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Old 03-14-2017, 07:52 PM
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The cylinder in this 617-1 revolver frequently locks up rotationally, usually within the first 30 rounds after starting a new shooting session with a freshly cleaned gun. When this occurs the cylinder is also difficult to swing open and close. I've made sure that there was no residue behind the extractor star and also made sure that the extractor rod is tight. The gap between the forcing cone and the cylinder is more than .004 and the head space behind the cylinder is ample. I sent it to S&W and received the gun back with paperwork stating that they were unable to repeat the problem and made no repairs. After receiving the gun back from S&W I went back to the range and the problem occurred during the first 6 rounds and repeated again after 15 or 20 rounds. After that the problem seemed to stop. This has occurred with both Federal bulk ammo and CCI Mini mags. Another aspect of this gun is that it doesn't have the 2 small extractor dowel pins in the cylinder that locates the extractor star in position with the cylinder. This must be about the time that S&W discontinued them. This revolver was manufactured about 1995. I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. I will be grateful for any help.
S.K.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:07 PM
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Can you check the rear gauge? The headspace between the rear of the cylinder and the breechface. Clean/empty gun, insert feeler gauge just below top strap in the area of the hammer nose bushing.

If you are familiar with the term "end shake".....is there any at all?
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:48 PM
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Are loaded cartridges hard to chamber? Many K frame .22's have tight chambers, sometimes making it difficult to fully seat a round, often giving the impression a round is fully seated in the chamber when it is not. This can cause the problems you are experiencing. I have a model 18-3 that does this, but I hate to mess with it (open the chambers slightly), as it is so accurate as is.

Larry
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Yes I've checked the head space and it's .010/.012. Also, there is no end shake to mention. Maybe .001.
The loaded cartridges are easy to insert and bottom. They go in easier than some of my other K frame 22's.
Thanks again for the replies.
S.K.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:40 AM
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Is the ejector rod screwed down fully?
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:50 AM
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Yes it is. I believe that this will be a challenge.
S.K.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:00 AM
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Could be the ammo you using. Try using different brands. I found using federal lightening doing that so I switched using CCi's.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:31 AM
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So will it bind if you dry fire (on #4 wall anchors/snap caps)?
How about if you load only every other round?
Has the gun been apart for trigger work /cleaning at all? (i.e. Could there be something INSIDE the gun gumming up the action.)
Can you see daylight between the cylinder face and forcing cone when it binds?

Sounds silly I know but as a test engineer I can tell you that every bit of evidence can help in an odd diagnosis like this.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:40 AM
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It could be that there is some crud in the internals. I would take it apart then clean and lubricate it. It's fairly easy to do.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:49 AM
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Does it matter whether you are shooting single action or double? If the gun only malfunctions during double action shooting, you may be short stroking the trigger or have a timing issue. If it's timing, it may show up single or double action. Also, does it appear to happen on the same charge hole? Using a marker on the outside of the cylinder will give you a frame of reference.

My starting point would be to remove the internals and thoroughly clean everything. A Q-tip type swab will show any burrs left from machining as they will pull strands from the swab. Hit these with a stone to remove. Lightly oil and replace everything. Make sure the firing block is properly placed before trying to put the side plate back in place. If this doesn't resolve the issue, I suspect a timing issue, and do not recommend you try to resolve it yourself.

