Smith And Wesson Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, so bear with me as my knowledge with revolvers is very limited.
I bought my Model 19 two months ago. Noticed right away that the thumbpiece was quite loose. Everything works perfectly, not any functional issues whatsoever. Cylinder turns and rotates smoothly, opens perfectly. Dry firing it also, smooth single and double action. There is nothing that I can see that is wrong with it, less the loose Thumbpiece.

So, I go out my trusty thumbnail and gave the Thumbpiece screw a few turns and now I do have issues. Not able to pull the trigger, nor will the cylinder rotate, that's a given though.

I again, using my thumbnail only, loosened the Thumbpiece and now it is back to normal. This to me just does not seem how it should be. Obviously German torque with my thumbnail is a no-go. Is there a spec for this or am I missing or not understanding another issue I might potentially have? Just seems so weird that using one's fingernail would cause such an issue.

I would greatly appreciate any advice all.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,161 Posts
The thumb piece nut should be tight, screwdriver tight. There is a boss on the back of it that tightens against the bolt and runs in a slot in the frame. This part has had some changes through the years and a previous owner could have lost or just replaced this part with one from a different year/engineering change. I would remove the thumb piece and investigate.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Not how it should be, no. Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago.

There should be a visible gap between the thumbpiece and the frame when the screw is tightened. Just enough to slide the edge of your German screwdriver (pinkie fingernail) under the trailing end of the thumbpiece. Looking down from the top of the frame, the gap should be visible if you look close (Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago)

The body of the thumbpiece does not touch the frame. There are two little nubs (I am a bit terminology challenged) on the under side of the thumb latch. Since it is loose you can remove it and see what it looks like on the bottom.

Electric blue Fashion accessory Metal Auto part Composite material


Those nubs tighten down against the bolt/the cylinder catch which are one piece. The thumbpiece is on the outside of the frame, the bolt is inside. When the screw is tightened, they move together as one unit. The nubs provide the proper spacing relative to the frame. Someone might have filed the nubs trying to fit a new latch, or used the wrong part.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
If the thumb latch is even a tiny bit forward of its latched position, it slides the bolt far enough forward to prevent the hammer from moving back. That in turn doesn't allow the cylinder stop to move, which keeps the cylinder from rotating. When you tightened the screw, were you by chance pushing the thumb latch forward at all?

Those "nubs" on the underside of the thumb latch ride in a slot on the frame. It is conceivably possible to tighten the screw some with the nub not seated in the slot, which would cause the bolt to bind, which would cause your issue.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not how it should be, no. Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago.

There should be a visible gap between the thumbpiece and the frame when the screw is tightened. Just enough to slide the edge of your German screwdriver (pinkie fingernail) under the trailing end of the thumbpiece. Looking down from the top of the frame, the gap should be visible if you look close (Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago)

The body of the thumbpiece does not touch the frame. There are two little nubs (I am a bit terminology challenged) on the under side of the thumb latch. Since it is loose you can remove it and see what it looks like on the bottom.

View attachment 588837

Those nubs tighten down against the bolt/the cylinder catch which are one piece. The thumbpiece is on the outside of the frame, the bolt is inside. When the screw is tightened, they move together as one unit. The nubs provide the proper spacing relative to the frame. Someone might have filed the nubs trying to fit a new latch, or used the wrong part.
Did exactly that and when very lightly snugged down, firearm is non-functional. As if something is binding up inside. There is just no way that the thumbpiece would be this lose for it to function, wobbling around like it's about the fall off. I also checked it against my Model 29, which is snug and functions perfectly. What I need now is the correct screwdriver so I can open it up and see what's going on. The photos shown below indicates significant chafing to the lower portion of the thumbpiece and L/H lower frame cutout for thumbpiece.

Wood Flooring Hardwood Wood stain Button

Wood Input device Gadget Hardwood Tints and shades

Brown Wood Hardwood Font Tints and shades

Wood Amber Hardwood Jewellery Flooring

Brown Amber Wood Flooring Hardwood

Wood Rim Material property Bicycle part Font
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the thumb latch is even a tiny bit forward of its latched position, it slides the bolt far enough forward to prevent the hammer from moving back. That in turn doesn't allow the cylinder stop to move, which keeps the cylinder from rotating. When you tightened the screw, were you by chance pushing the thumb latch forward at all?

