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View Poll Results: Do you ever take your revolvers apart?
I have never taken a revolver apart, and would not. 23 12.99%
I have not, but would if I had to. 39 22.03%
I have, but don't like to for fear of losing/breaking something. 39 22.03%
I do, for every new revolver purchase. 41 23.16%
I can take apart and reassemble my revolvers blindfolded. 35 19.77%
Voters: 177. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 21, 2012, 12:57 AM   #1
spanishjames
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Do you take your revolvers apart?

Are you brave enough to take the sideplate off a revolver, and take it apart completely? I don't mean removing the barrel, just the parts that can be lifted out, including pins, springs, etc. Are you confident you could take a revolver apart and put it back together?
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:06 AM   #2
hoghunting
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That's the best way to really clean the internals and check for wear.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:30 AM   #3
warningshot
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I don't take my revolvers apart, but I'll take your revolvers apart. I want mine to work. Fake it to you make it. Yes, Sir.
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Old November 21, 2012, 05:23 AM   #4
FM12
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I have and can (Smiths) but sometimes it wasnt pretty! The slide rebound spring can be a booger to replace, at least for me.
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Old November 21, 2012, 07:24 AM   #5
Bailey Boat
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There's a Mod 66, 2.5" on my bench as we speak that was totally apart yesterday for cleaning since it's a new acquisition into my personal inventory. Gotta make sure it's right before I carry it.......
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Old November 21, 2012, 07:33 AM   #6
CajunBass
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Never have, never will, never saw any reason to. That's why they invented Gunscrubber.

Actually the only guns I've ever taken apart were com-bloc military surplus.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:36 AM   #7
22-rimfire
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Nope. Don't intend to take one apart unless it breaks and I have no other options. My first choice would be to find a gunsmith.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:43 AM   #8
Stressfire
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Completely apart?

Depends on the gun. If nothing is wrong, I don't see the point. Then again, different models have different issues.

Not really a whole lot to disassemble on my GP 100. Taking the grip off for a blast of Break free every once in awhile is about as apart as it ever gets.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:45 AM   #9
Wallyl
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Take apart a S & W revolver

I have done so and have found it was best not to. You can open up the side plate and spray with carb cleaner..blow out with comprssed air,let it dry and lube (minimal amount). When cleaning I have found that it really was not all that dirty.

I had a pin break off on me on model 24 when I opened it up jand I never did figure out how to postion that spring mentioned above in a model 29...what a PITA... I'll never do that again!


I have taken apart Ruger Blackhawks...a bit tricky but comparitively easy.
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:56 AM   #10
RKG
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1) I have no hesitation in disassembling and reassembling a S&W DA revolver. But then I've been factory trained.

2) For the most part, I advise most folks not to disassemble their revolvers. In part, some special skills or training is important (perhaps even "necessary"); in part, you'll do a better job and reduce the risk of damaging something if you have a couple of special tools; and in part (and the largest part), because it is completely unnecessary.

3) Revolvers with a high round count can pick up some combustion product crud in the hand slot, which can be cleaned with a dental pick without disassembling the revolver. Revolvers that are daily carried tend to pick up some lint in the hammer channel, which is best cleaned with a tooth brush from the outside. S&W revolvers do not tend to pick up crud in the lockwork inside.

4) S&W revolvers do not require and should not receive heavy internal lubrication, and do not require frequent re-lubrication.

5) Spraying the internals of a revolver with solvent -- the "flush it out" approach -- is a bad idea and I strongly recommend against it.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:03 AM   #11
Mike Irwin
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I have no fear of taking my Smith revolvers down to the smallest component parts.

I am working up the nerve to do the same with my Colts.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
efield
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I have taken apart a few of my Smith & Wessons and Rugers. It was scary but I was able to put them back together somehow. (and they worked) However, I do not have the intestinal fortitude to attempt this on my Colts.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:39 AM   #13
Single Six
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Nope. To me, some things are best left to professionals. This is one of them.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:51 AM   #14
Wallyl
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Cleaning a revolver

RKG....as you have been trained how....will go with what you say about the the spraying/flushing. I have done it and it worked quite well..one has to let it dry out.

