Problem with a 4 screw pre-36 snubbie


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girl shooter
March 19, 2010, 01:37 PM
I regularly carry a 4 Screw Smith and Wesson pre-model 36. I have carry it for near 10 years. lately when I close the cylinder it just keeps spinning for about one full rotation until locking in place.


It still locks up upon firing and has not failed on the range, but this problem is worrying me (Is it going to fail when I need it?).

I recently installed Crimson Trace laser Grips for a J frame and they are slightly too large, because of the eariler model Smith the Frame is slightly smaller than a J frame, Could this be the problem?
117975
117976
117977


If not what else could be causing this problem?

And how do I fix it?

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rcmodel
March 19, 2010, 03:14 PM
I would guess it is full of belly button lint & dried oil and the locking bolt is hanging up.

It is pulled down and forced up by the trigger when the gun is fired normally.

It is powered "up" by a tiny coil spring and any dried oil might gum it up so it doesn't work right when you just close the cylinder.

See photo here:
http://www.snubnose.info/docs/lockwork.htm

rc

girl shooter
March 19, 2010, 03:48 PM
If you don't know how to take it apart to the detail of that diagram, how could I clean it out.

Seeing how dirty it is in the picture is embarassing; look how dirty it gets in my purse.

I gotta clean in there.

Racinbob
March 19, 2010, 07:30 PM
I agree with RC. The cylinder stop is messed up with crud or maybe worn badly. That little spring is fragile and gets damaged easily if you don't do things right. I'd suggest getting Jerry Kuhnhausen's book if you decide to try to fix it yourself. Way too many details to explain here. You could try to use a spray cleaner to see if it helps. I doubt that you'll get all the crud without pulling the side plate though.

girl shooter
March 19, 2010, 09:03 PM
Is this the right one: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=314178

Oro
March 19, 2010, 11:39 PM
Yes, that's the basic repair "bible" that Racinbob was talking about.

But to rcmodel's point:

the locking bolt is hanging up.

What I would try first is to remove the screw in front of the trigger guard (on the trigger guard facing forward - the one "underneath"). Be careful to catch the spring it retains. Clean the spring and examine it for kinking. Squirt some Break-free up in there and swab out with a q-tip. Let drain thoroughly, put in a drop of oil and then put the spring and screw back in. This has a high probability of fixing your problem. The spring could also be weak or kinked and need to be replaced.

Also:
I regularly carry a 4 Screw Smith and Wesson pre-model 36.

That's a five-screw gun, not a four. It is a very early example, likely '51 or '52 given the 5 screws, "baby J" frame, and ramped (not rounded like the first ones) front sight.

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