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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi y'all. I have a Model 66 on layway at a local pawnshop, and I thought I'd ask a couple questions before I plunk down the rest of the cash.

This isn't my first revolver (though it will be my first Smith), so I knew to check cylinder lockup and endshake, and those seem fine. I didn't have a feeler gauge with me, but there was just the smallest sliver of light visible between the front of the cylinder and the forcing cone, and the cylinder only moved maybe a millimeter laterally when the hammer was back.

It does seem to have a lot of sideways wiggle, though, which I don't know if I should be concerned about. My wheelgun experience is all with Rugers, which lock up at the crane/yoke, not the front of the ejector. There is no straight side-to-side play to the cylinder, ie the bolt locks up fine, but there is some rotational sideways wiggle where the ejector rod can be pushed away from the barrel shroud. It's more of a twisting motion, like it's all locked up at the rear, but the front catch isn't holding it in place.

So my question is thus: is this something to worry about? It seems like the front latch is either worn or has a spring that's gasping its last. Coming from the Ruger world, I have no experience with an ejector-rod latch, so I come to you for wisdom. :)
 

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okto,

Welcome!

With the gun in battery (cock the hammer, pull the trigger, lower the hammer, but keep the trigger pulled back) the cylinder on a S&W should have maybe a couple of degrees of rotation to allow the cylinder/forcing cone to work together to line-up the bullet, when the gun is fired.

If it feels sloppy, with more rotational play than described, you may have to treat it for DCU (timing) which, because it could involve several different parts "ballet-dancing" together "just-so", I would leave to a trained gunsmith. I'ts not a deal breaker, but the cost of 'smithing should be factored into the final price you pay for the gun.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about rotation around the cylinder axis. It's yaw of the cylinder assembly, like the ejector can be made to pop out as if you were swinging the cylinder out by pushing sideways on the front of the cylinder. The ejector end of things doesn't seem to be locking up.
 

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Kinda trying to get the gist, here. Do you mean the cylinder will not lock into the frame?

Ensure the ejector rod is tight, it will be lefty-tighty, righty-loosey. Ensure there is no grunge under the ejector star.

If there is a great buildup of powder residue on the cylinder face, it might make the cylinder lodgey to "click" into lock-up in the frame.

The forward-most screw on the right side of the frame is location specific, and holds the crane in the frame. It may have been switched with one of the other two screws, if someone had it apart and was ignorant of their location being critical.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The cylinder locks into the frame fine, it just seems like the front latch isn't doing anything to keep it from opening again. The piece is clean (minus burn rings on the front face of the cylinder), no cruft under the star.
 

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okto,

If you cannot pop it open without pushing the thumbpiece, it's fine. The front detent bears on the ejector and keeps positive pressure on the bolt that the back/center of the cylinder engages.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, great. I definitely couldn't pop the cylinder open without pushing the thumbpiece.
Seems kinda loosey-goosey compared to the tight lockup of my GP100, though. Can a stronger front latch spring be installed?
 

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welcome01 to the forums from the Wiregrass! I suppose you could replace the spring. But, I have some ~100 year old guns that still work just fine with the original spring.
 

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A little wiggle is OK. But you don't want any jiggle.

And any hint of giggle is straight out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm a big fan of a round butt with a little wiggle. ;P

Well, I brought her home yesterday, and as far as I can tell, either there WAS some cruft keeping the yoke (that's the S&W term, not crane?) from closing all the way into the frame, or I in my newbie ignorance closed it too gently and didn't cause the front latch to engage, because she locks up crisp and tight every time! Turns out it is in fact a late no-dash that has the orange insert front ramp, black rear sight assembly, and the modified cylinder mandrel (the part of the yoke that the cylinder spins on?) indicated, I am told, by the S stamped on the inside of the yoke and the R stamped on the rear face of the cylinder. I also see some very thin machining cuts on the mandrel near the muzzle end, which I assume is the modification itself.

Very happy with my first Smith! Haven't gotten a chance to shoot her yet, but her lockwork all seems in order and once I cleaned the crud out of the barrel (the previous owner wasn't big on cleaning >_<), the barrel is like a mirror. Leading edge of the rifling is worn down a bit, but no nicks.

(I have to know , though, are those the proper terms? Yoke and mandrel?)


 

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Mandrel fits, I think, technically, but "yoke" and/or "crane", generally used interchangeably by us know-no-better common folk, will get your idea across. Ejector will adequately convey your meaning regarding the shaft "mandrel", about which, the cylinder rotates.

Nice model 66, we await your range report!

Mike
 
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