Smith & wesson question


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x_wrench
January 21, 2011, 11:03 PM
I have a S&W 629. it seems to be very finicky on the primers it will reliably ignite. currently, the only primer i can count on igniting 100% of the time is federal. i do not mind this so much, but at some place, i am going to end up with something other than my handloads. i am not sure what the issue is. it has had a trigger job, which is wonderful. i have tried tightening the mainspring tension screw as much as it will go. but i see one thing that seems quite strange to me. where the firing pin comes out of the frame, that area has a mound or cone shape to it. it constantly pushes in the primer (the primer looks kind of caved in). it seems to me that either this is normal for this model, or there is something seriously wrong in this area. this is a 629-6. i bought it used from a dealer. so i do not know its history. would some of you guys check your smith to see if your frame is like this in your gun? if this is normal, i will buy an extra strength spring and try that. but if this is not normal, it will have to go back to Smith & Wesson. i do not know how to post pictures, so at this point, this is out.

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ralph2
January 21, 2011, 11:11 PM
I don't know what kind of powder you are using but I read that Federal primers are hotter than others which which means if you are using a very slow powder you should be using a magnum primer.

GJgo
January 21, 2011, 11:45 PM
Modern Smith firing pins are very short & light weight & just don't have much energy behind them. Federal primers are softer than others. I only use Federal primers in my Smith wheel guns for this reason.

Real-world example. Take your Smith revolver. MAKE SURE IT IS UNLOADED. Point it vertically & put a new pencil down the pipe, eraser resting on the firing pin hole. Pull the trigger. Note that the pencil will most likely not clear the barrel.

Now, do this with a 1911. MAKE SURE IT IS UNLOADED. This firing pin is much bigger & heavier, and it carries far more mass. I bet your pencil will go half way to the ceiling. I'd use any brand primer in a 1911.

x_wrench
January 23, 2011, 12:58 PM
i really do not think the issue is the primers. at least in my mind, a firearm should light off any ammo that is in good condition. unless it has been purposly modified for a specific reason. i WANT to be able to shoot ANY ammunition. not just my specific handloads. in the last year, we have all experienced a shortage of ammo and components. and if this happens again, i do not want to throw the pistol in the safe for however long it takes to find federal primers.

Ken451
January 23, 2011, 01:16 PM
Deforming primers is usually a sign of too hot of a load although it can happen with some soft primers on standard loads.

Was it reliable before you had the trigger job done?

My first guess would be that the trigger job traded reliability for lightness. Not the kind of trigger job I would want. I would find out what springs he changed and put back the originals.

This may not apply in your case, but a lot of "gunsmiths" do not know how to do good, reliable work.

Ken

PapaG
January 23, 2011, 07:58 PM
Be sure the strain screw in the front of the grip frame has not been backed out to lighten the trigger pull. This screw increases/decreases the tension on the mainspring and if backed out can result in light hammer strike and erratic ignition.

evan price
January 24, 2011, 12:26 AM
Also be sure your gunsmith did not file down the strain screw to lighten the pull while still leaving the screw bottomed out. It can be repaired by placing a spent primer over the end of the strain screw where it touches the mainspring.

Also make sure the mainspring end is in the frame notch.

Sam1911
January 24, 2011, 01:27 AM
A wheelgun not reliably lighting off harder primers (but usually firing Federals) is often the sign of a revolver with a trigger job that went a little too far. Either the mainspring has been replaced with the lightest possible aftermarket spring, or the strain screw has been ground down too short.

Having said that, the "cone shape" at the firing pin bushing has be baffled. I'd either need to see pics (if you can take pics and put them on your computer, we can tell you how to upload them) or you should take it to a gunsmith and have them at least tell you if it is normal or appears defective.

I'd think if you had a "cone shaped" protrusion around the firing pin it would be difficult to cycle the cylinder as all the case heads would hang up on that bump. But maybe I've misunderstood you.