Good luck, and if you resolve the issue, please let us know as it may help the next guy.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:42 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Yes, this has occurred with Federal bulk as well as Mini Mags and quite frankly I don't remember if I tried it on single action shooting but I will definitely try this the next time at the range, hopefully this weekend. Another thing I will try will be firing it using snap caps or #4 drywall anchors.
In the past I've removed cylinders and ejector rods from various revolvers but I'm not quite comfortable removing the side plate at this time and if it comes to that I will bring it to a local gunsmith. I'm still very surprised that S&W was not able to get this problem to occur while they had the gun. Thanks again for the replies.
S.K.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:53 AM
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Over the weekend I purchased some snap caps (wall anchors from HD) and fired about 60 rounds with them and there was no binding. I then proceeded to fire with Federal bulk and it began binding immediately. I then shined a flashlight from behind the cylinder to check the clearance between the back of the cylinder and the recoil shield and saw an interruption of the clearance which was probably a round that backed out during firing. As I replied to Fishinfool earlier, the rounds fit looser in the cylinder of this gun than in some of the other K frame guns and I believe that rounds backing out of the cylinder may be the cause of this problem. Next weekend I plan to apply some black ink to the recoil shield with a Sharpie to verify that rounds are rubbing against it. If this is the case I'm wondering what the fix would be for it. Thanks to all who have been replying.
S.K.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:39 AM
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My 617 loves the CCI Blazers but it does shoot just about everything else except for some federals and winchester bulk stuff so the quality in bulk is only so good that is why the stuff is cheap. I picked a CZ rifle last month and shooting the same stuff that I can easily tell the cheap bulk ammo is not all that great. With that I believing the bulk stuff is great for loose chambers for semi autos and lever actions. It pays to get the better stuff for precision guns IMO so hopefully yours gets running good.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:49 AM
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SDK: You haven't mentioned if the cases are difficult to extract or not. You are on the right track in determining the cases are backing out and causing the lock up, but after firing, the cases should contract enough to slide back in the cylinder bore. A tight or rough cylinder bore could be the issue.

If it were my gun, I would start by inspecting each chamber in the cylinder. To do this properly, they will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Many 617's have been reported with rough and/or tight chambers. Some polish them out using various methods and compounds, while others buy a chamber reamer and ream the chambers out. The reamers aren't cheap, around $70+ from Brownells. I would try polishing first and if that helps but doesn't eliminate the problem, then look into buying a reamer.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:16 AM
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The spent rounds eject easily. I suspect that the rounds that might be binding up are unfired rounds. I have one unfired round from this gun that has scrapes marks on the head. However, I asked myself the same question. Why don't the rounds that slide out simply slide back in rather than bind the cylinder. My theory is at that there is just enough friction between the head of the round and the face of the recoil shield to push the round to the side when the cylinder rotates, causing the round to cock and not retreat back into the cylinder which results in the binding. Right now that's all I can think of. As I said before, I have an unspent round with scrape marks on it. Thanks for the replies.
S.K.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:25 AM
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You might also check the integrity of the firing pin bushing in the breechface. (no burrs, flush with the breechface, etc.)
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:51 AM
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Yes, I've looked there and the bushing is flush. Thanks.
S.K.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:33 PM
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Got me stumped. I'll have think on this one for a while.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:22 PM
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I THINK THAT THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE AN UNFIRED ROUND WITH SCRAPES ON THE HEAD, IS A VERY SIGNIFICANT CLUE TO WHAT THE PROBLEM IS.....

IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE INERTIA RESULTING FROM FIRING A REVOLVER, WOULD BE DRIVING AMMO, IN THE CHAMBERS, IN THE DIRECTION OF THE MUZZLE---NOT TO THE REAR. THAT IS WHAT CAUSES ROUNDS IN LIGHT WEIGHT, BIG BORE REVOLVERS, TO "JUMP CRIMP".......

WHY THESE .22 CAL ROUNDS WOULD BE FORCED BACKWARD, IS A MYSTERY TO ME---BUT IT APPEARS TO BE AT THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM......
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:34 PM
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If I point the revolver upward with the cylinder open, unfired rounds will fall out without pushing the ejector pin. It's understandable how they can move back during normal firing. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:52 PM
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Have you checked the fired casings for evidence of swelling or distortion of the rear of the casing, in the area of the firing pin impact? Will a fired casing from the gun stand straight up when placed on it's base on a flat surface?

