Full tear down and cleaning of s&w 686


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crimsoncomet
July 30, 2011, 01:05 PM
Today I shot a few handloads through my 6" 686. They were 158 lscw. We'll, this is the dirtiest this gun has ever been (from dirty powder). How often do you guys fully tear down your smiths and give them a full scrub? Or do you just pull the side plate off and spray her out? I don't mind buying the tools if I need to start doing this. If not, I will just keep shooting it. It has only seen about 300 rounds since I bought it. Thanks all.

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Notoast
July 30, 2011, 04:05 PM
I don't do either. My 686 has never seen a jacketed bullet and is always dirty after shooting my lead handloads. I keep an old bandana in my range bag and use it to wipe the smoke residue off every 50 rounds or so just to keep it off my hands. After shooting, I just clean the bore and cylinder with brush and patches (also, polishing with J-B bore compound when new really helped in keeping lead from sticking) and clean any soiled surfaces with a rag dipped in solvent. Once in a while I'll pull off the stock and clean the frame underneath. About once a year (2000-3000 rounds) I let my local smithy open it up and give it an inspection, clean and lube.

CraigC
July 30, 2011, 04:13 PM
I've never cracked open a DA just to clean it and probably never will. Don't overdo it.

oldbear
July 30, 2011, 05:02 PM
I don’t dissemble any of my handguns to clean them. A good wipe down at the range, followed by a bore snake. When I get home I remove grips, then apply Hoppe’s #9 with a mop let set 15 -20 minutes, then run a brass brush through the bore and charging holes. Wipe everything down with cotton rag wetted with Hoppe’s, wipe dry. Then use bore patches in barrel and charging holes until they come out clean. Final wipe down with clean cotton rag, reinstall grips. Finish with one or two drops of gun oil on trigger and hammer. This may not be perfect but it has served me well for 40 + years.

rcmodel
July 30, 2011, 05:13 PM
+1
DO NOT take the sideplate off for any reason (if the gun ain't broke).

You can do more harm then good constantly removing the sideplate to clean the gun.

It simply isn't necessary, or even recommended by S&W, or anyone else.

BTW: Your dirty gun isn't from dirty powder.
It is from bullet lube grease on the lead bullets you were shooting.

rc

BCRider
July 30, 2011, 05:37 PM
You can do a lovely job of cleaning and lubricating the action under the sideplate without removing it. Just remove the grips then spray out the insides of the action through the openings where the mainspring dissapears under the upper part of the opening.

My favourite mixture for this is some Ed's Red. It cleans and leaves a light lubricant all at the same time. Flush generously to clean away old oil and muck and then drain. Repeat until the Ed's mix comes out clean. Allow to fully drain then let dry for 6 to 8 hours before wiping off the outer surfaces to leave just a thin film of oil and replace the grips.

A little squeeze bottle is great for sucking up and then flushing out the gun. Collect the dirty drainings and pour into a second jar and allow to settle and you can reuse it many times as the first flush.

If you don't like trusting the ATF as the only oil just put about 6 to 8 drops of CLP oil into the last squeeze bottle of the mix and it'll leave some of the CLP behind after the solvents evaporate along with the ATF to provide a two strike lubrication and protective film.

The other way to flush out the action would be to use an aerosol can of Brake Kleen. That stuff really does a number on powder fouling. The only trouble is that it's also a very effective degreaser. So to lubricate and protect the surfaces and pivots in the action you'll want to mix up a bit of lubrication mixture such as about 1 part CLP to 2 parts mineral spirits. Make up about an ounce of this in a little squeeze bottle and inject it vigourously into the action to flood the workings. Then drain the excess for re-use. This mix will leave more than enough of a film to both protect the surfaces from rust as well as lubricate the pivot points nicely. But again leave the grips off overnight to allow the solvent to fully dry.

The one thing on revolvers that I do find need to be stripped down now and then is the cylinder axle and ejector shaft. There's too many telescoping parts to allow a simple dunkn'flush to clean out the deeper parts. To do this requires removal of the crane by removing the lower forward screw. I do this whenever I notice that an "external" cleaning isn't restoring a free spin to the cylinder. Maybe every 1500 to 2000 rounds fired?

ColtPythonElite
July 30, 2011, 05:56 PM
Soot from lead loads hurts nothing. I usually look like a coal miner after a day at the range. Just clean your gun as usual and don't take off the side plate. I also use Ed's Red for cleaning. For deep cleaning, every now and then, I remove the grips, dunk 'em and let 'em soak.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=141532&d=1304364416

Fishslayer
July 30, 2011, 09:15 PM
If I've been shooting .38 I might take off the cylinder & let it soak in Hoppe's a bit before scrubbing.

I have to confess that I've been known to polish the front of the cylinder on my stainless guns to get the black off. Totally unnecessary. What can I say? :o

Sunray
July 30, 2011, 10:39 PM
The only time you'd ever take the plate off is to do a trigger job. That requires one special tool(rebound spring assembly tool) that Brownell's will sell you for $20. Otherwise, you don't need to take off the plate for cleaning.

bigtubby
July 31, 2011, 01:03 PM
I always pull the side plate pull all the internals out and clean with brake fluid when I purchase a used gun lube it and put it back together. Never had a need to crack the side plate after that.

crimsoncomet
July 31, 2011, 03:36 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. My mind is at ease now. I wont worry about shooting these through my older inherited smith as well.

The Lone Haranguer
July 31, 2011, 03:43 PM
It is not necessary to open it up just for cleaning, unless you dropped it in a mud puddle or something. Removing the side plate with improper procedures will do more harm than good. Take the grips off every so often and spray Gun Scrubber, brake cleaner or similar into the frame openings, then reapply lube.

bigtubby
July 31, 2011, 03:50 PM
There is nothing mystical or magical about removing a side plate if you don't know what you are doing don't do it if you do it is a very simple procedure to remove the internals and do a proper cleaning. I have bought guns that had dried up lube, grime, all kinds of gunk caked in and you aren't going to be able to clean it effectively with out removing it and all the parts.

Rexster
July 31, 2011, 03:59 PM
I always pull the side plate pull all the internals out and clean with brake fluid when I purchase a used gun lube it and put it back together. Never had a need to crack the side plate after that.
Brake fluid, or brake cleaner? There is a BIG difference!

bigtubby
July 31, 2011, 04:11 PM
Brake cleaner my bad.

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