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Old 03-10-2014, 04:24 PM
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I'm speaking of the little nub on the left side of the frame that's indicated by the arrow in the picture below. Thanks.


Reason I ask is that I just bought this 1970s era Model 36 last week, and just had a chance to shoot it today. That nub 1) prevents the cylinder from freely rotating when loaded and out of battery, and 2) blocks ejection unless two cartridge rims are carefully aligned such as to evenly straddle it when you depress the ejector rod. If two rims aren't aligned like that, the nub catches a rim securely, completely preventing ejection.

This is not the case with any of my dozens of other vintage S&W double action revolvers, regardless of frame size or model.

I find it hard to believe this could have ever gotten out of the S&W factory like this. Any clue as to how it got this way? Easy solution? Or should I get my money back?

Thanks.

Last edited by The Real Hawkeye; 03-10-2014 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:39 PM
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It's called the "Frame Lug", and its purpose is to prevent the cylinder from coming off the yoke when the cylinder is swung out. In J-frames (such as that Model 36), there can be little (or even zero) clearance between cartridges and the Frame Lug, and yes, it can even impede ejection.

Perhaps different ammo might help? Or it can be modified a bit to add a bit of clearance.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:46 PM
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It's called the "Frame Lug", and its purpose is to prevent the cylinder from coming off the yoke when the cylinder is swung out. In J-frames (such as that Model 36), there can be little (or even zero) clearance between cartridges and the Frame Lug, and yes, it can even impede ejection.

Perhaps different ammo might help? Or it can be modified a bit to add a bit of clearance.
Thanks for your reply.

Is it considered a defect? I have owned and shot J-Frames since the early 1980s, and have never had one with this problem? If this happened to you, would you get your money back, or would you let a gunsmith try to fix it? Or would you leave it alone and just get used to carefully aligning the cylinder to eject?
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:04 PM
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Interesting issue, sir.

Could you post a picture clearly showing the interference between the cartridges and the frame lug?

My experience is limited but, I have never seen this happen before. Some of the more experienced forum members can probably comment better if they can see the issue clearly.

Oh, and I presume you are swinging the cylinder out all the way? A partially opened cylinder will definitely result in the cartridges hitting the lug, even on my new style J-frame.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:18 PM
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Interesting issue, sir.

Could you post a picture clearly showing the interference between the cartridges and the frame lug?

My experience is limited but, I have never seen this happen before. Some of the more experienced forum members can probably comment better if they can see the issue clearly.

Oh, and I presume you are swinging the cylinder out all the way? A partially opened cylinder will definitely result in the cartridges hitting the lug, even on my new style J-frame.
Yes, I am swinging the cylinder out all the way.

I'm not new to double action revolvers. I've been hooked on owning and shooting S&W revolvers since the early 1980s, and have several dozens of them, of all frame sizes.

Not sure the camera on my iPhone will be up to the task of getting in that close, but I will give it a try.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:29 PM
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OK, here's a picture of the cylinder illustrating blocked ejection. You cannot eject, period, when aligned like this, and this is the natural alignment when you open the cylinder to eject spent cases.



Here's a picture illustrating the alignment that you need to get the cylinder into in order to eject spent cases.

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Old 03-10-2014, 05:38 PM
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Took a look at my only j frame (M 60) and the lug clears. the rims by 1/32-1/16",so I looked at a K and N frame and the j frame lug looks just a hair thinner.
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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I'm leaning towards getting my money back. The shop has a policy, though, where they claim the right to have their gunsmith try to fix any issue before money is returned, but the only thing that would fix this would be taking some blued steel off that lug.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:00 PM
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I'm leaning towards getting my money back. The shop has a policy, though, where they claim the right to have their gunsmith try to fix any issue before money is returned, but the only thing that would fix this would be taking some blued steel off that lug.
The similar lug molded into the frame of my 642-1 is only 0.045" tall. Your lug does not look much, if any taller.

I wonder if something is preventing the yoke from moving full travel?

Anyway, I have to agree with you that this needs to be fixed, hopefully without detracting from the appearance of what looks like a very nice revolver . . . or, it should go back.

Best of luck, sir.

