S&W Model 64 Question


March 1, 2010, 08:29 PM
I ordered a S&W Model 64 from J&G Sales today. They said it is a no lock model, with the hammer mounted firing pin. I have a few questions:

1. Were there any S&W Model 64s made that cannot handle .38 special +P?

2. What will I need to do to convert it back to allow single action as well as double? I believe I only need to replace the hammer, if so will that be a drop in part or require fitting?

3. Anyone else pick up one of these guns, if so how is it? I got the very good plus condition and I'm hoping I get a nice one...


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March 1, 2010, 09:46 PM
1) No.

2) Replace the hammer. www.brownells.com had them last time I checked. Pretty much drop-in from reading Kuhnhausen.

3) I was going to get one from them, but my local FFL popped up with one that was still DA/SA and equal in price (with shipping and transfer fee added in) so I went with that instead.

Excellent shooting piece. For me, so far, it likes WWB 125 gr JHP +P the best but I should be getting some more Buffalo Bore "FBI" load tomorrow to see how those stack up. My usual cheap target load, Magtech 158 gr LRN standard pressure, doesn't group as well and I've heard from other 64 owners that they don't like lead as much as the Model 10 they're based on.

Oh, Flitz polish and a soft cotton rag are your best friends if you want a pretty shiny stainless steel revolver :)



March 1, 2010, 11:32 PM
heh, I got two from J&G. one was the hand select nicest round but versions and the other was the lowest end square butt. I really dig the round butt however I wished I would have gotten a little nicer square butt one. A little tweaking and the square butt is getting better. A friend and myself both have two apiece from J&G and use them for IDPA. great fun and you can get a real good deal if you select the nicer options.

I polished the round butt, added hogues, and it is now a knock out

March 2, 2010, 12:43 AM
Pretty much drop-in from reading Kuhnhausen.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

If possible, find a matched pair of hammer/trigger assemblies taken out of the same gun. They will be properly mated together. A single unit may or may not match to a random other unit.

March 2, 2010, 12:58 AM
I "dropped-in" a DA/SA hammer, and dry-fired it a few times.

...and this happened.





March 2, 2010, 02:27 AM
Unless you have worked on Smith revolvers before I wouldn't try to convert a revolver back DA/SA capability yourself. At a minimum buy and read Kuhansen's shop manual first then decide if you want to try the job.

March 2, 2010, 08:28 AM
As far as the hammer swap goes, at one time I owned 3 seperate K-frames. All had the frame mounted firing pin design, and the hammers were rotated between the 3 easily.

I'm gathering that it is more complicated for the guns with the hammer mounted firing pin?

How much should it cost for a gunsmith to do the swap?

Thanks :D

March 2, 2010, 10:34 AM
Do you really need single action on a 4" fixed sight revolver? I seem to shoot all of my revolvers double action 99% of the time, especially the fixed sight ones. I have a 64 that I converted to DAO because of this. Try it and you just might like it the way it is, and never miss that single action functionality.

Thaddeus Jones
March 2, 2010, 03:03 PM
Congrats on your J&G model 64!!

I love mine. It cleaned up very nicely and is a tack driver. Trigger that rival my Performance Center revolvers!

I couldn't be more pleased with mine. Enjoy yours! TJ

March 2, 2010, 03:05 PM
Do you really need single action on a 4" fixed sight revolver?Heck yes!

I wouldn't own one without it!


March 2, 2010, 04:57 PM
Do you really need single action on a 4" fixed sight revolver?

Probably not, but I like it for messing around shooting at very very long distances, or making one hole groups at 25 yards.

Old Shooter
March 2, 2010, 05:22 PM
I would have expected the hammer/trigger interface to be the area that would require fitting, the hammer nose issue is a real eye-opener. Learn something new every day.

March 2, 2010, 06:04 PM
Do you really need single action on a 4" fixed sight revolver?

This type of gun tends to be nominated when the subject is training and the students are completely green shooters, or less-motivated shooters.

I've often heard it dictated that DAO is the way to go for all defensive revolver shooting.

