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  1. #1
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    FAQ

    SIGHT IN FORMULA
    To determine the correct sight height to correct an elevation problem, multiply the sight radius, in decimals by the elevation error and then divide the results by the distance to the target, in inches.

    Sight radius 5 3/4" = 5.75
    Shooting 5 inches low
    Distance to target 25 feet or 300 inches

    5.75 X 5 divided 300 = .09583

    The front sight would have to be lowered .096 inch or the rear sight raised that amount (or a combination there of) to raise the point of impact.



    Sight radius 4" = 4
    Shooting 6 inches low
    Distance to target 25 yards or 900 inches

    4 X 6 divided 900 = .0266

    The front sight would have to be lowered .027 inch or the rear sight raised that amount (or a combination there of) to raise the point of impact.
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    Re: FAQ

    Internal Lock
    Lots of curiosity on this subject so I'll leave a few pictures for members that would like to see what it looks like.


    The first thing you do is remove the stocks and slide plate. When you lift the hammer off it's stud, you will see this cam or what some call the flag. The flag is the part on your gun which goes up or down to lock or unlock your revolver.

    As you turn your key, this twisting motion is the force which lifts the flag to lock your gun.
    Attached to the flag is a tiny wire spring. The other end of that spring is placed into a small notch in the frame. The spring is not pictured in these pictures. It's located on the back side of this view. This tiny spring is the power behind your flag dropping down, "unlocked."

    The way they assemble it at the factory, the lock goes in first, then the bolt and so on. The bolt is that black bar in the picture. The cam (painted red) basically rides inside the hammer. It's a very simple lock.

    My only intention is to educate members about the IL mechanism.

    Because of legal ramifications, I'm not recommending the IL be removed or modified.
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    Re: FAQ

    Production numbers for S&W and other makes

    Not counting 2006 or 2007 (figures not posted yet), 2000 thru 2005 S&W sold 768,736 revolvers


    new link below...

    http://www.atf.gov/statistics/
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    Re: FAQ

    Range rod to check barrel/cylinder alignment

    In case anyone would like to know how to inspect their revolvers using these inspection tools, here are the instructions:

    The use of a standard service diameter insert gauge also called a plug gauge and/or range rod to check barrel/cylinder alignment. Do this test automatically as a part of checkout on all accuracy problems, lead spitting complaints, and as a part of accurizing and tuning work. This is the basic test for misalignment of cylinder to barrel (or reverse). The usual small, built in variations in manufacturing variations in revolvers are compensated for the funneling affect of the forcing cone. Additional clearance undersizing of the gauge insert makes passing this test easy for the majority of production revolvers. A match diameter gauge (available in .38 caliber only) is also available.

    Make this test with the barrel pointed straight up. This allows the insert to automatically find center. To test alignment, cock the hammer back into firing position at each cylinder (on newer revolvers hold trigger down to the rear) and then slide the insert down through the barrel and cylinder junction while feeling for entry and travel resistance. With a correctly aligned yoke, straight ejector rod, center pin and a clean barrel, all revolvers should allow a standard service gauge insert to pass thru without resistance or drag. If entry into the cylinder is resistive in all or most chambers, and yet cylinder alignment checks, block the cylinder stop and retest with the cylinder block unlocked. If the results are the same, something is tweaked. The frame is the likely candidate. But if only one or two chambers show resistance, then there is a possibly of deformity or abnormality at the cylinder locking slot or at the ratchet.

    Use the larger 38 cal “match” gauge insert for the closer tolerances required in match or competition work. Standard 38 service gauge inserts measure in at nominal diameter of .345” while the match gauge runs around .3455”. When working with the larger diameter custom bull barrels designed for hollow base wad-cutters, you should use a slightly larger insert such as .350” or .3505” for precision work.

    It is a bit foolish in my opinion to consider using match diameter gauge insert in a production barrel, with the serious expectation that it will gauge at this diameter. Although, I have found that some production barrels will, particularly earlier K-38 revolvers.

    My personal range rods measure at the following:
    22 LR .2179”
    38/357 .3446” (standard rod)
    44 cal .4157”
    45 Cal .4417”
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    Re: FAQ

    Polishing stainless

    What I found to clean and polish my stainless guns is gray (medium) and finish up with white (very fine) scotch brite pads with a little gun oil to help move the metal. Brush the pads to the original "grain" and you won't need to use any polish at all. The guns will look much better than original. REMEMBER tape over any laser engravings or you will rub them away very easily.

    When working with Scotch brite pads always start with the finer grades to test the finishes applied.

    Don't use steel wool. it's messy and you run the risk of rubbing carbon into the surface which might rust the finish.

    If you don't want the brushed look, Mothers Mag polish is recommended by myself and others here on this forum. This polish applied will make your revolver's finish look like a professional machine buffed job in short order. I tried many polishing compounds and even tried lapping compound on the finish but Mothers is amazing stuff. Again, don't rub the laser markings!

    The glass beaded surfaces can be polished off so use care around top straps as well.

    Blue guns are not fixable and need to be sent back for a re-blue. Cold blue (over the counter products) will not match the S&W blue finish.
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    Re: FAQ

    Gun stocks or grips

    S&W tends to call them stocks. Most everyone else calls them grips. On early models, the guns serial number is placed inside the right grip panel.

