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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought this piece a year or so ago, so I have no knowledge of its care and feeding prior to my acquisition. Two chambers have very hard extraction issues. I put some 0000 steel wool on a brass brush and , by hand, tried to polish the two offending chambers. I was able to improve one, but the other didn’t get any better at all. Loaded all six chambers, fired them, cased the piece and headed to my gunsmith. One fired case miked out as oval shaped! I don’t remember the numbers, but the offending case was .008 out of round. No wonder it was tough to extract. Anybody ever run into this? Any ideas about what I can do? I suppose I could replace the cylinder, but my guy is good for “ normal” work, but doesn’t want to try to install a new cylinder, set timing, etc. Just doesn’t have the experience on revolvers, and doesn’t want to do a poor job. I respect him for that. For now, I have a 4” barreled 5 shooter. Hank
471860
 

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Don't have any easy or inexpensive guesses (cylinder replacement, cut the offending one and sleeve?), but I feel your pain. Looks like a really nice model 15 otherwise. I would be tempted to just try to live with a 5 shot revolver.
 

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I would at least ask S&W if they can do anything.
 

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I don't understand why an oval chamber would cause extraction issues. Tapered I could understand. You could try a chamber finishing reamer on all the charge holes before replacing any parts. I see a lot of Model 15 cylinders on ebay. You may get lucky and buy one that drops right in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mac, I may just live with it. It’s not a carry piece. I marked the bad chamber with some fingernail polish. Series guy, I wasn’t clear. The cartridge case is flared towards the mouth, back to normal dimensions as you measure down towards the rim. Hank
 

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What is the diameter of the throat? If it's round and close to spec, the situation you describe could not have been made by a bad reamer during manufacture. It would have to be made by an overload that stretched the cylinder beyond yield strength but not enough to burst it.

I wouldn't know why S&W couldn't work on it if they still make K-frame .38's. If they refuse to work on it, that's another matter.
 

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I had a model 29 that had an oval cylinder hole. It would take a small mallet to knock out the spent cartridge. My solution was to put an empty cartridge in it so I couldn't put any live ammo in the hole. I cut couple of notches in the casing so I knew which one it was. I had to jam in the hole. The other 5 are perfect and eject as they should.
Eventually I swapped out the cylinder with another one that was perfect. I still have the old cylinder with the empty casing jammed in it. I sold the gun to a friend for an excellent price (for him), and I can only guess that he eventually sold it as well.
 

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Cylinder replacement may not be as difficult as you anticipate. I've never done it, but I'm also not sure how much hand fitting may be required. If you get serious about possibly doing it, I'll get out Jerry Kuhnhausen's shop manual and have a look at what he says.

These people are selling kits of used parts from deactivated revolvers with cut apart frames and this would include complete crane and cylinder assemblies:


They are pricey... but may be less than having someone replace the cylinder.

Remember that the engineering level of the revolver may make a difference. If from 1952, this revolver would not benefit from a "dash" level marking or the model numbering. That started in 1957.
 
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I'm the sort who could not live with a 15 that wasn't quite right.. That's just me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Marc- I have a copy of Kuhnhausan’s book. Been researching my problem and possible solutions. Thanks for the info. Jerry- I’m kinda like that, too. Want it to be right. Funds are stretched right now , so I’m looking at alternatives. Another member here has offered my a 15-3 cylinder. I have a couple of cylinder/crane assemblies, but it’s been long enough back that I don’t recall exactly what they fit. Looking at part numbers, it may be that the same cylinder fits Model 10, 14,15? I’ll do some more research this weekend. Thanks to all you fine gentlemen for the help!! Hank
 
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