Cylinder won't open, HELP!


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Bo
July 10, 2008, 01:28 PM
I took my newly acquired S&W 19-3 out for a test run this morning. It was shooting great at about 10 yds. sometimes hitting the same hole. After about 50 rds., I pushed on the cylinder latch and the cylinder wouldn't open. I can pull the hammer half back and the cylinder will spin freely but, when I try to open it, it only moves about an 1/8". Help! What's wrong? I've got 6 spent shells in the cylinder and can't get it open. I don't want to force anything. Anyone have any ideas?

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rcmodel
July 10, 2008, 01:37 PM
Extractor rod is coming unscrewed.

Pull the hammer back to where the cylinder will turn, then turn it backward while trying to hold pressure against the side of the ejector rod.

What you need to do is screw it back in far enough to allow the cylinder latch to push the locking pins in all the way.

Once you get it open, you need to Blue LockTight the ejector rod back in the cylinder assembly. Then tighten with a pair of pliers while useing a strip of leather to protect the rod from the pliers.

rcmodel

xring44
July 10, 2008, 01:46 PM
Extractor rod is coming unscrewed.

Pull the hammer back to where the cylinder will turn, then turn it backward while trying to hold pressure against the side of the ejector rod.

What you need to do is screw it back in far enough to allow the cylinder latch to push the locking pins in all the way.

Once you get it open, you need to Blue LockTight the ejector rod back in the cylinder assembly. Then tighten with a pair of pliers while useing a strip of leather to protect the rod from the pliers.

rcmodel

Yep, I agree with rcmodel

Phil DeGraves
July 10, 2008, 01:54 PM
I believe that is a reverse thread on the extractor rod.

MedWheeler
July 10, 2008, 02:36 PM
Yes, it is, Phil.. same thing on my Taurus 66.. throws me off.

Bo
July 10, 2008, 02:55 PM
The ejector rod is shrouded on a m-19 and the cylinder won't turn backwards. Now what?

OFT
July 10, 2008, 03:01 PM
The rod has a left handed thread. You need to turn the cylinder the same direction as it would turn when firing it. While doing this apply pressure on the side of the rod, keeping it from turning. This will allow the cylinder to screw onto the rod.

rcmodel
July 10, 2008, 03:18 PM
You said:
I can pull the hammer half back and the cylinder will spin freelyDo that and hold the rod from turning.

It's a left-hand thread on your gun.

rcmodel

Matt-J2
July 10, 2008, 04:19 PM
The solution to what ails you:

http://mfinley.com/gif/sledgehammer.jpg

saemetric
July 10, 2008, 04:56 PM
If the above does not work take a small screwdriver and push between the end of the extractor rod and the beveled lock pin while pushing the cylinder latch and cylinder out.

jaydubya
July 10, 2008, 10:08 PM
And if you ever let that happen again, I promise you'll be real sorry.
Cordially, Jack

PzGren
July 10, 2008, 10:49 PM
You can also slide a business card behind the ejector rod, inside the shroud, and screw the rod back in by pulling the card slowly out while you hold it from both sides to get more friction.

Bo
July 11, 2008, 08:12 AM
Yes it was the ejector rod. Followed your instructions and it worked. Wrapped a rag around the end of the rod and tighten it with a pair of pliers. From the looks of the end of the rod, I'd say this has happened before. Is this a common problem with 19-3's? If it happens again, should I contact S&W? Thanks for all your help.

Hawk
July 11, 2008, 10:30 AM
I'm not so sure it's an issue with 19-3s so much as it's an issue with S&Ws generally. My very first S&W did that 5 minutes after I got it home.

Fortunately, I have a good supply of blue thread locking compound left over from another hobby. Grab some Loctite 242 or similar, apply sparingly and relax. I wouldn't bother to call S&W - I'd suspect they're aware of the issue.

I would stay well clear of red loctite. Note, however, that blue loctite generally comes in a red container. I put this down to basic cussedness on the part of the supplier.

