Problem with a S&W model 65


October 15, 2011, 03:09 PM
Hey I just bought a used S&W model 65. The previous owner told me that someone who owned the gun before him had changed the mainspring to a lighter Wolff spring. The gun appeared in good mechanical condition. I fired it today. After about 30 rounds of normal function both single and double action, the gun locked up on me. It locked up after firing the third round in the cylinder. Now I cannot cock the hammer, I cannot pull the trigger, and I cannot open the cylinder latch. When I try to pull back the hammer, it comes back about 1/8th of an inch and no further. I can press the cylinder latch, but the cylinder will not swing out more than about 1/16th of an inch.

I am not sure what the problem is here. Any ideas? There are still 3 live rounds in the cylinder, and the hammer is currently down on a spent shell casing.

Please help me. Thanks.

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October 15, 2011, 03:19 PM
Did the last round leave the bullet stuck in the forcing cone due to being underpowered?

October 15, 2011, 03:23 PM
When i look down the barrel with a flashlight, I can see the inside of the spent casing. I do not see a stuck bullet

October 15, 2011, 03:27 PM
can you turn the extractor rod? maybe it worked loose?

October 15, 2011, 03:40 PM
Loose extractor rod maybe?.

But more likely is a loose strain screw in the bottom front of the steel grip frame.

If the shade-tree gunsmith put a lighter spring in it, he also probably used the strain screw to further adjust the trigger pull.

The problem with that is, the strain screw is not a trigger adjustment screw.
If it is too loose the gun will misfire in DA.
If it is really too loose, the gun will lock up just like you say yours is doing.

Tighten the strain screw and see if that helps.


October 15, 2011, 03:45 PM
rc, where is this strain screw?

October 15, 2011, 03:49 PM
I told you in the second sentence in post #5.


October 15, 2011, 03:50 PM
ok thanks

October 15, 2011, 04:05 PM
Should have added:
If it has over-size grips on it you will have to take them off to see the strain screw.


Red Cent
October 15, 2011, 04:20 PM
Or a primer could have backed out.

October 15, 2011, 04:26 PM
OK here is an update. I am still not sure what the problem was, but I have now gotten the cylinder to swing out. I tried depressing the plunger than the ejector rod snaps into on the muzzle end of the barrel, and still could not swing out the cylinder. The ejector rod did not seem loose. I pressed the cylinder release, and tapped the cylinder lightly with a plastic hammer. The cylinder swang out when I did this. I rechecked the ejector rod and it does not seem loose at all, in fact I cannot even turn it with pliers. The cylinder does not appear to be binding. It now seems to dry fire OK.

Any idea what the problem was?

October 15, 2011, 04:38 PM
Red Cent might have nailed it in post #10.

Check the primers on the cases that were in it and see if one is backed out of the case and scratched or smeared by the hole for the firing pin.

Still, after you did the pliers on the extractor rod. :what: :eek:

Did you check to see if the strain screw was tight?


October 15, 2011, 04:42 PM
strain screw was tight.
The pliers had padded tip covers on them.

October 15, 2011, 04:45 PM
A piece of unburnt powder stuck under the ejector star. I've had it bind one up like that before.

October 15, 2011, 04:57 PM
OK, more update... I think this was an ammo issue and not a gun issue.

I inspected the primers, and one of the primers definitely looks abnormal, Rather than having a depression from the hammer strike, it has a piece of what looks like brass sticking up from where the hammer strike impression should be. I have no idea how or why metal would have gotten there. I put the spent shell back in the gun, and dry fired some, and this primer drags and nearly binds up the gun. I think this was the problem. Look at the photo and see what you think:

October 15, 2011, 05:19 PM
I know with my J frame I had this problem shooting 158 lswchp. The recoil combined with light gun and oor crimp would cause the third round to seperate just enough to make it stop rotating.

October 15, 2011, 05:28 PM
Deleted dup post


October 15, 2011, 05:32 PM
Was the ammo factory produced or handloads? A good reason to avoid RP ammo at all costs.

October 15, 2011, 05:37 PM
This was factory ammo by Remington UMC bought from Wal Mart earlier today.

Any idea what that piece of brass colored metal in the primer on the left is?

October 15, 2011, 05:45 PM
unlikely, but given the things it was apparently not...
(I have had this happen to me, though only once stuck the cylinder, that same crappy ammo - American Eagle CCC by Federal - was prone to do same/similar more than once, and on more than one gun)
UMC is factory reload, of course, not virgin brass

if you shed part of the "jacket" on a JHP/JSP/CCC in the forcing cone, leaving enough of that "ring" stuck where it will drag on face of cylinder, then it will behave exactly as you described, and you pretty much do have to use a rubber mallet to tap the cylinder open
and you would see the empty shell casing from muzzle end with a light as you said, and the barrel bore itself would look ok

but you should be able to see that easily if looking for daylight in the b/c gap, of course
so.. "just in case", do be double sure your barrel and forcing cone has nothing stuck in it ought not be there, before shooting it again

October 15, 2011, 05:46 PM
Any idea what that piece of brass colored metal in the primer on the left is?
Yes, it's the primer cup.

Primer cups are made from brass alloy.
Then nickle plated.

That one right there flowed back into the firing pin hole in the recoil shield and locked up the gun.

You sheared off a chunk exposing the brass under the nickle when you finally got the cylinder open.

The bad news is, that slice of primer had to go somewhere.
Let's hope it didn't somehow fall inside the gun.


October 15, 2011, 05:48 PM
So RC, this was a primer problem, not a gun problem, right?
Does the gun need to be checked anyway to see if a piece of brass is inside it somewhere?

October 15, 2011, 06:06 PM
Yes, the other primer in the photo looks fine.

I doubt the gun needs to be checked.
The FP should have plugged up the hole close enough the sliver didn't get inside.
It very likely fell out when you got it open.

I'd just change ammo brands and try it again.


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