock bushing.

Once again just a wag without it inhand.

Short of sending it back to S&W for repair you might check the bevel on the cylinder's center pin and see if it needs a careful touch up. Don't get carried away if you do decide to do anything with the cylinder center pin's bevel and sending it back to S&W most likely would be in order if you do not feel comfortable in diagnosing the issue.

For this very reason I try not to get too carried away with opening and closing the cylinders on my 642, and the wife's 638 as you have a spring loaded steel cylinder center pin riding on the rather soft frame alloy. I use them as need be on the range, clean them as need be afterwards, and try to avoid playing with them too terribly much. They are lightweight self-defense tools and the trade-off with them is the care you must provide in not overdoing the lightweight alloy materials used in their construction.

If your rear face cylinder lock bushing were just a few thousandths less proud you may not have ever had an issue. (Assuming it may even be the problem.)

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-18-2020 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:16 PM
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http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1603048467

Is this the crack? Not sure why you’re making everyone work so hard on this...
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
Not seeing any crack, either.

Run a toothpick along it and see
the "crack" disappear?
OP take a picture with a toothpick in the void so it's obvious to others.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:23 PM
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Yes, I just don't see a crack unless the dark stuff isn't gunk and is actually a (very) large crack.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:41 PM
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Be sure your ejector rod is tight and see if it closes.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azav8or View Post
Be sure your ejector rod is tight and see if it closes.
The OP's model has the forward cylinder lock on the yoke instead of using the forward end of the ejector rod.

You can see the ball detent on the yoke and the solid forward end of the ejector rod in his OP.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:58 PM
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Sorry everyone. Kinda hard to hold the gun and take a picture of it real good with my cell phone. I'll run up to the gun shop and get a close up opinion and I'll let you know what they say.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:04 PM
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Place a decent sized dollop of grease on the cylinder center pin and around the contact side of the rear face cylinder lock bushing and see if that temporary "buildup" helps the spring loaded cylinder center pin ride up and over the cylinder lock bushing to allow it to possibly close correctly.

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-18-2020 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker468 View Post
http://smith-wessonforum.com/attachm...1&d=1603048467

Is this the crack? Not sure why you’re making everyone work so hard on this...
I think he's saying that large dark area is the crack and the shield is pushed back in.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:13 PM
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I get what he is saying but I don't see anything too unusual for a typical ratchet recess cutout on the rear face..............unless he can get a better angle pic showing an area further recessed than what is normal.

At this point the ratchet recess cutout looks rather normal to me just with gunk along it's edge unless that is actually a huge crack instead of gunk.

Better pictures would be a huge help in diagnosis, but if he has easy enough access to a gunsmith that may be the best option at this point.

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Old 10-18-2020, 06:12 PM
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I want to thank everyone for their help. My dumb *** has never completely broken down the gun. Guy at the gun shop said that the ejector rod was back a little where it locks in and it may need to tightened down and one of the screws on my frame was a bit loose. So I completely broke down the gun, took off the cylinder, cleaned everything, reinstalled the frame screws and the cylinder and this little metal piece goes in front of the ejector rod which is what signals to the gun that you can pull the trigger. So it was a combination of loose frame screw, loose ejector rod, and the one time earlier today that I took off just the ejector rod and put the metal piece in inside of the cylinder between the ejector rod instead of outside where it goes. It's brand new again. Again thanks all for the help. Here is a few pics.
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  #38  
Old 10-18-2020, 06:26 PM
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Glad you got it all fixed up.

I have been known to take pics of items before, during, and after disassembling if I am unfamiliar with them.

Helps tremendously on actions you may not be that familiar with, but to be honest just about anything S&W can now be found on Google Images or You-Tube.

I guess we could have easily asked to see a pic of the cylinder's extractor and center pin but the assumption was made it was put together correctly since you had opened and closed it many times previous to the problem rearing it's head.

Well at least it ain't gotta go back to the mothership during the Covid slowdown.

