Thank you, Fuff. The apprentice takes his first baby step


June 25, 2008, 10:39 PM
...and removes a sideplate from a 28-2.

Too bad I couldn't see anything that was causing the trigger to feel like 30 miles of bad road but we took the opportunity to lube the innards. Looked just like the Jerry M. dvd inside. The awful trigger inspired me to crack the chest of the 28-2 to check for wasp nests, crushed aggregate or a quarter pound of rust, but it looked just fine.

Apparently, somebody installed a leaf spring from a '42 Ford Tractor. Maybe next time we'll actually address that. For now, it's good enough everything went back together with hardly any parts left over. Sideplate and screws aren't even buggered.

Not a big deal for most here but, for me, it's Miller time.


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June 25, 2008, 11:33 PM
Congratulations! I almost want to crack my 28-2 open to make sure the internals are nice and protected from corrosion with some nice oil, but the action feels excellent to perfect as is and I don't want to change that.

June 26, 2008, 03:05 AM
The day I brought home my first Smith & Wesson, I couldn't keep my filthy hands off it, and by the second day I had opened it up to look for a beating heart, it felt so alive. I had a few books with crude instructions on how to (and how not to) open it up, and I took it completely apart to study it and contemplate its beauty and intricacy. Once I had a handle on how it all worked together, I started polishing and smoothing, and gradually learned how a trigger job helps, and why. To this day, the only gun I will work on is a Smith, and I've done some pretty excellent trigger jobs. I'm convinced the stainless steel guns get slicker than carbon, but they can all get glassy smooth if you do it right. The trigger pull on my M-65 defies description, and I've had a few accomplished gunsmiths ask me how the heck I made it that light and slick. But it always goes bang, a great comfort, as it is my primary house gun.

Hawk, once you get past the "Oh Crap I'm Gonna Ruin My New Toy" fear, you'll start to see how it all fits together, and even if you never tear it down and slick it up, you'll appreciate the inner workings, refined over 150 years, into the mechanical joy it has evolved into. The more you know it, the more fun it is to shoot! I'm no gunsmith by any means, just an interested hobbyist, but if I can do a trigger job without ruining it, ANYONE can! :o


June 26, 2008, 04:03 AM
Heya Hawk,

The next step will be mastering the dremmel for adjusting grips.

Can you do me a favor? If you ever disassemble that new 40 snap some pics for me.

I Start my 10 day wait tommorow on my 40-1, I can't wait. :)


June 26, 2008, 09:26 AM
The new production 40 has a pretty nice trigger. There's not much motivation to open it up. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the polish and finish.

I suspect the 28-2 may simply be suffering from a malady I've come to describe as "'Nam era Bangor Punta-itis". It's a malady that afflicts certain pinned and recessed examples and keeps P&R from being a consistent indicator of quality from a bygone era. Actually, it is rather of an indication of quality in 1977 - just not a very happy one.

In the specific case of the (purported 1977) 28-2, the case color has been scored to death on the right side of the hammer. It doesn't appear to be getting any worse so I presume it's "worn in" at this point. The hammer seems to be "tracking" right based on the description in one of Jerry M.'s DVDs. The boss and hammer pin look straight and I couldn't find any burrs on the frame but these may simply have been ground down by the hammer previously.

It times well, though. I bought it in spite of the trigger as everything else seems hunky dorey.

The 28-2 will be a nice one to experiment on - it's the cheapest P&R I've found (350.00) which places it only 260.00 higher than it sold for new. I guess Fuff scores another one on the "firearms value appreciation" arena.


Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 10:04 AM
The Old Fuff is in shock!!! The EMT's should arrive shortly. :D

Now you need to do a couple of things.

First of all, if you don't have a copy already, order a Brownell's catalog from They carry parts, supplies tools and accessories.

Next be sure you have the necessary tools. At a minimum you should have a set of S&W specific screwdrivers and a set of S&W specific cup-pointed pin punches. A plastic headed mallet (hammer to you shooters) is helpful.

Buy a copy of Jrerry Kuhnhausen's The S&W Revolver - A Shop Manual. If you'd had this in the first place even you would have been able to cure the off-center hammer problem. It also explains about some other specialized tools you may want to get, including a gadget to unscrew the ejector rod without bending or scaring it. This very handy book will help with older S&W revolvers, but not so much with the new MIM lockwork kind. I've found it interesting that nobody has bothered to write a manual for them.

