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Old June 3, 2014, 02:51 PM   #51
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fuff
Unless the revolver's owner is experienced, and has the right tools (especially screwdrivers) it is not wise for them to "pop the sideplate," as a mistake could cause serious damage to what now is a very desirable and valuable revolver.
Sure, hollow ground screwdrivers are a must, but the link to the stickie provides very straightforward instructions for the curious sort. Follow them to the letter, and one ought not have issues. Otherwise, I agree, find a trustworthy gunsmith. Sending it back to S&W would be my last option.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany
This got me curious enough to drag out my old M27-2 and M58 (no dash) to feel the triggers...I haven't had them out in years and really should sell them to let someone else enjoy them.
You're killing me. My Grail Gun list is very short, but a vintage 3 1/2" M27 is on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany
Pulling the trigger as slowly as I could, both with and without tension on the hammer, I couldn't feel what you are describing. The trigger just slide smoothly to letoff. I don't even feel the bolt coming up as much as hear it.
It's like a stick being pulled across a picket fence. Sounds like you've got some good ones. Not all are so nice, of course. I have a 1951 5-screw K38 Target Masterpiece that's a little bumpy, so not even the old ones are categorically perfect. It's a rare factory trigger that can't be improved upon, IMO.
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Old June 3, 2014, 03:20 PM   #52
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Mike, that stickiness in the DA trigger pull suggests that you've got some old dried out crusty lube in the gun or that it simply hasn't been shot a lot over it's life. Generally a correctly clean and lubricated S&W action will smoothen up nicely from all the parts wearing together. But grit or lumps if dried up lube can make the parts all stick.

If you don't feel confident enough to pop the side cover after watching the usual videos then a good first step would be a good flushing of the action with something like brake cleaner, Gun Scrubber or, my favourite, Ed's Red. This involves removing the grips so you have a clear shot then spraying the cleaner VERY liberally into the action then working the action to clear and dissolve any crud.

If using the degreasing cleaner like brake cleaner or Gun Scrubber you'll want to mix follow the cleaning with a hose down with a spray gun oil. If you squirt the oil into the action while it's still well soaked with the cleaner then the two will mix and the excess oil SHOULD drain out and when the solvent dries you'll be left with a light coating of oil over all the parts. Or if you have compressed air a few good shots up past the main spring and down through the cocked hammer opening will also clear out the excess oil.

I prefer the Ed's Red since it automatically drains most of itself out along with the gunk then dries to a light film of ATF oil to protect and lubricate. A simple ketchup or similar squirt bottle does a great job of holding enough to flush out the action.

Wear Nitrile gloves for all of this since all these solvents are hard on your skin and to some extent leech through and into the blood stream. Not a good thing at all. And you need to work the action in DA while soaked down and dripping to work the stuff clean. And if using the compressed air to blast out excess oil then wear an old shirt and eye protection. The stuff will come out EVERYWHERE! ! ! !

There is not doubt that your gun has SOMETHING inside the action. All my S&W's have triggers that feel like a fresh caught fish on a wet cleaning board. And for those that haven't done such a think THAT IS SLICK! ! ! !

If the cylinder is stiff on the ejector and it's not at all bent then a good long soak in the Ed's Red is called for. In fact at that point making up enough that you can simply soak the whole pistol in the mix sitting in a suitable sized close fitting rectangular food saver is the way to go. In this case soak for 20 minutes then lift out and drain well, work the action, spin the cylinder, run the ejector. When it all stops dripping fast then dunk it and soak again for 20 minutes. Repeat this same dunk, drain, operate cycle a few times. Finally allow to drain fully and let it dry out.

If it's still less than silky smooth you'll need to make a judgement call on whether or not it's due to some grit that's trapped inside or if you feel it's simply the machining marks rubbing and catching. If it's machining marks the trigger should smoothen up over a few hundred trigger pulls. If it doesn't I'm going for the idea that there's some foreign junk stuck inside and you'll need to pop the side cover and/or detail strip the ejector and crane. It's your call if you take this on or if you take it to a smith.
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Old June 3, 2014, 03:39 PM   #53
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I just take the grips off, wash it in the sink with dish soap and hot water, then wash it out with purified water... Then put some frug lube in there. And wipe off with some more frog lube
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Old June 3, 2014, 04:53 PM   #54
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Quote:
…but the link to the stickie provides very straightforward instructions for the curious sort.
Very likely, but neither of us know anything about a “curious sort” who is reading the instructions.

