View Full Version : 686 diagnosis

October 17, 2006, 08:04 PM
Just bought a used 686. When dry firing w/ snap caps all seems to be functional. When I activate the cylinder release it opens easy, I close it and about 50% of the time the cylinder closes and it wont let me cock the hammer or pull the trigger. When it does this I noticed that the cylinder release fails to go all the way back to its normal rear position. It does it less if I close the cylinder forcibly. Any help is greatly appreciated.

James K
October 17, 2006, 08:20 PM
I can't be sure without seeing the gun, but I suspect the crane is bent, so the end of the center pin is not dropping into the hole in the frame. If that doesn't occur, the latch won't go back and will lock the hammer. (A safety feature to prevent firing if the cylinder is not fully locked into position.)

That may be a fairly easy fix, but it is one that is easy to mess up and make things worse. I recommend taking the gun back where you bought it and getting a refund. If that is not possible, then the best thing to do would be to call S&W and see what they say. If it is only the crane, a good gunsmith may be able to fix it; but the frame could be bent, which is not something most gunsmiths can deal with.

We used to see that quite a bit when cops weren't as PC and hit bad guys with their guns. Some of those guys had heads harder than gun steel, so the gun got the worst of it.


October 17, 2006, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to try to get a definitive diagnosis,and fix it or have it fixed, because I got a great deal on her. If I had to spend $300 in gunsmith fees, I would still come out ahead.

If anyone else has any input on other possible problems/ fixes it is most welcome.

November 7, 2006, 01:36 PM
Some simple things to check:

1. Check to see if the ejector rod is unscrewed, causing it to not latch properly.

2. Open the revolver push in the ejector rod and use a tooth brush to clean any debris out from behind the extractor star.

3. Check the crane and that part of the frame to see if there's any debris there preventing the crane from seating against the frame.

4. Check to see if there's a tight joint where the crane meets the frame. If it's open or appears twisted, the crane is bent. It can be straightened by a pistolsmith with the proper tool.