View Full Version : S&W 57 problem

Byron Quick
August 9, 2001, 03:47 PM
I just acquired a S&W 57 with a 4"barrel. The revolver has a S prefix serial number indicating a date of manufacture in late 1968 or early 1969. It is in excellent condition and if the box and papers were with it, could arguably be described as NIB-unfired...until yesterday:D

But now for the problem. I bought a box of Atlanta Arms & Ammo 215 grain SWC and a box of Federal 210 grain JHP. When I fired the gun, I felt a sting on my left cheek. I examined the fired round- primer ok, no obvious deformation. I examined the revolver, no sign of lead on the forcing cone. So I fired some more and received some more stings on my left cheek. So I changed ammo and began to fire the Federal. Same result, some stings to left cheek area, nothing obvious on my face in the mirror. This doesn't occur with every round but it is certainly at least half of the rounds fired. Any ideas what is going on with this revolver? Oh, the Atlanta Arms stuff was a very light load compared to the Federal.

August 9, 2001, 08:05 PM
I'm no expert, but I would have checked for signs of lead-shaving, just as you did. I am wondering if your barrel/cylinder gap is excessive...should be around .003" to .008" if I recall correctly---meaning I am thinking that you are getting stung by powder.


James K
August 9, 2001, 08:31 PM
The nominal barrel-cylinder gap should be .006", but there is usually some variance.

Check the gap and also check the forcing cone (the back part of the barrel that protrudes into the cylinder area). If the hole is too small or not properly tapered, you can have the problem you reported. Fixing it is an easy job for any gunsmith with a reasonably inexpensive tool, or you can buy the tool yourself (www.brownells.com) if you see an obvious problem and think you can fix it yourself.


August 9, 2001, 08:54 PM
How much powder typically should be on the fired case? It appeared to me that about half the cases had quite a bit of carbon on them. (Then again, I've typically been an auto shooter, so I haven't looked at a lot of fired wheelgun cases.)

Since I wasn't there when the shooting was being done, I have no way of knowing if the cases that look really dirty are the same that were throwing the particulates...

James K
August 10, 2001, 11:41 AM
Again, I would look at the forcing cone. One too tight can raise pressure of which smoked cases can be a sign.