I have seen a number of tragic examples when the message didn’t get across. One was a near-new pre-war .38 Military and Police where failing all else the owner tried to pry the sideplate off, and didn’t notice he hadn’t removed the bug screw.

“Bug screw" = the 4th sideplate screw up by the hammer on pre-war and early post-war S&W revolvers.
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Old June 3, 2014, 08:26 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland
You're killing me. My Grail Gun list is very short, but a vintage 3 1/2" M27 is on it.
Not to worry, mine has the 8.375" tube. My Grail Gun, at that time, was the 5"...Skeeter style...I had always intended to switch barrels

I was my first S&W revolver...it had been someone's Pig Gun. I traded a 4" .38 Colt Diamondback for it.

The Cake-Davis shop did work on the trigger and installed a trigger shoe on the narrow trigger (narrow hammer too & Magna grips)...I think the SA is < 2lbs; but it always bust magnum caps
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Old June 3, 2014, 11:26 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
Mike, that stickiness in the DA trigger pull suggests that you've got some old dried out crusty lube in the gun or that it simply hasn't been shot a lot over it's life..........

Maybe I should start a new thread to ask for help, rather than posting here, but the responses up above were VERY helpful

First, I might be able to set up a dial gage to measure this better, but I propped the gun up on a table, with the cylinder out, and watched the ejector rod as I spun the cylinder. The cylinder does spin freely, BUT the end of the ejector rod was wobbling around. I turned the cylinder until the ejector rod was all the way towards me, then turned the cylinder 180 degrees. I could then put a .013 feeler gage into the open space.

Second, I read about tightening the ejector rod, if it is loose, but it sure doesn't feel loose.......

Last, a friend of mine bought the gun new in the 1980's, and it sat unused for probably 20 or 25 years. I don't doubt that it has old yucky grease and stuff inside it.... but having watched several videos on how to disassemble the gun, I'm not sure I want to do that on my own. I might be brave enough to take the side plates off and look inside.....

......or, for those of you who know these things, might all this simply be due to the bent ejector rod? Maybe I need to search once again for a gunsmith in Miami. Last time i tried, I got nowhere.

Thanks!!!!
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Old June 4, 2014, 06:47 AM   #57
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An 80s Smith won't have a built-in key lock, so try this:

Open the cylinder. Hold the cylinder release button back, and while holding it back, pull the trigger. Does the trigger feel change significantly?

If feels much smoother, then the cylinder is suspect. If the trigger pull still has the issues you described, the cylinder and ejector rod are not the problem.
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Old June 4, 2014, 08:13 AM   #58
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Doing it as you suggested does feel smoother. Neither way feels "smooth as butter".

I no longer really notice this as much as I used to, unless I'm pulling the trigger very slowly. Pulling it more quickly feels better than I remember from a few weeks ago.

Are there any disadvantages to removing the grips, and pouring in some Hoppe's, or ???, and then dry-firing the gun a lot of times? I guess if I can remove the side plate, I can do this more effectively.
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Old June 4, 2014, 09:38 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers
I turned the cylinder until the ejector rod was all the way towards me, then turned the cylinder 180 degrees. I could then put a .013 feeler gage into the open space.
If I understand your measuring method, you're actually measuring twice the actual runout from it's center position. If so, that puts your runout at about 0.0065". IIRC, runout shouldn't exceed 0.006", so yours isn't too bad; at least it's not likely to be bad enough to cause the majority of the action's roughness. Sounds like you already confirmed that.

An easy test is to slowly cycle the action with the cylinder closed and watch closely where the yoke meets the front of the frame. If the ejector rod is bent enough to be affecting the action, you might see a small gap opening between the yoke and frame as the bent ejector rod pushes against the plunger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers
Are there any disadvantages to removing the grips, and pouring in some Hoppe's, or ???, and then dry-firing the gun a lot of times? I guess if I can remove the side plate, I can do this more effectively.
Others have differing opinions on how to clean built-up internal crud, but I'm not a proponent of methods that simply involve getting solvent inside an intact gun. Yes, you may loosen crud up, yes, you may actually get some of that crud out of the gun, and yes, you might feel a temporary improvement; but some (or much) of the crud remains and gets dispersed into other areas, some of which are critical mating surfaces, so it's not doing your gun much good in the long run.