    The best way to remove grips is to unscrew the screw a few turns and tap the head of the screw with the screwdriver handle to push the right grip panel off the frame. Prying the grips with a screwdriver should be avoided.

    Fancy grips of pearl, ivory, stag exotic wood, or other wood were available from S&W as well as aftermarket suppliers. Around 1893 factory grips had the S&W medallions inlaid into the grips, while aftermarket grips were plain with no medallions. Pearl and ivory grips may be found with checkering or relief carvings.

    Tip-up revolvers all carried smooth rosewood stocks.

    Top-break revolvers such as Schofield’s, Russians and the American carried standard smooth walnut grips.

    Hard rubber grips came into the seen around the late 1870s. Checkered wooden stocks were very common on the new model #3. The nickel baby Russian’s was made with hard rubber grips, while the blue Russians were given wood stocks. Most hard rubber grips had the logo at the top of the grip. There was a red rubber variation, which was only found on the revolving rifle. I have read that blue grips were reported seen on them as well.

    Early Hand Ejectors
    Grips were hard rubber in the beginning but were soon replaced with walnut. The large N frames began in walnut in 1907. Gold inlaid medallions made into walnut from 1910-1917. From 1917-1929 standard walnut grips had no medallions. From 1929 chrome or silver medallions were introduced.

    Magna (service grip) grips were now offered as an option on the .357 in 1935. Magna grips are made higher on the blackstrap, while leaving the front and rear strap of the frame exposed. These grips became the common style. In later years, they were considered the service grip.

    Grip adapters are metallic or rubber pieces that fit on the front strap of the grip frame. S&W as well as others made them. They were found on police revolvers mostly until Pachmayrs came into being.

    The diamond grips have a diamond of uncheckered wood around the grip screw and escutcheon. They were introduced as early as the 1880s and were standard into the 1960s.

    Coke bottle grips are diamond grips made in the 1950s and 1960s, which have a girlish or coke bottle appearance to them.

    Modern revolvers.
    Exotic woods such as Birdseye maple (1950s) or Rosewood until about 1978. Goncalo Alves from South America, replaced walnut around 1975 to become the standard for oversized target grips. These grips are standard on large framed revolvers. Large target grips were also offered in smooth (no checkering). Speedloader cutouts were common in the 1980s.
    Combat grips (with finger grooves) are common in both square and round butt conversions.

    Today, S&W no longer makes grips and it’s common to find rubber grips on all standard revolvers. The massive X frame, 460 and 500 Magnum revolvers uses the L frame round butt grip. Today round butt frames are our only option, so grips are found in a round butt or conversion grip style that simulates the old square butt feel, made in wood or rubber.


    500 rubber (X frame conversion grip), smooth combat (notice the speed loader cutouts), target, J frame service (or Magna) and smooth target grips new in package
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    Re: FAQ

    Barrel Length / Muzzle Velocity


    A little over 20 years ago the American Rifleman staff did a test using a 44 Magnum revolver equipped with a 18" barrel that was shortened in one inch increments. Five shots were fired at each barrel length, with each of the three brands of factory loads, Federal, Winchester and Remington, all using 240 gn bullets. The instrumental velocities shown are the averages obtained, after smoothing the data to remove the effects of random variations in velocity and thus to represent the incremental velocity changes more accurately.

    1" 742 FPS
    2" 935
    3" 1067
    4" 1165
    5" 1239
    6" 1298
    7" 1345
    8" 1384
    9" 1417
    10" 1445
    11" 1469
    12" 1490
    13" 1508
    14" 1525
    15" 1539
    16" 1552
    17" 1564
    18" 1575
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    Re: FAQ

    Side plate removed

    Here is a picture of a 686-3 L frame 357 mag under the hood. It gives the user an idea of what the action looks like. The hammer block has been removed for the picture.

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    Re: FAQ

    Removing Rear Blade

    To swap the rear blade:

    When changing the rear blade on S&W revolvers, turn the windage screw clockwise until the screw breaks. Then remove the nut by unscrewing if from the base. Use a plastic bag to catch the tiny spring and plunger that is located inside the screw head.

    Reinstall the parts and tighten the retaining nut fully then back it off ¼ turn. Use the stacking tool and crimp the nut. Job done!

    Tools look like this:


    Rebuild kit looks like this:

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    Re: FAQ

    Check Sing

    In a panic situation, the hand could skip by a ratchet, and the gun won’t fire.

    Press trigger back enough to clear the cylinder stop, then spin cylinder. Listen for the hand clicking on the ratchets.

    Press back and left = Left sing
    Press back and right = Right sing
    Press back straight = Neutral sing

    If your right handed you normally pull the trigger to the right.

    If no right sing: Bend hand over to right side of the window. To do this simply insert screwdriver underneath the hand and lift upward.

    If no left sing: You will have to remove hand and tap it with a hammer to bend the hand over to the left side of the window.

    The third way it could be out, where you can’t correct the right or left sing, the hand is twisted.

    Ideally, you want the gun to sing no matter how the trigger is pulled. New guns may not be adjusted proper, either. Check yours for fun...
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