Jesse Heywood
January 24, 2011, 02:44 AM
where the firing pin comes out of the frame, that area has a mound or cone shape to it. it constantly pushes in the primer

What you are describing sounds like the hammer nose bushing. It is round and pressed into the frame, and should be flat and flush with the frame. It should not contact the primer until the cartridge moves to the rear after firing. If that is the case, I would not fire the gun until it has been repaired by a competent gunsmith, such as S&W.

RickD427
January 24, 2011, 08:09 AM
I'd second the above posts that suggest a mucked up action job is likely responsible for your problem.

Many crude action jobs involve modifications to lighten the trigger pull. One consequence is the strike force of the hammer is reduced and this can explain the failure to ignite the primer.

There are three tell-tale signs of a mucked up job:

1) The strain screw has been backed out.

2) The strain screw has been ground down.

3) The sides of the mainspring have been ground off so that spring is narrower than its original configuration.

I'd recommend replacing the strain screw and mainspring to see if that cures your problem.

If it does, I'd also recommend pulling off the side plate and examing the sear engagement surfaces. Many gun(butchers)smiths will attempt to smooth the action by polishing these surfaces. That will round off the edges and reduce the reliability of engagement. Any sear work should be done with a stone and jig to ensure that the proper geometry is maintained.

ArchAngelCD
January 25, 2011, 03:49 AM
What you are describing sounds like the hammer nose bushing. It is round and pressed into the frame, and should be flat and flush with the frame. It should not contact the primer until the cartridge moves to the rear after firing. If that is the case, I would not fire the gun until it has been repaired by a competent gunsmith, such as S&W.
I agree you should have that revolver checked out before you fire it again. Calling S&W is a good idea, I would do that first.

x_wrench
January 27, 2011, 12:54 AM
Deforming primers is usually a sign of too hot of a load although it can happen with some soft primers on standard loads.

as far as the primers go, it does not matter how light of a load i put through the gun, or what primers i use, it ALWAYS caves in (more accuratly it makes a concave marking in the primer), and i have loaded some of these VERY LIGHT (4.0g of Bullseye with a 240g lswc) !



Was it reliable before you had the trigger job done?


no way of knowing. i purchased the revolver used, from a dealer/gunsmith. he did the trigger job prior to my purchasing the gun. and unfortunatly, he is now out of business. so i have no history, and no way to get any history on the gun.

What you are describing sounds like the hammer nose bushing. It is round and pressed into the frame, and should be flat and flush with the frame. It should not contact the primer until the cartridge moves to the rear after firing. If that is the case, I would not fire the gun until it has been repaired by a competent gunsmith, such as S&W.



ok, now that i know what this little item is, yes, it proturdes slightly from the frame into the cylinder area. it does not impead the cycling of the gun, unless that is what is going on after a hundred rounds or so. after roughly 100 rounds, it gets a little stiff to cycle. i almost always fire this single action (i have no idea why i bought a double action, except i do not like cowboy style revolvers), mostly because i shoot much smaller groups this way. i do not know how the hammer nose bushing is installed. if it is pressed in, screwed in, or pinned into place. in my inexperienced mind, to me, it looks like someone has dry fired it many, many, many times, which allowed this bushing to come forward slightly. to bad i did not notice this prior to purchasing the gun. i guess the next move is to call Smith & Wesson, to see what they think. i will also try to measue to see how far the bushing is out from the frame, if i can figure a way to do it. thanks for your help guys!

Sam1911
January 27, 2011, 08:51 AM
Boy if you could post a couple of pictues that would help SO much.

But, yes, S&W should probably be your next call. They'll need you to send it back, of course.

Guillermo
January 27, 2011, 11:00 AM
X wrench

A couple of folks have mentioned the strain screw (on the front of the grip)

In my experience this can back out and the most common problem when this issue comes up. Carefully make sure that it is in all the way before you spend any money looking for a fix.

Sniper X
January 27, 2011, 01:20 PM
I will guess they used a way lighter hammer spring to make the da trigger lighter and that is the problem.

Jesse Heywood
January 28, 2011, 01:43 AM
The hammer nose bushing is pressed in. Requires some fitting to insure it is flush with the frame. Sounds like the hammer is rotating too far. Why, I don't know. I would guess that a gunsmith needs to go back to K-mart and get the money back on his certificate.

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