Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    So, I've got a brand new smith 66-8 K frame .357 mag revolver with 2.75"bbl that is giving me hell.

    I inspected at purchase and everything seemed fine. Function tested everything. Tight lockup. Very slight rotational play in cylinder. No end shake.

    At home I dry fired it a ton and everything was still fine. I had it out once and shot 50 158 gr 357 and 50 125gr 38sp+p and still everything was fine. No malfunctions. Cleaned it and function tested it again, good to go. More dry fire, no problem.

    Then all of a sudden, the other day, I take it out to dry fire, and after I opened to cylinder and unloaded it, the cylinder would not close. Also, manually spinning the opened cylinder reveals that it is dragging somehow. I had to fiddle-fuck around with the cylinder and crane to get it closed. (The crane can be pushed forward and back from the muzzle, is this normal?)

    Once closed it functions correctly and the cylinder does not drag or hangup during double action or single action, but once the cylinder is opened it sometimes will not want to close and I have to putts around with it.

    No, I have never cowboyed the action closed. Yes, I cleaned thoroughly under the extractor star. Yes, I could call smith and wesson, but I prefer to fix it myself if possible.

    FYI: This is a new model 66 and the lockup has been redesigned so that the crane locks into a detent attached to the frame. I thought this may be worth mentioning.

    I can probably post pics or even video later on tonight or tonorrow if necessary, and I intend to do further research into disassembly this weekend and possibly open her up, but In the mean time, does anyone have any ideas?

    BTW: I purposefully posted this here because the troubleshooting forum gets far less views, hopefully that will not be a problem. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    1) See if the ejector rod is becoming unscrewed. It is a LEFT hand thread, so you would TIGHTEN COUNTERCLOCKWISE. Usually manifests as not being able to OPEN the cylinder/crane when the thumbpiece is pressed forward.

    2) See if the crane retention screw is tight. This is the one at the extreme front "panhandle" of the sideplate.

    This is a new model 66 and the lockup has been redesigned so that the crane locks into a detent attached to the frame.
    I don't have any of the new style S&Ws with this feature. I had a 327PC-8X, and IIRC it had a ball detent at the front of the crane and a socket in the front inside of the cylinder window.

    HTH,

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_Zark View Post
    1) See if the ejector rod is becoming unscrewed. It is a LEFT hand thread, so you would TIGHTEN COUNTERCLOCKWISE. Usually manifests as not being able to OPEN the cylinder/crane when the thumbpiece is pressed forward.

    2) See if the crane retention screw is tight. This is the one at the extreme front "panhandle" of the sideplate.



    I don't have any of the new style S&Ws with this feature. I had a 327PC-8X, and IIRC it had a ball detent at the front of the crane and a socket in the front inside of the cylinder window.

    HTH,

    Noah
    It was the ejector rod. I had checked it, but did not realize it was reverse threaded. It had loosened to where the extractor star was contacting the breech face during closing (I guess you still call that a breech face on a revolver). I'm still going to open it up and check the crane retention screw as well. I am not sure if the ability to move it forward and back is normal, but it seems odd.

    Anyway, thank you for the quick response and quick fix.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    No, not odd at all. The ejector rod self-loosening is not uncommon. There are "wrenches" of sorts available from Brownells and Midway, probably, for snugging up ejector rods without over-tightening and stripping the threads.

    Glad to help,

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_Zark View Post
    No, not odd at all. The ejector rod self-loosening is not uncommon. There are "wrenches" of sorts available from Brownells and Midway, probably, for snugging up ejector rods without over-tightening and stripping the threads.

    Glad to help,

    Noah
    I am new to owning revolvers. To be clear, are you saying that it is normal to be able to push the crane (approximately 1/16") towards the muzzle?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Glad you got the thing fixed! Kudos to Noah for his know how too! How about giving us a report on your impression of the action. I've had a bone to pick with S&W on the action of the last two revolvers I bought from them, one a Model 67-5 the second a Model 986. In both cases trigger pull was very heavy in both SA and DA. Cocking the hammer to fire SA I can only describe as rough. What is your impression?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Brick View Post
    Glad you got the thing fixed! Kudos to Noah for his know how too! How about giving us a report on your impression of the action. I've had a bone to pick with S&W on the action of the last two revolvers I bought from them, one a Model 67-5 the second a Model 986. In both cases trigger pull was very heavy in both SA and DA. Cocking the hammer to fire SA I can only describe as rough. What is your impression?
    The fact is, I am lacking in comparison, as I am just now becoming interested in revolvers. However, I am very pleased with the action. I was initially wary from reading some reviews complaining of rough and overly heavy double action pull on newer Smiths, however I was pleasantly surprised.

    The double action breaks between 9.5 and 10# according to my cheap lyman gauge, and it is quite smooth. The single action is a crisp 3.5-4#. Honestly, I could not be happier with the trigger pull. I feel like I hit the lottery in that regard.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by marinville View Post
    . . . To be clear, are you saying that it is normal to be able to push the crane (approximately 1/16") towards the muzzle?
    1) It is not uncommon for ejector rods to self-loosen.

    b) S&W cylinders, when the crane is open and the cylinder is swung out, typically have a couple mm of play fore and aft inside the cylinder bearing hole in the crane. The ejector rod and cylinder assembly moves toward the muzzle and back toward the recoil plate INSIDE the crane.

    iii) S&W cranes DO NOT move fore and aft with respect to the frame when the crane is open and the cylinder is swung out, and the crane retention screw is tight. If the crane retention screw is loose, the crane can move fore and aft with respect to the frame, and will need to be shoved to the rear in order to close the cylinder.

    HTH,

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Noah_Zark View Post
    1) It is not uncommon for ejector rods to self-loosen.

    b) S&W cylinders, when the crane is open and the cylinder is swung out, typically have a couple mm of play fore and aft inside the cylinder bearing hole in the crane. The ejector rod and cylinder assembly moves toward the muzzle and back toward the recoil plate INSIDE the crane.

    iii) S&W cranes DO NOT move fore and aft with respect to the frame when the crane is open and the cylinder is swung out, and the crane retention screw is tight. If the crane retention screw is loose, the crane can move fore and aft with respect to the frame, and will need to be shoved to the rear in order to close the cylinder.

    HTH,

    Noah
    The crane can be pushed forward with a moderate effort (not excessive) and snaps back rearward when pressure is released. I am now wondering if this could be designed, as a part of the lockup between the crane and the detent in the frame.

    I intend to open the side plate tomorrow and have a better look.
    Last edited by marinville; January 4th, 2018 at 07:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me troubleshoot my K frame

    Quote Originally Posted by marinville View Post
    The crane can be pushed forward with a moderate effort (not excessive) and snaps back rearward when pressure is released. I am now wondering if this could be designed, as a part of the lockup between the crane and the detent in the frame.

    I intend to open the side plate tomorrow and have a better look.
    These new S&W revolvers have a different crane retention screw consisting of a cone point tip that is backed by a spring in the body of the screw. The groove in the crane journal is also a V in profile. Because of the spring loaded tip, there can be some play of the crane w.r.t. the frame, but the "snap back" of which you speak is the spring pushing the cone tip into the female V groove and forcing the crane back into alignment.

    They went to this design because it is essentially self-aligning and requires less hand fitting than the former dog point screw and rectangular groove in the crane journal. If you break it down, you'll see.

    Noah
    If you are not part of the solution, you are the precipitate.

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