Slight end shake in S&W revolver - THR

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Old November 8, 2014, 09:45 AM   #1
Deaf Smith
Join Date: February 7, 2004
Location: TEXAS!
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Slight end shake in S&W revolver

It's not a huge deal, just a little end shake.

What are the remedies for end shake in a S&W revolver (K frame?)

I know a shim can be put on the front of the cylinder crane but are there other ways?


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Old November 8, 2014, 09:58 AM   #2
Join Date: August 10, 2011
Location: North Georgia
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I have a 586 and a model 15-4 both slightly shake

And they shoot just fine, both are very very accurate.

They both shake a little side to side and slightly front and back on lockup.
I have picked up a few other K and L frame S&W and tried to shake them at lockup and they all seem to do it. I have assumed all along this is normal for S&W...

Dont know why. I have a Colt Det Sp and it doesnt shake at all.
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Old November 8, 2014, 10:47 AM   #3
Driftwood Johnson
Join Date: December 18, 2011
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A little bit of endshake is normal in a S&W revolver. I just grabbed a few old ones and relatively new ones, all showed a little bit of endshake. Do you know how to measure end shake? Push the cylinder all the way forward and insert the biggest feeler gauge that will fit. Then push the cylinder all the way back and again insert the biggest feeler gauge that will fit. Subtract the big one from the little one, that will tell you how much endshake you have. I encountered anywhere from .002 to .006 in my quick test. I have some very old Smiths, I will try the test on them when I get a chance.

As far as a little bit of rotational slop when the cylinder is at battery, again, completely normal. I have not quantified it yet, but a little bit is normal. That's why the forcing cone is there.

Yes, there are other ways than shims to minimize endshake, but they are going to involve a gunsmith. Frankly, I have lost count of how many Smiths I own and I have never been concerned with endshake unless it was extreme. Same with rotational slop. If there is too much of either, I don't buy it.
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Old November 11, 2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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Mine share end shakes similar to what DJ found. My Model 28 arrived with more than that. Something in the order of .010. That one I did make up and install a .008 brass washer in the ejector assembly like it should be to reduce the total to something that was still felt but was hard to measure. You can find brass shim stock at model airplane or model railroad hobby shops. Or you can order up a washer shim kit from the usual gun smithing suppliers.
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Old November 11, 2014, 06:00 PM   #5
Join Date: April 13, 2007
Location: NC
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Originally Posted by Deaf Smith
I know a shim can be put on the front of the cylinder crane but are there other ways?
A gunsmith can use a yoke stretcher, then ream out the ID back to spec.

A little fore/aft play isn't atypical for a S&W. I'm no gunsmith, but if endshake is enough to do something about, it'll be affecting the action, IME. If a 0.002" shim fixes it, that's the easiest route for the do-it-yourselfer. If you need more than 2 shims, it may be time for a 'smith to do his magic.
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Old November 11, 2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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I have assumed all along this is normal for S&W...

Dont know why. I have a Colt Det Sp and it doesnt shake at all.
Yep, its normal for a S&W. Actually, in a S&W action you need just a little end shake for it to function properly, like at least .001.

Some Colts (like the Detective Special, Diamond Backs and the Python) should have absolutely NO end shake whatsoever. Other Colts (like the Trooper and King Cobra I believe) don't have such a strict requirement.
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