cylinder not opening


May 10, 2004, 02:15 PM
The facts of the case are this:

Purchased NIB S&W 325 PD, a .45 ACP revolver and some moon clips on 4 April, 2004.

Shot accurately, albeit with a heavy DA pull. The gun has been fired perhaps 200 - 250 times with a steady diet of non remarkable standard pressure rounds.

On the last range trip, and cleaning session I noted that the cylinder will not open from at least 2 positions on the cylinder. A visual inspection shows no obvious cause. If I cock, and decock the gun, twice, the cylinder will open without resistance.

Any suggestions of possible cause?


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May 10, 2004, 02:55 PM
Without really specific info, it is hard to determine what is happening. Sounds like the interlock that does not allow the cylinder latch to be operated when the hammer is cocked is not functioning properly. If a good cleaning (including flushing the action) does not resolve the issue, I would contact S&W and have them look at it.

4v50 Gary
May 10, 2004, 03:09 PM
Check the ejector rod to see if it is loose. Tighten it in place (hold the cylinder so that it won't rotate and then turn the ejector rod) and you should be able to pop the cylinder out.

May 10, 2004, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the tips; I did put a thorough cleaning on the gun and a light bit of oil to no avail... will check the ejector rod as advised and report back with results. Would love to resolve this myself rather than send off for service, but... If I have to it would be a shame to waste the trip there without having the gun get an action job from the PC ;)

Thanks again!

May 10, 2004, 05:05 PM
Gary probably nailed it. Remember that the ejector rod has left-hand threads, so it'll tighten backward. Easiest way is to thumb the hammer back a little to get the stop bolt to drop, hold the rod still and spin the cylinder.

If the cylinder won't turn, the stop bolt won't drop. That's a whole 'nother problem. Meanwhile, try slipping a thin feeler gauge between the cylinder and frame to push it down and see if the cylinder will swing out.


1911 (I mess with Smith & Wessons a little my own bad self.) Tuner

May 10, 2004, 06:20 PM
Bada Bing!

I hot footed it home, breaking the key off in my Ford Exploder ignition :fire:

Oh well... now I only need a key for the doors...

The ejector rod had worked it's way loose, I've verified all 6 positions, and it releases just like brand spaking new !:D

Thanks for the help, lesson learned!

Standing Wolf
May 10, 2004, 08:19 PM
The ejector rod had worked it's way loose, I've verified all 6 positions, and it releases just like brand spaking new !

That's the good news. The bad news is that it'll work its way loose again—and again and again and again. I have no idea why Smith & Wesson can't make ejector rods that stay screwed in.

Disassemble the entire cylinder assembly. Clean everything thoroughly. Remove all oil from threads. Use removable Lock Tight or a small amount of nail polish on the ejector rod when you reassemble everything. Oil everything thoroughly.

May 10, 2004, 11:48 PM
Good call Gary! Happened to me too years ago and dang near drove me nuts till I figured it out. One of those things that sticks in your mind afterward...

Use BLUE loc-tite on the threads, ONE drop and no more. Tighten snugly with a pair of pliers, protect the knurled end of the ejector rod with a thin piece of leather (shoe tongue, whatever you can find) to prevent damage and to limit the torque applied. You want it tight, but the loc-tite is going to hold it in place not torque. The ability to overcome the loc-tite without hurting the ejection rod is a concern, since you will want to strip the cylinder every couple thousand rounds or so to clean it as well as possible.

May 11, 2004, 12:07 AM
Don't forget - the one other thing that can seem like this is ..... powder flakes under the star ..... the old 2400 was good at doing this!!!

Looks like you are well good to go tho ...... good shooting.

Dave Sample
May 11, 2004, 09:28 PM
Be very careful messing with that ejector rod. If you bend it even slightly you are in for a trip to the factory for a new one or to a smith to try to fix it. The blue Loc-tite may solve it but don't count on it. Good luck!

May 11, 2004, 10:53 PM
Dave, do you have another suggestion that might work better than blue loc-tite? I, for one, am always willing to learn a better way.

May 12, 2004, 07:48 AM
I've used blue loctite successfully on my wife's browning buckmark .22 top screws. Those little pests would walk out after about 150 rounds, even after torquing them down with my King Kong grip.

I didn't use the KK grip(tm) on the 325 Cylinder ejector rod assy. because I'd rather see if it was either loose(r) from the factory, and how many approximate rounds until it happens again. That said, next time, I probably will use the "little blue tube" :uhoh:

May 12, 2004, 10:50 AM
Before you put the loctite on it, just try snugging it down and see how it holds. I have a dozen or so S&W revolvers of which none have the ejector rods loctited. I check them for tightness when I clean them, and they are not working loose, but I DO check them. Under normal circumstances, a good snug tightening will do the trick on the S&W ejector rods.


Dave Sample
May 12, 2004, 07:59 PM
One old trick is to slightly booger the threads with a pair of pliers and then screw it back together tight. I really hate to post this, though, because discretion IS the better part of valor. I use Purple 222 on the cowboy guns which back out screws on a regular basis. I use this for the hammer stop that I install, too. Seems to work just fine.

May 12, 2004, 08:07 PM
old trick is to slightly booger the threads with a pair of pliers OUCH!!! :p

True, it does increase hold considerably but .... for those contemplating such .. here's another .


Dave Sample
May 13, 2004, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the double! You said it all! It works for some, and ruins guns for others. BE CAREFUL!

Jim K
May 14, 2004, 11:45 PM
Not recommending it, but another old trick was to put a drop of acid on the threads and let the whole thing rust in place.

BTW, it is not necessary to tear down the cylinder to do a good cleaning. Just remove the crane and then pull the cylinder, ejector rod and all, back out of the crane. Clean under the extractor, and no further disassembly should be needed.

As to why S&W can't fix that problem, they thought they had with the left hand thread. That really did cure the problem for 99+% of the cases.


Dave Sample
May 16, 2004, 11:59 AM
Let us mention that the Crane Screw is the one closest to the end of the barrel. Sometimes it has a little plunger in it, but regardless, it is the ONLY one fitted to the crane. Never mix it up with the other screws. After you remove it with the CORRECT screwdriver, open the cylinder and slide it out forward. It goes back in just like it came out in the reverse order. Make sure it is all the way in and insert the screw and tighten it.

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