Had a problem with a M-57...shooting single action, when cocking the hammer the cylinder would sometimes not rotate and lock as it should. I removed the side plate and lightly oiled the critical areas and never had teh problem again

With a M-29 made ten years ago again shooting double action...sometimes when the trigger is pulled the hammer woudl drop but the transfer bar would be out of position--so it would not fire. I tightened the tension on the mainspring strain screw and that helped...I then spray lubed the internals--made it worse. Did a carb cleaner flush and it now works just fine..any ideas what was going on with that. I have four N farme S & W pistols and this is the only one that "acted up" like that. I do not use heavy loads in it, prefering medium loads.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:23 PM   #15
EdInk
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I have done it but there really is not too much need.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:34 PM   #16
rem44m
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I wish I knew how to do it. Still don't know if I would though.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:40 PM   #17
RKG
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Quote:
With a M-29 made ten years ago again shooting double action...sometimes when the trigger is pulled the hammer woudl drop but the transfer bar would be out of position--so it would not fire. I tightened the tension on the mainspring strain screw and that helped...I then spray lubed the internals--made it worse. Did a carb cleaner flush and it now works just fine..any ideas what was going on with that. I have four N farme S & W pistols and this is the only one that "acted up" like that. I do not use heavy loads in it, prefering medium loads.
I wouldn't make a diagnosis without having the revolver in front of me. However, I can observe:

There is no transfer bar in a S&W DA revolver. I presume you are referring to the 1947 hammer block.

Positioning of the hammer block is controlled by a pin on the rebound slide that rides in a cam slot in the hammer block itself. The rebound slide, in turn, is positioned by a strut connecting it to the trigger (for rearward movement) and the rebound slide spring (for forward movement). It is theoretically possible for the rebound slide to be hung up so as to be too far aft (given trigger position) but not for it to be too far forward. (I say "theoretically possible" because I've never seen it happen with any S&W revolver.) When the rebound slide is aft, the hammer block cammed down (so as to enable full hammer travel), while when the rebound slide is forward, the hammer block is cammed up (so as to interdict full hammer travel). So if it really was the hammer block position that was causing your problem, my guess would be that the hammer block may be a bit deformed. But I stress that, long distance and sight unseen, this is just a guess.

People have been loosening the mainspring tension screw for decades. This leads to all sorts of problems, but since the mainspring tension has no effect on position of the hammer block, so I don't think it caused what you have reported.

In any event, this revolver should be examined and, if necessary, repaired by a qualified S&W smith.

Quote:
Had a problem with a M-57...shooting single action, when cocking the hammer the cylinder would sometimes not rotate and lock as it should. I removed the side plate and lightly oiled the critical areas and never had teh problem again
Same caveat about distant diagnoses. I'm not sure what "as it should" means, but generally sluggishness in cylinder rotation is caused by either crud under the extractor star, a bent ejector rod, or a partially unscrewed ejector rod. Please note that some ejector rods are right hand threaded and some are left hand threaded; you have to know which applies to your revolver before trying to adjust the ejector rod seating.
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Old November 21, 2012, 12:58 PM   #18
Zhillsauditor
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I have disassembled almost every revolver I have owned, but only one completely (an Iver Johnson Supershot 8--by which I mean removing all the pins and the barrel). The only one I haven't is a colt SAA; I tried two other colts DA revolvers and had a major headache getting both back together, which has put me off colt DAs completely.

I normally polish the rebound slide on all my S&W DAs with a stone and then a light cotten cloth and mother's mag. Most everything else I leave alone, except the springs, which I routinely replace. The rebound spring is a pain unless you have a good specially made tool, which costs less than $20.

Ruger SAs seem to me much more difficult. Dan Wessons are easier, although the mainspring can be a bear (but you only have to remove it to change it). Never owned a ruger DA.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:07 PM   #19
codefour
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On certain S&W revolvers I shoot a lot, I will remove all the internals and put them in the ultrasonic cleaner. Dry them all with an air compressor that has a water seperator and lube em up.

