S&W 19


Capt Teach
May 2, 2003, 09:46 PM
Took the wife's model 19 out to the range. The gun's (not the wife) about 25 years old and only had 2000 or so rounds through it. 95% of it has been .38 special.
I was plinking single action with .38's when the hammer failed to stay back on the second round of a full cylinder. I swung out the cylinder and checked for a blown primer, loose bullet etc. and all appeared to be in order. Closing the cylinder the hammer stayed to the rear as normal, but now the revolver would not fire. The trigger, hammer and cylinder were locked up tight.
luckily I had along a set of smith's screwdrivers so I was able to remove the sideplate and fiddle around until the hammer would drop, allowing me to free the cylinder and unload the weapon. Replacing the sideplate everything appeared to be back to normal, with one exception. The cylinder seems to meet some resisitance when opening and closing.
I am open to suggestions as the state of NJ is not exactly rich in pistol smiths and I don't relish the idea of shipping out of state.

Capt Teach

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Old Fuff
May 2, 2003, 10:13 PM
It is sometimes difficult to diagnose a problem when ones doesn’t have the gun to examine, but the reason the cylinder is hard to open and close may be because you mixed up the sideplate screws when you replaced them. They are often slightly different in length and the one that holds the yoke was originally fitted. Switch the screws around and see if the condition goes away.

The situation with the lockwork and trigger is harder to explain, but be sure that a trigger and/or hammer pivot pin isn’t bent or broken. If this is the case you’ll have to returned the gun to the factory.

If you don’t discover what the trouble is and find an easy solution I’d return the gun to Smith & Wesson. Much better then trying to find a pistolsmith in the P.R.N.J.

Johnny Guest
May 4, 2003, 02:59 AM
- - that the extractor rod is firmly screwed in. In the older S&Ws, at least, this is a left hand thread. With cylinder open, grasp the rod and turn it counter-clockwise until snug and see if this has any effect on the problem. If so, you'll probably want to carefulle unscrew the rod, degease with alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover, and dab on a SMALL amount of Lok-Tite before reassembly.

cheap, easy, and pretty often the cure. Worth a few minutes to check it out, before shipping it back to Springfield.

Best of luck--

Capt Teach
May 4, 2003, 01:29 PM
I caught the different screw issue as soon as I reassembled it the first time. To my knowledge this is the first time the side plate has been removed, as I purchased it from the dealer, nib, all those long years ago. Yet one of the screws, (foremost on the sideplate) appears to be slightly bent. Makes one wonder about nib and factory claims.
JG, I checked the extractor rod first thing, she's good to go.
I know revolvers are supposed to be "dependable", but, I never had a jam in my 1911 or Glock 19 that took more than a second to clear, and couldn't be traced to faulty reloads. If it's gotta go bang, make mine an auto. Easier to fix/replace parts too.
Thanks for the help guys, I'll take it out again this week and see what happens.

Capt Teach

Badger Arms
May 4, 2003, 01:56 PM
When you are screwing the foremost screw in you must be careful. First, it must be the right screw that has an unthreaded section at the end IIRC. This is the screw that engages the slot in the yoke where it enters the frame. I usually wiggle the yoke forward and back while I slowly screw this screw in to ensure that it is not catching part of the yoke. Take the screw out and see if you've galled the cylinder any now.

Capt Teach
May 16, 2003, 11:46 PM
Okay, back to the range and 2 or 3 hundred rounds later, mostly double action, there was no trouble. I put the S&W away dirty and went out again a few days later. First attempt to fire the trigger was almost impossible to pull through DA. Opened the cylinder and found it very difficult to turn.

Back home, I removed the cylinder assembly and cleaned it thoroughly. It was pretty gunky. Now the cylinder turns fine.....but. The revolver now appears to be DA only. Try as I might I can't seem to locate the problem. I did not remove any parts other then the sideplate and cylinder/yoke etc. What did I mess up? When pulling the trigger DA while the cylinder was tough to turn did I damage the notch for SA fire? Is that possible?

My 1911 and Glock 19 look better every day.

Capt Teach

Badger Arms
May 17, 2003, 12:28 AM
Sounds like it needs to go to the gunsmith.

May 18, 2003, 01:45 AM
You have a busted part. I know that's terribly profound, but it's been a long time since I took apart a Smith 19. It is nice to see somebody who's not afraid to take one apart though. Try taking all the innards out and look for a worn or broken sear.

4v50 Gary
May 18, 2003, 11:13 AM
The single action is a function between the single action notch of the hammer and the trigger. Mechanically they're pretty simple. Check the hammer to see if the notch hasn't been broken or filled with junk such that the trigger can't engage the notch.

BTW, LAPD use to grind off that notch to remove the SA function from their revolvers.

Capt Teach
May 18, 2003, 12:18 PM
Actually the notch on the trigger looks a little funky. My fear of sending it back to S&W or to a gunsmith is that I'll get a liability safe trigger in return. The trigger was pretty sweet as this is a early 70's production. Looks like I'm going to learn how to work on S&W innards. Worse case is I show up at the gunsmith with a bag of parts. I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time that happened.

Thanks all, your suggestions and support are very helpful. I'll keep you posted. (or you'll hear about me on the 6:00 news. "Man blows self up with revolver")

Capt Teach

May 19, 2003, 03:37 AM
Capt, it won't blow up. Get the new part and out it in. Or take it to a smithy. He's going to give you back exactly what you tell him to, but totally safe. Think trigger job. No big deal.

May 19, 2003, 07:34 AM
A friend brought me a Smith that would only fire DA. He said someone told him that something inside had been "filed off". I looked inside and found no problem. The hammer lacked going back about two thousandths of an inch to cock for SA firing. I finally noticed that the tang of the hammer was contacting the lump on the back frame above the grips. Someone had dropped the gun and bent the hammer tang down slightly. Two pennies to prevent marring with vice-grips carefully applied fixed it. When cocking for SA fire, there is a BARE MINIMUM of clearance between the hammer tang and the frame.

Why are Smiths so complex inside ? A Colt is bare-bones simple.

Capt Teach
May 19, 2003, 05:40 PM
A happy ending. (so far) I took the Smith apart to better identify the damaged part. All I found was a slight bit of crud on the hammer notch. After re-assembly it worked fine, both SA and DA. A word of advice to anyone not familiar with these babies. I used the step by step dis-assembly instructions I got in a gunsmithing course about 25 years ago. They had me remove the hand from the trigger before removing the trigger. Bad move. The hand spring doesn't like this and I had to remove the pin from the spring to reposition it properly in relation to the hand. I could have just lifted the whole trigger and saved myself some aggravation.

Now I have a nickle plated Colt 1917 in 45 acp that has some sick innards. Want to hear about this coming disaster?

Thanks again for suggestions and support.

Capt Teach

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