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Thread: Brand new model 69 is harder to cock and DA cycle on one cylinder

  1. #1
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    Brand new model 69 is harder to cock and DA cycle on one cylinder

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    Just picked up a new model 69 from the post office. Got it home and noticed it's hard to cock on one cylinder and a bit harder to fire double action on that cylinder as well. Anyone else ever have this happen?

    Cheers,

    Chris

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    On one "cylinder"?
    I believe that you mean "chamber."

    If you mean "chamber," it may be caused by one of two possible problems:
    1. There is a bit of "end shake" (fore-and-aft play, or looseness) in the cylinder; and that particular chamber is cut a little diametrically oversize, which allows the cartridge to set back when it expands. The cylinder being loose on its arbor allows the set-back, fired case to jam against the pistol's recoil shield. The combination then causes extra friction, which makes cocking harder than it should be.
    2. That particular chamber is cut diametrically oversize, which causes the fired cartridge to over-expand. Even without "end shake," this acts in the same manner as the set-back cartridge noted in #1, above, and causes enough friction against the recoil shield to make cocking difficult.

    And then there's a third possibility:
    3. You may indeed mean "cylinder," the pistol is equipped with a spare, and one of the cylinders probably either has an "end-shake" problem or it's too long for its arbor. It rubs against the recoil shield, and the friction impedes operation. This might happen with, or even without, cartridges in it.

    In any case, this is warranty work. The manufacturer should be required to correct the problem, at no charge to you.
    denner likes this.

  3. #3
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    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    While I agree with Steve's prescription to send it back if the problem is what he described, there are a couple of smaller things I'd check first.

    Many revolvers are very tight when brand-new, and nowadays the factories aren't doing much in the way of hand-fitting the action parts. So, before I'd send it back, I'd:

    - Put some high-quality oil on the rear of the extractor, where the cylinder hand pokes out of the frame slot and pushes on the tiny nubs to rotate the cylinder. If you are only feeling the tightness on one chamber, and it happens whether you are hand-cocking the hammer or squeezing the trigger double-action, then it's probably a tight spot on one of these nubs or the notches between them. Adding some lube will help these tight parts wear-in and work together without gouging or galling the metal.

    - Open the cylinder, push on the extractor rod, and hold it in to expose the rear face of the cylinder and the underside of the extractor, then closely inspect these two areas for any chunks of fouling, unburned gunpowder, or small metal filings. Anything that prevents the extractor from fully seating back into the relief cut in the rear cylinder face can affect the action's "feel" by effectively making the cylinder "too long", which can cause binding during rotation. Often, this binding will be worse at one spot in the rotation, and make it more difficult to hand-cock or fire in DA mode when the cylinder reaches this spot. Sometimes, under extreme circumstances, this can force the cylinder forward in the frame during rotation, causing the front face of the cylinder to drag and bind on the rear of the barrel. If this is happening, it will leave obvious drag marks on the front face of the cylinder, so look for these if you think it may be happening.

    - Finally, shoot it a bit. Run at least 50 to 100 rounds (200 would be better) through it to help the parts seat and start working together. Really, you want everything to be pretty tight at the start, as it's just going to get looser over time as it gets battered during firing; personally, I'd rather have a good tightly-fitted revolver to start with than a loose-as-a-goose rattle-trap.

    If, after lubricating it, cleaning under the extractor and shooting a couple boxes of ammo through it, the situation hasn't noticeably improved, then I'd take Steve's advice and send it back for the factory folks to check out.
    denner and Steve M1911A1 like this.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  4. #4
    Senior Member denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksmasher View Post
    Just picked up a new model 69 from the post office.
    Generally, new S&W revolvers work like clockwork and S&W's quality control is second to none. AT least that's been my experience with them.

    Wouldn't hurt to call S&W
    Steve M1911A1 likes this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member denner's Avatar
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    BTW, here's someone on the forum who was having a like issue with his 638


    New S&W 638 very difficult to cock, is that normal?

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