View Full Version : s&w model 37 timing issue?

March 26, 2012, 09:03 AM
Hey guys, I have what I believe to be a model 37 (Airweight version of model 36) That I have a timing question on.

I inherited it from my grandfather and have now put about 400-500 rounds through (standard pressure not +p) and it has worked well. Lockup is tight and cylinder spins smooth.

I have noticed recent while cleaning the gun that if you manually cock the hammer or pull the trigger EXTREMELY slowly that it will stop rotating before lockup. By such a small amount that you can barely even tell but if you go to rotate the cylinder by hand there is a definitive "click" as it drops into lock.

If you operate the hammer or trigger at a normal speed this doesn't happen. and of all the rounds I've fired I've never had any problems.

Is this a problem? If so who can/will fix it? About how much might it cost me?

p.s. Frame is aluminum and cylinder is steel I believe.

March 26, 2012, 09:38 AM
most likely you have a 637 if it has an external hammer. The model number will be inside the crane when you open the cylinder. What has happened is either the hand or the ratchet gear itself has been worn. Sometimes the hand will get deformed on the end that contacts the ratchet when maybe the cylinder jams and someone tries to force it to go on either with the trigger or the hammer, or something of that nature. Sometimes it is just a thing that happens after many rotations of the cylinder. It really has little to do with rounds being fired, and more to do with the amount of times the cylinder has been rotated and the force applied to do so.

I would contact S&W as they have the best customer service one could ask for and I rest assured you will be taken care off.

You will most likely have to send it back to them.

March 26, 2012, 09:46 AM
Thats probably what happened, as after going through about 200 dirty rounds it got to a point where the cylinder didn't want to rotate anymore. I stopped firing it after 3-4 hangups but I bet thats all it took.

I know s&w is good to their cutomers but this is a very old gun. Is this the kind of thing they would take care of free of charge (besides shipping obviously) or would I be responsible for parts and whatnot?

I don't want to sound like a cheapskate but money has been a little tight as of recent weeks.. I would hate to call them and then tell them ok well I'll send it out in a few weeks ya know?

March 26, 2012, 10:02 AM
well... you really need to contact them personally to find out for sure, but here is my experience with s&w's service.

I lost a grip pin out of my 3913, a gun that has been out of production for a while. I called them to BUY a new one, they wouldn't let me. They told me they would send it to me free of charge, no shipping charge or anything. I again tried to buy it telling them it was my fault for losing the piece. They still would not let me. I then, while still on the phone with the rep, told them that I would like to go ahead and purchase a new recoil spring for the gun while I had them on the phone. I was informed that they did not have any and it would have to be back ordered. I told them not to worry about it I would just call back later and see if they had it then. About 3 days later, my grip pin showed up in the mail. I then left town for a few weeks, only to come home to another package containing a new recoil spring, also completely free of charge. That is great customer service in my opinion.

Just call them, I won't swear to it, but I would guess they will send you a postage paid package to send it back in.

March 26, 2012, 10:04 AM
most likely you have a 637 if it has an external hammer.

A 37 doesn't have an external hammer? My 37 does, maybe I should send it back too.:rolleyes:

March 26, 2012, 10:11 AM
A 37 doesn't have an external hammer? My 37 does, maybe I should send it back too.

Yeah, I was thinking still in production firearms for some reason. It very well could be a blued 37. Get off me, I have had too much coffee and am doing the mid day jitters. lol

March 26, 2012, 07:42 PM
Does the cylinder lock up properly when the trigger is pulled and the hammer drops?
(Try it unloaded, of course).
Check it when the trigger is still back after the hammer falls.

March 26, 2012, 08:22 PM
Yes, but only if the trigger is pulled at an average/fast pace.

If pulled at a very slow rate then it will not go into full lockup.

also, to provide more into on the pistol the only number inside the crane is 32443. it says that on both the frame side and swing out side of the crane.

the serial is 1066xx on the bottom of the grip frame

March 26, 2012, 08:35 PM
The serial number dates it to 1956. It would be a Chiefs Special Airweight, which became the model 37 when S&W began stamping model numbers around 1957.

The guns hand is likely worn. It's an easy fix for an experienced gunsmith.
It's unlikely S&W will give you free shipping or a free fix for a 50+ year old gun.

As long as you don't shoot it by very slow cocking it, it will not be an issue as it more than likely locks up fine with a normal trigger pull.


March 26, 2012, 09:04 PM
Appreciate the info Jim!, I had no idea it was that old. I pictured it to be lateish 70's or so when my grandfather became chief of police.. Thats when ym grandmom said he bought it but seems like he found it in a used counter somewhere.

I'll have to take a spin by the local gunsmith next time I'm up that way (over an hour away unfortunatly) but for now I'll just shoot it and not let anyone else fire it. I could see it not locking up when one of my friend decides to really their time becuase they can't hit anything lol.

I would never sell it but I am curious about its value if you have a rough idea?
I would say 80-85% finish left. just some holster wear on the top of the frame and one tiny rust spot that was on the cylinder that I cleaned up with some solvent.

4V50 Gary
March 26, 2012, 10:33 PM
Scrub the extractor thoroughly. Also wipe down the hand and clean the hand's window with a toothbrush. Test the action and get back to us.

March 26, 2012, 10:39 PM
10-4 tomorrow after work ill try that. should be clean as i went through it really well and cleaned it after it had that jamming issue but it couldnt hurt to do it again