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What's inside that S&W centennial, anyway?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Tony_the_tiger, Feb 25, 2011.

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  1. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    While cleaning under the grip today with a qtip I noticed what appeared to be a spot of rust coming from the internals of my s&w 296. I'm not a gunsmith, and I do not advise that you do this, but curiosity got the better of me and I decided to open 'er up!

    All went well until I tried to remove a screw near the grips. Not wanting to strip it, and following some advice I read online about rust/loctite and screws, I took out my soldering iron and touched the tip of the screw, heated it up a bit, banged on the screw lightly, tried again, and out it came.

    The sideplate was removed by lightly tapping on the grip area with the rubber handle of a hammer.

    Turns out, there is all this stuff inside of there! A bunch of neat stuff. So, these photos are for anyone wondering what is beyond the sideplate.

    I don't have fancy names for these bits. I just oiled em up and re-assembled. Removed some metal grit hanging out in there with a silicone cloth.

    At one point I thought I had messed it up, as it would not dryfire even with the cylinder attached. I had my wife come look at it (shes smarter than me). Turns out the trigger had come slightly out of alignment. We popped it back in by pressing firmly and that seemed to fix the issue.

    Timing seems to be ok now, and everything is nice and silky smooth. Will testfire it tomorrow. Thanks for listening.


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    Cheers,

    -T
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  2. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    I like my CZ from a shooter's aspect, but my revolvers utterly fascinate me in the same manner that clockwork does.

    And this is why I laugh every time someone tells me "revolvers are more simple than pistols".
     
  3. RDak

    RDak Member

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    Nice gun......good job!! :)
     
  4. Brass Rain

    Brass Rain Member

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    As a wannabe gunsmith, I love pictures like these. So much cool stuff crammed in there...
     
  5. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Thanks. Now that I know theres no rust issues, I probably won't be cracking it open for another millennium or so. Overall a rewarding experience, and I did remove a fair amount of factory gunk and metal shavings.

    There is some fine engineering going on in there! I am not nearly competent enough with firearm construction to disassemble any further, especially for a CCW.

    -T
     
  6. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Disassembly and reassembly for a complete cleaning isn't too bad. A rebound slide spring tool, and a good set of hollow ground screw drivers are all the tools you need. Pick up a copy of the S&W shop manual and it'll guide you through the process. Overall there's very little reason to completely strip a revolver for cleaning unless you carry it in some really harsh environments. I'd say you're probably good for at least another decade or two.

    -Jenrick
     
  7. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Revolvers are easier to operate.
     
  8. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    I hear they are simpler from a maintenance standpoint, have heard that before too.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    If you'd really like to see something interesting, take a look inside a Colt Python or Detective Special sometime. It would make the S&W look clunky by comparison, it is all levers and camming surfaces
     
  10. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    I would never get that thing back together in a million years. My wife would come home and find me on the floor with a spring protruding from my eye, and the cat batting a screw under the refrigerator.
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I remember sitting in my bedroom, shortly after my 21st birthday, taking my first S&W apart with a copy of Shooting Times magazine opened to an article written by Skeeter Skelton of how to clean up the action...somehow I didn't realize how much pressure the rebound slide was under, how far the spring could fly or how real gunsmiths actually had a special tool for re-installing it.

    BTW: Nice pictures
     
  12. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Thank you for the comments.

    9mmepiphany, I was aware of the state of some springs being under considerable tension in there. Sounds like an educational experience to say the least :) Without the proper tools, my cleanup job simply consisted of some work with qtips, some breakfree, hoppes elite oil, a hoppes silicone cloth, and some elbow grease...

    As I mentioned, I took it to the range to test fire today. It was a short but satisfying session. I shot off 15 rounds of 200 gr .44 corbon DPX without any hiccup at 7 yards. Thats about all my hand can take with this firearm in any case. It is accurate, and the action is noticeably improved. The timing is perfect, and I will continue to carry it with confidence and pride. One of these days i'll get around to posting some holster reviews.

    Cheers,

    -T
     
  13. badt00d

    badt00d Member

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    Can you post a pick of each side, totally assembled? I saw one of these for sale at a gun store once, never saw another till you posted. I have a 640, but its "only" a 38. Thanks, John T.
     
  14. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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    Heres a pic of my Jap Type 26. The side opens up to get to the clock like works.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Here you go, badt00d.

    The 296 (pictured) 5 shot .44 special and the almost identical s&w 242 7 shot .38 special are the only s&w L-frame centennials ever produced. They were made, to my understanding, around 1999-2001, or about 1 production year. The frame is an aluminum/scandium alloy, the barrel is steel but shrouded by the frame, the cylinder is titanium. They are bigger than most easily concealed small s&w revolvers, but this allows for chambering .44 special in the 296 case and for the 7th shot of .38 in the 242's case.

    You can see more photos that board member stainz has posted in other threads.


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    Cheers,

    -T
     
  16. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Rogertc1, Wow! What does that thing shoot? How does it all fit back togethor?

    -T
     
  17. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    That I believe fires 9mm Nambu, I could be wrong but I don't feel like looking up the answer.
     
  18. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    I see pix like these (nice ones!) and appreciate the simplicity of my Rugers.
     
  19. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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    9mm Nambu. The side plate simply closes. It is hinged. Not worth a lot cause of the chrome but kinda neat gun.
     
  20. badt00d

    badt00d Member

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    Thanks for the pics. Did SW also make an N-Frame Centennial? I remember seeing a big one one time - don't remember what it was. Maybe it was the L frame like yours. Dunno. Cool , though.
     
  21. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    I'm not a smith historian but I'm almost certain that aside from the 296 and 242 L frame revolvers, all the other centennials are in the J frame.
     
  22. DAdams

    DAdams Member

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    [​IMG]

    Those comments are funny. :D

    For those of you who want to do an "action job" or smooth out here is a god step by step.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/nutnfancy#p/search/23/I4GtXq2XXOI
     
  23. clutch

    clutch Member

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    I envy you. That is a seriously nice handgun. I wish I had one in my collection of curios.

    Is that nickel finish original?

    Clutch
     
  24. Tony_the_tiger

    Tony_the_tiger Member

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    Hey DA, whats the make and model?
     
  25. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    The Kuhnhausen manual, good screw driver set and the rebound spring tool open up a whole world of fun. There are good resources on the internet as well. When I started fooling around inside the S&Ws I got to learn all about the spring on the hand. It comes off easier than it goes on:banghead:

    I had all the tools except the rebound spring tool from my earlier forays into 1911 home smithing.

    Nice pictures.
     
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