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Old April 21, 2013, 11:32 PM   #1
mike72712
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Jammed S&W500



I've had this 8 3/8 500 for about a week... Went to the range, unloading the truck, and the 500 slips out of its holster from about 2 1/2' off the ground. Lands square on the end of the barrel, then falls over and nicks the rear sight.

After dying a little bit inside, I dust it off -- there's no scratches on the barrel end, shockingly -- and went inside.

Get to my lane, the thing is completely jammed. The cylinder release won't budge, the hammer won't cock, and the trigger won't pull. Went home and tried the key to the stupid lock, and it still shows unlocked. Could the mechanism for the lock still have malfunctioned? Any other ideas on what might have happened?

I'm kind of surprised that a drop for that low of a height could take down a 500 -- it's got to withstand forces much greater than that when a .500 round fires...

Taking it to a gunsmith tomorrow, but was curious if anyone here had any ideas. I'm just glad it wasn't either my nickel or blued Model 19s, where the finish would have been damaged....
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Old April 22, 2013, 04:50 AM   #2
Sevens
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On all the "regular" Smith & Wesson revolvers...they can get locked up like a bank vault if anything gets jammed under the ejector star in the cylinder. The whole thing is a very precise fit and a little foreign material under there that keeps the ejector from sitting flush will make the whole thing bind in a mindblowing fashion.

This also happens when the ejector rod loosens.

The ejector on an X-frame is a totally different design than is typical on the normal S&W revolvers, but it too can come unwound.

See if there is any way you can carefully manipulate that ejector rod. It it's unscrewing itself it leaves no room to open/close or rotate that cylinder.

This may not be your issue, but it's the first thing I'd look for.
Quote:
After dying a little bit inside
It was kind of tough even just to read it, I can imagine your horror.
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Old April 22, 2013, 04:56 AM   #3
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Hmmmm.

It occurs to me that I've read that the X-frames have a totally different barrel design than what we've come to know from Smith & Wesson, too. I believe the barrel is a two-piece deal with a tube inside of a shroud, not unlike the old switch-barrel Dan Wesson revolvers...although the X-frame barrels were never designed to be manipulated by the end-user.

Being that you dropped this behemoth from 2.5 feet and it landed directly on the muzzle...I'm wondering if the barrel didn't get jacked inside it's shroud.

This may not be a gunsmith's project...this may be a Smith & Wesson project.

Chances are, they can make the revolver right again and even though it was your fault, I'll bet your end cost will be less than you'd spend on a gun smith.

You've piqued my interest, anyway. I do hope you follow up so we can find out what went wrong and how it was corrected.
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:01 AM   #4
Budda
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This is worse than the Blair Witch Project......
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Old April 22, 2013, 08:32 AM   #5
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike72712
The cylinder release won't budge
Any chance the cylinder release latch moved a smidge forward & stayed? It won't budge backwards? It might've been jarred forward just enough to block the rear of the hammer tang, but not enough to release the cylinder.

Another possibility is the momentum of that big heavy cylinder bent the crane. Can you see any daylight between the front of the cylinder and the rear of the barrel?
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:34 AM   #6
mike72712
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Thanks for the support, guys :-)

I'll have to check it when I get home from work -- not sure on if any light comes through the sides of the cylinder. The release will move forward a little bit, but not back at all.

I called S&W and got their address to ship it to/service procedure etc. Not looking forward to this experience...especially on a $1200 gun...
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Old April 22, 2013, 01:43 PM   #7
nanewt02
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I'd pop off the sideplate, my guess is that the bolt came unseated, towards the back of it, under the hammer there is a small spring detent, I've taken the gun apart before and it needs to be in there just right to function , this would explain why the cylinder release barely moves, I doubt the barrel aground assembly got Mangled up, considering it was designed to put less strain on the gun to begin with
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Old April 22, 2013, 01:44 PM   #8
nanewt02
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I just hope it's something simple
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Old April 22, 2013, 06:54 PM   #9
BoogieMan
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I wish I could help other than moral support. I have the 460xvr and in the 60 yds I have dumped down the tube its become my favorite handgun. I have had a similar problem to your description with my buddies 38spl S&W. In that case it was all do to the ejector coming loose. If you havent already tried that I think its worth it to try to tighten it (C-clock wise if my memory is correct) and just do a little general push pulls and manipulation of the controls until it opens or your frustrated.
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:09 PM   #10
mike72712
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I took it to the range and had the owner/gunsmith look at it, just out of curiosity. He thinks it's probably the ejector rod, but can't be sure w/o taking it apart.

Since I'm sending it to S&W tomorrow, I didn't want him to do that. I just hope it's not majorly damaged...still kind of upset/surprised/aggravated that this rhino of a gun is so fragile. It's not like I threw it out in the middle of the road to get run over.