Last edited by TucsonMTB; 03-10-2014 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Read the calipers wrong . . .
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:21 PM
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Hawk, that lug can be replaced, at least it can on a S&W K frame, like a mod 13. I might question if it has been redone, and perhaps the wrong type was installed.
Did you try to give it a wiggle and check for being loose ?
They do, once in a blue moon, start to rotate and back out. They are staked inside the frame, and on a complete dis-assembly you can just see the outline of the stud through the frame. Luck with it.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:45 PM
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Not sure if you have tried a different brand of brass, or checked the S&B for rim diameter, but I would try and rule that out. Most of mine measure 0.435 diameter, although I have seen book references at 0.440. But you picture sure looks like more than 0.005.

Craig
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:18 PM
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To answer some of your questions:

1) The cylinder is swinging out all the way. Nothing is interfering.

2) I have tried several different kinds of brass (I have buckets of different brands of spent cases) with identical results. It's not the brass.

Thanks for wishing me luck.

PS Looks like I'm going to have to take it back and ask for a refund. I know these people, and they will have it tied up with their gunsmith for weeks or even months trying to avoid giving me a refund. This has happened to me twice before. Once with a pre-64 Winchester 94 whose lever would pop open every time it was fired and once with a Colt Woodsman that just couldn't get through a mag full of .22 Long Rifle without several jams. Eventually they gave me a refund, but it was a long struggle with several attempts by the gunsmith to address the issue.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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Seen this before, mostly on J frames. I'd see if it can be returned to the factory, because they are really the guys who need to fix it correctly.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:48 PM
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Seen this before, mostly on J frames. I'd see if it can be returned to the factory, because they are really the guys who need to fix it correctly.
If the gun shop wants to fund that, I will ask about the possibility.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:08 AM
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Fixing it is not a big deal, but re-bluing will be required. If the GS uses cold bluing it will wear off in short order. I guess that it was just not fit correctly when the gun was made. That's a shame too because it looks to be a real nice one. The only proper way to fix it (being that it's a blued gun) is to ship it to the Factory, let them properly fit the part and refinish.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:20 AM
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Fixing it is not a big deal, but re-bluing will be required. If the GS uses cold bluing it will wear off in short order. I guess that it was just not fit correctly when the gun was made. That's a shame too because it looks to be a real nice one. The only proper way to fix it (being that it's a blued gun) is to ship it to the Factory, let them properly fit the part and refinish.
That would depend on whether I'd have to pay for it. If so, then I would likely seek my money back instead, and just look for a replacement gun exactly like this one.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:53 AM
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We have seen this 'defect' on many "new" as well as used gunsnthat appear as new.
It was found to be corrected almost immediately whe we used our guage that slipped into the yoke for cheking alignment.
The 'problem'we felt was caused by the snapping shut of the cylinder like seen in the movies.
The yoke therfefore became minutely mis-aligned.
Often a little bit of a twist by hand was enough to correct the situation.
Of course in this day and age, most gun shops do not have sales help
with more idea of what they are selling that matching the serial number on the box to that on the gun.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:41 PM
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We have seen this 'defect' on many "new" as well as used gunsnthat appear as new.
It was found to be corrected almost immediately whe we used our guage that slipped into the yoke for cheking alignment.
The 'problem'we felt was caused by the snapping shut of the cylinder like seen in the movies.
The yoke therfefore became minutely mis-aligned.
Often a little bit of a twist by hand was enough to correct the situation.
Of course in this day and age, most gun shops do not have sales help
with more idea of what they are selling that matching the serial number on the box to that on the gun.
Thank you. I suspected it had something to do with the yoke. Your input was very valuable. Now I have something to say to them when I return it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired Gunsmith View Post
We have seen this 'defect' on many "new" as well as used gunsnthat appear as new.
It was found to be corrected almost immediately whe we used our guage that slipped into the yoke for cheking alignment.

