View Full Version : Help with revolver

February 16, 2002, 02:42 PM
Borrowed a S&W 66 (.357) from a friend to decide if I want to buy it and after firing 8 rounds something has happened. The gun was bought in the 70's is in pristine condition (approx 50 rounds fired total in lifetime) it has no "- #" after the model number.

I was shooting .38 wadcutters. After I finished the last round and opened the cylinder and emptied the gun I then went to close the cylinder and it would not shut. Not only that but the cylinder release button is stuck in the forward (open position). The release button is capable of being moved rearword as normal, however it has slight spring tension on it. Now I can't get the cylinder to close all the way unless I push it somewhat firmly. I am afraid if I do this I will not be able to open it again and the release button will still be stuck in the forward position.

So now I am sitting here nervously looking at this revolver wondering what the heck I did wrong. Please help....thanks.

February 16, 2002, 03:12 PM
Cylinder release stays forward normally when cylinder is swung out.

Not closing sounds like a bit of powder or other crud under the ejector star. causing the star to interfere with the recoil plate.

Toothbrush under the ejector star should take care of the problem.

Ejecting spent brass with the muzzle down often gets crud under the star. Works better with muzzle up and eject briskly.

Good luck, don't think you hurt it.


James K
February 16, 2002, 05:58 PM
Without looking up the changeover date, it is possible that gun still has right hand threads on the extractor, and it has unscrewed itself. Look at the end of the extractor where it is knurled. If there is NOT a recessed band behind the knurling, try screwing the extractor back in. If it screws in and allows the cylinder to shut, take it down by unscrewing it again and put loc-tite on the threads. Then tighten it by clamping it in a soft jawed vise (copper jaws), inserting a couple of fired cases in the cylinder, and turning the cylinder.


February 16, 2002, 09:32 PM
Got me Jim. I forgot about the possibility of extractor rod unscrewing and becoming too long to latch.

Model 66s should all be left hand thread tho.

Side shot......9X19 empties make great star locks, the tapered case is big enough to really lock it solid, no wiggle in the star.


February 17, 2002, 10:58 AM
Thanks Jim and Sam.

I found a gunsmith still open and quickley took the gun to him. It turned out both the extractor rod needed to be tightened as well as the barrel trimmed. The smith stated the older M66 had a problem with the barrel stretching due to heat after a few hundred rounds to the point that you could not close the cylinder. He stated several Highway Patrol Divisions sent theirs back to S&W for same problem back in the 70's. He simply filed the barrel back into spec. and stated I should not have any more problems. 200 rounds later and not a hickup. Only charged $10 :)

Thanks again for the reply.

February 17, 2002, 02:29 PM
You found a neat gunsmith. Good show sir.

Ten bucks to get out of a jam......a bargain indeed.