Sloppy Cylinder


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Jake H
December 24, 2006, 02:36 AM
I bought a very good condition pre-dash S&W model 586 4" barrel revolver a few months ago from a local sporting goods store. It was bought out of an estate of over 300 firearms that some guy had collected over the years, and had not been shot much. After about a week of fondling it I started to notice that it had a bind somewhere that was causing three out of the six cylinders to have a more stiff trigger pull. Someone had probably sprung the yoke out of alignment by flicking the cylinder closed. This was also causing the chambers to be mis-aligned with the barrel and I was feeling small particles hit my face when I fired it.

So I sent it off to S&W for repair and they seem to have fixed the binding and spitting problem. Also, the cylinder/barrel gap is as tight as it was when I sent it off, about .004".

However, the cylinder now has MUCH more rotational play, and has a LOT of lateral(?) slop. By "lateral slop" I am describing how I can grab the cylinder and move it from side to side in the frame. Before the repairs, the cylinder would hardly budge.

So what did they do to create all of this new sloppiness? Will this sloppiness affect the accuracy and longevity of the revolver? Will it get worse as I shoot the revolver? Can this easily be fixed?

Thanks in advance,
Jake H

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Old Fuff
December 24, 2006, 10:38 AM
Rotational movement when the cylinder is locked depends on the fit between the ball on the cylinder stop (the part that sticks up through the frame and engages the notch in the cylinder). For whatever reason the 'smith at S&W may have modified the one in the gun, or replaced it with a new one. Some rotational play may be annoying to those that expect the revolver to lock up rock solid, but it plays no real part in the way things are supposed to be, and some play is necesary to insure the cylinder will lock if there is fouling in the cylinder notches.

At this point the condition shouldn't change or get worse. It might be corrected with a new cylinder stop, but then again, maybe not. The lead spitting might have been caused by the cylinder being locked with the chamber and bore misalighned, and have nothing to do with the yoke.

Go out and shoot it. if the spitting problem is solved, the cylinder is revolving as it should, and the revolver's accuracy is up to your expectations I would consider it to be fixed and let it go at that. If not, I would contact S&W again with a specific complaint and see what they say.

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