However, on a side (non-revolver) note -- Beretta replaced my PX4 Storm .40 cal that was in for service the second time for the same issue. Have to like that customer service! Hope S&W is as good...
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Old April 22, 2013, 07:22 PM   #11
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike72712
still kind of upset/surprised/aggravated that this rhino of a gun is so fragile.
The DA revolver's reputation for über reliability is often over-rated, IMO: They're mechanical devices with lots of parts operating at close tolerance - revos may might be ammo-versatile, but lots of other stuff can go wrong.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old April 22, 2013, 10:18 PM   #12
nanewt02
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Damn good point
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Old May 11, 2013, 11:02 PM   #13
mike72712
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Just out of curiosity -- how long does S&W service usually take? Need to call them, but haven't heard anything back in what, 3 weeks?
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Old May 12, 2013, 10:24 AM   #14
Dragline45
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Quote:
The DA revolver's reputation for über reliability is often over-rated, IMO: They're mechanical devices with lots of parts operating at close tolerance - revos may might be ammo-versatile, but lots of other stuff can go wrong.
I agree with this. Out of all the guns I have owned the only gun that had to go back to the factory was my S&W model 60 which had the frame mounted hammer pin snap during firing completely locking up the gun and making it inoperable. Although, S&W fixed it for free and sent the entire gun back rebuilt with all new internals and even a new cylinder, this wasn't warranty either. In this same gun oddly enough on a separate occasion the hammer block snapped too, this is when they had a short stint using MIM hammer blocks which they no longer user. I also had an ejector rod come loose and lock up my old 686, easily fixed with some blue loc-tite but still a hassle since this happened in the middle of the woods on a camping trip. Thankfully my buddy who grew up in the area pointed me to a gunsmith who fixed it on the spot for me. Seeing as I didn't have a vise in the middle of the woods I wasn't going to try to fix it myself. My autos haven't given me a lick of problems.

Quote:
how long does S&W service usually take? Need to call them, but haven't heard anything back in what, 3 weeks?
It depends entirely on their current workload. Mine was at the factory and back on my doorstep in 3-4 weeks. Although if they are swamped which I imagine them along with every other gun factory is right now it could take a bit longer.
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:18 PM   #15
Lost Sheep
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Have you tried dropping it from 2.5' on the butt end?

Sorry to hear of your plight and I hope my attempt at humor did not offend you.

My shooting buddy has a 500 Smith and had the exact same symptoms, but from an entirely different cause (probably). Firing a Buffalo Bore round, the primer got pierced, blew hot gasses back through the firing pin channel and managed to break a small part in the action (among other damage).

The gun would not cycle or open the cylinder. Very little movement of the cylinder release either. We took the side plate off and saw the broken pieces and put is back together. We took it to a local S&W authorized gunsmith/repair center who sent it back to S&W. My friend had it back in a couple of weeks. No charge, but your case may be different.

My speculation is the shock of the impact might have broken something in the action.

Good luck,

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Old May 13, 2013, 10:28 PM   #16
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Damn good thing you didn't have it loaded at the time.....Otherwise it'd be a $1200 paperweight. How would you ship a loaded firearm back to S&W?

Similar dillema: I had a bolt that wouldn't open on a new Tikka after having a scope mounted at Cabela's. They wouldn't let me in the door to fix it because the bolt wouldn't open. I got lucky and was able to get it open after some serious reefing on the bolt handle once home. I found lock tite all over the bolt where it had leaked through the tapped mounting holes in the reciever. Not 100% sure what I'd have done if I hadn't gotten it open.

Took it back the next day and exchanged it for a Sako.

Good luck, hope it comes back quickly.
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Old May 14, 2013, 02:41 PM   #17
mike72712
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Well, I got it back yesterday, so what...about 3 weeks? No charge, which was nice.

They replaced the rear sight and "repaired barrel to their standards" whatever that means. I called them to see if they knew what went wrong, and of course, they didn't.

Hopefully it won't blow up in my face when I go to shoot it...
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Old May 14, 2013, 03:42 PM   #18
Webleymkv
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Sounds to me like the force of being dropped on the muzzle jammed the barrel back against the cylinder tightly enough to jam the action. This would make sense because the weight of your revolver (nearly 4 1/2 pounds) would make the force on the barrel from being dropped even greater than that of a smaller, lighter gun.
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Old May 15, 2013, 05:05 AM   #19
Sevens
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Follow us as we look in on Smith & Wesson repair techs on their lunch break, taking a few minutes to peruse internet discussion forums...

"Hey Bob, check this out, this is good stuff."
"What ya got, Joe?"
"This guy posting on TFL, 'Mike-somethin-somethin' Wise guy. He just got a gun back that we fixed, and he seems worried, hopes it 'doesn't blow up' when he tries to shoot it."

"Yeah, what's the gun?"

"That .500 we just had in here three days ago, remember it?"

"Oh yeah. Guy dropped his damn gun."

"That's the one."

"Maybe the guy shouldn't worry about the work we did quite so much... Maybe he should focus on his revolver... maybe NOT drop it? Then he wouldn't have to be concerned about the job we did fixing it for him..."

"Haha, yeah, well, thankless job and all..."
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Old May 15, 2013, 04:23 PM   #20
mike72712
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From one wise guy to another, I guess...

Obviously I don't really think it's going to blow up in my face. They build the things -- I'm sure they can fix them.

However, I didn't say anything any different to them, than I did here. IMO, a (theoretically) heavy-duty gun should be able to withstand a ~2' drop without it becoming potentially dangerously jammed (if it were loaded). Having to carry it like you would a carton of eggs, is to me a little absurd.

Obviously someone there agreed -- because they fixed the gun at no charge (which was the correct course of action, considering the $1200 retail). Would I have liked a detailed description of the repair? Yes. Was I surprised at the lack of one? Not really. Am I losing sleep over it? No.

Should you take up screenwriting? Um, no.
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Old May 15, 2013, 11:20 PM   #21
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I agree that it would be nice to know what went wrong and what was fixed. But the mere fact that they took the gun and got it fixed quickly and free of charge after something that was clearly not a result of "proper use" speaks volumes about S&W customer service. Thanks for sharing the end of the story! I am becoming more and more of a S&W fan.
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Old May 16, 2013, 05:07 AM   #22
Sevens
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Quote:
Should you take up screenwriting? Um, no.
Nicely played!
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