Those "nubs" on the underside of the thumb latch ride in a slot on the frame. It is conceivably possible to tighten the screw some with the nub not seated in the slot, which would cause the bolt to bind, which would cause your issue.
Neg, did not do that sir.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not how it should be, no. Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago.

There should be a visible gap between the thumbpiece and the frame when the screw is tightened. Just enough to slide the edge of your German screwdriver (pinkie fingernail) under the trailing end of the thumbpiece. Looking down from the top of the frame, the gap should be visible if you look close (Compare to the other gun you posted a few days ago)

The body of the thumbpiece does not touch the frame. There are two little nubs (I am a bit terminology challenged) on the under side of the thumb latch. Since it is loose you can remove it and see what it looks like on the bottom.

View attachment 588837

Those nubs tighten down against the bolt/the cylinder catch which are one piece. The thumbpiece is on the outside of the frame, the bolt is inside. When the screw is tightened, they move together as one unit. The nubs provide the proper spacing relative to the frame. Someone might have filed the nubs trying to fit a new latch, or used the wrong part.

So, it seems I have a fitting issue or incorrect install with my thumbpiece and bolt/cylinder catch? Also, my thumbpiece looks different than the one posted and also the one in the parts list in Numrich's.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
So, it seems I have a fitting issue or incorrect install with my thumbpiece and bolt/cylinder catch? Also, my thumbpiece looks different than the one posted and also the one in the parts list in Numrich's.
I forgot some thumblatches look like that on the bottom. I took one off a Model 15-5 I have sitting on the bench, and it looks the same as yours. I suppose IF the bottom part is not completely flat, and IF the thumblatch is not completely level to the frame, AND if tightening it down pushes it against the frame with enough force... a lot of ifs. Or the bolt is not completely straight (the part inside the frame).

Maybe one of the experts will have an idea.

I would try swapping the latches with your other revolver, or just order a new latch and nut. They are not expensive. I would not leave the gun with a loose nut and latch.

There is a thread here somewhere about screwdrivers, btw. Some options from Brownells. There are better and more professional sets. Nice to have to avoid damaging screws.

 

· Registered
Joined
·
595 Posts
So, it seems I have a fitting issue or incorrect install with my thumbpiece and bolt/cylinder catch? Also, my thumbpiece looks different than the one posted and also the one in the parts list in Numrich's.
I'm wondering if the thumb latch is loose because the previous owner had the same issue you're having, and loosened the latch so the gun would function. This reminded me of an issue I had with a M48-4 I own. The bolt was tight in its slot and would bind, causing similar issues to yours. The thumb latch was tight, but loosening it did not improve things. I ended up taking the side plate off, which immediately improved the function of the bolt. I removed the bolt and stoned the face that fits against the frame inside the slot it rides in. This effectively "thinned" it, giving a few thousandths more clearance of the bolt in its slot and with the side plate replaced and snugged into position, the bolt still moved freely. I wonder if your bolt, or the slot in which it slides, is out of spec. Either that, or the thumb latch is out of spec, the portion that rides in the frame groove is too wide. Clearly something isn't fitting correctly.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
I have been doing a little maintenance in the last couple weeks. I checked, and only one of five revolvers I have out has light scuff marks visible under the thumb piece. I intentionally loosened and tightened the thumbpiece nut on the one that seemed to be making contact with the frame. The latch still released the cylinder. Trigger and hammer still functioned correctly.
The thumbpiece and bolt do not move while dry firing. Only when the cylinder is being released, or closed. I think it would take a lot of friction to make it stick far enough forward to prevent the hammer & trigger from moving... :eek:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm wondering if the thumb latch is loose because the previous owner had the same issue you're having, and loosened the latch so the gun would function. This reminded me of an issue I had with a M48-4 I own. The bolt was tight in its slot and would bind, causing similar issues to yours. The thumb latch was tight, but loosening it did not improve things. I ended up taking the side plate off, which immediately improved the function of the bolt. I removed the bolt and stoned the face that fits against the frame inside the slot it rides in. This effectively "thinned" it, giving a few thousandths more clearance of the bolt in its slot and with the side plate replaced and snugged into position, the bolt still moved freely. I wonder if your bolt, or the slot in which it slides, is out of spec. Either that, or the thumb latch is out of spec, the portion that rides in the frame groove is too wide. Clearly something isn't fitting correctly.
Yes, something is seriously not correct. I have no idea what the previous owner did, if anything? Not to be rude but I don't think he had to skills to alter or change anything, didn't seem to be mechanical in any manner. Also, the screws look to be untouched. With the thumbpiece having so much chafing on its lower section, also the frame. Due to not being able to tighten the screw and have a functional firearm, he might have loosened the screw. My question to myself is, was it like this from the factory?