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-18-2020 at 06:59 PM.
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  #39  
Old 10-18-2020, 11:06 PM
Gary Hogstrom Gary Hogstrom is offline
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So bottom line, there is no crack? The black was just dirt?
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  #40  
Old 10-19-2020, 12:08 AM
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I put moly on the lock pin, lever, spur on the cylinder it eliminates wear marks. Plus it’s easier to close the cylinder.
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  #41  
Old 10-19-2020, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Hogstrom View Post
So bottom line, there is no crack? The black was just dirt?
Correct, the OP implied that in post #25.
It sounds like the root cause of the problem was incorrect cylinder/ejector rod reassembly after cleaning.
His Governor is back in action!
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  #42  
Old 10-19-2020, 07:39 AM
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Build up under the ejector star can cause similar issues too. Something to watch for.
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  #43  
Old 10-19-2020, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
. . . For this very reason I try not to get too carried away with opening and closing the cylinders on my 642, and the wife's 638 as you have a spring loaded steel cylinder center pin riding on the rather soft frame alloy. I use them as need be on the range, clean them as need be afterwards, and try to avoid playing with them too terribly much. They are lightweight self-defense tools and the trade-off with them is the care you must provide in not overdoing the lightweight alloy materials used in their construction. . .

You oughta see how many times they get opened and closed and dry fired while being assembled . . .
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  #44  
Old 10-19-2020, 08:07 AM
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Re: OP. Very glad the local gunsmith was able to help you fix the problem with your revolver. Sincerely. bruce.
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  #45  
Old 10-19-2020, 08:46 AM
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Well, you learned something which is good.

I thought the black stuff in the corners of the recess was the crack. I learned something too. LOL
  #46  
Old 10-19-2020, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
You oughta see how many times they get opened and closed and dry fired while being assembled . . .
Muss, I'm yer huckleberry. Just how many times do you think they actually get opened and closed during manufacture in the modern era processes of looser tolerances, precisely machined parts should require less handfitting, and the let the customer be the quality assurance department line of thinking?

I get it it's a tough world out there for handgun manufacturers, especially with the lesser expensive alloy examples and the price competition from other manufacturers.

That being said both the brand new 638 and 642 Airweight examples I have purchased in the last several years showed very little evidence of having their fully assembled cylinders opened or closed a great many times at the factory................either under the applied finish or cut through the applied finish.

If they were opened and closed a great many times as you suggest then maybe they pulled off the lack of cylinder center pin marring with a magic grease, magic beans, or a magic wand?

All ribbing aside, if you actually do have first hand information as to (approx) how many times they get opened and closed during modern manufacturing (once the steel spring loaded cylinder center pin is installed) I'd love to know.

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-19-2020 at 09:34 AM.
  #47  
Old 10-19-2020, 10:38 AM
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I completed the revolver armorer's school at the factory in Springfield. I've seen it first hand. It's a bunch. One is not going to damage a machine designed to create multiple controlled explosions in a row while expelling lead projectiles at 1000 fps by opening and closing the cylinder . . .

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Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
Muss, I'm yer huckleberry. Just how many times do you think they actually get opened and closed during manufacture in the modern era processes of looser tolerances, precisely machined parts should require less handfitting, and the let the customer be the quality assurance department line of thinking?

. . . .


All ribbing aside, if you actually do have first hand information as to (approx) how many times they get opened and closed during modern manufacturing (once the steel spring loaded cylinder center pin is installed) I'd love to know.
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  #48  
Old 10-19-2020, 10:47 AM
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So how many is in a bunch?

Yes, cosmetically marring and and actual damage causing failure can be two entirely different things.

Lord knows S&W has never had any issues with their lightweight alloy frame revolvers.

Last edited by tenntex32; 10-19-2020 at 10:52 AM.
  #49  
Old 10-19-2020, 11:16 AM
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More than a lot and less than too many . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenntex32 View Post
So how many is in a bunch?

Yes, cosmetically marring and and actual damage causing failure can be two entirely different things.

Lord knows S&W has never had any issues with their lightweight alloy frame revolvers.
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:47 PM
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The yoke screw has the potential to play a role in that event . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroker468 View Post
Your “frame screw” has little to do with your cylinder locking...
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