In addition, some of the solvent will stay in there, and solvent's not only a poor lube, it does a fair job of neutralizing any lube it does meet. It's my personal opinion, then, that a revolver that truly needs an internal cleaning, needs a proper, effective, and complete internal cleaning, which includes, at a minimum, (proper) removal of the sideplate.
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Old June 4, 2014, 01:16 PM   #60
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Quote:
It's my personal opinion, then, that a revolver that truly needs an internal cleaning, needs a proper, effective, and complete internal cleaning, which includes, at a minimum, (proper) removal of the sideplate.
That is my opinion also. If you have any reluctance at all to completely disassembling the action, I'd take it to a knowledgeable smith.

I still remember the traumatic experience of the first time I removed the rebound slide in a room with wall-to-wall carpeting; to say nothing of trying to get the spring back in...it was only much later that I discovered that gunsmiths made a special tool for this
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Old June 4, 2014, 01:23 PM   #61
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I tend to agree with MrBorland on the results from simply sloshing cleaning solvent into the action and hoping. But then I've worked on delicate and complex mechanical and electronic stuff all my life. And they even work when I'm done.... So I'm not above pulling the side cover off so I can get into the works and make sure it's all good and clean.

On using solvent to loosen and dissolve old crud away. Time is your friend. You want to keep the solvent liquid for long enough that it can dissolve the stuff. So really a full on dunk into a container of solvent the put the lid on and let it sit over night is the best option if you're uncomfortable with removing the side cover. The good news is that this isn't all that hard or expensive to do.

I make up my own slightly modified version of the Ed's Red mixture that I've found works very nicely. It's equal parts ATF (that's "automatic transmission fluid" and not "alcohol, tobacco and firearms" ), low odor paint thinner and lacquer thinner. The first is easily found at any auto parts store and the other two can be found in any paint department. A quart of each will keep you in cheap cleaning solvent for more than a year easily. The solvent is effective for a long time until it becomes really crudded up so it's not that expensive over the long haul.

Find a rectangular food saver that will allow you to fit your whole gun and still put the lid on. Make up a batch of the cleaner using about 1/4 to 1/3 of each to arrive at around a pint or a little more of the mixed cleaner. Put that into the container and add the gun with the grips removed. Cover then "burp" the lid and you're ready to start. Holding the lid on give the container a few tips and shakes to slosh the cleaner over the gun. Repeat about every 20 minutes to half hour after the initial shake up to get the cleaner on the gun. Give it another tip and shake as you walk by for the day. At the end of this the old dried up crud SHOULD have been flushed out.

It also doesn't hurt to put on some nitrile gloves and lift the gun out and operate all the areas. Like dry fire it a half dozen times and open the cylinder and run the ejector a few times then put it back into the bath and cover it again. Give it a good tip and shake and let it sit again for a while.

By the end of a full day of such a soaking it should be clear of any old dried out oils.

The final smoothness will only come from a smith going in and working some tune up magic or from you running the gun in dry fire exercises or actual shooting. The Smiths didn't come from the factory with the buttery smooth trigger they are known for. It took some use for the internals to all burnish themselves smooth.
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Old July 9, 2014, 06:43 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland View Post
.......It's my personal opinion, then, that a revolver that truly needs an internal cleaning, needs a proper, effective, and complete internal cleaning, which includes, at a minimum, (proper) removal of the sideplate.

I was at Sebastian Ammo in Fellsmere, Florida, and Will, the owner showed me a S&W gun he had just cleaned and lubed. It felt smooth as butter. After a discussion, I brought my gun back to him the next day, where he disassembled it in front of me, pointing out what he was doing. One by one, he removed the sideplates and all the parts but for one, which he felt he needed to remove later when the gun didn't work as smoothly as it should. All parts were cleaned, and he used ScotchBrite to polish them before re-assembly.