Anyway, I need to order the correct tips to open up the frame before I can continue. So, I am currently on hold.

I have been doing a little maintenance in the last couple weeks. I checked, and only one of five revolvers I have out has light scuff marks visible under the thumb piece. I intentionally loosened and tightened the thumbpiece nut on the one that seemed to be making contact with the frame. The latch still released the cylinder. Trigger and hammer still functioned correctly.
The thumbpiece and bolt do not move while dry firing. Only when the cylinder is being released, or closed. I think it would take a lot of friction to make it stick far enough forward to prevent the hammer & trigger from moving... :eek:
But yes, mine does. Just a little too tight with my fingernail and it's all locked tight.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
This should not be an issue with a lightly used and stored S&W revolver. From your earlier post, you are the second owner of this 19-5, from about 1981~2, with a box or so of ammo fired. It looked like a really fine Model 19 with target hammer and trigger. I would not open it and mess with the parts, unless I absolutely had to. There are few of them around in that condition.

To get to the bolt, you have to remove just about everything. If there is something wrong with the bolt, or you simply have to replace it, a new part most likely has to be fitted to the gun. That takes more than a mechanical inclination and a good screwdriver.

I would try to replace the thumblatch and the nut, or call S&W service department (they may fix it free of charge), or find a gunsmith who works on S&W revolvers (they are not easy to find, and expensive).

If you want to learn about the internal parts of a S&W, there are lots of videos on youtube to help. Guns with issues rarely come apart or go together as easily as the videos show. Here is a LOOONG one to watch on a cold winter night. The bolt is shown about 39 minutes in.

 

· Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This should not be an issue with a lightly used and stored S&W revolver. From your earlier post, you are the second owner of this 19-5, from about 1981~2, with a box or so of ammo fired. It looked like a really fine Model 19 with target hammer and trigger. I would not open it and mess with the parts, unless I absolutely had to. There are few of them around in that condition.

To get to the bolt, you have to remove just about everything. If there is something wrong with the bolt, or you simply have to replace it, a new part most likely has to be fitted to the gun. That takes more than a mechanical inclination and a good screwdriver.

I would try to replace the thumblatch and the nut, or call S&W service department (they may fix it free of charge), or find a gunsmith who works on S&W revolvers (they are not easy to find, and expensive).

If you want to learn about the internal parts of a S&W, there are lots of videos on youtube to help. Guns with issues rarely come apart or go together as easily as the videos show. Here is a LOOONG one to watch on a cold winter night. The bolt is shown about 39 minutes in.


Yeah, I agree. While I do have the skills to disassemble and reinstall everything, working in proper order. I do not have the skills to troubleshoot the problem at hand, nor to means to change parts and fit them in a working and functional firearm. I do still tend to believe the original seller with its lack of use as its condition is pristine. That being said, I think it came from the factory this way. Just too much wear on the thumbpiece while the rest of the gun remains spotless. I'll call Smith & Wesson customer service tomorrow. But not holding my breath that they'll want anything to do with a 40 year old revolver.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top