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End shake on S&w 66.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jensb, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. jensb

    jensb Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    How much endshake is acceptable on Smith 66-2?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Headspace, barrel/cylinder gap, and end-shake are covered in detail in the Sticky at the top of this forum. They are all related, and interact with each other.

    For a quick & dirty test.
    1. Push the cylinder all the way forward as far as it will go and look at the cylinder gap.
    If the cylinder isn't touching the barrel shank, and you can see a crack of light, it is OK.
    2. Shoot it. If the firing pin reaches the primer, it is OK.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    In general, S&W end shake of over about 0.006" needs repair.
    Note that this is for S&W ONLY other brands have different standards.
  4. Confederate

    Confederate Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Arlington, VA
    End shake is something that shouldn't exist on revolvers; unfortunarely, however, it does. In most cases you can live with it, but it does decrease the value of the gun. And in the cases of magnums, it can get worse with use...but not always.

    Some nimrod gunsmiths will fix the end shake, but leave you with excess b/c gap or head space. It's painful, but sometimes you just have to reset the barrel for the gun to be functionally perfect.

    If the gun works, doesn't spit and is accurate, you may be fine. A little endshake gets the gun out the door at S&W, but won't at Ruger.
  5. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

    Feb 24, 2007

    Not starting a fight here but help me understand your comment about Ruger not having any end shake out the door? Where is the data to support that?

    I love my Rugers but no way would I make a statement like that, or either all the ones I have purchased have been bad.

    I was one of those that was very happy to publicize the strength of the Ruger rolvers over the Smith's especially in the 44Magnum world, but I am even starting to question the relativity of that now as well after the continued test being conducted on a 629.


    Though I still believe my 4inch Ruger is stronger :)
  6. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    I was under the impression that Rugers looser tolerances (and therefore more endshake) than S&Ws...the difference being that S&Ws tended to loosen up over time, while Rugers pretty much stayed the same.

    Are the PowerCustom endshake bushings sold by MidwayUSA an acceptable fix for endshake on a S&W revolver, or just a "bandaid?" Larry Potterfield recommends them, and I've never known him to steer anyone wrong. Installation looks simple too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmYzAVgDBkY
  7. oldfool

    oldfool Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thomasville, Georgia
    all magic numbers aside, I think that is probably the best description I have ever heard, and certainly the most succint !

    (magic numbers ETA imminent, no doubt, as always for this topic)

    hint, there is no such thing as zero endshake, plus if it really really did "lock up like a bank vault", it wouldn't cycle, nor would you ever get the cylinder open again without a hammer. EXCESSIVE endshake is a problem.
    I do have one target k-17 that is "tight" enough, that mere powder residue on cylinder face after ~100 rounds or so will yield cylinder drag you can feel... but a quickie wipedown and it's baby butt smooth, and always always "accuracy to be envied". You can see daylight if look close enough when clean, but scarce little. (Lost my .001/.002 feelers but it way less than .003. Color me happy with that.

    me, I would stay away from endshake bushings, but not saying they won't work if done right. methinks that if there is that much weer on the gun, bushings really are just band-aids, and a more complete rebuild is preferable. Send it to factory.
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    There are at least three acceptable methods of correcting excess end shake on S&W revolvers.
    Note that this is for S&W ONLY....NOT COLT. Try any of this on a Colt revolver and you'll destroy it.
    They may or may not be usable for Ruger, Dan Wesson or other makes. That depends on how they're designed.

    1. End shake bearing washers.
    This is an acceptable repair, and it's done by some of the top pistolsmiths.
    The "correct" method is to use a special guided cutter to trim and square up the end of the yoke barrel then drop the correct thickness of stainless steel washer into the cylinder hole. The washer should be GREASED.
    Done correctly and this is a lifetime repair.
    Many owners bypass the yoke barrel trimming and just drop in washers. This may not last as well as a proper job.

    2. Use a special tool to stretch the yoke barrel.
    The tool is essentially a small tubing cutter with a special hardened, rounded wheel to replace the edged cutter wheel.
    A hardened steel support rod is inserted into the yoke barrel to support it and the tool is turned around the rear end of the yoke barrel. As the tool is tightened and rotated, the rounded wheel presses a groove into the yoke barrel and stretches it.
    After stretching, the guided cutter is used to trim the barrel to the correct length.

    3. Hammer stretching.
    The hardened steel support rod is inserted into the yoke barrel and the barrel is rested on a polished hardened steel bench block.
    A small smooth face hammer is used to tap rapidly around the barrel as it's rotated. This stretches the barrel.
    Again, the guided cutter is used to trim the barrel to length.
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