The end result is the gun works quite smoothly now - much better than before, but now it has a new "issue". Pulling the trigger is very smooth. Firing double-action is quite good as well. The problem is when you cock the trigger, and release it slowly, gradually letting the hammer return - you can feel one spot where things seem to "catch". At first the gun hung-up there, and the hammer action got bound up - the slightest pressure fixed it, but something was "catching". Will took it apart again, but everything looks good. Maybe this was part of the original problem, but I don't know enough to say for sure.....

I should add that right now, with the gun fully assembled, if I pull the trigger all the way, the hammer closes fully, as it should, with no binding, but as I release pressure from the trigger, very slowly, it moves half-way forward, then "catches" on something, and only when I release almost all the pressure on the trigger, does it suddenly free up and move forward all the way.

I will attach three photos that might help point out what is wrong. The small part to the right of the hammer in the first photo (middle of the red circle) is the part that Will at first didn't want to remove because it's tricky to get the spring back in, and that's the part that I think is binding somehow....:





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Old July 9, 2014, 08:01 PM   #63
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Single Action vs. Double Action

Are you releasing the trigger while the hammer is still back?

If so, why?

And if so, it's a total non-issue.

And anyone that thinks that spring is "too tricky" will NEVER lay hands on my gun.

(Altho that would explain the situation. Will mucked it up)
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Old July 9, 2014, 08:52 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers
The problem is when you cock the trigger, and release it slowly, gradually letting the hammer return - you can feel one spot where things seem to "catch".
It sounds like you are talking about short stroking the trigger.

The trigger wasn't designed to be operated in that fashion.
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Old July 9, 2014, 08:59 PM   #65
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Quote:
I should add that right now, with the gun fully assembled, if I pull the trigger all the way, the hammer closes fully, as it should, with no binding, but as I release pressure from the trigger, very slowly, it moves half-way forward, then "catches" on something, and only when I release almost all the pressure on the trigger, does it suddenly free up and move forward all the way.

I will attach three photos that might help point out what is wrong. The small part to the right of the hammer in the first photo (middle of the red circle) is the part that Will at first didn't want to remove because it's tricky to get the spring back in, and that's the part that I think is binding somehow....:
The first part sounds like the rebound spring is weak or has been shortened.


I'm guessing what you mean in the second part is the sear (pivoting bar/arm in the front of the hammer), which operates the hammer in the first part of the DA trigger pull, then transitions to the sear on the hammer. The sear has a spring under it, and should move freely. It can be cleaned up and flushed out without taking it out of the hammer. I wouldn't think it would cause the trigger to hang up on return unless its really sticky or gummy.

Not having the main spring at full or near full tension (screw in the front of the grip frame) can cause the action to act funny also. It's tempting to want to use it for a quicky action job and lighten the DA pull, but its best and most reliable when tensioned well. It can back out if not tensioned well. Some 'smiths will adjust the tension of the spring by torqueing or bending the spring to lighten the pull. This allows the screw to be snugged up.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:05 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David E View Post
Are you releasing the trigger while the hammer is still back?

If so, why?

And if so, it's a total non-issue.

And anyone that thinks that spring is "too tricky" will NEVER lay hands on my gun.

(Altho that would explain the situation. Will mucked it up)

The spring isn't tricky at all. The goal wasn't to lighten anything up, just to get rid of what I thought was due to old grease or something.... what Will did was to clean the gun, rub many of the parts with Scotchbrite, lube things, and re-assemble.

Why am I trying all those things? Because to me, it feels like something is binding - before, I thought it was dirt. Now I don't know...... It shoots fine, both single-action and double-action, so maybe it's a non-issue, but none of the other guns I've tried have that "bind" (or whatever I should call it...).
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:19 PM   #67
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.......... Not having the main spring at full or near full tension (screw in the front of the grip frame) can cause the action to act funny also. It's tempting to want to use it for a quicky action job and lighten the DA pull, but its best and most reliable when tensioned well. It can back out if not tensioned well. Some 'smiths will adjust the tension of the spring by torqueing or bending the spring to lighten the pull. This allows the screw to be snugged up.

