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S&W 500 Extraction and Tollerence issues

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dropyourweapon, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    When ejecting either empty or full shells the extractor slips by the case tops and kinda locks up the thing. The only way it seems to not do this is if it is totally upside down and there is no sticking or anything. If I needed to do a fast reload and did not get it exactly right I might be in real trouble. I can see as shown in the picture that the extractor does not line up very well with the cylinder walls. I have already sent it in and just got it back from the factory with very much the same problem but now even worse than before. Any suggestions?

  2. okespe04

    okespe04 Well-Known Member

    That does not look right to me. If anybody else has an S&W .500 they may be able to examine theirs and see if it looks like that or you could go to a shop that has one in stock and look.
  3. dawico

    dawico Well-Known Member

    That isn't the problem. The 500 cases are so long that they tip when you try to extract them, and let the extractor go behind them. My 500 does the same thing. I don't think there is a fix for it. If the cases were tighter so as not to tip so much, they wouldn't come out of the cylinder very well. Point the gun straight up before you try to extract them. That is how I have learned to deal with it.
  4. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    Yeah some of that might be unavoidable due to what you say about shell length. That does make sense. But still there seems to be a pretty large amount of slop in how the star lines up with cylinder holes on mine. If the star fit tight around the holes and it still did that I would not have as much of a problem with it.
  5. nofishbob

    nofishbob Well-Known Member

    The star on my 500 has a better fit than the OP's, but it is still not perfect.

    I end up pulling one or two empties out of the cylinder with my fingers on every reload.

    From looking at what is happening in my case, it looks like the cases are just too long and slip out from under the star just before they drop free.

    Holding the gun pointing up and giving a quick push on the rod helps, but reliable extraction is still not achieved.

    Good luck!

  6. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    Yeah it does not make me super happy that I explain how the star is not fitting the cylinders very well and I get it back I think worse than when I sent it in. There was no explanation of what was done either. I will contact them again and see what they can do.
  7. nofishbob

    nofishbob Well-Known Member

    I just played around with my 500 to try to see what was actually happening when the cases slipped off of the star.

    Surprisingly, in my case, the slippage is due to tilting the gun as the cases are pulled out of the cylinder.

    Whichever way the gun is tilted, the cases on the downhill side fall off of the star. Gravity is pulling the cases off of the star before they are fully extracted. They never fall off if the face of the cylinder is perfectly level.

    In no instance did the cases slip off the star before they were 80 to 90 percent out of the cylinder.

    No amount of fitting improvement of the star is likely to fix this issue.

    As was said earlier, the orientation of the gun as the cases are extracted seems to be critical with this cartridge.

  8. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    I played with the gun doing what nofishbob did and get pretty much the same results. I think I now agree with what he said that "No amount of fitting improvement of the star is likely to fix this issue." With barrel pointed straight down they do not fall off till the very end. I will work with it and see if I can get with technique a reliable shell extraction routine. If not I will learn to make sure every one of my 5 shots goes exactly where I want it to go.
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The proper way to extract shells from any revolver is with the barrel pointing straight up.
    Then give the extractor rod a whack and watch them all hit the ground, every time.

    That also stops unburned powder flakes getting stuck under the extractor star and binding up the gun so it won't turn freely, or maybe even close at all.

    I agree your extractor star misalignment looks pretty funky for a high-dollar .500 Mag.
    But ever since S&W deleted the two little extractor alignment pins in the cylinder several years ago as a cost cutting measure, it is fairly common to see it now.

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  10. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    I understand that normally you would not eject the revolver shells with the barrel down. Kinda the same way you would probably not eject and auto mag with the closed end of the mag facing the sky. I just never remember having a revolver that let the shells slip by the star with the gun in any direction. I guess my 500 passed S&W's quality control at least twice already so I may just be stuck with it.
  11. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Well-Known Member

    So I assume S&W will not put the two little extractor alignment pins back for me? Maybe if I send it back enough times and make a huge fuss about it they will. Or at least bring them back on future models maybe. Yeah with a $1000 gun and $1.50 a shot or so I was not exactly a super budget minded gun buyer. I would pay the extra $20 or $50 or whatever to have those pins put back.
  12. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    As was said earlier, the orientation of the gun as the cases are extracted seems to be critical with this cartridge.

    Compare .357mag, .44mag and .500mag cases, and you'll see the .500 has a particularly narrow rim - 0.015" vs about 0.03" for the .357 & .44mags. Quality of the ejector star aside, the narrow rim and long case, make this cartridge very prone to less-than-perfect ejection technique.

    Another fussy combo is .45AR brass ejecting from a .45ACP revolver - a narrow rim and very narrow ejector star arms.

    As others suggest, technique is critical - get the muzzle vertical, and give the ejector a hard initial push - not one that's steady throughout the stroke. Keeping the chambers clean will likely be important as well.
  13. captain awesome

    captain awesome Well-Known Member

    yeah mine does the same thing. its frustrating to say the least, my solution was to push it part way and pull them out by hand, but i think the vertical solution would be better.
  14. svtruth

    svtruth Well-Known Member

    This must have happened at the factory

    during development.
    I wonder why they did not make the extractor like a full moon clip, then the shells couldn't tip out of the grip.
  15. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Well-Known Member

  16. nofishbob

    nofishbob Well-Known Member

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