View Full Version : Cylinder rotation issue???

April 19, 2008, 06:53 PM
I have a 20 year old S&W stainless shrouded hammer .38 spcl. Don't know the model #.

Problem is that the cylinder has never rotated very smothly. Not like it's dirty but rather like it's a bit concentric.

When firing single action you can feel the difference in effort required to work the action between the different chambers as the cylinder rotates. One of them feels a lot stiffer from the rest.

Shooting double action it's harder to discern a difference but it's still noticable.

So what I want to know is how to remove the cylinder from the yoke and if someone could give me some directions as to how I should clean/polish those areas to try to make this better?

James K
April 19, 2008, 07:53 PM
Removing the cylinder is easy. Just remove the front sideplate screw and ease the cylinder and yoke out to the front. But what you describe may be caused by something other than dirt. Examine the front of the cylinder for drag marks that could indicate an out of true cylinder, plus check for an arbor (cylinder pin) that is not perfectly aligned. Sometimes such problems come from the factory and at one time S&W quality control was not as good as it should have been.

Another possible cause is the gun being dropped, or if a police gun, used as a club, bending the cylinder arbor.

In any case, if cleaning doesn't fix the problem, I strongly suggest you send it to S&W. They might well fix it free, in spite of it being long out of warranty. I also strongly recommend you not try to fix the problem yourself or take it to the average gunsmith.


April 20, 2008, 06:50 AM
Mr. Keenan:

Did as you said. With the cylinder and yoke off the frame how do I remove the cylinder from the yoke so that I can clean the bearing surfaces in there too?

It is quite obvious, now having the assembley in my hand free from the frame, that the peoblem is in the area where the cylinder rotates around the shaft that is in the yoke. It is stiff in one area, almost seems concentric when I rotate it by hand.

I'll give it a very good cleaning and see if that helps.

April 20, 2008, 05:46 PM
Was cleaning it and happened to give it a good pull and the cylinder came right off.

Found some small lead shavings in there. Scraped them off and cleaned it up real good. A drop of gun oil and put it back together.

Works better than it ever did.

Thanks for the help in getting the yoke off.

James K
April 20, 2008, 07:28 PM
You are most welcome. Glad to have been of help and glad you found the problem.