View Full Version : Sticking Cylinder on S&W 66 Revolver.

May 20, 2012, 11:06 AM
I recently purchased a used S&W 66 revolver in 38 special. The gun is in great shape and shoots well for a short barrel revolver. However, one of the cylinders has an issue. When trying to eject the spent rounds, 5 of the cylinders virtually allow the spent rounds to drop out with gravity. The 6th cylinder sticks after the spent round has been ejected about 1/4" to 3/8". It sticks so bad that even the ejector rod has trouble getting it to budge. I had to push down the ejector rod on top of a shooting bench to get the round out of that cylinder.

Why would one cylinder behave this way? I cleaned it real well and that didn't seem to solve the problem. Should I risk using some sandpaper on a dowel to slightly enlarge the back portion of that cylinder's inside diameter?

Would it be a more intelligent decision to take it to a professional gunsmith and have him work on it?

Any inputs, suggestions or ideas, would be appreciated.

May 20, 2012, 11:17 AM
Flitz polish on a .38 caliber bore mop chucked into a drill and polish all the charge holes at low speed until nice and shiny.
This may resolve your problem.

May 20, 2012, 06:17 PM
That's how you ruin a good gun.

Unless you know EXACTLY what the problem is and the right method of correcting it, you're best to either take it to a qualified S&W gunsmith, or send it in to the factory.

May 27, 2012, 10:08 AM
I recently purchased a used S&W 66 revolver in 38 special. Uhhhh? A S&W 66 is the stainless steel version of the S&W M-19 (blue). Unless I have lost my mind (a possibility), they were chambered in .357 Magnum, not .38 Special.
Other than that, if you look through the offending chamber at a strong light, you should be able to see any evidence of fouling that would cause the case sticking problem. If the chamber is clean, it is not caused by fouling. In that event, put a straight edge along the cylinder over the offending chamber and observe if the chamber has been bulged by some over-zealous hand loader. If the chamber is bulged, you have a serious problem and will have to consult with the factory, or someone who can make/supply and fit a new cylinder. A bulged chamber may be the reason you found it in the "used" counter.

May 27, 2012, 11:38 AM
Inspect the mouth of the offending chamber under magnification. I'd be willing to bet you have a burr that is hanging up on the fired case. Since fired cases are slightly larger than unfired ones the problem usually is found only on extraction. Burrs can be very small so you'll need magnification. If you find one (they're not uncommon) a little gentle work with a needle file can work wonders. If you do, remove ONLY the protruding metal. I've seen two revolvers with this problem, a Colt Agent and a 696 Smith. After burr removal, both are still happily in service and function flawlessly.

May 30, 2012, 06:50 AM
When you find out what is causing the problem, please post it to this thread. I am sure that many of us are interested.

June 11, 2012, 09:29 AM
Sorry, it's been awhile since I've had the time to investigate the issue.

First of all, the gun I have is a 15-3, not a 66. My apologies for the error. This is the first S&W I've owned.

After looking with a magnifying glass and using a flashlight to check out the one chamber which was causing the problem, I was not able to see any burrs, fouling, or other issues which could have been causing the problem. I tried cleaning the chamber several times with Birchwood Casey gun scrubber, which didn't do the trick.

So, with some hesitancy, I pulled out all of my Dremel tools. Relax, I wasn't planning on using the rotary tool to "route" the cylinder. I did find that I had a very fine grit grinding wheel which just fit into the bad cylinder. I put some honing oil on the wheel and BY HAND, moved the wheel in and out of the cylinder, being as careful as I could to keep the grinding wheel parallel to the cylinder walls. I did not rotate it. I was also careful to stay only in the back side of the cylinder as that is where the cases began to stick upon extraction. After a couple of minutes of carefully using the grinding wheel, I tried inserting a fired case. It went in a little easier, but not as easy as the other chambers. I put more honing oil on the grinding wheel and continued. After about 10 minutes of work, I was able to insert a fired case into the bad chamber just as easily as the good chambers. I took the gun to the range, and it worked just fine. I realize I was taking a chance here and I probably wouldn't recommend this to anyone else.