S&W 38 question


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paradox998
April 29, 2007, 09:10 PM
Hi:

Newbie here, I am trying to help an elderly friend with a S&W revolver. I believe it is a K frame. It say 38 special cart. on the barrel. It is loaded and I am trying to get the cylinder to release so that I can unload it. It has a thumb release on the left side. I tried pushing the release and it moves abut 1/8 inch, but the cylinder does not release. I am doing something wrong? What is the proper process for releasing the cylinder?

Thanks for the help....I guess we all have to start somewhere...

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Starter52
April 29, 2007, 09:55 PM
While pushing and holding forward the release, try ROLLING the cylinder (turning it counterclockwise) rather than just pushing it to the left. It's OK to use a bit of force. A loaded gun will not fire.

Remember to hold the cylinder release forward as you turn the cylinder to release it.

paradox998
April 30, 2007, 10:47 PM
Thanks for the advice. The cylinder seems locked when I try to move it with the thumb release pressed. Does the pistol have to be half-cocked to try thr rolling motion? Probably a dumb question....

jamz
April 30, 2007, 11:00 PM
Has it been loaded for a long long long time? Possibly rust has gotten to it.

Either way, make sure when you are handling it that your fingers are WELL AWAY from the trigger, and that the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction at ALL TIMES! Safe direction doesn't mean at the wall with neighbors on the other side, either. :)

Does the cylinder spin at all?

paradox998
April 30, 2007, 11:21 PM
The cylinder will spin freely when the hammer is pulled back a bit. When the hammer is down, the cylinder does not move. I did put some penetrating oil on the mechanism last week and have not tried it since. There is surface rust on the pistol. It was in an attic for years. If I were not in NY, I would just empty it into the ground and then work on it, but they get kind of testy around here about that. I have been target shooting for years, but just never had any experience with revolvers.

Majic
May 1, 2007, 02:24 AM
The head on the ejector rod may have unscrewed preventing it from unlocking.

SaxonPig
May 1, 2007, 09:56 AM
S&Ws that set for a long time can have sticky cylinder releases. Give it a good push and see if it pops forward. You might try a drop of oil on the plunger under the barrel where the ejector rod snaps into it.

Failing that, check to see if the ejector rod under the barrel has come unscrewed. When it does the rod becomes longer preventing the cylinder from opening. You can just about get your fingers on the rod and try to turn it. If it turns, try to screw it back in (watch to make sure it's getting shorter and not longer).

If all else fails put the gun in a box and take it to a gunsmith.

Starter52
May 1, 2007, 08:25 PM
I am wondering if in fact it is the cylinder release that is the problem. Is the release actually moving forward when you push it towards the muzzle?

It should move forward far enough to touch the recoil shield behind the cylinder (at least 5-10mm movement).

Jim March
May 1, 2007, 09:12 PM
You swing the cylinder out with the hammer fully down. Not "half cocked". Trust me on this.

skeeter1
May 1, 2007, 09:44 PM
The head on the ejector rod may have unscrewed preventing it from unlocking.

I've seen this happen on a Smith k-frame myself. Carefully use some needle-nose pliers and try tightening the ejector rod back into the cylinder.

And just FYI, there is no such thing as a "half-cock" position on a Smith double-action revolver.

paradox998
May 1, 2007, 10:34 PM
Thank you fro the tips. I am going to work on it overf the weekend. The cylinder release only moves about 1/8 inch and does not go all the way to the cylinder guard. I tried turning the ejecter rod, but it seems frozen. Idid put some penetrating oil on the pistol at several places and I will the try the needle nose pliers on the rod and see if it will move. I am also hoping that the oil will help on the release. Sorry if I had a few dumb questions, but I do appreciate the help.

Bearhands
May 1, 2007, 10:38 PM
my 2 cents...... and just my opinion but..... I dont think emptying it into the ground or ANYWHERE is a good idea.. Might be rust build up in the barrel or some other kind of obstruction. There's no sense in taking that chance

W Turner
May 3, 2007, 05:31 PM
BTW>>>>>>

The ejector rod on SW revolvers is REVERSE THREADED. To tighten it (make the rod shorter) you need to rotate it COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. Hate to see you make it worse....


W

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