686 problems


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Jake Benson
September 25, 2011, 01:01 AM
I have a new 686. Last week I put about 100 rounds through it and got home to clean it and the cylinder would not close. Several posts said it the extractor rod was loose. I never felt it loose but kept messing with it and the cylinder closed.

Today I went to the range and after 6 rounds the cylinder jammed. The trigger would not pull. I dumped the bullets out and put them back in and it fired a couple of times and jammed again. The trigger would not pull. I thought maybe it was the bullets, (they were hand loaded ones I bought from a range the week before out of state), so I bought a commercial box from the range I was shooting at. But the gun jammed again. Each time after the cylinder locked up, I would take the rounds out and it would shoot. Finally, I put about 25 rounds through it without mishap and then it started misfiring. I pulled the trigger, the hammer came home, but nothing happened. Pulled the trigger again and it fired. The next pull same thing, no shot. I kept pulling the trigger and it got back around to the misfired rounds and they fired the second time. This happened 3-4 times. Finally, the last 25-30 rounds I shot fired without mishap.

Something is wrong here. Maybe the cylinder is out of sync or something. Anyone have any ideas? I hate having to send the gun back to Smith and Wesson if it could be easily fixed. I have a gunsmith I could take it to, but I hate spending money since its under warranty.

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Tony_the_tiger
September 25, 2011, 01:35 AM
Hi Jake,

The first thing I would do is stop shooting it, and follow the techniques indicated in this thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430

That should tell you a bit about your particular firearm and highlight any issues.

Another thing I would do is take an appropriate sized screwdriver with hollow ground tips and tighten the screw on the sideplate closest to the front of the firearm (the barrel). This front screw holds the yoke and crane and cylinder assembly in place. However, if you do not have the right screwdriver and feel like you may strip or damage the screw, I advise you not to do this part.

Another thing I would do is clean around the forcing cone area, and also clean with a toothbrush around the cylinder star and hand area which is what turns the cylinder.

Another thing I would do is shoot factory ammo only unless you reloaded the ammo yourself with the correct tools and knowledge.

If the screw is not loose and if your revolver passes the inspection detailed in the checkout link I provided, and the star and forcing cone are clean, and you still have issues, then I advise you call S&W. They'll make it right for you regarding your new 686 ;)

ArchAngelCD
September 25, 2011, 01:37 AM
Actually, it sounds like you might be getting some unburnt powder, carbon or grit under the ejector which would jam the cylinder. When you dump the ammo it frees up temporarily. My quess is those reloads were made with components that might be "dirty"...

As for the light strikes, make sure the strain screw in the front of the grip is completely tight.

Jake Benson
September 25, 2011, 01:45 AM
One thing about the hand loaded ammo is that they sure smoked like hell. When I changed ammo there was no smoke at all. What you said about grit, dirt, etc. under the ejector makes sense. But being a new shooter, what exactly is the strain screw?

As to the other post, what is forcing cone area? Sorry for my ignorance, but I am learning.

ArchAngelCD
September 25, 2011, 02:03 AM
The strain screw is located at the bottom front of the grip frame. If your grips are covering it you will need to remove the grips to see it. Make sure the screw is all the way in. (tight)

The forcing cone is at the very back of the barrel. It can be seen by opening the cylinder and looking at the back of the barrel. It looks like like it;s name, it's a cone. If there is a carbon buildup on the cone it could bind the cylinder. (usually a very small gap)

dalv
September 25, 2011, 06:30 AM
There was a recall on 1st generation 686's where the firing pin bushing (donut @ frame where pins hits primer) can move into the cylinder gap. If yours is one of these S&W will repair free. Suggest you contact them as I've heard nothing but good things on their service.

MrBorland
September 25, 2011, 09:40 AM
I have a new 686.


Brand new, or new-to-you used?

Honestly, there are any number of things that could be going on. Bend ejector rod, bent yoke, timing issue, some part of the internal action hanging up, etc. It could even be as simple as an overtightened grip screw (easy enough to check). If it's brand new, I'd contact S&W. They'll email you a pre-paid shipping label and will take care of it.

Yo Mama
September 25, 2011, 09:47 AM
I'm going forcing cone in this problem.

SwampWolf
September 25, 2011, 10:18 AM
Actually, it sounds like you might be getting some unburnt powder, carbon or grit under the ejector which would jam the cylinder.

Before you unscrew or "tighten" anything, do what ArchAngelCD suggested and check under the (star-shaped) ejector and look for powder residue or any other grime lurking there. A flake or two of unburned powder can tie up the cylinder of a well-made da revolver like the Model 686.

Jake Benson
September 25, 2011, 04:50 PM
OK. I took the grip off and the strain screw was indeed about half a turn loose. I tightened it. Also, I had taken the grip off from my previous shooting to clean and polish the areas that you really can't get to very well (along the edges of where the grip fits) so its possible I tightened the screw holding the grip on too tight. Someone mentioned that could have been too tight. By the way, how does the grip screw being too tight affect the cylinder? I am brand new here and trying to learn. Thanks

rcmodel
September 25, 2011, 05:12 PM
By the way, how does the grip screw being too tight affect the cylinder? It doesn't, at least with anything S&W put on it for grips.
And it shouldn't with any decent aftermarket grips either.
You can tioghten it till it twists off without it effecting the operation of the gun.

I am voting for the loose strain screw, Plus unburned powder flakes under the ratchet star as the source of all your problems.

In the future, when shooting any revolver, let the barrel rotate straight up before you hit the ejector rod.
That not only aids positive case ejection, but allows any unburned powder left in the cases to fall clear of the ejector star.

rc

Oro
September 26, 2011, 01:25 AM
Also, I had taken the grip off from my previous shooting to clean and polish the areas that you really can't get to very well (along the edges of where the grip fits) so its possible I tightened the screw holding the grip on too tight.

Let's talk about this.

If you have rubber grips of some sort, Hogue especially, Oh yes. Pachmayr's are less prone to it, but still can be monkey-armed into binding.

The factory grips have metal bushings and are of a less forgiving wood that prevent this problem. Cheaper aftermarket alternates will let you overtighten the grip screw to the point it rides up against the mainspring and inhibits it.

Many, many S&W revolvers have been disabled with aftermarket grips and over tightening the (poorly placed and designed aftermarket) screw. The 686 is an outstanding handgun; enjoy it!

rcmodel
September 26, 2011, 12:41 PM
Hogue especially, All my S&W rubber grips are Hogue Mono-Grips with the S&W logo molded in.
They attach with a single screw from the bottom, to a steel stirrup held on by the grip roll pin in the frame.

There is no possible way it can squeeze the sides together to bind up anything.

rc

Waywatcher
September 26, 2011, 12:54 PM
I agree with rcmodel in post #11.

Clean underneath the ejector star. I use an old toothbrush. Always point the muzzle skyward when ejecting empties. Always. I hold the revolver's cylinder and frame simulatneously in my weak hand and hit the rod with my strong hand.

Oro
September 28, 2011, 12:54 AM
Grr, yes I meant to say "Pachmayr" and didn't proofread. The Pachmayr ones easily bind the mainspring when overtightened.

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