Cougfan2
July 11, 2008, 10:46 AM
I've had this happen at some point on every DA revolver I've ever owned until I wised up and checked before and after every range session to make sure the extractor rod was screwed in tight. Make it a habit.

gtmerkley
July 11, 2008, 11:28 AM
Glad to hear you got it.

MCgunner
July 11, 2008, 11:35 AM
Anyone who owns motorcycles has blue loctite in the shop. :D

rcmodel
July 11, 2008, 12:29 PM
If it happens again, should I contact S&WPlease read post #2 again carefully.

You cannot properly tighten it with pliers tight enough to keep it tight. And it IS going to come loose again unless you BLUE LockTight it.

rcmodel

jaybar
July 11, 2008, 12:51 PM
Before applying any significant torque to tighten (or loosen) the ejector rod make sure that you insert three empty cases into alternating chambers of the cylinder to absorb the force. The ejector rod screws into the extractor (star). There are 2 very small alignment pins that are designed to keep the extractor lined up with the various chambers. If you apply excessive torque to the ejector rod without having empties in the chambers you can bend or shear the alignment pins.

SGW42
July 12, 2008, 08:14 PM
Had the exact same problem with the exact same gun, my 19-3.

Came here and got the same advice. Made a lot of sense but with a piece of leather and pliers I could not screw the ejector rod in or out.

Took it to a smith. Paid him ~$60 to fix it. He said he actually had to send away for some parts. I have no idea which ones. Anyway, ~75 rounds later, mixed .38 and .357, exact same problem.

I just got fed up. I cleaned her up and stuck her in my box o' gun stuff. She looks gorgeous, I won't get rid of her, but she's cottenballed for now.

TOGGLELOCK
July 12, 2008, 09:44 PM
When (and if) you get your cylinder open. You better watch how you screw your ejector rod tight. You'll need an extractor support tool, orange dummy rounds or empties left in the cylinder as extractor support. Cause if you got an old cylinder with pins under the extractor star, you'll bend your pins without the support tool, orange inert dummy or empty casings. Keeps the extractor star from shifting during tightning. TOGGLELOCK

madcratebuilder
July 13, 2008, 08:01 AM
If you own a S&W you should have a ejector rod tool. It clamps on the rod and allows you to tighten to the the proper torque.

Careful - don't shear the aligning pins
Before applying any significant torque to tighten (or loosen) the ejector rod make sure that you insert three empty cases into alternating chambers of the cylinder to absorb the force. The ejector rod screws into the extractor (star). There are 2 very small alignment pins that are designed to keep the extractor lined up with the various chambers. If you apply excessive torque to the ejector rod without having empties in the chambers you can bend or shear the alignment pins.

Good advice!

Bo
July 13, 2008, 09:40 AM
So if I unscrew the ejector rod to put Loctite on it, are pieces going to fall out? Or is it as simple as unscrewing applying Loctite and screwing it back in?

TOGGLELOCK
July 13, 2008, 02:50 PM
No, we had been talking about older cylinders with pins under the star. Don't bend those small pins. When in doubt, get someone with knowledge to tighten your ejector rod. TOGGLELOCK

rcmodel
July 13, 2008, 03:57 PM
Took it to a smith. Paid him ~$60 to fix it. He said he actually had to send away for some parts. I have no idea which ones. Anyway, ~75 rounds later, mixed .38 and .357, exact same problem.If he had de-greased the threads on the rod & cylinder, and applied Blue LockTight, then tightened it properly, it would not have come loose again.

If I had paid him 60 bucks, I'd be back rattling his cage.

rcmodel

Boats
July 13, 2008, 04:49 PM
Get a Ruger.:D

gizamo
July 13, 2008, 05:10 PM
Boats....

+1:)

Not surprising, given some of the issues revolving around the S&W design.

Having said that, I collect S&W revolvers and have come to expect them to shoot loose. Loctite and a proper tool made for this purpose and used to surround the extractor rod ( there are two sizes) and you are on your way to correcting the problem. As stated above, be sure to use at least three empty cases to support the extractor star and not allow it to torque in tightening.

