View Full Version : Dan Wesson 357 Maximum

February 29, 2008, 12:33 PM
:) Hello all, I'm new to this forum today and have a Q for anyone with DW knowledge. My DW 40VBS ; the cylinder latch will not hold the cylinder in place if I push on it from the right side. It has never flew open after firing and once I discovered this problem I stopped enjoying it "flair" 'cuz I don't want it to hurt me. Can you suggest a smithy or should I send it back to DW. I have called them and the man was very polite and suggested I send it in. Is DW the way to go? I will wait on your accuired knowledge to guide me. Thanks in advance, BeeGee

February 29, 2008, 12:56 PM
Returning a firearm to the factory for repairs is usually a very good idea, especially when you are experiencing safety issues.

March 1, 2008, 04:02 PM
scorch, Thanks for the advice. Since there are no other coments I shall do just that BeeGee:):)

Peter M. Eick
March 2, 2008, 08:58 AM
The latch mechanism is pretty simple on a DW. Have you checked that it is clean and that the latch works correctly?

Can you push it open if they latch is pushed up and held? If so then I would guess that the latch is cut wrong and sending it in is a good idea.

March 2, 2008, 12:07 PM
Peter, I tried as you suggested and the latch seems to hold if I push up on it. The latch and it's groove on the frame are clean and void of any dirt or grime. The latch spring seems strong enough to me. Can the latch itself become worn down from use. I purchased this used but not in any way abused. I have put maybe 80-100 rounds through her and I don't think the original owner did as many. Dealers have told me it is in 98% condition. I really love this gun and want to keep it. Thanks Peter for your response.

Peter M. Eick
March 2, 2008, 08:35 PM
I have not heard of your problem before so I am guessing here. I have had as many as 6 DW's from the Monson era in my collection so I have a bit of experience.

What I would do next is look at the geometry of the problem very carefully. the latch is held in to the frame so it is not supposed to be able to be forced out of alignment when you push it.

So, with an empty gun, actually thinking about it, I would even pull the barrel off since it is just more in the way, look carefully at the latch while you force it open. How does it move?

Mine is caught pretty tight and I just don't see how it would force out easily.

Once you see how it is forced out, then determine if the frame or the latch is the problem. Look carefully at both and puzzle out the geometry. If it is the latch alone, then you could just buy a new one from DW and have a local smith or yourself fit it. If it is the frame, then send it back to DW.

They are good folks and DW makes good guns. My personal favorite is my 722:


Here is 50 shots at 15 yards offhand from it. Great gun and built like a tank!

Let us know what you find. I will check in tomorrow after work.

March 3, 2008, 09:00 AM
Peter, Thanks so much for the reply. I too have to go to work but will look over the "geometry" this afternoon when I get home. Again thanks BeeGee:)

Peter M. Eick
March 3, 2008, 08:13 PM
I am checking in early tonight. I will check back tomorrow. Let us know what you figured out on the geometry of the problem.

March 3, 2008, 10:30 PM
Peter, sorry I was workin' late today and couldn't get back till now. At your suggestion I inspected the frame and there is a slight wearing ,only of the bluing, on the slot where the latch slides into. I then removed the small allen screw to release the latch and inspected that. It seems to be worn slightly, to the point where, unless I push up on it as I push in on the rt side of the cylinder, it won't hold. Maybe I should try to get a new latch and spring for it and install it to see if that solves the problem. That would be less of a cost than sending it in. If that doesn't do it then I send it in. What are your thoughts up to now. Peter, though I tinker w/ my firearms with some success I am far from " Knowledgable" if you know what I mean. Thanks again, and I'll wait for replies from you and whomever else has input. BeeGee PS: Thats a nice DW 722 you have there. I may put up some pics of mine if I can figure out how. Computerstupiditis ya know. BG

Peter M. Eick
March 5, 2008, 06:12 PM
Call DW and explain what you see and the issue. I would guess it is the latch or more I hope it would be because that would be a user replaceable item. It sounds like it is mis-cut a bit so it does not engage the frame well. Either way, DW is the choice now for information since it is not obvious that one is wrong.

March 5, 2008, 06:29 PM
:):):)Peter, Thanks for you time and advice. I will call DW in the am and try a new latch first. If that doesn't do it I'll send it in. Keep 'em in the 10 ring and hope to converse w/ you again sometime. BeeGee END THREAD