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Old 02-09-2020, 12:56 PM
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Default Model 36: off-center barrel

Hi All - I bought a used Model 36 some years ago (SN J733XXX) and I don't know how I missed it at the time, but the barrel is not exactly in-line with the frame - canted slightly to the right. I do not know if it came this way from S&W or if someone somehow bubba'd it later. It shoots fine (my eyes are probably crooked too!).

So, I guess my questions are: What now? Send to S&W and get their take? Ignore it because it's a "shooter"?

Also, 98299 and B17 are stamped on the cylinder yoke. The B17 is larger with the B and 1 sloppy double-stamped - do these have any significance to me or the issue?

I'd add photos but I'm clueless on that...
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Old 02-09-2020, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AreWeNotMen? View Post
Hi All - I bought a used Model 36 some years ago (SN J733XXX) and I don't know how I missed it at the time, but the barrel is not exactly in-line with the frame - canted slightly to the right. I do not know if it came this way from S&W or if someone somehow bubba'd it later. It shoots fine (my eyes are probably crooked too!).

So, I guess my questions are: What now? Send to S&W and get their take? Ignore it because it's a "shooter"?

Also, 98299 and B17 are stamped on the cylinder yoke. The B17 is larger with the B and 1 sloppy double-stamped - do these have any significance to me or the issue?

I'd add photos but I'm clueless on that...
Don’t have a good opinion on canted barrel but you’ve lived with it this long (ignore it)
The B17 is an inspector/fitters mark. The 98299 number is the assembly number. You can find same number on grip frame and inside of side plate.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:24 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking maybe leaving it alone...but when I do take it out to shoot I'm reminded, "Oh crud - my gun is cockeyed!"
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Old 02-09-2020, 11:21 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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I couldn't stand that! Twisting the barrel is a bogus way to fix windage shot impact if it leaves the barrel and sight canted.

Have it turned straight up. If windage is off, file the rear sight notch slightly on the same side that you want the shot to go to be centered on target.

Is the barrel pinned? Which direction is the sight canted, right or to the left?

Here's what to do in this thread: Barrel Indexing Problem
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:24 AM
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This is potentially more than just which way the sight leans, or the aesthetics of the thing. Have a close look at how the tip of the ejector rod fits into the locking lug under the barrel.
Depending which way the barrel is canted, this can either push the cylinder out a little, or, prevent full lock up.
Neither case is all that good from a mechanical standpoint.

Jim
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:05 AM
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MORE IMPORTANTLY...... does it shoot POA - POI? If it does leave it alone since turning it will ruin that.

If the revolver shoots OFF POA and would be corrected by truing up the barrel position, then you could get it fixed - but be aware, sometimes they do more harm than good at the Factory trying to fix it. You might wind up with them ruining it and while they would probably offer you a new production gun in that case - do you want a new version? Is it really off that much? I tend to doubt that since you didn't notice it for years.

Post a picture of it.

BTW it only matters how YOU shoot it since other peoples eyes won't see the sights like you do.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies; the barrel "goes off to the right" - it's not a matter of indexing. In looking at the ejector rod in relation to the locking bolt/plunger - it's clearly not centered though it does lock.

As for POA = POI, I don't recall it being weirdly off (but I've not shot it in a while and I'm a crappy shot anyway).
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:25 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is online now
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To me, in both photos it clearly looks like the barrel is not indexed at 12 o'clock. With a slight tightening of just a couple of degrees, it will straighten up and also be the correct direction to turn it for the front locking lug to align properly.

If you or someone attempt it, it must always be loosened first to the right (when holding the gun as if aiming it), then turn to the left to tighten until the sight is straight up and down. Lubricate the threads and barrel shoulder with Breakfree or other thin viscosity lubricant.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:17 AM
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I would leave it alone. On a model 36 this is purely cosmetic and if you send it in for repair S&W will inform you that removing the barrel to correct this does carry a risk of cracking the frame. In which event all you will get is a discount on purchasing a new J frame.

BTW, correcting this will require removing the barrel. Because after being installed for many years this joint will have taken a set and there will be a "snap" as the threads break free. About the ONLY time you can "creep" a barrel into place is immediately after installation provided a bit of anti seize was used.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:48 AM
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" It shoots fine "
If it shoots fine ... don't "fix" it ! Shoot it or put it back in the safe and let the heir's worry with it .

I wonder if the barrel was canted just a bit so that it would shoot fine...you probably would undo the POA / POI and then be stuck with a gun that doesn't shoot fine...and here we go all over again.

Sometimes you just need to let well enough alone !
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AreWeNotMen? View Post
Thanks for the replies; the barrel "goes off to the right" - it's not a matter of indexing. In looking at the ejector rod in relation to the locking bolt/plunger - it's clearly not centered though it does lock.

As for POA = POI, I don't recall it being weirdly off (but I've not shot it in a while and I'm a crappy shot anyway).
From the photos you posted I can see it is off a smidge but on that particular gun - I'd leave it the way it is if you can hit with it.

I have the ability (for better or worse) to look at ANYTHING and find a fault, small imperfection or slight abnormality. It drives my Wife and Kids crazy - I guess it's the "perfectionist" in me. So to me there is only "NEAR PERFECT" in this world and have to accept non perfect items. I doubt there is ANY gun, car, machine, etc. that doesn't have something to find - but again the most important thing here is function and accuracy with the loads you are using.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:28 AM
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Snuffy Smith had a gun with a bent barrel and it shot good for him.
I read somewhere that they twist and cant the barrels at the factory in order to sight them in. I wouldn't give it a second thought if the gun did what it's suppose to.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:32 PM
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I would leave it alone. On a model 36 this is purely cosmetic and if you send it in for repair S&W will inform you that removing the barrel to correct this does carry a risk of cracking the frame. In which event all you will get is a discount on purchasing a new J frame.

BTW, correcting this will require removing the barrel. Because after being installed for many years this joint will have taken a set and there will be a "snap" as the threads break free. About the ONLY time you can "creep" a barrel into place is immediately after installation provided a bit of anti seize was used.
Sorry, I have to respectfully disagree.

Of course it's cosmetic but also mechanical at the front locking bolt; A.K.A., not right!

There's no "set" taken, that wasn't there when the barrel is first tightened, and the "snap" is from barrel threads that have been stuck together for awhile with oxidation, carbon fouling, etc. That's why the barrel must be broken loose first and than re-tightened and you can always get another degree or two of rotation out of it with lubrication. Don't have to remove barrel.

If it then doesn't shoot to point of aim, the rear sight notch needs slight enlargement on one side (the side in which you want the POI to move), the proper way sight alignment should have been corrected in the first place. Just like on a gun with an adjustable rear sight; you don't tip the barrel, you move the rear sight notch.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:43 PM
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As crooked as my eyes are, I'd be happy to find a gun pre-adjusted to my crookedness. Consider it like combing the thrift shops and finding wire frame glasses that focus perfectly. You just saved 300$.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:21 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Looking at the ejector rod and barrel underlug, I'm kinda wondering if either the yoke is slightly off or the barrel profile is. A less than ideal extractor rod might be there too, if the end internal bevel isn't right and/or the locking bolt isn't done right. Checking/aligning the yoke isn't that big a deal, nor is the extractor rod/locking bolt.

That said, if it shoots well and to point of aim, I'd leave it alone. I've re-barreled a couple of J frames and there isn't much difference between proper barrel/frame torque and a cracked frame.

Last edited by WR Moore; 02-21-2020 at 11:22 AM.
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