The yoke therfefore became minutely mis-aligned.
Yep. Although it can happen from sloppy assembly too.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tired Gunsmith View Post
We have seen this 'defect' on many "new" as well as used gunsnthat appear as new.
It was found to be corrected almost immediately whe we used our guage that slipped into the yoke for cheking alignment.
The 'problem'we felt was caused by the snapping shut of the cylinder like seen in the movies.
The yoke therfefore became minutely mis-aligned.
Often a little bit of a twist by hand was enough to correct the situation.
Of course in this day and age, most gun shops do not have sales help
with more idea of what they are selling that matching the serial number on the box to that on the gun.
Can you tell me what the cure is, TG or WRM? Is it usually to fix the yoke or to replace the yoke? Thanks much.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:25 AM
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Easy repair with the alignmentg tool.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:46 AM
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My model 36 does this as well. I fixed the problem by turning the cylinder so the cartridge cases don't hang up, when ejecting.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:21 AM
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I looked at my 37, and the natural alignment is almost exactly 1mm "below" yours... dunno if maybe there is a little differance with the aluminum frames vs steel.... I would side by side compare to one of your others, if you have another J frame.

Good luck with it!!


As for the tool, is that something brownells sells?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:17 PM
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The issue appears to be resolved. Well, mostly.

I took it back today and spoke to their in-house gunsmith. I showed him the problem. At first he attempted to convince me that there was nothing wrong with the gun, i.e., that I should just manipulate the cylinder just right for ejection every time, so as to avoid the problem of the cartridge rims locking against the frame lug.

When I remarked that I have six other J-Frames from multiple periods of manufacture, and that none of them have this problem, he pulled out one from the same period and tried to convince me that the same thing occurred with it. I asked to try it myself, and showed him that no matter what position the cylinder was in, the rims completely cleared the lug with his specimen.

Now appearing annoyed, he agreed to take it in the back and examine the crane on mine more carefully. After twenty minutes, he reemerged with my gun and said the problem was solved. He handed it to me, open cylinder, filled up with empties. I ejected them, and discovered that he was right, i.e., now the rims clear the lug regardless of position.

I asked him what he did. He said he bent the crane. So I closed the cylinder, and it felt completely wrong and rough as it locked into place. I also noticed that now the cylinder release latch would only partially (about a quarter the way there) return to its rest position after closing the cylinder, and felt rough in operation.

I pointed these things out to him, and he angrily took it into his back room for another ten minutes. When he reemerged, that problem was mostly resolved, and the original problem was also resolved, as now the rims barely cleared the lug regardless of cylinder position, but just barely. That's good enough, though. The cylinder release latch, however, is now rough in operation while before it was smooth and satisfyingly clicky like it was supposed to be.

I guess this is the best I'm going to get from these folks. I spent money for what was supposed to be a like-new, 1970s vintage, Model 36, and now I have one that's been messed with quite a bit, and doesn't feel quite right in the operation of its cylinder latch.

That's life, I guess. You win some and you lose some.

Last edited by The Real Hawkeye; 03-13-2014 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:28 PM
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So . . . what city are these fine folks located in? I will certainly want to avoid them.

Was the revolver enough of a bargain to make a trip back to S&W for a proper repair financially viable?
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:53 PM
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Was the revolver enough of a bargain to make a trip back to S&W for a proper repair financially viable?
Not really, but I'm considering doing just that regardless. I paid $700.00 out the door for it, including original box and paper work. I was under the impression that it was a perfect, like-new, early 1970s Model 36. Didn't realize it had issues.

Getting these folks to honor their return policy is like pulling teeth, as they will make your life miserable for weeks or worse having to deal with the surly gunsmith before any chance of getting a refund for a defective gun.

PS Because I have to live here, I hope you will excuse me for not mentioning the name and location of the shop.
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:28 PM
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PS Because I have to live here, I hope you will excuse me for not mentioning the name and location of the shop.
Sure, so long as they are not near or in Tucson. If they are, just shoot me a PM, please.

Here's hoping you have better luck next time, sir!
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:56 PM
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Sure, so long as they are not near or in Tucson. If they are, just shoot me a PM, please.

Here's hoping you have better luck next time, sir!
Nope. Not near Tuscan. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:01 PM
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Basically, the repair is bending the yoke until the alignment spud drops into the pin hole in the breech face under it's own weight. This is a 'try it and see' effort that can be time consuming. It also has to be done properly or you can get binding of the extractor rod/cylinder.

In many cases, a few taps of a brass hammer are all that's necessary. Then there's the other ones................. I made a mandrel to fit inside the yoke during adjustments to keep from making things worse than they were.

Very occasionally, the frame lug wasn't done correctly-or was 'adjusted' by some klutz.

Last edited by WR Moore; 03-18-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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