Avoid polishing case hardened parts. Doing so will lead you down the primrose path. :uhoh:

June 26, 2008, 10:52 AM
Ah, Fuff, you underestimate your influence.

I may not have the SCoSW, but I did get the Kuhnhausen manual, a set of cup punches and the S&W bit set from Brownell's some time back based on a post of yours.

I haven't found a use yet for the most expensive part (the cup punches) and only used 2 of the 5 bits but I assume the rest are there for other models.

Anyhow, it went back together with only the cover of the manual getting used. Maybe I'll actually open the thing and see about that hammer although it seems to have righted itself - perhaps back in the '80s. ;)

Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 11:15 AM
I didn't mention it before, but you should get a set of feeler guages - the kind normally used to gap spark plugs. You will find a better quality set at Brownells, but you can also get a set in most automotive parts & accessory stores.

With the hammer forward, you measure the gap on each side of the hammer and frame to see if it's off-center. I suspect in your case there is zero space on the right side, and (whatever) on the left. Brownells has what are called hammer or trigger bearings (fancy name for "washers") that can be dropped on the hammer or trigger studs (pivot pins) on one side or the other to center the hammer or trigger (sometimes both). Installing them takes no special skill or tools. You will find detailed information and illustrations if you actually look in the shop manual.

This is something where you can't go wrong, because you don't alter the revolver itself in any way.

Why the pin punches? You may have noticed that there are little pins in the hammer and trigger. Sometimes one or more of these pins may be off center and then rub on the frame. You use a punch to drive it back so that both sides are below flush with the sides of the respective part.

June 26, 2008, 12:14 PM
'Sticky material'.


June 26, 2008, 01:26 PM
I knew there was a reason I'd be wanting to order the S&W Shop Manual... got Colt Vol. 1 the other day. Haven't had time to really dig in though. Guess it's a shame I haven't found any problem Colts or Smiths yet... Fuff has already snapped them all up. :mad:

Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 01:35 PM
Fuff has already snapped them all up.

Well I do try... :evil: :D

June 26, 2008, 05:41 PM
This reminds me of last week.

I had just started cleaning using a new system with a "fairly" aggressive bore solvent. I also started using jags.

Due to my unfamiliarity and clumsiness I closed the cylinder (by accident) just as the jag exited the barrel. You guessed it jag in cylinder, no problem you say, well you don't know Wheeler. Of course I broke the jag off the cleaning rod. Can you say cylinder lock up? With copper solvent in bore? On my sons heirloom Victory Model. Fortunately he was still asleep.

A quick stock and side plate removal, mental photograph of the guts, remove mainspring, remove hammer, use thin wire through
firing pin opening to gently tap jag back (harder than it sounds, use a long, stiff piece of wire and just bounce it, many, many times) and reassemble, just as son wakes up to say "man that stuff stinks, hey, thanks for lubricating the lock work on my revolver" and inside the solvent manufacturers recommended "soak" time.

June 26, 2008, 06:07 PM
Nice job, Hawk! The Python's next?

June 26, 2008, 09:18 PM
The one remaining Python is chastity belted. The two others are living proof that Fuff isn't sucking up all the problem children - he's grabbing all the cherries.

I'm the poster child for finding revolvers, most specifically Pythons, that need help. I've also shown some aptitude for finding Bangor Punta'd S&Ws as well, but I have nowhere near the talent for sniffing out high-suckage S&Ws as I've demonstrated for Colts.

I lay claim to being the one responsible for Shade00 not needing repair manuals. I bought all the stink pots. The 28-2 is different in that I'm going to get it running right rather than sell it (Colts) or send it in for repairs (S&W).

I did find some feeler gauges - I can make the hammer / frame clearance nearly anything I want - hammer is a tad sloppy on the pin it would appear. But it sure enough is tighter on the right side - looks like I'm in for ciphering this shim operation. I'm actually looking forward to it.. I think...


Old Fuff
June 26, 2008, 09:31 PM
The one remaining Python is chastity belted. The two others are living proof that Fuff isn't sucking up all the problem children - he's grabbing all the cherries.

Generally speaking I like problem children that were made before 1960, and 1945 is even better. Of course parts can be a problem so I tend to be selective.

... he's grabbing all the cherries.

You bet baby!!! all I can steal. :neener:

But it's getting harder to do. :(

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