And the cylinder rotates freely/open and closes normally when fully loaded with live rounds? (not during firing, just rotation when loaded)

Sounds like the fired casings are dragging on the breechface for some reason.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:30 PM
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Look for firing pin dings on the back of the chambers. When this happens, it's caused by dry firing a rimfire gun. The unfired cases may be able to move freely, but after firing, get caught on the small burr on the back edge of the chamber. The remedy is to carefully file off the burr or run a chamber reamer to cut off the burr.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:55 AM
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There are no firing pin dings on the back of the chambers and the spent rounds appear to be normal around where the firing pin strikes it. I have an unfired round with scrape marks on the head which tells me that unfired rounds are backing out and binding up against the recoil shield. Spent rounds may also be doing this but I'm not sure. I'm hoping to do some more shooting with this gun next weekend.
S.K.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:16 PM
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Have you measured the cylinder to back plate gap to make sure it's even and the back plate isn't bent or the cylinder crooked?
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:35 PM
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Headspace is about .010. I believe that rounds (probably unfired) are backing out of the cylinder and binding up against the recoil shield. I'll be working more with it this weekend. Thanks.
S.K.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:39 PM
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I believe you mentioned that live rounds freely drop into, and fall out of the cylinder. If this is the case, the live rounds are not "binding" during firing.

Remove the yoke screw (front sideplate) and check the headspace (rear clyinder gauge) with the screw removed.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:37 PM
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I will do that. However, as I stated earlier, I have a live round that was in the gun during a bind up and there are obvious scrape marks on the head. The other rounds in the cylinder during the bind up (both live and spent) had no such marks. Also, when shining a flashlight into the opposite side of the gun during a bind up, I can see definite clearance between the back of the cylinder and the recoil shield but I can also see an obstruction of that clearance on the lower portion of the cylinder which I believe is a round butted up against the recoil shield. Thanks again.
S.K.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:46 PM
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There are no forces at work during firing that would drive a live round to the rear, and against the breechface.
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:13 PM
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Yes, but simple movement of the gun will or could cause one or more live rounds to slide back. After about 60 shots are fired the binding stops. I attribute this to the charge hole getting dirty thus holding the rounds more firmly. Of course the cylinder getting hotter may also help prevent the rounds from sliding back so easily. Thanks for lending your expertise.
S.K.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Have you checked the fired casings for evidence of swelling or distortion of the rear of the casing, in the area of the firing pin impact? Will a fired casing from the gun stand straight up when placed on it's base on a flat surface?

And the cylinder rotates freely/open and closes normally when fully loaded with live rounds? (not during firing, just rotation when loaded)

Sounds like the fired casings are dragging on the breechface for some reason.
I had similar problems with cci and Remington bulk ammo . I found three chambers in a m-317 would consistently bulge ammo at the rim pushing the round back. I took one round and fired it left the empty in and chambered another round next to it and fired . If it backed out I marked the chamber pulled the shell and moved on to the next and so on still all were checked . Federal ,Winchester and eley never dragged . I have a 617 that dragged with that CCI " shootem ammo" . S&W replaced the 317's cylinder after I emailed them.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:30 PM
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Man this is getting interesting. I would love to get my hands on this gun for testing/ diagnosis.

ps, have you tried 22 shorts/cb caps. IF these run, I'm thinking it would point to your issue likely the relationship of with cartridge /chamber length.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:14 AM
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MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP  
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How do you eject the fired rounds? Ejecting them with the barrel pointing forward of at an angle could be dumping powder residue behind the extractor star. Always eject the empties with the barrel pointed straight up. Good luck.
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  #33  
Old 03-24-2017, 12:55 PM
stinga stinga is offline
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MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP  
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FWIW.... I just joined this site in an effort to find more detail about my M617 issue. The exact same issue... With my 6"617 no dash. I sent it in for service more than a week ago and I will let you know what or if they find anything. It will be interesting for sure to see if I get the same response from Smith.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:18 PM
sdk sdk is offline
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MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP MODEL 617 CYLINDER AND TRIGGER LOCKING UP  
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Last week I applied some blank ink to the recoil shield with a sharpie and fired some rounds. As a result there were some distinct rub marks in the inked surface that proves that unseated rounds were rubbing against the recoil shield. Surprisingly, the ink seemed to reduce the binding, probably by reducing the friction between the recoil shield and the round. My next step was to remove the cylinder and yoke from the gun and polish the recoil shield using a Dremel and a polishing bit that came with the Dremel. I then went to the range and fired off 100 rounds without any binding. The following day I went back to the range and shot another 100 rounds without any binding and a couple days later fired another 100 rounds with no binding. It appears that the problem is corrected. Thanks for all the input.
S.K.
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