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Old August 20, 2010, 09:28 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
Word of warning... "I think" I learned something last night... old S&W

I finished up my custom holster for my S&W 1 1/2 snubbie last night, so I decieded to clean it up, got a little Flitz out etc...

next thing, I knew, I had the cylinder out, & the hinge / extractor locked up, after I closed the frame up...

1st off... be carefull the flat spring in extractor mechanism is tiny, no bigger than a drill shaving ( BTW I dropped mine out "twice" on an unfinished concrete floor, at my work bench, that had drill shavings on the floor )... a cow magnet & some time on my hands & knees, & I did find it...

what I think happened, is that if the action is closed, with the cylinder out, the arm of the extract mechanism must bind with the frame, with the cylinder removed ( if anyone is more familiar with these, & can confirm this, that would be great )

... as I sat at my bench last night, with the gun locked up, I was totally distraught... I though surely I had either wrecked it, or it had broken... I ended up pulling the extractor mechanism out of a similar S&W, & the gun functioned fine... I breathed a big sigh of relief...

next issue after I found the tiny spring, was to be able to get it back together again... 8-10 trys later & it was back together & worked fine... my local machinist buddy is the one that suggested that it may have been caused by closing the action with the cylinder out...

just thought I'd solicite your opinions, & offer up the warnings through my story, if it can help anyone else...
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
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Old August 20, 2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Join Date: February 24, 2009
Location: Arizona
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Well that sounds like it was pretty stressful! Sorry to hear and thanks for the warning.

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Old August 20, 2010, 05:21 PM   #3
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
Hi, MWM,

I don't know if the others know what you are talking about, but I do. It is the tiny curved spring that provides tension to the extractor cam catch. It is one of the tiniest springs I have ever seen and one of the easiest to lose.

One tip, possibly too late: the easiest way to install that spring is to put the cam catch in place first, then insert one end of the spring in the little slot, then push the other end up and in. (The spring goes with the ends of the "U" down into the slot in the cam catch with the hump riding on the cam.)

Anyway, glad you found the little thing. FWIW, S&W sold those cams as an assembly, complete with spring. I think they were trying to tell us something about not taking the thing apart. I don't think the cylinder being out was the problem; as soon as you take the pivot pin out, that cam can fall out. It is a good idea not to let it do so and not to remove it unless you have to.

Jim K

Last edited by James K; August 20, 2010 at 05:33 PM.
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