Let me tell you, that DAO trigger on the Model 64 is SOME KIND OF HEAVY.
In fact, it is so heavy that I would expect some weaker persons to not be able to hold any kind of sight picture, and still manipulate the trigger.

Having the ability to cock the hammer at least provides some possibility that the weak-handed shooter will come away from the training event with some assurance that she can actually operate the weapon.

Everybody has to start somewhere.

...and please spare me the sermons about the "evils" of cocking the hammer in a defensive situation.

Its a trade-off of risk that some people may just have to accept.

March 2, 2010, 07:36 PM
Try backing out the mainspring screw about three-quarters of a turn...should "lighten" it up for you some.

March 2, 2010, 08:15 PM
Try backing out the mainspring screw about three-quarters of a turn...should "lighten" it up for you some.

This really is a poor way to do a trigger job on a revolver. There are several things you can do to improve the pull, including lighter springs, but the strain screw is NOT an adjustment. It needs to be tight.


March 2, 2010, 08:47 PM
If it were mine I would save myself some money and just learn to shoot dao.

March 2, 2010, 09:58 PM
Try backing out the mainspring screw about three-quarters of a turn...should "lighten" it up for you some.

Please don't lighten up the pull by doing this. For one thing, once the screw is loosened even a little bit, it can easily back out further on it's own and cause light strikes. Fine if it is a range toy, not so good if you rely on the gun for serious purposes. Secondly, as the screw is loosened it causes the mainspring to straighten out and become longer as the tension on it is reduced. If it gets too loose, it can actually lengthen too much, pushing the hammer/mainspring stirrup into the underside of the hammer, to a point where the mainspring can actually snap the stirrup clean off. Granted, you would probably get a warning of this impending failure: as the tension on the mainspring is loosened, the pull gets lighter to a point, and at some point it actually starts getting heavier. Perhaps even heavier than with it tightened all the way down. This is the most likely point of failure, but honestly the gun wasn't designed to be operated with a partially slack mainspring, so I simply wouldn't go there.

The myth that the strain screw on a S&W revolver is a trigger pull adjustment screw is VERY common, so I don't mean to bash or impune anyone. But people need to know the truth of the matter. That screw should be tightened up all the way, and it wouldn't hurt to put a dab of blue locktite on the threads, especially on a defensive gun.


Back to the OP,

Most of the time, the hammer assembly is NOT a drop in part. Some fitting will likely be required, but it is a pretty straightforward job for a reputable gunsmith to perform. I'm guessing $50 would do it, plus the cost of the part.

But at some point, it just isn't worth it given the price you paid.

March 3, 2010, 05:01 AM
I got one of the J&G Model 64's several months back, one of other the very good plus's. The trigger on mine is not heavy, it's just right. Accurate. It's my bedside gun, I don't need single action on it. I take it to the range every few weeks and practice with carry ammo. I'm very pleased with mine.

March 3, 2010, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the replies guys, I am dying to get my hands on the Model 64.

I am going to leave it DA only for a while, spend money on ammo instead and decide later to convert it or not.

As far as backing out the mainspring screw, I've had two friends with old S&W revolvers that were "broken and won't fire" because someone backed out that screw, and it kept backing out until the hammer was hitting too weak to fire the rounds.

As far as the heavy trigger pull, I've owned a few K-frames, of all generations. The last generation of model 65, with the two piece barrel, had the heaviest trigger pull of them all, and even that one was smooth so even though it was heavy it was still quite easy to shoot well in double action.

Old Fuff
March 3, 2010, 10:16 AM
It should be remembered that when these guns were built, skilled assemblers checked, and if necessary made minor adjustments to the lockwork. Or sometimes they simply switched out a part to get a better fit. If you exchange a part for one that was originally put in another gun you need to check out everything - including if the hammer nose (firing pin) is hitting the frame, which it shouldn't but sometimes does. The front end of the firing pin is supposed to be a close fit in the hole in the frame so that primers won't extrude back into the hole and hang up the gun, but under some circumstances a good thing can be too good.