Hmm, Will wanted to replace the main spring, and he had several new bags of Wilson Combat #178 "Custom-Tune&Spring Kit, S&W K, L, N Frame Revolvers", but the man spring in the kit was shorter than the spring in the gun, and the three coil springs that came with it were all much longer than what was in the gun. Will looked it up on the wilsoncombat website, and the part number was correct, and he had more than one kit, all of which looked identical, so if the part number was wrong, they were all mis-labeled. I've already got a call in to Wilsoncombat asking about this. The coil springs that came with this kit were marked #12, #13, and #14.


You mentioned to have the "main spring at full or near full tension". I guess I should take a photo of this, and post it. Maybe that's the problem? I guess that might explain what is happening.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:28 PM   #68
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You could only tell by checking the screw in the front of the grip frame with a screwdriver. Its the one that bears against the main spring and tensions it.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:39 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Malamute View Post
You could only tell by checking the screw in the front of the grip frame with a screwdriver. Its the one that bears against the main spring and tensions it.

Actually, I did read that, stopped everything, took the grips off, and took a photo. Sorry for not saying what I was doing, but I thought the photo would say more than anything I could write....



I left the image 1000 or so pixels high, so hopefully it isn't too big for the forum. I've got zero experience at this sort of thing, but do hope to learn. Sorry if I seem to be muddling my way through it, but it's the best I currently know how to do.

.........and looking at the very bottom of the photo, I get the feeling that the spring should be curved a LOT more, with all that space at the bottom for the spring to be pushed out even further. Just a dumb guess...... I guess I need to find other photos like this on the internet....
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:52 PM   #70
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I found this image on a different forum. If this photo shows the right amount of curvature for the main spring, then I need to adjust mine a lot tighter.

Will set it to what he thought was right, but I'm getting the feeling he needed to make it a lot tighter....



Credits for the photo should go to _CY_ at "okshooters.com".
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:57 PM   #71
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It should essentially be bottomed out, not used to try to adjust the action feel.

From the picture, it looks like it isn't bottomed out. In my experience, you can mess with them a little bit, but a half turn out from snugged firmly is about all I'd trust. Best is snugged up tight for best reliability.

I think if you run the screw in all the way, the quirky feel to the trigger return will go away.
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:21 PM   #72
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There was never any intent to make the trigger feel lighter. My only goal was to make it feel smoother.

I did what you said, and while the trigger does feel better, I know that there is still a momentary bind as the trigger is released. Maybe I can show this with a video - will try.

If I deliberately do things "wrong", as follows, the bind is very noticeable.
  • pull the trigger all the way, so the hammer falls.
  • release the trigger very, very slowly, gradually removing pressure
  • when the trigger is half way forward, I can completely remove my trigger finger, and the trigger just stays there - it doesn't go all the way forward.

I would never shoot the gun this way, but I'm sure something needs attention. I will try to do a video of this.....
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:41 PM   #73
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So, you ran the main spring tension screw in snugly?

So long as you are letting the hammer all the way forward before releasing the trigger, the trigger should go back without hesitation. If you let the trigger go before the hammer is fully forward, it can bind up.

It sounds like the rebound spring is weak. They are sometimes clipped or ground shorter in an action job, but they have to be balanced with the main (hammer) spring to function properly. I have a pile of them, but am not sure what the stock color is for an N or I'd send you one. A gunsmith gave them to me that used to do a lot of action jobs. Your local guy may have some also.

For curiosity sake, you can tinker with the main spring tension screw, starting from all the way in, then back it out in 1/4 turn increments and see if it ends up in a sweet spot where everything works together correctly. If its been altered in any way, it may hit a sweet spot where the main spring balances out the altered rebound spring. It would be safe to shoot, but the main spring screw can come loose when not snugged down. It would answer the question about if the rebound spring was altered.
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:45 PM   #74
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Got the video, and uploaded it to my server, but without re-learning how to edit videos, it's still a high-res MP4 file, short, but still 32 megs in size. Here's the link:

http://www.sgrid.com/2013/MVI_1110.MP4

Once it loads, it plays smoothly. I probably need to take the side plate off the gun, and film this from the other side, showing the parts moving......
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:46 PM   #75
Malamute
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Join Date: May 12, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 1,524
I just edited my post before yours,....

Will try the vid.


Edit: vid isn't loading. I'm on a dsl connection on an old rural phone system, it may not work for me.
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