Giz

SGW42
July 13, 2008, 05:34 PM
If he had de-greased the threads on the rod & cylinder, and applied Blue LockTight, then tightened it properly, it would not have come loose again.

If I had paid him 60 bucks, I'd be back rattling his cage.
Really this is the most frustrating thing about it. Having paid to have it fixed only to not have it work again. Problem is I just know if I walk in there with it again they'll argue it's been out of their shop for so many months, and I've put so-and-so many rounds through, they wouldn't know what I've done with it. Plus having had prior experience with this gun shop, it's the kind of place I'll have trouble getting the time of day since I'm under 45.

I tried turning the rod myself again just now and again no luck. When I get the time/money/nerve, I'll likely just send it to S&W direct. It needs a few other small things buffed up anyway.

Guillermo
July 13, 2008, 05:35 PM
Get a Ruger.

Absolutely

The anvil-like weight makes it where nothing can rattle loose:evil:

everybody sing!

Like a rock

Boats
July 13, 2008, 11:46 PM
The GP-100 and the 686 are within a half ounce of one another at like barrel lengths. The SP-101 is actually shootable with full house .357 Mags in it.

No one depending on a current production Ruger DA revolver is ever going to possibly die for a screwed in part coming loose at an inopportune moment.

"Like a rock" is when a loose ejector rod keeps your cylinder from opening. Or when the cylinder crane merely falls out, or when the strain screw takes off for parts unknown. Or the bolt screw gives up the ghost.

The design of Smith wheelies is archaic, and sometimes it shows at the worst possible time.

I own Colts, Smiths, and Rugers. The only ones I trust to hold together in the normal course of firing without excuses are my KGP-141 and SP-101. The Colt DS and Model 38 are range toys at best.

Guillermo
July 14, 2008, 12:17 AM
Hey Boats,

It was a little joke.

I have owned Rugers. Still have 1. Like them fine.

They are my favorite cast iron weapons.


Seriously

Not sure what is so archaic about a Smith and advanced about a Ruger but okay…

Shoot what you want and enjoy it.



-none of my Smiths have locks

-And since you are happy to buy a new Ruger and immediately send it off to have the gravel removed from the trigger, why can't you do the same with the Hillary Hole on a Smith (or use a little locktite)

Bo
July 15, 2008, 05:48 AM
No one answered my question,
So if I unscrew the ejector rod to put Loctite on it, are pieces going to fall out? Or is it as simple as unscrewing, applying Loctite and screwing it back in?

71Commander
July 15, 2008, 08:08 AM
In my Smiths, the ejection rod is used for extraction only, not lock up. I have detents for lock up.

Hawk
July 15, 2008, 09:31 AM
No one answered my question,
So if I unscrew the ejector rod to put Loctite on it, are pieces going to fall out? Or is it as simple as unscrewing, applying Loctite and screwing it back in?

Beats me.
According to the schematic there might be a spring but I did mine "muzzle up" and nothing of interest happened.

See:
http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/schematics/schemmfg.aspx?schemid=595&m=15&mn=Smith+&model=K-Frame+19+

'Course the S&Ws are a mystery to me. In the case of the crane retainer, springs come and go based on the "dash" number or the boiling point of mercury or something else.

The fact that Brownell's doesn't identify the part on the model 19 but does on the model 640 (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/schematics/schemmfg.aspx?schemid=479&m=15&mn=Smith+&model=J-Frame+640+) might indicate that the part exists on the 640 (which is the one I thread-locked) but may not exist on the model 19 (which I don't have one of) or it might be something else altogether, like they ran out of the part or someone failed to name it when the got to the 19.

Whatever the reality may be, it's a voyage of discovery and great fun provided you embark upon it with the revolver over a tupperware container. If no container available, avoid disassembly over a shag carpet particularly in a darkened room. Parts will burrow after they bounce.

