View Full Version : Question on my S&W Model 14-1 revolver
January 16, 2011, 07:31 PM
My 1961-era Model 14-1 has an issue I'd like some advice on. On two of the chambers (adjacent to each other), the cylinder stop doesn't quite fully engage the notches on the cylinder before the hammer drops in DA mode, but appears to engage as the hammer drops. The lockup is good on all chambers in SA.
Is the problem likely related to the hand, to the cylinder stop, or to the notches on the extractor that are turned by the hand? The gun is clean, including the notches on the cylinder.
I've done some light smithing (removal of ILS, rebound spring replacement and smoothing of internal parts) and feel fairly comfortable replacing any of these parts (realizing that the cylinder stop width might need some adjustment).
January 17, 2011, 12:06 PM
That would be hard to guess upon without seeing the parts and areas you describe. My first thought- what does the cylinder stop look like compared to newer ones? Is there any side-to-side play between the hand and sides of the hand window when it is extended?
Also of wonderment, does your cylinder gap change when the cylinder is rotated/cycled? Could there be a bent crane or ejector rod at the root of your woes?
Does it look like anyone has whittled (stoned) on the ratchet portion of the ejector star?
It's really hard to guess without seeing it first-hand. But, if you're familiar with Smith tinkering, you could always start with the least expensive parts to swap out first. And remember- whittle ye not on the frame.
January 17, 2011, 07:56 PM
Thanks very much for the reply and for some possibilities to check out. I can't see any issues with the crane at all (no wobble in the ejector rod) and the cylinder/forcing cone gap doesn't change from chamber to chamber, at least to what I can tell by eye when illuminated by a strong backlight. With the side plate off, there is no perceptible gap in the window for the hand or wobble in the hand itself.
Looking at the extractor star, it's possible that there is a slightly different shape to the ratchet teeth that control the position of the two chambers I'm concerned about. Those teeth are at 9 o'clock and 11 o'clock in the picture below, and the one at 9 o'clock in particular appears to have a bevel that the other do not have (visible in the photo). Does that mean it's been stoned after assembly or could that be done in the assembly process? Those two teeth may also have a slightly rounder shape on the "east" side than the others, although it may also be my imagination. If so, they wouldn't be pushed quite as far around by the hand and might be a cause of incomplete lock-up.
Question - are the extractor stars from similar guns interchangeable? I have a perfectly functioning 1964 10-5 snubbie from which I could temporarily borrow the extractor star. If that turned out to be the issue, where would be the best place to get a good replacement? This Model 14 is a Bullseye gun for me and I plan to use it for that for a long time.
January 17, 2011, 08:25 PM
What you're describing in DA isn't that unusual, especially on older used revolvers. Your timing may be a little late, but it might not matter.
Does it only happen if you cycle in DA very slowly?
Some revolvers are slow without the assistance of the momentum of the cylinder. But it doesn't become an issue under normal use.
The fix would be a new hand, rather than a star - you can't typically exchange stars .
January 18, 2011, 04:58 AM
That pretty much describes it exactly, I can see it if I cycle very slowly and the cylinder stop appears to seat as the hammer drops on those two chambers rather than just before. I haven't noticed any lead spitting, so maybe it's nothing to worry about. It was pointed out to me by another shooter who examined the gun, he suggested I might want to avoid those cylinders when shooting DA.
January 21, 2011, 10:06 PM
It's called "carry up" and is a common problem on S&W. Momentum will carry the cylinder far enough to lock up in most cases when firing in DA mode.
It is usually caused by a combination of wear on the hand, the slot the hand moves in and the star.
Old time gunsmiths would peen the star where it was worn until the carry up was correct. If it doesn't spit when firing I wouldn't try to fix it yet.
If the slot that the hand moves in is worn, you can buy oversized (wider) hands from Brownells and Midway that will take out the sideways play.
I've seen new S&W that had the same problem when slowly operating that worked fine when actually shooting them.
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