If you order a hammer, bt sure you specify that you want a hammer assembly, with the internal parts - including the hammer nose - or you may get a stripped hammer.

Maj Dad
March 3, 2010, 07:33 PM
Although I would not choose a DAO over a SA/DA, I could live with one after doing some spring exchanges. Wolff has a package with their Power Rib mainspring and reduced power trigger return springs. I put the Power Rib mainspring and the 13 lb return spring in a nice Model 10 heavy bbl, and the 14 lb return spring in my 4" 686 no dash/no M. The Model 10 has as sweet a DA pull as I have ever felt, and the 686 is right up there next to it. I have also had 100% ignition on both after tightening the M10 strain screw back up from the only 1/4 turn loosening I tried. It's true - it just doesn't work so keep it snugged all the way up and hit it with Loctite to boot. Nice thing about spring changes is that you can put it back to original configuration in 15 minutes, and the whole procedure is outlined on this forum ( http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=397027 ) :)

March 3, 2010, 07:35 PM
I got the gun today, wow, what a deal! The thing is brand new, even the outside wasn't all that scratched up. There is absolutely no end shake, the action locks up like brand new. The trigger pull is nice and smooth and the bore is clean and shiny. I test fired it and it was just as accurate as any other K-frame and shot to point of aim with 158grain LHP+P.

I'm glad I paid the extra $10 for the "very good plus" condition.

The only thing I am going to do is replace the grips with a clean, new set of grips. The rubber doesn't hold up well after 20 years like the stainless steel did.

March 4, 2010, 12:23 AM
Sounds like a keeper! How about some pics?

March 4, 2010, 06:16 AM
Re DAO - it's fine, whether you shoot in SD, plink, or SPC. Most folks like SA due to the perception of better accuracy. When you 'learn your trigger', firing DA can be just as accurate as SA. The obvious plus - it's great practice for SD shooting.

Two years ago this May, I was spending some Ruger-sale moola on a new 627 Pro when I saw a security guard company trade-in 64 on the used shelf. I had to ask - they had more. I picked the first one he brought out - it is a current production 64-8. It came as shown - with UM's squared Combats, box, shot cartridge case, and all papers - including the 'Club 1852' app. It had two slightly soiled chambers - it was new & unused - a deal for $309 OTD!


It spent the first year sporting various borrowed wood grips - and made frequent range trips, the 627 Pro making more. Finally, last spring, it got it's OEM grips back, was loaded with Remington R38S12 +P 158gr LHPSWC, and took up it's post as a house gun. Today, it will sneak out for a range trip and have it's way with some SPC targets. Just basic fun!

I posted this picture & post for a reason... you can have fun even with, gasp, a current production 64! Just get a 64 - a SS 10 - a 'wash & wear' classic!


March 4, 2010, 12:22 PM
Here it is:


February 3, 2011, 03:56 PM
what is the drop on the round for a standard model 64 with a 3" barrel? We are qualifying with it and using the (very cheap)company's cheapie, beat up models, and they've introduced a new requirement for a 25 yd string. most likely they are using soft lead ammo of the cheapest variety possible as well.

I'll most likely find out this weekend when I rent one for practice, but it would be nice to know the numbers ahead of time.

I realize that it's been awhile since this thread has been active. I just didn't want to create a new thread for a single question.

February 3, 2011, 05:48 PM
Drop at 25 yds? Effectively none. Hold to point of aim and you'll hit it just like you would at 3 yards.

Remember, if that bullet is traveling at 1000 fps, it will only take 0.075 sec. to get to the target. A falling object accelerates toward the ground at 32 feet per second, per second. Doing the math, it will drop ... (...carry the one...) ... call it a hair over an inch in 25 yds.

February 3, 2011, 05:56 PM
I have carried an M64 for years since I retired. I am completely confident in the weapon and ammunition. Sam covered the ballistic questions.
I replaced the hammer and trigger with wide ones and did a smoothing up on it. It has a really smooth double action. I have qualified as NRA Police Expert with the one I have and it is much more accurate than I am. Good choice. :D

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