If the above does not fill you with confidence at least I gave you a bump.

I did it. That's usually a safe indication that it may be attempted by anyone.

Old Fuff
July 15, 2008, 10:17 AM
Ah, but if you look up a particular model in your copy of Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, you will find a list of the various dash numbers for that model, and what they represent. That includes the cylinder retention system or screw. Various changes were not made on all models at the same time.

And if one has a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's The S&W Revolver - A Shop Manual, they will find specific instructions (including illustrations) on how to handle the ejector rod problem - as well as many others.

The Old Fuff sometimes becomes frustrated in having to answer the same questions over and over, and ponders if he too should write a book. But there is no reason to think it would be better read that the ones cited above.

Those that tinker with their guns are like kids with a new computer/video game. They read the instructions last, if at all... :D

Hawk
July 15, 2008, 10:39 AM
Ah, but the grasshopper found the schematics and I'm sure you'd agree that a numbered part without a label can be disquieting in the same manner that an unconsumated asterisk is.

And your apprentice was just funnin' on the engineering changes - they are reasonably clear. Also, in the defense of us young 'uns, sometimes we post when we should be working and that bulky old Standard Catalog is at home.

Nonetheless, we accomplished our ends and bumped the thread.

If I might make a request - if you do write a book, make it available in PDF format to allow for electronic searching. Finding that one word reference in book 2 (which is actually the same book) to strain screw "trimming" in Kuhnhausen could have been easier. It doesn't even have an index of the type used in Brownell's gunsmith kinks.

But we press on regardless.
;)

Old Fuff
July 15, 2008, 11:11 AM
You have not yet memorized the entire contents of the two mentioned books??? :what: What do you do in your spare time? :D

In your Smith & Wesson Shop Manual, go to Book II, pages 61 through 64. It lists various sad conditions that can happen to a S&W revolver, with proposed solutions. That may get you started, but beyond this there isn't a clue. Also the book doesn't cover the more recent changes, in particular the MIM lockwork. I've found it interesting that no one has written a shop manual to cover these revolvers, and I don't intend to be the one who does.

I haven't looked, but I understand that S&W will download current owner manuals in .PDF format, and maybe if they did things right, an exploded view drawing with part numbers might be included.

Some part numbers for the various dash numbers within a particular model are listed in Brownells' and Numrich Gunparts' print catalogs.

You aren't supposed to be buying newer guns anyway.... :fire:

The Old Fuff of course, won't touch a gun unless it pre-dates automobiles... :D

Hawk
July 15, 2008, 03:06 PM
...and maybe if they did things right, an exploded view drawing with part numbers might be included.

Those days are evidently gone. The manuals these days are of the "one size fits all" variety.

However, a downloadable revolver parts list is available. It has no pictures but the "view" numbers sometimes coincide with the schematics on Brownell's web site. When they're off they're close enough one can sort it out - a parts listing for a strain screw shown as "55" may appear on Brownell's schematic as a "60".

One assumes that these minor discrepancies would probably disappear if one actually forked over the 15.00 for the printed S&W parts book. We cheap bastages will have to make do with one eye on a parts listing and another on a not-quite-matching schematic.

What I learned today: the 686 came in a round butt configuration - the strain screws are different. I was unaware that "L"s came in round - while no doubt in the SCoSW, as you've noted, I've not memorized the thing yet - no doubt other surprises await.

I also learned that S&W is pretty painless to deal with when one has a molested strain screw and that one can mention "686" without someone insisting it be sent it for an "M" to be added.

Pretty happy, as campers go.

Old Fuff
July 15, 2008, 06:55 PM
The strain screws for the square-butt K, L, and N frames is slightly longer then the one for the respective round-butts. Pre-war and early post war strain screws have a different thread then the later ones.

If you are as cheap as you say, :neener: buy the longer square-butt screw and shorten if you use it on a round butt configuration.

The Old Fuff knows this because he's even cheaper they you are... :D

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