Revolver Cylinder Binding


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Waywatcher
November 30, 2006, 08:09 AM
I bought a used S&W 686 (no dash) recently and everything works absolutely perfect except for one small detail. On one (just one, I marked it to keep track) of the cylinder holes on the front, if the revolver gets a bit dirty it binds on just the one hole. The double action on that one shot has a noticeable hitch to it, or the single action is a bit tougher than normal to cock.

I held it up to a light and it makes contact at the very top of the cylinder with the forcing cone/barrel. When it is cleaned well it comes really close but doesn't touch. Is it possible that this gun's barrel/cylinder gap is a bit too tight? (I can barely fit a piece of regular paper in between them) Or is it possible that the opposite side of the cylinder is slightly swelled causing it to tip?

I'm wondering what might cause this problem and how I might go about fixing it, thanks in advance!

P.S. My best guess as to how to fix it right now is to very, very lightly touch the forcing cone with a fine stone to smooth off the high points. (It looks rather rough or coarsely machined, certainly rougher than the cylinder.)

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Old Fuff
November 30, 2006, 10:46 AM
DON'T TOUCH THAT FILE... :eek:

You need to get a set of feeler gauges (the kind used to gap sparkplugs) and measure the gap with those. Eyeballing doesn't count. When you gauge the gap hold the cylinder as far back as it will go, and then repeat while pushing the cylinder as far forward as it will move. You may have a cylinder end-shake problem, and if so, filing on the barrel would make it worse.

highlander 5
November 30, 2006, 11:24 AM
Contact S&W and have them fix it,they do have a lifetime warranty may as well take advantage of it

Jim K
November 30, 2006, 02:24 PM
The fact that only one point is binding indicates that the cylinder is not trued properly, a factory problem. While this can be corrected by a gunsmith (yes, I have done it in a lathe), I will also recommend sending the gun back to S&W. Call them, tell them what is wrong, and they might (MIGHT, not will) pick up the shipping cost both ways.

Jim

Waywatcher
November 30, 2006, 05:22 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

How much end shake is acceptable? It moves a lot less front-to-back than it does side-to-side at lockup, but it hardly moves either way though (side/side or front/back.)
I dont currrently have feeler gauges, but what I can tell you is this... when the cylinder is at lockup, I barely can't fit a piece of paper in the gap (with all the holes) unless I pull the cylinder back. I would guess I can only move it a couple thousandths at the most though, because once I pull the cylinder back the paper will barely squeeze in, and its obviously touching both the cylinder and the barrel. Paper if I remember correctly is .007 or so, right?

Thanks for bearing with me...

The cylinder not being trued seems more plausible to me, but I'm no gunsmith.

I dont think this gun is going to go back to S&W if I have to foot the bill, it just didn't cost that much, nor is it worth that much to me.

Old Fuff
November 30, 2006, 05:38 PM
From what you describe, I don't think you have a serious end-shake problem.

I would at least talk to Smith & Wesson's Customer Service Dept. They might agree to pay the back & forth shipping bill, and they wouldn't perform any work without your prior permission. I think you have everything to gain, and not much to loose. If they purpose to bill you for any work you can simply tell them to return the gun. If they fix it for free you are way ahaed.

Waywatcher
November 30, 2006, 06:01 PM
Just out of curiosity, what is the danger in lightly smoothing off the high points with a 1000 grit stone (not grinding off metal with a file) on the forcing cone? Is it just the barrel cylinder gap or is there something else?

Old Fuff
November 30, 2006, 06:16 PM
The problem here is that without actually examining the gun we can only guess at what might be causing the problem. Making the wrong correction can make things worse, or create a new issue where there wasn't one before.

Also my feeble memory is telling me that S&W had some problems with the 686 (no dash) and issued a recall. That's another reason I think you should talk to the company's customer service department.

The fact that only one chamber is involved suggests that a ratchet tooth might be misfitted. Frankly, there are several possibilities. Why wonder when you can be sure?

ronto
November 30, 2006, 06:21 PM
I'm by no means a gunsmith, but I suggest you get a set of feeler guages and check all six gaps in full lock-up (trigger held all the way back). a reasonable gap is .004-.007 with IMHO .005 to .006 a good trade-off between possibility of binding and losing power in the gap. Post your results and someone should be able to analyse the problem...I also don't suggest using a file or stone at least until you know what the actual problem is.

BBBBill
November 30, 2006, 06:35 PM
...without actually examining the gun we can only guess at what might be causing the problem. Making the wrong correction can make things worse, or create a new issue where there wasn't one before.
Amen!!

...memory is telling me that S&W had some problems with the 686 (no dash) and issued a recall.
Firing pin bushing/recoil shield related as I recall.

The fact that only one chamber is involved suggests that a ratchet tooth might be misfitted. Frankly, there are several possibilities. Why wonder when you can be sure?
Makes tooooooo much sense! :p Why be sure when you can just guess?
Seriously, I've seen more than one revo with a cylinder that was not cut square on the face. Usually Colt's Mk V's though.

Waywatcher
December 1, 2006, 04:07 PM
I contacted S&W today, they are sending me a label, at no charge. :)

I will keep the thread updated with any news.

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