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Is this a good ball detent?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CleanHarry, Apr 21, 2014.

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  1. CleanHarry

    CleanHarry Member

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    Does this look right to Y'all?
     

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  2. Drail

    Drail Member

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    That's about average for the current S&W QC level. It's a mass produced gun. It's not going to be perfect. Nowdays you're lucky if you get a gun that actually works. Personally I wouldn't accept that. S&W doesn't care anymore. They're building guns as if they were building lawn mowers in Asia. There was a thread on this very thing on another forum and S&W's response was "we try to get them as close as we can". That ain't even close man.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I would say, "No"

    Unless (maybe) the cylinder isn't all of the way closed, as it appears they're is an excessive gap between the side of the yoke and frame. Also the barrel's lug is too far forward for the ball to engage it as it should.

    At best, a ball lock offers frictional rather then positive mecanical retention. Consequently very carefull fitting is critical.
     
  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Looks wrong to me. I wouldn't accept that.
     
  5. 25cschaefer

    25cschaefer Member

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    It looks like the wrong barrel was installed to me, that is totally unacceptable.
     
  6. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    I agree, and I've only ever seen a single example done correctly: And in that case, the cylinder seemed locked in place noticeably tighter than normal.
     
  7. Dframe

    Dframe Member

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    NO! is isn't a good ball detent. That one would go back if it were mine.
     
  8. CleanHarry

    CleanHarry Member

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    Totally agree... Not right...

    I have a complaint registered, they are assigning a representative to my case. They emailed me back in a couple of hours, but said it would take up to 5 days to hear from the rep.

    The drama unfolds...
     
  9. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    No

    IME those are usually installed on the top of the crane instead of the front of the crane and are not visible when the cylinder is closed..

    The pictured installation provides little or no extra support.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  10. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    I've had reason to recently send a M60 back to S&W due to the forcing cone being mis-machined. S&W took their sweet time about fixing it, but they did replace the barrel without a bit of a quarrel. Of course, the new barrel's forcing cone isn't a model of perfection, either, but the gun shoots well enough at this point that I'm not gonna worry about it. I was expecting better out of their warranty shop, but I got 'just good enough' instead.

    In the end, tho, I was pleased that they accepted their mistakes without debate.
     
  11. CleanHarry

    CleanHarry Member

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    Smith and Wesson's position...

    This is what Smith and Wesson said...
    Dear Customer,

    Our position is that it is exactly as designed. Yes, we are trying to explain that it is fine the way it is. Yes, we believe it works better than if the ball fit precisely into the seat. It is not fixable, because it is not broken. Yes, your Model 69 is correct, as well as others we produce.

    I'm trying to use this opportunity to explain it to you. I agree that I am obligated to explain the engineering to you to protect our reputation.

    Again, your Model 69 is correct. We do not pay FFL fees on newly purchased firearms. I hope you do post this letter on the gun forums to help clear up the perceived issue that does not exist.

    Onto the explanation: this is not an issue. The ball detent is not supposed to be centered in the “V”. It is in fact supposed to be hitting on one side of the “V” in order to keep the yoke tight to the frame. This is how the detent works.

    If the ball detent is not coming into contact with this “V” notch at all, then that would be an issue to send the gun in for.


    If further assistance is required please reply accordingly.


    Sincerely,

    XXXXXXXXX
     
  12. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    As I understand ball detents, the ball has to be under some tension to work, which is what the S&W rep seems to be reiterating.

    Personally, I wouldn't sweat it, as long as they still use the front of the ejector rod to engage the tab in the underlug. In this case, the front of the cylinder would still be locking up. And who knows - the detent may actually be doing something beneficial. ;)
     
  13. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Seems sloppy, but this is why I inspect everything before I sign the forms and let the shop even see my debit card.
     
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I enlarged your excellent photograph to 400x, and it clearly shows that the ball is stuck in it's staked hole, and doesn't advance far enough to enter the barrel lug at all. I am flabergasted at the general tone of the answer you received.

    I would demand to talk to somebody's supervisor. :cuss: :banghead:
     
  15. Wishoot

    Wishoot Member

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    That is one of the most pisspoor letters I've ever seen from a customer service rep. I'm shocked something like this came out of S&W no less.
     
  16. MartinS

    MartinS Member

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    Yes, move up the chain, get away from whoever wrote that odd and awkward letter. The ball ain't on no side of the V.
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    It apparently meets their specs. While I agree that the ball should be slightly off center so that it forces the crane into the frame - that is a pretty cheeseball way of doing it. I'll stick with the old S&W designs. Apparently CNC machining ain't what it's cracked up to be in Springfield.
     
  18. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Mine looked better than that
     
  19. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    That answer makes no sense...

    It looks to me like the barrel is not clocked far enough...

    Is the front sight at noon?
     
  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    That has got to be one of the most strangest and convoluted customer service letters I have ever read.

    I would definitely be contacting someone higher up at S&W in regards to both the gun and that really weird customer service letter.
     
  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    If this is what S&W's idea of a $800+ revolver should look like after assembly, I doubt I'll be buying any more of their new guns. Definately not without looking it over in person, or some REALLY good pics.

    The crane and yoke don't look like they are fitted properly or sit flush to the frame. Poor showing S&W

    So their answer is we designed it to look like crap, but work?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  22. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    There are two issues getting mixed up here.

    1) In that picture, the general fit of the crane and the like isn't very good.

    2) The ball is riding on an inclined plane giving continuous closing force, which actually a good design.

    The original question, and the CS letter, address the second point. Many posters are caught on the first.

    When you think about it, you only want closing force from the crane detent. There is never a point where the crane is closed enough and even though it could move further you don't want it to, there is just a point where the crane is fully closed. If there is an extra 0.0001" it could close, you want it to do so. That is different from many detents (e.g. the detents in an adjustable sight or rifle gas system) where you want to resist movement in either direction when the detent is engaged, and allow movement in either direction once the detent force is exceeded. S&W could and perhaps should have used a single inclined plane vs. the vee notch.

    The problem in this case is that there is obviously a gap where the crane could close further. That may indicate some other issue e.g. an obstruction in the hinge, keeping the revolver from closing completely. You would want to look at the timing and general alignment of the bore and chambers.

    Recap: The detent looks good. The CS letter is correct. The general fit of the revolver looks poor.
     
  23. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^^This. Showed the pic to my youngest, who is a engineering student. He too said that while the ball detent is doing it's job and working as intended, the profile of the detent makes it look to the casual observer, as if the crane should be closed farther. The reflection on the top of the ball in the pic also distorts this. He claims the design makes for as the parts wear from continuous opening and closing, the angle of the detent will make so the crane is always closed tightly. He also claims that by using the detent this way, instead of the ball completely within the detent, the cylinder is easier to open. He said the design also makes for a larger margin of error when assembling parts, as with the torquing of screw on barrels. I dunno....just hope I'm getting my monies worth outta his education........
     
  24. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You and your boy would be right, except if you enlarge the picture it shows that the ball is apparently stuck in its hole in the crane, and not touching the barrel lug at all. :uhoh:

    You have the revolver so examine it closely. If you believe the ball is indeed seated in the barrel lug then it probably meets current specifications. If it isn't then S&W should fix it.
     
  25. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Always hard to judge from a photo, but I think what you are seeing is that the ball is pressed in, as it should be, by its contact with the inclined plane/vee notch. It could be stuck I suppose but it looks like it is in contact.
     
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