I also install Wolfe Springs in all my revolvers. I use an India stone to hone the contact points especially the sear and trigger. Smooths them right out. Some people can not believe I do my own trigger jobs. They really are not that hard.

If you use an India stone or the like, be very careful. You are not removing metal just honing it very slightly.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:21 PM   #20
RKG
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Quote:
I normally polish the rebound slide on all my S&W DAs with a stone and then a light cotten cloth and mother's mag. Most everything else I leave alone, except the springs, which I routinely replace.
Polishing the sides the rebound slide is OK, as there is a limit to how much damage one can do -- though usually you will get more bang for your effort by polishing the frame and side plate raceways that bear on the sides of the rebound slide.

Polishing the bottom and, particularly, the top step of the rebound slide should be done with great care, as removal of metal here can alter critical dimensions and affect both function and safety.

There are really only two springs that might be replaced. Using a lighter mainspring in a K, L or N-Frame revolver can reduce DA trigger pull weight, but if over done can also lead to light strikes and, in N-Frames, to damage to some parts on guns that are used for fast double action shooting. Using a lighter rebound slide spring can reduce SA trigger pull, but if over done can lead to both function and safety issues.

I should have added to qualifications to my priors:

1) Armorer training does not make one a gunsmith. (The general distinction is that an armorer for a particular class of firearm is qualified to disassemble and reassemble it, observe parts that need to be replaced, and replace parts that do not require substantial hand fitting. A gunsmith is one who is qualified and equipped to make parts or alter the physical shape and dimensions of parts.) I am not a gunsmith.

2) All of my comments are based on pre-MIMS S&W DA revolvers. I have examined some "modern" revolvers, and observed some similarities and some differences, but I wouldn't touch one and do not consider myself to be even armorer qualified with one.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:21 PM   #21
rayway
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I fully dissemble and reassemble a revolver for cleaning every month or so even if its not fired sometimes I find certain areas having some crud in them but I mean its my preference, some people might not feel right doing it.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:26 PM   #22
Wallyl
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S & W long distant gunsmithing

Thank you RKG...I understand your position about this. Hard to find an expert to diagnose such things in my area and I know it would not come cheap. You know the drill, they have to take it apart and inspect, clean, & oil...takes a lot of time and they have to charge for it all. A good pal of mine that is high volume shooter is right--stick with Rugers, far less problems.

Sorry about my calling the hammer block a transfer bar...I am not up on all the names for the parts.

Whatever I did, did fix the problems on both guns (M-29 & 57) they work just fine now. Seems that proper lubrication was the answer in both cases.

With the Model 29...it was bizarre to cock the hammer and pull the trigger and have it "misfire" ie the firing pin was blocked and didn't make contact..but now it works again...
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:26 PM   #23
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I can do it, but I won't do it, unless something like total submergence happens. It is simply not necessary under normal use.

And yes, I am one of the "if it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT!!!!" bunch.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:33 PM   #24
RKG
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Quote:
You are not removing metal just honing it very slightly.
Literally, and by definition, "honing" is removing metal.

You may be qualified to do a stone job on an S&W trigger, but 95% of the people who do this aren't. I've been trained to do it (both free hand and with the jig) and I still decline. Why? Even the guys who assembled S&W revolvers and did trigger jobs at the factory would tell you that they rely on their access to a plastic bin full of hammers, triggers, and sears for when they got it wrong.

For the civilian revolver owner: bad juju.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:37 PM   #25
BigJimP
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Yes, I will periodically take my S&W revolvers apart...and will always do it on a gun that is new to me....

I educated myself on how to do it right ...Jerry Miculek's DVD and others ...there are some good books out there too - on how to do it right. Without that knowledge...you can make some mistakes...that you might regret !

I don't like the idea of flushing out my revolvers either .../ but at the same time overlubing them is a problem too.

( I have educated myself on how to fully strip all of my firearms...as part of my owning them ...because its what I like to do ....so for my 1911's, Sig Sauers, or my S&W revolvers...) its pretty easy to learn how to strip them all down to a bare frame - espeically these days with really good DVD's and the internet vs 40 yrs ago...where we had to sit with a knowledgeable person and learn....
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